As you walk around your yard and flower beds, you can spot them easily - the mounds of sand that indicate ants have set up residence on your property. They could be fire ants, which can give you a painful sting, harmless worker ants or carpenter ants that can cause damage when they gnaw at your home's structure.
That's just the beginning of the early summer entry of insects on your grounds and possibly into your house unless you take steps to stop them. You can try home remedies and over-the-counter commercial products. But if an advanced population is already making itself known, it may be time to call in the professionals. Companies like Abell Pest Control can inspect your property, devise a treatment plan and advise you on follow-up steps to help prevent a recurrence.
Experts like Abell can also tell you what kinds of insects are crawling about your place. Are they really fire ants or the harmless variety? Is this a bee that will become aggressive on its own or will it bother you only when you swat at it?
If you're going to make any inroads in ridding your property of pests, it helps to know what you're dealing with.
There are some self-help measures you can take to keep the insect invaders from gaining on you. For instance, keep pests out of your house by sealing any cracks and crevices on outside walls. As an additional precaution, keep your trash cans closed with tight-fitting lids.
Draining any standing puddles and storing woodpiles several yards away from the foundation are other ways to reduce the chance of pests making their way from the exterior to inside the house.
Keep your flower beds weeded and free of debris to discourage pests. If you have fruit trees or other fruit-baring plants, be sure to collect and bag any fallen fruits and greenery before they decompose. Otherwise, you've not only got insect magnets on your land, but a feast for mice as well.
While you're walking your property, look for the possibility of hives and nests on trees and structures. You should be wary of getting rid of stinging insects, which should be handled by a pest service.
Cut back any plants that are touching your house. From grass to trees and hedges, try to plow a plant-free zone around the building so bugs won't go beyond the greenery and start attacking your shingles, sills and thresholds.