Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam, Circumspice. Our state motto here in Michigan has wonderful application in the world of pest control. If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you. We all want our homes and businesses to be our own pleasant peninsulas, so looking about us is the key to Michigan Pest Control.
Look about for harborage
Pests are always looking for places to hang out and set up shop. Sometimes they are looking for a nesting site where they can rear their young in peace and protection or leave some eggs to hatch. In other cases, they may be looking for protection from the elements which is especially true as we head into Michigan’s less than amicable winters. Quite often, they will be looking at protection from a predator looking to gobble them up. Each of these situations may guide them to a different sort of shelter, but here are things to keep an eye out for:
- Piles of debris e.g. leaves, sticks, weeds
- Water Containers e.g. kiddie swimming pools, bottle caps, tires
- Overgrown landscaping
- Low hanging structures
- Cracks into voids
Look for travel lines
We may not always be able to see where pests are hiding or may hide out if given the chance. Despite this, we typically can find the paths that lead to such areas. Pests look for certain things that indicate shelter, security, or food. In nature, pests travel along rock edges and tree branches quite often to reach food or water. Here are some parts of our landscaping and construction that may invite pests to travel along them:
- Branches touching the structure
- Shrubs and plants against the structure
- Plumbing entrance and exit points
- Wiring connections to the structure
- Ground to construction touch points
- Construction seams and ledges
- Water travel paths
- Areas of disrepair
Look for Food Sources
Pests have odd diets – ones that we cannot relate to in many cases. That being said, we have to think like insects and arachnids when analyzing potential food sources. Some are easy such as bees. We know honey bees are going to head for the flowers. As we pick out what kinds of plants we want in our landscaping, it is worth spending some time learning which pests they may promote. Other food sources include:
- Bird feeders
- Pet dishes
- Insect populations
- Mold, mildew or other fungus
- Rotting food
- Trash receptacles
- Stagnant water
- Grease splatter
Look about for Access Points
Many of the access points that pests are going to use are going to fall under the travel lines, but there are others which can be looked for independently such as:
- Drafts – feel for cold or hot points
- Light entry – light coming in can indicate gaps that could be sealed
- Moisture marks
- Areas that open or close – this applies equally to doors or windows that may be open long enough to grant access as well as places where weatherstripping may wear out.
- Permanently covered sections e.g. a low profile deck
If you find places that could grant access to pests, patch or repair them with a material such as caulk, weatherstripping, expanding foam, weatherproof mesh, etc. It is best to do permanent fixes when and wherever possible. Also, keep in mind that structures change over time and with each season, so seasonal inspections are warranted even on newly built homes and businesses.
Look about for indicator animals
Mice love to eat cockroaches. This likely has to do with the roach’s high nutrition content. In fact, roaches are used throughout the world as a food source for humans because of their nutritional value. So if you find roach legs and antennae on glue boards missing heads and/or bodies, this is a likely indication that mice are about munching up roaches.
The simple presence of spiders, centipedes, wasps, and other predatory creatures indicates there are other invertebrates around. These predators centralize their habitation and movement around arthropod populations so they know they will be well fed and taken care of.
Another example would be scout ants. We hear many times that someone just saw one or two errant ants. A couple of ants isn’t necessarily a cause to raise the alarm, but those are typically scouts for the colony – not a couple of lost boys. These ants go out in search of sources of food or shelter for when the need arises. Seeing a couple of these ants is a good indicator that there is a colony around somewhere in wandering distance. It may not be on your property per se, but you know they came from somewhere relatively nearby.
In reality, it is worth learning a small amount about any arthropod you see bumbling about your property. In most cases it will not need any further action, but it is fun (at least for bug nerds like me) to learn about them and stay apprised of how they relate to the rest of the mini ecosystem
Look about for help
The good news on this one is you don’t have to look far. At Rove Pest Control, we have seen it all. If you have any questions or don’t even know which questions to ask, reach out to the Michigan Pest Control Experts at Rove. We will customize a monitoring and treatment plan to fit your surroundings and needs.