Eco-Friendly Ways to get Pests out of your Home
Even if you like spending time in the great outdoors, it doesn’t mean you want the great outdoors spending time in your home. Colorado is home to a number of wild animals and insects. However, seeing these pests in the middle of a forest is far more pleasant than seeing them in your home.
No matter the size of your wildlife invaders, there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to reclaim your house. In this blog, we’ll outline a few insects and wild animals that might try to make their home in your home, along with a few eco-friendly ways to deal with them.
Ants and Insects
Ants only venture indoors if they find accessible food and water. One of the simplest ways to prevent ants from wandering in is to make sure you don’t have food sitting out. If you keep your food covered and ants still try to work their way into your house, there are ways to get rid of them without spraying poisons and chemicals.
First, you can try squirting vinegar on and around ants whenever you see them. You can also use vinegar to get rid of other insects you see around your home.
If this technique doesn’t get rid of ants, try sprinkling cinnamon, black pepper, or cayenne pepper on ant trails. If you can find where the ants are coming from, add one of these spices right on the trail. These natural ingredients should confuse the ants from following the trail. It will stop ants from entering your home and prevent them from trying again.
Believe it or not, you can drive bees, wasps, and yellow jackets out of your home using natural methods. You can collect these insects with a soda bottle filled with something sweet. Use two yellow rubber funnels attached the soda bottles to allow bees in, but not out.
You can also try making your own non-toxic bee poison formula by combining boiling water and peppermint castor soap. Pour the solution into the bee nest night (when the bees are inactive). The formula doesn’t harm humans, but it does get rid of yellow jackets and stinging bees.
Moles leave pockets of holes all around your yard as they burrow their way through the ground. You can humanely deter moles from your property by pouring urine-soiled cat litter down their holes. The moles will smell the cat urine and assume a predator is nearby. This forces the moles to leave and find a safer environment.
You can also create your own eco-friendly spray to drive moles away. Mix dish soap, warm water, cayenne, and castor oil. Spray this mixture over mole holes tunnels in your backyard.
Skunks, Squirrels, and Raccoons
Skunks, squirrels, and raccoons are dangerous creatures that carry diseases. Left out food and garbage will attract these wild animals, so make sure to keep a clean home and eliminate food odors. Next, explore all the possible entry points around your home and see if you need to patch anything up.
These small animals have an aversion to the smell of ammonia. Soak a few rags in ammonia and lay them near any possible entry points. This will drive away the critters before they enter your home, or drive them out if they’re in your home.
Mice and Rats
You can humanely get rid of mice and rats by soaking cotton balls with 100% pure peppermint oil and placing them where you know the mice are living. Peppermint oil won’t harm your children or pets, but should drive away mice. Many companies make this type of oil, or oil-based product to drive mice out. Using eco-friendly products will protect your pets, children, and yourself from poisonous chemicals. When riding your home of insects and wild animals, make sure to choose earth-friendly pest controls.
Telltale Signs that Winter Took a Toll on your Trees and Shrubs
Anytime you plant trees or shrubs in your outdoor landscape,
you’re making an investment and it’s important you protect this investment all year long, otherwise, you’ll be looking at extra costs for landscape maintenance that could have been prevented. There are multiple signs that will tell you the winter wasn’t nice to your plant life and lucky for you, there are solutions to make it so when warmer weather returns, you’ll plant life will be ready to thrive. Here’s what you would typically see from your plants that have been damaged in the winter and ways you can help prevent winter damage in the future.
Winter Burn and Sunscald
If you noticed that the foliage and stems have dried out and have become a brownish color, these are signs of winter burn. If you have evergreens in your landscape, these are the plants that will show the earliest signs of winter burn. You will see the needles and leaves turn a golden brown. The winter sun, the wind, and cold will turn leaves from other trees and shrubs to appear bleached and have an overall yellowish color. You may also notice what is called sunscald, which is when the bark of your trees get sudden exposure to the sun. The change in temperatures will cause the bark to darken and turn a brown or reddish color, and a small sunken area will appear on the trunks of your trees. Learn more about Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape’s tree services.
The salt used to de-ice your driveway and sidewalks can also damage your trees and shrubs by drying them out. The salt draws away water that the plants need to grow and the leaves will appear scorched and brown. Salt from salt trucks will also cause the trees and shrubs that face the road appear burned and brown as well if exposed.
Your trees and shrubs act like a gourmet meal for rodents such as mice and rabbits. The winter months mean food can be scarce so these animals will feed off the twigs, branches, and bark of your plant life.
The roots of your trees and shrubs can be killed or injured with temperatures below 15˚F. Plants with frozen roots will wilt and slowly die when it’s time to grow in the spring.
Deep Root Fertilization is the answer!
If you want the best way to help recover your plant life, nothing works better than deep root fertilization. How it works is a fertilizer and other beneficial vitamins are injected deep into the soil where the roots lie, compared just spraying fertilizer on the surface of your plant life. This lets your trees and shrubs absorb the nutrients, water, and oxygen needed to encourage strong root growth and helps loosen the soil for more room for the roots to move. The end result is that your plant life has what it needs to recover and thrive and you don’t have to stress about seeing brown leaves, broken branches, damaged bark, and dead trees and plants every spring. If you want to provide your landscape with the year-long benefits deep root fertilization provides, the experts at Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape specialize in deep root fertilization and one of our landscape professionals will come to your property and help you get started for the ultimate tree and shrub winter protection plan.
Need a helping hand? Trust Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape to help protect your landscaping
At Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape we don’t want you to spend hours outside in the cold trying to clean up and protect your plant life – We would rather have you cozy up with your loved ones drinking hot chocolate by the fire and let us take care of your outdoor landscape maintenance. That’s why we offer the best winterizing services in northern Colorado so your lush landscape remains in perfect shape every spring and summer season and you can spend the winters staying warm and stress-free. If you see signs of winter damage to your trees and shrubs, contact us for an evaluation to determine the best solution.
Spring Start Up
Harsh winters can be extremely hard on your irrigation system, which is why a professional spring startup from Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape will help avoid any unnecessary and costly damage. Even with a complete winterization, there’s no telling where water has seeped in to over the winter months. Thaws and standing water in the irrigation system can cause major problems if they’re not taken care of before the system is reactivated. Unfortunately, a spring startup is not as simple as turning on the water and hoping for the best.
Professional Sprinkler System Inspection and Tune-Up
Before we even turn on the water, Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape will conduct a complete and thorough inspection to make sure that all of your piping, pumps, sprinklers heads and system components are in working condition. We’ll also perform any fine-tuning that may be required while cleaning out any debris that may impede the flow of water. Mechanical systems need a tune up after a long hibernation and that’s exactly what the spring startup is for!
Contact us today to find out more about our spring start-up program for a more efficient irrigation system! You can even schedule these events well in advance so that you’re prepared to take advantage of the growing season right when it starts. Don’t take chances with your irrigation system. Plan on having a spring start up with the professionals at Affordable Sprinkling and Landscape in order to protect your investment!