Fall brings great color and crisp air, but it also brings plenty of pests closer to home than we’d like. Whether you need to get rid of voles in your yard or clear boxelders off your living room wall, you can do your own pest control with some basic supplies and a little know-how.
While moles aren’t likely to hurt us - even though their large claws may seem pretty threatening - their tunnels and holes can ruin our lawns. Looking for bugs to snack on under the soil, they rip up our hard work in their wake, leaving long ridges above the surface of our lawns.
To get rid of them, it may seem like perfect sense to just get rid of their favorite snacks. Trouble is, that favorite snack just happens to be a key player in the health of our lawns: earthworms. Earthworms are as irresistible to them as a box of chili cheese fries, but they’re also essential to keeping our neighbors in envy of our luscious, green lawn, so we’ll have to resort to alternate tactics.
Instead, get rid of moles by trapping them or using a Grub Control to eliminate their favorite food. If those fail, you can also try mole repellent, like Mole Max RTS or Granules, in their holes. If you need to bring out the big guns, you can also try Moletox Mole & Gopher Killer for a more lethal solution.
When it comes to these pesky rodents, you’ll need to take more defensive tactics to keep them at bay. Unlike moles, voles look more like field mice, so it can be hard to tell which you’re dealing with at a scarce glance. However, you can tell which one is causing problems in your yard by the little runways they leave on our lawns and signs of gnawed-on roots of our trees, shrubs, and garden plants.
Any sign of vole damage means you likely have an infestation, and should be taken seriously. Use a vole repellent, like Plantskydd® Vole Repellent or Vole Scram, or poison to eliminate the colony and keep your yard trimmed and tidy to keep them away.
As we all know, mice become a major problem when they end up in our homes. Not just ugly and often frightening, they can carry disease and get into our food. Problem is, they’re very good at getting inside to hide from the cold.
Luckily, there are lots of different of mouse and rat traps and repellents available, like MouseX and RatX. To make them most effective, keep them in your pantry where rats and mice tend to be most visible. If you can, you can also try borrowing a cat for a few weeks. Even just the smell of the feline will send mice looking for a safer place to stay. Whatever method you choose to take, just remember to avoid mouse poison - you don’t want dead rodents inside your walls.
These bugs don’t usually bite, but they do like to crawl into our homes when the weather gets cooler and give off a gross smell when killed, just as their name would have you think.
Preventing a stink bug infestation is easier than getting rid of them. Caulk the entry points in your home and make sure screens are in good repair. If stink bugs manage to get inside, light is their weakness, so you can try trapping them with a simple light trap. Find a small LED keychain and turn it on before dropping it into an empty soda bottle. Leave it out overnight near the wall or window where you’ve seen them gathering. In the morning, you’ll be able to throw them outside without causing a stink indoors. You can also try an insecticide, like Eight® Insect Control or Household Insect Control.
Boxelder Bugs are often mistaken for stink bugs, because they also smell terrible when crushed, and like to spend their winter protected in the walls of our homes. Bright red with black or blue markings, they typically don’t leave damage, but they will leave stains, so keeping them out is key. Seal any points of entry to prevent them from getting inside - all cracks and crevices are potential doorways. Then, kill existing infestations by sprinkling diatomaceous earth on window sills and baseboards.
Beetles, like ladybugs and Asian lady beetles (the biting cousin of the ladybug), respond to both diatomaceous earth and light traps. You can also use a HEPA vacuum to get rid of swarms efficiently.
Crickets also like to seek shelter in our homes when the weather gets cold, keeping us up with their annoying singing at night and damaging our furniture and belongings. Trap them with sticky paper traps, or set out dishes with a little molasses poured inside. Bug sprays can also kill crickets, but they aren’t good to use around our kids and pets. Alternatively, you can buy a safe product called Orange Guard that is effective at killing them without poisons.
Squirrels might not seem like much of a problem as they bounce from tree to tree, but in fall, they can become quite a nuisance. They like to dig up our newly-planted bulbs and raid our bird feeders just for a bite to eat. Keep them out of the beds with a repellent, like Critter Ridder, and keep them from bothering the birds with a squirrel-proof bird feeder.
Fall is one of our favourite seasons, and we’re not about to let a nuisance bug or rodent ruin it for us. Start preventing infestations early, and you’ll enjoy fewer pests and fewer headaches.