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Tips For Eliminating The Habitat Of Pests

Black WidowIt may be impossible to completely be rid of pests on outdoors on your property, but you can take measures to ensure they don’t come creeping inside your home this winter. By eliminating possible habitats around your yard, you decrease the chances of a pest infestation. Insects migrate indoors during the cold, wet months of winter to find shelter while they hibernate and lay eggs that will hatch in spring. Do a thorough walk-through of your home’s exterior and destroy any possible pest habitats to prevent insects from getting inside your home and overwintering. This will require you to think like a bug, searching for any insect-sized bridges that could help non-flying bugs get inside your house. You’ll also have to use your bug-senses to spot any places of refuge, or places where insects might be hiding out.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters collect leaves, moisture, and muck, which creates a prime habitat for insects to burrow into. Clean out your gutters and downspouts so insects can’t take up residence in the debris.

2. Check Downspouts

Insects are attracted to moisture, so be sure to check your downspouts to ensure that they directing water away from your house. This will keep pests at bay as they are directed away from your house.

3. Store Firewood Outdoors, Away from the House

If your home has a fireplace, be sure to store all firewood outdoors, at least 20 feet away from your house. Insects love taking refuge in firewood, so be sure that you keep all firewood outdoors until you’re ready to burn it.

4. Eliminate Debris Resting Near Your House

Insects love to make themselves at home in old debris, so make sure you remove any debris resting against or near your house. This includes rocks, compost piles, bricks, old boards, and anything else you may have lying around.

5. Pull Mulch Away From Your House

If you have mulch next to your house, be sure to pull it away so it’s not resting right against the house. This will help keep insects away from your house’s structure.

6. Store Trash Cans Away From Your House

Trash is a prime food source for insects and other critters. Naturally, it attracts pests. Store any trash cans away from your house, and be sure to keep the lids on tight at all times.

7. Shift Plants so They Don’t Touch Your House’s Foundation

You don’t want plantings touching your house’s foundation, as insects like to live in them. Prune tree limbs that overhang your rooflines or gutters, and give your shrubs a trim so they don’t rub against your house’s walls, porch, deck, or any other outside structures.

8. Remove Autumn Leaves and Keep Them Away From the House

Remove any leaves that have collected outside and store them at least 20 feet away from the house. Leaf piles are a prime place for insects to take up residence.

9. Replace Exterior Lights

Replacing exterior light bulbs, which typically attract bugs, with yellow or sodium vapor bulbs will keep the bugs away during the winter and all year round.

If you take the time to do a thorough outdoor inspection and eliminate any possible habitats where bugs may be dwelling, you will be saving yourself the headache of having to deal with an indoor pest infestation further down the road. Remember that insects will be attracted to the warmth your home provides during the winter, so by eliminating their outdoor habitats, you are decreasing the risk of them making their way indoors.

About the author: Chris is writer for Excel Pest Control, a New Jersey based pest control company.

3 Reasons Why Texas Is A Great Place To Buy Real Estate

Texas is the second largest state in America. What you may not know, however, is the cities of Texas are experiencing some of the largest growth in America primarily due to the following reasons:

  • safe communities
  • affordable home prices
  • secure employment

These are just a few of the reasons to consider purchasing a home in the Lone Star State. Read below to learn more about why Texas is a great place to buy real estate.

1. Texas Cities Are A Safe Bet

Crime is a reasonable worry for any home buyer who wants to ensure their potential investment is a safe bet. Overall, Texas’ crime rate is dropping rapidly when compared to the national rates; this drop mainly consists of property crime drops as well as violent crimes. Additionally, according to RedBeacon.com, homes in Austin sell within a median of 77 days, while those in Fort Worth sell within a median of 79 days. These cities are also seeing a drop in inventory levels, which drives home prices upward. Things are also looking bright on the foreclosure front. According to RealtyTrac, one in every 810 homes are foreclosed upon on a national level. On a state level, Texas only has 1 in 1,400 homes that have received a foreclosure filing.

2. Texas Is A Forbes Favorite

Whether it’s the Forbes “Best Places to Live List” or “America’s Coolest Cities to Live List” or even “America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhood List,” cities in Texas are nearly without fail mentioned on Forbes “Best of” lists. Being named on these Forbes lists holds more weight than one may think. The rankings are based on carefully researched statistics and stats – rather than the opinions of the writer. Texas cities being a Forbes favorite isn’t a new trend, even throughout the worst bouts of the economic crisis and after the pop of the real estate bubble, Texas cities thrived and consistently topped these lists. It’s only natural that as real estate improves, Forbes continues to provide its nod to Texas cities.

3. Affordable Homes

With a median income of just over $50,000 and home values hovering near $125,000. Even though homes are currently rising in value, Texas still has some of the most affordable home inventory in the country. This is especially true in tech towns such as Austin which now houses many tech start-ups and was once called the next Silicon Valley. Needless to say, now is a great time to take advantage of the affordability in Texas – especially if you are invovled in the tech industry.

There’s no better time than now to buy a home in Texas. The Lone Star State offers many safe neighborhoods with quality homes at affordable prices. With an unemployment rate that sits below the national average, steadily decreasing crime rates and many cities that are considered the best places to live by Forbes, you can make your home purchase with confidence.

Jon Clark is the current editor of the California Apartments Blog where he regularly blogs on home buying advice and provides tips on green living. When not blogging or restoring his vintage home, Jon can be found surfing and spending time with his family.

How To Protect Your Home And Family From Bed Bugs

The frequency of domestic and international travel has greatly contributed to the resurgence of bed bug problems nationwide. A few years back, everyone thought that bed bugs were a thing of the past. Now, however, with homes, schools, hotels, and all kinds of accommodation facilities, including buses, airplanes and cruise ships all being infested by bed bugs, people have realized how easily a once contained pest problem can become a national issue once again.

Today, it’s pretty difficult to stop the spread of bed bugs because travel, as mentioned earlier, is more common, and the creatures themselves are pretty sneaky. They can easily hide in bags, clothes, linen, and other items. They are pervasive, and they suck blood. All of these characteristics make them scary even though they might only be as small as apple seeds. Bed bug infestations are frightening, and no homeowner would want to be saddled with this kind of problem. Hence, people should take measures to protect their home, especially their kids, from bed bugs.

Here are a few things that will help you protect yourself and your loved ones from the nasty bloodsuckers.

1. Know who their friends are. You have to be involved in your children’s lives so that you’re updated about the latest happenings. Your child might mention something about a classmate who has a bug problem at home. In case you discover this, be extra vigilant and check your kid’s things and his room. It will also help to alert the teacher about this.

2. Be informed before allowing your child to go on a sleepover. Determine if the friend hosting the event has a problem with bed bugs. Try to glean some information about the home life to determine if the family has had pest issues in the past. It would also be better to talk to the parents concerned. Tell them about your bed bug concerns. They will likely open up to you in case they have a pest problem.

3. Clean and vacuum regularly. This way, you’ll easily get rid of lost bed bugs that might have just migrated into your home. Bed bugs also prefer clutter. If you regularly clean, you’re removing hiding places. Don’t forget to caulk cracks or put weatherstripping in gaps so that small pests will not be able to enter your house.

4. Teach your child how to protect his things from bed bugs. Tell him to keep his school bag zipped closed so that the bugs won’t be able to hide in his things. Ask him to check his bag first before taking this inside your house and in his room so that he won’t unwittingly carry bugs in your abode.

5. Use your laundry machine to your advantage. Bed bugs can be killed by heat. In case you believe that your house is infested, regularly launder clothes, bedding, and other things. After washing stuff in hot water, put things in a dryer and opt for the highest heat setting. Expose infested items to very hot air for at least 30 minutes.


Claire Trent is a pest professional who wants to help spread awareness about bed bug infestations. In her articles, she talks about Maryland bed bugs exterminator, how to identify the bugs, and what to do in case of a widespread invasion.