Angie's List: Debugging tips for your home

Finding ants inside your home may not only mean calling an exterminator, but also making a few changes in your environment to nip future rodent problems in the bud.

Yellow jackets kept Cathy Weinmann and her family from enjoying their front porch last summer.

"The first time we had yellow jackets we did try to treat them on our own. We bought the regular spray can and spray where we thought they were, but two things we found out later the poison usually won't go in deep enough to reach their nests and you also don't know how big their nest is when you are spraying in there,” said Cathy, “They can go in a crack and find an opening in your wall and they will build a nest as big as the opening in your wall. When we would spray them we might kill one that was going into the hole but then there were hundreds more to follow."
If something like this happens in your home, you may need some professional help.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List recommends turning over pest problems to professionals.

"If you find that you have unwanted bugs in your house a lot times people might try to tackle this project on their own, but if you see that you have a persistent issue it's probably time to call in the expert. You can call a pest control company that can come in and they have a lot of different projects they can use to take care of the situation,” said Angie.

Consumers need to remember is that not every method is safe for children and pets. Angie recommends asking questions regardless of whether you are tackling the project alone or with help.

Location is also a factor in how badly your home gets bugged.

"Definitely if you have a home located on a lake or a body of water or your home is on a wooded lot you're definitely more prone to having an insect issue than somebody else would,” said Daniel Packard, Pest Control Contractor.

It’s also more important to keep the inside of your home as dry as possible.

According to Packard, "A good thing to always do is to keep your structure as dry as possible, I can't stress that enough. Keep the water away from your house. Insects need a sufficient amount of moisture to survive and if you keep the water away, your tree limbs off the roof and keep your firewood piles away from the house and off the ground that really helps out considerably.”

When hiring a pest control company, it’s important for folks to look for a local company with a good reputation.

“A lot of times they are going to offer warranties on their work so you want to be sure they will be around to stand behind that. Additionally, many states do require licensure for pest control companies. Confirm that is in good standing. Finally, see if they are a member of the National Pest Association as well,” said Angie.

If you see a big swarm of little insects that look like flying ants, there is a good chance that your home has a termite problem. If that’s the case, calling a professional for an inspection is the proper step, and it may come at no cost to you.

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