Mosquito Prevention: 4 Signals Mosquitoes Use to Find Humans

A mosquito on the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest Control

A mosquito on the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest ControlOur climate along the Mississippi Gulf Coast creates opportunities for mosquitoes to thrive for most of the year. Sometimes, it can feel like there’s no way to avoid these insects, but you shouldn’t give up hope! Mosquitoes are actually simple creatures that operate based on a small set of signals they seek out. If you can learn how to control what they do and don’t sense, you’re well on your way to a mosquito-free summer! Read on to learn more about mosquito prevention with our mosquito exterminators at Southern Pest Control.

4 Signals Mosquitoes Use to Look for Hosts

Some people refer to themselves as “mosquito magnets.” You might even know one or be one yourself! Although it certainly seems true that mosquitoes prefer some people over others, scientists have not yet firmly established the metrics with which to calculate one’s vulnerability to mosquito bites. However, we do know that there are 4 main signs that mosquitoes use to seek out potential hosts:

  1. Breath: Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we release when we exhale because it tells them that there are people nearby.
  2. Body odor: Our natural odor is another signal to mosquitoes, and this signal is amplified when we perspire. Wearing floral perfumes can also tip off mosquitoes to your presence.
  3. Body temperature: Mosquitoes can sense higher body temperatures and gravitate towards them. When we wear darker colors that trap heat, we make ourselves more visible to mosquitoes.
  4. Color: No matter the pigmentation, the longer wavelengths that human skin gives off attract mosquitoes.

Preventing Mosquito Bites in Knoxville TN

Although we can’t keep ourselves from giving off these signals to mosquitoes entirely, we can make efforts to block these signals and make our properties less hospitable to mosquitoes. Here are a few ways to implement mosquito prevention into your routines:

  • Get rid of standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so collected rainwater buildup in tarps, buckets, planters, gutters, and more can provide adequate breeding grounds. Pour it out or cover it when you find it in your yard.
  • Wear clothes that cover your skin: Light-colored clothing, too. Limiting exposed skin and dark colors that trap heat will take away two main signals that mosquitoes use to find you.
  • Use bug spray: EPA-registered mosquito spray products using either DEET or picaridin will safely keep mosquitoes from biting you for hours. If you wish to use a natural alternative, try lemon eucalyptus oil or citronella oil.

Why Professional Mosquito Control Helps

We have found that in many cases, our customers’ mosquito problems have built up out of sight, or at least in hidden or densely vegetated areas that non-experts wouldn’t think to look. Our experienced mosquito removal specialists at Southern Pest Control can provide a full-property inspection to put your mosquito infestation to a stop. By developing a unique barrier spray system for your yard, we can ensure that you’re receiving the best possible protection against mosquitoes. Contact us today for a free quote!

Protect Your Backyard from Pests in 10 Steps

A backyard to be serviced on the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest Control

A backyard to be serviced on the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest ControlAlong the Mississippi Gulf Coast, our warm and rainy springs provide the ideal conditions for a long list of pests. While we can appreciate the sunshine starting back up in spring, locals know that it means pest problems for people throughout the area. Are you looking to keep bugs, rodents, and wildlife out of your backyard this year? Read on to learn some actions to take on your own with the experts at Southern Pest Control!

10 Ways to Get Rid of Backyard Pests

If you don’t start putting in effort early to keep pests out of your backyard, your property could become overrun with critters once spring is in full swing. Here are our top 10 pest prevention tips you should use to protect your backyard this spring:

  1. Trim your plants: Overgrowth of trees, bushes, and shrubs can lead to shaded hiding places that pests will take advantage of. Keep ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, and other pests out of your backyard by keeping up on plant maintenance.
  2. Clear out standing water: Even the smallest standing water pools can be made into mosquito breeding grounds. Pour out or cover standing water your find accumulating in gutters, buckets, planters, tarps, and anywhere else you find it.
  3. Use garden nets: Garden netting can both protect the plants you’re growing and keep all kinds of pests out of your yard by restricting their access to food.
  4. Deal with yard waste: If you leave piles of yard waste out in your yard or even let a branch or two lay around for too long, you could be unknowingly providing all kinds of insects with temporary shelter. Get rid of yard waste early and often.
  5. Mow your lawn regularly: Keeping your lawn shorter will prevent it from trapping excess moisture and hosting regional lawn pests. Mow the lawn once a week to keep it in good shape.
  6. Dethatch your lawn if necessary: While we appreciate a thin layer of thatch for its insulating purposes, too much of it will suffocate your lawn and allow many lawn pests to thrive.
  7. Store firewood correctly: Any piles of firewood stacked against your home can easily lead to a termite infestation with expensive consequences. Store your firewood off of the ground, away from your home or backyard deck, and covered.
  8. Keep your trash bins closed: All kinds of pests from wasps to raccoons will rummage through your trash for food. Make sure your trash cans close all the way and keep them at a good distance from your home and backyard if possible.
  9. Watch how you water your lawn: Unfortunately, both overwatering and underwatering can lead to pest problems. An irrigation or sprinkler system can regulate your lawn’s water intake.
  10. Hire an exterminator: A professional exterminator can figure out the reasons for your pest problems and create a plan that will keep them out of your yard going forward.

Pest Control for Your Backyard

If you want to be certain that you’re in for a pest-free summer, reach out to your local pest control company. Our technicians at Southern Pest Control are well-versed in the common pest problems faced around the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We can ensure that your backyard stays protected with professional exclusion programs and industry-leading pest control products. Get in touch today for a free estimate!

Our Top 10 Interesting Spider Facts

Finding spiders around the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest Control

Finding spiders around the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest ControlHere at Southern Pest Control, we believe that the more you learn about spiders, the less you’ll fear them. Most spiders want nothing to do with us and just want to go about their day! We have dealt with many different spider species around the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and along the way, we’ve learned a lot about the quirks and habits of each. Read on for our ten favorite spider facts!

10 Facts About Spiders

  1. Most spiders can’t hurt you: Although all spiders have venom that they use to kill their prey, most spiders don’t have enough venom to do any considerable harm to a human.
  2. Spiders are all over: Research shows that you are likely no more than 10 feet away from the nearest spider at any point!
  3. There are thousands of kinds of spiders: Over 35,000 have been documented across the globe. Spider experts expect to uncover many more species as the search for new spiders continues.
  4. Spiders give presents: During the courtship process, the male spiders of some species will wrap a fly or other small insect in silk to give to a female as a gift. However, some spiders have been observed wrapping leaves or other junk to fake a gift!
  5. Spiders can dance: Another element of some spiders’ courtship routines is a flashy dance to catch a female’s attention. Their dances often involve frantic scuttling and arm-waving.
  6. Female spiders eat their mates sometimes: This can happen either before, during, or after copulation. Sometimes a female spider will kill a male for an unsatisfactory courtship attempt, and sometimes they will kill them after copulation to save their body for their offspring to eat.
  7. Spider silk does many things: We often think of spider silk as the material they make their webs from, but different spider species also use their silk to build nests, tunnels, paths for transportation, and even as floats to glide through the air on.
  8. Silk beats steel: We often think of spider webs as flimsy, but this is only because of the density of the webs that spiders spin. Spider silk is actually 5 times stronger than steel!
  9. It’s a liquid: What’s even more impressive about the strength of spider silk is that it only becomes solidified when it comes in contact with air. It starts as a liquid in their spinning gland.
  10. Spider muscles only retract: Spiders can only pull their legs back in, not extend them out with the same mechanism. To do so, they pump a special fluid through their legs. This fluid also enables them to jump great distances.

Spider Control Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast

While we hope that our spider facts have given you some reasons to change your mind about spiders, we understand that having a spider infestation can be stressful, no matter how harmless your spiders are. If you need help getting rid of spiders in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, reach out to your local spider exterminators at Southern Pest Control. Contact us today for a free quote!

Houseflies: More Than a Bother

Houseflies in window of Mississippi home - Southern Pest Control
Houseflies in window of Mississippi home - Southern Pest Control

We’ve all been annoyed by a nuisance fly or two in our house. But are these flies dangerous, or just an annoyance? Houseflies are scavengers and land on us because they are attracted to our scent. And while not interested in biting, the common housefly, or musca domestica, does want to suck up the salt, dead skin, oil, and whatever they find edible on the exposed epidermis with their straw-like tongues. Needless to say, no one wants to let houseflies land all over them, making it important to know what to do to keep flies away for good.

What to Know About Houseflies

Thanks to hearty appetites aided by an excellent sense of smell and a pair of complex eyes that cover half of their heads, houseflies also land on us and everything insight in order to defecate. This charming land-and-defecate-everywhere routine has made flies vectors of communicable diseases, ranging from typhoid to tuberculosis. The pathogens transmitted by houseflies, picked up after feasting on things like dung heaps and dead animals, are carried on their legs and around their mouths. Think about it: Each time a fly lands on your arm or takes a stroll around the rim of your mug of morning coffee, it could be shaking a whole lot of germs off of its hairy little legs.

Tips For Preventing Houseflies

The easiest, most inexpensive way to make the area in and around your home a “no-fly” zone as you put it is to take basic preventative measures. Here’s what to do:

  1. If you have a dog and aren’t quick to pick up and dispose of its poop you should start making this your number one priority. There’s a reason why flies love dog poop: It serves as both an all-you-can-eat buffet and an ideal egg depository.
  2. Also, don’t leave food out for too long, maintain a clean and tidy house (pay special attention to kitchen surfaces), empty your garbage cans regularly and keep an eye out for organic rotting matter. It’s about keeping a spic-and-span, sanitary home.
  3. Install screens on your doors and windows, especially in the summer. Also routinely check these windows for cracks and crevices that could be letting flies indoors.

Housefly Control in the Mississippi Gulf Coast

At Southern Pest Control, we know that flies are one of the biggest nuisance pests. If you’re having trouble identifying where the flies are coming from or need assistance getting rid of them, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Get Rid of Termite Swarmers

Termite swarmers in the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest Control

Termite swarmers in the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Southern Pest ControlHere on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, insects look forward to spring just as much as we do! It’s the season when many insects, including termites, start to become more active after the winter. Out of all the pests we deal with in our region, termites are undoubtedly the biggest threat. In spite of the fact that these insects are active throughout the year, they tend to swarm and infest new structures during spring. As a result, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for flying termites during this time of year and take steps to prevent them from entering your home.

At Southern Pest Control, we know how stressful it can be to deal with termites. We’re here to help—read on to learn everything you need to know about termite swarmers.

How to Identify Flying Termites

“Swarmer” termites are also known as “alates,” and are most often called flying termites. This type of termite reproduces in the spring by leaving its nest to form a new colony. The presence of these flying termites near your home can indicate an infestation, which is why it’s important to know how to identify them. Swarmers range from black to brown in color and measure 3/8 inches long, including the wings. The color of their wings is translucent or slightly milky or smoky. Wings may overlap and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body.

During spring, swarmers invade structures around basement windows, doorways, near porches, or anywhere wood comes in contact with soil. Before you realize it, a termite infestation can severely damage your home’s structure. Preventative measures should be taken in order to keep them from showing up in the first place.

Tips to Keep Termite Swarmers Away

Spring is the best time to look for signs of flying termites. To stop them from infesting your home, here’s what to do:

  • Routinely clean your yard of any rotting wood, trees, etc. Ensure your porch or deck is maintained.
  • Keep all mulch away from the foundation of your home.
  • Store all firewood above ground and away from the perimeter of your property.
  • Repair issues with your plumbing to avoid any leaks or moisture that could attract termites.
  • Work with a professional termite control expert to implement treatments that repel termites.

We Protect Your Home From Termites

You will need professional assistance if you see flying termites or if your home has a termite infestation. Getting annual pest control inspections is the best way to protect your home from wood-destroying insects. The experts at Southern Pest Control are ready to help—contact us today to protect your property from termite swarmers.