Well, other than the piles of debris and blue tarps, the remains of Ike appear to be departing. I know it didn’t take long for the cell phones to start ringing, the day-to-day kid shuffle to restart or the accumulation of mail to start flowing.

I hate to sound like a politician, but these are some challenging times…even without a hurricane! If you are like me, I’m so ready for November 5th and for all this election _______ (insert your own adjective) to be over! No matter which candidate is elected one thing is for certain, we will figure out how to prosper…because that’s our nature; we are survivors! Movers and Shakers! “Getter done” kind of people. Sure, we all may have to make some sacrifices, financial adjustments, and business strategy alterations, but we’ve done it before and can certainly do it again.

One investment you should not allow to deteriorate is the property that you own… home or office. Proper maintenance and care prevents costly repairs, so do not put off those items that retain high property values or those items that will severely jeopardize the integrity of the property. Additionally, your comfort and confidence in the home is priority number one.

If bugs are not on your “comfort” list, then don’t live with them…there’s no reason to share space with un-invited/welcomed guests. Either learn the proper products to utilize and how to properly apply them, or hire a reputable pest management professional. As mentioned many times, there are effective over-the-counter products for most pest issues. The key is reading the label; applying the product as and where allowed; and re-application as prescribed on the label. (The “Label”, and reading it, is vital to the success of your application and control. However, termites, carpenter ants, fleas, ticks, rodents and animal removal, are best handled by a licensed professional.

So, as we move into the “cooler season” (For our transplanted Texans, Winter is a word not used that often, in our part of Texas) it’s the time of year to re-explore items discussed…exclusion and alterations. Exclusion is the act of identifying openings in and around our properties that will allow rodents, birds, and other animals’ access to our attics, walls, and eaves. When these areas are located and closed off, you have greatly reduced the opportunity for continued or future damage. However, prior to sealing these areas you need to make certain that you are not “closing in” any critters or they may expire inside your walls or attic, and that will not be good situation. Should you elect to perform these tasks yourself, you will need steel mesh, expanding foam, ½ inch hard wire mesh, six inch wide tin, screws and the tools required to work with these products. Should you desire to have this service performed by someone else, they should be willing to get up on the roof and close all entry points. The cost for this service depends on the extent of the work required, but you can anticipate spending $95 and more, to have the service performed by a professional.

You, your yard company, or a tree specialist, if needed, can generally perform alterations to your property. The identification and removal of limbs in contact with the roof or structure should be your first consideration. These limbs should be trimmed back 6-10 feet to insure that critters/animals cannot jump onto the structure. Additionally, the shrubs and ornamental trees should be trimmed back one foot or more from the sides of our homes and businesses. While you are in the area you need to inspect your slab to insure that the soil level has not managed to become higher than the slab. Typically, we recommend that you have a minimum of three inches of the slab visible at all times.

Every house, new and old, can utilize exclusion and alteration services. Performing these services now can and will benefit the “health” of your home for many years. Just because your home is new doesn’t mean you do not need these services. We have performed numerous exclusion services on homes less than one year old. Ask your pest control professional to perform an exclusion survey before the critters make a home in your home.

If you would like more information or a free proposal on these services or any pest related service, please contact me at Chase Pest Control. Our office number is 936-441-2847 or by email at chasepestcontrol@consolidated.net. Until the next issue, have a great time outdoors; get ready for the holidays; and bring on “Winter”.