Cedarcide Blog post image, How to get rid of squirrels humanely and naturally

If you’re anything like us, you love animals. Unfortunately, some animals are just too damaging or dangerous to keep around. 

Enter the squirrel. They’re cute and seemingly harmless, but when they invade our homes and lawns they can cause costly property damage, not to mention spread fleas, ticks, and other pests to our pets and families. 

So what do you do if you need to get rid of squirrels but harming them isn’t an option? Here are 5 ways to get rid of squirrels humanely, safely, and naturally.

 
trim your trees, How to Get Rid of Squirrels Humanely and Naturally

Squirrels can leap anywhere from 7-10 feet, making a jump from your trees to your roof a piece of cake. In fact, this is among the most common ways squirrels sneak into our homes.

Not only will regularly trimming your trees help keep squirrels off your home, better manicured trees tend to house fewer squirrels and other pesky wildlife.

 
stop feeding them, How to Get Rid of Squirrels Humanely and Naturally

Accessible fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and bird feeders are essentially just giant welcome mats for squirrels. 

To limit squirrel populations on your property, ensure vulnerable crops are shielded with wire or other coverings, that your trash cans and compost piles are tightly closed, and that any bird feeders in your lawn are squirrel-proof.

Pick up your own squirrel-proof bird feeder here

 
seal your home, How to Get Rid of Squirrels Humanely and Naturally

If your yard has a ton of squirrels, it’s usually only a matter of time before they find their way indoors, which could end up costing you thousands in household repairs.

Save yourself the time, money, and headache associated with indoor squirrels and other pests by making sure your home is properly sealed. Do a slow walk around the exterior of your home, looking for potential entry points like holes, cracks, and other instances of wall, roof, attic, or basement damage. Then simply repair or replace any openings as needed.

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repel them with plants & spices, How to Get Rid of Squirrels Humanely and Naturally

Squirrels can strip a garden, plant, or tree of its fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds in only a matter of hours. But squirrels aren’t fans of every plant, and you can use this knowledge against them.

There are two main ways to go about it. First, you can try sprinkling black pepper, red pepper flakes, or cayenne throughout your garden, wherever you’re experiencing the worst squirrel problems. Just be sure to water the spices afterward to help prevent them from blowing away. This approach alone will often do the trick.

However, if you need a more permanent solution, try installing plants squirrels are known to avoid around your most vulnerable crops. Such as…

  • Daffodils
  • Fritillary
  • Galanthus
  • Hyacinth
  • Geranium
  • Peppermint or spearmint
  • Alliums
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
 
seal them, How to Get Rid of Squirrels Humanely and Naturally

This approach works great, is super easy, and takes basically no time at all. 

You have a few options here. You can adopt a rescue dog (canines and their urine are fantastic squirrel deterrents). You can purchase some of those cheap plastic owls and install them throughout your lawn and roof. Or, you can set up a motion-activated sprinkler, which gives your yard a quick spray anytime wildlife venture into unwanted areas of your property. 

   
 
Cedarcide blog post image, How to get Rid of Japanese Beetles: 3 Steps

Japanese Beetles and their larval grub form are arguably the most destructive garden pests you can face, capable of destroying your entire lawn or garden in only a matter of days. Most prevalent in the warmer months, these damaging scarab beetles lay their eggs in the soil during mid summer. These soon hatch into grubs which start eating your lawn from just under the soil surface until they emerge in spring as adult Japanese beetles. A full blown Japanese beetle problem is costly and a bit intimidating to tackle, but getting rid of and preventing Japanese beetles isn’t. Here’s how to control Japanese beetles with just 3 simple steps. 

 

The absolute most important step in controlling Japanese beetles is prevention. Not only is it the easiest, least expensive approach, it’s also by far the most impactful. Whether you constantly struggle with Japanese beetles or have never had them before, the following tips will help you avoid costly Japanese beetle issues moving forward:

  • Overly wet lawns lead to larger, more damaging grub and Japanese beetle populations. To avoid this, water your lawn as little as possible through July, August, and the latter parts of June. Doing this will reduce the number of grubs and adult beetles you’ll experience the following year.
  • During Japanese beetle season—late spring through summer—avoid cutting your grass too short, aiming for about 3 inches instead. Females prefer to lay their eggs in shorter grass and keeping your turf longer can help limit Japanese beetle populations.
  • If you garden, make sure to harvest your fruits & veggies early and often. Additionally, if you tend to struggle with Japanese beetles every year, consider switching out your plants, avoiding Japanese beetles’ favorite foods, such as apples, peaches, plums, beans, raspberries, hibiscus, and roses. 
  • Japanese beetles are most attracted to rotting and overripe plants, so keeping a healthy lawn and garden is key. Promptly remove diseased or otherwise dying plants, grasses, trees, fruits and vegetables before they attract additional beetles to your yard. 
  • Avoid using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in your lawn, doing so could decrease the health of your lawn, leading to larger Japanese beetle populations. 
  • Attracting predators like birds and reptiles to your lawn is an effective and natural way to prevent serious Japanese beetle problems. Invite birds by offering baths and feeders, and attract reptiles by offering shallow dishes of water and cool, dark places for them to hide (an overturned planter works great for this!)
  • Targeting Japanese beetles in their larval grub stage is an efficient way to devastate their populations before they mature into adults. Microscopic parasitic worms known as beneficial nematodes, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, and milky spore are all effective options. 
  • Employing row covers or drop cloths over vulnerable or appetizing plants will help both prevent Japanese beetle problems and their infamous damage. 
 

Lawn and gardens filled with other damaging bugs are much more likely to suffer from Japanese beetles, too. In short, pest damage leads to a less healthy lawn, and sicklier lawns are more attractive to hungry bugs like Japanese beetles.

By treating your lawn with a family-safe pesticide, you can help break up this cycle, protecting your lawn from potentially fatal Japanese beetle harm. Not only will this kill unwanted bugs in your lawn—like mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, and chiggers—it will help keep Japanese beetle populations under control.

Start by thoroughly spraying your entire front, back, and side yards with PCO Choice, including shrubbery and bases of trees. For best results, repeat this process in two weeks and then move on to monthly applications afterward. If you’re not currently struggling with Japanese beetles and just need prevention, you can start with monthly applications right from the start.

If you live in a warmer region like the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a state prone to cold spells, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.

Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!

For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in and around your garden and other known trouble spots like vulnerable grass.

 

In addition to the prevention methods outlined above and treating your lawn and garden monthly, removing Japanese beetles by hand is one of the most effective approaches for getting rid of these terrible pests. Granted, It’s not the quickest, but the results speak for themselves.

For best results, venture out into your lawn & garden in the early morning when Japanese beetles are known to be most active. Wearing gloves, remove any Japanese beetles you come across. Be careful not to squeeze or damage them, doing so could attract more beetles. Finally, dispose of the collected beetles by dropping them in a bucket of soapy water (2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap per 1 gallon of water).

 
Cedarcide blog post image, 10 surprising places bugs could be hiding in your home


Sooo you might not want to hear this, but there are definitely bugs hiding in your home, whether you see them or not. Normally it’s no big deal, a few beneficial bug-eating spiders here or there. But sometimes you’re not so lucky, and your hidden bugs are a costly problem just waiting to happen. Food, water, and shelter—these are the reasons bugs move indoors, and because our homes provide all three, every household has at least a few critters crawling around somewhere.

But if we don’t see them, where could they be hiding? Here are some surprising but also common places bugs hide in our homes.

 

Three things bugs really like: moisture, warmth, and a dark place to hide. Whether it’s your basement or a designated closet, your hot water heater provides all three. Periodically check around and under your water heater tank for signs of millipedes, centipedes, pillbugs, silverfish, spiders, crickets, and ants. If you notice any leaks or unexpected moisture, clean it up immediately and correct the issue to avoid future problems. 

Solution: To kill any bugs you find, give them a quick spray with Cedarcide Original. To repel future bugs, spray baseboards, shelving, and known trouble spots with Cedarcide Original every other week.

 

Bathrooms not only provide water but also warmth, and that added humidity really helps draw in the creepy crawlies. Thoroughly check your bathroom’s cabinetry and drains for signs of cockroaches, crickets, silverfish, and ants, and if you’re currently struggling with roaches or ants, make sure to dry both your bathroom and your shower’s flooring after each use. Entire populations of roaches and ants can often sustain themselves on just this water alone. 

Solution: If you’re experiencing heavy pest traffic, hand drying your shower and sinks after each use may be necessary. For less severe problems, simply spray any bugs you spot with family-safe Cedarcide Original. Spray suspected entry points and known hangouts every other week to repel bugs from the area.

 

The next time you’re doing a deep clean, make sure to pull your appliances out from the wall. Not only does grime collect here that can cause pest issues later, but there’s a good chance bugs have already set up shop there. Crumbs, darkness, privacy, and often moisture are in great supply behind and under appliances like fridges and dishwashers, making them a common hideout for roaches, flies, ants, and other hungry insects. 

Don’t be surprised if you find bugs inside your fridge, too—yep, you read that right: inside! It’s not uncommon for fruit flies and roaches to crawl inside your fridge, feast and breed for a few days, and then sneak out when you’re not looking. 

Solution: Cleanliness is key. Periodically clean inside, outside, behind, and under your appliances to limit bug attractants like moisture, dirt, and food debris. A quick spray of non-toxic Cedarcide Original will take care of any bugs you come across in the process. 

 

It should come as no surprise that trash and recycling bins are a popular gathering place for all sorts of bugs. The abundance of food and shelter brings not only expected visitors like flies, roaches, and ants, but also predatory bugs, such as spiders, sometimes even scorpions. 

What might be more surprising, though, is that not only do bugs hang out in your garbage, they can thrive there, too. In other words, your trash and recycling might not just occasionally feed bugs, it could be the very source of your home’s pest problems, sustaining entire populations of hungry bugs hidden inside. 

Solution: Taking your trash out often, switching to bins with sealable lids, and cleaning those bins weekly should take care of any trash or recycling-dwelling pests you might have.

 

You know what bugs enjoy almost as much as food and water? Clutter. And your junk drawer is crammed full of it. In addition to cleaning your junk drawers at least annually, check it periodically for signs of spiders, roaches, ants, silverfish, and other unwanted guests. 

Solution: Do yourself a favor and just finally get around to cleaning out your junk drawers. Recycle or donate duplicate items and throw all those sauce packets and disposable utensils you should have dumped years ago. Keeping things organized and clean should do the trick.

 

Your dirty laundry and even clean piles of clothes could be concealing some unknown roommates. Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, and moths commonly hide out in disorganized clothing and bedding. The scent of sweat, skin oils, spilled food and drinks attracts a wide array of interested insects, which can ultimately lead to hundreds of dollars of damage.

Solution: Stay up on your laundry and avoid piling clothes, bedding, and other textiles, even if they’re clean. Check fabrics for signs of bugs before storing them for the season and wash as needed. Using bags or bins with airtight seals should shield your clothing from pest damage during the offseason

 

Your electrical outlets and outlet covers might be hiding more than just wiring. Ants, several types of beetles, and more are known to take up residence in these surprising locations. Look for small wood shavings and other signs of subtle wall damage—these are common symptoms of infested outlets. 

Solution: Remove any covers you suspect might be hiding pests, carefully clean out the space, and repair or replace parts as needed

 

Before bringing home any new plant babies, inspect them for signs of bugs, like webbing, eggs, larva, and of course any adult insects. Surprisingly, houseplants are a common avenue for bugs to enter our homes. It’s a smart practice to quarantine any new houseplant additions apart from your other plants for at least a month after bringing them home. Not only will this save your other plants in case the new one contains damaging bugs, but it will also make it easier to monitor it for any hidden pests. 

Solution: Check out these quick reads on killing and repelling common houseplant pests:

 

This one gives us chills. Who would have thought that the cute stuffed animals we grew up sleeping and cuddling with might have been host to a whole range of yucky critters? Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, spiders, moths—any of these could be hiding inside or on the outside of your favorite teddy bear. 

Solution: Wash frequently used stuffed animals at least once every few weeks and apply family-safe Cedarcide Original repellent as needed.

 

New and old cardboard is a huge attractant for countless insects, arachnids, and other crawling things, including scorpions, crickets, silverfish, and roaches. 

Solution: Make the switch to sealable plastic boxes or bins and you should be covered.

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Fleas with Cedarcide: 3 Steps

While a flea or two isn’t usually a cause for panic, if left untreated they can quickly become the worst bug problem you’ve ever faced. Given that a single female flea can produce a population of over 20,000 in just 60 days, it’s not hard to see how fast things can get out of hand. All of which is to say, if you think you might have fleas, you need to act immediately.

Whether you’re facing a stubborn flea issue or just in search of flea prevention tips, we got you covered. And don’t worry—you don’t have to resort to poisonous, old school pesticides and dangerous flea collars to get the job done. Protecting your pets, lawn, home, and family from fleas only takes 3 steps. Here’s how to do it.

 

Did you know fleas are the #1 cause of skin disease in our pets!? Sadly, they help spread tapeworms and other gross, harmful illnesses, too. 

A dog or cat covered in hidden fleas and eggs is the quickest way to get a home and lawn full of these little bloodsuckers, making your pet our first stop in tackling your flea problem. Here’s how to protect your pets and prevent bites starting today. 

Before going outside, lightly mist your dog’s coat with Cedarcide Original and then massage the spray into their fur. Don’t forget their toes, ears, and tail, too. For your pup’s face, avoid spraying and simply use your hands to apply instead. Repeat every 2-3 days for prevention, and daily for ongoing flea problems until the issue noticeably improves. 

For cats, apply Cedarcide Original using your hands or with the Cedarcide Flea & Tick Brush. Reapply every 3-4 days or more as needed for ongoing flea issues. 

To protect against irritating bites and to prevent you from accidentally spreading more fleas, apply Cedarcide Original to you and your family before outdoor activities. If you’re currently facing down a flea problem, apply every other day or more as needed. 

 

If you noticed a few fleas on your dog or cat, we’ve got some bad news: fleas are living and breeding in your lawn, too. For this reason, it’s absolutely essential to treat your yard when solving a flea problem. Here’s how to do it:

Start by thoroughly spraying your entire front, back, and side yards with PCO Choice, including shrubbery, bases of trees, and anywhere else you suspect fleas might be hiding. Make sure to spray all outdoor areas in one session to prevent fleas from simply moving to another section of your lawn. For best results, repeat this process in 5-7 days and then move on to monthly applications afterward.

If you’re not currently struggling with fleas and you’re just looking for prevention, you can start with monthly applications from the get-go. If you live in a warmer region such as the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a state prone to cold spells, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.

Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!

For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in and around the areas when you and your pets spend the most time. 

 

While minor flea issues can often be solved by consistently treating your lawn, pet, and indoor pet spaces, for developed flea problems you’ll probably need to treat your entire home. If you’ve been dealing with fleas for several weeks or months, chances are fleas and flea eggs are now hidden all throughout your house, including your furniture, carpeting, bedding, curtains, rugs, and more. 

If your flea problem is new and small, we suggest starting by spot treating indoor pet spaces and any bedding, flooring, and furniture that your pets frequently use. This is where the majority of the fleas are breeding and hiding. Simply spray these spaces with Cedarcide Original every 5-7 days or more often as needed until your issue improves. A quick spray of Cedarcide Original is also great for killing any fleas you see inside. 

PRO TIP: Daily vacuuming can be a big help when it comes to solving a flea problem. Just make sure to clean and thoroughly empty the vacuum outside after each use, otherwise you risk the fleas breeding inside your vacuum and finding a way back into your home. 

If your flea problem is more serious, we strongly suggest treating your entire indoor space, with fogging being the quickest and most cost effective option. Using the easy-to-use Cedarcide Fogging Kit, fog your entire home, starting with the rooms farthest from your planned exit. After fogging each space, including bathrooms, pantries, and cabinets, close them up and move onto the next area. Be sure to aim the fogger directly at furniture, rugs, carpeting, and bedding you suspect of flea activity. 

After fogging your home, close the front door and return in 3 hours. We suggest repeating this process—fogging your entire home, again—after 5-7 days. This will give any remaining fleas and flea eggs the opportunity to re-emerge before your next fogging treatment. 

 

The difference between preventing a flea problem and solving one is usually a significant amount of money, time, and a few dozen gray hairs. In other words, it’s much easier to prevent fleas than it is to tackle a large, ongoing issue. Here are some simple precautions you can take to help prevent future flea problems. 

  • Before venturing outdoors, especially in tall grass, wooded areas, and unfamiliar pet spaces like dog parks, spray your pets and yourself with our family and pet-safe repellent, Cedarcide Original
  • Check your pets for signs of fleas every few days, especially after returning from walks, playdates with other animals, and outdoor exploring. Apply Cedarcide Original to kill any fleas you find and re-apply to prevent bites as needed.
  • Treat your yard, including shrubbery and bases of trees, monthly with the family-safe Lawn & Garden kit
  • Treat your home, especially pet spaces, monthly. Spray doorways, windowsills, dog beds, furniture, baseboards, and carpeting your pets frequent with Cedarcide Original to prevent fleas from living and breeding in your home. 
  • Wildlife like deer, raccoons, and coyotes commonly bring fleas into our yards. Help deter these carriers by installing fencing, keeping outdoor trash cans and recycling bins firmly sealed, and removing plants that attract wild animals, such as beans, roses, corn, apples, peas, tulips, etc.
  • The better maintained and organized your lawn, the fewer flea problems you’ll experience. Mow, weed eat, and trim shrubbery regularly and remove unnecessary clutter like woodpiles, brush, leaves, and unused gear and equipment.
 
Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Earwigs Naturally

While their large pinchers might seem threatening, earwigs are actually quite harmless, and in many cases can be a welcome addition to your yard’s natural ecosystem. And no, the old wives’ tales are not true—earwigs never burrow into human ears or present any other threat to people or pets. In fact, in small numbers, these nocturnal, reddish-brown insects are actually beneficial, helping rid our lawns of decaying organic matter and undesirable or damaging bugs like aphids, slugs, snails, and mites. 

However, when conditions are just right, earwig populations can explode. In these instances, earwigs can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden, as they begin feeding on living plants, like vegetables, fruits, and ornamental flowers. In these cases, you’ll need to act fast to prevent costly damage. The following tips will help you keep earwig populations to a healthy, manageable level, all without resorting to poisonous, old-school pesticides.

 
  • Jagged leaves with holes throughout your lawn and garden, similar to slug and snail damage but without the tell-tale slime trails. 
  • Check on or around damaged plants for small black spots, this is what earwig poop looks like. 
  • Lawn & garden damage that seems to occur mostly after rainy or particularly humid weather. 
  • If you have planters, furniture, or any other equipment or tools in your yard, lift them up and check for earwigs. The babies look just like adult earwigs only smaller. They are likely to be found near mulch and other moist organic debris, too.
 

Preventing earwigs is much easier than getting rid of a thriving population. Thankfully, prevention is quite easy and essentially all comes down to basic home and lawn maintenance. Here’s how to do it:

  • Earwigs usually enter our homes through small cracks or holes in windows, screens, doorways, baseboards, and countertops. Check these areas for possible earwig entry points and re-seal or repair items as needed. This will help with other common household bugs like ants, too. 
  • Leaky faucets, drains, and other plumping either inside or outside your home can attract earwigs. Clogged gutters are also a common source of earwig problems. Check these items periodically and repair, replace, or clean as needed. 
  • Earwigs tend to live in and feed on moist organic matter, like mulch, stacks of wood, leaves, and unkempt vegetation. Removing these attractants and other unnecessary clutter from your lawn can make a big difference when it comes to earwigs. 
  • Large overhanging branches and dense shrubbery can help create moist, shady areas in your lawn, which is exactly the environment earwigs need to survive. Trim trees and bushes as needed to limit possible earwig hideouts. 
 

A DIY earwig trap is an effective way to reduce the number of earwigs in your lawn and garden. Just roll up a few sheets of damp newspaper and bind them together with a couple rubber bands. Place these rolls both inside and outside wherever earwigs tend to congregate, or near where you suspect they may be damaging your plants. Then simply check them the next day and dispose of any trapped earwigs. Pretty easy, right? 

 

Garden pests can create a vicious cycle that ultimately ruins your beautiful lawn and garden. It goes like this: pest damage leads to a less healthy lawn, and sicklier lawns are more attractive to damaging garden pests.

Break up this cycle by treating your lawn each month with the family-friendly Lawn & Garden Kit. Not only will this kill any unwanted bugs in your lawn—like mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, and chiggers—but it will help prevent additional damaging pests like earwigs from taking hold. Repeat treatments monthly during the warm months or more as needed.

Because the Lawn & Garden Kit is non-toxic and plant-based, no downtime is required. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn immediately after application.

 

While they’re mostly seen outdoors, earwigs occasionally find their way inside your home in search of food and shelter. A quick spray with family and pet-safe Cedarcide Original will kill any earwigs you see inside on contact.

To help keep future earwigs outdoors, spray known entry points and trouble areas like the baseboards and flooring in your bathrooms, laundry room, basement, and kitchen weekly with Cedarcide Original until the problem improves. 

 

Like many insects, earwigs are attracted to lights, especially any lighting positioned or pointing outdoors. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to address this common earwig attractant. A quick switch from traditional light bulbs to sodium bulbs can make a significant difference in the number of earwigs you experience near your home. Giving off a more yellow light, these bulbs lack the blue wavelengths that tend to attract unwanted bugs.

 

A thriving ecosystem with plenty of birds is often enough to keep unwanted earwig populations in check. Installing a few bird feeders or baths near earwig trouble spots in your yard can provide almost immediate results.

 
Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants: 3 Steps

If you think you might have carpenter ants, there’s no time to spare, so let’s get right to the point. Once you locate the colony, getting rid of carpenter ants with Cedarcide is straightforward and best of all it doesn’t involve exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides. Here’s how to get rid of and prevent carpenter ants with Cedarcide in 3 simple steps:

 

Contrary to popular belief carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but are instead attracted by the same things that draw in normal ants, such as moisture, clutter, and sugary or protein-packed food sources. The following tips will help prevent not only carpenter ants but other common household ants from returning to your lawn or home. 

  • Apply PCO Choice to your lawn, foundation, and bases of wooden structures monthly to kill and help repel both indoor and outdoor ants.
  • Remove possible nesting spaces from your yard, such as woodpiles, wooden yard equipment, brush, dead or dying trees & tree stumps, unused dog houses, furniture, and any other unnecessary wooden items.
  • Keep tree limbs and branches away from the walls of your home. Carpenter ants can use these as bridges to enter your home.
  • Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home.
  • Treat all wooden items and structures before or after construction with Cedarshield, which will make the wood inhospitable to wood-boring insects. 
  • Keep your home clean—particularly the kitchen, flooring, windowsills and countertops. Without a food source, ants will have no reason to enter your home.
  • Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and residues (Tip: periodically wipe off jam, sauce and honey containers, too).
  • Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Take the trash out regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed. If you’re currently struggling with ants, consider taking out the trash daily. 
  • Food and drink spills should be cleaned up immediately.
  • Looking both outside and inside your home, check for potential ant entry points. Seal any you find with caulk or another sealant to make it harder for ants to move indoors.
  • Remove or remedy all sources of unnecessary moisture both inside and outside your home, including: leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, hoses, faucets, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, etc
 

As with most ants, carpenter ants often originate just outside your home, somewhere in your yard, maybe in a wood pile, old tree, or wooden structure. In other words, If you’re seeing carpenter ants or any other ants outside, they’ll find a way inside your home before you know it. In fact, sometimes treating your lawn for bugs each month is enough to get an indoor carpenter ant issue under control. Here’s how to do it. 

Spray your entire lawn, shrubbery, wood piles, and bases of trees and wooden structures monthly with PCO Choice to both kill and repel carpenter ants in all life stages. For warmer regions, this should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in an area known for cold winters, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.

No downtime required! PCO Choice is family and pet-safe, meaning you can safely enjoy your lawn immediately after application. 

For extra carpenter ant prevention, spread Cedar Granules throughout your yard, especially in those areas where you’re seeing the most carpenter ant traffic. Pay special attention to fence lines and the foundations of your home and wooden structures like outbuildings and sheds. Reapply every 6 weeks. 

For ongoing Carpenter ant and other pest problems, spray your yard with PCO Choice twice the first month, two weeks apart, and then move on to monthly applications after that. If you locate any ant piles or carpenter ant colonies in your lawn, perhaps on a tree or near a wooden structure, stir up the mound with a stick and saturate it directly with PCO Choice

 

The next time you reach for a can of bug spray to kill ants inside your home, including carpenter ants, take a moment to consider the possible consequences. Traditional indoor bug sprays can fill your home with toxic chemicals, resulting in serious health complications for your family and pets—but not Cedarcide.

Family-safe Cedarcide Original is a non-toxic insecticide for use indoors, as well as directly on people and pets to kill and repel bugs. Whenever you spot carpenter ants inside—like in your cabinets, on flooring, countertops, or on wooden structures—simply spray them with Cedarcide Original. 

Similarly, spray known entry points like window sills, doorways, countertops and baseboards with Cedarcide Original to prevent outdoor carpenter ants from coming inside. To get a carpenter ant problem fully under control, however, you’ll almost certainly need to locate and treat their colony directly.

FIND THE COLONY

Carpenter ants nest in moist, decaying wood. Their nests can be located either inside or outside the home, and you might need to follow the carpenter ant trails in order to find them. In general, if you find carpenter ants inside your home during late winter or early spring, the colony is usually located somewhere inside. Here are some basic tips for locating a carpenter ant colony:

  • Look for frass. Frass is finely ground wood debris that resembles sawdust. It’s the result of carpenter ants boring into wood to build their nests. If you see this in your home, the carpenter ants are nearby.
  • Damaged wood on or within walls, doors, cabinets, and wood beams is a good indicator of an indoor colony. Look specifically for sandpaper-smooth carpenter ant galleries and holes.
  • Place attractants like dog food, jam or other sweets where you most commonly spot carpenter ants. Using the resulting ant trails, attempt to find the location of their nest.
  • If you have wood piles or other wooden debris inside or just outside your home, check them thoroughly—the ant colony could be inside. If you locate the carpenter ants there, remove the affected wood and avoid storing similar items inside or outside your home moving forward. 

Once you locate the colony, saturate it with Cedarcide Original until you no longer see carpenter ant activity. Afterwards, thoroughly clean the area with natural soap & water or diluted vinegar. After cleaning, spray the entire area again with Cedarcide Original to help prevent future carpenter ant problems. 

MAKE NATURAL CARPENTER ANT BAIT

If you’re having trouble locating the carpenter ant nest, making your own carpenter ant bait at home can help limit the population size without treating the colony directly. It’s no substitute for destroying the colony, but it can help substantially.

Make a simple and natural carpenter ant bait by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Strategically place this mixture inside shallow dishes wherever you notice carpenter ants or carpenter ant damage. This bait can also be placed outside, particularly near doorways and windows. The sugar in the mixture will attract the ants and the baking soda will naturally kill them. 

Cedarcide blog post image, How to get rid of powderpost beetles naturally

Second in damage only to termites, powderpost beetles can do a number on your home’s wooden structure, its furniture, fencing, and more. Hard, soft, old, new—powderpost beetles aren’t picky and will eat nearly any type of wood. They’re known to damage books and other valuables like paintings, too. 

It goes like this: the adults of these wood-boring beetles lay eggs in the pores of wood items. These develop into larvae which feed on the wood from the inside out, eventually exiting via small pinholes after maturing into adults. Their life cycle is remarkably slow, often taking years to go from egg to adult. The adults live only a few days, long enough to lay eggs, and then the whole destructive cycle starts over again. The good news: it usually takes a significant amount of time for powderpost beetles to do serious damage. The bad news: because they eat and grow slowly, you likely won’t notice them until it’s too late. 

Think you have powderpost beetles? Just looking for prevention? We have you covered. Here’s how to spot, prevent, and get rid of powderpost beetles naturally.

 

Because they grow slowly and their damage happens over longer periods of time, powderpost beetles aren’t always easy to spot. In fact, it can take years before you notice they’re around. Here’s what to look for:

  • Small round holes about ⅛ inch or smaller. This is where the beetles exit the wood once they mature.
  • The most obvious sign of a powderpost post beetle problem is the appearance of frass, which is essentially sawdust mixed with the beetle’s waste. In fact, this powdery debris is where the beetles get their name. This is usually found near the wood where the beetles are hiding. 
  • Grooves or small tunnels carved into the side of wooden items. You’ll likely notice frass nearby, too. 
 

Preventing a powderpost beetle issue is rather straightforward. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep them away from your home and out of your wooden items. 

  • Before bringing home rough-cut or raw lumber, inspect it for signs of pest activity, including damage like holes and carved tunnels. 
  • Request that rough-cut and raw lumber be kiln dried before bringing it home. 
  • Treat fencing, decks, furniture, garden boxes, and other wooden structures with a long-lasting wood protectant like Cedarshield. Powderpost beetles will almost never inhabit treated wood.
  • Avoid storing wooden items outdoors, such as in an outbuilding or barn. 
  • Sanding and varnishing tends to make most wood unappetizing to powderpost beetles and other wood-boring insects. 
 

If it looks like you have powderpost beetles after reading the info above, don’t worry. It’s not ideal, but these pests are not that difficult to manage and are slow-working when it comes to damaging your wood. The below natural approaches will help you solve your powderpost problem without resorting to poisonous pesticides that could harm your family and pets. 

 

KILN DRY LUMBER

In addition to helping prevent powderpost beetle problems, kiln drying can also be used after the fact to get rid of an ongoing issue. All you’ll need to do is take infested items to a local sawmill and have them kiln dried. 

 

TREAT THE WOOD

Powderpost beetles will not inhabit wood that’s been thoroughly treated to remove and protect against moisture, which is why it’s a great way to prevent them. Thankfully, this same approach can be used to kill or seal up beetles hidden deep inside.

Using a wood treatment like Cedarshield, which removes all moisture from the wood and strengthens it against rot, decay, and warping, thoroughly treat all wooden items housing powderpost beetles. It’s that easy.

FREEZING

It might not work for furniture or structural wood, but freezing is an easy, free way to rid smaller items of powderpost beetles. Simply place them in a freezer for 72 hours, ideally at about 0°F. In rare cases, some eggs could survive the freezing so make sure to monitor the wood for damage and other signs of beetles over the next few months. 

 

FAMILY-SAFE PESTICIDES

There’s no need for the toxic stuff. Using a family and pet-safe insecticide like Cedarcide Original, spray any beetles you see directly for immediate results. For smaller items you fear may have powderpost beetles, spray them every few weeks with Cedarcide Original to limit damage and prevent future issues. 

 

Cedarcide blog post image, What Are No-See-Ums and How to Get Rid of Them
 

Also known as biting midges or sandflies, no-see-ums are a family of small flies that resemble gnats and mostly feed on plant nectar. If their name didn’t give it away, they’re often impossible to see, as they’re usually no more than 1–3 mm in size (about the size of the point of a pencil!). In fact, most people don’t realize they’ve encountered these bugs until they start to itch. You see, just like mosquitoes, female no-see-ums bite and drink blood, which they require to lay eggs. 

But here’s the bad news: no-see-um bites tend to be more painful, more irritating, and more numerous than mosquito bites, which is largely due to the saw-like mouth parts they use to rip into your skin. In other words, you don’t want these bugs anywhere near you, your family, lawn, or pets—and we’re here to help you make that happen. Read on for simple, family-safe strategies for getting rid of these little monsters and preventing their awful bites. 

 

PREVENTION

Like with any pest, prevention is unquestionably the best form of no-see-um control, and the easiest way to avoid painful bites. Because of their similar life cycles and environmental needs, preventing no-see-ums looks a lot like basic mosquito prevention. That is to say, it’s all about reducing unnecessary moisture, breeding sites, and common hiding spots. Here are some basic guidelines to follow. 

  • Maintaining a clean, organized, and trim yard is essential. No-see-ums are attracted to spaces with clutter and dense vegetation, including brush, bushes, and tall grass. Start by removing all non-essential clutter from your yard, especially items that collect moisture like unused equipment, planters, tree stumps, etc. Then, mow and trim shrubbery weekly or more as needed.
  • If your lawn includes water features like bird baths, decorative ponds, or fountains, you’ll need to closely monitor these items during spring and summer, cleaning and repairing as necessary. Even better, seriously consider draining these features during peak no-see-um season (Mar.–Sept.).
  • To prevent breeding, repair or replace leaky or otherwise faulty drains, pipes, hoses, sprinklers, and faucets ASAP
  • Limiting sources of light just outside your home can significantly reduce no-see-um populations. For best results, keep your blinds closed at night and keep your outside lights off during spring and summer. We also suggest trading your traditional light bulbs for those that do not attract bugs, such as yellow compact fluorescent lights (CFL), sodium vapor bulbs, or halogen options. 

PREVENT NO-SEE-UM BITES

Nobody wants a body covered in red, swollen, itchy bumps. Thankfully, preventing no-see-um bites with Cedarcide is simple and takes just a few seconds. 

Before hiking, camping, lawn work, dog walks, and other activities that could expose you to no-see-ums, apply Cedarcide Original to you, your family, and pets. Then simply reapply every 5-7 hours or after getting wet. Not only is Cedarcide Original non-toxic and safe for your family and pets, it can be used all throughout your home to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitoes, and mites. It’s also a very popular alternative to traditional chemical-based flea & tick products. 

 

RID YOUR LAWN OF NO-SEE-UMS

With the family-safe Lawn + Garden Kit, you can get the bite-free yard you and your family deserve. Best of all, it’s super easy to use and kills and repels all sorts of biting and destructive bugs, not just no-see-ums. 

For best results, spray your entire lawn, including shrubbery and bases of trees, with PCO Choice (which is included with the Lawn + Garden Kit). Pay special attention to dense vegetation like bushes, as this is where no-see-ums tend to hide and breed. Then simply spray again in about two weeks and move on to monthly applications after that.

If you’re not currently struggling with no-see-ums and you’re just looking for prevention, you can start with monthly applications right from the beginning. If you live in a warmer region such as the South, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter really starts to set in.

Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!

For additional protection, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your outdoor space, especially in those areas where you and your family spend the most time, like patios, balconies, BBQs, etc. (Cedar Granules are also included in the Lawn + Garden Kit).

 
 
Cedarcide blog post image, What bit me, how to ID common Bug Bites

Bug bites happen. And usually by the time you start itching, the bug that got you is long gone. Being able to properly identify a bug bite can not only help you more efficiently treat it, but can be critical in the event your bite becomes a serious medical concern, like in the case of venomous spiders and occasionally ticks and mosquitoes. Below you’ll find some of the most common biting bugs in America, along with info to help identify their bites, and what a typical reaction to that bite might look like.

   

Ants are one of the most common biting and stinging insects found in the U.S. While rarely a serious medical concern, their bites and stings can be quite unpleasant, especially if you live in the south where so called “fire ants” are commonplace.

Ant bites usually look like small red bumps surrounded by red skin, with a white pus-filled head in the middle. 

 

Unlike ants—which typically bite out of fear or aggression—fleas bite because they’re hungry. These little vampires live off mammal and bird blood and unfortunately we humans are no exception. 

Flea bites look not dissimilar to ant bites—essentially, they’re just little red bumps. They usually occur in a cluster of three of four bites and are typically found on the ankles, feet, and lower leg. 

 

When ticks bite, they can hang onto their victims for up to 10 days, which usually makes identifying a tick bite quite easy. Preferring warm, moist locations, tick bites are normally found in hidden areas like the armpit, groin, or on your scalp.

If the tick is no longer attached, identification can be difficult, as tick bites look similar to many other bites: red, irritated skin with mild swelling. There are a couple of main differences though, tick bites, unlike ant and other common insect bites and stings, are not typically filled with pus or any other fluid and rarely if ever cause pain or discomfort.

Because of the potentially serious consequences of a tick bite, contact a physician if you experience any of the following: 

  • Unusual rashes at or near the bite site. 
  • Intense pain or irritation
  • Fever
  • Extreme Lethargy
  • Body aches
  • Flu-like symptoms. 
  • Any other signs or symptoms of infection
  • Dizziness or nausea 
 

Few things can ruin outside time like a cloud of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. While intensely itchy in the moment, mosquito bites usually subside quickly, leaving little to no trace in just a few days. Rarely, however, a mosquito bite can cause more serious reactions, like swelling, soreness, blisters, localized pain, hives, even fever.

Mosquito bites tend to produce a puffy, pink bump about the size of a dime initially that hardens and becomes larger over time. Frequent scratching can lead to more severe reactions and in extreme cases infection 

Because of the potentially serious nature of mosquito bites, contact a physician if you experience any of the following: 

  • Large or otherwise unusual swelling and redness
  • Hives
  • Headache
  • Body aches 
  • Flu-like symptoms. 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Any other signs or symptoms of infection
  • Dizziness or nausea 
 

The bites of horseflies, deer flies, sand flies, and even some house flies can pack a surprisingly painful punch.

Like most of the bites on this list, fly bites generally cause swelling, skin irritation, and redness at the bite site. Bumps, blisters, rashes, and welts are also common. Fly bites usually occur on the feet, ankles, lower leg, and on the neck and face area. 

Because of the potentially serious nature of some fly bites, contact a physician if you experience any of the following: 

  • Large or otherwise unusual swelling and redness
  • Hives
  • Headache
  • Body aches 
  • Flu-like symptoms. 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Any other signs or symptoms of infection
  • Dizziness or nausea 
 

Unlike ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, thankfully spiders do not transmit disease. In fact, they often make meals out of the biting and stinging insects outlined above, for the most part leaving humans alone unless they feel threatened. 

Often about as painful as a bee sting, spider bites tend to cause red, irritated skin with swelling, occasionally accompanied by a rash at the bite site. In some cases, you may even be able to pinpoint two small puncture wounds where the spider’s fangs pierced the skin (don’t worry, it sounds worse than it really is). In rare cases, nausea and dizziness may also occur.

If you experience severe or otherwise unexpected symptoms after a spider bite, or suspect the individual might be venomous like a black widow or brown recluse, contact a physician immediately.

 

Mite bites are among the hardest bites to identify. Firstly, nearly all mites are microscopic or near microscopic, making a proper diagnosis often impossible. And secondly, reactions to mite bites vary greatly, and are often confused with other causes of dermatitis. 

Chiggers are arguably the easiest mite bite to identify. Also known as harvest mites and berry bugs, chiggers live in grassy areas during the spring and summer months, waiting for unsuspecting victims to walk by so they can feed. They latch on, feed on your skin cells for several hours, and then fall off to complete their life cycle. Only a few minutes in chigger-infested areas can leave you with dozens of blisters, rashes, and hives that can itch and hurt for literally months, which can be a real downer during beach season, believe us.

Reddish welts that cause extreme skin irritation once the chigger drops off, these bites almost always occur on areas of the body where skin and clothing are in tight proximity, such as near your socks, waistband, armpits, groin, legs, and back. If you experienced bites that sound like this shortly after exploring the outdoors or sitting in grass, chances are they’re chigger bites. 

The bites of other mites, like bird mites and rodent mites, however, aren’t so easy to pinpoint. Reactions can vary from extreme pain and hives to subtler symptoms like mild irritation or a feeling that something’s crawling on your skin. While these types of mites typically prefer non-human hosts, it’s not extremely uncommon for these mites to affect entire households, and sometimes even their pets. 

Bites from bird and rodent mites tend to share one common characteristic: skin irritation. Sometimes it’s mild, sometimes it’s severe. If you’re experiencing unknown bug bites with no obvious source, it could have mites. 

Sadly for some individuals, mites can be a debilitating, long term problem that can be difficult to get under control. If you’re struggling with mites, we can help. Call us at 800-842-1464 and find relief starting today. 

 
 
Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Grubs Naturally

Grubs, the larval form of damaging scarab beetles like June bugs and Japanese beetles, can be a big problem for you and your beautiful lawn. Feeding on your grass’ roots from underground, grubs can cause thousands in damage before you even know they’re in your yard. To make matters worse, once they emerge as fully grown beetles, they’ll continue to tear up your lawn, damaging nearly all plant life they encounter. In only a few short months the beetles will again lay more grub eggs, starting the whole horrible cycle all over again.

Worried you might have grubs or could in the future? Currently struggling with an ongoing grub problem and not sure what to do? We have your back. Below you’ll learn how to identify, prevent, and get rid of grubs without exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides.

 

Not sure if you have a grub problem? Look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Brown patches of grass
  • Spongy, unhealthy spots of grass
  • Brittle turf that can be easily pulled from the soil, essentially grass without roots
  • Unusually high and sudden wildlife activity, such as birds, reptiles, skunks, and raccoons digging at your lawn. 
  • Small holes throughout your lawn, usually a sign that animals have been feeding on grubs.
 

We’ll save you the suspense—your lawn has grubs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a grub problem. Moderate population sizes are normal and rarely if ever cause much of an issue. In general, 4 or less grubs per square foot is just fine. However, having 5 or more indicates a surging grub population that could cause significant damage and cost you hundreds in the long run. Here’s how to check:

Approach one of the brown, dying patches of turf in your lawn and dig up a square foot of sod about 3 inches deep. Closely inspect the soil looking for white or off-white C-shaved larvae—these are your grubs. If you find 5 or more, you need to act fast before things get worse

 

Natural, effective, and economical, beneficial nematodes are a popular gardening tool for a reason. Once they’ve taken hold in your lawn, these microscopic, parasitic worms attack grubs, killing them from the inside out. 

Because they’re alive and need to remain so to work, make sure to buy your nematodes from a legitimate dealer like your local garden shop, and water your lawn soon after applying them. This approach can take a season or more to be fully effective, so practice additional grub control methods in the meantime. Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill nematodes, negating their pest control effect.

 

Lasting upwards of 20 years, a dose of milky spore introduced into your lawn can often solve grub issues outright. While it can take around 3 years for the bacterium to totally eradicate ongoing grub problems, the investment is well worth your time. 

Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill milky spore bacteria, negating their pest control effect.

 

Feeding on both grubs, their adult beetle form, and countless other unwanted bugs, birds are arguably nature’s most efficient pest control tool. Attracting them is usually as simple as adding a few baths and/or feeders to your yard. You should notice a drop in your grub and beetle populations almost immediately. 

 

Adult grub beetles tend to avoid laying their eggs in longer, healthier grass. Simply keeping your grass to no less than 2 inches long during the fall, spring, and late summer can dramatically decrease and in many cases prevent grub problems.

Additionally, healthy lawns are overall far less vulnerable to grub and other pest problems compared to those in poor shape. Seeding and fertilizing patchy or otherwise damaged areas of your lawn during both spring and summer is another simple but effective way to deter grubs. For best results, avoid synthetic fertilizers and practice natural pest prevention. Don’t worry, our Lawn & Garden Kit has you covered in the bug department.

 
 

Overly wet or consistently moist lawns are known to foster larger, more damaging grub populations. To avoid this costly scenario, water your lawn as little as possible through July, August, and the latter parts of June. Doing this will help dehydrate and kill any grub eggs buried in your yard, dramatically reducing how many grubs you’ll experience the following year.

We know it’s not easy to avoid watering your lawn as often during the warmer months, but so long as your grass is in good shape, it should bounce back to full health as soon as you begin watering again.