Fall’s here which means a whole list of new bugs are trying to move inside your home as they attempt to escape the cold. Here are the pests you’re most likely to encounter this season and essential tips for preventing them.
The chirp of crickets can be a seasonal pleasure, but when your home’s haunted with that noise all night long, it’s certainly an unwelcome intrusion. A home full of dozens of dead and decaying crickets is really gross, too. Did we mention they also eat holes in clothing, bedding, furniture, rugs, and other fabrics?
We know they can be a bit scary, but nearly all spiders are harmless and actually beneficial, helping keep indoor insect populations to a minimum. But as the weather cools, spiders’ mating season begins which tends to bring them out of hiding and in larger numbers than usual. As helpful as they can be, no one wants a home full of spiders and webs for the holidays.
As fall kicks in, centipedes are more likely to move indoors, as they search for food, moisture, and shelter from the coming cold. There’s just something about their numerous legs and the way they scuttle about that makes centipedes extra creepy. But thankfully, just like spiders, centipedes are normally allies, helping rid our homes of other creepy crawlies, spiders included. However, it is important to mention that some, especially larger individuals, can pack a seriously painful bite, so do exercise caution around them.
If you’ve ever spotted unexplained holes in your clothing, rugs, or bedding, don’t be so quick to blame moths. There’s a good chance these silvery wingless bugs are the real culprits. In addition to closets and other storage spaces, you might notice silverfish in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms, where they congregate to grab a quick drink.
The larvae of a small brown moth, fall armyworms are one of the most destructive lawn & garden pests in the U.S., capable of stripping an entire yard of its plant life in a single night. One fall evening your lawn is beautiful and healthy, and the next morning it’s an ugly, dying patch of brown grass and dirt.
If you’ve noticed wasps or wasp nests near your home in the spring and summer, you need to be extra cautious during fall and winter. During the colder months, wasps become more active and also more aggressive as they prepare their colonies for chillier conditions. During this time, you, your family and pets are far more likely to incur painful, and in some cases dangerous, stings.
While stink bugs are especially bad in the Northern U.S., they’re slowly becoming more of an issue across the entire country. As we enter fall, these bugs emerge from their hiding places in alarmingly large numbers in search of warm places to overwinter for the season. During this time, it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of stink bugs gather on the southern sides of homes, barns, and other outbuildings. And if they happen to find a small crack or crevice to move indoors, you might just find yourself sharing a home with several dozen of these foul-smelling pests.
Similar to stink bugs, boxelder bugs are relatively harmless but also a serious nuisance—they’re infamous for producing a terrible odor, too. Also like stink bugs, they can appear in surprisingly large numbers as the weather cools, blanketing the exterior of your home. And, if you allow them entryways, they’ll gladly take residence inside as well.
Sure, these damaging, disease-carrying pests can live in our homes, garages, and outbuildings all year long, but they become particularly bad as winter nears and they’re desperate for warm shelter. In addition to the obvious sanitation problems they create, rats and mice can cause expensive household damage as they chew through walls, clothing, electrical wires, and more.
The following preventative tips will substantially reduce the number of fall bugs you find both inside and outside your home
- In addition to warmth, fall bugs move indoors in search of food and water. Keeping your home clean and free of food debris and excess moisture can substantially limit the number of bugs you see indoors during fall and winter.
- Attracting predators like birds to your lawn is an effective and natural way to curb fall bug populations. Baths and feeders will usually do the trick.
- Arguably the most effective way to keep fall pests outside where they belong is to make sure your home is properly sealed. Start by doing a slow and thorough check both inside and outside for possible entryways like cracks, crevices, holes, etc. Look closely at windows, doorways, baseboards, fixtures, outlets, foundations, basements, and attics. Then simply use spackle or caulk to patch any entry points you find. You might want to consider installing seals at the bottom of doors and garages, too.
- Limiting sources of light just outside your home can significantly reduce fall bug numbers. We strongly suggest trading traditional outdoor light bulbs for those that don’t attract bugs, such as yellow compact fluorescent lights (CFL), sodium vapor bulbs, or halogen options.
- Treat your entire yard, including shrubbery and bases of trees, with the family-safe Lawn & Garden Kit monthly until you experience several weeks of freezing conditions.
- Spray known bug hangouts and potential entry points like doorways, windowsills, baseboards, etc every other week with Cedarcide Original.
We all know June bugs, those annoying, buzzing beetles that despite centuries of evolution still haven’t quite figured out how to yet. But did you know the term “June bug” actually includes a wide variety of plant-eating beetles, including the infamously damaging Japanese beetle? Regardless of the species you experience in your region, these scarab beetles and their larval grub form can cause serious damage to your lawn & garden—and fast!
Also called May or June beetles, June bugs emerge each year in late spring and typically fade completely away by late summer. However, to successfully control these pests, you’ll need to take action at various points throughout the year, not just summer. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated, doesn’t take that much time, and you don’t have to resort to poisonous pesticides to get the job done. Here’s how to get rid of June bugs naturally
Female June bugs lay eggs in the soil in mid summer and these soon hatch into grubs, which remain just under the surface of the ground through fall. They dig deeper down into your lawn as winter nears and hide out there until they emerge as adult beetles in late spring. Here are some steps you can take to disrupt this life cycle, helping you prevent costly June bug problems before they begin:
- Frequently irrigating your lawn’s turf throughout late June can help discourage females from laying eggs in your yard.
- Throughout June bug 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 a little longer can really cut down on the number of eggs that end up in your yard.
- If you garden, make sure to harvest fruits and veggies early and often.
- Lastly, and this is perhaps the most important step to prevent June bug problems, maintain a healthy lawn. If your lawn is host to various other harmful bugs or in otherwise poor condition, it’s going to be far more attractive to June bugs. To protect your yard from damaging pests, apply PCO Choice and Cedar Granules every 4-6 weeks from early March through late October.
A little molasses and hot water can go a long way toward shrinking your June bug population. Mix 1 part of each into an empty jar and position the open container near known June bug attractants like plant life and outdoor lighting. They drop in, drown, end of story. Check the trap daily and replenish as needed.
June bugs are clumsy, fly low, and therefore fairly easy to catch. It might seem silly, but collecting these beetles by hand is a quick and effective approach for helping get a June problem under control.
Just catch any adult beetles you spot on vegetation or buzzing around outside and dump them in a cup of soapy water. June bugs usually won’t put up much of a fight during the process, but wear gloves just in case—several species have thorny spikes on their legs that can irritate skin if you grab them just right.
You know how they say the enemy of your enemy is your friend? Well, snakes, birds, frogs, toads, and lizards are known June bug predators, meaning they double as effective allies in your battle to get rid of them.
Encourage birds by offering baths and feeders, and attract reptiles and amphibians by providing shallow dishes of water and cool, dark places to hide, like an overturned planter for instance. If you tend to struggle with mosquitoes, this approach likely isn’t for you. Adding additional water sources to your lawn is a big no-no when it comes to mosquito control.
The easiest way to prevent June bug problems is to target them in their vulnerable, yet still damaging larval stage, aka grubs. Popular in gardening circles, the microscopic parasitic worms known as beneficial nematodes can help you in this arena. Simply pick some up at your local garden store or online and introduce them into your lawn as directed. For best results, apply them in early fall or mid spring.
Bacillus thuringiensis, like beneficial nematodes, can be introduced into your lawn’s soil to attack June bugs in their grub stage. A bacterium that’s toxic to many undesirable garden pests when ingested, Bt can be picked up a your local garden store and usually comes in either a powder or liquid form. And don’t worry, it’s not toxic to pets or people.
Simply sprinkle or spray Bt throughout your yard or the most affected areas, like your garden. If you tend to experience heavy June Bug problems annually, you might need to reapply every few weeks during fall and early spring.
Cool evenings, beautiful leaves, amber sunlight—fall is upon us. Filled with delicious cuisine and homemade baked goods, fall is the best season for food bar none. Sadly, nearly all these holiday treats are unhealthy or just plain dangerous for our dogs, who will no doubt be begging for food scraps at upcoming holiday gatherings. Thankfully, there are several fall foods that we can feed our pups during the holiday season. Here are 9 foods you can feel good about feeding your dog this fall.
Remember to thoroughly wash all fruits & veggies before giving them to your dog. Just to be safe, we also recommend consulting a vet before incorporating new foods into your pet’s diet.
From bobbing for apples and pie, to applesauce and cider, apples are a staple of fall festivities. Luckily, this delicious and healthy treat can be enjoyed by your pup, too (minus sugar, salt and other additives, of course).
High in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and A, apples can be given in slices, crushed into a sauce, or chopped and added to your dog’s regular diet (it’s excellent for dental health, too!). Just be sure to remove the entire apple core and seeds, as these contain poisonous arsenic and can be a serious choking hazard, too
Supermarkets are stocked with green beans during fall—and that’s good news for man’s best friend.
Green beans are not only a good source of fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and protein, but they’re especially beneficial for chubbier dogs, as they’re both low in calories and very filling. By adding raw or cooked green beans to your pup’s diet, you’ll promote healthy weight control and help regulate your dog’s blood pressure and immune system, too.
From lattes to pies and everything in between, pumpkin is ubiquitous during fall. Thankfully, your dog can join in on the fun, too!
By adding a few teaspoons of fresh or canned pumpkin to your pup’s food bowl, you’ll help promote improved digestive health as well as healthier skin and fur. But pay close attention to the ingredients label, as many types of canned pumpkin contain salt and sugar—additives which should never been given to your dog
As long as you hold the sugar, marshmallows, and other sweet & salty fixin’s, your dog can partake in sweet potatoes this holiday season, too. In addition to helping with constipation and diarrhea, sweet potatoes are a great source of B6 and vitamin C. Simply add a few teaspoons of cooked sweet potato to your pup’s food bowl, or give it as a reward for good behavior.
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, beets are yet another good vegetable to add to your dog’s diet in moderation. Dog’s with liver issues can especially benefit from beet consumption, as this root vegetable is renowned for its detoxifying abilities.
Packed with vitamin A, B1, B2, C, and beneficial for urinary tract health, cranberries are a yummy way to enrich your dog’s diet this autumn.
Cranberries are best enjoyed raw and fresh, or in pure juice form. Avoid dry cranberries and juice cocktails, as the added sugars and preservatives can wreak havoc on your pup’s tummy. Because dogs aren’t built for a fruit-heavy diet, only give cranberries in moderation.
If your dog suffers from regular stomach problems, consider adding butternut squash to their bowl. While squash can add much needed fiber and potassium to your pup’s diet, make sure to thoroughly cook it first, as raw squash is difficult for animals to digest.
While not strictly a fall food, there’s just something about the smooth, buttery texture of peanut butter that screams autumn. Of all the human foods healthy for dogs, peanut butter seems to be the one they enjoy the most. Thankfully for pet owners, peanut butter is just as healthy for dogs as it is delicious, providing a solid source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins B and E.
When choosing a peanut butter for your pup, read the label closely and select only a raw, unsalted, no-sugar-added variety. Especially look out for Xylitol, a sweetener added to many low calorie peanut butters, as it’s outright toxic for dogs.
Thanksgiving turkey is almost here, and unlike most holiday foods, turkey is something you can feel good about sharing with your pup.
Lean, white meats like chicken and turkey are a fantastic, easily digestible source of protein for dogs. Just be sure to skip on the bones, spices of any type, and the skin (which is fatty).
Carved pumpkins, sweater weather, and gorgeous leaves are all things we associate with autumn. But when in comes to fall there’s something else to consider: Your lawn. The steps you take now during the fall months will determine the health of your lawn for seasons to come. By adhering to a handful of simple tips, you can greatly increase the chances you’ll experience a thriving, productive lawn once spring rolls around. Here are 7 essential lawn and garden tips for fall:
Keep Watering & Mowing
It might come as a surprise, but during fall you should continue to water and mow your lawn more or less as usual. In general, it’s a good idea to lower your mower’s cutting setting to approximately 2 inches in height, as shorter grass tends to fare better in autumn (shorter grass means more sunlight exposure, which makes for a healthier lawn).
Aerate the Soil
Oxygen, water, and fertilizer cannot penetrate the soil if it’s too tightly compacted. That’s where aeration comes in—and fall is the perfect time to do it. By puncturing holes in your lawn, and removing plugs of soil here and there, you give your yard the opportunity to absorb any surface nutrients it might have otherwise been missing.
Tip: For best results, fertilize just after aerating your lawn.
An even blanket of dry fertilizer applied in mid to late fall is a smart way to ensure a healthier, more productive lawn through the rest of the year. We strongly suggest going organic with your fertilizer, as synthetic varieties tend to increase pest problems in addition to other environmental concerns.
Rake Up those Leaves
As fallen leaves pile up on your lawn, they begin to choke the life out of your greenery. Robbed of oxygen and sunlight, the soil becomes less and less fertile over time. To give your lawn the best chance of flourishing in spring, keep it free of leaves through the fall and winter months.
Use Plant-Based Pest Control
Making your yard inhospitable to pests can save your lawn considerable damage during the fall months. Here’s how to do it:
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 5-7 days and then move on to monthly applications afterward.
If you’re not currently struggling with bugs 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 a couple 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 those areas where you tend to experience the most bugs.
Kill the Weeds
Weeds are most vulnerable to herbicides in fall. If you’re hoping to finally conquer those pesky weeds, now’s the time. Be cautious when choosing an herbicide, however, as most are extremely toxic and unsafe for pets, people and the environment.
Tip: Go with a non-toxic alternative instead.
Fill in the Bald Spots
Healthier lawns are less susceptible to harmful pests and weeds—and filling in your yard’s bald spots is one of the easiest ways to achieve a healthier lawn.
In fall, the ground is still warm, there’s plenty of moisture, and there’s less direct sunlight drying out the soil, so seeds are more likely to take hold now compared to summer or spring. We recommend consulting a lawn and garden store regarding your specific grass and soil types, but in general an all-in-one organic repair mixture is the most convenient option for naturally filling in bald spots.