The Yard Butler

Tips and Tricks for a Pest-Free Home

Gardener with Pests Spray. Spring Work in Garden.

Pests in your yard means they’re that much closer to entering your home. Want to deter them from creeping inside? The good news is that you can prep your yard to avoid environments that these common Idaho pests thrive in. By following these simple tips, you and your family can enjoy a pest-free home throughout the year.

Clover Mites

At just 1/30th of an inch, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen an individual clover mite. However, as clover mites congregate in the thousands, their presence is indisputable. While these small red bugs do not bite, sting or carry disease, they do have the potential to stain surfaces. When crushed, clover mites leave a bright red stain that can be difficult to remove.

How to prevent clover mites:

Keeping plants and foliage away from your house is the first step to avoiding droves of clover mites in and around your house. These tiny pests love long, tall grasses and weeds. So, be sure to keep plants at least two feet away from your home. This should suffice to keep out unwelcome visitors.

More importantly than moving foliage, avoiding mulch is imperative when it comes to avoiding an ideal clover mite environment. A simple fix? The use of gravel or rocks in place of mulch on flower beds surrounding your home can prevent infestations.

Elm Seed Bugs

Elm seed bugs were first detected in Idaho in 2012, traveling all the way from Europe and the Mediterranean. These fraction-of-an-inch-sized bugs mainly feed on the sap of elm trees (hence their name), but have been found on oak and linden trees as well.

Similar to the clover mite, elm seed bugs are not a threat to human health, but are a nuisance nonetheless. They travel in large numbers and emit a foul smell, similar to a stink bug when bothered. The fecal matter of elm seed bugs stains furniture and countertops as well.

How to prevent elm seed bugs:

Routinely inspecting the trucks of elm, oak and linden trees for large swarms is the first step to avoiding their presence in your home. In early fall, these bugs may find warmth in the sunlight by congregating on the southern side of large structures, so keeping an eye on the side of your shed or house is also a good idea. If your home is prone to infestations, it may be time to remove the elm trees in your yard altogether.

Carpet Beetles

Another recurring nuisance to Idahoans is the carpet beetle. In their adult state, carpet beetles hardly grow to 1/8th of an inch, but as their name implies, they can take over any type of sitting fabric.

How to prevent carpet beetles:

Your pet’s lounging area outside your house may be the biggest culprit in encouraging huge numbers of carpet beetles. Carpet beetles feed on pollen, and dust and dander found in your pet’s hair. As your dog or cat’s hair mats on their outside pet bed, the beetles move in and take shelter in the fabric. However, carpet beetles will only rest on fabric that goes undisturbed. Frequently washing off your pet’s area can prevent an infestation.

Other areas to watch for include outdoor laundry units. If your shed houses a dryer, lint build-up also acts as an inviting environment for these pests.

Keep it Simple

If the idea of uprooting and replanting your decorative garden, inspecting your yard on a regular basis, and general upkeep of outdoor structures feels like it’s a lot to keep up with, The Yard Butler has a simpler solution. Our pest spraying services offer year-round protection from clover mites, elm seed bugs, carpet beetles, and more. We recommend quarterly spraying or once a season. For more information on pest control services, contact us at (208) 523-9273.