What’s in the Junk Pile? Recognizing the Pests That Collect When It Goes Uncollected

garbage_binsMaybe it’s in your yard, maybe it’s under the deck, or maybe it’s in the garage where only those you trust can see it. The junky pile of scraps or firewood is every homeowner’s dirty little secret they don’t have the wherewithal to deal with. But, left unattended, these piles of your own procrastination will attract the worst sort of pests.

You’re not using it, you don’t need it, and you know you don’t, but they do. Here are just some of the pests your procrastination personified could be attracting or, as I like to think of it, “more than 15 reasons to haul the junk away.”

Pavement Ants or Odorous House Ants

These are not the little black ants your typically see outside in anthills. These ants nest in both piles of wood and debris, until winter, when they get into your house and eat your food The “odorous” ones smell like rancid butter when squished (because revenge, like any dish, is best served with butter involved in some way).

You can try baiting them to rid yourself of a colony once you realize they’re a problem, but not all ants respond well to bait.

La Cucaracha

Cockroaches love dark recesses of varying dampness. The closer to your home (and kitchen) that is, the better they like it. Leaving junk lying around is just making their eventual invasion of your home one step (call it 1,000 cockroach steps) easier.

And good luck if you find out they’ve jumped from the rubbish pile to your house—it’s almost certainly necessary that you call an exterminator at this point.

Covered in Bees

It’s not that these particular insects carry diseases (they don’t) or that they’re gross (honeybees are actually held by some to be quite pretty). But when bees and similar insects (especially carpenter bees and yellow jackets) make their nests in your yard—perhaps on that long-neglected vintage fixer-upper or the winter wood pile you never use?—that they become an especially semi-dangerous nuisance, especially to pets and children or those with allergies to bee sting venom.

If such a thing has happened in your yard, DO NOT try to deal with this problem yourself! This is not something you can find a Pinterest tutorial for—leave it to those trained in pest removal and then get rid of the place that allowed them to nest on your property to begin with—especially if you have young children or pets. This cannot be a reoccurring problem for you and your peace of mind.

Flies, Fruits Flies, and Fungus Gnats

These germy little winged fiends love (respectively) garbage, rotten fruit, and anything decaying.

Each of these bugs is one more reason, (1) that it’s important to keep things around your garbage can or dumpster neat and clean, and (2) that you should only start a compost pile in your garden if you’re dedicated in an in-it-to-win-it kind of way.

Luckily, except in extreme cases, they usually leave with the nasty stuff attracting them.

Millipedes and Centipedes

Well, actually you’re attracting the smaller insects that centipedes feed on, but that means attracting centipedes and their nasty stings as well as millipedes (whose secretions cause blisters on human skin upon contact).

Get rid of the places they hide and you hopefully will be done with them.

Rodents and Raccoons

Raccoons will nest anywhere they can hide, and once they have shelter in your yard it won’t be long before they’re down your chimney and making a muck of your attic and walls—same goes for rodents!

And these nasty things do have to be professionally removed and cleaned up after. Make it harder for them to nest by having large, vacuous piles of debris hauled off.

Termites

The pest to end all pests—they burrow from the ground and into any wood they can find to feed and live, practically ruining your home in the process.

Don’t give the buggers more ammunition! Remove any exposed wood from your property, and check any wood you have stored—termites spread easily from firewood piles to structural wood—where they can wreak havoc and will need to be professionally exterminated (whether you have a problem with termite control in Long Island or in Arizona). No need to draw the swarms closer.

Take care of junk piles now and keep your (and you home’s) future as pest-free as possible!

About the Author:
Lucy Markham is an avid blogger and researches with companies like Suburban Exterminating. Lucy, as a recent homeowner, considers herself a bit of an expert on all things home improvement, gardening, and home decoration.

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