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Keeping Pests Out of Your Home for Good: An Interview with Gerrod Walker of When Nature Calls Pest Control, Inc.

By Gerrod Walker

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Our company was founded by Gerrod Walker in 2004. Shortly thereafter Mr. Walker took a Dept. of Defense Contract working for the US Army Overseas in Kuwait for a period of 2 years. During this time he was trained as a DoD Pesticide Applicator through the Armed Forces Pest Management Board. After returning to the US, he worked as an Animal Control Officer at a county animal services agency until 2007 when he left to work full-time with When Nature Calls Pest Control. We were incorporated in 2011 and now specialize in Wildlife Management.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We specialize in removal of animals from structures (bats, raccoon, squirrel, etc). We also provide attic sanitation & restoration services as well as custom chimney capping and vent guard installation.

In general, what are some simple ways to prevent the presence of pests in my home?

The best advise at keeping pests at bay are to keep up the maintenance of the home. Regular gutter cleaning, keeping water damage to a minimum etc. Another suggestion is to not provide food sources such as unsecured garbage, bird feed and others out for pests. Dehumidification in the basement is very important non-chemical approach to pest management. Many insects found in basements cannot survive if the basement is dry. This will eliminate many problems alone.

What are some reasons the amount of ants may increase in my home? How can I fix these reasons?

Ants seek homes for food and shelter. Keep recycle bins and garbage cans washed out. Carpenter ants seek moisture damaged wood so keep watershed management principles kept up with and be sure to fix leaks as soon as they are discovered. These suggestions can help reduce the problem of ants.

Is my outdoor lighting increasing the amount of insects surrounding my house?

Yes. Exterior illumination draws flying insects close to the home. This brings spiders very close to those food sources. It also draws bats to the home for an easy meal. Consider motion lighting that turns on only with activity. Also consider mounting lights away from the home, shining on it, not mounted to the home itself.

Are there any household products I can use to rid my home of pests?

Household products and home remedies and repellents rarely work once a pest has taken up in the home and has established a presence. The best and most effective things that homeowners can do is reduce the appeal of the home in the first place. Make your home unappealing to pests by common sense measures mentioned above.

Is there anything I can do to my lawn or the exterior of home to prevent the presence of rodents?

In order to reduce the appeal of your home to rodents, keep a barrier around the home that is free of vegetation. This barrier should be about 18 inches out from the foundation all the way around it. This denies rodents the ability to hide or easily travel around your home without being exposed to predators.

How do bed bugs enter my home? How can I limit my exposure to bed bugs?

Bedbugs are hitchhikers. They love to travel! Places you can pick them up include at your office or workplace, movie theaters, public transportation, hotels, restaurants, you name it. It is difficult to not be exposed to these hitchhikers and the problem is only going to get worse. Bedbug treatments are very expensive and many folks just can't afford the costs, so this means that they will be around, waiting for us to pick them up and take them home. If you do discover you have them, DON'T TRY TO TREAT THEM YOURSELF. You will likely only make things worse and spread them around. Hire a professional company. Look for companies that are members of Angie's List and look at their reviews on the Better Business Bureau website before you hire them. PS: We do not perform bedbug services, but would be happy to refer you to a few companies that we regularly work with.

What is the best way for people to reach you or your company?

When Nature Calls Pest Control, Inc. can be reached at 815.601.7378 or www.WhenNatureCallsPestControl.com.

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