Protect Yourself from Summer Pests

You aren’t the only one excited to finally spend some time outside in nice weather. All kinds of pests start to stir in the spring for the express purpose of enjoying the warm sun and abundant food available in summer.

Your summer should be about getting outside and enjoying the weather, not itching bug bites and removing ticks. Here are a couple easy ways to defend yourself and your home from these all-too-common summer pests.



It wouldn’t be summer without mosquitoes, right?! Because it would be better summer. The quintessential summer pest becomes most active (and hungry) during the hottest months of the year. Mosquitoes look for standing water where they can lay eggs. Clean up stagnant water to prevent mosquito overload. Look for low patches in your lawn, clogged downspouts, gutters, or storm sewers, plumbing leaks, and shaded areas where water won’t evaporate.

Mosquitoes only need a little water, so you have to be thorough. If you’re going out and can’t avoid the tiny bloodsuckers, follow these tips to prevent bites: Wear long sleeves and pants, high socks, boots, and a hat. It goes without saying, but you should also wear bug spray. Reapply the spray about once every two hours. Mosquitoes get more active at dusk and at night, so consider calling it a day shortly before the sun sets if you don’t want to get itchy.



Ticks are the other annoying bloodsucker of summer. They can’t fly, but they can jump onto you or your pets and bite down, latching on while they feed. Like mosquitoes, ticks get all feisty and active during hot summers. Unlike mosquitoes, ticks stick around; they may stay attached to you for days if they go unnoticed.

Ticks live in places with heavy foliage or vegetation, which they use to get to their unsuspecting prey. They jump from tall grasses, weeds, or other plants directly onto their target. Avoid overgrown paths or walking through forests unprotected. Wear long sleeves when hiking, and check yourself and pets for ticks when you get home. Run your hiking clothes through the dryer as soon as you get back. To prevent ticks around your home (it happens), keep your lawn, hedges, and bushes trimmed short. Maintain your garden by taking good care of plants and de-weeding frequently.



There are a ton of different kinds of ant, and they’re all pests in their own special ways. House ants contaminate food sources. Carpenter ants eat through wood. Fire ants have a notoriously painful bite. Whatever the case, you don’t want ants in your home. When the weather starts to heat up, ants come out looking for food and water. Homes like yours can be a great source for both, if you’re unprepared.

Ants usually infest kitchens. They’re attracted to food remains, especially crumbs and sweet liquids. Wipe down countertops and tables after meals. Don’t leave bread or grains of any kind sitting on in the open. Consider transferring food from paper containers into hard plastics. Don’t leave dishes out, even to soak in the sink. Look for any cracks or crevices where ants might sneak in, especially around the kitchen. Ants don’t need very much space, so don’t assume any opening is too small.



Wasp nests usually reach their most active state in mid-to-late summer. During this stage, wasps aggressively forage for whatever food they can get their hands on – and they love human food. If you’ve ever had a picnic outside during the summer, you’ve probably encountered wasps before. They’re particularly attracted to sweet food and liquids, like fruits, juices, and candies.

You only need to worry about a wasp problem on your property if they build a nest nearby. There are a number of ways you can prevent this: Keep your garbage in tight plastic bags. Wash out recyclable bottles before taking them to your bin. Don’t leave food out in the open for very long, and clean up immediately after meals. Wasps won’t sting unless provoked, so do your best not to antagonize them. If you’re allergic to wasp stings, call a professional the moment you notice a larger-than-average wasp presence around your home.


Pests may be more active during the summer, but that’s no reason to deny yourself some fun in the sun. Follow tips like these, and you’ll go boldly into the warmth and fear neither sting nor bite! Or at least, you’ll fear them less.

Of course, if you find out you have a pest infestation and you want it dealt with fast, you can always call Griffin today. We’ll take care of your problem quickly and permanently, so you can get back to your life.

Fall’s Bounty Includes Occasional Pests

Fall’s turning leaves and cooler temperatures make you think of football, hayrides and Halloween but it also marks a rise in sightings of stink bugs and other occasional pests around homes.

Stink bugs, spiders and ants seek to enter homes at the onset of cooler weather looking for overwintering spots. Griffin Pest Solutions encourages Michigan homeowners to take the necessary steps now to deny stink bugs and other fall pests access before they invade in droves.

Stink bugs were truly an occasional pest a few years back but they have quickly spread to more than 40 states, including Michigan. While mainly a significant threat to agricultural crops, stink bugs can be a major nuisance for homeowners.

What gives them their unique name? Stink bugs release a chemical alerting their fellow pests to an area they’ve settled in and they secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid when disturbed or when crushed. Stink bugs will gather near windows, lights, TVs or computer monitors that throw off light and warmth.

Web-spinning spiders can be found in many locations in and around a home. And while spiders are quite beneficial to our eco-system – they eat unwanted insect pests – they are aesthetically unappealing and creep people out.

Spider webs – which are often regarded as one of the strongest natural fabrics and can be built and rebuilt overnight – are half as strong as a steel thread of the same thickness and more elastic. Spider webs are found in garages, carports, eaves, attics, sheds, around windows and other places around your home.

Griffin Pest Solutions offers the following tips to keep stink bugs, spiders and other fall pests from gaining access to your home:

  • Suck and Sweep Pests Away – Regular vacuuming or sweeping of windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom used areas to remove spiders and their webs. A spider’s soft body does not survive this process. When vacuuming for stink bugs indoors, empty the contents in to a plastic bag and dispose of them immediately.
  • Seal Cracks and Crevices. Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches. Pay close attention to areas including around siding and utility pipes, underneath the wood fascia or other openings.
  • Inspect Packages and Boxes. Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Plants and firewood are also as modes of transportation for spiders and other pests – store firewood off the ground and away from the house.
  • Maintain Your Landscape. Outdoors, you can eliminate pest hiding places and spider web-building areas by keeping your yard free of trash, leaf litter and overgrown vegetation. Make sure to trim shrubs and plants near the house and other structures to discourage pests from establishing a foothold and gaining easy access.
  • Eliminate Clutter. Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal. Attics, crawl space and storage sheds are prime locations. Keep these areas clean and clutter-free and seal boxes with tape to prevent spiders from scampering inside.

If you have a problem with or have questions about occasional pests call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

Midges – An Annoying Summer Pest That’s Not A Mosquito

residential pest solutions

With all the media coverage and concern regarding mosquito-borne diseases including the Zika and West Nile viruses, among others, Michiganders are rightfully concerned about protecting their families and themselves from these potentially harmful pests.

There is a harmless pest, however, that frequents Michigan in the summer that is often confused with the mosquito since it looks and acts similar. What pest is this? Meet the non-biting midge.  You may encounter non-biting but highly annoying adult midges flying in swarms or “clouds”; or see them resting on fences, walls, under eaves and in protected areas such as porches and entryways.

Midges nest in tubular holes constructed of dead leaves or particles of sand or clay fastened together with viscous threads, in moist soil, lakes and slow moving rivers.  Adult midges live about seven days depending on the species and weather conditions after they emerge from the water. The massive swarms or “clouds” is where the females and males mate, and it is at this time that midges serve as a valuable food source for birds and bats.

The massive swarming behavior of the midge can create a nuisance for Michigan residents at home and on the road. The mating swarms typically form over a prominent point or conspicuous, usually light-colored object.

Swarming locations can include automobiles, a piece of lawn or porch furniture, or even a human. If you encounter a swarm while driving, midges will quickly grease up windshields and headlights, and send you off to the carwash ASAP!

How can you avoid these pesky but non-threatening pests? The best defense against midges is to wear light-colored clothing when outdoors and use an registered insect repellent if you plan on any outdoor activities including hiking, running or boating. If possible, avoid outdoor areas at times when peak biting activity is occurring – usually at dusk.

Midges and other summer flying insects are also drawn to light and you may want to reconsider replacing your sodium vapor exterior bulbs with yellow fluorescent or LED light bulbs to reduce flying insect activity around your home.

To make sure midges, mosquitoes and other flying insects stay on the outside looking in, homeowners should be sure to keep window and door screens in good repair. Repairing tears and holes in screens – no matter how small – will keep annoying flying insects out of your home.

If you have a problem with or have questions about flying insects around your home call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

Celebrate a Pest-Free Fourth of July

crawling insects

Can your Fourth of July be Pest-Free?  Your Fourth of July agenda usually includes picnics, cookouts, fireworks and good times with family and friends. It can also include an “explosion” of unwanted pests that want to spoil your good times.

When people gather for their holiday celebrations it is given there will be abundance of food and beverages available. However, your guests aren’t the only ones angling to fill up their plates! Pests are drawn to the sweet, sugary desserts, fruit and soft drinks that are a staple of holiday functions, as well as the greasy leftovers that can be found on grills, serving trays and garbage cans filled with post-party trash.

Griffin Pest Solutions wants you, your family and friends to have a safe, enjoyable Fourth of July and offers the following tips to keep annoying pests from spoiling your holiday fun.

  • Flies – Flies are a common interloper to almost any backyard cookout or picnic. Keep these filthy insects from spoiling your picnic by covering your food with foil or tight sealing lids or set up the buffet inside a screened in porch or tent. Also, remember to clean up food and beverage spills since they are a major attractant to flies.
  • Ants – Like flies, ants are drawn to food, and food spills and leftovers. Ants thrive on sweet, sugary substances like spilled soft drinks. Cleaning up spilled food and drinks, and rinsing out cans and bottles before they go into the recycle bin or garbage can will deny ants their sought after prize.
  • Stinging Insects – Nothing can ruin a party like getting stung by a bee or yellow jacket. Griffin Pest Solutions recommends homeowners inspect their property before the party for any signs of nests in trees or under awnings and the eaves of your home. Also, cover food and beverage cans/bottled since many stinging insects are attracted to sugary substances and no one wants to swallow a bee that flew into your beverage!
  • Mosquitoes – These nuisance pests are regular holiday party crashers and eliminating standing water and keeping vegetation trimmed in your yard are ways to prevent mosquitoes from nesting. Using insect repellent or yard sprays containing DEET or eucalyptus oil, lighting citronella candles or turning on a ceiling or box fan to literally blow mosquitoes away from your deck or patio (mosquitoes are not good flyers) are ways to toss these uninvited guests out.

If you have a problem with or questions about spring pests call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

Have a happy and safe, pest-free*, Fourth of July!

April is National Pest Management Month

pest identification

Celebrate National Pest Management Month With Eight Great Pest Prevention Tips for Your Home

April is National Pest Management Month and Griffin Pest Solutions is joining fellow pest management professionals across the country in celebrating the valuable role the industry plays in protecting the public’s health, food supply and property from pests.

The dangers and annoyances pests bring to our everyday lives cannot be easily dismissed. The list of potential threats pest pose to property, food and people is very real. For example, did you know?

 Rodents can spoil food with their droppings and urine, and their chewing on electrical wires is a leading cause of house fires.
 Cockroaches contribute to asthma and allergies in children and adults.
 Bed bugs invade hotel rooms, dormitories, office buildings, apartment building and homes.
 Termites literally eat the wood – as much as a cup every two hours – in a structure without you ever hearing or seeing them.

That is why Griffin Pest Solutions’ highly-trained technicians work each and every day to help protect both our commercial and residential customers from these sometimes harmful but always annoying pests.

Spring marks a particularly busy time as pests emerge, looking for sources of food, water and shelter.  And, sometimes the simplest home improvements can be all that’s needed to help ward off infestations.  To assist homeowners in pest-proofing their home this spring, Griffin Pest Solutions offers the following


1. Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters to help reduce biting mosquito populations.

2. Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.

3. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.

4. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house. Overhanging branches can act as highways into the home.

5. Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.

6. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.

7. Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

8. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.

If you have a problem with or questions about household pests call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

For more information on National Pest Management Month, visit

Michigan’s Beneficial Bat Population Threatened By Disease

Bat population under threat:

Bats are often a misunderstood and unappreciated animal. Their prowess at feeding on night flying insects – particularly mosquitoes – is a great benefit to Michigan homeowners looking to keep their backyards free of pesky mosquitoes and other pests including beetles, wasps and moths.

Michigan’s bat population, however, is being threatened by a disease that could cause widespread death among the state’s most commonly found specie – the little brown bat.

First identified in New York State in 2006, white-nose syndrome impacts bats while they hibernate. The condition causes skin lesions to develop that lead bats to use vital fat reserves during the winter thus draining them of these required resources.

The disease causes bats to wake up every three or four days versus the normal 10 to 20 day interval, and arise hungry and dehydrated at a time when there is little food to consume. This causes damage to the bat’s connective tissues, muscles and skin, and leads to their demise.

White-nose syndrome has been identified in 27 states – including neighboring Minnesota – and several Canadian provinces, and has led to significant deaths among bat populations. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the disease has killed 5.7 million bats in the U.S. and Canada.

Researchers at Eastern Michigan University recently estimated that some 300,000 bats hibernate underground in caves and mines within the state – prime breeding grounds for this cold-loving fungus.

What is the potential impact of white-nose syndrome on Michigan homeowners and farmers? While the disease is not threatening to humans, the end-result is that a naturally occurring and highly effective pest management process is being placed at risk of being greatly diminished.

Without a healthy bat population, crops are placed at risk from invasive insects such as the gypsy moth and backyard populaces of mosquitoes can roam unabated. And when you consider bats are capable of consuming as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour, their absence could be felt on decks and patios from Kalamazoo to Saginaw.

Aside from the annoying itch their bites cause, mosquitoes can spread dangerous diseases including West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases. In 2013, Michigan had 36 reported cases of West Nile virus and two deaths.

With no known effective treatment for white-nose syndrome, state wildlife officials are left to block off caves and abandoned mines to prevent the disease from spreading.

What can homeowners and farmers do to encourage a viable bat presence in their backyards and fields? One solution is to provide bats with a suitable home to nest in – a home you won’t find listed in the real estate section of the paper but one you can build in your workshop.

Griffin Pest Solutions consulted with the experts at This Old House for a step-by-step guide to building the perfect bat house to place on the edges of your property and help keep mosquito and other destructive pests in check.

Bats are very particular about where they’ll live, and their houses have to be constructed in a specific way that encourages them to nest.

The inside of this house is painted black to keep it dark and warm, and the outside is a color that makes it blend in with the surroundings. The space where they go inside the house and roost is only about ¾ inch thick (with a small gap for air circulation). Still, dozens of bats will be able to live in this box and raise their pups.

To view the complete instructions for the 11-step plan to building a bat house, visit the This Old House website at,,20165965,00.html. The following is a quick overview of the tools and materials needed, and the steps involved.

Tools Needed

• Measuring tape
• Straight edge
• Combination square
• Spring clamps
• Safety glasses
• Jigsaw
• French curve and circle templates
• Drill with ¼ inch drill bit
• Caulking gun and caulk
• Paint brush and paint

Materials List

• 2’ x 4’ section of ½-inch exterior-grade plywood
• One 6’ 1 x 2
• ½-inch deer netting
• Exterior latex paint (black and another dark color)
• Low-VOC adhesive caulk
• 1-inch deck screws
• ⅜-inch staples
• 3½-inch deck screws

The 11 Steps to Building A Bat House

Step 1 – Measure and cut plywood
Step 2 – Draw the bat design
Step 3 – Drill holes for the Jigsaw
Step 4 – Cut Out the Bat
Step 5 – Making the Sides
Step 6 – Attach the Sides
Step 7 – Paint the Parts
Step 8 – Attach the Netting
Step 9 – Attach the Front Piece
Step 10 – Put on the Bat Cutout
Step 11 – Hang it Up