How often should I get my gutters cleaned?

Regular gutter cleaning is a key part of a well-planned home maintenance routine. Debris and excess moisture can cause a host of hazards in and around your house. But how often should you have your gutters cleaned? Find out as the team at Flexible Pest Services weighs in.

Damage from Clogged Gutters

Cleaning the gutters may not be high on your list of priorities. Whether you hate climbing ladders or simply forget to schedule regular gutter cleanings, you may be like many homeowners who neglect this essential task. But did you know that dirty, clogged gutters can cause the following problems?

  • Pests
  • Rotten wood
  • Wet basements
  • Mold and mildew
  • Foundation damage

Don’t risk causing costly damage to your home. Whether you go it alone or skip the hassle and dangers of doing it yourself, create a gutter cleaning schedule that works for your situation.

How Often Gutters Should Be Cleaned

Most homeowners should have their gutters cleaned twice yearly. This schedule will keep excess water flowing properly through the gutters of most homes. You’ll prevent pools of standing water from forming near downspouts and stop ice from damming your gutters. Proper gutter maintenance also helps prevent water damage to your house and landscaping, as well as the need to paint your home’s exterior often. Leaky fascia boards and wet basements are other potentially costly hazards. 

Other Gutter Cleaning Considerations

The fall and spring months are important times for clearing debris from your gutters. If you have pine trees around your property, you may want to consider quarterly cleanings. Pine trees shed more than many other common trees, and the needles can really build up in your home’s gutters. If you have physical issues that stop you from climbing ladders to clean your gutters, or you’re simply too busy to tackle this chore, consider calling in a team of well-trained professionals.

At Flexible Pest Services, we consider regular gutter cleanings an integral part of any home maintenance regimen. From eliminating accumulations of leaves, debris and water to helping keep pests at bay, sticking to a gutter-cleaning schedule can make a big difference in reducing upkeep and expenses. Contact us today to schedule an inspection at your Georgia home.

Why Not to DIY Pest Control

Do-it-yourself pest control has hit an all-time high thanks to the internet. You can go online now, research a pest, find a product and have it delivered to your door. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and most people find out that the infestations get worse as a result. If you’re thinking about DIY pest control, you should consider the bigger picture.

3 Don’ts of DIY Pest Control

Don’t assume that you can identify the pest.

Some pests look alike. Termites look like ants; ladybugs look like Asian lady beetles. Soldier bugs and stinkbugs also look alike. If you don’t know the differences, you might treat the wrong insects and even harm beneficial species. Trained technicians know how to spot the differences between species and which products to use for eliminating nuisance pests without harming beneficial insects.

Don’t underestimate toxic chemicals.

Pest control products contain many different chemical ingredients for targeting specific insects. These chemicals can also harm people, pets and wildlife if they’re not applied in the proper way. Harmful sprays can drift with the wind and affect beneficial insects like honeybees or contaminate water sources, resulting in the loss of fish and other aquatic life. If you’re not trained to apply chemical pesticides, you could cause more problems than you realize.

Don’t rely on your instincts.

If you’re a carpenter or another skilled worker, you have the confidence to do your job correctly. Certified pest control professionals have the same confidence as they’ve gone through training to identify pests, to understand chemical products and to use proper procedures to eliminate infestations. If you have any doubts concerning which products to use or how to apply them, it’s best to leave the job to trained technicians.

Professional Pest Control for Infestations

In the battle between professional and DIY pest control, the professional way always wins. Experienced technicians can correctly identify numerous pest species and target them accordingly using the proper treatments. They understand how to apply the chemicals to reduce the risk of harm to people, pets and the environment. If you’re battling a pest infestation, don’t rely on DIY methods. Flexible Pest Services can treat your home and keep it free of pests every season.

Ant Control Myths

Ants are nuisance pests and interrupt everything from picnics at the lake to family meals in the kitchen. They’re always on the search for food and new places to expand their colonies. Even if you put down baits or spray with an over-the-counter product, they find ways to come back and to continue invading your home and property.

3 Myths About Ant Control

Boiling water kills ants

Boiling water will indeed kill ants. It doesn’t, however, kill them all. If you pour boiling water on an ant colony, it will kill the ants on the top layer. The water can only damage the ant colony while it’s boiling. It will cool eventually and put the ants in repair mode. You’ll still have the original ant colony to deal with, including new colonies that pop up after you’ve sent the ants running for cover.

Vinegar and cinnamon keep ants away

Ants dislike the smell of cinnamon, but it won’t kill them or deter them from coming into your home. Some people use vinegar to treat ants, but when it doesn’t work, they wonder what they’re doing wrong. Vinegar disrupts an ant’s pheromone trails, causing confusion and making it hard for the ant to find a way back to its colony. However, vinegar won’t stop other ants from finding a way to your home.

Mixing ant populations will kill them all

Ants are aggressive when it comes to defending their colonies. They’ll attack most any bug or insect that invades their space, including other ant species. It’s a myth that introducing a different ant species to a colony will make them fight to the death. Though some ants might die in the process, they will all stop fighting after a while and head their separate ways.

Myths Debunked With Professional Pest Control

The internet makes it easy to do a quick search for do-it-yourself ant control. Unfortunately, homemade remedies almost always fall short. They might cover up the problem for a little while, but the ants will come back and take over your property again. Flexible Pest Services uses the most effective techniques and treatments to deal with numerous ant species. We’ll eliminate ant colonies in your home and set up a preventative maintenance plan to keep them from coming back.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Shed

Outdoor sheds attract pests by the hundreds. These buildings are usually less maintained and serve as a place to store items or to work on do-it-yourself projects. They’re located farther away from the house in most cases and may or may not have windows depending on the type. If you want to keep pests out of your shed, you’ll have to pay attention to the little things inside and outside the building.

3 Ways to Prevent Pests in Your Shed

Make the necessary repairs.

Sheds are like any other building; they require occasional repairs and routine maintenance. It’s important to fix any problems right away since they’ll only get worse over time. If cracks form in the wood siding or holes appear in the roof, make the repairs now to avoid a pest infestation later.

Seal the small cracks and crevices.

Walk around and inspect your shed’s exterior. Look for any gaps around the windows and doors, the eaves and the foundation. Check the interior for small holes that let the light in from the outside. Seal every crack with caulk or foam insulation to plug up possible entryways for insects and rodents.

Clean up the clutter on the outside.

It’s normal to leave plywood laying outside your shed, including old car parts, wheelbarrows and other items. Unfortunately, all of these things create a cluttered mess and lure pests to the building. Pest insects and rodents use clutter as shelter and build nests inside, where they live and breed for generations. Reducing or eliminating the clutter altogether will help to make the pests look for shelter away from your property.

Stop Pest Infestations in Your Shed

The weather takes a toll on sheds as they sit through the seasons. Small openings will appear over time, giving pests an easy way to crawl inside and to take over the building. Maintaining your shed on a regular basis helps to keep out unwanted pests and to stay in good shape. Flexible Pest Services can help with recurring pest infestations and will provide routine treatments in and around your shed and home to prevent another occurrence.

The Perfect Time to Clean Your Gutters

One of the most important components of your roof is the gutter system. The gutters help to keep water away from the roof, prolonging the life of the home in the process. The gutter system needs regular maintenance so that it operates the way that it’s designed to, but there isn’t a set schedule as to how often you should clean the gutters. Companies like Flexible Pest Services can come to the home to clear away leaves and other debris that are in the gutters so that rain can flow freely. The company can also remove nests that insects and pests might have built that would prevent water from flowing.

Even if there is a small amount of clutter in the gutters, it has the potential to lead to a significant blockage that would take longer to clear out. A good time to clean the gutters is after a storm with high winds and after the fall season. This will give you a chance to get all of the leaves and any small limbs out of the system before they have a chance to do any further damage. When water can’t flow freely, it can begin to get behind the wood of the home, which can then lead to leaks in the home.

The weather isn’t always predictable in many areas. There could be times when you have weeks without rain or storms and times when it seems like there are high winds blowing leaves every other day. Late in October is usually the best time to get leaves out of the gutters. This is also a good time to clear the system before freezing weather hits as it will keep ice from building in the gutters. When the warm weather of spring arrives, you can clean them again to get rid of any lingering debris.

One way that you can tell if you need to have your gutters cleaned is if you don’t see any water flowing from the bottom when it rains. This would signify that there is a blockage somewhere. If you notice the gutters positioned away from the house, then it could mean that they need to be replaced. You also want to replace them if you see any kind of rust starting to develop as the rust can begin to eat away at the gutters.

If you notice any issues with your gutter system, you can contact Flexible Pest Services to get the water flowing through once again. The company can also help to eliminate pests that are inside or outside the home.

Home Invaders: Are Rats or Cockroaches More Dangerous?

No home is exempt from the dangers of household pests. While there are things you can do to mitigate the issue and make your home less hospitable to uninvited guests, you will likely have to follow a regular home maintenance plan to keep pests at bay. If you live in a warmer area, you are particularly at risk as cold weather snaps kill common household invaders and keep populations under control. Rats and cockroaches are some of the most common pests that can impact your family’s health and safety, but is one more dangerous than the other? How can you manage these two potential risks?

Dangers of Rats

Almost every home will occasionally deal with the common mouse, but finding out you are living with rats can be disconcerting. Not only are they disgusting, but they can make you and your family sick. If you come into contact with a rat and get bit or scratched, you can contract rat-bite fever which, if not properly treated, can lead to significant damage to your liver, kidneys or heart. Rats can even spread epidemics such as the black plague, so it’s important to treat infestations seriously. The most common illness carried by rats and mice is hantavirus which is spread from breathing in debris contaminated with rat feces or urine. This, too, can prove fatal if not properly treated.

To eliminate the dangers of rats and mice, it’s important to remove their nests and keep them from returning to your home. While you can trap or poison the population, they will return eventually if you don’t close off the access points in your home. Depending on the extent of the issue, using a professional pest control service can ensure that your home is airtight and pest free and is well worth the cost.

Dangers of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are sneaky little buggers and can be a noticeable nuisance in your home. They are attracted to readily available food sources like your pantry or kitchen floor. When they move around your home, cockroaches leave calling cards in their wake, dropping bacteria and germs in your food supply and on kitchen surfaces you use to prepare food. Unknowingly touching contaminated areas or eating food that cockroaches have scurried through leaves you at risk for food poisoning. Also, the insects regularly shed their shells, and many people are allergic to these particles.

It can be daunting to get rid of roaches. They are remarkably resilient insects that are resistant to many common treatments. In addition, the insects are adept at hiding out – if you see one, there are probably hundreds more in the vicinity, and by the time you notice that there is a real problem, you will need to treat the issue seriously to get it under control. Again, it’s worth it to use a professional who can quickly find and eliminate the source.

It isn’t always easy to determine whether rats or cockroaches are more dangerous household pests. While the diseases rats carry can be deadly, only some rodents are affected by these pathogens. Cockroaches, on the other hand, easily contaminate your home. It’s safe to say that both pests are a concern, and seeing either is reason enough to call pest control.

How Not To Do Pest Control

A man in Maine recently burned down the home of his parents when he tried to torch some ants with matches. One of the matches came into contact with a combustible substance and set the home ablaze. Although a few beloved pets died, the family was not harmed. This man’s failed attempt at DIY pest control is a good example of one of the many things nobody should try. Also, it is a great reminder that you should always call a professional for all pest problems.

What Not To Do

You may be tempted to remove a pest problem yourself to save money. Think of the consequences of the pest problem worsening or what might happen if you injure yourself. Do not attempt the following:

  • Use fire or smoke to remove pests
  • Use a hose and spray nozzle to attack pests
  • Use dangerous chemical recipes found online
  • Use bottled chemicals from home improvement stores
  • Use all-natural sprays or mixtures recommended by DIY enthusiasts
  • Use sticky traps or mouse traps
  • Use a ladder to reach a nest or other pest habitat

Fire, smoke, and chemicals only put you and others in danger. Water will aggravate many pests, and you can injure or kill yourself if you fall from a ladder. All-natural sprays are ineffective and only send pests to hard-to-access areas. If you use sticky traps or mouse traps, you only catch a few pests but leave the rest of the infestation to grow continually.

How To Control Pests

The only recommended step to take when you discover a pest problem is to call a professional immediately. Ignoring the problem for a while will only allow the infestation to grow, and some pests are dangerous to your health or your home. Only professionals have access to the most effective substances, and many of these substances are more toxic to pests than to you or your pets. Professionals are trained to find infestations. They have the equipment to remove them safely. Also, professionals know how to prevent pests in the future.

At Flexible Pest Control, we remove infestations but also inspect your property for what attracts pests. For example, food that is falling between your stove and cabinets may be attracting ants. We use a special method for removing ants that takes care of the current problem and prevents them from returning to your home. Our professionals will recommend a schedule for followup treatments. The Sentricon system that we use for termites is also helpful for reducing an overpopulation of harmful ants outdoors. Please call us today for a free quote.

Common Summer Wildlife Nuisances

With the summer’s hot weather on the horizon, local wildlife will be scrambling to find new habitats. If you aren’t careful, your home could become their new source for food and shelter. Here are some of the most common wildlife pests in the area.


While bats tend to remain hidden during the day, they venture out at night to feed on insects. They find mosquitoes and moths to be especially tasty. However, sleeping cows and horses have also been victimized. While bats are fascinating creatures, you certainly don’t want them roaming on your property. These real-life vampires are extremely dangerous. Bats are known for carrying rabies, which is a serious viral disease. If bats happen to take refuge in your attic, you should call a professional immediately. The bat droppings and urine will create a truly unsanitary environment. Property damage is yet another key concern. Never attempt to remove a bat colony on your own.


Squirrels are cute animals that are known for gathering nuts. On the other hand, these adorable rodents can become a major nuisance. Once squirrels gain access to your attic, they will be extraordinarily difficult to remove. Squirrels will quickly transform a crawl space into a nesting area. If you happen to spot any twigs or torn insulation, there is a good chance that squirrels have already created a new home. The property damage will begin to pile up. By chewing on electrical wiring, these pests can create a major fire hazard. Even if squirrels don’t gain access to your house, they can still cause trouble. A squirrel will find the fresh smell of a summer garden to be irresistible.

Wild Rats

To protect your home or business from rats, you must keep it tightly sealed. Rats can easily contort their bodies to fit through small openings. If you happen to keep pet food in your garage or a storage building, the smell will certainly lure rats. For good reason, rats are considered to be some of the nastiest creatures in the world. Wild rats carry a number of parasites and diseases. They are also very destructive. With some wild rats being the size of a small puppy, you can imagine that amount of damage that can be caused.

Protect Your Home or business by Calling a Professional

Serving the Atlanta area, Flexible Pest Services has the ability to trap and remove annoying wildlife from your property. By identifying entry points, we can ensure that wild animals will no longer have access to your home. Be sure to contact Flexible Pest Services for all of your pest control needs.

Prepare Your Yard For Your Fourth Of July BBQ

As Memorial Day and the Fourth of July approach, local residents are planning their barbecues and festivities. If you are planning an outdoor celebration, you have probably already thought about food and activities. However, pests can ruin the fun for everyone if they decide to take over. It is especially important to think about parasitic pests this summer.


There are several types of mosquitoes in the area. They can carry harmful diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika virus, yellow fever, encephalitis and others. While most diseases cause miserable long-lasting symptoms, encephalitis can be fatal. Zika usually causes mild flu-like symptoms but is much more harmful to a fetus when a pregnant mother contracts it. Some babies of infected mothers are born with microcephaly, which is marked by a smaller-than-normal head and cognitive impairment. Mosquitoes are usually found near standing water and appear around dusk. These pests are attracted to sweet smells and the carbon dioxide in exhaled air.


Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which develops slowly. Lyme disease can cause feelings of illness and even mental issues over time. Ticks hide in long grass or in bushes, wait for a host to pass and latch onto the host. They bury their heads under the skin and become engorged if they are not removed immediately.


While fleas usually choose pets over people, they will still bite humans. Fleas are tiny and have hard bodies. Their back legs are similar to a grasshopper’s, and this allows them to jump long distances. Fleas are especially hard to eliminate because of their four distinct life stages. They are very resilient to most pesticides and other removal methods during the first two stages of life. Fleas may spread from a neighbor’s yard or from stray animals in the neighborhood.

How To Get Rid Of Summer Pests

You can help your pets ward off fleas with vet-approved medications or devices. Always check yourself for ticks after coming into contact with bushes or long grass. If you plan a summer gathering outdoors, wear long sleeves. Provide bug spray with at least 40 percent DEET for your guests. Also, eliminate sources of standing water. Cover pools or spas. Drain fountains, man-made ponds, and birdbaths. Be sure that leaky sprinklers are fixed to avoid pooling water. Mosquitoes can breed in areas as small as a bottle cap.

For the best defense against parasitic pests, call Flexible Pest Control. Our professional treatments will get rid of fleas in any life stage and will discourage mosquitoes and ticks from entering your property. Call us to discuss how to make your summer gatherings more comfortable.

Don’t Let Stinging Insects Ruin Your Memorial Day BBQ

A Memorial Day barbecue is the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy time with your family and friends. Unfortunately, unwanted party guests can spoil the festive mood. Whether it’s wasps, bees or yellow jackets, stinging insects can be both a nuisance and danger. Keeping these stinging pests at bay is key to enjoying outdoor Memorial Day festivities. Thankfully, beating stinging insects doesn’t have to be tough.

Easy Ways to Keep Stinging Pests at Bay

Getting stung be a bee can really dampen the mood at any barbecue or picnic. That’s why it’s so important to do all you can to keep stinging pests away from your gathering. Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that these unwanted guests don’t crash your next party.

Keep food covered. Bees, yellow jackets and other stinging insects are attracted to the scent of food. You can cut down on problems by keeping food in covered containers away from the table where you’re eating. Whenever possible, serve items directly from the barbecue so that they don’t have to sit on plates that can attract insects.

Choose the right location. To cut down on stinging pests, keep your party as far away from trash cans as possible. It’s also a good idea to stay away from fragrant flowers and garden areas. These pleasant scents attract stinging insects.

Call in professional help. The best way to ensure that stinging pests stay away is to hire pest control professionals. A pest control pro can inspect your home and property to ensure that it isn’t harboring stinging insects. Once threats have been identified, a pro can correct them for you too.

Calling in pest control specialists is particularly important if you’ve already spotted a hive or nest. Attempting to remove one yourself can be very dangerous. A professional has experience, knowledge and the right equipment to safely remove a hive or nest so that you can throw your barbecue in peace.

Working with Georgia Pest Control Pros You Can Trust

When it comes to working with a pest control company, you want to choose seasoned pros who have experience removing bees, wasps, yellow jackets and other stinging pests. At Flexible Pest Services, we specialize in helping homeowners throughout Loganville and the surrounding areas handle pest problems. If you’re prepping for a Memorial Day barbecue or big outdoor party, call us today. Our friendly, experienced technicians will help ensure that you can enjoy the festivities without stinging pests.