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Critters in the farmhouse???

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  • Critters in the farmhouse???

    Do you have many outside visitors come inside?

    I went to look at a house the other day which has been sitting vacant and it had two monster bugs with big a** stingers on the end - thankfully dead, but scary as all get out. There were a ton of little bugs in the bathtub and many other little dead bugs throughout the house along with a big spider which was still alive....

    So...curious, do you have many in your house? How do you keep them out? Do you think they are more prone to come into an uninhabited house or one that has tempting food inside? The bugs really bothered me...snakes and bugs...mice are more manageable than the creepy crawly things....

    How do you manage? And am I to expect this if I move to the country?
    For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com

  • #2

    Now if someone has suggestions on how to keep a pot-bellied pig out of the house, I'd appreciate it. He can open the screen door.


    • #3
      Originally posted by knightrider View Post
      . . . .
      How do you manage? And am I to expect this if I move to the country?
      My MIL bought this cute little log cabin out in the country (on an acre, for horses you know) and the thing was infested with Asian lady beetles. Little heaps of lady beetle carcasses near every window, live lady beetles buzzing around every light fixture, lady beetles landing on your reading material, your meals, your face when you tried to sleep at night. My SIL creeped out before they even moved and got her own apartment in town, I lasted about six weeks, three of which were spent waiting for my apartment in town to be cleaned and redecorated. My MIL, strong-willed woman that she is, refuses to admit that her son was right about the house and lives there still, complaining about the bugs and the expense of the pest control man.

      So the answer is yes, you better get used to it, but careful inspection and selection (screens, caulking, ventilation, construction materials, orientation to the sun/shade) of the house can make the insect world a little less intimate. My doublewide isn't half as bad, bugwise.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • #4
        I've always thought it's just to be expected, sadly. When I was younger living at home in the city you'd just get the random ants, spiders, moths,etc. We moved to the country when I was 18 and the mice started! Luckily the cats were really good mousers though. :P A lot more variety of bugs and bigger quantities. It was a modular and built decently, but I thought it might have contributed. I moved out to the city with my husband and in two different apartments bugs were nonexistent. Then we bought of first house in the country finally and you guessed it... bugs again! It's a custom built stone ranch (not built by us!!) and it's very well built and a nice quality house, but they just seem to find a way. There are literally a fraction of the amount of bugs though that my parents have in their house. So I would imagine some of it has to do with the actual house. We don't leave windows open much even with screens because of the cats and we go in and out through our garage so few gaping doors, but I can definitely tell a bit of an increase than from the city. NOTHING wild-wilderness, scary though! I'm just talking easier to get ants, spiders, flying bugs, etc. I was wondering with our stone house how many are getting in through little cracks here and there in the mortar though.


        • Original Poster

          well for some reason when I went out last night with friends it didn't seem so bad....but I do think I'd try to hire someone to find all of the nooks and crannies to caulk in places I'd either miss or are too high for me....

          Plus we discovered that both the doors on the house really don't fit well....I will probably invest in some type of storm doors which would help....

          Interesting about the windows...I'm not sure about my cats and screens too...would worry a little about them with open windows...currently in my house I tend to open the top window...but this house has vertical windows with storm windows that can be taken out and screens that can be put in....it would be difficult for me to keep those open...
          For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com


          • #6
            Originally posted by knightrider View Post
            And am I to expect this if I move to the country?
            If you move to the country big ass bugs are going to be the least of your "troubles".

            I shot a rabid coon on the back porch a few days ago.

            Yesterday afternoon there was a large black snake snoozing on the front porch (I just stepped over him and walked into the house - didn't want to wake him/her up)

            Packs of coyotes

            A bear that likes to visit my apple trees

            I ran over an enormous snapping turtle with the riding lawn mower - and didn't hurt him - just managed to really tick him off. Had to shovel him back into the pond.

            More snakes. Lots of snakes - found one in the mulch pile I was shoveling but he didn't get hurt - I just picked him up and moved him to the grass.

            Bugs? Lots of bugs. Mice, too. Lots of mice. Late summer come the giant corn spiders - very pretty but I don't like running into their webs.

            Lots of everything, actually. That's life in the country.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • Original Poster

              JSwan - Thanks for that...really! LOL....

              I guess my question should be...how do I minimize them...and not only in my house, but elsewhere....when I was at the property, I saw a raccoon walking on the house yard fenceline..thankfully it took off...but since I don't have a gun, I couldn't shoot it if I wanted to....

              No ponds near the house which should hopefully minimize the snakes but I have run into my fair share in past barns I've been in...even had two baby snakes in my house once which totally freaked me out!

              A bear was recently seen in the same town but in a more suburban area as where my horses are now....I'm sure there are coyotes as we had seen them not far from this new property at a former boarding barn...they were famous for killing the calves...

              So....besides the obvious with the cat food (which is easy for me since my cats are now indoor and I won't get a barn cat till I actually have a real barn), what measures can you use to secure the garbage if there is not closed up space for it? We used to have a dumpster at my old farm, but that was because we had 3 people living there and 20 horses plus the boarders trash so we had a lot of trash...I liked having it, but its not very attractive to have at your home...
              For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com


              • #8
                You know, mentioning the doors that don't fit, the same nooks and crannies that admit insects could cost you a fortune in heating and cooling. The MIL had rented a cute little old farmhouse about 10 years previous and the heating bill in the winter, which I think was $400 or better,plus no AC, drove her into a duplex in town.

                ETA just saw your last post. Our old house had dreadful racoon problems and we had to invest in bungee cords for the trash can lids. A regular rubbermaid trash can will keep them out but if they knock it over (mostly here it is the neighborhood dogs that do it) it's a nasty mess. Many people in this area use a "trash can corral" that they keep at the side of the road, but this area doesn't use the auto lift garbage trucks, it is still some poor guy with a back brace, and HE leaves a mess if you don't bag everything in the can.
                If you are planning to put in a barn, then set up an easy access screened off area for a nice dumpster. That and a composting area for your manure. A nice stand alone privacy fence or shrubs should do the trick. No hassle with the cans, lots of room which you will need, trust me.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  Raid along the perimeter. Buy a can a week until the whole house is done. Kills lady bugs at the door. Eventually the bugs figure out that your living in the house and they don't really like living with people and they move on. We tamed a woods that had never been developed. Sometimes it trys to take the house back, its a constant battle. Ohh and we get the beetles that are about 5" long with the big pincher claw things. I never knew they were real until we moved here. I thought they were just a sick joke at the dollar store. Who knew?
                  The View from Here


                  • #10
                    Metal trash cans with tight-fitting lids (possibly supplemented by bungee cords) will go a long way to keeping out the scavengers. You can also use perimeter spray outside your house and in your garage and porch. My mom uses something called "Spectracide" around the base of the walls in her garage once a year or so.

                    If you have a fireplace and plan to have a woodpile, make sure you give the logs a couple of good whacks before bringing them into the house. Sometimes, bugs will bore into the logs to hibernate in the winter, then wake up when you bring the logs into the house.

                    Dogs are good at keeping the assorted foxes, coons, possums, etc. out of your yard.

                    Edited to add that keeping your sundries (flour, cereal, pasta, etc.) in sealed plastic containers in your pantry will keep the little moths out. Those things can get into cardboard boxes (unopened), jars with scre-top lids, and other packages with tiny openings.
                    Amateur rider, professional braider.
                    Save a life, adopt a pet.


                    • #11
                      Good screens and well-fitting doors (weather-strip everything while you are at it) will help lots. We also use those plug-in ultrasonic pest repellers, which do actually seem to help keep bugs from coming in the house. They do not do much re ants, though, it seems.

                      What got me were the spiders here--we have brown widows that move in under the eaves, inside the screens, in the garage. I'm slightly arachnophobic, but didn't even know the %*#$ things existed before we moved here. Contracted with a local pest control company, they come out every two months and treat the whole outside of the house and the garage. Only about $30/month and if you have a problem in the interim, they fix it for free.

                      Yes, we have lots of bugs outside, but so far have been fairly successful keeping them out there, using all of the above measures. We're also lucky to have a newer house--while I love old farmhouses, here in FL that just means more cracks for bugs to get in, I think!
                      Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                      • Original Poster

                        Great ideas! Thank you!

                        If it works out, it will be quite the change for me....I lived in a very old house 10 years ago, but didn't own it and had little to do in the way of maintenance...

                        I actually feel like the woods and the land is trying to take over this house as well...and that is probably part of the problem...its been vacant for awhile now and everything is overgrown...

                        I like the ideas about the plastic containers...will have to get some for my dog food especially and cat food....right now, I'm able to just leave it in the bags in the pantry and it works out fine...

                        Will also have to think about another dumpster...other than the site of them, they are sooo convenient to have...thanks all!
                        For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com


                        • #13
                          When I lived in bear country a Rubbermaid trash can with locking handles foiled them. I'd find it rolled all the way down the driveway, but they NEVER got it open!!!


                          • #14
                            will the Raid around the house hurt the barn kitties and other animals?

                            I have the same issue and like JSwan mentioned, the bugs don't bother me anymore.

                            I just have to vacuum a lot. My doors are not well sealed either but oh, well. It's a beautiful free place to live.

                            What we do scurry over are:
                            snapping turtles
                            water snakes
                            stray dogs and cats (the friendly guys we catch and take to the shelter)
                            black widows
                            banana spiders
                            hornets/yellow jackets/bees (I'm allergic to stings)
                            wild pigs

                            this one pinned our horse in the corner of the field. The horse suffered minor tusk marks on his forelegs bones. (I told Toby I wouldn't tell his friends that he was afraid of porky)

                            as you can see, little housey bugs are the least of your worry!
                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                            • #15
                              Ahhh, the joys of living in the country. I came home one day to find a 6 foot black snake chowing down on the 2 week old turkey I was fostering. It came in through the quarter sized hole that the cable guy cut to run new cable. Have had squirrels and birds come down the chimneys. Found shed snake skin in a dresser drawer. Now our house is vermin tight so no problems with things coming in much except when they cut the fields and the field mice are looking for a new habitat.

                              Snakes and such don't bother me anymore. You will get used to things that creep and crawl and after you get over the intial willies you may find that you appreciate having some of the beneficial ones around. I am always careful sticking my hand in any dark areas though as we have brown recluse spiders here. One of my friends lost half of her calf muscle to a recluse bite so I am super cautious and don't relocate them when I see them as I do with other spiders.
                              Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


                              • #16
                                Welcome to the country!!!!

                                Snakes, wild critters, and bugs of all shapes and sizes think your abode and acreage are mighty fine places to take up residence.

                                I don't think I'm actually winning the war, although I've won quite a few battles. As long as I can keep them from taking over the place while I'm alive to fight 'em, I'll consider it a success.

                                The only snakes I feel I need to be afraid of are copperheads. The black and black rat snakes are beneficial, and if you have them, the copperheads don't tend to stick around.

                                Containers with fitted lids for everything are also mandatory. Keeps the skunks, possums, and raccoons from considering your animal feed their very own free buffet.
                                Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                  My MIL bought this cute little log cabin out in the country (on an acre, for horses you know) and the thing was infested with Asian lady beetles. Little heaps of lady beetle carcasses near every window, live lady beetles buzzing around every light fixture, lady beetles landing on your reading material, your meals, your face when you tried to sleep at night.
                                  So the answer is yes, you better get used to it, but careful inspection and selection (screens, caulking, ventilation, construction materials, orientation to the sun/shade) of the house can make the insect world a little less intimate. My doublewide isn't half as bad, bugwise.
                                  I was told bay leaves on your windowsills would prevent the ladybeetles.
                                  I tried it and it did seem to help some. Nasty little buggers, they bite & stink when you squash them
                                  OP: yup, welcome to the country.
                                  My most recent "visitors" were winged ants. I think I may have brought them in with a dish from the henhouse, but they may have gotten in w/o my help.

                                  Funny story about ladybeetles/bay leaves.
                                  Girl in my office was listening when someone gave me this tip.
                                  She asked thoughfully:
                                  "So, do you put the Bailey's in a dish?"

                                  Nope - drink it yourself, then you won't mind the beetles so much
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015