772-878-1972 bens@benspest.biz

Hello, this is Ben with Ben’s pest control. And it’s time for another one of our Ben’s pest control podcasts. And today I want to do an episode about home communities. Now, let me start by sharing a little story. I was never a big fan of what I would consider a community where the homes are built somewhat close together. And in most cases, those communities are under a homeowner’s association. And I never thought that I really wanted to be a part of a HOA where you had specific rules to follow and, and those types of things. But I have learned to appreciate homeowner’s communities more as I’ve gotten older. And one of the things I will tell you is we my wife, and I kind of learned a valuable lesson we had a home here in general Port St. Lucie. And we thought our neighborhood was very nice. And when we moved there, it was very nice. Well, long story short, we had one house that was lost to foreclosure, one of our neighbors couldn’t afford to pay for their house. And they ended up having to give up their house and person moved in, and the person who moved in, I mean, no offense to them. But they definitely had a completely different idea of how they wanted to keep up their house, and they wanted to take care of it. And I’ll give you an example. They had trailers parked in their driveway, their trailers parked on their grass, at times, they would park a car in the front lawn. At one point, they decided to paint their house bright blue, which was definitely there, right. But it was, it was quite a bright color. And we were kind of surprised, but you know, your neighbors had the right to do whatever they want. And we never thought much of it. But the problem became is, as we found out from another neighbor, when you go to sell your house, it can be very difficult to sell your house and get the value out of your house that you feel you deserve if you have a neighbor who’s not taking care of it. So I’ve learned to appreciate communities and HOAs and have a different sort of take on that. Now even though I have now moved into an HOA community. What I’ve learned is that it is good to have somebody there that says okay, well these are the colors you can paint your house which keeps them somewhat steady. Nobody can braid paint their house bright pink or bright red, which we have also seen in Port St. Lucie.

And that’s quite the quite the vision. Now, what I say is this, the one thing I find and why am I as a pest control guy bringing up homeowners communities and HOAs? Well, one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that a lot of these HOAs and these communities even like mine, the houses are built fairly close together. And that becomes a little bit of a problem. When your neighbor is only 15 feet from your house, you have a small area of land between the two houses, which one of the issues that creates is you have to know where the area between the house and what the drainage is like. So I’ll give you an example we were we were living in our house and we noticed one of our baseboards had some moisture. And I went outside and realize that there was standing water puddling right up against the base of the house. And that is never good, because if there is a crack, that water in some cases can be absorbed into that crack and then into the house. So in our case, we were able to build up the ground next to the house and try to make it so that way the water flows more into the middle of the house. And the middle is going to get more sunlight and hopefully dry out better. Which is what our game plan was. And it did definitely have some effect. But we also found out was that they had put in a French drain at one point. But the friend strain was completely overgrown with roots and all sorts of debris dirt had filled it. So our AC drip line is on that side of the house. And we noticed that as the AC ran more especially in summer, that again we were getting this buildup of moisture and even though we were putting the dirt against the house, the water was starting to make its way back towards the house. So in my case, I made sort of my own French drain and I took the ground where the AC drips and I dug a large hole. I took a bucket and I filled it with rocks and I drilled holes in the bucket all around. It was like I want to say a two gallon bucket and I I put that bucket into the ground, and I put some some dirt and some sand over it. And I put it right at the end where the AC now drips. So what we have found is by building this sort of French drain, I’m hopefully allowing the moisture to soak down into the bucket and absorb more into the ground around the house. Now, as I dug down there, to be honest with you, a lot of that ground under there was just hard clay. And I was like, Well, this is part of the reason we’re having some runoff issues is the ground underneath isn’t absorbing the water as fast as we’d like clay has a tendency not to absorb as fast as what I would consider to be normal ground or Dirt. Dirt has a tendency to be more absorbent. But this clay is just rock hard. So at least by building the bucket, what has happened is I’ve been able to take the area about three feet from my house, dig this soil down, and I still get puddles in that area. But those puddles seem to be staying more in the middle of the yard. And as some of the water does absorb down into the bucket, it’s definitely allowing for some additional runoff away from the structure. And then what I’m finding is as the puddle stay in the middle as the sun hits it, it seems to dry up a little faster. So the puddle isn’t quite as large as what we had prior. But these are the kinds of physical changes a person needs to look at when they’re having possible bug problems. You can’t just have standing water or puddling water on the side of your house. Water is definitely going to draw all sorts of insects, if not animals. As I’ve said many, many times, living creatures all need three things to survive food, water and shelter. And if you have one of those things, they’re happy. If they have to, they get much happier. And if they have all three, life is pretty good, if not perfect for them. So in our case, we had all this water standing there. And now we’ve been able to somewhat move it away. Now, in my own neighborhood, we have another lady who has been having some problems with roaches. And we went out to evaluate her house to see what was going on and what else we could do. And when we walked between her house and one of her neighbor’s houses, she has these brick pavers that you step on the ground was so saturated with water that as you stepped on the paver, the paver would kind of sink in and water would just float up around the paver. And this was happening in the middle of the day. And in one situation, I don’t think we’ve had rain in a couple of days. And it was just saturated wet over there. And what we found is both her and her neighbor have pools, both her and her neighbor had pool pumps. And I had to tell her that I think it’s possible that one of the pool pumps may be leaking, because the ground is just absolutely saturated wet. And so that’s the kind of environment that insects are going to thrive on. And what it’s going to do is draw insects from other areas and invite them right to your house. And if they get close to the house, they may go and search out the house to see if they can find shelter to live in. Because that’s the next thing or if there’s a food source nearby that they can thrive off of. So hopefully my story about my house and what we did to kind of create a French drain. You understand what I was shooting for what I was what I was going for as far as trying to minimize the water, draw the water away and make sure that we just weren’t having especially standing water right up against the base of the structure.

So hopefully this helps you. I will say if you are interested in our free 58 Point survey and analysis of your home, please call us at 772-878-1972 we would love to come out give you an analysis tell you what we see tell you what changes and alterations can be made to hopefully give you a better protected house. All right, thank you want to have a great day.

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