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The place where you will find all the answers to your questions

We know that you have many doubts and many questions to ask us, that is why we created this section to show you the questions that we are commonly asked, and thus clarify some of those questions you may have.

Ants

Carpenter ants are very large ants, usually black in color and up to 5/8 inch in size.  Carpenter ants are beneficial to the environment as they chew through decaying wood.  They become a problem; however, when they get in or around your home.  Carpenter ants do not “eat” wood like termites, but chew through it making tunnels.  Most of the time the wood they use to attack is moist due to moisture problems.

To get rid of carpenter ants, first eliminate the moisture problem that is attracting them in the first place.  Next find the outdoor nest of carpenter ants that may be causing the problem.  Carpenter ant nests are found in old decaying wood.  Treat the nest and trail of carpenter ants with insecticide dusts, sprays, and baits.

Little black ants or sugar ants in your kitchen can be difficult to get rid of.  The first step of getting rid of ants in your kitchen is to identify the food source attracting the ants.  Once identified get rid of the food source and use good sanitation practices. 

To deal with the ants already in your kitchen, there are several insecticide options:

1. Liquid insecticide sprays provide a rapid kill and may last up to 30 days indoors

2. Insecticide dusts-Useful if applying to weep holes and the exterior of your home.

3. Insecticide baits-Insecticide baits can be highly effective as the ants take the chemical back to their nest and share with the rest of the colony.

Similar to termites, flying ants are considered to be the alates, or reproductives.  Ant colonies will swarm with flying ants around the same time of the year each year.  The objective of these flying ants is to establish a new ant colony.

Flying ants and flying termites can look very similar.  There are 3 differences between flying ants and termites.  Termites have straight antennae vs ants with bent antennae .  Termites have thick waists vs. ants with thin segmented waists.  Termites have 2 sets of equal length wings vs ants with different sized wings.

Flying ants are nothing to be concerned with.  Flying termites are a completely different matter and may be an indicator of a current or future termite infestation of your home.

Fire ants can be very difficult to get rid of for good.  Many homeowners try liquid or granular insecticides applied directly to the mound.  In most cases, this just encourages the fire ants to move to another location and start a new mound and nest. 

To get rid of fire ants for good, baits and/or non-repellant insecticides such as fipronil are highly effective.  Baits applied around the mound will be picked up by the workers and transferred back to the nest.  While baits can take weeks to work, they can provide a more permanent solution to getting rid of fire ants.

Ants in the home can be difficult to get rid of.  There are 4 common types of ants that invade homes: Argentine ants, Pharoah ants, odorous house ants, and little black ants.  Often homeowners will refer to all of these as sugar ants.  There are three steps to eliminating ants in your house:

1. Determine the correct species of ant.  This will help you understand what food source is attracting them.

2. Identify the food source that is attracting the ants and remove it

3. Follow the ant trail on the inside of your home to the outside to find the nest

Granular or gel ant baits can be very effective in getting rid of ants.  Spraying insecticides may temporarily help reduce the ant infestation.

The key to controlling carpenter ants and getting rid of them for good is to locate the nest on the exterior of your home.  Carpenter ant nests are found outdoors in dead or decaying wood.  When they nest indoors it can be inside of doors and window sills, anything that is hollowed out. Carpenter ants with wings are the reproductives.

The least effective method of trying to control carpenter ants is the use of repellent pyrethroid insecticides found in big box stores.  Non-repellent insecticides and baiting allow carpenter ants to transfer the chemicals back to the nest killing them.

Waking up in the morning with a line of ants in your kitchen can be very frustrating.  How do you get rid of ants quickly with the best ant spray?  Sometimes the answer is you don’t. 

Step 1 for ant control indoors is sanitation.  Finding the source of the attraction to ants in your kitchen will go a long way towards getting rid of ants. 

After sanitation has been completed, there are three options for ant control:  liquid insecticides, granular insecticides, and ant baits.  A common best practice in ant extermination is to combine some of these options based on the type of ants identified.

Asian Lady Beetles & Lady Bugs

Asian lady beetles and lady bugs look similar but there are differences.  Asian lady beetles are a little larger and orange in color whereas lady bugs are more red.  Lady bugs are not usually a pest control issue but Asian lady beetles are.  During cooler months, Asian lady beetles are attracted to the sun and the warmth in siding of the west and south sides of your home. They can congregate in the thousands trying to get inside your home for more protection.

To keep your home protected from asian lady beetles first make sure all window screens are in place and there are no structural issues such as gaps in siding or cracks where asian lady beetles could enter your home.  For those beetles that do make it inside the home, don’t crush them as they smell terrible.  Just vacuum them up as they appear.

An exterior application of liquid or dust insecticides will help manage the asian lady beetles that you see but will not help as much with new asian lady beetles attracted to your home.

ASSASSIN BUGS AND WHEEL BUGS

Like many other insects, assassin bugs are great to have around your home.  They are predators and can help control other unwanted insects.  Assassin bugs are not aggressive but will bite if handled.  The bite can be incredibly painful to even humans.

If you are bitten by an assassin bug, applying topical steroids and taking oral analgesics are the best option.

To control or eliminate assassin bugs around your home, use insecticides(either granular or liquid) and apply them to the exterior perimeter of your home.

Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are often mistaken for bed bugs since they look so much alike.  The only big difference between bat bugs and bed bugs are that bat bugs have more hairs on them. 

If you have bat bugs and not bed bugs in your home, this is an indicator of a previous or current issue with bats in the home or attic.

To get rid of bat bugs, you first need to get rid of bats.   This can include the use of bat cones and structural repairs.  After the bats are gone, bat bugs will respond to many of the same treatments that bed bugs respond to.

Bats

There are over a dozen common species of bats in the US.  Most bats are considered to be insectivorous, but a couple do depend on both nectar and pollen for food. The three most common bats are the Mexican free-tailed bat, big brown bat, and little brown bat.

Fruit bats, also called large flying foxes, are not known to bite humans.  However, fruit bats can be dangerous as they are vectors for diseases including rabies and henipavirus.

Vampire bats are only found in Central and South America. Vampire bats are unique in that they cannot just fly, but walk, jump, and run.  Vampire bat bites to humans have been documented and they may be a dangerous vector for rabies transmission.

Bats are great to have around your home as they control unwanted insects.  They aren’t so great though when they are inside your home.  The first step to getting rid of bats in a home is making sure all bats are gone.  Pest professionals use bat cones to allow bats to leave the home/attic and not return. After all bats have left the attic, the next critical step to insuring they don’t come back is exclusion. 

Bats can get through tiny holes so hiring a contractor to make all necessary repairs is recommended.   To deter bats from re-entering your home consider adding exterior night lighting and decoy bat houses.

Getting rid of bats in your house can be an expensive and time-consuming job.  It is critical to get rid of bats as quickly as possible due to the health consequences of exposure to bat guano.  There are three steps in the bat removal process:

1. Exclusion:  Install bat cones or bat exclusion devices to allow bats to leave the house at night but not be able to return.

2. Home repairs: The points of entry for bats in your home must be repaired; otherwise the bat problem will continue.

3. Sanitation and clean up-Bat guano is messy and dangerous.  Depending on the length of time bats have been in your home it can be a really big problem.

Bats in your home can be a very difficult, but essential, problem to solve.  Getting rid of bats quickly may help a homeowner avoid costly decontamination and cleanup from bat guano. Over time, bat guano can become airborne and cause diseases such as histoplasmosis.

Bat repellent may help get rid of bats, but the first step is to seal up entrance holes to your attic where the bats are gaining access.  After the bats have been removed from the attic and holes are sealed, bat repellents including essential oils, lighting, mirrors, and foil can help.

Bed Bugs

Often the first signs of bed bugs are either bed bug bites on the skin or a sighting of bed bugs on mattresses or bedding.  Either of these are good indicators of a bed bug infestation but just getting rid of bed bugs on your mattress is not going to solve the problem.

Getting rid of bed bugs permanently means first completing an extensive bed bug treatment preparation process: Washing all clothing and bedding in very hot water, taking apart bed frames and furniture, and removing all clothing and linens from drawers and closets.

To get rid of bed bugs permanently, a bed bug treatment by a pest company specialing in bed bug removal is the best option.  It may take several bed bug treatments to completely solve your problem.

Waking up with tiny red welts all over your body is no fun.  Could it be beg bugs?  Wondering what bed bugs look like?  Bed bugs are tiny parasites that are reddish brown in color.  They hide during daylight hours and wait until dark when they detect CO2 from humans.  That is their cue to come feed on you.

Bed bugs can infest your home in a number of ways:  luggage or clothing from a recent hotel stay, kid’s backpack or your purse, used furniture purchases are just a few.  Once inside your home bed bugs have the ability to move around to find the best location for a blood meal, which means you!

Bed bugs are tiny reddish brown insects that can be difficult to find during the day.  Bed bugs find hiding places and wait until they detect CO2 to come out and feed on humans at night.

Signs of bed bugs include: bed bugs themselves or cast skins, bed bug bites on skin, blood spots on sheets,  and black spots on mattresses and walls.

To get rid of bed bugs you will usually need a professional.  Bed bugs are difficult to completely get rid of on your own.  Preparation of your home prior to a bed bug treatment is essential.  Washing all clothing, linens, curtains, etc. in extremely hot water is a great first step.  Next take apart all furniture and bed frames, removing drawers.

The best treatment for bed bugs often involves several steps:

1. Sanitation-Washing all clothing and bedding in extremely hot water

2. Preparation-Taking apart bed frames, furniture, outlet covers, removing clutter

3. Liquid insecticide treatments that include insect growth regulators to disrupt the bed bug breeding process

4. Application of biopesticides for resistant bed bugs

Treating bed bugs by yourself can be very difficult.  It’s not the bed bugs you can see but the bed bugs you can’t see.  Bed bugs have a unique ability to hide in baseboards, furniture, and mattress seams while waiting to detect C02 which is their cue to feed.  Selecting the best bed bug exterminator is critical. 

Questions to ask your bed bug extermination company:

What is your % success rate in completely getting rid of bed bugs?

What type of bed bug treatments do you use?

What type of preparation is required prior to bed bug treatment?

Are follow up bed bug treatments necessary?

Do you treat the whole home or just the affected room?

Bed bugs signs can be everywhere in the home, just not the bedroom. Signs of a bed bug infestation include:

1. Bites on your skin, typically in a row and may be on the trunk of your body

2. Small blood stains on sheets and clothing

3. Bed bug droppings on mattresses, bedding, ceilings, and carpet.

Bed bugs are tiny red or brown oval-shaped insects that look similar to some types of mites.  They are about the size of an apple seed.

The key to successfully getting rid of bed bugs permanently is preparation.  Before trying to kill bed bugs, you need to remove all opportunities for them to hide from your treatment.  The following are tips for bed bug treatment preparation:

1. Wash all linens, bedding, mattress cover, affected clothing, and drapes in very hot water

2. Remove all clutter from room, pictures from walls

3. Remove all clothing

4. Take apart bed frames and furniture including night stands

5. Remove all electrical switch and outlet plates

6. Vacuum thoroughly

After thoroughly preparing your home for treatment, it is time to kill the bed bugs permanently!  Bed bug sprays sold in big box stores are rarely effective.  Professional-use synthetic pyrethroids combined with insect growth regulators is the best way to control bed bugs.

Bees

There are several common species of bees in the U.S. including honey bees, carpenter bees, bumblebees, and sweat bees.  Honey bees and carpenter bees are pollinators and have a positive impact on our environment.  When honey bees are not considered to be pests around your home, they should be allowed to do their job.

The two types of bees that can become pests around or in your home are carpenter bees and honey bees:

Carpenter Bees

While carpenter bees look similar to bumblebees, carpenter bees can damage your home’s exterior siding and wood.  Carpenter bees do not eat wood but chew through wood creating tunnels to nests for their young.  Controlling carpenter bees involves applying liquid or dust insecticides to the holes they are creating.

Honey Bees

Honey bees can cause serious damage to a home when they build a nest or colony in an attic or exterior of the home.  Honey bee hives should be removed by a pest specialist or ideally, a beekeeper.  If removing and relocating the honeybee nest is not an option, a last resort is the application of insecticide sprays to control them.

Box Elders

Boxelders in the garden or landscape are not considered to be serious pests as they do not damage plants or houses.  Boxelder droppings can stain areas of the home and they have a strong, offensive odor when crushed.

Liquid insecticides applied as a spray or mist to your home’s exterior and garden are the best way to control boxelders.

Camel Crickets

Camel crickets are strange-looking insects also called spider crickets or cave crickets.  They are considered to be occasional invaders inside of homes.  Camel crickets attempt to come indoors during dryer months. 

Insecticide sprays are effective controlling camel crickets; however, control of moisture around the home which is attracting them is the best option.

Camel crickets can bite though the bite is not painful to humans.  Their main defense mechanism is their ability to jump.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles can be a very difficult-to-control pest as they damage carpet and clothing. 

Most of the carpet beetle damage is due to the larvae.  Carpet beetles can be controlled with boric acid, IGRs, or insecticides applied as a liquid, aerosol, or dust.  Frequent vacuuming and/or heat will help remove newly hatched carpet beetles and carpet beetle eggs.

Centipedes

Centipedes are considered to be an occasional invader to homes.  The most common type of centipede is the house centipede.  To prevent centipedes or get rid of centipedes, think of centipedes just like you do earwigs.  Centipedes are attracted to areas of moisture in your home.

House centipedes do bite and a centipede bite can be very painful.

Liquid insecticides applied as a fine mist and insecticide dusts are recommended to help control centipedes in the home.

Centipedes are considered to be carnivorous.  They bite their prey, stinging it and then eating it.  Centipede bites on humans can be very painful due to their venom.  Bites from centipedes on humans are not usually considered life-threatening.

To avoid Centipede bites, avoid Centipedes.  Attempting to kill or capture centipedes is the best way to get bitten by them.  General insecticides applied to the exterior of the home, both granular and liquid, are usually enough to provide good control of pests, including centipedes.

Chiggers

Chigger bites can be both painful and irritating.  Getting rid of chiggers, though, involves more than just spraying insecticides.  The first step to controlling chiggers around your home is sanitation with the goal of removing hiding places for chiggers.  This includes cutting back brush and overgrown plants and mowing the lawn frequently.

Controlling chiggers with insecticides can be similar to both fleas and ticks.  A granular insecticide applied to your home’s lawn and landscape can be an effective long-term solution.  For quick kills, using insecticides combined with IGRs are effective.

Chipmunks

Chipmunk poop can look similar to mouse poop.  Chipmunk poop or droppings are oblong in shape and about 1/4 larger than mouse droppings.  Over time, chipmunk poop can harden and become brittle.

Compared to chipmunk poop, squirrel droppings are often confused with rat poop. Squirrel poop are pellets with rounded ends that tend to lighten over time.

Rat poop has pointed, sharp ends that remains dark in color.

Clothes Moths

The two most common clothes moths are webbing clothes moths and casemaking clothes moths.  Clothes moths like to feed on keratin which is a component of wool, leather, fur, and silk.  Clothes moths are small, around 1/2 inch, and beige to brown in color.

Clothes moths can be controlled through a combination of heat, brushing and vacuuming, and insecticide sprays or dusts.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches in your home are no fun.  In addition to the sanitation issue with cockroach droppings, cockroaches can also transmit diseases.  German cockroaches are some of the smallest cockroaches but can be extremely difficult to get rid of.  German roaches are also prolific breeders so your cockroach problem can get out of control quickly.

To get rid of German cockroaches, the most important and first step is sanitation.  Figuring out what is attracting German roaches to your house is critical. 

After correcting sanitation issues, there are a variety of cockroach killers available.  Don’t just think pest sprays for roaches.  For German roaches, you will want to include some type of bait with an IGR in it.

Baby cockroaches can be an indicator of a larger cockroach infestation.  Other signs include the presence of cockroach droppings and cockroach eggs(or ootheca).  If you discover cockroaches in your home, the first step is to accurately identify what type of cockroach it is.  The two most common cockroaches are German roaches and American roaches.  Treatments to effectively exterminate the roaches will vary based on the type of roach it is.

Getting rid of American cockroaches can be easier than German cockroaches.  Exclusion and sanitation are two primary methods of American cockroach control that don’t involve chemicals.  After that consider pyrethroid sprays, insect growth regulators, and borate-based baits.

German cockroaches are one of the smaller species of cockroaches.  German roaches can be identified by their light brown color with two dark stripes that run the length of their body.  German roaches are around 1/2 inch in size.  Because of their ability to multiply rapidly, they can quickly become a serious problem inside a home or business.

Getting rid of German roaches can take time. The critical first step is to identify any sanitation issues which may be attracting German roaches to your home. 

The best roach killer for German roaches will usually be cockroach bait.  Professional-use German cockroach baits are designed to work slowly, allowing time for the bait to be transferred back to the nest.  Once there the bait is transmitted among all of the roaches interfering with their ability to breed.

Getting rid of cockroaches in your home quickly can be a challenge.  To get rid of cockroaches and prevent them from coming back, first focus on identifying and correcting the sanitation issues that attracted roaches to your home.  After addressing all sanitation issues, you are ready to get rid of roaches using a combination of liquid or dust insecticides and baits.  American cockroach control can be easier than German cockroach control.  For American roaches, it can be as simple as exterior applications of insecticides and a borate-containing bait. 

For German roaches, complete elimination will take several treatments and rely heavily on baits so that the chemicals are transferred back to the nests.

German cockroaches are much smaller and lighter brown in color when compared to American cockroaches. American roaches are large and almost black. German cockroaches are prolific reproducers and can quickly turn a small problem into a large infestation. American roaches live a good bit of their lifespan outdoors and only come in for food or water.

To get rid of cockroaches, your selection of insecticide and insect growth regulator needs to be specific to the type of roach you are trying to control.

The short answer is yes.  When a cockroach infestations gets to the point where you are seeing a lot of baby cockroaches and cockroaches with eggs, it means cockroaches are breeding in your home.  Based on cockroaches ability to rapidly breed, the infestation can quickly grow of our control.

German roaches are notable in their ability to rapidly breed and infest a home.  If you can identify the roaches in your home as German, aggressive action is recommended including bringing in a pest control company specializing in cockroach extermination.

The critical first step in getting rid of cockroaches quickly is to identify the species of cockroaches. American cockroaches and German cockroaches are two of the most common in the U.S. American cockroaches usually live outdoors but are drawn indoors for food, water, or better environmental conditions. German cockroaches are indoor pests almost exclusively.

For American cockroach control, consider an exterior application of insecticides along with inexpensive baits such as boric acid. For indoor control, use good sanitation practices to eliminate the attractants to American roaches. An insecticide spray can help eliminate the remaining roaches indoors.

For German cockroach control, sanitation and cockroach baits are essential. It is extremely difficult to get rid of German cockroaches in your home by just spraying insecticides. Insecticides may kill the German roaches you can see, but never make it back to the nest with all of the German roaches you can’t see.

Crickets

Crickets are mainly considered to be a garden pest; however, they can invade homes too.  The most common types of crickets in the U.S. are: house crickets, field crickets, and ground crickets.  As an occasional invader of homes, there are several options for getting rid of crickets, including:

1. Granular cricket bait applied to perimeter of the home

2. Insecticide sprays on exterior and interior of the home

3. Manual removal of crickets

Dirt Daubers

Also called Mud daubers, dirt daubers are not a considered to be a serious pest around the home.  Dirt dauber stings are rare due to the fact that they are not aggressive at all.  A larger problem around the home with Dirt Daubers is the messy mud nests that they build.

Dust Mites

While you can’t see dust mites(they are microscopic), dust mites can wreak havoc on your home and family.  Allergy to dust mites is extremely common and can exacerbate conditions such as asthma.

Dust mites are best controlled through a variety of methods including:

1. Frequent washing of bedding and sheets in hot water

2. Allergen-proof mattress covers

3. Low humidity

4. HEPA filters

5. Dust mite-specific sprays aggressive at all.  A larger problem around the home with Dirt Daubers is the messy mud nests that they build.

Earwigs

Earwigs may look scary but really aren’t.  Earwigs are dark brown with very large pinchers.  To get rid of earwigs, look for areas of moisture as the cause of an earwig infestation.  Earwigs prefer areas known for moisture such as bathrooms and basements.  Also, earwigs come from outside so address any structural issues with your home including gaps in door seals and cracks in siding.

Earwigs are intimidating looking insects with large pinchers on the rear of their body.  Earwigs do not bite but they do use their pinchers in self-defense.  If you discover earwigs inside your home, it is essential to find the areas of moisture outside of your home where they are living.  Insecticide sprays will help but eliminating the source of moisture is the key to getting rid of earwigs.

Fleas

Flea bites on both humans and pets can show up as small red itchy welps or even look rash-like.  Common places to find fleas in the home include: fleas on pets, fleas in carpet, fleas on bedding and furniture, and fleas on humans.

To get rid of fleas it is important to coordinate the flea treatment of your home with the vet’s flea treatment of your pet.

Flea treatments of the home usually include a variety of insecticides including: pyrethroid spray, pyrethroid dust, and insect growth regulators.

Following the treatment frequent vacuuming of the carpets and furniture will help remove any fleas emerging from eggs that were not killed during the flea treatment.

Flea infestations in your home can be very difficult to control.  If you want to get rid of fleas on your dog and fleas in your home, coordination of treatment of both your pet and home is essential.  Schedule a flea treatment for your dog at the local vet’s office on the same day as the flea treatment for your home.

– For your pet, the vet may use multiple methods to get rid of fleas on your dog including dips, oral medications, and topical treatments.  An example of a oral treatment to get rid of fleas is Capstar.

– For your home, the application of insecticides will most likely include liquid pyrethroid insecticides and insect growth regulators(or IGRs).  IGR’s are critical as you need to disrupt the fleas’ ability to reproduce.

Flea bites are unsettling, whether on your pet or yourself.  Flea bites look like red pimply dots, similar to a red itchy rash.  What do fleas look like?  Adult fleas are reddish brown in color and less than 1/8 inch long. They are tiny and hide easily in your pet’s fur.  Look for signs of fleas such as flea dirt that looks like clumps of black pepper.

To get rid of fleas, you will need to coordinate treatments on your pet as the veterinarian with pest control treatments on your home.  Following pest control service for fleas at your home, frequent vacuuming of carpets and furniture will help remove fleas hatching from eggs.

Getting rid of fleas in the home can be difficult and the results won’t be immediate. 

Step 1 is coordinating treatment of your home with treatment of your pet at the veterinarian.  Scheduling this two at the same time reduces the chances of fleas being transferred in the home again.  

Step 2 is to use pyrethroid insecticides with insect growth regulators in your home treating all surfaces, flooring, and furniture.  

Step 3 is to vacuum daily to remove any newly hatched fleas and flea eggs. 

Step 4 is to repeat the insecticide treatment 7-10 days later.

Flies

Depending on the type of fly, flies can live from 24 hours to months or more.  The most common type of flies and their lifespan:

– Houseflies live an average of 15-25 days

– Fruit flies can live up to 50 days

– Drain flies have much shorter lifespans at 14-16 days

– Fungus gnats have lifespans similar to houseflies at up to 20-30 days

The issue with a fly problem in your home can be much more serious than just the lifespan of the type of fly you are dealing with.  Flies have the ability to rapidly reproduce.  So while the adult flies are dying off, hundreds of new flies can be emerging from eggs.

Blow Flies & Bottle Flies

Blow flies and Bottle flies look similar to house flies except they are larger and often have a green metallic look.  These flies breed in dead or decaying matter, including dead animals.  To get rid of blow flies or bottle flies, it is critical to identify and remove their breeding sites.

After sanitation has been completed, insecticide sprays and fly baits can be used to manage the remaining adult flies.

Black Flies or Buffalo Gnats

Also called Turkey gnats, Black flies are significant pests due to their painful bites.  Tips for preventing Buffalo gnat bites are similar to mosquitoes and ticks:  wear long shirts and pants, hats, and DEET-containing insecticides.

To get rid of Black flies, apply synthetic pyrethoid liquid sprays as either a fine mist or through a mistblower.

Drain Flies

Drain flies are similar in size to gnats and fruit flies.  Drain flies breed in areas of moisture and stagnant water.  To get rid of drain flies, correct the area of your home that is holding moisture. 

After removing the breeding sites, your drain fly problem will slowly resolve.

Liquid pyrethroid sprays, IGRs, and organic drain foams are also used to help manage drain fly infestations.

House Flies

House flies are a serious pest in U.S. homes.  Capable of transmitting a number of diseases, house flies aren’t just pesky, they can be deadly.  House flies can be controlled through a number of methods including:

1. Sanitation

2. Liquid insecticides

3. Fly traps

4. Fly bait

Phorid Flies

Phorid flies, also known as humpback flies or sewer flies prefer moist organic material for their breeding site. Phorid flies found indoors are likely breeding in an area of moisture such as broken water pipes.  Phorid flies around the home outdoors breed under soil or gravel that may be trapping moisture or holding water.

To get rid of phorid flies, first correct the source of moisture.  After the source of moisture as been corrected, phorid flies can be controlled just like house flies.

Sand Flies

Sand fly bites can be quite painful.  Sand flies, per their name, are usually found in sandy areas of the U.S. such as beaches, lakes, and wetland areas.  Sand flies are known to transmit serious diseases, especially a parasitic infection caused by Leishmaniasis.

Gnats & Fruit Flies

The term “gnat” is a general term used for a variety of small flying insects including fungus gnats, buffalo gnats, No-See-Um gnats, and sometimes even fruit flies. Deciding on the best gnat trap means first identifying the type of gnat you are dealing with.  Buffalo gnats and no-see-um gnats are outdoor gnats and are better controlled with pyrethroid insecticide sprays applied with a mistblower.

Fruit flies and fungus gnats are found indoors.  Traps can be placed near the area where they are breeding including sinks/drains, potted plants, garbage cans, or garbage disposals.

Gnat traps include scented sticky traps, vinegar-based traps, and a number of traps available at the big box stores.  To get rid of gnats permanently it is essential to identify and remove their breeding areas which are moist areas of organic matter and/or soil.

Fungus gnats do not bite.  To get rid of fungus gnats, you need to locate the source of moist organic matter which is their breeding site.  Potted plants are the first place to look.  After that look for areas with saturated soil and standing water.  Once the breeding site conditions are fixed, the fungus gnats will slowly go away.

Traps can be used to help manage fungus gnats after their breeding site is removed.  Sticky traps are widely available and very effective.

Before investing in fruit fly traps, the critical first step to getting rid of fruit flies quickly is sanitation.  Fruit flies depend on organic matter to live, breed, and multiply.  Once the organic matter is gone, most of the fruit flies will quickly be gone.  Organic matter in drains, garbage disposals, sinks, toilets are just a few areas where fruit flies like to breed.  Also rotten fruit or organic matter in the kitchen and/or garbage cans.

Fruit fly traps made with dish soap and apple cider vinegar can help manage the fruit fly problem while you identify and get rid of the organic matter attracting them.

Depending on the species, most gnats prefer to live and breed in moist, organic matter.  For fruit flies, this could be rotten fruit or organic matter in drains.  For fungus gnats, this can be moist potting soil from an indoor plant.  For drain gnats, this could mean moisture or leaky conditions around a toilet or sink or the drain itself.

To get rid of gnats, it is essential to confirm the breeding site if you want to get rid of them permanently.

Simply spraying insecticides for gnats only kills the ones you can see.  The adult gnats at the breeding site as well as the eggs are not affected.

Fruit fly traps can help you temporarily reduce the fruit fly infestation in your home but will not permanently solve the problem.  To completely eliminate fruit flies, you need to find the source of the infestation and their breeding grounds.  Usually this is some type of organic matter, such as in drains, garbage cans, or rotting fruit or vegetables.

To help manage fruit flies while you are looking for the source of infestation, a fruit fly trap can be made with a jar and apple cider vinegar.  If you prefer to purchase a trap, Terro fruit fly traps are available on Amazon or at your local big box store.

Garden Pests

Aphids are common garden pests in the U.S. that are sap-sucking insects.  Aphids are tiny bugs, often green in color, with waxy coatings.  Ladybugs can help control aphids in the garden.  Additional methods of getting rid of aphids include liquid insecticide sprays and systemic insecticides applied as a granule or soil drench.

Caterpillars can wreak havoc on garden and landscape plantings. Caterpillars are voracious eaters and can quickly destroy gardens.  Common caterpillar species in gardens includes:

cutworms, cabbage loopers, tent caterpillars, fall webworms, hornworms, and monarchs.

There are a variety of methods used to get rid of caterpillars in gardens:

1. Manual removal

2. Horticultural oils

3. Insecticide sprays and dusts

4. Microbial insecticides

Lace bugs are a common garden and landscape pest which are especially prevalent on azaleas.   Lace bugs are sucking pests that feed on garden plants by piercing their leaves. 

Lace bug damage in the garden can include premature leaf drop, leaf curling, and browning of leaves. 

To get rid of lace bugs in the garden and landscape:

1. Encourage natural predators such as lady bugs and spiders

2. Use horticultural oils preventatively

3. Insecticide dusts and liquids applied directly to the affected plant

4. Systemic insecticides and soil drenches

Scale insects are tiny garden pests which can be divided into two groups: Soft scale insects and armored scale insects.  Like lace bugs, scale insects are sucking pests that damage plants and leaves.  To get rid of scale insects, it is recommended to first prune all damage leaves and branches from the affected plants.

To treat scale insects on garden and landscape plants:

1. Use insecticidial soaps and horticultural oils preventatively

2. Neem oil

3. Synthetic pyrethroid insecticides applied as either dusts or sprays

Slugs are very common garden pests in the Southern U.S.  While many slugs are beneficial by feeding on decaying plant matter, there are some slugs that feed on live plants.  These slugs can quickly destroy garden plants by eating all of the leaves. 

To get rid of slugs in the garden:

1. Direct contact with salt or beer

2. Slug-specific bait

Thrips are tiny insects, often translucent light green and yellow in color. They feed on vegetation in the garden and landscape(including roses) and can also become an indoor pest when brought into a home accidentally.  Thrips can bite humans though their bite is not painful.

Common thrips in the U.S. include flower thrips and onion thrips.  Management of thrips is similar to the management of scale insects and lace bugs.

To get rid of thrips:

1. Remove or heavily prune affected plants

2. Insecticidal soaps

3. Horticultural oils

4. Insecticide sprays or systemic insecticides

Hornets

Most of the recent press around hornet involve “Murder Hornets”or Asian Giant hornets.  In addition to these, there are two commonly found hornets in the U.S. including European hornets and Bald-faced hornets.

Hornet nests around or in your home can be a serious problem.  Hornet stings are quite painful.  To get rid of hornets, you may need to consult a pest professional.  Removal of hornet nests can be difficult but necessary to prevent hornets from coming back.

Horse Flies

Horse fly bites can be very painful.  When you are bitten it is the female horsefly wanting a blood meal. To get rid of horse flies you need a plan.  First figure out what is attracting the flies to your home or yard.  Horse flies are drawn to movement, CO2 and shiny surfaces.  They love warm and damp places. 

Fly traps and sticky fly paper with baits attractive to horse flies can be effective in reducing their population.  Repellents applied to the skin may help with horse fly bites.  For better control, consider using wide area mistblower applications of liquid insecticides.

Indian Meal Moths

Indian Meal Moths are very common in the U.S. as a stored product pest.  Indian Meal Moths lay eggs in grains, flour, dog food, and cereals.  There are a variety of methods used to control Indian Meal moths including:

1. Heat and Freezing

2. Sanitation

3. Removal of infected products

Lice

There are a number of different lice with the most common being headlice.  Headlice is not a pest control problem and should be treated as a medical problem.  Headlice are tiny insects that are found on human scalps feeding on blood.  Signs of headlice including visible headlice and eggs as well as itching.

Headlice are treated with both over-the-counter and prescription medications, usually in the form of shampoos, lotions, and gels.

Mayflies

Mayflies, also known as lake flies or shadflies, are a common swarming insect in the southern U.S. especially during the spring months of April through June.  Mayfly prevention is all but impossible.  Limiting Mayflies around the home can be accomplished by restricting exerior lighting that attracts them.

Similar to aquatic midges, mayfly hatches last up to 72 hours.  To prevent Mayflies from coming inside, keep doors and windows closed during mayfly hatches.

Midges

Midges, also called non-biting gnats or chironomid, are a major problem in the southern United States, especially Mississippi.  Midges are not dangerous and do not bite humans or other animals.  Unfortunately, a midge hatch, can create major problems for homeowners living on or around bodies of water.

Midge prevention is not economically feasible as treating entire lacks would be quite expensive.  The best option to reduce midge pressure around the home is to reduce or eliminate exterior lighting.  Midge hatches can last from 48-72 hours.

Moles/Voles

Moles and voles can quickly damage lawns and landscapes but creating tunnels in the lawn and eating roots of andscape plants.  While frequently confused with each other, moles and voles look distinctly different. Moles have long noses with sharp claws on their front feet and feed on grubs and worms.  Voles look more like small mice and eat plants, including plant roots.

To get rid of moles or voles:

1. Professional poison baits such as Talpirid

2. Use traps specific to moles/voles, including plunger and cinch traps

3. Encourage natural predators (cats are great!)

Mosquitoes

Many types of mosquitoes look the same but there are different species of mosquitoes in the U.S.  The most common species of mosquitoes are the Asian Tiger mosquito, House mosquito, Southern mosquito, and Yellow Fever mosquito.

Mosquito control and prevention around the home is critical.  Mosquitoes transmit several diseases including: West Nile, Zika, Dengue, Malaria, and Chikungunya.

To prevent mosquitoes and/or reduce your family’s exposure, removing standing water in pots, bowls, and landscape is essential.

Mosquito sprays are also effective, especially when combining synthetic pyrethroid insecticides with insect growth regulators to disrupt mosquitoes’ ability to breed and reproduce.

Mosquito control in the Mississippi summers is essential if you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors.  Mosquito control can help reduce your family’s exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses and deadly diseases.

How you do find the best mosquito exterminator?

1. Check references and reviews-Google is a great source

2. Ask questions about the type of chemicals they are using.  Mosquito extermination and prevention works best when insect growth regulators and combined with pyrethroid insecticides.

3. Ask for a mosquito prevention tip sheet from your pest company

Getting rid of mosquitoes in your yard may significantly decrease your family’s risk of contracting diseases such as West Nile, Zika, and Chikungunya.  A critical first step before purchasing insecticides is to eliminate or reduce any favorable environments for mosquitoes.  Getting rid of standing water in bird baths, flower pots, cans, etc. can reduce mosquitoes’ ability to breed on your property.  Removing overgrown shrubs and vegetation can eliminate resting places for mosquitoes.

The easiest way to kill mosquitoes is to invest in a powered mistblower.  Simply choose any pyrethroid insecticide with an insect growth regulator and mist your entire property.  Most mosquito companies repeat the mist applications every 21 days.

No-See-Ums

Also called punkies or biting gnats or midges, no-see-ums are tiny insects with a painful bite.  No-see-um bites are more painful than mosquito bites.  Like mosquitoes, no-see-ums are more prevalent during the hours of dusk to dawn.

No-see-um biting midges are best controlled with insecticides applied as a spray or a fog.  Wearing long pants, a hat, and long-sleeved shirts can also help prevent bites from no-see-ums.

Nutria Rats

Nutria rats are rodents found near or in bodies of water.  Nutria rats are quite larger and can breed several times each year.  Nutria rats cause extensive damage to dams and wetlands because of their voracious eating of vegetation near lakes and streams.

Controlling Nutria rats can be difficult as the only way to get rid of Nutria rats is to trap and eradicate them.

Pest Control

Whether you have an urgent pest problem or a frustrating, recurring pest infestation, selecting the best pest control company in Jackson, MS is critical.  How do you find the best company to solve your pest problem?  Check out a company’s Google reviews, ratings from services such as HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and Angie’s List or rating services like 3-Best Rated.  Synergy² is proud of our reputation as a leading pest control and extermination company in the Jackson metro.  Check out our review links below!

https://threebestrated.com/pest-control-companies-in-jackson-ms

https://www.homeadvisor.com/c.Pest-Control.Jackson.MS.-12057.html

https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=pest_control&find_loc=Jackson%2C+MS

https://synergy2ms.com/testimonials/

https://synergy2ms.com/commercial-pest-control-services/commercial-references/

Quarterly pest prevention is a contract service where an exterminator comes to your home on a regular schedule. “Quarterly” means four times a year, or approximately every three months.

If this seems like too much or too little for your home, most companies offer other contracted service schedules. Monthly and bimonthly are standard options for homes prone to pests. Twice a year is a common option for households who rarely have problems with pests.

Pill Bugs (Roly Polies)

Also commonly referred to as roly polies or sow bugs, Pill bugs are considered to be garden pests that feed on rotting vegetation.  Pill bugs are also occasional invaders of homes.  Getting rid of pill bugs involves removing the vegetation, leaves and areas of moisture attracting them to the area.

Residual pyrethroid insecticides are effective controlling and getting rid of pill bugs.

Possums

Possums are beneficial around the home as they eat and help control a number of insects.  Unfortunately when they try to nest inside your home, possums can cause serious damage.  Possums can carry a number of diseases as well as bring mites and ticks in your home with them.

To get rid of possums, trapping is recommended.  Recommended baits for trapping possums include canned pet food and tuna fish.

Raccoons

Raccoons may be cute but they can be carriers of rabies, roundworms, and leptospirosis. Raccoons frequently try to nest in attics and their urine can cause extensive damage to wood and insulation.

To get rid of raccoons, trapping is recommended.  Live catch traps can be baited with:

1. Sweet foods such as watermelon and marshmallows

2. Bacon, chicken, fish or cat food

3. Vegetables

Rodents(Mice & Rats)

It is important to determine whether you have mice or rats because rodent traps and baits are specific to either mice or rats.  Rat traps, including glue traps and snap traps, are much larger due to the larger size of rats vs mice. 

When selecting rat or mouse traps, positioning them is important.  Rodents prefer to be against walls as they are traveling so placing traps against walls and obstacles is much better than out in an open room.  Glue board rat traps when placed properly are highly effective.

Bait for rat or mouse traps also is species dependent.  Using cheese as a rat bait is usually not effective.  Consider using meats, peanut butter, and other high calorie attractants.  Mice may eat cheese as well as peanut butter.

Rat droppings are much larger(1/2 inch) with blunt ends; whereas, mouse droppings are 1/4 inch and will taper at the end.  The amount of droppings may be an indicator as to the severity of the rodent infestation.

Getting rid of rats in your house fast usually means hiring a professional exterminator.  Exterminators will use a variety of rat control methods to get your infestation under control and get rid of rats for good. 

Rat glue boards are a good first step as they allow you to remove rats from the home as they are caught.  For more difficult-to-catch rats, live traps or the traditional snap traps may also be an option.  Make sure the rat trap bait you are using is something attractive to rats, such as bacon, fruit, vegetables, or cereals.

The best and most dangerous option to get rid of rats is the use of rat poisons.  It is essential these poisons be contained in locked bait stations to prevent accidental poisoning of humans and/or non-target pests.  Rat poisons include bromethalin, bromadiolone, diphacinone, and cholecalciferol.

Rat trap bait can be different than bait you would use to trap mice.  Rats will eat just about anything so consider the following: bacon or other meats, fruits, vegetables, or cereals.  Other options include chocolate or peanut butter.  What’s not on the list?  Cheese. 

Rat trap baits are often used on traditional snap traps. There are a lot of other options for rat traps including glue board traps, electric traps, and live traps.

Waking up to noises in your walls and ceilings is no fun.  Especially when mice are involved.  A rodent infestation of mice or rats is an urgent situation as they are prolific breeders.  Getting rid of mice in walls means first finding the areas of travel.  Once areas of travel are found use traps to capture and/or kill.  There are a number of effective mouse traps including snap traps, glue boards, and live capture.  If you are unsuccessful trapping mice, hiring a rodent exterminator may be the best option.

To repel mice, sanitation and exclusion are a must.  Repair all entry points for mice in the home and remove all wastes, food, etc that may be attracting them.  Some homeowners have tried using natural oils, like peppermint oil, to repel mice.

A rat infestation in your home can be alarming and frustrating.  Getting rid of rats quickly is not easy.  Let professional rat poison be your last line of defense.  First try different rat traps including snap traps and glue traps.  Also identify and repair points of entry where rats are getting into your home.  If all else fails, use extreme caution when dealing with professional rat poisons.  Rat poisons can do serious harm to humans, pets, and other non-target animals. 

Professional rat poisons include bromethalin, bromadiolone, diphacinone, and cholecalciferol.  Make sure that all rat poisons are contained in locked rodent bait stations so that only rats can access the poison.

Finding the perfect mouse trap bait is not that hard.  Mice love nuts so peanut butter and hazelnut spreads are good to start with.  For pickier mice, try cheese or chocolate.  Don’t forget mice are also foraging for nest materials so sometimes cotton placed on a trap will entice them.

For mice that are trap shy or difficult to catch, try different types of traps.  Instead of the traditional snap trap, try glue boards specific for either mice or rats, live traps, or electric traps.

A rat infestation can be alarming to most homeowners.  Trapping rats, though, is a much safer option than poison.  The use of rat poison is usually best left to trained pest professionals.  For trapping, there are a number of effective options:

1. Snap Traps-This is the trap most homeowners are familiar with and can be very effective if you can find a bait palatable to the rats you are dealing with.

2. Glue Traps-Pest professionals use these traps extensively in both commercial and residential accounts. Glue board traps are highly effective and can be moved to areas of higher travel by the rats.

3. Live traps-These are less popular but a more humane option if you plan on releasing the rats when you catch them.

Homeowners with rat infestations want to get rid of rats as quickly as possible, but there is a big watch out.  Rat poisons, while effective, can also harm non-target animals and pets.  We recommend starting with rat traps first and saving poison for professional exterminators. 

The most widely used traps are traditional rat snap traps.  Bait the traps with peanut butter, pet food, or even moldy cheese.  If snap traps don’t work, another great option to get rid of rats quickly is rat glue boards.  Rat glue boards contain attractants that lure rats to the board.  One stuck to the board they cannot easily get off.

If you decide on the route of rat poison, remember to use secure, locked bait stations for the bait.

If you have a mouse or rat problem in your home, attempting to repel them is probably not going to work.  Mice and rat infestations create serious problems in homes including chewing through electrical wires, contaminating insulation with feces, and transmitting a number of diseases.

To get rid of rats or mice quickly consider trapping them yourself or hiring a professional exterminator.  If you would first like to try repellents, essential oils such as peppermint oil or peppers such as cayenne pepper may be good first choices.

Scorpions

Scorpions are not as common in Mississippi as many other pests since they prefer less humid environments.  Two species of scorpions are found in Mississippi including the Southern Devil scorpion in Northeast Mississippi and the Striped scorpion in South Mississippi.

Controlling scorpions with insecticide sprays is recommended if you encounter them at your home.

Silverfish

Silverfish, also known as “Bristletails” are small insects attracted to areas of moisture in your home.  They have a silvery metallic look with long antennae and tails.  Much like Springtails, the best solution to get rid of Silverfish is to correct the moisture problem attracting them in the first place.

To get rid of silverfish, first find their source of moisture and food.  Bathrooms with leaky pipes are common areas to find silverfish.  Silverfish feed on starchy items such as paper, adhesives, book bindings, and carpet.  Pyrethroid sprays will kill silverfish; however, the permanent solution is removing the source of moisture.

Skunks

Skunks are considered to beneficial around homes and gardens since they feed on a large variety of insects.  Skunks are famous for their ability to spray a foul-smelling substance whose odor is not easily removed.

When skunks become a problem around the home, live trapping and relocation is recommended.  Live traps baited with canned fish, bacon, canned pet food, or peanut butter are most effective.

Spiders

Spiders around the home are awesome for insect control.  Unfortunately, when they come indoors that creates a significant issue for more homeowners.  Getting rid of spiders can be difficult but there are ways to make your home less appealing to them:

1. Turn off all exterior lighting in the evenings.  Spiders are attracted to insects which are

Attracted to the lights around your home.

2. Some spiders may be controlled by spider repellents made of essential oils.  Some essential oils spiders hate including tea tree, citronella, lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint oil

3. Use insecticide sprays or dusts to help control and prevent spiders.  Sprays have a quick onset of kill, but dusts last much longer.

Spiders around or in your home can be very difficult to manage.  Most spiders are great to have around as they help manage flying insects and other pests.  The 3 most common venomous spiders we have in Mississippi are:  Black Widow, Brown Recluse, and the Wof Spider.

Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are in the top 3-4 poisonous/venomous spiders found in the US. Brown Widow and Hobo spiders are the other two. Wolf spiders have venom but their bites are not usually considered to be dangerous to humans.

 The Black Widow is easy to identify with a shiny black exterior and trademark red hourglass on its back. 

Brown Recluse is a larger spider, brown, and most have a darker fiddleback marking on their backs.  Brown Recluse spiders also have only 6 eyes instead of eight if you care to get that close to them.

Both the Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders are not aggressive and prefer to be left alone.

Wolf spiders can get quite large and can be terrifying but they are usually not harmful to humans.  In fact, Wolf spiders don’t even like to be around humans.  Wolf spiders can get as large as 2 inches making them one of the largest spiders in the US. 

A Wolf spider does carry venom; however, its bite is not dangerous to humans.  A Wolf spider bite can feel similar to a bee sting.  A bite from a Wolf spider can become red and swollen so cleaning the area with warm soap and water is a good idea.

Daddy long legs, sometimes called cellar spiders, are not dangerous to humans.  With very short fangs, it is not likely a Daddy Long Legs could even bite a human. 

They do not have venom glands and therefore do you use chemicals to subdue their prey.

Daddy long legs are beneficial to have around the house as they help control other insects. longer.

Huntsman spiders live in warm climates and are especially known as a common spider in Australia.  While they do possess venom they rarely bite humans.  Huntsman spiders would much rather avoid a human than attack.  The venom of Huntsman spiders has not been shown to be extremely dangerous to humans, unlike that of say a Black Widow or Brown Recluse.

The best repellent for spiders to keep spiders away from your home is to remove attractions around your home for other insects.  Spiders are around your home to feed on other insects.  Consider keeping exterior lights off when possible, removing areas of clutter and leaves, and keeping shrubs trimmed.

To repel spiders there are a number of essential oils that spiders dislike; however, the spiders need to feed on insects is often greater than its aversion to essential oils: peppermint oil, citronella, cinammon oil, tea tree and lavender.

Brown recluse spiders cause over 1000 spider bites annually.  They are the most poisonous spiders in the US, more poisonous than even Black Widow spiders.  Brown recluses are about the size of a quarter and have a distinctive violin pattern on their backs.

– If you are bitten by a Brown Recluse spider, it is a good idea to seek medical attention quickly.  Signs of a Brown Recluse spider bite include itchiness around the site of the spider bite, and also redness and swelling.

Brown recluse spider bites may heal on their own; however, some bites can be extremely serious.  Bites can cause tissue necrosis and permanent scarring.

Black Widow spiders rarely bite people. When they do, the bite can be serious but most people survive. The young and elderly are at a greater risk of a poor outcome from a Black Widow spider bites. The bites can be very painful.

To avoid Black Widow spider bites, simply avoid Black Widows. They are not an aggressive spider and would prefer to be left alone. The one exception to this is a female Black Widow spider protecting her young.

Fortunately, black widow spiders bites are rare.  Black widows are not aggressive unless it is a female protecting her eggs.  Black widows are easily identifiable by the large red hourglass on their backs. 

Black widow spiders venom is about 15 times more intense than that of a rattlesnake.  All bites from Black Widows should be taken very seriously.  The bite may not feel like much more than a pinprick.  If there is swelling afterwards and you can see fang marks, this could be an indicative of a black widow spider bite.

Wolf spiders can get quite large and can be terrifying but they are usually not harmful to humans.  In fact, Wolf spiders don’t even like to be around humans.  Wolf spiders can get as large as 2 inches making them one of the largest spiders in the US. 

Wolf spider bites are rare as they prefer to keep to themselves and are not considered aggressive.  A bite from a wolf spider can produce sharp pain and a skin reaction that looks red and swollen.  Wolf spider venom is a paralyzing agent but only works on small insects so no need to worry.

Even though a Wolf spider does carry venom; however, its bite is not dangerous to humans.  A Wolf spider bite can feel similar to a bee sting.  A bite from a Wolf spider can become red and swollen so cleaning the area with warm soap and water is a good idea.

Black widow spiders and Brown Widow spiders can look similar in size.  Female Black Widow spiders have a distinctive red or orange spot on their shiny black abdomen.  Brown Widows are more dull brown than shiny black.

Bites from both Black Widows and Brown Widows can be very serious.  While the Brown Widow bite may be less severe its venom is twice as potent as that of a Black Widow.  Fortunately Brown Widows do not possess as much venom as Black Widows.

SpringTails

Springtails are tiny insects that are wingless, but have the ability to jump.  If you notice tiny jumping insects in an area of your house known for moisture problems it could be springtails.  Insecticides willl kill springtails, but to prevent them from coming back the moisture problem needs to be resolved.  Springtails are not harmful to humans and do not bite.

Squirrels

Squirrels in the attic can become a major problem as they do structural damage to the exterior of your home(fascia board and siding) and interior(chewing through electrical wiring). 

Step 1 to getting rid of squirrels is to trap or otherwise make uncomfortable squirrels currently in the attic.  This can be done with live traps and irritating lighting such as the Evictor strobe light.

Step 2 once all squirrels are gone, structural repairs must be made to keep additional squirrels from getting into your home.  Sometimes this requires metal flashing and mesh as squirrels are voracious chewers.

Step 3 is to make your home as inhospitable in squirrels as possible.  Trim all trees and bushes around the home to make it more difficult for squirrels to get to your attic.

Squirrel poop vs. rat poop can be similar, but it is fairly easy to tell the difference.  Rat poop or rat pellets are usually between 1/2 and 3/4 inches long and dark brown.  Squirrel droppings can be a similar size to rat poop but with a wider range of size from 3/8 inch to 1 inch.

Shape is what helps distinguish rat poop vs squirrel poop.  Squirrel poop is rounded on the ends with a bulging middle.  Rat poop is pointed at the ends.

Droppings from mice are typically dark in color and about the size of a grain of rice with pointed ends.  Squirrel droppings look much more similar to rat droppings, except you may notice a twist in the middle of the dropping.  It is not unusual for droppings from squirrels to occur in clusters.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are what’s called occasional invaders.  They typically live outdoors but come inside your home to escape winter conditions.  Stink bugs like warm places, such as bathrooms and kitchens.  Spraying insecticides can help reduce stink bugs but insecticides are not the permanent solution.

To get rid of stink bugs in your home, first seal off all points of access.  Stink bugs can get into your home through dryer vents, cracks and crevices in trim and siding, and under and around windows and door seals.

After all points of access for stink bugs have been eliminated, consider a two-step approach to get rid of stink bugs for good:

– First, use a liquid synthetic pyrethroid insecticide to spray both the interior of your home and around the exterior focusing on two feet up and two feet out from the foundation.

– Second, apply a granular insecticide around the foundation of your home.Granular insecticides offer much longer periods of control since they aren’t easily washed off.

Termites

Whether you are buying or selling a home in Mississippi, a termite inspection and/or WDIR(wood destroying inspect report) are required by most lenders.  If you are planning on selling your home, spending the $150 upfront for a termite inspection can help reduce the chances your home sale will be affected by last minute discoveries of termite damage.

The pest professional you hire to do a termite inspection should do a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of your home.  In addition to termite damage and signs of termites, the inspector should be documenting areas of your home conducive to termites with recommendations to repair.

Termites and ants can look very similar.  To distinguish between the two: termites have straight antenna, termites had a broad waist, and both sets of termite wings are the same size.  Flying termites, or swarmers, are often the first sign a homeowner notices of a potential termite infestation.

Flying termites are alates, or reproductives.  They are seeking out new areas around the home to establish a nest and new colony.

Termite control and prevention is extremely important to protect your most valuable asset, your home.  Winged termites or flying termites are often the first signs that a homeowner notices indicating a termite infestation.  Before panicking, first make sure the winged termites are actually termites.  Ants can look very similar.

For a termite bond is a contract or agreement with a pest control company specializing in termite prevention that guarantees the company will come back and re-treat if there are ever signs of termites.  Think of a termite bond as insurance against future treatment costs for termite infestations of your home.  Just as you wouldn’t drive a a car without insurance, you probably don’t want to own a home without termite insurance.  Termite bonds are normally guaranteed for a 12 month period with an option to renew every year.

Flying termites are called alates, or reproductives.  Their role in the termite colony is to leave the nest and establish a new colony.  Flying termites do not eat wood, but establish new colonies of termites that can then do harm to your house.

Flying termites and flying ants can look similar.  If there is a question about potential termite damage to your home, a pest professional specializing in termites can provide a thorough termite inspection.

Ticks

There are a few common species of ticks in the US.  Ticks can feed on both humans and pets.  The diseases ticks carry include lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis.  The most common types of ticks include: Blacklegged tick, Lone Star tick, American Dog tick, Brown Dog tick, and Gulf Coast tick.

To prevent tick exposure for your family and pets, treat the exterior of your home and lawn with a granular insecticide every couple of months during late spring and summer.

Ticks in Mississippi can be carriers of transmittable diseases to humans including Lyme and RMSF among others. It is essential to remove the tick as quickly and safely as possible to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

For tick prevention going forward follow these 3 steps:

1. Consult with your vet for a topical or oral anti-tick and anti-flea treatment.  Usually these are monthly treatments.

2. Treat your lawn and around the perimeter of your home with insecticides in granular or liquid form.  These treatments will need to be repeated regularly during flea & tick season.

3. Check your pet daily for any ticks that may have attached themselves and remove as safely and quickly as possible.

Frequently checking your pet and fleas and ticks can help avoid costly vet visits.  If you find a tick on your dog, it is essential to remove the tick from the dog and quickly and safely as possible.   Tweezers applied on the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible should do the trick.  Monitor the tick bite site for signs of infection after removing it.

To prevent your pets from getting ticks, a granular insecticide applied every 60 days during the warm season months can help.  While liquid insecticides will kill ticks more quickly, granular insecticides will last much longer.

Wasps

Getting rid of wasps around your home is not that difficult.  First identify the species of wasp you are dealing with.  Red Paper Wasps, Mud Daubers, and Yellow Jackets are 3 of the most common.  Next locate the wasp nests.  Red paper wasps make honeycombed paper nests usually around the eaves of your home.  Mud Daubers build mud nests on the sides of your home.  Yellow jackets usually build underground nests.

Removing the nests is essential to prevent re-infestation.  For stinging species such as red paper wasps and yellow jackets, remove the nests at night when they are much less active.

Remember, if the wasps don’t pose a threat to you or your family, they are great to have around to manage other insects.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jacket stings can be very painful and yellow jackets can be quite aggressive, especially when defending their nests.  The key to controlling yellow jackets and getting rid of them for good is to locate their nests.  Yellow jackets nest in the ground. 

Once the locations of the yellow jacket nests have been identified, purchase a liquid or even better dust insecticide.  Yellow jacket bait stations are also a good option.

Wait until evening and apply the insecticide to the nests.  As yellow jackets return to the next they will contact the insecticide and die.

Yellow jacket stings hurt and can be deadly(if you have had anaphylactic reactions to stings from wasps, yellow jackets, or bees before).  Most importantly, any type of treatment of a yellow jacket nest needs to occur at night when they are least active and aggressive.

The first step to getting rid of yellow jackets is to identify any ground nests.  Mark these during daylight hours.  In the evening, use a two step method to kill them:

– For an immediate kill, use an aerosol insecticide intended for quick knockdown.

– After using the knock-down aerosol, apply a pyrethroid insecticide in dust form to the ground nest.  The dust will have a long duration of action and kill yellow jackets as they come back to the nest the next day.

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