After 17 Years, Brood-X Cicadas are About to Emerge

What Brood X cicadas look like in Virginia - Elrich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

One of the most unique natural phenomena experienced in the world, the return of hundreds of billions of cicadas to the skies, is soon to be upon us.

Feelings on the matter range between extremes for different kinds of people: some are disgusted and freaked out by the sudden explosion of these noisy creatures, others travel across the country to watch the event unfold. Wherever you stand on the matter, we can all agree that the life cycle of the cicada is quite fascinating.

What Are Cicadas?

Cicadas are insects that live underground almost their entire lives. A generation of cicadas emerges from the ground either every 17 years or every 13 years, depending on the brood. This upcoming species, Brood X, last emerged in 2004 and is gearing up to come back to the surface this May.

You’ll probably be able to tell them apart from other insects by their unmistakable noises, but here are a few other ways to identify cicadas:

  • You can expect to see cicadas with short black bodies and clear wings with orange markings.
  • Cicada nymphs are smaller and light brown in color with undeveloped wings and a wider body, scaled to their size.
  • They will come out in extravagant numbers, so you will be able to distinguish them from other insects by the density of a population of insects that hasn’t surfaced for close to two decades.
  • Of course, you’ll hear screeching sounds that reach up to 100 decibels in volume, similar to a motorcycle or a jackhammer.

What Do Cicadas Do?

Male cicadas are the noisy ones, emitting a piercing high-pitched vibration by rapidly flexing their tymbals, which are specialized noise-making devices. The sound they create reverberates in their hollow abdomen, amplifying the noise for all to hear.

Male cicadas make noise to attract a mate. They’ll then reproduce, and shortly after, die. The females lay their eggs in the tops of trees, and their young climb down and burrow into the dirt, looking for tree roots to feed on.

Are Cicadas Harmful?

Unlike locusts, another type of insect that comes out in swarms, cicadas aren’t harmful creatures. They cause some damage to trees by eating at their roots when they live underground, but cicadas actually provide nourishment to a hoard of other animals when they arrive, and also supply trees in their area with necessary nitrogen.

What To Do About Cicadas in the Springfield VA Area

If you’re particularly squeamish and would rather not deal with cicadas, there’s not a whole lot that you can do besides staying inside and keeping your doors and windows shut. The cicada reemergence is an event that is far outside the control of any exterminator, and using bug spray on cicadas doesn’t do much besides potentially poisoning the animals that eat them.

If you are experiencing a pest outbreak on your property (hopefully not one of this magnitude), contact our experts at Elrich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s. We are trained to tackle a wide range of pest problems and have your home looking pristine and pest-free.

Complement Your Spring Cleaning With Some Easy Pest Control Tips

Pest control technician working in Springfield VA - Elrich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sSo many kinds of pests come out in the spring – the mixture of increased temperature and moisture creates a perfect environment for bugs to breed, feed, and thrive. As an influx of new insects sets in, many homeowners here in the Springfield VA area are going to find that their house has been taken over by unwelcome guests. Our experts at Elrich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, will help prepare you for the season with a list of preventative measures to take.

Spring Bugs

Before you start pest-prepping your home, you should ask: what kinds of bugs should I be expecting? Here are some common spring pests in Virginia:

These pests all operate in different ways, but many of them are attracted to the same things that you might find in your house. Before you call your local pest control company, there are some steps that you can take to make your home less hospitable for bugs.

How to Keep Bugs Out of the House

Keeping an organized house is one of the most important methods of pest prevention. This might mean a number of things depending on the pest, so let’s take a look at the three main methods to keeping your home clean and bug-free. 

  1. Sealing food: Always be sure to put away your food and seal it up properly. Ants, in particular, are known for finding any open food source, even if it’s left slightly ajar in a cabinet. Storing all of your food in resealable containers should do the trick.
  2. Close doors and windows: Any door or window left open for too long could lead all sorts of insects looking for food and shelter into your home. Install screens on your windows and doors to get fresh air in the house without worrying about pests.
  3. Eliminate moisture: Many kinds of bugs, such as termites, spiders, ants, and more, are attracted to moisture inside your house. Water outside of your house could be a problem, too – mosquitoes lay their eggs on still water. Getting rid of dampness inside the house and pouring out or covering standing water outside of the house should work to prevent many kinds of pests.

Expert Pest Control in Springfield VA

If you’re experiencing an outbreak on your property after taking all of this advice, you might be dealing with a problem that’s outside of your control. In this case, reach out to your local pest control experts. The technicians at Elrich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, are trained to handle a wide array of issues. Our mission is to rid your home of pests and ensure that they don’t come back, all while staying up to date with the latest standards of environmental responsibility. No matter your pest problem, contact us today for a free quote!

What Makes My Home Attractive to Termites?

What makes my home attractive to termites in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's There is a common misconception that termites only infest wood homes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Termites are drawn to cellulose, the compound found within not just wood but other materials as well. This makes brick homes or houses made of stone and other materials vulnerable to termite infestations.

With termites in full force this time of year in Virginia, now is the time to learn how to keep termites away from your home. Keep reading to learn what makes your home attractive to termites with Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.

What Are Termites Attracted To?

Termites will infest a brick home just as quickly as a wood home in the right conditions. But what are the right conditions for termite problems? The following things are the biggest factors that contribute to the likelihood of a termite infestation:

  1. Cellulose. Termites may be infamous for infesting wood, but they’re actually after the cellulose contained within! This cellulose is a main component that can be found in wallpaper, plants, mulch, drywall, and more.
  2. Moisture. Leaky pipes, broken sprinklers, or clogged gutters can all lead to moisture problems in your home. In turn, this could attract subterranean termites (not to mention hoards of other pests) inside.
  3. Access to soil. Subterranean termites need contact with soil to live. Any wood items, whether it’s your home, porch, or firewood in the yard, in contact with soil is at risk for a termite problem.
  4. Warmth. Termite problems are generally more common in warmer, humid parts of the world. This puts our southwestern state at a higher risk of termite activity year-round.
  5. Decaying wood. If you have logs, trees, or stumps that are rotten or in decay, you can be sure termites will seek them out.
  6. Landscape. Termites can infest mulch, making it important to keep it away from the perimeter of your home. Also trim back tree branches that may be too close to your property.

How to Make Your Home Less Attractive to Termites

No matter what type of home you live in, the best way to know if you are protected against termites is to work with a professional termite exterminator. A thorough home inspection will pinpoint anything in or around your property that could put you at risk for termites in the future. Contact the termite control experts at Ehrlich today to get started!

Talkin’ Termites: Brush Up On Termites 101 for Termite Awareness Week

Termite Awareness Week 2021 in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's[2021 UPDATE]

Termites are a year-round pest problem here in Virginia. However, Termite Awareness Week is every year in the springtime to help homeowners get ready for the termite-ridden months ahead. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, we know that termites are anyone’s worst nightmare. That said, it’s crucial to learn everything you need to know about these dangerous pests in order to prevent an infestation! Our experts are here to share everything you need to know about termites—keep reading to learn more!

Termites 101

With an insatiable hunger for soft wood, termites cause an incredible $5 billion in damages to more than 5 million U.S. homes each year. The U.S. Department of Forestry reports that Virginia is heavily infested with subterranean termites – one of two types of termites that cause uniquely significant damage. These silent destroyers infest homes, preying on the wood, and wallets, of unsuspecting homeowners. Their clandestine tactics make prevention and precaution the best defense against termites.

Signs of Termite Problems

Termites don’t always make their presence known, but with a keen eye, you should be able to uncover evidence that they’ve taken up residence in your home. Common signs of termite damage include:

  • Mud tubes—which provide shelter for termites—are seen extending from the ground to infested wood. They are sometimes hidden behind baseboards and siding.
  • Winged swarmer termites’ shed wings are usually found along the edges of floors or on windowsills.
  • Termites feast on soft wood below the surface, which leaves the exterior wood intact. Tapping on damaged wood will reveal it to be hollow.
  • Mud-lined wood, and dark spots or blistering, are other tell-tale signs of a termite infestation.

Dangers of Termites

A common misconception is that vinyl- or metal-sided homes and brick homes are safe from termites. Houses, regardless of the outer material, usually have wooden frames, making them termite-prone. Further, infestations of nearby wooden sheds or garages can quickly spread to nearby structures.

Subterranean termites are known for their heightened survival instincts and advanced communication system. If disturbed, the colony will stealthily relocate to other areas in the building, continuing to cause damage, while your extermination techniques turn ineffective. The best practice is to leave the infestation to the pest control experts.

How to Keep Termites Away

As the snow thaws and the temperatures rise, our thoughts turn to fresh starts and spring cleaning. Did you know that by doing some tidying around the house and in the yard, you’ll be helping to ward off a termite infestation? Keeping your yard clear of wood and debris and your foundation moisture-free are great prevention methods and offer benefits beyond protection from termites. We’d also recommend using hardwood mulch instead of the soft mulch that termites love. Regular monitoring and inspection are the best methods for preventing termite problems. Our technicians use the most-advanced technology in their fight against termites—both as preventive measures and extermination tools.

If your house shows signs of termite damage, or you want to ensure that you’ll remain a few steps ahead of a termite visit, contact the termite control pros at Ehrlich today!

A Squirrel in the Attic

Squirrels access your attic through the roof in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sThe first sign of a squirrel problem is the sound of scampering overhead, especially early in the morning or at sundown. When you go up into the attic to check it out, you are treated to the distinctive smell that indicates an animal has moved into your home. You catch sight of a bushy tail and realize you have a squirrel in the attic.

Once inside, squirrels can cause a lot of damage to your home with their nesting, hoarding, and chewing habits. Attics provide a warm and safe environment for squirrels to build their nests without fear from predators or the elements. Because of the dangers they can bring in, it’s important to learn how to prevent squirrels in the first place.

What Are the Dangers of a Squirrel Infestation?

While searching for entry points to your attic, squirrels may damage siding, soffits, fascia boards, chimney flashing and even various types of exhaust fans.  pon gaining entry, they will often build nests and therefore create a mess of droppings and urine when they make it their permanent residence. Worst of all, they can chew through wires, creating potential fire hazards.

Squirrels can also harbor pathogens, such as salmonella and rabies, which can be harmful to humans, although transmission is rare. Damage to property is a much more likely outcome of a squirrel infestation. They can destroy furniture and other important household items, especially if they venture out into main living areas.

Squirrel Control For My Home

Squirrel removal is a difficult process to accomplish both humanely and legally. Many states have laws against trapping and relocating squirrels without a permit. It is best to call a professional to remove a squirrel in the attic or any other area of your home.  Trained professionals can humanely and legally relocate unwitting intruders. A professional can also help identify and seal up possible points of entry to prevent future wildlife problems. Here’s how they can help you learn how to prevent squirrels in the attic for good:

  1. The first step is identifying any opening that allows the squirrel access to the attic and sealing these gaps with metal flashing or wire mesh.
  2. Cutting back overhanging tree branches can reduce squirrel’s access to the roof, while chimney caps can keep raccoons and squirrels out of the chimney.
  3. Squirrels may be attracted to the house by bird feeders in the yard. If squirrels are frequenting your bird feeders, try spraying your bird feed with cayenne pepper. Birds have no sense of taste, but as mammals, squirrels do.
  4. Never leave food outdoors, and keep trash cans sealed securely. Resist the temptation to feed squirrels, as this will encourage them to return.

Preventing Squirrels in the Attic

Nuisance wildlife problems, including squirrel infestations, can be distressing for any homeowner. The best option is to work with your local wildlife control experts who can help with exclusion services to keep your family safe. Contact the wildlife control team at Ehrlich today to learn more!

6 Signs You May Have Termites

Mud tubes are a common sign of termites in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sThe key to preventing a termite infestation is knowing how to recognize termite activity. By knowing the signs of termites, you can help stop a small termite problem from turning into a full-blown infestation. Because termites work within the very structure of a property, it is rare to see the pests themselves. However, there are a few signs of their activity to always watch for. With termite season revving up here in Virginia, the team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s is here to share the most common signs you may have termites.

Most Common Signs of Termites

1. Mud tubes

Made from and used by subterranean termites, mud tubes are pencil-sized tunnels through which termites travel. True to their name, subterranean termites nest underground. In order to leave the nest and forage for food, they will build mud tubs out of their feces. This protects the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.

2. Drywood Termite Droppings

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites nest within wood. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in piles. Seeing this sign of termites makes it important to call a professional for closer inspection.

3. Swarming termites

In the springtime, reproductive termites will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarming happens when a mature termite colony releases a number of swarmers from their existing nest. Reproductive termites, also known as alates or swarmers, can often be mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring months is a sign of termites spreading.

4. Piles of Termite Wings

After alates swarm and land in their new location, they will literally twist their wings off to discard them. This is because after flight, they will no longer need to fly. Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. These wings can often be seen in piles, which is indicative of termites forming their new colony nearby.

5. Tight-Fitting Doors and Windows

Termite activity can result in damage to your property. One of the most common signs of termite infestations is noticing your windows and doors are sticking or appear more tight-fitting than usual. Subterranean termites output a lot of moisture with their eating and tunneling habits. When they target door or window frames, the wood there will warp and make them more difficult to open.

6. Damaged wood

Termites are infamous for damaging wood. This can appear in several ways. Typically, termite damage can cause unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards. In general, wood damage of any kind can be a major sign of a termite problem.

You’ve Seen the Signs You May Have Termites—Now What?

As soon as you spot any of the above signs of termites, it’s time to call your termite exterminators at Ehrlich. Termites can frequently be mistaken for other insects, which is why it’s so important to get the expert eye of a termite exterminator. To learn about our termite inspections, contact us today.

How to Identify Termite Holes

Drywood termites leave behind termite holes in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sOne of the most common signs of a wood-destroying insect problem is seeing tiny, round holes drilled into wood. But how do you know if those holes were left by a termite or another insect? These tiny holes are often an indicator of drywood termite activity. When termites swarm to form new colonies, the swarmers (called alates) will depart their nest—this is when the termite exit holes are created. Also known as kick-out holes, these holes are difficult to identify unless you know what you’re looking for. Because they are commonly misidentified, it’s crucial to learn how to identify a termite hole or work with a professional who knows what they look like.

Do All Termites Create Exit Holes?

Only drywood termites create kick-out holes. This is because drywood termites do not need contact with soil and often infest wood above ground. Subterranean termites swarm just like other termites in the spring and summer, but they leave their nests in a very different manner. True to their name, subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. Seeing holes on a wooden structure, then, is typically indicative of drywood termite activity.

What Other Insects Leave Holes in Wood?

It can be difficult to know what type of insect has bored holes in wooden items within or outside your property. Other wood-destroying insects capable of creating tiny, round holes include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Each of these exhibit unique behaviors and have different wood preferences, making it difficult to know which wood-boring insect you’re dealing with. For this reason, it’s always best to contact your local pest control experts for help identifying exit holes or holes made by other pests in your home.

Characteristics of Termite Exit Holes

A professional pest control expert is usually the best source to identify exit holes in your property. That said, there are a few indicators that the holes in your wood were caused by termites: 

  • Termite exit holes are round and no bigger than ⅛ of an inch.
  • After the swarmer termites leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
  • It is rare to see uncovered termite holes, as the nymphs work quickly after the swarmers depart.
  • Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds and can appear in a pile.

Need Help Identifying Termite Holes?

At Ehrlich Pest Control, we know that seeing holes in your wooden structures can be distressing. You can rest easy knowing that our expert termite exterminators will thoroughly inspect your property to seek out termite or other wood-destroying insect activity. For help identifying termite holes in your Virginia property, contact us today!

Mice Advice to Keep Your Virginia Home or Business in Check

Mice Advice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

Mice may be seen as cute little animals to some, but they’re nothing short of distressing when they show up as unwanted pests. As shelter seekers who enter Virginia buildings in large numbers, they also bring a number of concerns with them – most notably, the potential for disease and destruction. As strong runners, climbers, jumpers, and even swimmers, they’re experts at getting indoors and finding nesting spots. Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing this malicious rodent. To keep your home or business healthy, follow our expert advice for keeping mice and rats away from your home or business.

Rats vs. Mice in Virginia Homes

If you’ve spotted the sign of rodents, you may be wondering what type of rodent you’re dealing with! You may think you have mice, but it’s best to investigate more closely to make sure you don’t have their close relative in the rat instead. The two rodents may share many of the same characteristics, but mice are quite different in a few notable ways – making them especially difficult to stop. Here’s how to tell the difference:

  • Mice are smaller: Mice typically weigh half an ounce or so (the weight of a slice of bread), while rats often weigh more than 10 ounces. This makes them agile, helping them slip through small openings – some the size of a dime. With their fast speeds, they’re able to roam unnoticed. Baby rats are comparable in size to mice, but mice can be identified by their larger eyes and ears.
  • Mice are more curious: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it often works wonders for mice. They’re quick to explore new environments –scouting out food and shelter in the process. A study even found that mice need curiosity as much as they need food. On the other hand, rats are more cautious, making them less likely to stumble in at all.
  • Mice prefer carbs: Mice are big fans of household staples like cereals and grains. Rats consume carb-based foods as well, but they also crave meat – something that’s harder to come by out in the open. Sometimes, mice are even preyed on by rats. You may think this simply reduces your mouse problem, but you’ll end up with a rat problem as well.

Most Common Mouse Species in Virginia

House mice vs deer mice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

If you have a mouse in your home, more often than not it’s going to be a house mouse. They’re the most likely species to be found in urban and suburban areas – in our region, Richmond and greater Washington, D.C. Deer mice are also a threat, but more so in the rural countryside. No matter what type of mouse you’re dealing with, it’s important to get the help of a professional pest control expert when it comes to getting rid of them.

Signs of House Mice Indoors

To escape extreme weather and outdoor predators, mice won’t hesitate to take full advantage of your comfortable indoor conditions. This then brings their risks into your home or business. Mice are stingy little creatures, and the easier it is for them to infest, the harder things will be for you in return. Their presence isn’t always obvious; be attentive, and look for the following signs:

  • Droppings and urine pillars
  • Footprints (usually around 1/4 of an inch in length)
  • Nests made of household items like paper
  • Structural damage (holes in walls, ceilings, or window screens)
  • Damaged food containers or nibbled-on food

Mouse Prevention Tips

How to prevent mice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

 

While proactive measures may help eliminate the mice that are currently around, they’ll keep coming back if you don’t take the proper preventative measures. This means removing the incentive that your home or business provides in the first place (food and shelter) and keeping them from getting in at all. Here’s how to keep mice outside:

1. Cut Off Access to Food

As mentioned earlier, mice love carbs; but they’ll eat just about anything – sweets, dog food, and even garbage. The problem isn’t simply that they aren’t picky eaters. Rather, it’s that we give them instant access to food, without which they wouldn’t survive. Seal containers (including your trash can), wipe up spills and don’t leave food sitting out.

2. Minimize Nesting Areas

Mice also rely on nesting areas to support indoor infestations. Because they prefer dark, secluded spots, basements, and attics are prime real estate – they usually provide plenty of clutter (papers, cardboard boxes, etc.) to construct nests. Mice don’t typically nest further than 25 feet from food sources, meaning wall voids and cabinets may also be at risk. Clean and declutter potential habitats to prevent mice from settling down.

3. Shut Them Out

In addition to removing sources of food and shelter, sealing off entry points is an effective way to keep mice away. Fill any holes they’re capable of fitting through and invest in chimney and vent covers. Doors and windows are our connection with the outdoor world, and they’re often mice’s connection with the indoors as well. Keep them shut and properly sealed, adding weather stripping along doors and replacing any window screens that are broken.

Professional Mouse Control

If you have an ongoing mouse problem, it’ll take more than a few traps to save the day. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, our expert technicians provide smart, thorough care, as we understand just how problematic this pest can be. Covering homes and businesses across Virginia and offering year-round protection, we take a targeted approach to eliminate mice in full. Contact us to today to learn how our rodent exterminators can keep you safe from mice.

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's – Serving Northern Virginia, Richmond, Springfield, Sterling, Fredericksburg, and surrounding areasEntomologists from Ehrlich Pest Control Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Ehrlich Pest Control used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Common Pests in Your Attic

Rodents are common pests in the attic during the winter in Henrico VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sBefore the cold weather hits, it’s important to know what types of pests may be looking to get inside your home. Especially here in Virginia, overwintering pests are a common pest problem for homeowners this time of year. An overwintering pest is any insect or wild animal that gets into your home for food, warmth, and shelter during the winter months until spring rolls back around. These pests often make themselves at home in your attic and can cause a lot of noise and a big mess. No one wants pests inside their property, making it important to learn how to prevent the common pests in your attic.

What Pest is in My Attic?

If you’re hearing scuttling noises or have noticed a smell coming from your attic, you could have pests overwintering in there. The most common ones we deal with here in Virginia include:

  1. House mice: These mice prefer secluded areas and will look to nest in your attic using insulation and other stored items for shelter.
  2. Roof rats: Just as their name suggests, roof rats can squeeze their way indoors and up to the attic in your home.
  3. Bats: Big brown bats will roost in an attic and use it as their cave. Their presence causes a lot of mess to clean up.
  4. Raccoons: Raccoons are strong climbers and can make their way into your attic to escape dropping temperatures outside.
  5. Squirrels: The attic is the perfect place for squirrels to burrow and hide out the colder months.

How To Keep Pests Out of Your Attic

Pest prevention and wildlife exclusion is the key to keeping pests and wild animals out of your attic this winter. Trim overhanging tree branches, overgrown bushes, and vines away from your home to limit roof access to pests. In addition, secure your chimney with a chimney cap, and install wire mesh over any vents or roof openings. If you keep your garbage cans outdoors, make sure to keep them secure with tight-fitting lids. Lastly, keep everything organized in plastic bins in your attic. Look for gaps or openings and seal them with steel wool or caulk.

Overwintering Pests in Virginia

If you start to hear animals or pests in your attic, it’s important to always enlist the help of a professional pest control company. Getting rid of overwintering pests can be difficult, which is why you should always use a professional. Contact the residential pest control experts at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s!