Every Thanksgiving, we remember what we’re thankful for at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s. We’re thankful that we’ve been able to help our customers with their pest control issues since 1944. We’re thankful that we’re able to use environmentally responsible solutions when dealing with pests. And most importantly, we’re thankful for our loyal customers that allow us to keep serving the DC metropolitan area year after year.

While it may come as a surprise, we’re also thankful for certain pests that make our lives easier – and more comfortable. We’re talking about insects and critters that serve as natural pest controllers themselves. While the animals listed below sometimes provide headaches themselves, they help keep other pests at manageable populations.

Check out the pests we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:


With their effective silk webs, and their large appetites, spiders can actually help out homeowners. They feed on common pests such as cockroaches, earwigs, and moths, and often prey on disease-carrying mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. The long-legged cellar spider – or pholcus phalangiodes – is even known to kill black widows. So next time you’re about to squash Charlotte or destroy her web, think again.


Striped skunks are common in the DC region, and they’re active all year long. We find them to be nuisances mostly because of their pungent smell and their affinity for our garbage cans, but in reality, they help control pest populations. Skunks love feeding on crickets, grubs, grasshoppers, mice, rabbits, and other small mammals that disrupt grass and gardens.


Like skunks, raccoons generally aren’t a problem in flower gardens, though they can damage homes and ransack trashcans and pet food supplies. They also feed on insects and worms, and a wide range of pests including rats, squirrels, mice, birds, and snakes. Though raccoons can help keep certain pests away from your home, they are often aggressive towards humans and pets, so be wary of keeping them around.

Birds and Owls

Although we consider certain birds to be pests, most wild birds are beneficial to the environment as they prey on insects such as grasshoppers, webworms, slugs, and moths. One particular bird – the barn owl – provides an elevated level of rodent control. These keen-sensed nocturnal hunters feast on mice, rats, rabbits, and similar small mammals, while not disrupting your home and garden. Wise creatures indeed.


We’ve all heard the rumors – cockroaches and Twinkies are the only things that could survive a nuclear blast. While that may not be true, cockroaches have been seen and documented eating bed bugs since the 11th and 12th centuries. Though we wouldn’t recommend keeping cockroaches around for bed bug control, a cockroach infestation could have a silver lining: at least you don’t have bed bugs.

Wild Turkeys

We had to give a shout out to the region’s wild turkey this Thanksgiving. Wild turkeys are found up and down the Eastern Seaboard and generally stick to wooded areas. Though they’re rarely found in urban or suburban areas, they do dine on a wide variety of garden pests including stink bugs, grasshoppers, beetles, snails, slugs, and worms. You could say that they stuff themselves on these pests.

Happy Thanksgiving

Next Thursday, while you’re sitting around the dinner table, tuning into the parade, or lazing on the couch watching football, remember to be thankful for the natural pest control experts in your home and garden.

We’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Pests to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving in Virginia

Serving the Virginia area since 1944

Alexandria | Arlington | Ashburn | Burke | Fairfax | Fredericksburg

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