So 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Entomologists 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.
More than ever, families are looking to spend time in their backyards, porches, and patios. With the weather still mild, you likely want to take advantage of outdoor activities as much as possible. Unfortunately, pests are out in full-force right now. Wasps, mosquitoes, ticks, and flies can quickly turn an enjoyable time spent in your outdoor living space sour! For that reason, it’s important to learn how to implement pest prevention into your backyard maintenance routine. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, we want to help our customers comfortably enjoy their time spent outdoors without the presence of pests. Keep reading for our top bug-free outdoor living.
What Pests Are in My Backyard?
If you are going to be spending time outside, you can be sure pests will be out and about as well! Insects are drawn to a number of things right in your backyard. The most common pests you are likely to come across in your backyard include:
Pest prevention is just as important outside as it is inside your home. To keep pests away from your garden, barbecue area, deck, or other outdoor living space, implement the following tips.
Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
Thoroughly inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bee activity.
Regularly clean up your outdoor space. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
Burn a few citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes during outdoor activities.
Try replacing light bulbs. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights will not attract as many insects.
Staying Pest-Free in Your Yard
It can be overwhelming to know how to keep pests away from your outdoor living space. If you find yourself with a full-blown pest problem, it’s time to contact your local exterminators. Here at Ehrlich, our team is committed to providing our customers with pest-free living both inside and outside their home.
No one wants to deal with ants in the summertime. Unfortunately, they tend to overwhelm homes in Virginia this time of year. If you’ve had an ant infestation before, you know they can be downright frustrating. They tend to infest kitchens, bathrooms, and often can be seen crawling in trails along your floorboards. As the number one nuisance pest in the nation, it’s important to learn how to prevent ants this summer and all year long. The team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s has years of experience getting rid of these pests and is here to share expert tips to prevent ants this summer.
Prevent Ants with These 5 Tips
No one wants ants inside their home. Ants can be ruthless and the infestations never-ending, making it important to know how to keep them out in the first place! To prevent ants, try the following tips:
Keep a clean home. Sweep your floors regularly to get rid of crumbs. Ants are attracted to sugary food sources and a few crumbs will keep them coming back for more.
Store away food. Avoid leaving food out uncovered. Keep food in airtight containers or store them safely in cupboards and fridges.
Seal entry points. Ants can crawl through the tiniest of cracks. Inspect your property and use caulk to seal any gaps, holes, or potential entry ways.
Get rid of excess moisture. Areas with standing water or leaks will attract ants quickly. Attend to broken pipes and clean up spills quickly.
Trim back trees and vegetation. Plants close to your home can encourage ants to come in. Make sure tree branches, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed away from the perimeter!
What Types of Ants Are Common in the Summer?
There are more than 700 species living in the U.S., which is why it’s crucial to know which one you’re dealing with in order to properly get rid of them! An infestation from any of these can be a major pain to deal with, making it important to know what you’re coming up against. A few of the most common types of ants you’ll likely encounter in our area are odorous house ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, and pavement ants. For help identifying these pests, it’s best to get the help of a professional.
What to Do When You Can’t Prevent Ants
If the ants are flooding into your property despite your best efforts to keep them out, it’s best to contact a professional ant exterminator. At Ehrlich, we have the experience and resources needed to prevent ants not just in the summer, but all year long. To learn more, call our experts today!
Spring is finally here! Many people welcome springtime with open arms. Unfortunately, that includes pests. This time of year is when pests start to peak in activity once more. To prevent the many types of pests that will likely look to invade your Virginia home, it’s important to implement some pest prevention measures into your spring cleaning! Keep reading for tips on common spring pest problems from the experts at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.
5 Cleaning Tips to Prevent Springtime Pests
Pests in spring are aggressive, but you don’t have to suffer from an infestation! There are several spring cleaning tips to lessen the risk of getting pests this time of year:
Tidy up! Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
Clean your windows and doors thoroughly. If you find any cracks or crevices make sure to securely seal them.
Deep-clean your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam cleaning works well.
Sanitize and clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids welcome all types of insects and pests.
Remove debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
Pests to Look Out for This Spring
You know how to prevent them, but what exactly are the pests you need to worry about this time of year? Unfortunately, the list is rather long. There are five pests in particular that create trouble for property owners every spring: ants, stinging insects (wasps and hornets), stink bugs, termites, and rodents! Spring is simply the start of the pest season and can last well into the summer if pest control isn’t implemented right away. If you notice the signs of any of these pests, it’s important to act fast to prevent a full-blown infestation.
The Importance of Spring Pest Control
The time to protect your home from the onslaught of pests is now. By implementing preventative pest control into your spring cleaning, you can help reduce the risk of pest problems in the spring, winter, and fall. If you already have pests in your home, it’s time to call the experts at Ehrlich. Our exterminators will work with you to develop a pest control plan to keep you safe during each season.
Did you know that termites and carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for each other? Although they are both wood-destroying insects, these pests are quite different from one another. Termite and carpenter ant swarmers are active around the same time of the year and, from afar, look quite similar. However, termites are infamously the most destructive pest in the nation, making them much more dangerous than their lookalikes.
To learn the differences between termites and carpenter ants, keep reading for expert tips from Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.
How are Termites Different From Carpenter Ants?
When comparing these two wood-destroying insects, one is much more dangerous than the other.
Usually make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
Termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.
Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants
In the swarmer stage, termites and carpenter ants look very alike. Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color with slightly red coloring at times. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue. The biggest difference is that carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle. This makes them the biggest ant species in the nation.
Termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is the easiest way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
What to Do With Wood-Destroying Insects
If you think you are dealing with a wood-destroying insect infestation, it’s necessary to enlist the help of a professional termite pest control expert. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, our exterminators have the decades of experience required to provide effective carpenter ant or termite control.