The Rise of Rodents During the Pandemic

Rodents are infesting homes in Springfield VA during the pandemic - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

If you’ve been noticing more rodents in or near your home, you’re not the only one. Since the start of the pandemic, the CDC has suggested that rodents are more active and aggressive than ever. This is mostly in due part to the restaurant closures—the lack of food sources for rats and mice has caused them to be more desperate. And now with the weather changing, they will be drawn inside your own home not only to escape dropping temperatures outside but to look for food. This Rodent Awareness Week, the team at Ehrlich is here to help clear the air about rodents during the pandemic and to provide tips on preventing them. Read on to learn more!

Are Rodents Connected to COVID-19?

There has been a lot of information spread about how rodents are connected to the coronavirus. The good news is that there is no current evidence or research to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. When it comes to rodents during the pandemic, the main things to worry about is that they are getting more aggressive in nature, can carry other diseases, and could cause damage to your property.

Restaurant closures have caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice become more bold in their hunt for resources. This directly correlates to a bigger risk of infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more.

5 Tips to Prevent Rodents This Year

The last thing you have time to worry about this year with everything else going on is a rodent problem. To avoid the discovery of rats in your home, there are a few things you can do to keep them out:

  1. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  2. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  3. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  4. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Rodent Infestations During the Pandemic

No Rodent Awareness Week feels quite as important as this year’s with the surge of infestations we are experiencing. Our rodent exterminators are dedicated to protecting you from these pests not just this week but all year long. For more information, contact our team today.

Are Termites Active in the Fall & Winter?

Termites can infest Springfield VA homes in the fall and winter. - Ehrlich pest Control, formerly Connor'sPeople often assume that springtime is “termite season”. However, termites are active throughout the entire year here in Virginia. While termites don’t swarm in the fall and winter, they remain active in or under your property. The only thing that changes during this time of year is their routine. Many types of termites will move deeper in the ground through tunnels to escape colder temperatures. However, they can still cause damage to your home and, even worse, grow their colony. For this reason alone, it’s important to know how to look for signs of termites in your home, even in the fall. Keep reading to learn more.

What are the Signs of Termite Damage?

Signs of termite damage often appear when you have a more serious infestation in your property. In the fall, winter, and all other seasons, it’s important to look for the following signs of termite damage:

  • Ceiling/wall discoloration
  • Termite frass (feces)
  • Sagging sheetrock
  • Buckling floors
  • Loose tiles
  • Bubbled floors
  • Holes in drywall
  • Crumbling wood
  • Hollow windows and/or doors
  • Shed swarmer wings

Termite Activity in the Autumn

Termites may not be swarming in the fall and winter, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone dormant. The termite queens lay eggs year-round and at a steady rate. This means that termite colonies will not only stay active but continue to grow during the fall and winter. Maturity is the number one determinant in a colony’s ability to damage your home. A two to four-year-old colony can cause damage in your property any time of the year. Termites need to stay warm in colder temperatures, which is why they will nest 25 to 30 feet down in the soil during the winter. This is why it’s unlikely to see termites this time of year even though they’re active.

Termite Infestations in the Fall

Because termites are active all year long, you need to be preventing them all year long. The termite exterminators at Ehrlich know how distressing it can be to discover an infestation, which is why we work to prevent them in the first place with preventative services. Reach out to our team today to learn about all of our termite treatment and prevention options!

Seeing Bugs on the Side of Your Home?

Boxelder bugs are a common fall invader in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sEveryone welcomes the fall season. Unfortunately, the shorter days and brisk weather entices two insects in particular to come out in full force here in Virginia: the boxelder bug and the stink bug. Both of these bugs are infamous for the odorous scent they emit when they feel threatened. Boxelder bugs and stink bugs will congregate on the sides of homes, particularly on south- or west-facing walls. They may be an eye-sore outside, but the real trouble begins if and when they get inside your property. While not the most dangerous pests, they can become a real nuisance and are difficult to get rid of. The Ehrlich team has gathered all the need-to-know information about these fall invaders—read on to learn more!

Boxelder Bugs vs. Stink Bugs in Virginia

These insects congregate on the sides of homes to soak in the sun on shorter days in the fall. When the temperature dips even more, they will take advantage of any available crack and crevice in your home’s exterior to gain access to the warmth of your home. Adult stink and boxelder bugs will search for cracks and holes in walls, in window trim and molding, and in your foundation. Here’s what to know about identifying them:

  1. Stink bug: The backs of stink bugs look like shields, and they can blend easily within foliage. If threatened, these insects release an odor. There are two main types we see in the states: the brown marmorated stink bug and the green stink bug.
  2. Boxelder bug: These bugs have dark brown bodies with unique red markings. They emerge out of hibernation in the springtime. True to their name, they live in boxelder trees as well as maple, ash, and fruit trees. They can use their mouthparts to pierce skin, although this is very rare.

Stink bug and boxelder bug identification in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

How to Keep Fall Invaders Out of Your Home

Exclusion is the key to preventing boxelder bugs and stink bugs. By sealing your home, you can keep these bugs on the outside of your property! Some of our top tips are to:

  • Replace torn screens on windows and doors.
  • Check the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
  • Repair any cracks in stucco and bricks.
  • Clean out any debris around the foundation of the house.
  • Trim back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
  • Clean and repair the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
  • Seal up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
  • Consider using low-pressure sodium exterior lighting, as UV rays attract the insects.

Long-Term Insect Prevention

These bugs will likely show up year after year, but they don’t have to be a problem! If you need help keeping boxelder and stink bugs out, or already have an infestation inside, the residential pest control team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s can help.

Watch Out For These 2 Spiders

Spiders can be dangerous during the fall in the Springfield VA area - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sAre you noticing more spiders in or near your home? The late summer and early fall months is notorious for the influx of many types of pests, spiders included. These eight-legged creatures typically hatch in the spring. By the time August and September roll around, it can seem like spiders are out in full force. The good news is that most spiders are harmless, even if they’re invading your home. There are two in particular, however, that you need to be on the lookout for throughout the year: the black widow and the brown recluse. Read on to learn Ehrlich’s expert info on spiders in the fall.

Black Widows and Brown Recluse Spiders in the Fall

Spiders certainly strike fear in the hearts of many people. Most house spiders are harmless and want nothing to do with you whatsoever. That said, it’s important to be on the lookout for two spiders in particular in the fall and all year long:

  • Black widow: These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body. They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground. They can bite when they feel threatened.
  • Brown recluse: Brown recluse have a darker brown violin shape on their brown bodies. They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter. A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.

Spider Prevention Tips

Whether it’s a more dangerous black widow or a small house spider, no one wants spiders invading their property. To keep them out this fall and year-round, there are several exclusion tips to make your Virginia home less attractive to the creepy crawlers:

  1. Inspect your property and seal any cracks and crevices. Inspect the inside and outside of your property for tiny spots that may be inviting spiders in, and seal properly.
  2. Install or repair screens on doors and windows. Tight-fitting screens are the key to keeping insects, spiders included, out.
  3. Thoroughly inspect boxes and used items before bringing indoors. Egg sacs and adult spiders may be taking shelter in them.
  4. Maintain and tidy your yard and lawn. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, piles of wood, and more can attract spiders to your property and eventually indoors.
  5. Regularly clean your home. By keeping a clean environment, you will prevent insects that spiders like to prey on and eliminate hiding spots for pests.

How to Get Rid of Spiders in the Fall

If you’ve done all you can to keep spiders out of your property and still are finding them daily, it may be time to contact your local pest control pros at Ehrlich. Our spider exterminators can thoroughly inspect your property to determine the root cause of the spider infestation. From there, we will use the industry’s best spider control tactics to control current problems and prevent future ones as well.