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!

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.

Tips for Bug-Free Outdoor Living

Stay bug-free in your Springfield VA backyard with tips from Ehrlich pest Control, formerly Connor's.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: 

8 Ways to Get Bug-Free Outdoor Living

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.

  1. Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  2. Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  3. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  4. Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  5. Thoroughly inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bee activity.
  6. Regularly clean up your outdoor space. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
  7. Burn a few citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes during outdoor activities.
  8. 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.

Common Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Common mosquito breeding grounds in Northern VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sMosquitoes can cause a lot of frustration for Virginia homeowners in the summertime. They can quickly become a problem in your yard when they find a suitable place to breed. Unfortunately, they are opportunists and need just a half inch of stagnant water to lay eggs. For this reason, it’s crucial to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in your yard if you wish to avoid a mosquito infestation. Thankfully, three are a few ways you can make your property less hospitable to these dangerous blood-suckers.

Keep reading for expert tips from the team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s on getting rid of common mosquito breeding grounds.

Top Breeding Grounds for Mosquitoes

Female mosquitoes can produce anywhere from 100-300 eggs at a time, and their life cycle takes just two weeks for larvae to become adults. For this reason, it’s crucial to know how to stop mosquitoes from breeding in your yard. If any of the following items are harboring standing water, you can be sure they will attract mosquitoes:

  • Birdbaths
  • Gutters & clogged drains
  • Mud pots
  • Tree stumps & wood piles
  • Children’s play sets
  • Trash cans
  • Old tires

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

How to Keep Mosquitoes from Breeding

Any of the above items can easily welcome mosquitoes to breed and lay eggs if there is enough standing water. On a regular basis, it’s important to inspect your property for areas conducive to gathering water and dump them out. Also consider placing covers over items that tend to gather water. In addition, install screens on windows and interior doors of your home, reduce outdoor lighting at night, fix water leaks, keep your lawn trimmed, and use mosquito repellents following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Summertime Mosquito Prevention

Mosquitoes are always looking for areas to breed. If you eliminate their availability to do so in your backyard, they will be forced to look elsewhere! Mosquitoes can be dangerous and will surely ruin any outdoor events you plan on having in the summer, which is why it’s so important to do all you can to keep them out. If you need help eliminating mosquito breeding grounds around your home, contact the team at Ehrlich today for mosquito control.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes

Install screens on your windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes in the Virginia area - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sIt’s National Pest Month, and the pest season is only just beginning! This spring, it’s important to prepare your Virginia home for the onslaught of mosquitoes in the coming months.No one wants to deal with mosquitoes ruining their outdoor barbecues come summertime. Thankfully, there are a number of things homeowners can do right now to greatly reduce the risk of mosquitoes in your property.

From installing screens and fans to various yard work tasks, keep reading to learn how to prevent mosquitoes from the experts at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.

Mosquito Prevention Tips

With the weather warming up, now is the time to learn how to prevent mosquitoes in your yard! Some of the things you can do include:

  1. Eliminate standing water. Dump out standing water in buckets, flower pots, bird baths, tarps, and more. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed!
  2. Install screens on your windows. Installing screens on your doors and windows can keep mosquitoes from getting indoors every time you try to get some fresh air.
  3. Add fish to ponds and agitate water. Certain types of fish will feed on mosquito larvae. In addition, adding an agitator will stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water.
  4. Trim vegetation. Regularly maintain your garden and lawn to keep the grass short. Also keep plants and bushes trimmed to prevent mosquito resting spots.
  5. Get the air moving. Mosquitoes hate wind and are not strong fliers. Use fans to help force them away from your outdoor areas.

Protecting Your Family from Mosquitoes

During mosquito season, it’s important to be aware of how to prevent being bitten by these pesky insects. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, and tend to gather in areas with standing water. When going outdoors, try to wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants. In addition, apply an EPA-registered insect repellent on areas of the body that are not covered. Always consult your pediatrician before use on children.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes All Year Long

For long-term mosquito prevention, it’s recommended to talk with your mosquito control experts. At Ehrlich Pest Control, we provide mosquito repellents that are proven to keep your property protected against these pesky and potentially dangerous insects. To learn more about how we can help you prevent mosquitoes in the coming months, call our team today!

Can Pests Transmit COVID-19?

Mosquitoes do not transmit coronavirus in Virginia. Learn more from Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

The team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation. As always, we continue to focus on our commitment to protecting our communities in Virginia. As this current pandemic unfolds, there is a lot of information coming out each hour about the nature of this virus. One of the main concerns is, of course, how it is spread. We’ve received a lot of inquiry about whether insects can transmit COVID-19. Data and information is changing constantly, but to date, there is no evidence or proof that mosquitoes and ticks transmit COVID-19. These vector pests are infamous for transmitting diseases worldwide. Thankfully, coronaviruses are not included in these.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between vector-borne diseases and COVID-19 with help from the CDC to help dispel myths about transmission of this dangerous virus.

Vector-Borne Diseases

Vector pests are organisms that transmit diseases to humans, typically through bites. The two most infamous vector pests are mosquitoes and ticks. Together, they are responsible for transmitting some of the most dangerous and deadly diseases around the globe. Diseases spread by mosquitoes include malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, and yellow fever, among others. Ticks are most known for the transmission of Lyme disease, which is the most common vector-borne disease in the country.

Is Coronavirus Spread by Mosquitoes and Ticks?

COVID-19 is not spread by vector pests like mosquitoes and ticks. Coronaviruses are different from vector-borne diseases in the following ways:

  1. All research points to the fact that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus likely spread through person-to-person contact.
  2. Coronavirus spreads through droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It is also able to be transmitted through contact with a contaminated surface.
  3. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and now COVID-19 are all known as zoonotic coronaviruses – viruses that have jumped the species barrier from their normal animal hosts to humans.

Pest Control During a Pandemic

As the weather warms up, it’s understandable that people are concerned about disease transmission from insects. Even though information about COVID-19 is in constant flux, there is currently no scientific proof that vector pests can transmit coronaviruses. As always, it’s important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator such as Ehrlich who can provide pest control services in these uncertain times.

With the safety of our communities and customers at the top of our priority list, we encourage everyone to seek more information on COVID-19 and follow guidelines released by the WHO, CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.

6 Pests to Look Out For in 2020

Pests to Look Out For in 2020 in your Alexandria VA or Leesburg VA home - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to pests this year, Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's is looking into its crystal ball to help homeowners proactively defend their homes against pest infestation.

Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's used our field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine the following six pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering some quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in the new year.


Mice

Mice populations have increased over the past several years and this may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again for the winter of 2020, mice activity may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.

Homeowner Tips:  Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger – or about the width of a pencil. To prevent an infestation, rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. 


The Spotted Lanternfly

An invasive pest that can cause significant damage to trees and plants, the spotted lanternfly was first introduced to Pennsylvania in 2014 from Asia. Regrettably, this insect is still spreading and has been found in counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. By the end of the year, the spotted lanternfly will be more abundant in these areas and may even spread to neighboring states. 

Homeowner Tips: Anyone can help to deter the spread of this pest. If you sight a spotted lanternfly, crush it. If you find eggs on trees, scrape them off to destroy the eggs. Above all, report the sighting to your state Department of Agriculture. 


Stinging Pests

Changing climates cause dramatic effects in the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and manmade or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Yellowjackets and hornets can overwinter, so they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity. 


Ticks

With the rise of popular outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and years of warmer than usual winters, humans and their pets are likely to encounter ticks this year. The Lone Star tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special interest. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets may also be at risk for some of these diseases. 

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also recommended to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019.  If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer.  Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter. 

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors. 


Termites

Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year.  According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon. 

Homeowner Tips:  To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Since termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


The experts at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.