As much as some people hate all insects, they do play an important role in keeping our ecosystem balanced. But at home, a few pests can throw everything out of whack and even impact the safety of your home.
If you see signs of the insects below, it’s definitely time to take action. If a can of Raid and store-bought traps don’t do the trick, professional pest services may need to be called to tackle the problem.
This is the most dreaded insect on the planet for homeowners. Termites do billions of dollars worth of property damage every year. If they are left unchecked, termites can completely chew through wood and make the structure unsafe.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Termites:
- Make sure to fix any leaks as soon as they start. Termites are attracted to soft moist wood.
- Treat and seal the wood on the exterior of your home, including decks.
- Get rid of old stumps and dead trees that attract termites.
- Call a pest control company if you see signs of termites (swarms, wings/body parts, the actual insect). Termite colonies need to be removed immediately to minimize damage. Because they get inside walls and hard to reach places it’s a job that should be left to the pros.
Did you know mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on the planet? Mosquitoes spread disease with a single bite, killing around 725,000 people a year worldwide. Even in the U.S., there have been cases of West Nile Virus and other diseases that have led to dire consequences. Next time you’re outside and see mosquitoes buzzing around, remember they are more than just a nuisance.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Mosquitoes:
- Remove any standing water from around your home.
- Fix the grade of your yard so there are no potholes or spots where water could pool.
- Keep fountains flowing at all times.
- Treat fountains and ponds with larvicides that contain the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti).
- Use citronella candles and bug zappers around the entrances.
- Call a professional exterminator if you already have a mosquito infestation.
No matter whether they’re the native or imported kind, fire ants aren’t fun to deal with in your yard. They are very aggressive, pack a powerful sting and don’t have any natural predators to keep them in check. That means homeowners have to be proactive to keep an eye out for fire ants and take action to evict them.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Fire Ants:
- Keep things clean around the house and yard so ants aren’t attracted to food.
- Keep garbage bags and cans sealed up tight.
- Fix leaks around the yard and house so there isn’t water to attract the fire ants.
- Get rid of ant mounds by spraying it with a mixture of citrus oil, molasses, and water.
- If fire ants have moved indoors enlist the help of a pest control company to remove them.
Carpenter ants are another insect that will bore into of wood of your home. They aren’t quite as aggressive as termites, but they can still cause costly damage. These guys get very active at night so you most likely to spot them roaming around your home after dark.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants:
- Again, fix leaks so there isn’t softwood inviting the carpenter ants to start chewing.
- Boric acid can be used to kill carpenter ants. If they aren’t in the walls yet mix boric acid with powdered sugar and leave it near the nest for the ants to feed on.
- Call a pest control company if there’s a significant carpenter ant infestation already in your home.
When we think of bees, most people envision bumble bees buzzing around flowers. While that is a common sight, it really all depends on the species. For instance, carpenter bees are more likely to be seen in homes than in the garden. Like termites and carpenter ants, carpenter bees can bore into wood and cause structural damage. Bees are also safe to have around your home if anyone is allergic to their stings.
What You Can Do to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees:
Don’t try to remove the bees yourself. This can pose a real safety risk. It’s also very difficult for a homeowner to remove carpenter ants since the colony sets up shop inside of walls. You’ll need to call an exterminator with experience in removing bees.