What You Need To Know About Pests In Stafford, VA
Your Sterling, Virginia home is not immune to the pests that live in our area. If you see pests indoors or around your property, it’s helpful to know what they are so you can understand the problems they might cause you. Our Pest Library identifies the most common pests in our area and provides you with the information you need to know about each of them. Viewpoint Pest Management provides effective pest control for Sterling homeowners to help with extensive pest infestations.
Ants are one of, if not the, most common household pests homeowners deal with regularly. Ants have learned that they can acquire their basic needs when living near or with people. Though ants typically prefer to live and nest outside, the following three things will cause these pests to move indoors:
- The promise of food from our kitchen and pantry areas
- Safe shelter nesting spots that are away from harsh weather conditions and predators
- Access to water from leaky pipes or because of poor ventilation.
The most common ants to invade our Virginia properties are odorous house ants, pavement ants, acrobat ants, citronella ants, carpenter ants, and Pharaoh ants. Ants cause many problems for homeowners; not only are they an annoyance to deal with day after day, but they spread bacteria and contaminate food. Some species pose even bigger problems, carpenter ants will damage the structure of your home, and Pharaoh ants create serious health risks by spreading things like salmonella and Streptococcus.
It is important to partner with a professional to identify the exact species of ant present and provide the correct treatment. In conjunction with the professional services we provide, implement the following prevention tips to help keep ants out of your Sterling home.
- Secure your home’s exterior by sealing any cracks or crevices you come across, replace damaged weather-stripping or screens, and install door sweeps.
- Regularly remove trash from your home and wash dishes regularly.
- Quickly repair leaky pipes and fixtures.
- Make sure your home is well-ventilated and use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels in your home.
Bed bugs are insects that are particularly unsettling to have in our homes. The sole source of nutrition for bed bugs is blood from warm-blooded animals. Unfortunately, human blood is their preferred food source. Like all other living creatures, bed bugs want to live near their favorite food source, which means they regularly infest our homes and businesses to be close to their hosts.
A bed bug infestation can happen to anyone in any of our homes. The presence of bed bugs is never an indicator of how well you clean your house. Bed bugs are hitchhiking pests and move wherever we take them. They move from place to place on our clothing or inside personal belongings like bags or pieces of luggage. Bed bug infestations also occur after homeowners purchase infested secondhand items like upholstered furniture or mattresses. Once introduced into a home, bed bugs will make quick work of finding a daytime hideout that puts them near their food source (you and your family). Then they will emerge at night to feed on your blood as you sleep. The bed bug’s ability to remain hidden allows these prolific breeders to build large, unsettling populations before you finally discover their presence.
Nobody can sleep soundly knowing that bed bugs are present. To help you keep these unsavory pests out of your Virginia home, we want to offer you the following prevention tips:
- Always inspect secondhand items for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
- Never purchase secondhand mattresses or box springs for your home.
- When spending time in public places, keep your personal belongings up off the ground to help prevent bed bugs from having easy access to them.
- Regularly vacuum your house to remove stray bed bugs that have found their way inside.
- When traveling, place dirty clothing in a plastic bag and upon returning home, immediately wash all clothing taken on the highest heat setting the fabrics can handle.
Mosquitoes are pests that we all love to hate. Mosquitoes are flies whose females consume blood meals to complete their life cycles. These flying insects live in the largest numbers in areas that provide plenty of standing water and dense vegetation. Wooded areas, marshes, low-lying areas, and unfortunately, our yards are where mosquitoes thrive! Mosquitoes have the distinct ability to make our outdoor spaces impossible to enjoy. Who can enjoy eating outside or caring for the garden when being swarmed and bitten by mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are pests that thrive in Virginia, especially during the summer when the weather is hot and humid. The more standing water available for the females to lay their eggs on, the more mosquitoes you will find on your property. Rainwater often collects on trash cans lids, buckets, clogged gutters, and low-lying areas and provides a place for the females to lay eggs. The more standing water present, the more mosquitoes there will be. Having mosquitoes on your property delivering their itchy bites every time you go outside is annoying and dangerous. Mosquitoes pose significant health risks, spreading many diseases, including the West Nile virus.
Completely eliminating mosquitoes from your Sterling property is impossible. Still, by putting in place regular mosquito control services and implementing some prevention tips, we can work together to greatly reduce their numbers.
- Keep your grass cut short and cut back overgrown vegetation to avoid providing resting spots for mosquitoes.
- Store containers upside down to prevent them from collecting rainwater.
- Remove things like tree stumps, fallen trees, and brush piles from your yard that can collect rainwater.
- Make sure your yard has good drainage.
- Keep gutters clear and direct rainwater away from your home.
- If you own a pool, make sure it is properly maintained, and the water is regularly circulating.
You have just crawled into bed to go to sleep after a long day, the house is quiet, and then you hear it, scratching sounds behind your walls or running sounds above you in the ceiling. What could be making those sounds? The likely culprit is that a mouse or rat has found its way inside your Virginia home. Mice and rats live outside all around us in our yards, fields, parks, sewers, and wooded areas. Living near our homes allows these agile and curious creatures to move indoors whenever they need food, water, or shelter.
Once rodents get into your house, they will make quick work of finding a dark, quiet place to nest and emerge at night to forage for food and nesting supplies. All it takes is one pregnant female to move into your home to cause a large infestation because female mice have new litters every three weeks! Having rodents in your Sterling home is not only annoying but dangerous. Rodents cause structural damage, short circuits, fires, damage our personal belongings, contaminate food, and spread bacteria and other pathogens throughout our homes.
To help you keep rodents out of your Sterling home and away from your family, we want to provide you with some of our best tips and tricks.
- Keep lids on trash cans, maintain gardens, keep grill areas free of food debris, remove bird feeders, and repair leaky pipes and fixtures.
- Yards with many areas for them to hide are most attractive to rodents. Remove things they can hide in, like leaf piles, brush piles, and other lawn debris.
- Keep your lawn cut short, maintain landscaping plants, and regularly prune shrubs and bushes.
- Help stop rodents from easily getting into your home by caulking openings you discover in exterior walls, replacing damaged screens, placing caps on chimneys, and installing door sweeps on all exterior doors.
- Use steel wool or another material to fill in spaces around utilities entering your home.
Every spring, stinging insects emerge from their overwintering spots to establish new colonies. Often our yards are where they decided to create their nests. Our trees, gardens, lawns, decks, and home’s exterior, provide stinging insects with the perfect nesting spots. Our yard also provides them with the food and water that will help them to survive. They increase their populations throughout the spring and summer season and swarm around our Virginia yards, searching for food to take back to their nests.
In our area, the stinging insects that tend to be the most problematic in our yards are paper wasps, European hornets, and bald-faced hornets. All are predatory species and help control populations of the nuisance insects they feed on. They also help to pollinate some plants and crops. However, when these pests decide to nest in our yards in high-traffic areas, they pose a significant danger. Stinging insects defend themselves by delivering painful stings; the venom they inject with their stings is strong enough to trigger serious allergic reactions in people. When stinging insects decide to nest in our yards, you must have them removed because their dangers greatly outweigh their benefits.
In addition to the professional services we provide, implement the following prevention tips to help make your property less attractive to stinging insects.
- Reduce food odors by ensuring outdoor trash cans have lids on them and that outdoor eating areas are free of leftover food.
- Our pet’s food often attracts foraging stinging insects; avoid feeding pets outside.
- Remove areas of standing water to avoid providing stinging insects with a water source. Standing water will also attract the insects that stinging insects use as a food source.
- If possible, don't plant flowers or flowering bushes right against your home's exterior or near your entrances.
Wood destroying insects are pests that cause Virginia homeowners the most stress. These pests aren’t a problem because they bother people or affect our health; they are a problem because of the structural damage they cause when nesting and feeding in our yards or homes. Wood destroying insects tunnel through, feed on, or nest inside of wood, causing damage in the process. Wood flooring, structural wood, wooden structures like fences, and wood furniture can all be damaged by wood-destroying insects.
In our area, the most common species of wood-destroying insects are the Eastern subterranean termite and the carpenter bee. Though they each damage wooden structures on our properties, their reasons for doing so are different. Carpenter bees damage things like wood fences, trim, shingles, and decks by tunneling through them to create their nest; they do not eat the wood. On the other hand, Eastern subterranean termites are wood-eating pests. Termites regularly find their way into our homes, where they will tunnel through and feed on the structural wood found inside. Both are pests you should never underestimate, and you should never tolerate their presence on your Virginia property!
The best way to prevent problems with wood-destroying insects in Sterling is to partner with a professional that can provide regular inspections and treatments to guard your property against their damage. Listed below are some other things you can do to help prevent issues with wood-destroying insects.
- The wood used to build fences, decks, and porch steps should always be stained, painted, or otherwise treated.
- If any wood in or around your home becomes damaged by water, make sure to replace it with sound wood.
- Reduce moisture levels in your home using dehumidifiers.
- Seal any openings you find in your foundation.
- Remove things like fallen trees, trees stumps, and other wood debris from your yard that will attract wood-destroying pests.
Local Pest Protection You Can Count On!
If you want help protecting your home and family from the problems that pests living in our area can cause, then reach out to the professionals at Viewpoint Pest Management Solutions today! We work hard for your family and home and are committed to protecting people and their property from dangerous, destructive, and nuisance pests. Our professionals will take the time to address all your concerns and your home’s unique issues. Then they will work with you to decide which of our pest control options is the right fit for your home, perform effective treatments, and, if warranted, provide follow-up services.
To learn more about our residential or commercial pest control options, please give us a call today!