Pest damage costs Utah homeowners more every year than wind damage and fire damage combined. Three types of pests cause the most calls to Utah pest control experts. These are termites, rodents, and carpenter ants.
Probably no pest strikes as much fear into the hearts of Utah homeowners as termites. The mental image of insects chewing up, carrying away, and eating large sections of your home inspires every Utah homeowner to want to get rid of termites. And given that a bad termite inspection report can scuttle a sale when it comes time to sell your home, it’s a good idea for Utah homeowners to learn everything they need to know about how to kill termites and how to recognize the termite expert who can offer real help with termite pest control. Here are the Utah homeowner’s FAQs about termite control and termite extermination.
What do termites look like?
The Utah termites you will a see look a lot like flying ants. Here’s how you tell them apart: Termites have straight antennae, a thick waist, and pairs of wings that are the same size. Ants have bent antennae, a narrow waist, and front wings that are larger than their back wings.
What are some signs of termites?
Termites eat holes in wood. They can also eat holes in sheetrock or paper. Most termites in Utah are subterranean termites that dig visible tunnels from the soil to the wood in your home.
How to get rid of termites?
The first step in termite treatment is this: Don’t panic! Your house isn’t going to fall down tomorrow. There’s time to choose the right termite exterminator. A reputable termite and pest control contractor won’t pressure you into signing a contract right away. They will answer all your questions about their methods and their products. They will understand if you shop around to confirm their price. They will be able to assure you that the pest control methods they use are safe for kids and pets. And they will offer green, environmentally friendly products with a money-back guarantee.
Some rodents are cute when they are scampering around in the park, like squirrels. Some fictional rodents make lovable cartoon characters, like Mickey Mouse. But no feral rodent is a welcome guest in your Utah home. Unless they are pets, you want to keep all rodents out of your house and the best way to do that is to call a reputable rodent control company. Here are some basic facts about rodents every Utah homeowner needs to know.
What is a rodent?
Rodents are gnawing animals. They have only incisor teeth that are constantly growing. Rodents have to keep finding things to gnaw to keep their teeth from growing up into the skull or down into their windpipes.
What are the types of rodents?
Not only mice and rats are rodents. This order of mammals also includes squirrels, hamsters, gophers, prairie dogs, beavers, and porcupines in Utah, as well as some large rodents such as capybara in South America.
What are some signs I may need rodent removal?
One of the most common signs of rodents in your house is the appearance of smaller mouse droppings and larger rat droppings in and near the places you store and cook food in your house. You may see evidence of mice in house under the sink, around food packages, and in cupboards.
Mice, rats, and squirrels in your house may accumulate nesting materials. These may include shredded fabric or paper, or plant matter from your houseplants or from outdoors. There may be holes chewed through floorboards or walls that give mice, rats, and squirrels entrance to your home. And sometimes the most overwhelming evidence you may need to call a rodent removal company is the odor of stale urine and feces.
What attracts mice in your house?
Mice and other rodents seek food, water, shelter, and warmth. They may dart in behind you when you open a door, but more often they find their way into your home through gaps around incoming water pipes and utility connections, holes in walls, plumbing vents, and broken windows. Quiet places without rodent predators such as cats and dogs become mouse and rat nurseries. Because mice and rats have poor vision, they navigate by holding their whiskers against flat surfaces. Long walls in rooms that are dark at night become their runways from hiding places to food and water supplies and back again.
How to get rid of rodents?
Let’s start with a bad idea: Poison. Do-it-yourself applications of mouse and rat poisons may be OK for a large, locked, outdoor storage facility that is off limits to pets and children, but they are never a good idea for use inside your home. Why? Aside from the risk of poisoning your pets, there is one more important consideration: Poisons don’t kill rodents immediately. The mouse, rat, or squirrel may die inside a wall or under your floor or in a vent where its body will be impossible to remove. You may have to deal with the odor of decay for weeks or months.
Here’s another bad idea: Fumigation. “Bombing” your house might seem like the answer to the question of how to get rid of mice fast. Gassing rodents is, in fact, a quick method of killing them. But your family and pets will have to find somewhere else to stay for several days, dead rodents will have to be found and disposed of, and if you don’t block rodent entry to your house, you will be asking “Where is a rodent exterminator near me?” in just a month or two.
And let’s not even consider some rodent control methods that are in actual use involving flame throwers or carbon monoxide.
Now let’s consider a good idea: Exclusion. Some essential advice on how to get rid of mice and rats is to keep new rodents from coming in as fast as you get your existing rodent infestation under control. If you are concerned about how to get rid of mice in the house, the most important thing you can do is to deprive them of their food supply. If you are concerned about how to get rid of mice and rats, the first thing you should do is to make sure they don’t have a way to get into your house. Plugging any hole more than 1/2 inch wide will keep Norway rats (the brown rats that live in colonies outdoors) from using your house as a warming station and food supply. Plugging any hole more than 1/4 inch wide will keep mice from entering your house. In Utah, our mice and rats tend not to be climbers, so it is most important to concentrate your efforts on the first floor of your home.
Then let’s consider a better but flawed idea: Traps. A rodent won’t enter a trap unless it is baited. Rodents are experts at removing part of the bait without getting caught in the trap. Once they outsmart the trap, the model is useless to them.
Rodents won’t deviate from their usual pathways, where they can navigate in the dark by holding their whiskers against a flat surface. This means that setting traps in corners gets the best results. However, it may be necessary to put out a trap every four feet along a wall to have a good chance of catching a rodent every other day. And when you do, you need to dispose of the dead or injured animal. It only takes one trip to the emergency room after one bite by an angry rodent to make you appreciate using the services of a rodent control company.
How to get rid of rodents in attic? How to get rid of rodents in walls? How do exterminators get rid of mice and rats?
There is a kinder, gentler, safer, green approach to getting rid of mice and rats no matter where they are in your home. In the worst cases, it may involve some of the methods mentioned above, but it will focus on exclusion and removal. If you live in Logan, Utah, the environmentally conscious answer to the question “Where is the best rodent control near me?” is Legacy Pest Control in Utah.
But don’t forget the third major pest plaguing Utah homeowners, carpenter ants.
3. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants can do as much damage to wood as termites. These pests don’t eat wood the way termites do, but they chew tunnels through the wood to connect their warm winter homes with their outdoor food supplies. An infestation of carpenter ants is a sure sign of moisture problems in your home. You have to correct the moisture problem to correct the carpenter ant problem.
What do carpenter ants look like?
Carpenter ants are unusually large ants. They are polymorphic ants, which means they come in different shapes and sizes and colors. Some carpenter ants have wings. Others do not. Worker carpenter ants only grow to be about ¼ inch long. An egg-laying queen may be an inch long. Carpenter ant bodies may be reddish-yellow or solid black, or a combination of orange and black. The one feature all carpenter ants have in common is a furry bottom, which can be seen when you look at them through a magnifying glass.
Utah homeowners are most likely to see carpenter ants swarming on a warm, sunny day in late spring. When you see a swarm inside your house, you don’t have to look any farther for carpenter ants; damage has already occurred.
Carpenter ants vs termites
It is easy to mistake winged carpenter ants for termites. Termites, however, are never orange. If you have a question about what kind of bug you have in your house, catch several specimens and take them to the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab or call Legacy Pest Control about identification.
What are the signs of carpenter ants in house?
Carpenter ant damage usually isn’t obvious. Carpenter ant trails tend to run through wood under carpet and baseboards. They follow plumbing and wiring inside the walls. With carpenter ants damage may not be visible unless they burrow into wooden furniture. To identify locations in need of carpenter ant control, you may need to observe columns of ants traveling in and out of their homes inside wood. Or look for little mounds of sawdust (called frass) that a carpenter ant in the house may leave behind while burrowing through the wood in your home or furniture.
What are the steps in getting rid of carpenter ants?
In the short term, carpenter ant extermination is possible with over 427 products licensed for carpenter ant control in Utah. Each of these products comes with complete instructions on how to kill carpenter ants. Over the long term, carpenter ant pest control requires depriving the ants of their water supply. The answer to your questions about how to get rid of carpenter ants for good usually involves controlling moisture. Carpenter ant control almost always involves increasing ventilation in the attic or the basement. Or putting down plastic over bare dirt in your crawl space. Or using a dehumidifier or a sump pump.
It is also a must to seal every entrance carpenter ants can use to enter your house. This step takes some serious work, but it also helps to protect your house against termites and rodents.
The best way to control Utah pests is with the help of a Utah pest control expert.
Whether it’s termite control, rodent removal, or carpenter ant treatment, It’s always easier and often less expensive to rely on experts with a commitment to environmental stewardship who know the most effective methods of pest control for Utah. Call Legacy Pest Control. We care about your pets, your kids, and your healthy environment. We guarantee our work. Let us help you make your home pest-free.