Although we all like to curl up next to a warm fire during the wintertime, the luxury of keeping firewood to do so often comes with unwanted pest problems. If you aren’t careful about the way that you store your firewood, all sorts of insects and even rodents can take advantage of a temporary shelter, and even move inside your home to get warmer. Over our decades of service in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho, we’ve learned the best ways to protect your woodpile and keep pests out of your home. Read on for advice from our expert technicians at Rentokil.
What Types of Pests Do Woodpiles Attract?
A good number of pests that you might find around your woodpile in the winter will do no harm to your family or your home. Boxelder bugs, moths, earwigs, some species of spiders, and other pests might be a nuisance, but cannot cause damage to your property or spread diseases. However, there are a few pests that you should watch out for around your woodpile:
No one likes the sound of having bees or wasps around their property, but with carpenter bees, the potential for property damage is present, too. Additionally, termites, powderpost beetles, and carpenter ants all bore through our homes’ wooden structures, whether to eat the cellulose within in the wood or to make nests. Termites are one of the worst pests you can have in your home—in the United States alone, subterranean termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage every year!
How to Keep Pests Out of Your Piled Firewood
If you leave your woodpile in a vulnerable state for too long, you will certainly develop a pest infestation of some sort. Here are Rentokil’s three best pieces of advice to stop this from happening:
Keep your firewood elevated and covered: Woodpiles left on the ground can attract carpenter ants and termites that live in the soil beneath. Keeping your woodpile stored in a rack off the ground will reduce your chances of an infestation developing.
Keep it at a distance: Your woodpile should not be left resting against the side of your home. The further away you store it, the less likely your home will become infested.
Burn older wood first: When you take wood inside to start a fire, make sure you pick the older logs to burn first. Older logs are more likely to be infested, but if you get them into your home and burn them quickly, the pests shouldn’t spread around your home.
Winter Pest Control in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho
If you want to feel certain that your woodpile isn’t the reason for any pest infestations this winter, reach out to your local pest control company. Our technicians at Rentokil can perform a complete property inspection to find any vulnerabilities or potential causes of a pest outbreak. We can also help you take preventative measures to keep pests out of your home in every season.Don’t wait until it’s too late to stop pests this winter—reach out today for a free quote!
Ants are one of the most relentless pests in Northern Utah. Even if you think you’ve exhausted your available measures of ant control, they can still sneak their way into your home through tiny gaps that you’ve never noticed before.
Don’t be ashamed if you can’t seem to get ants out of the house! It happens to almost everyone, even those that keep clean homes. So, if everyone is liable for an ant infestation, what causes ant infestations to start? Keep reading for experienced insight from our ant control specialists at Rentokil.
What Causes Ant Infestations to Start?
When an ant infestation starts to grow in your house, it usually means that the ants have found a food source that they can access. When an ant finds a source of food, it will let out a pheromone signal that tells the rest of its colony that there are resources nearby. The ants will follow each other to and from the source until they are wiped out or the source is depleted. Ants will eat just about anything, but these foods are their favorites:
Sugar and sweet foods
Even if you seal your food properly and store it out of sight, ant infestations can still break out in your home. Mostly during the winter months, ants will try to find warmth and shelter inside your house. They are able to make use of even the smallest cracks to pass a whole trail through. Some of their usual points of entry include:
Gaps in wood paneling and brickwork
Holes in foundation
Cracked plumbing fixtures, and more
What Can You Do to Keep Ants Out of the House?
Having a tidy kitchen and bathroom are two of the most important steps in DIY ant prevention. Make sure that all of your opened food is stored in airtight containers and not left out. You should be cleaning your dishes right after eating and wiping up spills as soon as they happen. Vinegar-based or lemon-scented cleaning products work wonders to prevent ants. As for the bathroom, keep excess moisture to a minimum by keeping the room ventilated and wiping up excess water when necessary.
The outside of your house needs attention, too. To keep ants from getting inside, you should:
Install screen doors and windows or patch holes in screens that you already have
Check around your siding and foundation for holes to fill up
Seal cracks in your plumbing fixtures
Keep your trash bins further away from your house
Reliable Ant Control Services in Northern Utah
Are you still dealing with ant problems after following all of these ant prevention steps? It can often be more difficult than you expect to find the source of an ant trail. If you need to get rid of ants in your Northern Utah home today, tell your local pest control experts about your issues. The ant extermination specialists at Rentokil offer a holistic approach to ant control using efficient and eco-conscious methods and products. For a free quote or to learn more about our protocol, contact us today!
Carpenter ants can easily be confused with termites or other kinds of ants. With their affinity for tunneling through wooden structures and their recognizable appearance, it’s no surprise that people have trouble identifying them. Here in Northern Utah, carpenter ants have been known to cause extensive and expensive damage before even being discovered. So, how do you identify carpenter ants?
What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
These wood-destroying ants can look similar to other ant species, but they have some distinctive characteristics. These include:
Their size: They are some of the largest ants that can be found in the United States, reaching around 1.5cm in length in some cases.
Their color: They share the familiar black coloration of many other ants, but some have a particular yellow-red tint that sets them apart.
Other features: Some distinctive features of these ants are their workers’ large mandibles and their swarmers’ long wings. Seeing swarming ants in your home is another sign that there is an active infestation.
Do I Have Carpenter Ants?
If you can’t tell which kind of ants you have in your home, there are still more indicators of carpenter ants beyond their appearance. These ants are known for carving out tunnels in wooden homes, but unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood that they chew through. This means that you’ll be able to find little trails of shavings and sawdust where they’ve been active.
Other signs of an infestation:
Discarded swarmer wings
Ant activity in attics and crawl spaces
It’s safe to inspect your house regularly for any ant activity or nests in your wooden walls. When you do find ants in your house, check to see if they are carpenter ants, because the problem could be much more significant than a simple annoyance.
How to Eliminate Carpenter Ants in Park City UT
If you do find carpenter ants in your house, you should not fear them biting you or causing diseases, but there is plenty of cause for concern about the damage they might cause. The safest way to deal with an infestation is to let your local pest control company know. The ant extermination experts at Rentokil are trained to both eliminate active ant infestations and prevent future ones from occurring. Reach out today for a free estimate on carpenter ant control!
As the weather warms up, people are starting to spend more and more time outside. As the world around us seems to come back to life, so do the throngs of pests that have been laying low all winter. All sorts of pests live around Northern UT and Southern ID, so it’s important to learn how to keep your home protected from all of them.
Why Do Bugs Come Out in Spring?
The combination of moisture from rainfall and rising temperatures that spring brings makes insect lives easier. Plants and prey are in newfound abundance, and they are hungry and thirsty after months of hibernation or low activity. These conditions also provide the right environment for many pests to start breeding. Mosquitoes, in particular, are notorious for taking over after rainy springs. This is because mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water, which accumulates in our yards after rainfall. Some ways to prevent mosquitoes and other spring pests are:
Pour out standing water in your yard
Cover pools, birdbaths, and spas when not in use
Eliminate moisture in your house by keeping it properly ventilated
Keep your lawn mowed and your trees trimmed regularly
Common Spring Bugs
What other bugs can we expect here this spring? Our technicians at Rentokil have seen many different kinds of infestations year after year, including:
Ants. Many different kinds of ants come out in the spring, looking to start building their colonies. Depending on your species, they will construct their homes in the ground around your home or in your wooden walls. They’re on the hunt for food and moisture, so make sure to clean up your spills and keep your food sealed and concealed.
Bees and wasps. There might already be bees or wasps in your home that have been trying to keep warm through the winter. Once the weather gets warmer, they’ll go out in search of a new place to nest and lay eggs. This could mean your roofing, awnings, or backyard, so if you notice an uptick in bees buzzing around your house, let your local bee removal experts know so that they can be removed harmlessly.
Flies and fleas. As your pets decide to spend more and more time outside, the opportunity for a fly or flea outbreak will rise. Taking your trash out and minimizing the amount of time you leave your doors and windows open will improve your chances of keeping your home pest-free. Installing screens on windows and doors will also help!
Spring Pest Control Experts
As pest season sets in, you might find yourself with new unforeseen problems. No matter what kind of pests you find in your home, the pest control experts at Rentokil have the solution to remove them and ensure that they don’t come back. We have been serving our customers around Northern Utah and Southern Idaho since 1999, building up the experience to be the best in the business. Contact us today for a free quote!
Springtime beckons the return of many pest problems. In our region, ants are one of the most troublesome springtime pests! We all are accustomed to dealing with the occasional house ant problem, but carpenter ants are one pest problem you don’t want to deal with. True to their name, carpenter ants nest in wood and can cause a bit of damage by excavating cavities in wood around your property. Often confused for termites, carpenter ants are a dangerous ant species that need to be prevented. The experts at Rentokil are here to share all you need to know about carpenter ants in the spring.
Signs of Carpenter Ant Activity
Carpenter ants are mostly black in color but can also have red or brown hints. Swarmer carpenter ants have wings that enable them to fly. However, the easiest way to identify carpenter ants is to look for the signs of their activity. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Piles of sawdust: Like other wood-destroying insects, carpenter ants will excavate holes and remove the sawdust, which often accumulates in piles near where they live.
Wet, decaying wood: Recent leaks or water damage are attractive to carpenter ants, who prefer rotting or decaying wood.
Noises in your walls: If you hear rustling noises in your walls or yard, there could be carpenter ants nearby. Their noise is often described as sounding similar to crinkling cellophane.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ants in the Spring
Preventing carpenter ants entails many of the same prevention techniques you’d use to prevent any type of ant. This includes:
Cleaning up spills and crumbs. Any tiny mess will entice hoards of ants inside or outside your home. Regularly sweep and clean your kitchen.
Fix any leaks or water damage. Ants need water to survive. Carpenter ants prefer wood that has been weakened with water damage to the point of decay.
Look for and seal entry points. Needless to say, ants are microscopic and can get indoors through the tiniest crevices. Seal up holes with caulk.
Get Rid of Carpenter Ants For Good
If you have noticed carpenter ant activity inside or outside your home, it’s important to contact your local ant control experts at Rentokil. Our ant exterminators know exactly how to get rid of these wood-destroying ants—and keep them away for good. Contact us today to get started!
Entomologists from Rentokil’s parent company, Rentokil 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 Rentokil 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. “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. “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. “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.
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This year, families are likely spending more time in their backyards than ever. Spending more time outside means more encounters with insects and pests. While most pests are just a fact of life outside, no one wants them invading their outdoor living space. At Rentokil, we know that pests in your backyard are less than ideal. For this reason, we’ve gathered our top tips and tricks to make your yard less attractive to pests in general. Keep reading to learn how to get bug-free outdoor living.
Common Pests in Your Yard or Lawn
Here in Northern Utah, we are used to dealing with all types of pests all year long. However, the summer and early fall is known for its influx of insects. This includes right in your backyard! The most typical pests that invade properties in the area this time of year include:
Just as you would to keep pests out of your home, it’s important to implement pest prevention in your yard. Some of the ways you can make your yard less attractive to these pests include:
Regularly clean up your outdoor space. Leftover crumbs or spills will attracts ants and other insects.
Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
Be on the lookout for ant hills or wasp nests. Even a tiny mound or nest can contain thousands of insects.
Thoroughly inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bees.
Apply an insect repellent. Store-bought repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Burn a few citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes.
Consider replacing light bulbs. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights will not attract as many insects.
Preventing Lawn and Yard Pests
We all know that pests and insects are a fact of life outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you have to let them ruin your outdoor barbecue or time spent playing with your kids! By preventing pests outdoors, you can help prevent them from getting inside. For more information, the team at Rentokil is here to help.
The weather is starting to warm up here in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. With rising temperatures comes the return of ants in your home! Anyone who has had an ant problem knows how frustrating they are–not to mention how difficult they are to get rid of. To avoid dealing with an infestation, it’s crucial to learn about ant prevention. The team at Rentokil have compiled their best ant-proofing tips for homeowners. Keep reading to learn more!
Ant-Proofing Tricks and Tips for Your Home
To keep ants away, it’s important to learn what attracts them in the first place. By limiting their access indoors, and subsequently any food and water sources they may find, you can avoid an infestation. The following tips will lessen the chance of getting an ant problem:
Inspect your property and seal any cracks or crevices using a silicone-based caulk.
Keep all pet food bowls clean and always clean up after spills and messes. Pick pet bowls up off the floor after meal times.
Ensure downspouts and gutters are all functioning properly so that water is flowing away from the foundation.
Regularly check under sinks for excess moisture problems and repair leaky pipes promptly.
Trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from the foundation of the home.
Wipe down any countertops and sweep floors regularly to clean up spills and remove crumbs.
Store dried goods, food, and pet food in airtight containers and refrigerate ripe fruit.
Take out your garbage on a regular basis and use trash cans with a tight-fitting lid.
How to Get Rid of Your Ant Problem
If you’ve done all you can to prevent ants and still find yourself with a possible infestation, it’s important to always enlist the help of a professional ant exterminator. Ants are determined pests that are more resilient than you may think. Colonies can spread quickly and into satellite colonies, which is why controlling them can be a lengthy process. A pest control company has the tools and resources to get rid of your infestation quickly and effectively.
Professional Ant-Proofing Services
Learning how to prevent ants can be difficult. Our team of ant exterminators knows how frustrating ants can be, which is why we’ll work with you to determine the best way to keep ants out all year round. Call our team today to find out more!
It’s almost springtime in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho! Many people welcome the warming temperatures with open arms. Unfortunately, the start of spring is also the start of the pest season. As winter comes to a close, pests that were less active throughout the year will come back out with a vengeance! To protect your property from the many pest threats this time of year, it’s best to implement pest prevention measures into your spring cleaning routine this year. Keep reading for expert tips from the team here at Rentokil.
What Pests Are Common in Spring?
While some of these pests are active year-round, there tends to be a peak in activity this time of year. The pests you should be aware of in spring include:
Ants. Warming temperatures encourage ants to start invading once more.
Flies. In the spring and summer, flies are more active than ever and can be a big nuisance.
Rodents. Although they’re active year-round, rats and mice are a problem in the spring.
Stinging insects. Wasps and hornets are gearing up to build nests this time of year.
Stink bugs. After overwintering, people report a resurgence in stink bugs.
Avoiding Spring Pest Problems
This time of year, many people plan to spring clean their properties. There’s no better time to implement pest prevention into the mix! Some of our tips to prevent pests from finding your home the ideal place to infest include:
Thoroughly cleaning your windows and doors. Seal any cracks or crevices.
Deep-cleaning your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
Sanitizing and cleaning your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids will welcome all sorts of bugs and pests.
Removing debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
Checking on plumbing and pipes. Quickly address any leaks or blockages.
Keeping a tidy home at all times. Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
Professional Seasonal Pest Control
Without a doubt, your best defense against a pest infestation this season is to work with a professional exterminator. Our Rentokil team will work with you to develop a pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your property
Termites and flying ants: what’s the difference? Flying ants, known as carpenter ants, can cause a lot of damage with their wood-boring abilities. However, termites are even more dangerous! In the swarmer stages of their lives, these two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other. Although they both destroy wood, they are quite different from one another. Keep reading to learn expert tips on the differences between termites & carpenter ants from the professionals at Rentokil.
How to Tell Termites Apart from Carpenter Ants
Termite and carpenter swarmers certainly look alike, but there are several key differences. The best way to differentiate the two is to look at the size of their wings in proportion to their bodies. Flying carpenter ants are black in color, but can have a slight red hue as well. The most telling feature of carpenter ants is that they measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle. Carpenter ant swarmers are larger than termites, which is a good way to tell them apart.
Meanwhile, termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
Behaviors of Wood-Destroying Insects
Termites and carpenter ants both tunnel through wood, but termites are typically more destructive. The main things to know about these wood-boring insects are:
Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. Carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
How to Control Termites and Carpenter Ants
Wood-destroying insects are feared by all property owners, and for good reason! Flying ants, known as carpenter ants, are the most destructive ant species in the nation. However, they don’t hold a torch to the damage caused by termites annually! Your best defense against a wood-destroying insect is to sign up for annual inspections from a professional pest control company such as Rentokil. We can help you learn how to tell the differences between termites & carpenter ants.
Specialized and Rentokil have joined forces and will be operating as Rentokil moving forward. Rest assured that you will still have a highly-skilled, local specialist, committed to keeping your property protected from pests.