How to Keep Pests Out This Holiday Season

Raccoon hides in attic during the winter in Northern Utah - RentokilIt’s the holiday season and the last thing you want to worry about is a pest infestation. And with summer far behind us at this point, many make the mistake of thinking pest infestations are in the past, too. Unfortunately, there are a number of common pest problems that occur in the winter here in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho. With our bitter cold temperatures, many pests and animals look to escape the dropping temperatures.

To avoid the unwanted gift of a pest problem this holiday season, it’s important to learn how to prevent common winter pests. The experts at Rentokil are here to help—read on to learn more!

Common Winter Pest Infestations

There are two types of common winter pests: those that enter your home to escape the temperatures outside (often called overwintering pests), and those that you unknowingly let inside (such as pests that were hiding in your holiday decoration boxes). The most common pests and wild animals that try to get inside this time of year include:

  • House mice: Many mice prefer secluded areas and will look to nest in your attic using insulation and other stored items for nests.
  • Roof rats: As their name implies, roof rats can easily squeeze their way inside and build nests up in your attic.
  • Spiders: A lot of spiders can take shelter in your holiday decoration boxes. When you unpack these each year, you could unleash these pests right into your home.
  • Wildlife: Raccoons and squirrels are strong climbers and can make their way into your attic to escape dropping temperatures outside.

How to Prevent Pests Over the Holidays

The good news is that it’s easy to enjoy the holiday season pest-free. The top seven things you can do to prevent these pests are:

  1. Organize all items and eliminate any clutter in your attic or basement. Use plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes for storage, especially when it comes to holiday decorations.
  2. When unpacking these decorations each year, shake out the items outdoors before bringing anything inside.
  3. Inspect both inside out outside the attic, and seal any cracks or crevices with caulk or steel wool, or wire mesh.
  4. Secure your chimney with a chimney cap, and install wire mesh over any vents or holes.
  5. Trim overhanging tree branches, overgrown bushes, and vines away from your home to limit roof access to pests.
  6. Ensure your garbage cans are securely stored in your hard with tight-fitting lids to stop pests from rummaging.
  7. Inspect all firewood that your store outdoors for signs of spiders and other pests before bringing the firewood inside!

Need Help With Winter Pest Control?

Let’s face it: the holidays are the busiest time of the year. The last thing you need is a pest infestation on your hands. To keep pests out this winter, it’s imperative to team up with your local exterminators. At Rentokil, we will work hard to implement exclusion and prevention tactics to keep pests out for good. Contact us today to get started!

Hobo Spider Bite Facts—Are Hobo Spiders Venomous?

A hobo spider found in Northern Utah - RentokilThe little brown spiders you’ve been seeing around the outside of your house lately are most likely hobo spiders. Hobo spiders are an invasive species that are now common in the Pacific Northwest; they have been spotted in Idaho as early as the 1960s and in Utah starting in the 1990s. More recently, they’ve been spotted in the backyards of a lot of our customers.

Having a fear of spiders is natural, but it is important to learn about how to deal with spiders properly so that you don’t accidentally wipe out any beneficial species on your property. The spider experts at Rentokil are here to teach you how to identify hobo spiders and what their bites are like. Read on to learn!

Identifying Hobo Spiders in Northern Utah

Hobo spiders are often confused for similarly-colored spiders, like the brown recluse. There are some distinct features that you can use to identify them with, though. Here are a few:

  1. Size: Hobo spiders with their legs extended are about the size of a nickel. Brown recluses, for comparison, are about the size of a quarter.
  2. Markings: Hobo spiders have lots of intricate markings across their backs in different shades of brown. Brown recluses have no markings, just differently colored segments.
  3. Webs: The web of a hobo spider will be close to the ground and look like a funnel with a dense structure and a distinct opening.

Are Hobo Spiders a Health Risk?

Hobo spiders are able to bite, but their venom has been classified as non-toxic by the CDC. Their bites were formerly believed to induce tissue damage and necrosis, or skin death, which contributed to their being confused with brown recluses.

Hobo spiders rarely bite—like many kinds of spiders, they would much rather flee than resort to attacking. If you are bitten by one, here is what you can expect:

  • Redness and swelling at the bite
  • Moderate pain for about 12 hours
  • Leg twitches

If your symptoms extend beyond these, you might have been bitten by something else. Talk to your doctor about prolonged spider bite symptoms.

Hobo Spider Control in Northern Utah

If you are particularly anxious about the number of spiders on your property, whether they’re hobo spiders or not, you can always call your local pest control company about them. At Rentokil, we conduct holistic home inspections for every customer to determine spider species, threat levels, and vulnerabilities that could be attracting them. Contact us today for a free quote on spider control!

How to Get Rid of Woodlouse Spider Infestations in Northern Utah

A woodlouse spider spotted in Northern Utah - RentokilIf you think you’ve found a brown recluse in your house, you might actually be dealing with a woodlouse spider. The woodlouse spider is named after the woodlouse, which is its usual prey. Woodlice are also known as roly-polies, pill bugs, or sow bugs.

So, how do you know if you have woodlouse spiders or brown recluses in your home in Northern Utah? And are woodlouse spiders dangerous? Read on to learn more from our spider control experts about the woodlouse spider and what it means when you find them indoors.

What Do Woodlouse Spiders Look Like?

Woodlouse spiders are often confused with brown recluses because of their shape. However, they have a few distinguishing features that will help you tell them apart:

  • Woodlouse spiders have a distinct cream-colored abdomen.
  • Brown recluses have longer legs, and woodlouse spiders’ legs are orange instead of brown.
  • Woodlouse spiders’ heads are more of a deep red than the recluse’s brown head.

Given their similar shapes and the similar places they inhabit, it can be easy to mistake the two for each other. Make sure to watch for these differences to tell them apart.

Are Woodlouse Spiders Dangerous?

It is easy to assume from their menacing appearance that woodlouse spiders are dangerous like the brown recluse. However, they deliver a much milder blow than their look-alikes. Even with their large pinching jaws, woodlouse spider bites are rare, and in the worst cases can only cause itchiness, slight pain, or a mild allergic reaction.

If you find woodlouse spiders in your home, there is no cause for alarm. What this means is that you either have an excess of clutter in your home or yard, or there is an active woodlouse population on your property. To keep them outside, make sure that any cracks or crevices in the structure of your house are sealed, your ventilation systems are working properly, and there are no large gaps around your doors and windows. In general, spiders are drawn to moisture, hiding spaces, and other insects, so keeping a tidy home and yard is the best over-arching spider control plan.

How to Get Rid of Woodlouse Spiders in Northern Utah

Whether you have a woodlouse spider problem or a bunch of brown recluses tucked away in your walls, you can count on your local pest control company to take care of them. The spider control experts at Rentokil are equipped with both the knowledge and techniques to safely and effectively remove spiders in residential or commercial settings. For a free quote on spider control, reach out to our team today!

5 Steps For a Pest-Free Garage

Learn how to prevent pests in the garage in Southern Utah and Northern Idaho - RentokilMany of us have pulled out holiday decorations or old photo albums from our garages only to be met with evidence of pests. Spiders, rodents, and silverfish are some of the most common pests that infest garages, but why? Your garage is in fact a haven for pests with its dark corners and endless food supplies. In order to keep pests away from your garage, it’s important to learn how to make it less inhabitable in the first place. The team at Rentokil is here with their top tips for achieving a pest-free garage year-round.

How to Get a Pest-Free Garage

Keeping pests out of your garage requires many of the same procedures you’d take to prevent them inside your home. This includes:

  1. Installing weather stripping and using silicone-based caulk to seal cracks and crevices.
  2. Promptly fixing moisture issues by repairing leaky pipes and using a dehumidifier.
  3. Storing all food, decorations, and other goods in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes.
  4. Keeping your garage clean and tidy by blowing it out once a month and sweeping when necessary.
  5. Storing all items up off of the ground when possible, and staying as organized as possible.

What Pests Are Common in the Garage?

From cardboard boxes to dusty corners, garages can provide ample shelter for many types of pests. Especially in the winter months, rodents are known to inhabit garages. They will nest in boxes or even make their way into your car for warmth. Spiders are other common garage pests that like to make their webs in boxes and corners. Silverfish are tiny insects that will feed on paper, glue, clothing, and more in your garage. Lastly, flies can be a major garage pest problem in the summer if you leave your garage door open on hot days.

Prevent Pests Throughout Your Property

Dealing with pests anywhere inside or outside your property can be frustrating and even downright dangerous. If you are having trouble keeping pests out of your garage, the expert technicians at Rentokil can help!

Avoid These Two Spiders This Fall

Black widows are a dangerous spider in Northern Utah - RentokilSpiders are a common pest throughout the year here in Northern Utah, but they are certainly more common in the late summer and early fall months. Most spiders hatch in the springtime, begin to reproduce in the summer and are at full force by the time August and September roll around. Just like any other pest, spiders will crawl indoors to seek out food, water, and shelter. The good news is that most of these “house” spiders are completely harmless. That said, there are two spiders, in particular, to look out for this fall: the black widow and the brown recluse. The experts at Rentokil are here with expert info on spiders this fall.

Utah Spiders in the Fall

Like any other pest, spiders can get inside through the tiniest of cracks in your home. Broken screens or crevices in your doors and windows often let spiders in. An unkempt yard or lawn will invite spiders to your property. You may also notice more spiders when you have other bugs and insects on your property. Spiders will be more drawn to properties that provide them with shelter and food (other insects) inside the home. Keeping your home clean enough to prevent other bugs will work to prevent spiders, as well.

Black widow vs brown recluse infographic - Rentokil in Northern Utah and Southern IdahoThe Dangers of Black Widows and Brown Recluse Spiders

Most spiders are poisonous in the sense that they contain venom. But most spiders are not capable of biting humans and transmitting this venom. That said, there are two spiders in particular that are of more danger to you and your family:

  1. Black widows
    1. These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body.
    2. They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground.
    3. They can bite when they feel threatened.
  2. Brown recluse spiders
    1. Brown recluses have a darker brown hourglass shape on their brown bodies.
    2. They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter.
    3. A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.

Spider Infestations in Your Home

We all have to deal with seeing a spider here or there from time to time. But no one should have to deal with daily sightings or dangerous spiders inside their home. If you need help controlling spiders on your property this fall, the team at Rentokil can help!

Tips For Bug-Free Outdoor Living

Tips to be pest-free outdoors in Northern Utah - RentokilThis 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:

What to do to Keep Bugs Away Outdoors

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.

Pest Season 2020 – Look Ahead for These 6 Pests

They say hindsight is 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Rentokil. We are helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming pest season by offering insight into anticipated pest activity.

The experts at Rentokil have examined trends, used our company data and our field experiences and to determine the following six pest predictions. We are also offering preventative tips to help keep your home pest-free this year.


In some Western states, disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have surged in recent years. These mosquitoes, as well as the common house mosquito, can spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A bite from a mosquito can also spread the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the West Nile virus can increase with rising populations. Mosquitoes only need one tablespoon of water to lay their eggs. 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.


Over the past several years, rat populations have increased and this may be partly attributed to warmer than normal winters. We can expect to see that trend continue as rodent populations in suburban areas increase this year. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and lack of affordable housing are all issues that have advanced the swell of recent rat activity.

Homeowner Tips: Rats spread disease and can be extremely destructive to homes. To prevent rodents, try the following rodent control tips: Keep trees and shrubs cut back, especially thick low-vegetation that can serve as good hiding places for rats. Make sure that trees do not overhang onto the roofline. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, seal and tie trash bags, placing them into garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.


Termites cause homeowners in the United States $6 billion in property damages each year and are one of the most destructive pests. These wood-destroying pests are a continual problem for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year, termites could prove to be even more damaging. The experts at Rentokil have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.

Homeowner Tips: Earth-to-wood contact provides an avenue for termites to enter your home. To prevent termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture build-up near your homes’ foundation. Remove excess wood (stumps, lumber, etc.) from your yard. Termites can be present for years before homeowners ever see signs of their activity, causing considerable and costly damage. Avoid these costs by having a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.


In the last several years, cockroach populations have increased dramatically, due in large part to warmer weather and increased rainfall. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest and contaminate stored food, and then spread bacteria through their excrement. Cockroach removal is critical as infestations can become serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Homeowner Tips: Cockroaches are not just a nuisance, they can make children sick. The presence of cockroaches increases the symptoms of asthma and allergies. To prevent an infestation, cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Keep a clean kitchen, sweeping, mopping and wiping up any spills. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.


If you have noticed more flies this past year, you are not alone. Although they’re more active in the summer, house flies reproduce year-round. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – generally live and breed near human habitats and their numbers have increased in recent years. Increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure all contribute to increasing this disease-spreading insect.

Homeowner Tips: House flies and “filth flies” are attracted to filth, and have the potential to harm humans and animals. Keeping a clean home is the first step to protecting yourself and your family. Keep trash closed in lidded containers and take it out often. Clean spills quickly and cover any non-refrigerated foods. Keep pet feeding and litter areas clean and fix drips and eliminate any areas of excess moisture.


Spiders are carnivores, eating other insects and thriving in wet environments. Increased moisture leads to an increase in the insects that spiders eat as a food resource. Heavy rain and warmer temperatures have created the perfect conditions for insects and spiders to flourish. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.

Homeowner Tips: To keep spiders out of your home, keep food put away in tightly sealed storage containers. This will help eliminate ants, roaches and other pests, which will leave spiders with no food source. If the thought of spiders lurking is alarming, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.

The experts at Rentokil agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest problems. With these pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and make sure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.