Pest Knowledge – termites, roaches, rats and more

pest control

Termites

Termites live in colonies that, at maturity, are numbered from several hundred to several million individuals. Colonies use decentralized, self-organized systems of activity guided by swarm intelligence to exploit food sources and environments that could not be available to any single insect acting alone. They have the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification. Termites are sometimes called “white ants,” though they are not closely related to true ants. Termites mainly feed on dead plant material. They generally feed on wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. About 10% of the estimated 4,000 species (about 2,600 taxonomically known) are economically significant as pests can cause severe structural damage to buildings and crops or plantation forests.

How do you check for termites?

Some termites live under the ground and some behind the walls. That’s the reason termites are hard to spot. Termite colonies are small. They are widely dispersed and can take a long time to mature, making it difficult to detect their presence until they put the property’s structural integrity at stake. Suppose you see any of the following signs in your home. In that case, you should think about scheduling a termite inspection as soon as possible. What’s worse is that most insurance plans don’t cover termite damage.

How to detect termites in walls?

Holes and cavities in walls are a sure sign of termite damage. Wooden walls are especially susceptible to termite damage.

Common signs of termite damage to a wall:

  • Mud colored trails – look for faint lines
  • Hollow sound when you tap on the wall
  • Winged insects emerging from woodpiles, walls
  • Peeling or bubbling paint
  • Crumbling baseboard
  • Jammed windows and doors
  • Wood-colored droppings

How can I get rid of termites?

One of the best ways to get rid of termites is to apply termite-killing products to your house’s exterior. For example, you can spray boric acid and set up termite baits in your walls and floors.

Depending on your home state, you may be able to buy some professional-grade termite-killing products. Then, apply the termite treatments to the exterior of your property. Thus, termite treatments create a barrier. And because termites cannot detect the termiticide, they won’t try to avoid it.

What is termiticide?

Termiticide is a pesticide used for the prevention, control, and suppression of termites. It spreads like a virus. One termite will carry it around and infect other termites like a virus.

Cockroaches

There are about 4,500 species of cockroach, of which 30 species are associated with human habitations, and about four species are well known as pests. Some cockroaches have been known to live up to three months without food and a month without water. They prefer warm climates and are considered “cold intolerant” but are resilient enough to survive occasional freezing temperatures. This makes them difficult to eradicate once they have infested an area. They feed on human and pet food and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces, including potentially dangerous ones to humans.

What to do if you find a cockroach?

If you find a cockroach, dead or alive, in your house, it’s to inspect your home for more cockroaches. After inspection, you should be able to determine the extent of the level of cockroach infestation in your home. Once you know how bad the cockroach situation is, you can call a professional pest control company, spray pesticides, or set baits.

But what if I only find one cockroach?

Even one cockroach can start an infestation in your home. Chances are if you see one cockroach, there are many more inside the walls and under your home.

Is it bad to have cockroaches in your house?

Even though cockroaches don’t bite, it’s still bad to have them in your home. This is because cockroaches can cause health problems in humans. For example, people can experience asthma and allergy symptoms in a cockroach-infested house.

How do you get rid of roaches?

If you think there is a cockroach infestation in your home, there is no need for panic. However, before you can get rid of cockroaches, you need to locate active hiding places. Warm areas with easy water access make for the best cockroach hiding places.

Clean up the clutter in your home to get rid of possible roach hiding and breeding places. If you decide to get rid of roaches with pesticides, use the least toxic ones. Don’t use pesticides without reading the manufacturer’s directions.

What causes cockroaches in the house?

Some people think only dirty and cluttered homes attract cockroaches to the house. But that’s not true. Cockroaches look for hiding places – yes, that could be your home – with moisture. So even the cleanest house could have a roach infestation.

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice have acute hearing, are sensitive to ultrasound, and possess a very highly developed olfactory sense. Their average heart rate is 300 to 400 beats per minute, with a respiratory rate of around 100 per minute. Rats carry several pathogens that can result in disease, including Weil’s disease, rat-bite fever, cryptosporidiosis, Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF), Q fever and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. You need mousetraps to get rid of them.

How to get rid of rats and mice?

The best way to eliminate rats and mice is by using rolling log traps. They are reusable, sanitary, and easy to kill. The rats and mice end up in a five-gallon bucket, and you don’t need to touch the rats or mice; simply dump them.

If using spring-loaded traps for rats and mice, bait a few of them in a row without setting them. Bait your traps with mixed with oats, dried fruit, smoked bacon, cheese or peanut butter. Set the traps at right angles. That means 90-degree angles to the walls. Make sure you set the traps where you find the rat or mouse droppings. The bait side of the trap should be toward the wall. When the rodents get used to feeding, set the traps. Ensure the bait is securely attached to the trip pedal. Correctly positioned bait will ensure that the trap springs when the bait is removed.

Once you capture a rat or mouse, you shouldn’t touch it with your bare hands. Always wear gloves when handling a dead rat or mouse and the trap. It makes sense to double bag the dead mouse or rat. You can seal the bags and then place the bags in the trash, burn or bury them. The trap can be reset if gloves are worn.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life-cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adult females lay their eggs in standing water, a salt marsh, a lake, a puddle, a natural reservoir on a plant, or an artificial water container such as a plastic bucket. Adults live for 4–8 weeks. There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes found throughout the world. In some mosquito species, the females feed on humans and are vectors for many infectious diseases affecting millions of people per year.

Are Mosquitoes Hard to Get Rid Of?

Mosquitos can be hard to get rid of. There is no automatic method of killing mosquitoes, not from your backyard or from anywhere. Although there are many ways to control and get rid of mosquitos, unfortunately, there is no treatment that always works. This is because mosquitoes are tricky pests because:

  • Mosquitoes can fly through physical and chemical barriers.
  • In only a few months, a female mosquito can lay over 700 eggs. And if the conditions are just right, those eggs can turn into adult insects in about seven days. Then the cycle continues with thousands of mosquitos biting and laying eggs.
  • In about a one square inch space, a single mosquito can lay 100 eggs. The average backyard contains countless areas for mosquitoes to breed.
  • Mosquitos thrive in the natural environment. Natural areas provide blood-thirsty mosquitos with easy access to come to your yard.
  • Mosquitoes have developed some resistance to mosquito treatments. Therefore, traditional mosquito treatment chemicals are less effective than they were in the past.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes are one of the more difficult pests to get rid of. Fortunately, there are mosquito control solutions. Effective mosquito control centers on limiting populations of mosquitoes. The correct methods make it possible to remove mosquitoes from an area and keep them from returning, using tactics that provide:

  • Extermination
  • Repellent
  • Prevention

Choosing the proper mosquito treatment methods depends on where you live. Warm and humid climates often see more species and larger populations and an increased chance of mosquito-borne diseases.

The difficulty also depends on the size of the mosquito-infested area. Smaller areas are generally more accessible than large yards. As a result, it is hard to remove mosquitoes, even more so if you want to manage it independently. However, removing them is not impossible. The process involves:

  • Understanding mosquitoes
  • Carefully examining your backyard.
  • Some prep work
  • Ongoing attention to the problem.

With patience and understanding of mosquitoes, you can significantly reduce the mosquito population and threat.

How to get rid of mosquitoes?

Prevention is the most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes. That means getting rid of mosquitos starts long before you see the first one. For example, by prevention, you can eliminate the areas in your garden where mosquitoes lay eggs. Likewise, if you prevent mosquitos from laying eggs in your yard, you effectively reduce the number of these parasitic pests from your property.

In most climates, prevention should begin between March and May. If you live in an area with snow during the winter, you will start closer to May. Even if you live in an area where mosquitoes are active all year or in an area already swarming with mosquitoes, it isn’t too late. However, you can still get rid of them.

You can get rid of mosquitos in the following ways:

  • Insecticides are applied throughout a yard where they instantly kill mosquitoes and the eggs and larvae living in the water. Large areas can take several hours to apply mosquito treatments. Frequent rains can affect the longevity of insecticides.
  • Because repellents work instantly, the fastest way to get rid of mosquitos is to use repellents. Repellents aren’t killing the mosquitos. They make them less likely to approach humans or an area to which they are applied. Because of this, repellents don’t offer long-term benefits. But mosquito repellents are the best for a small space or personal use. However, if you use repellents, you may still see mosquitoes, but they are less likely to bite.

How to get rid of mosquitos fast?

The fastest way to get rid of mosquitos is with some type of chemical treatment. Unfortunately, habitat management is not a fast mosquito control approach. It will work, but it’s not a fast way to get rid of mosquitos. With habitat management, mosquito relief is typically slow.

Flies

Flies, one of the most common pests found in houses and complexes, are more dangerous than you think. Each female fly can lay approximately 500 eggs in several batches of about 75 to 150. Some 36 hours after having emerged from the pupa, the female is receptive to mating. They are active only in the daytime and rest at night, e.g., at the corners of rooms, ceiling hangings, etc. Because of their high intake of food, they deposit feces constantly, one of the factors that make the insect a dangerous carrier of pathogens.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and can feed unnoticed on their hosts. Therefore, they usually remain close to hosts, commonly in or near beds or couches. Nesting locations can vary greatly, however, including luggage, vehicles, furniture and bedside clutter. Some health effects may occur due to bed bugs, including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms.

Ants

Ants form colonies that range from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. The colonies are sometimes described as Superorganisms because the ants operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony. Most ant species are considered pests, and eliminating the entire colony is nearly impossible because of the adaptive nature of ant colonies.

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