Midwestern Pest Blog

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Call The Professionals Before An Infestation

RodentYou’ve heard it many times—for every roach you see, there could be 100 you don’t see. How do you know whether you have just a few roaches or an infestation? Here are a few signs to look for. You are much more likely to see roaches at night if you have an infestation. Roaches are nocturnal, so if you turn on the light at night, they’ll scatter. Even worse, if you see a roach during the day, it is a good indication that you’ve had an infestation for quite some time and that it has grown to epic proportions that need professional services like a pest inspection. Roaches definitely prefer to stay in dark crevices, but overcrowding and a lack of food actually drive roaches out during the day. Furthermore, just because you see dead roaches, doesn’t mean your infestation is gone. In fact, dead roaches lying around likely means that you have an......
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Pests of the Midwest

Travel the country and the pests you encounter change along with the scenery. If you live in the Midwest, a unique combination of crawlers threatens your home and gardens. Ants The hardworking ant proves to be persistent. Once this tiny creature discovers a food source, it comes back again and again — with friends. Destructive carpenter ants and less harmful black and brown ants become nuisances. They contaminate food and cause property damage. Biting Insects Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and bed bugs love a living host. Your adventuring son, a traveling spouse or an active pet carry these pests inside your home. Small and mobile, biting insects threaten to cause disease in those you love. Stinging Insects Honey bees, yellow jackets, wasps and hornets disrupt outdoor activities. While labeled pests, bees and their compadres prove beneficial. They control other pest populations and boost the ecosystem. Still, hives hidden underground or in the w......
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How to Inspect Fall Plants Before Bringing Them Into the House

Summer is the perfect vacation time for your inside plants to soak up some sun. When fall hits, however, it becomes time to bring them back inside. Pests see this as prime time to hitch a ride inside. That’s why it is important to make a slow transition with an inspection so your plants are avoiding any issues. Debugging Plants Debugging household plants during the transition inside can prove to be tricky and laboring. To start, you have to ensure the pot you are using to debug the plants includes drainage holes. This is because you have to use soapy water. Only use a mild soap or a sensitive insecticide in which to soak the plants. The soapy water is used to kill pests hiding in the soil or on the plant itself. Once these are cleaned, it’s important to then meticulously clean the pot until all the water is gone. Aft......
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What To Expect When You Have Termites

Termites are a serious threat to homeowners. They reproduce quickly and eat round-the-clock. Within a short amount of time, they can do serious damage to your home, depending on the size of the colony. The Eastern subterranean termite is the most common species in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Many homeowners are unaware of some of the danger signs of a termite problem. An infestation can quickly occur, causing significant destruction to your dwelling. So how do you know if you have termites? Here are some of the things to expect when they are present. Wood Damage Termites eat wood from the inside out. In time, the wood is hollowed out. When you tap the wood, it will actually sound hollow. Check wood doors, doorframes and windows. Since you can’t see the termites, their destruction goes undetected. Termites target other wood in your home, including attic rafters, floor joists, flooring and t......
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Apartment Dwellers: What to Expect When You Need Pest Control

If you live in an apartment, then it might be difficult to know what to expect if a pest control issue comes up. Who is responsible for pest control? What happens if it’s not taken care of? How can you do your part to prevent an infestation? These are important questions that need to be asked, so you know your rights and obligations. Who is Responsible? Generally speaking, your landlord is responsible for most pest control. Of course, this is going to be different depending on the actual agreement that was signed. If you have a copy of your lease, you might want to go over it to make sure. Generally, there will be some sort of clause that lays out who is responsible and what those responsibilities will entail. If you notice an infestation, it’s important to make sure your landlord sticks to the agreement, as not taking care of the......
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What Attracts Ants Indoors?

There are many different types of ants and some of the most common ones to invade your home are: sugar ants, black ants, brown ants and carpenter ants. Carpenter ants can be as destructive as termites as they destroy wood flooring, ceilings and cabinets. Their “excavation activities…[weaken wood] to the point where it can no longer bear weight.” When it comes to information on ants, Midwestern has you covered. After knowing what types of ants there are and the damage they can incur, I am sure you want to know how to prevent ants from invading your home. The main reasons why ants are drawn indoors is for: water, food and shelter. Water Just like all living things, ants need water to survive. Your bathroom or under the kitchen sink are perfect places for ants to make their home. Sinks and tile flooring usually hold more moisture. It is also important to cl......
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Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Termites

As a homeowner, you have many responsibilities. You want your home to stand the test of time and to last. This involves putting your best foot forward to avoid pests that can cause damage to you or your house. Termites are formidable foes when it comes to the integrity of your foundation, and the best course of action is really to avoid them altogether. Depending on where you live, this can be a difficult task. Termites can cause severe damage that is hard to repair. There are things that you can do to prevent these pests from taking up residence in your home. By implementing some key lifestyle changes, you can help keep your home safe from the damage done by termites. Types of Termite Problems Damage to structures:The biggest problem termites can cause is structural damage to your house, garage and other structures on your property. This can be extensive......
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Keeping Creepy-Crawlies Outside This Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and with the warmer temperatures come the pests. Any homeowner can tell you that summer is a particularly difficult time when it comes to pest control. The warmer climate, coupled with rainy weather, makes most yards a breeding ground for all types of creepy-crawlies, and many of them will be very interested in getting inside your house. So, how can you keep them out? Here are some tips to keep your house free of pests this summer. Clean up the Yard Because pest infestations start from the outside, it only makes sense to pay attention to the yard. The summer months mean that everything outside is growing, and this can make it easy for pests to find places to live. In addition, summer thunderstorms can often leave standing pools of water in things like flower pots -- pools that insects like mosquitoes love to use......
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Where Bugs Hide: Are They in Your Home?

While you may not see any bugs living in your home in your daily life, it doesn’t mean they aren’t hiding. Check the following places to find out for sure if you have uninvited guests. Basements It doesn’t matter if your underground level is finished or unfinished, bugs will treat it like home. These critters enjoy damp, dark and undisturbed places. They instinctively know it’s safe there. Check behind furniture and boxes to see if any unwelcome guests are around. Use a shop vac to get rid of any visible cobwebs or insects. Run a dehumidifier to keep that space dry, and plug any holes where bugs can enter. Keep the clutter to a minimum down there, as it will give bugs less space to hide. Attics Again, any place where clutter forms is a hotbed for bugs. Despite extreme cold and heat in your attic, bugs have all the shelter they ne......
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Your Guide to Ant Pest Control

Ants are a common household issue, and a persistent one at that. Thankfully, there are some fairly easy steps you can take to avoid ants trying to make your home theirs. Preventative Measures The first step in ant pest control is making sure your house isn’t an attraction to them. Ants look for warm spaces that have plentiful food sources, so you need to ensure they won’t find easy targets at your house. This includes common sense steps like not leaving uncovered food out and cleaning up food-related messes promptly. Store food in plastic and glass containers. Caulk and seal cracks in windows and doors that can act as entry points and keep these areas clean. Know Your Ants If you do see ants in or around your home, do your homework and determine what kind you have. First, make sure that you aren’t actually dealing with termites, as the two are s......
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Understanding Ant Colonies and How They Spread

Midwestern Termite and Pest Control, with service areas in the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Franklin County, Illinois areas, knows that in our areas, ants are a big problem. While these small pests might seem like little more than an annoyance, they can really hamper your ability to enjoy your home both inside and out. To understand why ants are one of the hardest pests to remove from your property, you have to understand how an ant colony works. Unlike other pests, ants are highly social creatures and work together-even from colony to colony. That’s not to say that they aren’t territorial, because some ants have been documented to fight for space. The issue is their small size makes numerous ‘beds’ feasible for coexisting on one area of land, or home. The Social Structure of Ants Ants showcase a highly evolved social hierarchy. The queen of the colony stays hidden deep in the ......
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How to Seal Your Home From Pests

No matter how secure your house is from burglars and natural disasters, the one thing that may still be able to break through its defenses is a tiny ant or mouse. You may be surprised to learn how many openings your seemingly airtight house may have for pests to sneak through, and once they’re inside, the problems they can make for you are innumerable. Fortunately, with just a little ingenuity, they are ways to make your house as pest-proof as possible. Here are some ways to seal your home off from pests. Getting Prepared Before you start, there are a few things you are going to need. First, get into some old clothes and put on gloves. Because you’re going to be crawling around in the dirt, around bushes and atop of ladders, old clothes (preferably long jeans and a long sleeve shirt) and gloves are going to be very useful. Als......
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Types of Ants in St. Louis

Ants are one of the most common insects you’ll have to battle in the home. They can be lured in by anything from easy access to food to just the availability of a pre-built shelter from the elements. Having replaced cockroaches as the #1 pest in the United States, ants can cause a variety of issues including biting pets and humans and causing damage to the home. In the St. Louis area, the most common types of ants are Carpenter and Pavement Ants. Carpenter Ants- Typically found in dead or hollow trees, carpenter ants make their homes by chewing up wood for nesting materials. If they wander into a house, they may decide to make a nest among the wood they find there because it is better protection from the weather. These ants can cause damage to the structure of a home. Pavement Ants- The most common ant in the Metro A......
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Emerald Ash Borer Reaches St. Louis

The St. Louis area has some new residents. Unfortunately, these new residents are not wanted. The Emerald Ash Borer is not native to the St. Louis area. These little beetles are native to Asia and are wreaking havoc wherever they go. Just like their name, this little pest bores into the ash tree’s trunk, and over time, it kills the tree. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is metallic green in color and has also been called the “Green Menace.” After the female EAB lays her eggs in or on the ash tree, the larvae then feed off the tree by burrowing deep into the trunk, and after two years, they emerge as grown adults. Signs of the Invasive Pest EAB The possible signs that your ash tree contains the EAB bugs include: Yellow leaves Wilting and thin foliage Dead branches The increased presence of woodpeckers or pecking holes Exit holes in the s......
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What is Pest Prevention?

Pest prevention simply refers to all of the actions that you can take to keep pests from building nests or colonies on your property. There are many methods used in prevention, and they should all be considered carefully in order to keep the infestation from getting out of control. Insect and pest control begins with accurate information that you can use to take action. Preventing an Infestation Preventing pest infestations on your property will help you to save money and time. This is the first line of defense against a variety of pests, which may include insects, rodents, birds and wild animals. Once the infestation begins, it can quickly spread. This can potentially cause damage to your home or business, so you will need to take immediate action at the first sign of a pest infestation. There are many ways to prevent a pest infestation, and here are the top three:......
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What Does a Pest Inspection Entail?

A pest inspection is a critical part of any comprehensive plan for controlling the many pests that can infest your home or business. Inspections are conducted by licensed professionals who understand the common signs of infestations, but there is much more involved. The inspection also lays the groundwork for forming a pest control plan of action. This will outline the steps needed to eliminate the pests from the property and prevent a recurring infestation in the future. The inspection should always be performed by a qualified professional for the best results. Pest Inspection Checklist To understand the value of a pest inspection, you should be aware of what is involved. There are many techniques that can be utilized by the pest inspector, but listing them will not help you understand what a pest inspection really involves. This requires a detailed analysis of the particular property and an intelligent application of the......
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Top Rodent Facts for Business Owners

Most business owners are already aware of the fact that a rodent infestation will reflect poorly on their enterprise, but many are still unaware of the risks related to the legal codes. It is possible to lose a business license over a rodent infestation, for example. The business owner can not underestimate the potential amount of damage to personal finances as well as the ability to earn an income. In addition, there could be legal fines and fees that must be paid to the city. The total losses could be devastating, and this type of setback is not easily overcome. Understanding the nature of the risk can help the business owner to make a speedy decision about how to overcome the rodent infestation, and contacting a professional commercial pest control company is the right move. Preventing Rodent Infestations In the world of pest control, an ounce of prevention is worth much......
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Carpenter Ant or Termite? Know What They Look Like

Carpenter ants and termites are similar in several ways. They can be about the same size and damage buildings because they burrow into wood. Both types of insects also swarm to mate during the spring. After taking a closer look, however, you can see that they differ significantly. Carpenter Ants As one of the largest types of ants in the United States, carpenter ants measure 0.13 to 0.5 inches long. Most species are black, while others can be red, yellow, light or dark brown, or orange. Some species are even black and red. The large mandibles that the workers have are another way to identify these insects. However, they're most identifiable by their cinched waist, bent antennae and longer front wings. Decayed wood is the preferred nesting material for all carpenter ants. Nests that remain active for years can cause severe damage. One colony can spread to satellite colonies nearby. Following......
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What is Frass and How Can I Identify It?

Frass control is a critical part of any insect removal program. Understanding the properties of frass can help you to identify it and make decisions about your pest-control needs. Frass can be used as a source of food or even as construction materials. This means that you will need to eliminate this material from your home as a part of your long-term program for pest control. About Insect Frass Frass is a term that refers to insect fecal matter, which can have different appearances. Each type of pest will digest materials from their diet and leave the excrement behind. This becomes a sign of their presence, and it can be used to determine the kind of pest infestation you are experiencing. Frass can be composed entirely of fecal matter, but some insects will also excrete the parts of the wood that they consume as food. This can show up in the......
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What Is the Difference Between Rotten Wood and Termite Damage?

When wood in your home decays, termites are often the first thought that comes to mind. Termites can cause severe damage to wood in homes since they feed on timber in order to survive. In the natural environment, termites feed on fallen logs and trees that are starting to die. Wet logs are preferred by termites since they are easier to eat. Termites are, therefore, often assumed to be synonymous with rotten wood. In reality, termite infestations and rotten wood are separate issues that you should understand how to distinguish. Signs of Rotten Wood Although building codes try to establish rules that reduce the chances of wood rotting in modern homes, wood decomposition is still a possibility for homes of any age. It is unusual for wood to rot without exposure to a source of water. Rotten wood can start to appear after a flood or a plumbing leak. Mold often......
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