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Pest Library

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What You Need To Know About Pests

Guard your Manchester home against pests with the help of the professionals at EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control. We want to help you learn about the common pests in our area through our informative pest control guide. The more you know about our area's most common pests, the easier it will be to keep them out of your home!

Ants

If there is one pest that almost every homeowner will have to battle with at some time, it is the ant. Ants are among the most common household pests in Connecticut and across the country. Many different species in our area will take advantage of the basics they need and that our yards offer. Unfortunately, ants don't just stay outside; they often move indoors, seeking warm shelter and food. Depending on the species, they may decide to stay and nest and make themselves permanent members of your household.

Ants are social insects, meaning they live and work together in large groups. They are active throughout the day, making it easy to spot their presence on your property. If you ever spot ants trail through your gardens, across walkways, or throughout your home, you should take action immediately. If you see even just one ant, there are hundreds or thousands more nearby that you haven't seen. Ants that are most likely to invade our Connecticut properties include:

  • Acrobat ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Little black ants
  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants

Ants are mainly nuisance pests, but they do cause some problems, including spreading bacteria and contaminating food sources. So while most ants aren't a significant danger, they certainly are unwanted in our homes. The carpenter ant is most problematic in our area. When they get into our homes, they will tunnel through and nest in structural wood, causing costly damage over time.

The following recommendations will help make your property less attractive to ants searching for food, water, and shelter.

  • Keep lids on trash cans, regularly harvest gardens, and keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris to avoid attracting foraging ants to your yard. 
  • Ants are attracted to moisture areas, repair leaky pipes, spigots, and air conditioners to avoid providing ants with the water they are looking for. 
  • Remove things like brush piles, woodpiles, and other yard debris from your yard where ants can nest. 
  • Regularly vacuum your home to remove crumbs and other food debris from the kitchen and other areas that will keep ants returning to your house.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are insects whose sole food source is blood from warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs are so problematic for people because we are their favorite hosts. Bed bugs have adapted to living indoors with people and have become common pests inside our Connecticut homes. The biggest reason bed bugs are so difficult to contend with is their resilience. Adult bed bugs typically feed around every five to ten days but can survive many months without feeding.

Bed bugs are wingless and cannot jump; they have learned that hitchhiking is the fastest way to travel. They will move from an infested home or business into a new home or business on things like furniture, luggage, bedding, clothing, and secondhand mattresses. Once bed bugs have found their way into your home, they find dark spaces that they hide during the day and come out at night to bite feed on you and your family. Knowing where they like to hide is helpful because you can regularly inspect those areas. Routine inspections will help you to discover an infestation before it has the chance to grow and take over your home. Favorite bed bug hideouts include seams in mattresses, cracks in walls and wooden furniture, inside electrical outlets, and behind wall hangings.

The following recommendations will protect your Connecticut homes against bed bugs.

  • Use protective covers that encase mattresses and box springs to eliminate their favorite hiding spots.
  • Reduce the amount of clutter in your home. Clutter doesn't attract bed bugs, but it does allow them to hide. 
  • Vacuum your home frequently to remove stray bed bugs before they have the chance to create a large infestation.
  • Before bringing secondhand items into your home, always inspect things like upholstered furniture or mattresses for bed bugs.

If you suspect there are bed bugs in your Manchester home, don't hesitate to get in touch with us here at EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control!

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Bees

Bees and wasps are two types of stinging insects that regularly find their way onto our Connecticut properties. These stinging insects are drawn to the food, water, and shelter that our yards offer them. Though people often confuse bees for wasps and vice versa, they are two completely different insect species. Bees are pollinators, while wasps are predatory hunters. Bees tend to have more round or oval-shaped bodies covered in hair which helps them gather their pollen and transport it back to the nest. Wasps have a thinner, hairless body which helps them fly fast and hunt down their insect prey.

Having bees or wasps choose to nest in your yard is problematic because they will defend their nests from threats by delivering painful stings. While stinging insects are important to the ecosystem helping with pollination and controlling populations of nuisance insects, they are dangerous when nesting in our yards. Those allergic to their venom can experience mild to life-threatening reactions to stings. In addition to health threats, stinging insects can also be destructive, for instance, the carpenter bee. Carpenter bees are solitary, which means each female builds its own nest, preferring to nest inside weathered or untreated wood. Nesting carpenter bees cause damage to things like wooden furniture, play structures, siding, trim, and decks.

The following recommendations will help make your property less attractive to dangerous and destructive bees and other stinging insects.

  • The wood used on your home or to build structures on your property should be painted, stained, or otherwise treated.
  • Remove older, decaying wooden items from your property like wooden play structures, fences, or furniture. 
  • Reduce the amount of flowering vegetation you have planted on your property near walkways, doorways, and windows.
  • If possible, plant garden areas away from the outside of your home. 
  • Take away water sources by repairing dripping air conditioners or leaky spigots.
  • Keep lids on trashcans and recycling bins to prevent them from attracting the insects that wasps like to hunt and feed on.

Cockroaches

Much to most people's dismay, cockroaches aren't pests that just infest unkempt spaces; they are pests that can find their way into any of our Connecticut homes. These insects can move indoors on their own from the outside through spaces they find in your home's exterior. Cockroaches are also regularly introduced into homes by hitchhiking in deliveries, grocery orders, and secondhand appliances and furniture. Cockroaches are easy to identify by their oval-shaped bodies, greasy appearances, long antennae, and six legs. Most have wings, but only a few can fly some short distances. In Connecticut, we have three species that we find their way into our homes; American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches.

American cockroaches are the largest cockroaches to invade structures. They are brownish-red in color and can fly. Their large size and ability to fly make them particularly disturbing to have in our homes. German cockroaches are small, fast-moving cockroaches that are light brown with two dark stripes behind their head. They are the most common roaches you'll find in our homes and businesses. Oriental cockroaches are slow-moving roaches that have dark, black bodies that are greasy appearing. They have high moisture needs and live near water sources like sewers, drains, and leaky pipes. No matter the species, these scavenging insects don't belong in our homes; they spread diseases, trigger allergies, and contaminate far more of your family's food than they consume.

The following recommendations will help make your Manchester property less attractive to dangerous cockroaches.

  • Eliminate as many entrance points that cockroaches can take advantage of by sealing cracks in the foundation, spaces under doors, and openings around utilities entering your home.
  • Regularly vacuum, not forgetting spaces under furniture, behind appliances, and inside pantries and cabinets to prevent food debris from making cockroaches think they are welcome. 
  • Always inspect deliveries, boxes, and secondhand items for cockroaches before bringing them indoors.
  • Ensure kitchens, basements, and bathrooms are properly ventilated to avoid excess moisture buildings up in your home that will provide cockroaches with an environment they can thrive in.


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Eastern Subterranean Termites

Termites are unique pests; they are pests that you don't regularly see but are capable of causing major damage within our Connecticut homes. Eastern subterranean termites live in the soil and are drawn to areas of moisture. Like other termites, they eat the cellulose found in wood, preferring water-damaged or decaying wood. Eastern subterranean termites have high moisture needs, which is why we don't see these insects out and about in our homes or yards. These termites spend their time in their underground nests, the mud tubes they create to travel above the ground, or inside the wood they are using as a food source.

Termites are some of the most destructive pests that can find their way into your home. These insects are capable of causing more than five billion dollars in damages across the country each year. The biggest reason termites are so destructive is that they work around the clock to feed their expansive colonies and are silent invaders. Eastern subterranean termites are referred to as silent invaders because they move into our homes through the soil entering through cracks in your home's foundation or pieces of wood making direct contact with the ground. Termites can move in and out of a home feeding on its structural wood without notice for months or years! Being proactive and partnering with a professional to eliminate termites and prevent their future return is the best way to guard your home and wallet against these destructive pests.

The following recommendations will help make your property less attractive to termites.

  • Make sure gutters are working to direct water away from the outside of your home. Damp soil around the perimeter of your home will attract foraging termites.
  • Cut back shrubs from your exterior foundation to help the sun hit the soil surrounding your home and keep it dry.
  • Create a crushed stone barrier between your foundation and any mulch.
  • Repair roof damage and install weatherstripping around windows to ensure rainwater can't seep into your home.
  • Repair cracks in your foundation.
  • Remove as much wood to soil contact on your property as possible; things like woodpiles, wood trim, steps, or deck posts sitting directly on the ground provide termites with easy access to food sources.

Reach out to EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control today for effective termite control for your Manchester property.

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Rodents

Why are rodents such a common sight in Connecticut homes? The answer is simple; because they offer them everything they need not just to survive but to thrive and live their best lives! Several rodents like house mice, roof rats, and Norway rats have adapted to living with people; while they can live outside on their own, they would rather live with us. They have learned that our properties offer them multiple sources of food, water sources, and shelter.

Rodents live outside and forage for food from our yard's trash cans, gardens, bird feeders, and outdoor eating areas throughout most of the year. They hide out in woodpiles, brush piles, in areas of dense landscaping, and spaces under decks or other outbuildings. When temperatures drop in Connecticut in the late fall, rodents often move into our homes because they provide them with a warm, safe place to spend the winter. Once inside, they quickly begin to cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Chewing through wires, cables, drywall, furniture, cabinets, and boxes using their sharp front incisors. 
  • Chewing through food containers and contaminating your family's food.
  • Spreading parasites and pathogens that make people sick.
  • Spreading their shed fur and excrement throughout your home putting allergens in the air that cause allergy symptoms. 
  • Creating musty odors in your home from urine and excrement buildup.

The following recommendations will help make your property less attractive to opportunistic rodents.

  • Place all trash bags in outdoor containers with locking lids. 
  • Remove yard clutter that provides rodents with hiding spots.
  • Ensure that chimneys, vents, and drains that lead into your home have appropriate covers over them.
  • Use steel wool to seal spaces around wires and pipes that move into your home. 
  • Fix the cracks or other openings that overtime develops in your foundation or roofline. 
  • Keep your kitchen clean and free of food debris in addition to indoor and outdoor eating areas.

For peace of mind when it comes to rodents on your Manchester property, reach out to us here at EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control for total rodent control solutions you can rely on.

Trust EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control with your home's pest control needs. We are a family-owned and operated company that understands homeowners' unique pest control needs in the Manchester area. We have a deep commitment to our customers and to ridding Connecticut properties of unwanted pests. Discover all that we have to offer and which of our pest control options are the best fit for your home and family by giving us a call today!