Fall Pests That May Get in Your Home

Asian lady beetle on door frame

Does it seem like there are more insects in your home during the fall and winter? Unfortunately, it’s not your imagination. It’s fall pests looking for ways to get out of the increasingly cold weather. Some of these fall pests will migrate to warmer climates or burrow under debris, but others may decide they want to spend the winter in your warm, dry home. This phenomenon is referred to as overwintering, and it pays to look for warning signs before you end up with an infestation in your home.

Finding a bug on the countertops or in the corners of a room in your home is no fun. However, what’s even worse and could cause even more damage, are the pests hiding where you can’t see them. The fall pests most likely to take refuge here can include Asian Lady beetles, stink bugs, termites, wasps, and rodents. Let’s learn more about how and why these pests may try to get into your home.

Fall Pest #1: Asian Lady Beetles

If you find what looks like a ladybug in your home, it may not be a ladybug. If it’s larger than your garden-variety ladybug, you may be looking at an Asian Lady beetle (which may or may not have spots). And if you’ve found one, the odds are good that it’s not alone. Asian Lady beetles travel together in groups, using pheromones to communicate their location. That means that if one comes into your home to get out of the cold, the result can be an infestation. These bugs may not eat the wood in your home’s structure or sting its residents, but their waste can stain as well as trigger an allergic reaction or breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals. You can prevent this, along with most other fall pest infestations, by making sure you seal any gaps or openings in the exterior of your home.

Fall Pest #2: Stink Bugs

The species of stink bug you’re most likely to encounter in your home in the US is the Brown Marmorated stink bug, which is an invasive non-native species from Asia. They’re flat and shaped like a shield, colored in mottled shades of brown and gray, and range in size from around ¼” to ⅜”. They’re fond of quiet, out-of-the-way parts of your home like the attic or crawlspace, or anywhere else where they won’t be bothered. If they get discovered and feel threatened (or squashed), they’ll release a deeply unpleasant odor, which is where this insect gets its name. 

Fall Pest #3: Termites

Termites are easily the most destructive pest in the US. The annual cost of termite damage and mitigation in the US is estimated at up to $30 billion. Termites, if you have them, are always trying to enter your home. But fall and winter is when subterranean termites – the most damaging species – tend to burrow deep into the ground to wait out the cold weather. So if you have an infestation you may not notice it until spring. And at that point, the nest, and the damage, could be much more extensive. Once termites can get in your home, they will consume wood and anything else that contains cellulose. Signs of termites in your home may include blisters on painted surfaces, hollow-sounding wood, and unexplained pinhole-sized holes.

Fall Pest #4: Rodents

Squirrels, roof rats, and mice are all agile creatures and excellent climbers. You’ve surely seen them make their way from branch to branch or along narrow fences. It shouldn’t come as a surprise they can get into your attic and make a nest. Luckily these rodents don’t tend to be very stealthy. After some time you’ll hear them scratching or gnawing from up above or inside the walls. Those are both good signs that you have a rodent inside your attic or wall voids, and that means it’s time to call an experienced rodent exterminator like Active Pest Control 

Fall Pest #5: Wasps

Wasp colonies do not overwinter in the colder season, which leaves the workers to die with the oncoming winter. Fertilized queens, however, survive the cold outdoors and leave the nest for shelter like hollow logs, tree stumps – or in certain structures, like the attic of your home. Here’s a question for you. How sure are you that your attic vents are all screened from the outdoors? If you’re not very sure, consider calling us to inspect your attic and install them for you. They can prevent wasps, birds, and all manner of creatures from making themselves comfortable without you knowing.

Top Exterminators for Fall Pests

Active Pest Control has been proud to provide Georgia residents with quality pest control services for over 35 years. If you have some unwelcome fall pests in your home, Active Pest Control is ready to help. Contact us now for a free quote!

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard Pest-Free

Servicing a backyard in Georgia - Active Pest ControlSpring and summer in Georgia come with a lot to be excited about. However, the warm weather and sunshine following rainfall lead to all kinds of pest problems in our region. It’s important to be able to stop pests from finding food sources, shelter, and breeding grounds in your backyard, because without any effort put into pest prevention, your background will be overrun with pests for most of the year. If you’re wondering how you can pest-proof your backyard, read on for advice from our expert exterminators at Active Pest Control!

10 Tips to Make Your Backyard Pest-Free

Our climate allows for all kinds of pests to thrive throughout the year, so it’s important to have a pest prevention plan that accounts for all kinds of infestations. Here are our top 10 pest prevention tips for Georgia residents:

  1. Mow the lawn often: Mowing once a week can prevent overgrowth that creates excess standing water pooling and ample insect hiding places.
  2. Trim your plants: Make sure your trees, bushes, and shrubs aren’t overgrown. This can lead to shaded hiding places that are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and more.
  3. Get rid of yard waste: Piles of yard waste can provide shelters that lead to all kinds of pest infestations, from ants all the way up to rodents and wildlife.
  4. Clear out standing water: Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water, no matter how small. Make sure to pour it out or cover it when you find rainwater pooling in gutters, planters, tarps, buckets, your lawn, or elsewhere.
  5. Use garden nets: Garden netting can protect the plants that would otherwise attract all kinds of insects and wildlife.
  6. Dethatch your lawn: A thin layer of thatch is helpful for your lawn’s temperature regulation, but too much of it can suffocate your lawn and lead to all kinds of pest problems. Dethatch your lawn and use a nitrogen fertilizer to prevent excess buildup.
  7. Water your lawn carefully: Overwatering and underwatering can both lead to different kinds of pest problems, so it’s important to know exactly how much water your lawn needs. Setting up an irrigation system or sprinkler system will regulate this quantity for you.
  8. Store firewood up and away: Firewood laying around by the side of your home can quickly lead to a devastating termite infestation. To prevent this from happening, store your firewood off of the ground, away from your home, and covered if possible.
  9. Keep bins closed: Pests as small as wasps and as big as raccoons love to forage in our trash cans for food. Seal them if possible, but definitely keep them as far away from your yard and home as possible.
  10. Hire an exterminator: A professional pest control technician can assess your yard for active vulnerabilities that could lead to pest infestations.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in Georgia

If you want to feel confident that your yard won’t fall victim to pest infestations this spring and summer, reach out to your local pest control company. At Active Pest Control, our highly trained technicians are well-versed in control and prevention strategies for the many insects, arachnids, and wild animals living in Georgia. We can set up a plan to keep your yard pest-free year-round. Contact us today for a free quote!

The Trouble with Termites: How Termites Can Ruin Your Home

If you’ve ever experienced a termite infestation, then you know how devastating it can be to have to deal with getting rid of the colony, addressing the structural damage, and preventing future infestations. It can be a long and difficult process, but fortunately, it can also be manageable with help from the right pest control […]

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Common Spring Pests

Carpenter ants are a common spring pest in Georgia - Active Pest ControlHave you noticed that pests start to get worse here in Atlanta as spring temperatures warm up? Wasps and bees begin to buzz around, winged insects crawl on your exterior walls, and you start to notice the dreaded ants crawling along your floorboards. Springtime is pest time nationwide. This time of the year is when many pests that were less active in the winter months begin to come out of dormancy. The reason why pest problems become so common in the spring, however, is because many of the pests were already lying in wait in the winter—right inside your home.

At Active Pest Control, we are committed to keeping pests out of our customers’ homes all year long. Keep reading to learn about the most common spring pests to look out for this year.

What Pests Are Common in the Spring?

1. Termites

While spring is the best time of year to see termite swarmers, those winged insects are probably not new to the neighborhood. Termite swarms don’t travel far or last long. If you’re seeing them on your exterior walls, it is likely that you already have a mature infestation in your home or on your property.

2. Carpenter Ants

When the temperatures here in Atlanta warm-up, you may see winged carpenter ants walking around on your exteriors walls. If you’re thinking you can vacuum them up and you’ll be safe, you may want to think again. Carpenter ant swarmers, just like those termites swarmers, are a warning sign of a current infestation. It is also a warning that the mature nest on your property is about to multiply, making it important to call your local ant control experts.

3. Mice

If you start to hear bumping and scraping in your walls, you may be tempted to think that the spring weather is responsible for allowing mice to get into your walls. But those mice could have been in your house all winter long. Mice live as close to their food source as possible. If they have a nest in your pantry wall, you wouldn’t hear them just before bedtime, bumping through your walls. But spring temperatures outside may invite those mice to find a route to go in and out of your home. Sadly, those mice are not likely to leave and never come back. Most mice prefer to live with humans. While they’ll step out to go look for more food options, they won’t be gone for long.

4. Wasps

These stinging pests are another common spring pest that probably spent the winter in your home. Wasp queens overwinter in eaves, soffits, and under the “bark” of our homes. In spring, they emerge to find a place to create a nest. Unfortunately, this often means right inside or outside your property. Coming across a wasp nest can be dangerous, making it important to always contact a wasp control expert for assistance.

Preventing Common Spring Pests

Preventing spring pests means preventing pests all year long here in Georgia. The best way to keep pests out is to seal off your home to them in the first place. Once indoors, it’s crucial to contact your local pest control experts for help. At Active Pest Control, we will work with you to come up with a plan to keep pests out for good. Contact us today to get started!

What Homes Are More At Risk For Termites?

What homes are more at risk for termites in Georgia - Active Pest ControlIf you have a brick or concrete home, you may be thinking you’re safe from termites. However, termites don’t only infest wood homes. There are many things that make your home more at risk for termites, from the layout of your backyard to unresolved maintenance issues. Especially here in Georgia and Tennessee, termites are a relentless pest problem for homeowners, no matter what type of home you own. This Termite Awareness Week, our team is here to help you understand the risk factors that could make you susceptible to termite infestations. Read on to learn more from our experts at Active Pest Control!

Will my Brick Home Be Infested By Termites?

There is a misconception that only wooden homes can be infested by termites. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. Brick homes, concrete homes, stucco homes, and stone homes can all be infested by termites. Wood stored near your home, moisture issues, wooden decks, and more could all put you at risk for a termite problem. If you notice any of the below risk factors, you could be unknowingly making your home a haven for termites.

Risk Factors For Termites

Termites are opportunistic pests that can infest many structures if conditions are right. These conditions that may make you vulnerable to infestations are as follows.

  1. Wood in contact with the soil. Even homes that aren’t made of wood can have siding, decks, porches, fences, posts, and more that contain wood. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior is at risk for termites. For this reason, avoid storing firewood on the ground near your property. Remove decaying logs or stumps, and avoid mulch. Trim back trees to avoid branches coming into contact with your home.
  2. Moisture problems. Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moisture, especially in soil. Standing water or excess moisture will invite termites to take up residence in your home. Always fix leaks, broken sprinkler systems, downspouts, and clogged gutters to ensure your are protected from moisture problems.
  3. Cracks or openings. Termites will take advantage of structural vulnerabilities, no matter whether your home is wooden or brick. A crack in the structure of your property allows for termites to easily build mud tubes upon it. Frequently inspect your home for cracks and make repairs as needed. Look for other issues that could contribute not just to termite problems, but all sorts of pest problems!

Home Inspections for Termite Risks

The best way to know if you are protected against termites is to work with a professional termite exterminator. A thorough home inspection will pinpoint anything in or around your property that could put you at risk for termites in the future. The termite control team at Active Pest Control is here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can protect you from termites year-round!

How to Look For Signs of Termites

Mud tubes are a common sign of subterranean termites in Georgia - Active Pest ControlTermites are often only discovered when the damage starts to appear, making them one of the most dangerous pest problems. In order to avoid the destruction associated with termite activity, it’s important to recognize the early signs of termites in your home. With termites at peak activity in the spring and summer, now is the time to ensure you are protected against an infestation! The termite experts at Active Pest Control are here to share their knowledge on the top signs of termites they see in Georgia homes year-round.

How to Tell if You Have Termites

If you notice any of the following signs of termites, it’s time to call a professional who can further investigate and determine the presence or absence of termites in your home. Here’s what to look for:

Swarming Termites

Every year, reproductive termites will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarming happens when a mature termite colony releases a number of swarmers from their existing nest. Reproductive termites, also known as alates or swarmers, can often be mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring months is a sign of termites spreading.

Piles of Termite Wings

After reproductive termites have swarmed and found a new location, they will literally twist their wings off to discard them. This is because, after flight, they will no longer need to fly. Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. These wings can often be seen in piles, which is indicative of termites forming their new colony nearby.

Mud Tubes

Made from and used by subterranean termites, mud tubes are pencil-sized tunnels through which termites travel. True to their name, subterranean termites nest underground. In order to leave the nest and forage for food, they will build mud tubs out of their feces. This protects the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.

Drywood Termite Frass

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites nest within wood. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in piles. Seeing this sign of termites makes it important to call a professional for closer inspection.

Tight-Fitting Doors and Windows

Termite activity can result in damage to your property. One of the most common signs of termite infestations is noticing your windows and doors are sticking or appear more tight-fitting than usual. Subterranean termites output a lot of moisture with their eating and tunneling habits. When they target door or window frames, the wood there will warp and make them more difficult to open.

Damaged Wood

Termites are infamous for damaging wood. This can appear in several ways. Typically, termite damage can cause unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards. In general, wood damage of any kind can be a major sign of a termite problem.

What to Do When You See Signs of Termites

Termite problems are no joke. They can cause a lot of damage on your home. This is why it is so important to work with a professional termite exterminator. At Active Pest Control, we will provide yearly inspections to catch early signs of termites. To learn more, contact our team today!

What Do Termite Holes Look Like?

What Do Termite Holes Look Like in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIf you’ve found small, round holes in wood within or outside your home, you’re likely wondering what could have caused them. In many cases, this is a sign of drywood termite activity. When drywood termites swarm in the spring or summer, they will make their departure from their nests. In doing so, they create and tunnel through exit holes in the wood within which they were nesting. Termite exit holes can frequently be mistaken for holes left by other wood-destroying insects, making it important to learn what termite holes look like.

What Termites Leave Holes in Wood?

Most termite species swarm to form new colonies, but only one common termite is responsible for the hole-boring activity: drywood termites. Although subterranean termites swarm, they do not leave exit holes in the wood. This is because subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. So, seeing termite holes indicates the active or previous presence of drywood termites in your property. Drywood termites are often found in wood above ground, such as attics, garages, and trees.

How to Identify Termite Holes

How do you know if the tiny holes were left by termites or not? It typically takes a professional’s expert eye to identify exit holes. However, it’s important to know the following about termite holes, also known as “kick-out holes”.

  • Termite exit holes are round and only about ⅛ of an inch (or smaller!).
  • Once the swarmer termites (called alates) leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
  • The plugging of the holes happens quickly, making it rare to see uncovered holes in the wood.
  • Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds and can appear in a pile.

Which Insects Leave Holes in Wood?

Termite exit holes are often confused with holes made by other wood-destroying insects. Some of these insects include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Each of these exhibit unique behaviors and have different wood preferences, making it difficult to know which wood-boring insect you’re dealing with. This is why it’s always important to contact your local pest control experts for help identifying termites or holes made by other pests in your home.

Termite Exit Hole Inspections in Atlanta

At Active Pest Control, we know that seeing holes in your wooden structures can be distressing. You can rest easy knowing that our expert termite exterminators will thoroughly inspect your property to seek out termite or other wood-destroying insect activity. Contact us today for help with identifying termite exit holes in your Atlanta GA property!

Is TAP the Best Home Insulation?

Tap Insulation installation in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIf you’re looking to install insulation in your home, you’ve likely heard about TAP® Insulation. This popular home insulation method has a number of benefits and is an increasingly common installation for homes in the Atlanta GA area. In addition to providing great insulation and energy efficiency, it is prized for its pest control properties. Infused with borate, this pest resistant insulation works to ward off insects, wildlife, and other pest problems. The team at Active Pest Control is here to share expert information on why TAP is the superior home insulation product available to homeowners today.

TAP Insulation vs. Traditional Insulation

In addition to outperforming traditional insulation from a thermal and acoustical standpoint, TAP takes less energy to manufacture and has the added value of pest control features. Some other benefits that make TAP stand apart from other insulation options include:

  1. As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
  2. It is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
  3. This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.
  4. TAP is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  5. More cost-effective than traditional insulation, this is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
  6. It can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.

What Pests are Controlled with TAP?

One of the biggest benefits of TAP is its pest control qualities. The insulation is infused with a borate product that will prevent and eliminate pests. Some of the pests affected by this insulation product include:

How to Get TAP Insulation in Atlanta

For superior home insulation that also prevents pest problems, TAP is the answer. Active Pest Control is proud to be your local installer of TAP Insulation. Our certified technicians are licensed to install this pest control insulation in homes. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact our team today!