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!

Natural Ways to Repel Bees and Wasps

A wasp sitting on a leaf

Are you planning to spend some time outside this summer? You won’t be alone: wasps and bees are active in the summer in Georgia. A run-in with wasps or bees can result in annoyance, stings and even serious allergic reactions. But how can you keep stinging insects at bay without loading up on bug spray? To learn how to repel bees and wasps while you’re outdoors this summer – naturally read on!

Plants That Bees and Wasps Love

Since bees and wasps are pollinators, it’s not shocking that they’re attracted to plants. Here are some flowers that bees and/or wasps are especially attracted to: 

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lantana
  • Lilacs
  • Perennial Yarrow
  • Poppies
  • Pale Purple Coneflower
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Wisteria
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Sedum
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflowers

Are any of these growing near your home? If so, consider moving them further away, if possible. Especially if they’re close to a patio or other outdoor space that you use frequently.

Plants That Bees and Wasps Hate

Wasps and bees are attracted to some plants based on how they smell but repelled by other plants for the same reason. The plants that repel them include: 

  • Basil
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood

To keep stinging insects away from your porch, deck or patio, consider adding some of these plants near your home’s outdoor spaces.

Bees and Wasps and Food

Stinging insects, especially wasps, are also attracted to food. This can be a problem because whether it’s barbecues, picnics or kids with ice cream, eating food outside is a part of summer. 

However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance that bees or wasps will ruin an outdoor meal.

  • Put away food and drinks promptly after eating a meal outside. 
  • Keep sugary drinks closed or covered to keep wasps out.
  • When you put food or food-related trash in a trash can, close the lid securely.

Bees and wasps are attracted to food. However, like with plants, there are some food items that bees and wasps don’t like, including: 

  • Bay Leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Vinegar

If you keep one or more of these in close proximity while you’re enjoying the outdoors, it could help keep stinging insects away. For example, you could place cinnamon sticks or a glass of vinegar on a patio table. Or bring some sliced cucumber on a plate if you’re eating a meal outside.

How to Keep Bees and Wasps Away with Essential Oils

Another way to keep stinging insects away naturally is to make an essential oil-based pest repellent spray. Stinging insects dislike the smell of the essential oils below:

  • Citronella oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil

Simply combine essential oil and water at a ratio of two drops of essential oil per ounce of water to make a natural alternative to store bought insect repellent. 

Best Bee and Wasp Exterminators in Georgia

Natural pest repellents can help keep some wasps or bees away. However, they won’t be enough to deal with a serious infestation. In that case, you may need to hire a local exterminator to get rid of the stinging insects on your property. Active Pest Control has been providing exterminator services in Georgia since 1985. If you’re looking for eco-friendly bee, wasp and hornet removal, call us today 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!

3 Important Facts about Wasps and Hornets

Because of the possibility of painful hornet stings, it’s necessary to make sure that in combating their presence, you’re working with pest control specialists who are trained in getting rid of these creatures safely and quickly. Improper disposal of a hornet’s next may cause these creatures to swarm and attack the person who is disturbing […]

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Bee Sting vs Wasp Sting

Bee Sting vs Wasp Sting in Atlanta GA - Active Pest Control

Especially in the summertime here in Atlanta GA, the chances of getting a bug bite while spending time outdoors are likely. The main culprits? Bees and wasps! These stinging insects typically prefer to mind their own business, but there are times when they can and will sting people nearby. Many people call any type of sting a “bee sting”, but the truth is, wasps are responsible for more stinging incidents. While the reactions from their stings can be similar, the nature of when and how bees or wasps sting can be different. The stinging insect experts at Active Pest Control are here to help set the record straight on bee stings vs wasp stings—read on to learn more!

Did I Get Stung By a Wasp or a Bee?

Bees and wasps differ widely in appearance and temperament. What makes them sting someone, as well as how the sting feels itself, also differs by species. In general, bees are not aggressive and thus unlikely to sting unless directly provoked. Honey bees are the bees that will lodge their stinger in the person they sting, causing them to die shortly afterwards. Other bees can sting repeatedly, but it is rare for them to do so.

Wasp stings are known to be more painful than bee stings. This is due in part to the fact that wasps are capable of stinging repeatedly—often in the same spot. Wasps are more aggressive and will sting at will, especially when they are provoked or when their nest is threatened.

Bee vs wasp sting infographic

Wasp or Bee Sting Reactions

There are a number of symptoms associated with bee and wasp stings. Usually, the reactions to a sting by either of these pests are largely the same. After being stung, it’s important to remove the stinger (if it was lodged) and immediately clean the area with antibiotics. Some of the common reactions to a bee sting vs wasp sting include:

  • A sharp, stinging pain at the site of the bite.
  • Swollen, red bumps wherever a bite occurred.
  • Itchiness and irritation.
  • A numb feeling at the site of the bite.

More serious reactions can happen, especially if someone is allergic to bees or wasps. Anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting can start within two hours of the incident and rapidly get worse. Immediately get to a doctor if you start to break out in hives or have trouble breathing.

Who to Call for Wasp or Bee Problems

Bees and wasps are a normal part of our environment. In fact, they play an essential role in pollinating our flowers and foliage! That said, stings are a common occurrence in the spring and summer. If stinging insects build a nest on or near your property, it’s crucial that you contact a local bee and wasp removal expert to deal with the problem. Trying to get rid of them yourself can leave you vulnerable to being stung repeatedly. Contact the team at Active Pest Control today!

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!

Top Tips for Pest-Free Outdoor Living

Avoid mosquitoes in your Atlanta GA backyard with tips from Active Pest ControlWith summer winding down, you’re likely wanting to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue or reading out on your patio at night, the last thing you want to deal with is a pest problem. Mosquitoes, ticks, flies, lawn pests, and wasps are just a few of the many pests that can become quite a nuisance. At Active Pest Control, we know you want to enjoy your time spent in your outdoor living spaces to be pest-free, which is why we’re here to provide you with our top tips for pest-free outdoor living in your Atlanta area home.

Common Pests in Your Yard

The time of year that provides nice enough weather for you to be outdoors is also the time of year when pests are most active! Whether you have a garden in your backyard or couches and tables on your deck, you will likely encounter some of the following pests:

How to Prevent Pests in Your Outdoor Living Space

To keep pests away when you’re in your yard, there are several things you can do. The best ways to keep pests away in your outdoor space are as follows.

  1. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  2. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  3. Know how to look for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  4. Check wood structures. Termites and carpenter bees will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Use an insect repellent. Insect repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  6. Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.

Year-Long Pest-Free Living

Pests are just a fact of life outside. However, you don’t have to let them ruin your time spent in your own backyard! For help implementing pest-free outdoor living tips, the experts at Active Pest Control can help. Contact our residential exterminators to learn more.

Wasps & Hornets: Prevent Infestations, Protect Your Family

This time of year, the pest control experts at Active Pest Control deal with numerous complaints of wasp and hornet nests on homeowners’ property. You may not know there are several ways to protect yourself from these creatures and prevent them from becoming problematic pests. Your friends at Active Pest Control want to educate you on a few ways to help stop these winged nuisances before they become unwelcome neighbors on your property.

Keep food sources outside your yard

It’s tempting to send the kids outside with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all summer long, but doing this on a regular basis is bound to attract hornets and wasps. Particularly, food items with sugar, including fruit juices, can cause wasps and hornets to invite themselves over for a free meal.

Another potential food source for these creatures is your trash, so make sure to keep your trashcans tightly sealed so they can’t get in and establish nests nearby.

Seal up cracks on the side of your home and patch up loose siding

To prevent infestations, seal up cracks in your home and patch up loose siding. Wasps and hornets like to find these crevices and build nests there, and sometimes they can ultimately end up entering your home through these tiny holes.

Once wasps or hornets get inside your home you will most certainly need immediate assistance from a pest control specialist to help rid them from your home.

Do not try to remove them on your own

If your prevention efforts aren’t working and wasps form a nest in your home, do not try to remove it on your own. Doing so could anger the wasps and cause them so swarm, which could result in painful stings all over your body.

Instead, contact a pest control expert like the ones at Active Pest Control to combat these creatures. Our specialists have years of training in helping to stop and prevent wasp and hornet infestations, so please contact us via our contact form to request an appointment.