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Pest Library

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What You Need To Know About Pests In Elkton

When pests invade your house or your business, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Our Pest Library provides information about the pests that are most common in Elkton and the surrounding areas. Here, you can learn what pests are on your property, what problems those pests are known to cause, and what to do to get rid of them.

Ants

With thousands of species of ants living across the country, every homeowner is going to encounter them in their yards or homes at one time or another. Ants are social insects, with each member of the colony tasked with a specific job. Their ability to work together, maintain multiple nests, and communicate by laying down pheromone trails ensures the colony's success. Ants create their nest in various places like fallen trees, in the ground, and within the pavement cracks or soil next to foundations. Food odors and moisture often attract them to our homes where once inside, they may decide to stay and create a satellite nest, usually within a wall void, under the floor, or in a crawl space.

Ants like to live in our homes not because they are well decorated but because they provide safe shelter and easy access to their necessities. Having ants decide to call our Maryland properties home is not only annoying but potentially very problematic. Take, for instance, the large carpenter ant; when they invade our homes searching for food, they often decide to stay and nest within structural wood, over time causing costly damage.

Pharaoh ants have adapted to primarily living indoors and are particularly problematic in healthcare facilities. Pharaoh ants spread dangerous pathogens and contaminate patient wounds and eyes as they search for moisture. The pavement ant is an example of a nuisance ant, and while they don't cause damage to our homes or spread serious disease, they do invade structures in large numbers, contaminate food, and spread bacteria.

Use the following prevention tips to help keep ants from taking over your yard and moving into your home to forage for food or a new nesting site:

  • Quickly repair leaky pipes in your house and replace wood damaged by water.
  • Ants don't particularly like the smell of vinegar; use a vinegar solution to wipe down tables and chairs to help deter ant activity.
  • Store perishables in the fridge and store pantry items in airtight containers.
  • Regularly vacuum your home to remove ants.
  • Wash dirty dishes and remove trash from your home daily.
  • Outside trash containers should have lids always kept on them.
  • Complete regular inspections of your home's exterior, sealing any small openings tiny ants can move through.
  • Request an ant control service for your Elkton home.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are pests that we have all become familiar with in the last several decades. They have made themselves well-known by regularly invading the places where people spend the majority of their time. Bed bugs are closely associated with humans because our blood is their favored food source. Their desire to be close to us isn't the only reason bed bugs are so difficult to prevent; it is also how they enter our homes. Bed bugs are avid hitchhikers, so no matter how secure we seal the exterior of our homes, bed bugs easily get inside, usually right through the front door!

We regularly come into contact with these small, apple seed-shaped insects in places where there are large groups of people regularly coming and going. Airports, hotels, laundry mats, schools, hospitals, and movie theaters are frequent hot spots for bed bugs. Bed bugs can't fly or jump, but they will crawl onto you or inside your belongings and wait for you to take them wherever you go, including your home. Once inside your house, bed bugs will find dark seams, cracks, or crevices to hide in during the day and emerge at night to feed on the blood of you and your family. If bed bugs are in your home, you will likely notice the following signs:

  • Piles of shed insect skins in your home, on the floor, in drawers, or under mattresses
  • Brown stains caused by blood or black stains caused by excrement on mattresses, bedding, walls, or floors
  • Unexplained bug bites
  • A sweet, musty odor developing in your home
  • Dead or alive apple seed-shaped bugs in the seams of mattresses, behind the cushions of upholstered furniture, behind wall hangings, or within electrical outlets

Use the following prevention tips to help keep bed bugs from taking over your home:

  • Don't let dirty laundry pile up and keep it up off the floor; bed bugs love to hide in piles of dirty laundry.
  • Inspect your hotel room before bringing your luggage inside; keep baggage and other personal belongings up off the ground.
  • Cover power outlets and place bed bug-proof encasements over your mattresses to take away two of their favorite hideouts.
  • Regularly vacuum the floors in your house.
  • Know the signs of a bed bug infestation and contact a professional at the first sign of bed bugs.

Rodents

Rodents are mammals. In fact, they are one of the largest groups of mammals living worldwide. Most rodents stay well away from people and play an important part in the ecosystem, acting as prey for other animals and helping to aerate the soil. Their scavenging feeding habits help get rid of decaying materials. However, several species, including mice and rats, have learned that they can benefit from living with people and, unfortunately for us, have become common household pests. Rodents are a constant threat to our homes and families throughout the entire year.

The presence of rodents like mice or rats is enough to make any homeowner nervous and a little panicky. The reason these small mammals are so unwanted is because of the damages and dangers they create. Before finding a way into your home, rodents were most likely in places that put them into contact with parasites and disease-causing pathogens. When they find their way into your home, they contaminate surfaces and food that can make you and your family ill.

Rodents are incredibly damaging pests. They use their sharp front incisors to chew through important elements of your home like wires, cables, around vents, walls, and floors. Their feces, urine, and shed fur put many allergens into the air that can cause allergy symptoms like skin rashes and breathing difficulties.

Use the following prevention tips to help keep rodents from taking over your property's indoor or outdoor spaces:

  • Use steel wool to seal spaces around wires and utilities entering your house. It is strong enough to stand up against a rodent's teeth.
  • Caulk cracks in your home's exterior walls and place weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Keep lids on all outdoor trash cans and always store them away from the sides of your home.
  • Maintain your lawn by keeping the grass cut short and the landscaping trimmed to reduce the places rodents can hide in your yard.
  • Remove woodpiles and other debris from your property.

Spiders

Seeing large numbers of spiders scurrying across the surfaces of your home is not only unnerving but can be an indication of a bigger problem. Spiders are predators, which means that they eat other living creatures, mainly insects. If spiders are living on your property in large numbers, so are the insects they hunt. Things that attract the insects to your property that spiders like to feed on include areas of standing water, dense vegetation, open trash cans, gardens, and outdoor eating areas.

While spiders prefer to live and feed outside, they also won't hesitate to move into our homes and other structures. Things that make the inside of our homes appealing to these eight-legged pests include insect prey, moisture, and quiet, safe places to lay their eggs. The most common areas in our homes to find spiders and the insects they hunt are kitchens, bathrooms, basements, closets, and crawl spaces. While spiders don't cause structural damage to our homes and most aren't harmful to people, their presence should never be allowed; remember, if spiders are entering your home, so are other pests, pests that could be quite dangerous or damaging!

Use the following prevention tips to help keep spiders from wandering into your home and taking over your yard:

  • Reduce clutter that on your property that can house hiding spiders.
  • Mow the lawn regularly.
  • Keep a distance between plants and the exterior of your home.
  • Make sure to repair any leaks that cause excess moisture to build up in your home.
  • Seal openings in windows, doors, and the foundation the spiders and the critters they hunt use to move into your house.
  • Make sure screens are in place and tight-fitting, install door sweeps on all exterior doors and replace worn weatherstripping.

Termites

Can you believe a creature the size of a grain of rice can cause five billion dollars worth of damage across the country each year? Well, it's true. The termite is a social insect that lives and works together in large groups, and unfortunately for us, their main food source is cellulose. When termites find their way into our homes, they feed on structural wood, flooring, wood furniture, and more, causing costly damage that typically isn't covered by homeowners' insurance.

The subterranean termite is the most common termite in our area and across the country. These termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying wood. Subterranean termites nest underground and move from their nest to food source through the soil or mud tubes they create. Their most common entry points are cracks in the foundation, wood making direct contact with the ground (doorframes, deck posts, wooden steps), or cracks in brick mortar. Once inside, they will make quick work of tunneling through structural wood, preferring wood damaged by water and found around windows, doors, drains, and plumbing pipes.

Use the following prevention tips to help keep termites from damaging the structure of your Maryland home:

  • Never store firewood, construction wood, or other wooden items near the exterior walls of your home.
  • Reduce as much soil-to-wood contact in your yard and on your home as possible.
  • Make sure your yard has proper drainage.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear so they can do their job and direct water away from the outside of your home.
  • Seal any cracks that develop in your foundation.
  • Make sure your home is well ventilated and use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels in your house.
  • If there is ever a leak in your home, quickly repair it and replace structural wood damaged by water. 

Wildlife

Wildlife can pose major problems when they decide to take up residence on our Maryland properties. Wildlife have adapted to living with people, whether in urban or more suburban or rural areas; however, it is no secret that the closer you live to wooded areas or open spaces like fields, the more problems with wildlife you will experience.

Some of the most regular visitors to our properties and therefore the biggest wildlife threats include:

  • Birds
  • Groundhogs
  • Moles
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels

Things that are most likely to attract wildlife to any property include tall grass, overgrown vegetation, woodpiles, and food and water sources. Living or foraging for food regularly in your yard puts them in close contact with your home. Then when food becomes scarce or there is a need for warm, safe shelter, these animals won't hesitate to move indoors. Common entry points include vents, chimneys, holes in the roofline, and gaps around cellar doors and your foundation. Having wildlife living with you and your family is problematic for many reasons, including the damage they cause, the diseases they spread, and their unpredictability.

Use the following prevention tips to help keep wildlife out of your home and stop them from taking over your yard.

  • Place all outdoor trash in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • After feeding your pets pick up uneaten food.
  • Move bird feeders away from your home.
  • Clean up food from outdoor eating areas after barbecues or picnics.
  • Regularly harvest fruit trees and garden areas.
  • Put wire mesh at the end of downspouts and over vents leading into your house.
  • Place caps on chimneys.
  • Inspect the outside of your home, from the roof to the foundation, for openings that you need to seal.
  • Remove woodpiles and other debris from your yard, keep the grass cut short, and cut back overgrown landscaping.
  • Consider professional rodent and wildlife control for your Elkton home or business.

The Ultimate Pest Protection In Elkton, MD

At Abracadabra Pest Solutions, we are a small business that can meet the unique needs of all our customers. We work closely with our customers, learning the specific ins and outs of your property. We will provide you with reliable, effective home pest control and commercial exterminator solutions. To begin working with our family-friendly company to protect your Maryland property and family against pests, reach out today!