5 Things To Know About Protecting Your Home From Termites

Termites are an unfortunately common problem for property owners in our area. Feeding on wood structures, materials used in home construction, and debris typically found on your property, an infestation can cause heavy damage and may leave you facing structural issues that eventually make your home unsafe to live in. At Amco Ranger, our termite control experts have been helping clients address and eliminate termite problems for more than 50 years. Based on our experience, the following are five things you need to be aware of in protecting your home against termite damage:

1- Wood-to-soil contact provides the perfect breeding ground for termites.

The University of Missouri advises that one of the most important steps you can take in preventing termite damage is to eliminate the conditions under which they typically live and breed. Subterranean termites live underground and in wood that is in close contact to the soil surface.

Wood siding, door or window frames, and other wood structures, such as lattice, should all sit at least six inches above the ground to avoid providing a food source for termites and an easy way for them to chew their way in.

2- Keep moisture away from the foundation of your home.

Termites require a moist habitat to live and breed in. Keep the ground around your home dry by grading it at a slight downward slope and routinely check that all gutters are clear and in good working order. Make sure all downspouts are pointed at least a foot away from your home, and use gravel to line drainage ditches. Check air conditioning units regularly for signs of condensation as well and eliminate all leaks in plumbing.

3- Keep crawlspaces dry and vents free of debris.

Crawl spaces and attics tend to get humid and accumulate moisture as well as debris. Consider installing a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from the outside getting in and make sure adequate vents are installed and cleaned regularly. Avoid keeping firewood or wood construction materials in these locations and clear out any leaves, paper, dirt, or other debris regularly.

Make sure your basement is adequately drained as well and that windows or doorways are properly sealed. Avoid keeping wood furniture or other supplies in this area and consider covering dirt floors with concrete. 

4- Avoid mulch or placing bushes too close to your home.

To avoid attracting termites, use caution in your home landscaping too. Play it safe and make an effort to avoid wood mulch when possible, relying on stones or other materials instead. If you do mulch, keep it a foot from your home. If you cut and store firewood outside in a wood pile or have a wood burning fire pit, keep it 20 feet away. Take care when watering your garden or when installing lawn sprinkler systems to always spray away from your home’s foundation

5- Use only treated wood for construction projects.

When installing fencing on your property or in planning to build porches, decks, or sheds, be certain to use only specially treated wood designed to prevent water damage and repel termites. Unfortunately, while this does provide you with a certain level of protection, it is important to be aware that termites can still infest cut edges of the wood or rotten sections.

Routinely inspect all wood structures around your home or property for signs of termite damage or decay. One way to do this is by stabbing the wood with a screwdriver. Termites burrow and eat their way through wood, leaving tunnels as they go. These will immediately collapse under sharp pressure. Note the location where damage has occurred or where termites are suspected and notify our termite control experts immediately.

Our St. Louis Termite Control Experts Are Here to Help You

Termites can cause extensive damage to your home and are a problem that must be addressed at the very first signs of infestation. To avoid structural problems that could make your home unsafe to live in, call in our St. Louis termite control experts at Amco Ranger today.  

We rely on products that are proven safe, environmentally friendly, and reliably effective for addressing termite issues. You can rest easy, knowing our termite control service comes with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. Call or contact us online to request a free, no obligation inspection today.  

Warning Signs Of A Possible Cockroach Infestation

In addition to being unsightly pests, cockroaches can also be a health hazard. When an infestation occurs, the presence of cockroaches in large numbers increases the dangers presented by these insects.


Health risks of cockroaches

Because they are drawn to human food, cockroaches are a cause of food contamination. Cockroaches both defecate and regurgitate on the food that they eat. While this is disgusting on its own, it also spreads bacteria and parasites that may be living inside of them.


How do you know if you have a cockroach infestation? Look for the following warning signs:


Cockroach feces

Feces can take on one of two forms depending on what cockroaches are eating. Solid feces look like small, black droppings while liquid feces look more like black streaks. You’ll see them on floors, worktops, baseboards, and other surfaces.


An odd & offensive odor

Cockroaches gathering in large numbers produce an odd and offensive odor that is easily recognized by pest control professionals. If you see what appears to be cockroach feces accompanied by a smell you don’t recognize, there’s a good chance you’re looking at an infestation.


Shed skins

Cockroaches shed their skins numerous times between the nymph stage and adulthood. A shed skin looks a lot like a live cockroach but without a head and legs. You’ll know one when you see one.


What you should do

If you suspect you might have a cockroach infestation in your home, we recommend several things. First, use a flashlight to thoroughly search areas where cockroaches might be hiding. Look under the fridge, behind the stove, and in kitchen cabinets. Check the bathrooms as well. Even though kitchens are where cockroaches most often congregate (that’s where they find food) they are also known to like the dark, moist areas of bathrooms.

Next, do a few night inspections. Wearing shoes to protect your feet, visit the kitchen without turning the lights on. If there are cockroaches present, you should see them scurrying around when you enter the room.

Finally, call a pest control expert, who will have the tools, skills, and experience to eradicate these unpleasant pests from your home. If you believe you might have an infestation, please don’t wait to call. Cockroaches reproduce rapidly and do not need much time to become a big problem.


We can help

No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Louis and surrounding communities.

Learn more about pest control myths.

Spring Pest Control

Spring is here, which means warmer weather, shorter sleeves, and flowers in bloom. It also marks the return of some nasty pests. With the seasonal shift, once dormant creatures emerge hungry, homeless, and ready to mate. As you begin your spring cleaning, it’s the perfect time to protect against potential unwanted bugs and rodents.


Here are the top tips for ending your spring pest problems.


Know your enemy

Pest management can be difficult if you don’t know what to expect. While some pests are around all year, certain culprits are more active in the spring. Some pests start their mating season during this time of year. Termites begin their swarms and rats start their mating cycles. Additionally, after the winter thaw, there is an abundance of standing water for mosquitos to thrive.


As the weather turns warmer, other pests start to become more active. Ants begin searching for food and spiders emerge. Typically, an increase in temperature means an increase in travel and the spread of the hitchhiking pests: bed bugs and ticks. Once you’ve identified your problem, it’s easier to fix it.


Inspect your exterior

Winter weather is harsh. Changes in temperature and heavy winter snow can lead to some major repairs for your home’s exterior. These weaknesses in your property can be exploited by pests looking for a cozy spot to live. Pests can sneak into your home through cracks in the stone, chipped windowpanes, or gaps around doors. Roof damage or loose siding can also be entry points for sneaky invaders. To keep pests out, perform yearly wear-and-tear maintenance.


Inspect your interior

After inspecting your property’s exterior, the next step is to examine the interior. Spring cleaning is more than just washing your curtains. Attics and basements are two prime spots, as well as any areas where your home utilities are kept. Damp basements are a draw for insects like silverfish and spiders, while attics are prime spots for nesting animals like rodents. Be thorough to make sure no pest made its way inside.


Maintain your yard

As the snow melts and temperatures rise, it’s time to look to your yard. Fall and winter leave potential pest hazards behind, such as debris, dead leaves, melted snow, and mud. Any damp wood or thick overgrowth can house potential spring pests. Additionally, any stagnant or standing water from puddles or in clogged gutters can be ideal for mosquito breeding. Maintain your property to avoid potential pest problems.


Monitor food & waste

After the winter thaw, pests are on the lookout for the essentials: food, water, and shelter. One way to keep these creatures out of your home is to be mindful about how you store their potential food source. Keep food – including pet food – stored in airtight containers. Clean up dishes and spills quickly, and make sure your indoor and outdoor garbage dumpster/trash can is kept closed.


Control moisture

The transition to spring often means dealing with a lot of moisture: rain, snow, runoff, and overflow. Pests are drawn to water either because they are searching for a drinking source, or they thrive in a damp environment.


Leaky pipes, blocked gutters, and pooling water can be a draw to many different creatures. While you can’t help how much it rains or snows, be sure to keep your gutters clean and maintain your plumbing.


Keep things clean

Spring is the best time of year to clear out any potential dirt and clutter gathered over the winter. Clutter and build-up can lead to serious pest problems, because extra junk means more areas for pests to hide. If you want to keep pests out, keep your home clean and tidy.


Contact a professional

Following these pest control tips is a great way to deter unwanted houseguests. However, even the most vigilant homeowner can face a pest management problem. If you suspect you may have an infestation, contact a professional pest control company for a thorough inspection.


We can help

No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and surrounding communities.

Check out our bug survival guide for additional information.