Facts About the Misunderstood House Spider

House spiders are not lost travelers in our homes, their homes are our homes. People tend to lump them in with insects, like roaches, ants, crickets, but they aren’t insects and they don’t want to invade our homes. If anything, house spiders are on our side. Their role is to kill the insects that do invade our home, the insects that we’re too scared to kill. So, before you pick up a shoe or magazine to squish a spider, take a closer look at them. We’ll be giving you a few interesting facts about the misunderstood house spiders.

Humans and Spiders Are Closer Than You Think

Seeing a spider in your space might feel like they’re invading your home, but spiders evolved close to 300 million years ago. In fact, they predate dinosaurs and humans. Good luck trying to get rid of house spiders from home, not only are stubborn, but a majority of house spiders have adapted to indoor conditions like indoor climates and limited access to food and water. Typically, they spend their entire lives in, on, under and around their native building, i.e. houses, bridges, and other types of human structures.

Kicking Spiders Out of Your Home

A lot of time a person’s first reaction to a spider in their home is to kill it. Then, there are also people who want to rescue the spider and take it outside back to their “habitat”. The thing is, a House Spider’s habitat is not outside, it’s your home. By putting the spider outside, it probably won’t survive outside of its habitat and will die.

But not all spiders you find in your home are house spiders. It can be hard to tell spiders apart, but if you do come across a spider that came into your home from the outside, take it back outside. Or, if these outdoor spiders pose more of a threat, call an Amco Ranger and we’ll take care of it.

The Unsung Hero

There are a lot of misconceptions about spiders that incite fear and give them a bad reputation. The last thing a house spider wants to do is bite you, they’d rather prey on insects because it’s a food source for them–you’re not. Spiders in general rarely bite people and if they do it’s because they’ve been provoked. Outdoor spiders are a defense against agricultural pests and indoor spiders offer very similar benefits, preying on pests that invade your home and if left alone, spiders will eat a majority of the insects in your home. Aside from them consuming pests, they’re great for disease control. Spiders help to limit the spread of diseases carried by insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and roaches.

If you come across house spiders no need to freak out, just let them be. House spiders won’t go away, their home is your home. You can do things to lessen the number of house spiders, like vacuuming along with window sills, behind furniture, and along the floorboards to suck up any spider webs you see. But, if you do come across spiders like Brown Recluses or outdoor spiders, give Amco Ranger a call, and we’ll assess the situation. Call today to schedule your FREE inspection at (636) 224-BUGS.

Squirrels In The Attic? How To Prevent Them

There’s nothing more spooky than waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of scratching noises in your ceiling or walls. Those creepy noises are created by squirrels, and while squirrels might appear cute and harmless they can do a lot of damage to your attic. Their bodies are small, they can make their way into your home through tiny entry points, as well as a hideout in the hard-to-reach places of your attic and walls.

Not only is it important to learn how to safely remove squirrels from your home, but also how to keep them out of your home. In this article, we’ll give you a few effective steps that help to make your home squirrel free and keep them from coming back.

Look For The Entry Point

If you’re hearing the sounds of pests living in your walls and ceiling, that means those critters are getting into your home from an entry point. Go outside and walk around the perimeter of your home, look at the roof, and around the gutters to see where the entry point is. If you’re having a hard time finding it, go up in the attic with a flashlight and look for any entry points. But be careful when going up into the attic while squirrels are living there, they scare easily and can run into other parts of the attic or other parts of the house.

If you do find holes in the roof, gutters, etc, repair the holes with animal-resistant patches. Another great solution is to apply seals with caulk or plaster around electrical wiring and plumbing fixtures to prevent squirrels from entering.
Another point of entry for critters is the chimney. By placing a chimney cap on top of the chimney it keeps critters like squirrels from entering, and it allows the smoke to escape the chimney.

Give Squirrels A Reason To Leave

Squirrels are stubborn and may not leave on their own, especially if a mother squirrel just gave birth to a litter. If a squirrel is feeding its litter, it will leave and reenter bringing food to its litter, but if you cover up the entryway while the mother squirrel is away, you’re left with a litter of squirrels. If that’s the case, that’s when you call Amco Ranger and we’ll safely remove the litter of squirrels (dead or alive). To prevent that scenario, remove the squirrel as soon as it’s detected. A cheap and easy to run them out is to soak a rag in ammonia and then place it near the nesting site or entryway in the attic. The strong smell of ammonia will irritate the squirrels and they view the attic as a bad place to live, driving them to leave.

Prevent Re-Entry

Yay, so you got rid of those squirrels living in your attic, now it’s time to protect your home from critters reentering. Take a look at your roof, and if you notice and tree branches that are hanging out next to your roof, cut them off. Squirrels will use tree branches as a bridge to your home, and that tree could be the squirrels main home and uses your attic as a space to nest and keep comfortable during the winter months and bad weather. Plus, having too much plant matter next to or on your home can give other pests like insects, mice, and mites easy access to your home.

Keep Critters Out With Insulation

You’re probably going to ask how insulation will keep squirrels out of the attic, but our InCide® Pest Control Insulation is infused with a powerful pesticide that kills pests once it’s been ingested. The active ingredients that are used to treat our insulation are safe to humans and pets, and there are no irritating side effects related to the insulation or inhalation of this EPA registered product.

The best way to deal with squirrels in attics, walls or around the home is to call a pest solutions group, like Amco Ranger. A professional from Amco Ranger not only knows how to get squirrels out of the attic (safely), but how to keep them out for good. Give us a call today, and we’ll put an end to the critters living in your space.

4 Ways To Get Rid Of Pantry Moths In The Kitchen

You’ve probably seen these guys in your pantry or near your clothes. You may have dismissed them or did some light vacuuming as a result of their presence. While you might fear the common house spider and kill them, pantry moths do more damage and are an enemy of the home. If you spot one of these flying menaces in your pantry, it’s safe to say that there are plenty more moth eggs and larva around. Here are some tips and tricks on how to effectively handle a moth infestation.

1. Dispose of All Dry Goods

To effectively remove the moths and risk spreading the infestation, bag up all the dry goods in your pantry. While that might seem like an extreme move, if you find one moth in your oatmeal chances are there’s more; an adult female moth can lay up to 400 eggs. To be on the safe side, ditch the flour, sugar, rice, pasta, and other dry goods in your pantry. After you’ve bagged all the dry goods, be sure to take them out to the curb.

2. Deep Clean The Pantry

Once you’ve disposed of the infested dry goods, do a deep clean of the pantry, just because their food source is gone does not mean they are. Moths’ tiny bodies can hide out in the smallest of cracks and the crevices of containers, so be sure to bleach the food containers. Wipe down the pantry with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, add some peppermint oil to the solution–moths hate the smell of peppermint. After cleaning and vacuuming, wait a week or so to restock the pantry to make sure the infestation is gone.

3. Set Out Moth Traps

Think twice before you grab the pesticides, as they don’t work well on moths and it’s not safe for the kitchen. Save the moth balls for other places in the house, since their scent is so strong the food in your pantry may end up smelling like moth balls. A great odorless and food-safe option are moth traps. The traps are sticky and release pheromones that attract male moths. The moth will get stuck inside and die; this type of trap puts a wrench in moths’ mating process, less males moths mean less eggs.

4. Prevention

How do moth infestations begin? A lot of times they get into your home by hitching a ride on food products that came from moth infested warehouses. When you’re at the store, double-check the cans and packaging of food items before putting them in your cart and when you get home give the can a rinse–just to be safe. Purchase airtight glass or plastic containers to store your dry goods in, as this will help decrease the chances of another infestation. Another trick is to put peppermint leaves, bay leaves, or cedar chips in a sachet and place it in the back of your pantry or cupboard, that will deter moths from making a home in your food.

If you tried the methods mentioned above and are still having with moths, give Amco Ranger a call and we’ll come out and assess the situation. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality service and answer any questions you may come across so you can live a pest-free lifestyle. We’ll happily come to your home and provide you with a FREE inspection.

Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?

Nothing can disturb a good night’s sleep worse than an invasion of tiny, biting pests in your bed. Bed bugs are found in cities across the country, including towns throughout Missouri. While bed bugs are often mistakenly associated with poor hygiene and a lack of proper cleaning practices, the fact is even the tidiest home can be subject to a bed bug infestation. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we work to quickly and effectively eliminate this problem, relying on products that are proven to work yet still environmentally friendly and safe for your pets. 

If you suspect bed bugs or have confirmed an infestation, you may be worried about the risks these pests carry in terms of spreading disease. While scientists thus far claim it is unlikely for bed bugs to transmit any type of virus, they can have a major impact on both your physical and mental health. 

The Problem With Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are flat, tiny creatures that are reddish-brown in color and feed on the blood of humans and animals. They often infest bedding and furniture and can be found on mattresses, sheets, curtains, or other fabrics throughout your home. 

Bed bugs are hitchhikers by nature and spread easily from one location to another. You can pick them up from traveling and staying in hotels to visiting other people’s homes. Even the fanciest places have them and outward cleanliness does not mean you are safe. Bed bugs often lurk in hiding and may attach themselves to your handbag, clothing, luggage, or other items. You can even pick them up from clothing purchased in thrift shops and through other items you bring into your home. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs do not pose a public health risk nor are they known to transmit any serious diseases, such as those carried by other pests such as cockroaches, flies, or mosquitoes. However, they do bite and can leave victims with lines of rash-like bumps spreading over their face, neck, back, or other parts of the body. These bites tend to itch and scratching could result in an infection. They can also result in serious allergic reactions. You should see your doctor if you suffer any of the following symptoms:  

  • Redness, pain, or oozing at the site of the bed bug bites;
  • Swelling at the site or in surrounding areas;
  • Bed bug bites that do not heal after several weeks;
  • Fever, dizziness, headaches, or other signs of possible infection. 

Bed Bugs and Known Health Risks

While bed bugs may not be classified as a public health risk, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims they are a public health pest. This is due to how fast they spread, the number of places infested with bed bugs, and how difficult they can be to eliminate. The EPA also warns that while the risk of transmitted disease is low with bed bugs, there are some major health impacts they can have beyond bite infections. These include: 

  • Secondary infections, such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis, which are all bacterial infections that are difficult to treat and can wreak havoc with your health. 
  • Mental health issues, due to anxiety and lack of sleep caused by bed bug bites and worry over the problem. 
  • Anemia, in situations involving infants, pets, and cases where considerable blood loss occurs due to large scale and long term bed bug infestations.  

Addressing Your Bed Bug Problem

Aside from the telltale bite marks and itching, signs of a bed bug infestation include black or brown marks along the seams of bedding and mattresses. Both the EPA and CDC advise calling in professionals if you have any doubts or suspect an infestation. 

Bed bugs are nearly impossible to eliminate on your own. Let our Missouri bed bug control experts determine whether you have a problem and the steps needed to address it. Once you have received treatment, actions you can take to help keep bed bugs from returning include the following: 

  • Wash towels, bedding, curtains, and other fabrics in hot water;
  • Vacuum your bed, furniture, and carpets regularly;
  • Inspect all second-hand clothing or furniture before bringing it into your home;
  • When traveling, check the bedding and curtains in your room before settling in.  

We Can Help You Today

If you are struggling with a bed bug problem, Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions is here to help. To schedule a free, no-obligation inspection, call or contact our Missouri bed bug control experts online today.  

Do Ants Hibernate?

Ants are one of the most common pests. Depending on the type, they may originally invade your yard, garden, landscaping, or outdoor structures, such as porches and decks. Eventually, these persistent bugs will more than likely make their way into your home. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we help businesses and residential property owners eliminate ants quickly and safely, using environmentally friendly products and methods designed to keep them from returning in the future. 

While ants in Missouri are most likely to wreak havoc with property owners during the warmer spring and summer months, ants do not hibernate. This means that if there is a nest or colony of ants nearby that was previously not dealt with properly, there is a good chance you will spot them over the winter months as well. 

Where Do Ants Go When the Weather Turns Cold?

Ants are common invaders at summer picnics and barbecues. In warm weather, they often get in through open windows or cracks in your siding. During this time, you are likely to notice them marching across countertops, walls, and floors in kitchen and pantry areas. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation advises that in some cases, they may be coming from colonies formed outdoors, sometimes from as far as 100 yards away. These are generally worker ants, who go off in search of food while the queen remains in the nest, mating and watching over any eggs or ant larvae that are hatched. This is characteristic of yellow ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants, all of which are common in Missouri. Other ants you may spot in your home over winter include: 

  • Pavement ants, which usually live outdoors and underground, mainly along sidewalks and in pavement cracks as their name implies.
  • Carpenter ants, one of the more destructive species, feed on wood both outdoors and inside your home. 
  • Pharaoh ants, which usually nest in void indoor spaces, such as behind walls and in electrical outlets. Colder weather draws them out, where they can be spotted crawling along your baseboards or heating vents. 

All of the above may become more visible in you  home during the winter months. Ants do not hibernate but their bodies do require warmer temperatures to survive. Even field ants and other outdoor types not commonly seen in homes will build deeper tunnels and trenches in order to escape the cold. 

Why Am I Still Seeing Ants In My House?

If you are still seeing ants in your home despite freezing outdoor temperatures, there is a strong chance they may have moved their nest inside. Either that, or your previous attempts at exterminating them failed. 

Many home and business owners attempt do-it-yourself methods to keep ants at bay. Unfortunately, in addition to being unsafe, these are generally ineffective for the following reasons: 

  • Over-the-counter insecticides are simply not strong enough to eradicate an ant colony, nor are they generally applied the right way. 
  • Simply spraying will not do the trick. The University of Missouri advises that different types of ants require different elimination methods. For example, to effectively eliminate acrobat ants, you must find and thoroughly spray the nest, whereas pharaoh ants require the use of baits. 
  • You have to eliminate the entire nest. Another common mistake made among DIYers is killing only the queen. While this does prevent her from hatching more eggs, it does not prevent other queens from taking her place.
  • Even once the queen and the nest is removed, you need to address nearby conditions that may have served to attract ants to your home. This means sealing up cracks at windows, doors, and the exteriors of your home, eliminating food sources, attending to areas in your yard where ants are likely to nest. 

Half measures and the wrong methods will not yield the desired results and you will likely continue to see ants over the winter months. 

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you are experiencing problems with ants in your home despite the cooler temperatures, Amco Ranger Pest Control Services provides the professional help you need. You can expect fast, effective, friendly service backed by our 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. When dealing with pest control problems, it is important to remember that the longer you wait, the bigger your problem is likely to get. To eliminate ants permanently from your home or business, call or contact our Missouri ant control experts online and request a free, no-obligation inspection today.