Watch Out: 6 Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

What’s the sound? Does it smell odd in here? 

Knowing the signs of rodent infestation is essential if you want to catch them before they begin to multiply rapidly. Rodents can, unfortunately, cause significant damage to a home, so it’s best to rid your home of them as soon as possible. 

As cold weather settles in, so do the rodents, looking for shelter from the cold. How will you know if you’re dealing with a rodent infestation? What are the signs of rodent infestation?

In the guide below, there are several signs of a rodent problem to keep in mind. Continue reading below to find out more and take your home back before the rodents take over. 

1. Strange Odors

Did you know that rodents leave behind a musky odor? They do! As unpleasing as this might be, there’s one benefit of rodents’ stinky odors: you’ll be able to catch them quicker. 

If you notice any stale odors coming from hidden-away places, then this could be a hiding place for the rodents. As your rodent problem worsens, the odor will worsen as well. Noticing a strange odor that becomes stronger over time might be a sign that it’s time to call in the professionals

Once a rodent dies, it also gives off a strong foul odor. Any dead rodents will need to be removed from your home immediately to prevent the spread of disease. If you find a dead rodent and want to remove it yourself, make sure to wear both gloves and a mask. 

2. Small Chew Marks

Rodents love to chew on just about anything. They’ll gnaw on materials around the house such as paper products, food packaging, and wires. They’ll even gnaw on the structure of your home as well. 

Although finding chewed-up belongings is less than ideal, you can use these chew marks to your advantage. Chew marks can give you some insight into how current the infestation is. Older chew marks will be darker while newer chew marks are lighter in color. 

If you have one older chew mark you know about, then try to compare it to a newly found chew mark to determine if one happened more recently than the other. You can also use chew marks to determine if you have mice or rats. Rats will have larger chew marks than mice. 

3. Unusual Pet Behavior

Having pets in the home is beneficial for several reasons. One of those reasons is that your pets might notice some signs of a rodent infestation before you do. Pay close attention to strange behavior from your pets.

That foul odor we discussed earlier will trigger your pets to search for rodents. Your pets may even hear the rodents running in the walls or scratching. When your pets begin having unusual behavior, make a note about what area in the house they seem to be interested in. 

Grab a flashlight and then inspect the area where your pets seem interested. You may find a rodent infestation. 

4. Rodent Tracks and Holes

Sometimes, rodents will leave tracks behind them as they move around. Be on the lookout for small footprints where dust might collect. Don’t hesitate to search up high.

A great way to discover rodent tracks is to take a flashlight and inspect areas where you believe rodents might be running back and forth. With the help of your flashlight, you might uncover footprints, urine stains, and even droppings. If you’re unable to detect signs of rodent tracks but believe there’s an infestation, then one trick to consider is using baby powder. 

Lay a light layer of baby powder down in areas where you believe they might be using as their paths. The baby powder will uncover footprints more easily. 

They’ll also chew holes in your home’s structure to create new entry points.

5. Rodent Droppings

Although you might not want to think about it, if there are rodents in your home, there are rodent droppings in your home. The size and shape of the rodent dropping will depend on the type of rodent it is. Mice will have smaller droppings than rats.

Rats will have droppings of different sizes and shapes depending on the type of rat. If you see rat droppings in your home, then you know there’s a problem. Be sure to clean the droppings using gloves and a mask. 

Fresh droppings will be dark in color and moist. Older droppings will be dried out, grey in color, and will crumble easily. Some common places to find droppings are as follow:

  • under sinks
  • in the cupboards
  • near food packaging
  • inside drawers
  • in hidden areas

You’ll find the most droppings where the rodents are nesting. 

6. Surface Grease Marks

Rodents fur holds oils that will wipe off onto the walls of your home when they run past them. Be on the lookout for grease marks and streaks on a variety of surfaces in the home. If you find grease marks, then you may be able to follow them to where the rodents are entering your home from.

If you then find nesting materials, such as chewed-up paper products then you may have found their nest or have come close to it. 

Know the Signs of Rodent Infestation and Take Action

When you know the signs of rodent infestation, you can take action quickly before the problem intensifies. Unfortunately, rodents will multiple when not removed from your home and the infestation will worsen. Use the information listed in this guide to determine if your home has a rodent infestation.

When you’re still unsure, or you need the professionals to remove the rodents from your home, be sure to contact AMCO Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions. 

Schedule your free inspection today!

Termite Damage: This Is What They Can Do to Your Home

 

Termites cause homeowners an estimated $5 billion a year in damage repair, a figure that may make you cringe if you’ve ever suffered an infestation.

From moisture and mold to extensive mazes within a home’s structure, these tiny pests are nothing to laugh at. Termite damage can range from moderate harm—when caught early—to severe cases that require considerable repairs. If you’re wondering where an infestation could leave you, here’s what you should know about what termites can do to a house.

Mild to Moderate Types of Termite Damage to Look For

Once termites first make their way into your home, it may take some time before they do enough damage for you to notice. After you’ve spotted the signs of an infestation, here’s what to expect in terms of the minor damages.

Jamming Windows and Doors

If you know much about termite prevention, you may already know that moisture makes it easier for termites to digest the wood in your home. However, one of the effects of termites is further moisture creation. When termites soften the wood as they tunnel, or when their droppings spread across an area, it encourages more moisture.

This can cause your windows and doors to warp and buckle in their frames. The result is often that the door or window is difficult to open. Over time, you may even find it impossible to operate them, requiring a complete replacement.

Blistered Wood

Subterranean termites can cause wood damage that looks a little like water damage. Blisters across the wood, especially on the walls or floor, can be a sign that termites are feeding directly underneath. If you know that your property hasn’t sustained water damage, this can be a clear sign that you have termites.

In addition, keep an eye out for paint that appears to be bubbling or peeling. For wooden surfaces with a coat of paint, the blistering may warp the paint layer in noticeable ways.

Buckling Wood

Added moisture in the home can cause the wood around the area of the infestation to slowly buckle and bend with time. From floorboards to wood molding to furniture, buckling wood is a common type of early damage you’ll see.

Mud Tubes

These are one of the most obvious signs of termite damage. Mud tubes are small raised lines on a wall, ceiling, or floor, and they’re designed to protect termites and help them get around. They can be anywhere from the thickness of a pencil to an inch wide, and they’re made of soil, wood, and termite saliva.

Major Types of Termite Damage

Some of the damage termites do to your home can be a major headache, requiring extensive repairs or replacements. Here are a few of the more worrying types of damage you might see:

Hollowed Wood

Certain termite species, especially drywood termites, will consume wood from the inside out. This is why it can be so difficult to detect these infestations. Hollowed wood can be a major source of damage for homeowners, especially when there’s just a thin layer of wood left on the outside of the surface.

Bulging Ceilings, Walls, and Floors

As we’ve said above, with moisture comes slight buckling—but these small buckles can worsen in time. With certain types of walls, floors, and ceilings, you might start to notice further swelling over time. This is a sign of structural damage that you’ll need to repair before the area cracks or caves in.

Mazes in Wood

As they eat away at the wood of your home, termites can create unusual, maze-like tunneling patterns that damage your wood. You may also notice tiny holes in your walls, about the size of a pushpin, which may indicate a maze beneath the surface.

Where to Look for Termite Damage

More often than not, you’ll notice termite damage because you’ve spotted something unusual within your own home. However, once you see the first indications of damage, you shouldn’t assume that it’s limited to one specific place in your home. Instead, it’s a good idea to do a quick inspection to see if there are any other areas that the infestation has reached.

Around Your Window and Door Frames

In most homes, the frames of windows and doors are made of wood. Check for termite damage in these areas by inspecting the quality of the wood. If necessary, you can compare a frame with a possible infestation to the frames of other windows and doors in your home.

Look for wood that appears crumbly or soft. You should also rap on it to see if it feels hollow.

Within Your Foundation Wall and Structural Wood

Though often overlooked by homeowners, foundation wall damage can be a major headache. It’s also a common place where termites will build mud tubes, as it allows them to form a colony in a quieter space while traveling elsewhere in your home for food. Lines of any type on your foundation wall are a sign to call an expert.

In Your Crawlspace

Most homeowners have little reason to enter their crawlspace on a regular basis, which is why many of the worst types of home damage take root there: hidden issues can go unseen for a long time! As far as termites go, however, you should look for mud tubes, mazes eaten through wood, and other signs of damage listed above.

Inside of Your Home

Termites may start eating away at the wood outside or under your home, but they’ll eventually make their way into your living areas as well. For major infestations, it’s important to check your wood furniture, walls, and any other wooden elements of your home. Drywood termites in particular tend to cause a great deal of damage inside the home, so take a careful look around for signs of damage.

Termite Protection Solutions That Work

If you’ve noticed signs of damage or seen an infestation yourself, it’s time to call for help before the termite damage grows worse.

Getting rid of termites in homes is one of our specialties, and we offer the solutions you need to protect your home from harm. Missouri homeowners have a history of trusting Amco Ranger to take care of their property, so contact us for a free inspection today!

Pests 101: 5 Signs You Have a Termite Infestation

Termites are extremely important to our ecosystem. These tiny critters break down plant matter and release essential nutrients into our soil. However, while termites are great for the environment when it comes to buildings, they can cost billions in structural damage a year. 

This is because colonies of termites also feast on foundations, wood, walls, and plastic pipes, among other things. While you can appreciate their importance from a distance, you don’t want to find these guys anywhere near your home. 

Luckily there are a few ways to tell if you’ve got a termite infestation. Keep reading for the seven signs to look out for to keep termites at bay. 

Termites in the United States

There are tons of termite species, but the most common species in the US, causing a whopping 95% of structural damage, are eastern subterranean termites. This species is prevalent in St. Louis. Subterranean termite colonies can number over 1 million termites. These colonies are also capable of devouring up to 15 pounds of wood in a week! 

Other types of termites in the US include drywood and dampwood termites. The names of these types give some indication as to where they like to live. Subterranean termites will inhabit soil and wood that is in contact with soil. 

Within the colony, termites vary in size and function. Smaller worker termites make up most of the colony. These insects are about the size of a grain of rice and soft-bodied. Soldier termites are slightly longer, with powerful mandibles or pincers. Soldiers are responsible for defending the colony against ants. 

Finally, swarmers are responsible for reproduction. These larger termites have wings and are easy to spot, often drawn to light sources. 

Do I Have a Termite Infestation? 

In order to avoid massive and costly structural damage, it’s important to keep a close eye on your property. However, if you see a swarm of termite-looking pests, don’t panic! It’s difficult to determine the difference between ants and termites as they look fairly similar. Luckily there are a few other signs that are a clear indication of a termite infestation.

1. Termite Swarms

Swarming termites are winged insects in charge of reproducing and forming new termite colonies. Look out for remnants of dead termites indoors and outdoors and live swarms. These swarmers lose their translucent wings fairly quickly once they start flying. This is why piles of wings are a good indication that you may have an infestation.

Pay particular attention to where the termites are coming from. If they’re emerging near the foundations of the building, this could mean trouble. 

However, don’t worry if you see termites far away from building foundations. Remember that termites are integral to the ecosystem as they break down plants and other matter. So if they aren’t close to your home, let them be. 

2. Mud Tunnels

Mud tunnels are long, almost cement-like tube structures that termites build to move from one feeding site to another. These tunnels can run along walls and into foundations or higher up on a structure, depending on the type of termite you’re dealing with.

You can tell if an infestation is active by breaking a small part off of one of the tunnels. If live termites emerge, or you come back after a day and notice that the tunnel has been repaired, that’s a sure sign of infestation. 

3. Pinholes

Similar to shelter tubes, pinholes are tiny holes made by termites to get into the wood. These are usually covered in the same mud-like substance that shelter tubes are made from.

Like mud tunnels, you can also use pinholes to check whether your infestation is active or not. Scrape away the mud covering and wait to see if a termite emerges. You can also take note of the location of the pinholes and determine whether or not the hole is repaired after a day or two. 

4. Visible Termite Damage

In order to see whether or not termites are wreaking havoc in your home, you may have to look a little deeper. If you remove floorboards or look behind walls and see obvious damage connected by shelter tubes, it’s time to act fast! 

While damage will most often begin from the inside of the structure, keep an eye out for any external signs such as sagging in the walls, ceiling or wallpaper, or broken door frames. Wood that has been damaged by termites will be soft and easily breakable.

Once termites are disturbed, they hide pretty quickly, so an infestation may be active even if you don’t actually see one near the damage. 

5. Pellets

Drywood termites are known to push their fecal matter out of tiny holes. These small six-sided pellets accumulate in piles on floors and countertops. If you see piles of tiny, light-colored pellets smaller than coffee grounds, it’s likely that you have a drywood termite infestation, and you need to act fast. 

Get Ahead and Prevent Termites

Even though there are a number of signs, termites aren’t easy to spot. These signs often only become visible when the infestation has been active for some time. This is why it’s important to termite-proof your home from the outset. If you’re in the process of building, a pre-construction treatment is always a good idea to give you extended peace of mind. 

Dealing with Termites: The Bottom Line

Termite infestations are common across the United States and can be easily dealt with once they’ve been discovered. If you suspect that you may have a termite infestation, it’s best to call in a trusted professional for an inspection. If your suspicions are confirmed, a professional pest control service will use the best technology on hand to ensure that the entire colony is eliminated. For more information on termites and other pest control, get in touch today

How Much Does Pest Control Near Me Cost?

Have you seen more and more pests show up inside your property in the last few weeks? Do you wonder if you’re dealing with an infestation somewhere in your home? If so, then you might be wondering “how much does pest control near me cost?”.

It’s a fair question, and the answer depends on several different factors. It depends on the pest you’re dealing with, the experience level of the pest control company you hire, and so much more.

See below for an in-depth guide to pest control in St. Louis and why you should take careful consideration of the company you hire.

What Does Pest Control Do?

Everyone knows what pest control is, but few have an accurate understanding of what they do or how they get rid of the pests in your home.

Contrary to popular belief, a reputable pest control service isn’t a trigger-happy person looking to kill all bugs on their site. In fact, part of their goal is to only resort to extermination when it’s necessary. Doing so can harm the natural flow of St. Louis nature.

For example, many people call pest control at the first sight of a snake and want the pest control service to kill it. However, the snake wards off rodents, protecting you from finding mice and rats inside your home. For that reason, you’d want to scare off the snake, not kill it.

As you’ll see below, pest control companies offer a lot more services outside of termites, ants, bed bugs, and so forth.

No matter what pest you’re dealing with, the pest control service will come in and inspect your property for any potential threats. They’ll then explain what you’re up against and give you a thorough description of the solutions they offer. The solution you pick plays a heavy role in the overall cost.

What Are the Different Types of Pest Control?

When people think of pest control, they typically think of bugs. But pest control can help St. Louis natives with several other pests that you might find around your house.

Generally, if your home is dealing with an unwanted critter, the pest control service can help you out in some way. That said, here are some of the most common services we face:

  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Mice
  • Beetles
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Rats
  • Ticks
  • Bed Bugs
  • Moles
  • Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Squirrels
  • Fleas
  • Raccoons
  • Mosquitos

What many people don’t realize is that St. Louis has many wildlife laws. It’s always wise to hire a professional pest control service to ensure you don’t break any laws trying to fend off an unwanted critter. 

While you might not think it, STL is home to an incredible amount of wildlife. Many different types of creatures roam because of the lush forests and accessibility to water that helps nature thrive.

Make sure that you contact a pest control service any time that you have an issue. That way, you can shoo the animal off your premises in a way that’s safe for the animal, your children, your pets, and your property.

How Much Does Pest Control Near Me Cost?

Now it’s time for the million-dollar question: how much does pest control near me cost? The answer depends on a variety of things.

First off, what type of pest are you dealing with? The type of pest that you have determines what solutions and products will be used (which affects the price).

Second, how bad is the infestation? Obviously, the more severe the infestation is within your home, the more treatments that will be needed. It will also require the pest control service to schedule several different appointments to gradually get rid of the problem. It doesn’t just happen overnight.

Third, what treatments do you prefer? Depending on the pest, we could have many different options for you to choose from, some that cost more than others.

We’ll start this entire process with a free inspection. That way, we can come to your house and take a look around the inside and outside to assess the situation. Once we have a better idea of what we’re looking at, we can give you recommendations and answer any questions that you have pro bono.

What to Look for in a Reputable Pest Control Service

So, what separates the good from the great in terms of pest control services? How can you be sure you’ve hired the right company for the job.

Here are a few factors that you’ll want to look for in the pest control service you hire:

  1. Customer-First Mindset– A trusted pest control service always puts the customer as their top priority. That includes answering all of your questions, accommodating your schedule, and always being available to help you fend off pests from your home.
  2. Experience and Knowledge– You can tell when a pest control service has the experience and when they’re flying by the seat of their pants. Experience helps you avoid any major setbacks and gradually witness the pests disappear from your home.
  3. Communication– As previously mentioned, pest control is a marathon, not a sprint. A trusted company won’t market their service as a one-time solution. Though you’ll likely see some results right away, the key is leading the pests away from your home long-term.

Find the Best Pest Control for Your Property

Now that you have seen an elaborate answer to your question of “how much will pest control near me cost?”, it’s time to find the best pest control in town.

Be sure to read this article for more information on 5 places you might find wasps at your home and how to get rid of them. 

For more inquiries, please be sure to visit this page to schedule a free inspection and we will be happy to assist you further.

5 Places You May Find Wasps at Your Home

Wasps are annoying, but they can also become quite dangerous. When threatened, wasps release pheromones that call out to other wasps so they can swarm and attack the perceived threat. Unlike bees, which typically die after stinging someone, wasps can sting repeatedly, causing serious harm to any of their victims. For this reason, it is crucial that you locate any wasp nests in your home, and then call a professional pest control service that can remove them for you safely. Below are the top five places you may find wasps in your home, so you can locate and remove the insects as soon as possible.

Under Eaves

One of the most popular places for wasps to create a nest is under the eaves of a home, along with porch ceilings and any other type of overhang. Certain types of wasps will create a nest anywhere that has a sturdy horizontal base to hang from. Under the eaves of a home and other small spaces are ideal because the wasps can create the nest in a corner, which offers more protection around the entire structure. Removing a wasp nest is always difficult, but due to the fact that these nests are at a height, it can make removal especially difficult.

Trees

Certain species of wasps will find greenery such as trees, shrubs, and bushes to build their nests. Typically, these nests look like gray footballs. Wasps prefer these areas because the shrubbery provides them the protection they need around their home. As the greenery starts to branch out and bloom in the middle of summer, the nest becomes even more hidden, making it a great spot for wasps to hide and seek shelter. It is always advised to move around these areas with a large amount of shrubbery very carefully, as these nests are difficult to spot.

Underground

While most people will look up when they are searching for a wasp nest on their property, some people should be looking down. Certain types of wasps, including the yellow jacket, will sometimes burrow underground and build a nest there. Wasps that create nests underground have the potential to be very good for homeowners because they often eat the other insects that can cause harm to the yard, such as flies, caterpillars, and beetle larvae. 

However, even though underground wasps do hold some benefits for homeowners, it is important to identify these nests so you do not step on them. If you do, the wasps will consider it a threat to their home and may swarm and attack the perceived threat.

Barbecues and Grills

When the weather turns warmer, people want to go out and enjoy backyard barbecues once again. Few people expect to be met with a swarm of wasps when they open up the grill for the first time of the season, but it happens more often than people think. Barbecues and grills are full of nooks and crannies, including openings and vents. Wasps will make their way inside the grill and set up their nest and colony because it provides great protection from inclement weather and possible predators, such as spiders. To prevent wasps from making a home of your barbecue or grill, always keep it covered with a tarp, which will make it much more difficult for the wasps to get in.

Inside

When the weather starts to turn cooler in the fall, wasps no longer have any use for their nest and will abandon it. Over the winter, the nest will break down and wasps will not return to it the following year. However, during this time, the queen may look for a place to take shelter and start the process all over again. Sometimes, the queen finds that the inside of a home is the perfect spot to start her new colony.

If a wasp does make its way inside to nest, it will likely build its new home inside of a window, or in the attic. Attics provide shelter and allow the wasps to live in the nest relatively undisturbed. Wasps may create a nest in the interior of a window because it provides them access to light, which allows them to see their prey better, and also provides warmth. After a wasp builds a nest and colony in the home, the situation can become very dangerous, so it is important to call a professional that can remove it.

Our Missouri Pest Control Experts are Here to Help

If you have a wasp problem inside or outside of your home, our St. Charles pest control experts can remove it so you can take control of your space once again. At Amco Ranger, we will locate the source of the problem and know how to remove wasp nests safely and effectively. Call us today at (636) 441-BUGS (2874) to schedule a free inspection.

Backyard Mosquito Control

Missouri has gorgeous summertime weather and it makes people anxious to get outside and enjoy their backyard barbecues. Unfortunately, mosquitoes do not always make that possible. Mosquitoes are incredibly annoying, and their bites can become infected, particularly when people scratch at them and break the skin. However, mosquitoes pose a much bigger risk than this. They carry diseases, such as Zika and West Nile Virus, which can be fatal to humans and can be transmitted through just one mosquito bite. To avoid the problems that mosquitoes bring, anyone that has a mosquito problem should call an exterminator that can provide backyard mosquito control.

Breeding Grounds For Mosquitoes

Backyards are full of places for mosquitoes to breed, which will only exacerbate any mosquito problem you are currently experiencing. Mosquitoes require water to breed, and they also require it during the early stages of their life. Some mosquitoes lay their eggs directly in the water, and those eggs will hatch within two days, typically. Others will search out undisturbed areas, such as tin cans or old tires, and use these places to lay their eggs. Once the eggs become covered in water, they will then hatch, which could happen with just one rainfall. It is important to understand how mosquitoes breed, so you can keep them from invading your yard and becoming unwanted guests at your barbecue.

How To Prevent Mosquitoes

Due to the fact that mosquitoes require standing water to breed, it is of utmost importance that you first remove all standing water and any containers that hold it. Remove birdbaths and kiddie pools, and also overturn canoes, boats, and anything else that could collect water.

Although certain areas are obvious mosquito breeding grounds, others are not. Recycling bins and trash cans can easily collect moisture, particularly if they are left outside. To prevent water from accumulating in these areas, drill holes in the bottom so excess water will drain out. You should also clean out the gutters, as leaves and other debris can also cause moisture to collect. Outdoor faucets should also always be tightly closed and repaired quickly when they start to leak.

Eliminating standing water from your yard can help control mosquito populations, but it may not stop mosquitoes from entering your yard altogether. Due to this, it is important that you understand what control measures work and then implement them as soon as possible.

Find A Mosquito Control Solution That Works

There are several mosquito solutions on the market today. Some homeowners use electric zappers that kill mosquitoes when they fly into it. Other people use scents to keep mosquitoes out of their yard, such as citronella candles and sprays that contain DEET. These solutions are not effective and homeowners will continue to battle mosquitoes in their backyard. Even when these solutions work, they are only temporary and mosquitoes will soon come back into the yard. 

Backyard mosquito control requires a long-term solution to get mosquitoes out of the yard, and keep them out. Usually, this requires the help of a professional backyard mosquito control company. When using this form of mosquito control, a technician will visit the yard and conduct a complete inspection. During this inspection, the technician will determine the items in your yard that are attracting mosquitoes, such as tall grass, bushes, and weeds. After considering the many different factors, the technician will then develop a customized plan to control the mosquitoes.

Once a plan has been created, the technician will use a potent spray that will keep mosquitoes out of the yard, and kill the ones that are already there. This spray, while deadly to mosquitoes, is safe for the people that want to sit in their backyard and enjoy it during the beautiful weather months. To ensure that the mosquitoes do not return, a technician will also come back regularly to spray again. While there may be a few mosquitoes still present after a technician has sprayed, the numbers should drop significantly. Eliminating the objects in the yard that attract mosquitoes, such as standing water, can help ensure the mosquito control program is effective and kills and deters mosquitoes in the yard.

Our Backyard Mosquito Control Professionals Are Here To Help

Everyone should be able to fully enjoy their backyard in the summer, without worrying about mosquitoes that can bite or transmit disease. If you have mosquitoes in your yard, our St. Charles backyard mosquito control professionals at Amco Ranger are here to help. We provide inspections free of charge so we can create a customized plan for your yard to get the mosquitoes out and keep them out. Call us today at (636) 441-2847 to learn more about how we can help.

How To Get Rid Of Mice Inside Of Walls

Just as humans prefer living inside their home rather than in the great outdoors, so too, do mice. Mice come inside looking for shelter from the elements, food, and moisture. When they do make their way inside, they will often live within the walls, so they can continue living in your home unnoticed, and damage the structure, along with your food and personal belongings. Mice also carry several diseases that you do not want anywhere in your home. For this reason, it is important that all homeowners understand how to keep mice out of the home, and what to do when they still make their way inside.

How Do Mice Get In Walls?

To stop mice from making your home theirs as well, it is important to know how the critters are getting inside in the first place. There are many places in and around your home that make it easy for mice to get inside, including:

  • Roof vents and chimney pipes
  • Siding that is damaged or deteriorated
  • Doors and window frames that are not properly sealed
  • Gaps in building materials
  • Weep vents in brick walls

It is important to remember that mice can squeeze through cracks and crevices that are smaller than a dime, so it is crucial to fix any signs of damage or disrepair.

Signs Of An Infestation

You may think that because mice are in your walls, there is no way to determine if you have an infestation. However, there are still common signs you can look for. These include:

  • Urine and droppings
  • Nests
  • Damaged insulation
  • Ducts that are gnawed or chewed

When mice are in the walls, you can also hear them scurrying around inside, or you may hear squeaking and gnawing noises. Most often, these signs are most notable at night, as mice are nocturnal.

How To Get Mice Out Of Walls

When mice are within the walls of a home, it seems even more difficult to get rid of them. There are some steps you can take on your own. 

You can set up traps that will kill or capture the mice and if it is a live trap, you can then set the mouse free outside of your home. With this option, it is important that you seal up the entry points so the mice do not simply come back in. As mice emerge from the walls in order to find food or moisture, they will then enter the trap, helping to eliminate your problem.

Sometimes, homeowners find that these traps do not work, most commonly because the traps were not set in areas the mice frequent. This is especially difficult when you do not see the mice in the home and so, do not know where to place the traps.

For this reason, the best solution is to phone a pest control service that can help eliminate the mice from the walls, and anywhere else in your home. A pest control service will inspect all areas of your home mice could use to get inside, including the roof and the crawl space, to ensure that mice can no longer enter the home. Based on the layout of your property, and how the mice are getting inside, the pest control specialists will then develop a plan customized for your property that will eliminate all mice from your home.

Pest control specialists understand the behaviors of mice, including how they enter homes and the areas in which they are likely to frequent. As such, they will get rid of mice in your home far faster, so you can take back your home once again. Pest control specialists will also provide you with prevention tips to ensure that once the mice are out, they stay out and do not return.

Our Missouri Pest Control Specialists Can Get Rid Of Mice For Good

It is incredibly unsettling to hear mice in your home and know that you are sharing your home rodents that will damage your home, and potentially bring various diseases inside. However, you do not have to deal with mice or the many problems they bring. At Amco Ranger, our St. Louis pest control specialists will identify the problem you are dealing with, and take the necessary steps to eliminate it. When you have mice in your walls, or anywhere else in your home, call us at (636) 441-2847 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection to learn more about how we can help.

What is the Best Way of Getting Rid of a Termite Infestation?

Termites cost approximately $5 billion in property damage every year. What is worse is that homeowners’ insurance policies typically do not cover these costs. Many homeowners try prevention tactics to deter termites from their home and avoid this extremely costly problem. Unfortunately, prevention tactics do not always work and sometimes, homeowners have to consider how to get rid of termites that have already invaded their home. When that is the case, it is best to enlist the help of a pest control company that can eliminate a termite infestation effectively, and make sure it does not return.

Soil Treatments

Soil treatments are particularly effective against subterranean termites that live in the soil. When applying these treatments, a pest control treatment will use a termiticide, a type of pesticide, directly in the soil. The first step in applying this treatment is digging a trench around the foundation of a home, the area in which termites first enter. These trenches are typically dug to an approximate depth of 50 millimeters from the top of the foundation.

Once the trench is dug, the soil is then treated with either repellant or non-repellent chemicals. Repellent chemicals are the more traditional form and they simply deter termites from entering the home. Due to the structure of the soil, this method is not always effective because termites may still find an area that is not treated and make their way through. On the other hand, repellent chemicals actually kill the termites and are much more effective.

After the soil is treated, the trench is then filled again with the treated soil, effectively creating a barrier that keeps termites out. Soil treatments are very effective and will usually keep termites out of the home for five years, on average.

Wood Treatments

Wood treatments are particularly interesting because these treatments affect the actual wood of the home and not the soil around it. These treatments are also not limited to just one type of treatment, but several. Wood treatments include spraying the surface of the wood, injecting sprays and foams, and using Borate treated wood.

Termites often enter a home when there is exterior wood that sits on the ground or close to the ground, making for easy access for termites. Borate is a chemical that penetrates the wood and creates a barrier that termites cannot pass. When the critters eat this wood, they are poisoned and die. The borate must also be treated afterwards to seal in the chemical and ensure its effectiveness. These applications should never be done by homeowners on themselves. Protective gear is crucial, as the poison that affects termites can also adversely affect people, so a pest control company is critical in applying these treatments.

Wood treatments can be applied prior to the construction of a home, but homeowners currently experiencing a termite problem can also benefit from these wood treatments.

Bait Systems

Bait systems are extremely effective at destroying termites and eliminating an infestation. Using this method, a pest control specialist will install bait stations around the perimeter of a home where termites are likely to reside and travel to get into the home. 

Sometimes these bait stations are called traps, but that is misleading. These systems do not actually trap the termites, but they contain bait, such as wood or cellulose, that is treated with a substance that is poisonous to termites. That bait also does not necessarily kill the termites instantly. The bait is slow-acting so that termites can return to their colony and spread the bait to others, effectively eliminating the entire problem.

Bait systems are one of the best ways to get rid of termites, particularly for homeowners that find that wood surface treatments do not work. Bait systems are often used in locations where wood surface treatments are not effective, such as close to foundation drains and areas covered by certain types of flooring that may require drilling.

Bait systems are available for purchase, but to gain the most effectiveness from these types of treatments, a professional pest specialist should always be called to set up these systems. A professional will know how to effectively set these bait stations so they eliminate the most amount of termites in the least amount of time. A professional will also continue to monitor the bait systems to ensure their continued effectiveness.

Our Missouri Pest Control Specialists are Here to Help

Although homeowners have many solutions that can help them kill termites that invade the home, it is always best to call a St. Charles pest control specialist for help. At Amco Ranger, we understand the best ways to kill termites in the home, and to keep them from coming back. If you are having a termite problem, call us today at (636) 224-6099 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection.

What is Attracting Ants Inside of My Home?

Ants are more commonly seen in the spring and summer months in Missouri, but they can become a household pest regardless of the season. Ants are extremely interesting creatures and live within a complex social structure that can include thousands of colony workers. When one ant is seen within the home, there is a good chance that the colony has already infested. To prevent this from happening, it is important to know what attracts ants inside a home, and to ensure your home does not have any of these temptations, so you can keep the ants outside where they belong.

Food

Food is by far the biggest draw to ants. Worker ants are always on the hunt for food. Although ants typically prefer sugary substances, they will eat just about anything. As they hunt for food, they also leave a scent or pheromone trail behind them. This trail allows them to easily find their way back to the colony, but it also provides a path for other ants to follow so they too can forage for food and bring it back to the queen. 

To deter ants from entering a home, it is important to keep the kitchen area particularly very clean. Refrigerate produce when possible, always quickly clean up spills, and ensure that countertops and the pantry is always clean of crumbs and other food spills.

Water

Like all animals, ants need water to live, but they do not always need a direct source. Many ants get all the water they need through the food they eat. The amount of water any ant will need will largely depend on the type of ant. Pharaoh ants, for example, must nest close to a reliable water source, while carpenter ants are drawn to damp wood. Of course, it is important to ensure there is no standing water outside, but also address any plumbing issues, such as a leaky faucet, that could also act as a draw for ants.

Climate

Ants, like all other insects, are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. When the weather starts to turn colder in the fall months, ants may come inside where it is warm and where they can expand their colonies. Being inside during this time also allows ants to remain close to a food source, and find the moisture they need. Unfortunately, due to the fact that humans also need to live in a comfortable environment, there is little that can be done to prevent ants from coming into the home for this reason.

The best way to prevent ants from turning your home into theirs during the cooler months is to continue with ant prevention practices. Keep a clean home, ensure that fixtures are watertight and are not leaking, and ensure all garbage cans in your home, including a garage or shed, have tight-fitting lids. One of the best prevention tactics is to also inspect the outside and inside of your home, particularly the areas around doorways and windows. Ants can make their way in using the smallest of gaps or cracks. Sealing these off will block any entry points, so ants can remain outside all year long.

Reproduction and Propagation

Homeowners are most likely to encounter flying ants in the spring. Flying ants are reproductive ants and as the colony matures, its population grows. Flying ants develop within their colonies before they emerge and perpetuate the species. After the ants mate, the males die and the female becomes the queen that will search for places to build their new colonies. When these swarms are seen in the winter, it may mean that carpenter ants are nesting within the structure, which is a very serious problem and may require professional help. Without the help of a professional pest control company, the only real way to get rid of these ants is to vacuum the swarms and take the vacuum or the bag outside to release the ants.

Our Missouri Pest Control Company can Help with Your Ant Problem

Unlike other insects, ants do not generally pose a threat to humans, but they are annoying and can sometimes cause damage to a home. If you are dealing with an ant infestation in your home, our St. Charles pest control company can help. At Amco Ranger, we have the necessary experience to eliminate ants from your home, and keep them out. If you have a problem with ants or any other pest, call us at (636) 223-5703 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection.

Guarding Your Home Against Summer Pests

Even when you cannot keep pests out of your backyard, you should always try to keep them out of your home. Pests are not only annoying, but they also create unsanitary conditions and carry diseases they can transmit to humans. In some cases, by the time you discover pests in your home, you may already have an infestation. To prevent that from happening, and to guard your home against summer pests, follow the tips below.

Seal All Entry Points

The smallest gap or crack in any part of your home can serve as an invitation to pests. Always ensure that your door is properly sealed and install an aluminum or sturdy steel threshold under the door. Also seal windows and other places pests may find their way in.

Install and Maintain Screens

The urge to throw open the windows and doors once the nicer weather hits is quite natural. Unfortunately, this time of year is also when pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, and other creatures are out in full force. A screen can allow the fresh air in, while keeping critters out. Screens should be 20-mesh or finer and tightly installed to ensure there are no gaps that would allow pests to make their way inside. You should also check existing screens to make sure there are no holes or rips that could provide an entrance for pests.

Outside Maintenance

There is only one way pests can find their way into your home, and that is from outside. Eliminating certain elements outdoors can greatly help prevent pests from coming into your home. Do not keep standing water in your yard, as it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and provides drinking water for larger pests, such as mice and rats. Keep gutters and drains free of leaves, grass clippings, and debris, as these are great places for pests to hide.

Indoor Maintenance

No matter how hard you try to guard your home against summer pests, there is still a good chance a few will make their way inside. This is particularly true for smaller pests, such as ants and mosquitoes. These pests will only come inside, however, if there is something that is attractive to them. To ensure there is not, always keep proper maintenance and cleanliness inside the home by eliminating clutter, removing water sources, and keeping all counters and surfaces free of food.

Cover Large Openings

Of course, you cannot fill your chimney or vents with caulk, but you should still cover them, all the same. Fine wire mesh placed over chimneys and other areas is a great way to prevent large and small pests from making their way inside. Certain animals, such as squirrels and rats, also do not like to walk on these surfaces. Pre-fabricated chimney caps are also very effective at keeping pests out, especially small pests, such as mosquitoes and ants. Grilles, registers, vents, and crawl spaces should also be covered with fine wire mesh.

Store Garbage Properly

There is only one place for food waste in a home, and that is the kitchen garbage. The garbage can should have a lid and should be emptied regularly. When emptied, the garbage should be taken to a larger garage or outdoor trash can. This garbage can should have a tight-fitting lid that locks, and should be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Composts bins should also have a lid and cloth lining. Composted materials should be removed every three to six months.

Focus on the Foundation

The very foundation of a house makes the home very susceptible to pests. Termites, ants, spiders, and fleas thrive in these areas that are damp, and the foundation is the part of your house closest to the ground. Combined, these conditions make it very easy for pests to get into your home through gaps and cracks. Check for these regularly along the foundation, as well as in your siding joints. Siding that is not secured properly also provides a gateway for pests. After finding any areas where pests could get in, make sure to seal them properly.

Attract Birds

Birds will not protect your home from all pests, but they will certainly help with some. Warblers and swallows, for example, love feasting on mosquitoes. Bird feeders with sunflower seeds and suet are a great way to draw these animals into your yard, where they will also eat other pests.

Call a Missouri Pest Control Company

Although there are many do-it-yourself methods for protecting your home against summer pests, you may still run into a problem with critters at some point. When that is the case, our St. Louis pest control company at Amco Ranger can help. Our knowledgeable technicians can eliminate any pests from your home and prevent them from coming back in the future. Call us today at (636) 223-4804 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection.