Bed Bugs: How and Why are They in My Home?

Bed bugs are a nuisance, and notoriously difficult to get rid of. They also spread quickly and easily, leaving just about anyone susceptible to finding the critters in their home. Understanding these pests and how they live can help prevent them from getting into your home, and help you deal with an infestation should one occur.

How do You get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers. They are often transported by humans through belongings such as suitcases. They are also transported in purses, backpacks, and other items with soft surfaces. When bed bugs are disturbed, they will move to other areas. This can cause other areas, such as storage that contains clothing, more difficult to spot and treat. Bed bugs can also travel between different units in apartment buildings and hotels. 

What Causes Bed Bugs?

While bed bugs can find their way to just about anywhere, there are some factors that will put you more at risk for finding them in your home. These common causes of bed bugs are:

  • International travel
  • Changes to pest control management practices
  • Resistance to pesticide

How do You Know if You Have Bed Bugs?

It’s easiest to treat bed bugs if you can catch them early. Some common signs and symptoms that will alert you to a bed bug problem are:

  • Red, itchy bites
  • Uncomfortable nights, as that is when bed bugs feed
  • Blood stains that look like small rust spots on the bed
  • Oval brown exoskeletons left behind as bed bugs molt
  • Strong, unpleasant, musty odor

How to Prevent Bed Bugs?

Of course, the best method for dealing with bed bugs is to prevent them from entering your home at all. Some good ways to do that include:

  • Cover power outlets. Bed bugs hide in these to avoid extermination and can use them to travel to other areas of a home or building. 
  • Store clothing in vacuum-sealed bags. This is particularly important when traveling, as bed bugs are easily transported from hotels to clothing in suitcases. Doing this at home can also prevent a bed bug infestation.
  • Call a pest control service. When an infestation has already begun, a pest control service is the most effective way to eliminate it. However, these services can also take preventative measures to help protect your home.
  • Declutter. Clutter provides a good hiding spot for bed bugs. Remove all clutter from your home, particularly if it’s pushed up against walls. 
  • Cover your mattress and box spring. This is one of the best ways to prevent a bed bug infestation. 
  • Inspect used items. Bed bugs easily travel in clothing, furniture, and other items that people often purchase used. Before bringing anything into your home from someone else’s, inspect it thoroughly to ensure it does not house bed bugs.
  • Use your own blankets. When moving, movers often include blankets to help protect furniture. These blankets have been on several other pieces of furniture that could have contained bed bugs. Use your own blankets instead. 
  • Caulk. Cracks on the interior and exterior of a home allow bed bugs to travel relatively freely. Repair these cracks by caulking them, and seal bed bugs out.

How do Bed Bugs Spread?

Bed bugs live in soft, often upholstered areas such as bedding, couches, and clothing. Mature bed bugs and their eggs are often found in new and used furniture and clothing. Bed bugs can crawl and so, they can easily spread from one room of a home to another. They are also very adept at finding their way in between multiple units of a housing complex. Bed bugs are most commonly spread from boxes, suitcases, and other items that are taken from one place of accommodation or residence to another. 

How can You Detect Bed Bugs?

The first signs of bed bugs are either red, itchy bite marks on the body, or the rusty blood stains they leave behind on beds and other furniture. 

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to warm-blooded creatures. They need these hosts, which include humans, pets, and rodents, to feed from. Your breathing attracts bed bugs from the carbon dioxide you exhale. Your body temperature attracts bed bugs because you are generally the warmest thing in a room. According to this 2013 report, if you’re alive, you attract bed bugs.

A Missouri Pest Control Service can Help You Control Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are certainly no fun to deal with, and your home could easily become infested with them. To prevent bed bugs from entering your home, or to get rid of them if they already have, you need the help of an experienced pest control service in Missouri. At Amco Ranger, we have the tools and the knowledge necessary to eliminate bed bugs from your home once for good. Call us today at (636) 441-2847 to learn more about how we can protect your home. 

 

How To Prevent Mosquito Bites

It’s backyard barbecue season, and you’re not the only one planning a feast. The mosquitoes are out and ready to chow down. Preventing mosquito bites should be a priority, because they can carry deadly diseases, like the West Nile or Zika viruses.

Here are some ways that you can avoid these pesky pests.

Blow them away with a breeze

Almost anybreeze – anything above 1 MPH – makes it difficult for mosquitoes to fly. If you can pick a breezy spot for your summer outing, that can help prevent mosquito bites. Plug-in fans are also a great deterrent. Keep the flow of air directed at the lower half of your body; mosquitoes tend to fly very close to the ground to avoid wind, so directing the fan’s force downward will block their approach.

Avoid peak mosquito hours

Just like you, mosquitoes crave a meal during certain times of day, and it’s often around dusk and dawn. That’s because the wind typically dissipates as the sun rises and sets, which brings mosquitoes out to feed. If you can try to stay inside during these times when the weather is warm, you’ll be able to prevent some mosquito bites.

Rub on some DEET before you head outdoors

DEET has a bad reputation, but adverse reactions to it are rare and typically happen when used incorrectly. When used as directed, it’s extremely effective, since it blocks a mosquito’s CO2 receptors.

The best way to use DEET is not to spray it on your body and clothes like perfume. Instead, squirt a little onto your hands and rub it onto your ankles, elbows, wrists, forehead, and all the other places where your skin is thin and where mosquitoes love to feed.

Use other mosquito repellents if you’re not into DEET

There are other options that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use in repelling mosquitoes, including Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone. If you’re at the store and you’re not sure if a repellent has these ingredients, your safest bet is to look for the Environmental Protection Agency approval on the product’s label. Then you will know it’s effective and safe.

Try to stay cool

This can be easier said than done in the summer, but mosquitoes are drawn to pheromones released in your sweat. This can vary from person to person. Some people attract mosquitoes regardless of what they drink, eat, or wear.

Wear tightly woven, light-colored clothes

Mosquitoes can’t penetrate clothing that has a very tight weave. While cotton and linen typically aren’t great armor against mosquito bites, many synthetic fibers – particularly high-tech athletic apparel – tend to be woven tightly enough to keep bugs out. Any garment that offers sun protection will also have a tight enough weave to prevent mosquito bites, especially when you opt for long sleeves and pants.

Mosquitoes also use their vision to search for food sources during the daylight hours. Since they fly very close to the ground, they tend to find targets by looking for things that contrast with the horizon. Dark colors stand out, and light colors are less attractive to them.

Avoid scented products

Any scented perfume, lotion, or soap could potentially attract mosquitoes. If you want to reduce your attractiveness to mosquitoes, avoid scented products in general.

Give your heart a breather

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary thing mosquitoes search for to identify food sources. When your heart rate is elevated, your body produces more CO2. From exercise to drinking alcohol to eating spicy foods, anything that cranks up your metabolic rate will increase your CO2 production and make you irresistible to mosquitoes. If you’re outdoors and know your heart rate will be spiking, make sure you wear protective clothing and apply a repellent to keep bites at bay.

Get rid of standing water

Mosquitoes can easily breed in small containers of water like a birdbath or water sitting around your plants. Do your best to clear out any standing water to lower the odds that you’ll have lots of mosquitoes in your yard.

Adding mosquito-repelling plants to your property

This shouldn’t be your only mosquito-combating strategy, but certain plants may help discourage mosquitoes from hovering near your house. Mosquito-repelling plants include citronella, lavender, lemongrass, marigolds, and basil.

While these plants may lower the number of mosquitoes around your place, even planted in large quantities, the potency of these plants would not be enough to keep mosquitoes out of your yard entirely. The same goes for citronella candles and oils. They do repel insects, but they only work if the scent or smoke gets between you and the mosquito.

Spray your yard

If you live in an area where the mosquitoes are unbearable, it might be worth hiring a professional to come and treat your yard with insecticide. This treatment will do a good job of ensuring that mosquitoes won’t come anywhere near your property.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. 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.

Is it Worth it to Pay for Regular Termite Protection?

Homeowners will do just about anything to protect their homes. They invest in burglar alarms, smoke alarms, and a number of other items specifically to protect their home. When it comes to regular termite protection however, many homeowners wonder if it’s worth it. So, is it? The answer will largely depend on where you live, and the structure of your home. For those in Missouri, it’s always a good idea to contact a Missouri exterminator that can determine if a regular termite protection plan is right for you.

Why Missouri Homeowners Should have Termite Protection

If you live in Missouri and own a home, you have likely asked yourself at some point, “Is it worth it to pay for termite protection?” The answer is nearly always a resounding, “Yes!”

Termites are active all across Missouri. According to the Termite Infestation Probability Zone Map (TIP Zones), Missouri is a TIP Zone #2. This means that termites are moderate to heavy throughout the state. This means there is great potential for termite damage to a home, and that homeowners in Missouri need as much protection as possible.

Termites typically swarm on warm days after it rains, but swarms can also occur during the winter in heated buildings. Different types of termites swarm at different times of the year. The only months that aren’t considered swarming season are January and February. As such, Missouri homeowners need to protect themselves all year round.

In Missouri, it is definitely worthwhile to pay for regular termite protection. Termites are widespread and very active throughout the state and so, protecting your home is of the utmost importance.

Routine Pest Control Services

In addition to simply protecting your home, you’ll reap many more benefits when you choose a routine pest control service.

Pests bring with them all types of diseases. Mosquitos, fleas, ants, bed bugs, and rodents all carry diseases. It’s possible for you or your family members to become sick from a bite, or from coming into contact with the animal’s waste. Termites are not known to carry diseases harmful to humans, but they can exacerbate symptoms of asthma, and worsen allergies. A pest control expert can ensure this doesn’t happen.

Pests don’t only destroy your home. They can also destroy anything you have in your home. Rodents can chew through wires and termites can make a building inhabitable in a short amount of time. Rodents will find their way into your food source, as will ants and other pests. An exterminator can prevent and correct these problems so you can enjoy your home, and the things in it, once again.

One of the biggest benefits of routine pest control services is that you’ll have year-long protection and never have to deal with pests in your home. A pest control service will stop problems before they start, so you never unknowingly stumble across a pest, or the damage they cause.

Regular Termite Treatments

Regular termite treatments are especially beneficial in Missouri. First, a technician will inspect your property, looking for signs of existing termite colonies. If any are spotted, they will determine where the termites are feeding and ensure termites have access to bait in these areas. These stations contain scientifically proven termite bait that will destroy the entire colony. Every service, the bait stations are inspected, monitored, and maintained.

The unique distinction between these bait traps and chemical treatments is that the bait stations will not break down over time. As long as the colony has been eliminated and you are receiving regular termite treatments, you will never have to deal with the pests again.

Homeowners also find bait traps less disruptive to their lives. There are no large tank trucks filled with a chemical solution on their property, and the ground and water around their home is not contaminated. Also, because the baits are set into the soil around the home, there is no need to drill into the foundation or floors.

Contact a Pest Control Expert in Missouri Today

Is it worth it to pay for regular termite protection? The answer for homeowners in Missouri is always an emphatic, “Yes!” If you are living with termites or any other pest, or want to protect your home from future infestations, call the experienced Missouri pest control experts today. At Amco Ranger, we use only the highest-quality products to ensure pests are eliminated, while the people in your home remain protected. Call us at (636) 441-2847 to get rid of pests today, and live a pest-free lifestyle tomorrow.

Why Mosquitoes Prefer to Bite Certain People More Than Others

If you are wondering what attracts mosquitoes to you and not other people this summer, you may be surprised to learn that mosquitoes actually know which people they like best. Only female mosquitoes draw blood because they need the protein to produce eggs. When making a targeting decision, a female mosquitoes’ choice is not random.

Studies have shown that mosquitoes remember the taste and smell of human blood and often choose individuals whose blood tastes “sweeter” to them. The following are common factors that have been identified to make a person more attractive to these pests.

Body odor
Bacterial colonies combined with sweat generate that sweet human scent we call body odor. Without the bacteria, our sweat would be odorless; with the bacteria, our sweat is one of the more attractive scents for mosquitoes. There are measures you can take like washing regularly to reduce body odor. However, be careful of fragrant scents that can also draw mosquitoes.

Secretions
About 80% of people secrete compounds known as saccharides and antigens through their skin. Secretors are magnets for mosquitoes. Your classification as a secretor is determined by your biology, and there isn’t anything you can do to put yourself in the non-secretor category.

Blood type
Depending on the type of blood you have, you secrete different scents. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are most attracted to Type O blood and least attracted to Type-A.

Lactic acid
Lactic acid is emitted through your skin when you are active or eating certain foods. Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with a greater build-up of lactic acid on their skin.

Body temperature
The higher your body temperature is, the faster the mosquitoes will find you. Once they get within a few yards, they can sense the heat and will easily find you.

Dark Clothing
Mosquitoes are most attracted to dark colors. They use their vision to locate targets from a distance, and people wearing dark clothing are easier to see.

Perfume and Scented Lotions
Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Floral scents are especially attractive.

Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol makes your skin give off a chemical that attracts mosquitoes. Alcohol also increases body temperature, which is another huge mosquito attractor.

Pregnant Woman
Pregnant women attract twice as many mosquitoes as a non-pregnant woman. This is because a pregnant woman exhales more carbon dioxide than other people, in addition to running higher body temperatures and having more blood circulating through their bodies than the average person.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. 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.

How Do I Prevent Termites From Attacking My Home?

Termites feed on the moisture within wood and various other materials. Worker termites spend all day chewing up your home and then returning to their nest to supply the warrior and reproductive castes of termites with the food they need but cannot get themselves. Once you have an infestation, these hard workers will spend 24 hours a day removing large chunks of your home. Unlike people, termites don’t sleep.

So, if you’ve had a recent infestation exterminated, you’re probably wondering how you can prevent a future one. Below, we’ll discuss how homes set themselves up for a termite infestation and what you can do to prevent one.

Access Denied

One of the most effective ways of keeping termites out of your home is simply sealing their main areas of entry. The Amco Ranger techs provide our clients with preventative inspections that remove current infestations and prevent future ones.

What can you do?

  • Seal cracks – Termites gain access to your home through tiny cracks in the foundation or areas where your gas and water lines have gaps. When these are sealed, there’s one less way for termites to enter your home. In some cases, all you will need to do is apply a fresh coat of paint around likely areas.
  • Reduce wood-to-ground contact – Areas where you have wood in contact with the ground must be reduced to the extent possible or completely sealed. Subterranean termites will gain access to homes here. If removal is not an option, treating the area with anti-termite pesticide is a good option.
  • Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around the basement– Make certain that the termites aren’t getting in through the windows or the areas where the windows meet your basement walls.
  • Schedule periodic sprays and inspections – Pest control experts are trained to think like termites (it’s not very hard). We know how termites get into homes and we know why your home is attractive to termites. Scheduling annual or periodic inspections and sprays after a major termite infestation will prevent a future one.

No Food For You

Keeping termites out is one thing. Making your home unattractive to termites can be just as effective. Termites feed on the cellulose in plant material. Any extra wood you have lying around is a potential food source. If you have wood siding, it should be at least six inches off the ground. You can also find cellulose-free mulch which won’t be nearly as attractive to termites.

If there is a lot of dead wood in your backyard, you’ll want to remove it. Drywood termites will consider it food. Additionally, you want to protect any firewood or other lumber you have out back.

In other words, you want to make your home a less-than-ideal target for a potential termite infestation.

No Moisture Sources

Moisture is to termites what poop is to flies. You’ll want to fix things like:

  • Leaky faucets or plumbing problems – You’ll want to check under your sink and make sure plumbing problems aren’t making your home more attractive to termites.
  • Moisture in crawlspaces and basements – You want to make sure that your washing machine is properly ventilated and that your basement isn’t overly prone to moisture. Cracks in your foundation can cause water to pool and this results in a major termite attraction.

Other areas that will need to be addressed are:

  • Air conditioner condensation lines,
  • Gutters, and
  • Areas under sinks.

Preventing Termite Exposure Before Your Home Is Built

If you’re thinking about building a home, the best time to think about termite control is before the home is built. Anti-termite strategies begin before the home is built and continue during the construction. Basaltic Termite Barriers are made of particles that are packed so tightly together that termites can’t penetrate the barrier. Termite mesh can be used around joints in concrete which have holes too small for termites to pass through. Lastly, there are termite-resistance options for wood that can be used during the construction process such as pressure-treated wood and heartwood.

Amco Ranger Pest Control Experts Can Help With Termite Protection

Termite prevention is complex because there are different kinds of termites and they generally access homes in different ways. Sometimes, inspecting your home is enough to keep termites out for good. Other times, you will need periodic treatments in order to eradicate nearby termite populations. In either event, Amco Ranger offers a top-quality cost-effective option to prevent your most valuable asset from preventable damage.

We service St. Charles and St. Louis in Missouri Talk to us today for a free inspection.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry?

Mosquitoes are more than just buzzing-in-your-ear nuisances causing itchy skin when you get bit. They also carry deadly diseases. In fact, mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures in the world because of the many diseases they can transmit.

The primary diseases they carry include:

West Nile virus

In the United States, the West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease. It can be largely asymptomatic, but 20 percent of people who get the disease develop symptoms such as a fever, diarrhea, stiff neck, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle weakness. The virus can develop to the point where it starts to impact your central nervous system, too, which causes violent convulsions and paralysis. There were more than 2,500 West Nile cases reported in the United States in 2018, according to the CDC.

Malaria

This is the most deadly mosquito-borne disease. In 2015, there were hundreds of millions of cases of malaria reported, and nearly 500,000 deaths because of the disease. This makes up more than half of all deaths that come from mosquito-borne illnesses. The primary symptoms of malaria are high fever, chills, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Yellow fever

This disease is named after the yellow-ish hue it can cause in patients as a result of jaundice (a condition that affects the liver), which is a symptom of yellow fever. Other symptoms include headaches, fever, and fatigue. Yellow fever is a highly fatal disease if it’s contracted – half the people who get it die within a week to 10 days, according to the World Health Organization. However, it is preventable with a vaccination. It is currently most prevalent in Central America, South America, and Africa, and it causes between 30,000 and 60,000 deaths per year.

Zika

This disease is largely asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. If it does show symptoms, they may appear in the form of a fever, skin rash, headache, joint pain, and more. However, Zika has proven to have more severe effects on pregnant women and leads to babies being born with brain and head defects.

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis reveals itself with vomiting, headaches, a high fever, and joint and muscle pain. The symptoms take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to show up after you’ve been bitten. The disease is present in mosquitoes ranging from northern Asia all the way to almost every tropical region in the world, according to the CDC. There is a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis.

It should be noted that just because you are bitten by a mosquito, doesn’t mean you have been infected with a disease. If you suspect you may have a mosquito-borne illness, see your doctor.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. 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.

What Causes Moths In The Home?

Although people think of protecting their clothes when it comes to moths, did you know that moths love breeding in your carpets? That is why they are often referred to as carpet moths. But what causes carpet moths, and why do they eat your clothes and carpets?

Identifying Carpet Moths

Carpet moths are easy to spot and generally have the following traits:

  • Small with a mottled brown color and black spots across their front wings
  • Have a wingspan measuring between 9 and 16mm
  • Both their hind and forewings have hairy fringes.
  • The moth larvae leave their casing behind. If you find something in your carpet that looks similar to rice, this is a sign that you probably have moths.

 

What Causes Carpet Moths?

The larvae of carpet moths eat the keratin proteins found in skin and hair. They have a strong attraction to fur, silk, wool, and other high quality and natural materials. If you don’t have silk or wool carpets in your home, there’s still a chance you will get moths. They can fly in from outside and will happily make a home in synthetic carpet fibers too.

Within the pile of a carpet or rug, moths can hide their eggs safely out of harm’s way. Once the eggs hatch, they turn into hungry larvae. Even if the larvae don’t eat the actual fibers, they will still eat dirt that collects in them, such as food crumbs, hair, skin, and other household dirt. These are filled with all the nutrients they need to grow.

They also like eating dirty clothes for similar reasons. These items will be covered in hair, skin and sweat, all rich in keratin.

Another contributing factor to carpet moth infestations is the climate. They prefer warm temperatures, so are more active during the summer.

Prevent Carpet Moths

The best remedy is to not have any carpeting. However, if that’s not possible, cleaning and especially vacuuming your carpet regularly can control carpet moths from becoming an infestation.

Keeping clothing freshly laundered before going back in your closet or drawers is another strategy. Also, using pheromone moth traps can help curb the population.

We Can Help

If you already have a moth infestation, give Amco Ranger a call. No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that we know 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.

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.