5 Signs Your New Home Has a Rodent Problem (Plus What to Do About It)

If you think you have a rodent problem in your home, you’re far from alone. In fact, an estimated 83% of households have mice allergens in them. 

Mice need to find shelter, especially in the colder months of the year. If your house happens to be the closest and you’re always cooking delicious meals inside, then they might see this as the place to set up camp.

Regardless of the type of rodent, they can cause you lots of problems. Let’s talk about how to determine if you have a rodent problem and what you can do about it.

Signs You Have A Rodent Problem: Droppings

Droppings are the number one tell-all for rodents. Mice or rats, like all animals, leave their droppings behind. They will look like tiny little pellets. Fresh ones will be dark and moist, drying out and lightening over time. This will give you an idea of how long ago they were there.

In a new home, it’s important to check this. They could have been from years ago and the previous owners just never cleaned the spot where you found the droppings. Check any dark, concealed places like under the sink, under the refrigerator, under equipment in the basement, and anywhere else they could be hiding.

Gnawing Marks

Do you leave your butter on the counter? Ever noticed a piece missing from it?

Check wires, food that’s left out, drywall, or anything else that you notice. If you see gnaw marks on the stuff you recently brought into your new home, rather than what was already there, that’s a pretty good indicator that the rodent problem is there.

Watch Your Pets

Dogs, but especially cats, will be very attracted to the scent of these little creatures. If you have pets, watch them. They will likely notice these friends before you will, and even sniff them out. If it’s bad enough that you can smell it, then it’s probably an active infestation.

If your cat is sitting close and staring at a hole in the wall or under the refrigerator for a long period of time, maybe even growling, they may have found a snack!

Scratching Noises

If you’re losing sleep because you’re hearing scratching noises in the night, this is a pretty good sign that you have a rodent problem. We know that can be terrifying in a new home but rest assured, your new house isn’t haunted! Mice and rats both scratch on wood and drywall, and if you’ve heard it, you know it’s definitely audible when there’s no other noise!


Mice will use any soft material to make a nest for their young. Fabric, paper, plant material, cotton, or whatever they can find. You may find it in an old sleeping bag you have in the basement, or you could find it under a panel in your cabinets.

Finding one doesn’t mean the infestation is currently active unless it is found in equipment that you brought into the new home. If you’re still shopping around for a house, look for all of these signs before you purchase and take it into account. Don’t let it be your only deciding factor, as there are plenty of ways to deal with a rodent problem!

How To Handle A Rodent Problem

If you’re still not 100% certain you have a rodent problem, put some flour or baby powder in the regions where you think they reside. They will leave tracks for you to judge later on. Remember, rats and mice are nocturnal. Before you go to bed, just sprinkling some powder down around the fridge, on the counters, or anywhere else you think is necessary. If you wake up and see tracks, that’s a definite.

Well, in that case, it’s time to solve that problem! While rodents are tiny, they often carry diseases that can be harmful or even lethal to humans. They also pose fire hazards as they are known for chewing through things like wires or gas lines. Here’s what you can do.


Traps can work if you don’t mind clearing them! If you want to be humane about it, avoid using glue traps. You may not like your furry house guests, but you don’t want them to suffer. Spring traps and traps that allow you to release them elsewhere (alive) are the most humane and often even cheaper!

Rats are even harder to trap than mice, as they are a lot smarter than mice. The traps have to be a lot bigger and more enticing, and they can’t scare them off!


Rodent repellent can be effective if you use it in the right places. You can try putting mothballs and rodent control sprays in places you think they reside. However, traps are totally inefficient if you have rodents living in your walls.

Professional Services

Honestly, you can lay down traps all day but mice breed really fast. Often a lot faster than you can clear and reset your traps. While rats are often too smart, many mice are even hesitant to use traps, which eliminates the possibility of catching the more clever ones!

If you want the job done right, you have to call in the experts. If you’re only trapping individual rodents, you’ll never stop the root cause alone. Rodent exterminator services can even close the entryways that rodents use to get into your house in the first place. 

Say Your Goodbyes

Now that you know how to check for and handle a rodent problem, remember that they breed quickly! The sooner you get help, the better.

Keep up to date with our latest pest control news, and find out what to do if your new home has termites!

What to Do When You Find Raccoons in Your Yard

The raccoon (affectionately nicknamed the “trash panda”) is native to North America and has been an ever-present critter in our lives. In fact, the first urban sighting was during the 1920s in Cincinnati, OH!

These animals are opportunistic scavengers, which explains why they’ve become such a familiar face in many neighborhoods. They’re also quite intelligent, which makes for some fun observations.

If you have raccoons in your yard, they might be amusing to watch at first. But the truth is, they’re a nuisance and are considered pests!

Are you now wondering what to do if you have raccoons in your yard? Read on to find out more!

Pick Up Fallen Fruits and Nuts

The number one reason why raccoons are attracted to a property is because of food. Remember: they’re opportunistic scavengers, so if they deem your yard as a rich food source, they’ll make themselves right at home.

While your trees and bushes are beautiful and give you delicious fruits and nuts, you’ll want to pick them in time. Otherwise, when they fall onto the ground, not only will this attract raccoons, but also other pests that are attracted to these treats.

So if you notice any of these tasty things on the ground, pick them up straight away.

Clean up Your Yard

While you’re picking up fruits and nuts in your yard, take some time to clean it up as well. When it comes to how to get rid of raccoons in your yard, this is one of the best methods. That’s because you’re getting rid of all possible nest sites, as well as eliminating easy ways for these pests to get onto your roof.

Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside

Does your puppy or kitty have a pet dish outside? It can be nice for them to eat out in the nice sun and gentle breeze. But raccoons will definitely be attracted to this free food!

The good news is, raccoons are nocturnal, so you can leave the dishes out during the day. However, you need to bring these dishes inside before the sun sets. Otherwise, you’ll be leaving out a buffet for these critters!

While we’re on the topic of pet food, you should also consider your bird feeders if you have any. There are some ways to deter raccoons, such as using shepherd’s hooks with pole baffles, or using hanging baffles. You can also bring in your bird feeders after dark.

Secure Your Trash Cans

Raccoons have a strong sense of smell and are smart creatures. They’ll be able to smell all your food scraps sitting in your trash can outside, and you can bet that they’ll get their paws on them if they can!

Trash cans with loose-fitting lids will be easy for these pests to get into. So you’ll want to replace them with heavy lids and/or tie down the lids so they can’t be opened without untying the cord or wire.

Fence off Other Food Sources

If you have a compost pile, garden, and/or pond, these are other places raccoons might try to find food in. To keep them out, fence these areas off.

Raccoons can dig under fences easily, so consider using an electric fence. It might sound cruel, but there are ones made with low enough voltage that all they’ll do is give the animals a small zap, which will discourage them from going any further.

Install Motion-Activated Speakers

Loud noises will scare any animal, and this includes raccoons! So you can get yourself some motion-activated speakers to place in your yard so when they come skulking about, they’ll be surprised with a loud noise from your speakers, such as a raccoon distress call or a dog barking.

If you get frequent raccoon visitors, then these speakers might annoy you and/or your neighbors. In that case, you might want to consider getting a speaker that emits low or high frequency noises that humans can’t hear. You’ll enjoy peace and quiet while the raccoons are deterred by the unpleasant sounds.

Get Help From a Pest Control Company

If you’ve tried all the above methods and raccoons are still calling your house their home, then it’s time to bring out the big guns.

A pest control company can come remove raccoons from your property in a safe manner. This will eliminate the need for you to try and remove them yourself.

On that note, you should never try and remove raccoons from your property on your own since they may have rabies. If you get scratched or bitten by these animals, there’s a chance you might get rabies as well. Not to mention, these wounds can be painful, and dealing with wild animals can be scary!

What’s even better about using pest control services is these experts won’t just remove raccoons from your property. They’ll also check it out and create a tailored plan so you can keep raccoons away.

Prevention is a key part of pest control, yet many fail to keep up with this action. When you have the help of pest control pros, they can remove raccoons and keep them away too!

We’ll Take Care of Raccoons in Your Yard

Raccoons in your yard might be fun at first. But you’ll soon realize that they’re an annoying pest that you need to get rid of.

So if you suspect there are some trash pandas on your property, or if you’ve actually spotted one (or a few), then you need the touch of a pest control company such as Amco Ranger. Not only can our expert team get rid of raccoons, but we can also put some effective prevention techniques into use to keep your home safe and sound.

If you’re thinking, “oh no, there’s a raccoon in my yard,” you need to act fast. Get in touch with us now to get a free quote and to schedule an inspection. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!

5 Early Warning Signs for Spotting Bed Bugs

While bed bugs are generally not dangerous, they’re considered a public health pest. Bed bugs don’t carry diseases, but they can still cause negative effects on your health.

Bed bugs are common pests that feed on human blood and hide in household furniture. Some people can have an allergic reaction to bites from bed bugs. Secondary skin infections may also develop from the bite like impetigo or ecthyma.

The mental health of people living in infested homes can also suffer. Anxiety and insomnia are some of the reported effects.

Spotting the early signs of bed bugs can save you from the worse trouble of an infestation. Read on to know about bed bugs and their five early warning signs.

Identifying Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can resemble other insects. Knowing how to identify bed bugs helps distinguish them from other critters. It allows you to save time, money, and prevent more stress.

Adult bed bugs have a light or reddish-brown color. Depending on the lighting, they can also appear black. They can be hard to see since they move fast.

Bed bugs are small and have flat, oval-shaped bodies. They’re about 4 to 5 mm in diameter.

They have six legs and two antennae. Their segmented bodies have tiny hairs that give them a striped look.

Younger bed bugs or nymphs are translucent and can look white or light brown. After feeding, they turn bright red. It fades to brown before finally becoming black.

Bed bugs feed on blood and they change color as they digest it. If they didn’t feed, they look flat. Otherwise, their backs rise in response to sustenance.

Like all other insects, bed bugs have an exoskeleton as a hard shell. It means they molt, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow.

Fiver Early Signs of Bed Bugs

Now you know what bed bugs look like, it’s time to learn the early signs of their presence. Most don’t realize they have a bed bug infestation until they see the actual bed bugs. Spotting them early is better than getting rid of well-nested bed bugs.

1. Shells and Eggs

Since bed bugs shed their exoskeletons as they grow, they leave their old shells behind. You might find these casings around your bed. Finding bed bug skin is a sure sign that there are bed bugs in your house.

You might also notice bed bug eggs. They’re white and usually come in clusters. 

Bed bug eggs are smaller than the actual insect, meaning you’ll likely fail to notice them without further inspection. However, if you find eggs and bed bug casings, it’s a clear sign of an infestation.

2. Itchiness from their Bites

One of the other sure and early signs of bed bugs is on your skin. When bed bugs bite, you’ll feel some itchiness. Fortunately, bed bug bites don’t carry diseases. However, they’re irritating and inconvenient.

Your exposed body areas are vulnerable to bed bug bites. These will often be your arms, neck, or head. Bed bug bites usually look like small, raised, red spots on the skin.

They might also show up a day or two after the bite. It can also form distinct patterns on your skin, often manifesting as a line. It helps distinguish them from flea or mosquito bites.

Your skin’s reaction also depends on the bed bug’s type. Some cause an extreme reaction while others won’t. It’s also possible to start feeling the bite’s itch a week later.

3. Bloodstains on Your Sheets

There are three reasons why humans attract bed bugs. Our body heat, carbon dioxide from our exhalations, and blood. Since blood is their primary food source, they stuff themselves whenever they feed.

As such, one telltale sign of bed bugs is seeing small red stains on your sheets or pajamas after waking.

Two things can cause these bloodstains. You might roll onto the bed bugs in your sleep and crush them in the process. Otherwise, it’s a residue of their feeding frenzy.

If you wake with these stains on your bed, consider calling for pest control. If you don’t, you’ll suffer from continued harassment from these vermin.

4. Dark, Rust-Colored Spots on Your Mattress or Walls

If you often find dark, rust-colored stains on your mattress, these are likely bed bug excrement. Test if the brown specks are either bed bug droppings or old ink stains. Smear it with water since ink stains won’t spread.

Your mattress isn’t the only place where you might find bed bug droppings. They can also leave stains on walls or under wallpapers. Inspect these places to ensure they’re free from these specks.

Bed bugs usually leave fecal stains as soon as they reach sufficient numbers. Try examining your bed or nearby walls for suspicious stains. If you find them, don’t waste time and call for pest control.

5. A Musty Odor

Another sign of bed bug presence is an unexplained damp and musty odor in your home. You might notice the smell only around your bed area. However, you might also come from other nearby pieces of furniture.

Some people say that the odor is comparable to moldy clothing or a wet dog. It comes from the pheromones they release. Note that in general, the stronger the smell, the larger the infestation likely is.

Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation Now

Bed bugs may not be dangerous, but they’re stressful to live with. Bed bugs feed on our blood, reducing the quality of our sleep. Identifying the early signs of bed bugs can help prevent an infestation.

Observe if there are any casings or eggs in your bed. Dark spots on your mattress and walls as well as a musty odor are suspicious signs. If you wake up with itchy bite marks, consider calling a professional.

Looking for pest control services? Contact us today and we can help you prevent a worse bed bug infestation in your home.

The Dangers of Having a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

What can go longer than a camel without drinking water? 


Out in nature, rodents are incredible creatures that we can learn a lot from. They have sharp memories, peculiar social tendencies, and interesting decision-making processes. However, when rats and mice start taking up residence in your home, they can ruin your life in a matter of days.  

What are the top rodent infestation dangers you should be aware of? Read on to find out!

Rodent Infestation Dangers

When you think of the dangers of a rodent infestation, sickness is probably the first threat that pops into your mind. However, it’s also important to consider all of the damage that rodents can cause to your home. 

For instance, mice and rats are notorious for their constant need to chew things. If you have a mouse infestation in your home, you might start to notice chew marks on your drywall or plastic pipes throughout the house.

If you’re hearing scattering sounds in the attic that sound louder than mice or rats, it could be squirrels. Similar to mice and rats, squirrels pose a variety of health and property damage risks.

Outdoor Exposure

When mice chew through the rubber, plastic pipes, insulation, and drywall, it opens up your home to a variety of damages. For starters, other insects and varmin can wind up entering your home through the newly chewed openings. 

Fire Risk

When mice start chewing through things like wires, the risk of a fire happening goes way up. You’d also be increasing the chances of problems like carbon monoxide poisoning happening. 

The moment you notice damage from a rodent infestation, such as open holes, you’ll want to seal them up right away. The sooner you seal the holes up, the faster you’ll be able to protect your family and home from damage.

Lost Food

What’s your grocery bill look like every month? The average person needs anywhere between $165 -$ 345 worth of groceries a month. If you’re buying food for a large family, you can easily spend thousands a month on groceries. However, if you have a rodent infestation in your home, you could wind up spending all of that money for nothing! 

One of the first places rodents takes over is the kitchen. From your food pantry to the cereal in your cabinet, there isn’t a safe food place when rodents are around. The moment rodents come into contact with your food, you have to throw it away. 

Even if there aren’t rodent feces in the food, the exposure to the rodents makes the food dangerous. Since it can be difficult to determine what food the rodents touched, you could wind up having to throw away everything that’s not in the fridge. 

What to Do if You Have Rodents in Your Home

The second you realize there’s a rodent infestation, but all of your sealed food into your fridge. Next, call in the professionals so you can stop a bad situation from becoming worse. A matter of hours can make the difference between hundreds vs thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Contracting the Hantavirus

Next, let’s talk about a life-threatening disease that rodents can transmit to humans. The hantavirus is a well-known disease that’s primarily transmitted to humans through rodents. White-footed deer mice are particularly notorious for transmitting the hantavirus. 

How do you catch the hantavirus, exactly? It has to do with the waste rodents leave behind. Rodent saliva, droppings, and urine can all transmit the disease. When you’re exposed to rodent droppings, or you inhale fumes from their waste, your risk of catching the disease goes up. 

If you live in a small area that has a rodent infestation, the danger becomes even worse. Side effects of contracting the virus include dizziness, body chills, headaches, and stomach problems.

Bubonic Plague and Salmonella

Next, 2 other types of sicknesses rodents can transmit are the bubonic plague and salmonella. The bubonic plague earned the name “ The Black Death” during the Middle ages. The well-earned name is thanks to the low survival rate of the European population when the bubonic plague hit during the Middle ages.

Catching the bubonic plague is very easy when there’s a rodent infestation. All it takes is one bite from a rodent flea that has the virus, and you could die in a matter of days. 

Next, you’ve probably heard of salmonella when you hear people talk about food poisoning. While salmonella is a type of food poisoning, it’s also a type of poisoning that can be spread through rodent feces.

For instance, if the mice get into your food in the pantry and it becomes contaminated with rodent feces, eating that food could give you salmonella. The symptoms of salmonella include stomach pain, diarrhea, and extreme fever.

Fevers Caused by Rodents

Lastly, let’s talk about a couple of the different fevers that rodents can cause. For starters, there’s a sickness called rat-bite fever.

Rat-bite fever spreads when you come into contact with a dead rodent, or if you’re bit or scratched by a living rodent. You can also contract rat-bite fever if you eat or drink water that’s been contaminated by rat feces. 

If left untreated rat-bite fever can be a fatal disease. Symptoms of rat-bite fever include vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and of course fever. 

Next, a specific species of a rat can cause Lassa fever. A multi-mammate rat can have the Lassa fever virus, and it’s most common in West Africa. It’s easy to catch Lassa fever when you’re in an environment where rodents are present. 

All it takes is inhaling dust that’s been in contact with infected rodent urine, and you can catch Lassa fever. Symptoms of the virus can take a few weeks to show up. 

Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems, and neurological issues. Sadly, a lot of patients wind up passing away from multi-organ failure after catching Lassa fever.

Protect Your Home and Family

Let’s face it, the dangers of a rodent infestation are terrifying! However, there is good news. By getting swift help from a team of professionals, you can once again reclaim the safety of your home.

If you’re dealing with pests in your home, don’t wait to take action. Reach out to one of our team members today, and let us tell you how we can help. For more tips like these, check out another one of our articles.

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.


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.


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.


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.