Pest Control Blog

David MooreOur staff entomologist (bug scientist) and Pest Detective, David Moore, writes about topics related to keeping your home pest free.

You can also visit with our Pest Detective on Facebook. Post your questions on our wall, with pictures if possible, and David Moore will answer the most common ones. When submitting photos, include as much information as possible, including size and color, and where any damage in your home is occurring.

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Signs of Termites
Termites VT
(Photo: Va Tech)
Termite tubes VT
Termite Mud Tubes
(Photo: Va Tech)

Hearing the word termites brings fear to many homeowners. The thought of their home being destroyed and the costs associated with resolving the issue bring shivers to wallets across the country. I am going to review the signs of termites so you can hopefully catch the problem early.

Termite Swarmers:

With the warm weather breaking, there will be triggers for termite swarmers that may impact your home. The most common termite in our area is the Eastern Subterranean Termite. These termites are actually the most common and widely distributed termite in North America. They are social insects that are usually located in soil or wood and have high moisture requirements, which generally cause them to maintain some type of soil contact unless there are special circumstances. Termites feed on cellulose from wood and wood by-products such as paper and damage more houses each year than do lightning or fires. National Pest Management Assocation (NPMA) estimates that termites cause over 5 billion dollars in property damage each year. Because of the size of the colonies, termites can generally continue to destroy a home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in our service area with little interference with weather.

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Preventative Outdoor Maintenance

mulch blog 36Mulch

Good outdoor preventative maintenance is the first step of preventing pests from intruding into your home. The best way to reduce pest intrusion is to proactively control invading outdoor pests before they can enter a structure. The second step is to seal any potential entry such as holes in exterior walls, closing gaps under doors, screening windows and vents. Taking these measures will help reduce the amount of time required to inspect and find a pest’s entry point and can reduce the amount of pesticide that may be required to solve your problem.

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Termite Renewal Inspections

Termites VTTermites
(Photo: VaTech)

After a subterranean termite treatment has been conducted on a home, many homeowners are faced with an annual renewal and inspection to maintain coverage of their home. These homeowners are often curious about what goes into the renewal and the value that these services hold. In this session, I hope to clarify what the service entails and some basics around what is covered.

The whole goal of a termite renewal is to provide additional value to a termite treatment. Typically there is a charge for this, but it is at a fraction of the cost of a new chemical treatment. It is easier and more cost effective to perform a termite treatment once on a home and then re-treat only when necessary. A termite treatment can cost thousands of dollars that is an unexpected cost to a family. The type of treatment and how involved it becomes is determined by numerous factors including where the termites are located, how large the home is, the construction of the home, how much drilling is necessary, how compact the soil is around the home, and other extenuating circumstances such as a location of a well. The termite renewal inspection is a service that helps to maintain the coverage of your home to help ensure that termites do not continue to damage the structure at a fraction of the cost for having a whole home treated again.

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Christmas Plants - Poinsettias & Mistletoe, Dispelling the Myths
Poinsettia grande

Since this is a concern of many people, it bears repeating Dr. Eric Smith’s post from last December. I was brought up with the belief that poinsettias and mistletoe were very poisonous and that ingestion could be toxic. There was special concern for cats and other animals in particular.

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Pantry Pests
Indianmeal moth U of Arkansas Flour beetles Canadian Grain Commision 2 warehousebtl YUNebraska 2
Indianmeal Moth
(Photo: U of Arkansas)
Flour beetles
(Photo: Canadian Green Commission)
Warehouse beetle
(Photo: U of Nebraska)

As the holidays approach, more and more people will be cooking for family gatherings and discover new friends in their pantry. Discovering bugs in your food may seem disgusting, but it isn't unusual. I want to take a moment and explore some of those pests, what they can do, and some methods that can be used to eliminate them. There are many types of pests that can infest our food, but we will only concentrate on a few of the most popular pests that are found in our stored food items. These pests can include small beetles, moths, and worm-like creatures that can cause a person to have an intense reaction to even see inside their food products. Several of these pests are pictured in the Dodson Pest ID Guide elsewhere on this web site that Dr. Eric Smith had created.

How do we get these pests?

These pests are usually brought into the home in food items purchased at the grocery or pet supply store. These pests can be successful just about any place that bulk foods and pet food and supplies can be found. This does not mean that these locations are dirty or unsanitary. Usually these stores will receive product that is already infested without their knowledge. Most of these stores have pest management services that will respond when alerted to the issue to eliminate the problem.

Read more... [Pantry Pests]
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