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Pest Library

What You Need To Know About Pests In Columbus, Ohio

The unfortunate truth about pests is that they can become a problem in any of our homes in Columbus, OH. We have put together a pest guide to help you learn about our area's most common pests, including what they eat, what attracts them, and changes you can make around your property to deter them. Keep reading to discover which pests are most likely to appear in your Columbus home!

Ants

Ants are social insects that live and work together in large groups. If you spot a couple of ants, know that thousands more are wandering around your Ohio property. Though ants invade in large groups, most species are more of a nuisance than a danger. But, just because they aren't dangerous doesn't mean we should let them take over. Ants spread bacteria, contaminate food, and are annoying to deal with day after day. No one wants to walk into their kitchen and see a line of ants marching throughout it!

Though most ants are harmless, some pose big problems for people when they decide to nest in our yards or homes. One of the most problematic ant species in our area is the carpenter ant. These large ants nest inside wood, preferring decaying or water-damaged wood. In our yards, carpenter ants infest dead trees, tree stumps, fallen trees, and woodpiles. However, carpenter ants don't just stay outside; like other ants, things like food odors and moisture attract them into our homes. Once inside, they may decide to stay and expand their colony in a place that offers them food and safe shelter. Carpenter ants tunnel through and build nesting galleries inside structural wood. As they expand their nest, they cause dangerous and costly damage.

To help guard your property against invading ants, partner with us at Best Choice Pest Control. In conjunction with our professional services, the following tips will help you avoid major problems with ants:

  • Remove fallen trees and trees stumps from your yard.
  • Repair exterior damage to your home that can allow rainwater and ants inside.
  • If structural wood in your house becomes damaged by water, do your best to replace it with sound wood.
  • Make sure outdoor trash cans are stored away from the outside walls of your home and lids are always on them.
  • Vacuum your house regularly to remove crumbs that provide ants with food and keep them returning to your property.

Bed Bugs

Many things can interrupt your sleep, but one thing that should never be the cause of your lack of sleep is the bed bug. Bed bugs are small apple seed-shaped insects that feed on blood. Bed bugs have a close bond with people because our blood is their preferred food source. They live in our homes and many public places like hotels, apartment buildings, airports, laundry mats, and shopping centers. The more people moving in and out of a structure, the more of a chance bed bugs will be moving with them! Unlike most other pests, they don't move inside from the outside through openings they discover in a home's exterior; they move into new spaces by hitchhiking. Bed bugs are excellent climbers, and after climbing onto our clothing or personal belongings, they move without detection into our homes.

Even though bed bugs do not transmit disease to people during the feeding process, they are never welcome in our homes. Their bites are itchy, unsightly, and they make you uncomfortable and cause interrupted sleep. Contact a professional at the first sign of their presence (bloodstains or dark streaks of excrement on mattresses, bedding, or pillows). These pests are not something you can try to take care of on your own. DIY methods do not work well and end up costing you time and money and allow the bed bug infestation to grow and take over more of your home. Bed bugs hide well out of sight, and to truly eliminate these insects, every egg, nymph, and adult need to be found and treated, a job best left up to a professional!

In addition to getting professional bed bug control, doing the following things around your property will help you avoid a large-scale bed bug infestation:

  • Regularly vacuum your rugs and upholstered furniture.
  • If possible, avoid purchasing used items like mattresses and furniture for use in your home; they are often infested with hitchhiking bed bugs.
  • After returning home from a trip, make sure to wash all clothing immediately. 
  • Make sure to keep your belongings up off the floor of public places.
  • If you have overnight visitors, immediately vacuum and wash all bedding used after they leave. They could have unknowingly come into contact with bed bugs during the travel process.

Mosquitoes

If you don't want to share your backyard with mosquitoes for another summer, we don't blame you! Mosquitoes are biting flies that take over outdoor spaces and make it impossible to enjoy spending time outside. Mosquitoes take over backyards, athletic fields, campgrounds, and outdoor eating areas, making people miserable through their relentless bites. The biggest reasons mosquitoes are attracted to outdoor spaces are standing water or dense vegetation. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water, and during the day, mosquitoes hide from the direct sun in the shade of tall grass, woodpiles, and tree canopies.

Why are mosquitoes so problematic to have in our outdoor spaces? There are two good reasons why! First, they deliver painful, itchy bites, and second, they spread diseases and parasites to people and our pets that cause serious illnesses. Mosquitoes have an elongated mouthpart called a proboscis they use to feed on plant nectar, the main food source for male and female mosquitoes. Females also use their proboscis to pierce the skin to consume blood meals. During the feeding process, mosquitoes spread diseases; their ability to efficiently spread disease makes them considered one of the world's most deadly critters. Limiting the number of mosquitoes able to call your backyard home is to the benefit of you and your family's health and safety!

In addition to getting home pest control with us at Best Choice Pest Control, doing the following things around your property will keep large swarms of mosquitoes from taking over your backyard:

  • Limit resting spots that mosquitoes can take advantage of in your yard by keeping the grass cut short and cutting back shrubbery and trees.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris so rainwater doesn't pool in them.
  • Fill in low-lying areas that allow standing water to pool.
  • Make sure things like wading pools and pet water dishes are regularly emptied and refilled with fresh water.
  • Don't overwater gardens.

Rodents

Mice and rats are both rodents and two of the most common pests that invade our area's indoor and outdoor spaces. While they are two different species, both have developed a close relationship with people. Our properties offer rodents many sheltered areas to nest, numerous places to forage for food, and easy access to water. Rodents usually live happily outside but will move into our homes to escape harsh weather, due to a lack of food or to find a safe place to build a nest.

As much as rodents want to live with us, we need to ensure they don't become permanent family members. Mice and rats spread diseases and bacteria, introduce disease-spreading parasites into yards and homes, and their shed fur and excrement trigger allergies. Rodents all have sharp front incisors that they use to damage things in our homes like wires, pipes, walls, and floors. Personal items like clothing, upholstered furniture, and storage boxes can be damaged by rodent teeth or stained by their urine. At the first sign that rodents have found a way into your home, it is important to seek professional help to eliminate them, protecting both your home and family from their dangerous and destructive behavior.

In addition to partnering with us at Best Choice Pest Control, doing the following things around your property will make your yard and home less attractive to mice, rats, and other household pests:

  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum floors as often as possible to remove as many crumbs from your home as you can.
  • Store all trash in bags and place the bags in sealed containers.
  • Clean up the clutter from your home where rodents like to hide.
  • Instead of using boxes to store items, use plastic containers with locking lids.
  • Cut back overgrown vegetation away from your home's exterior.
  • Remove bird and wild animal feeders from your yard.

Spiders

Spiders are a common sight in our yards and homes. These arachnids take advantage of the food, water, and shelter our indoor and outdoor spaces provide. Spiders are naturally reclusive; while their appearance frightens many people, spiders are fearful of people and don't seek us out. Contact with spiders is usually accidental, and they only bite to protect themselves from harm. Most people come into contact with spiders hiding in gardens, storage boxes, shoes, and pieces of clothing. Though their bites can be painful, most spiders have venom only potent enough to harm their insect prey.

Spiders are welcome outside, helping to control populations of nuisance insects, but they are not welcome lurking in the corners of our homes. While spiders aren't dangerous, their presence usually means the insects they like to feed on are in your house. Spiders are predatory pests that follow their prey. Things like moisture, food odors, and safe shelter attract insects that spiders like to eat into your home. The more insects you have in or around your house, the more problems with spiders you will experience.

In addition to partnering with us at Best Choice Pest Control, doing the following things around your property will make your yard and home less attractive to spiders and other household pests:

  • Clear spider webs as you find them; this annoys spiders and makes them want to move somewhere else.
  • Reduce the clutter in your yard and home where spiders can hide.
  • Ensure your home's exterior is sealed properly; eliminating as many entry points as possible will make it difficult for spiders to find a way inside.
  • Make your yard less attractive to the insects that spiders hunt by keeping lids on trash cans, switching out white outdoor lights for yellow or LED lights, and removing standing water.

Termites

Termites are social insects that live together in colonies with hundreds of thousands or millions of members. The termite's diet consists of cellulose found in wood. Termites work day and night to gather food to feed all the termites living in their colony. When termites find their way into your Columbus home, they will do what they do best- gather food to bring back to the nest. The damage termites cause inside our homes is unmatched and quite costly to repair. Termites move into our homes unseen through the foundation or pieces of wood, making contact with the ground. They can work for months or years without detection, each day causing more and more damage to your home.

The most common termites in Columbus, as well as across the country, are subterranean termites. Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying pieces of wood. These termites nest underground and move from their nest to a food source through the soil or in the mud tubes they create. Once inside, they will move to damp areas of a home and begin feeding on its structural wood. Wood located under floors and behind walls near tubs, sinks, water pipes, and windows and doors is the most likely to be infested by these moisture-seeking pests. As the most widespread termite species, they are responsible for much of the five billion dollars in damage termites cause across the U.S each year.

To guard your property against these tiny insects that cause major structural damage, partner with us at Best Choice Pest Control. Doing the following things around your property in conjunction with our professional termite control services will help you avoid problems with destructive termites:

  • Eliminate as much moisture as possible from your yard and home by using dehumidifiers and repairing leaky pipes. Repair roof damage, and keep gutters clear to stop rainwater from seeping into your home.
  • Never place woodpiles next to your home's exterior.
  • Remove brush piles, fallen trees, and tree stumps from your yard.
  • Seal cracks in your home's foundation to keep termites out.
  • Reduce wood to soil contact on your property.

If you are tired of constantly battling pests, reach out to the Columbus pest control experts at Best Choice Pest Control. We will provide you with the best possible pest control and guaranteed services! Our professionals will work with you to remove the insects and rodents currently invading your indoor and outdoor spaces and offer a long-term solution to keep them from returning. Call today for more information and a free quote.