Many different species of ants are active in Eastern & Central Virginia. Emerging throughout the year in response to rapidly changing weather conditions, ants seek food, water, and shelter inside our homes. More often than not, they find what they’re looking for in our bathrooms. But why is it that ants infest our bathrooms so often, and what can we do to stop them? Read on to learn all about bathroom ant prevention with the expert ant exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!
Why Ants May Be Infesting Your Bathroom
The consistent sources of water and moisture make bathrooms attractive to all kinds of ant species. Water pools up on the floor, in your shower, and in your sink, creating easily accessible places for ants to hydrate as they continue their search for food. Carpenter ants are common offenders, breaking into bathrooms through water-damaged wood to get to your internal structural beams. That said, you’re likely to find any one of a long list of ant species crawling around in your bathroom this summer. Ants usually make it into our bathrooms through these entry points:
Holes near plumbing fixtures
Open doors and windows
Ventilation system openings
Cracks in the walls and foundation
The ants in your bathroom might have even traveled there from another room in your home, so it’s important to try to find the source of their trail to get ahead of the problem.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom
Finding the beginning of your ant trail is actually the most important part of ant control. Taking out their colony is the only way to make sure your ant problem never returns. However, this can be very hard to do when ants so commonly sneak their way into our bathrooms through pipes, walls, and vents. This is why we highly recommend taking preventative measures early to prevent infestations. Try these at home:
Find and replace any water-damaged wood in your home
Move mulch away from your home’s siding and trim any plants resting against your home
Seal cracks on the exterior of your home with a silicone-based caulk
Make sure your windows and doors close all the way
Intertwined with any proper home maintenance routine is a list of important pest control measures. It’s easier than you think to put your home in the right place to avoid pests all year long, but many people just don’t know where to start. That’s where we swoop in to help! At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we place great emphasis on educating our customers in keeping a pest-free home through their own work. If you’re looking to learn our three-step pest control technique for homeowners in Eastern & Central Virginia, read on!
What Problems Can Pests Cause?
If you have never experienced any serious pest infestation, you likely aren’t aware of the importance of taking pertinent steps to prevent outbreaks. There are dozens of local pests species in our region, each of which come with their own unique methods of nuisance, or even danger. Insects, arachnids, and wildlife in our region can possibly:
Affect your food and water quality
Damage your possessions or your home’s structure
Transmit diseases and spread filth
Bite people and pets
Create long-lasting disturbances
Obviously, it is in our best interests to put in work before an infestation starts to prevent having to panic when one happens, acting quickly and unpreparedly.
3 Steps to Pest Control
If you have a history of problems with a particular pest in the area, you will want to follow our three-step process to conduct successful pest prevention. Here are our three steps to DIY pest control:
Identify: Knowing exactly what kind of bug or animal you’re dealing with is all too important. Different species of ants have different habits, different species of rodents carry varying diseases—you have to know what you’re up against. If you aren’t sure, you can always ask for the help of a local pest expert.
Educate: Once you have the species narrowed down, you have to learn everything you can about them. Understanding their preferred living environment, their diet, their lifespan, and their weakness will all help you quickly narrow down the best ways to get them under control.
Control: Some pests can be dealt with effectively at home and without purchasing any products or services! For example, ants can be eliminated with a diluted vinegar solution or a common lemon-scented cleaning product, and certain essential oils can be sprayed on spider hotspots to discourage web-weaving. However, for heavy infestations or cases of more dangerous pests, professional help is always the safe way to go.
Eastern & Central Virginia’s Pest Experts
No matter what part of the three-step process you need help with, our expert pest control technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are prepared to help. With decades of experience in the regional pest environment, our technicians are quick to identify and control whatever type of unwanted guests you’re dealing with. Don’t hesitate when your infestation gets out of hand—it will only increase pest presence and delay your comfort! Contact our team today for a free quote.
Whether you spend your evening relaxing in the tub or have a morning routine to help start your day, the last thing you want is bugs running around. Bugs in bathrooms are, unfortunately, a very common household problem for residents here in Virginia. But why? While pests can infest a number of areas in your home, bathrooms are favored due to the humid, damp conditions. To avoid the distressing discovery of a pest problem in your bathroom, it’s crucial to learn not only what pests are most common, but also what you can do to avoid an infestation. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we know no homeowner wants to deal with bathroom bugs. Our experts have rounded up our best tips to keep them out—read on to learn more!
Why Do I Have Pests in My Bathroom?
Bugs and pests of all kinds are drawn to bathrooms mostly due to the moisture. Many insects are drawn toward humid, moist environments—so what better place than a steamy bathroom? Leaky pipes, showers, and sinks provide precisely the environment many pests require to survive and reproduce. Your bathroom can also provide insects with plenty of food options. Humid, even moldy areas provide sustenance for some pests. Lastly, a dark bathroom can provide ample shelter for many insects and pests. Whether there are roaches under the sink or ants along your sink, there could be many more pests than you’d think hiding in your restroom.
Need Pest Control Services?
Common Bathroom Bugs
The 6 most common insects that are the culprits behind most bathroom pest infestations are:
Silverfish. These nocturnal insects are typically found around sewers or drains, and prefer to feed on mildew and mold.
Ants. A small ant problem can quickly turn into a large one if ants have found a source of food or water in your bathroom.
Cockroaches. Roaches love filth and feed on sewer and drain sludge. They easily get into your bathroom through plumbing fixtures.
Centipedes. These long, spindly insects feed on other small insects that are common in bathrooms and love a humid environment.
Drain Flies. True to name, drain flies are found around drains. They often appear when there is a plumbing problem in the main sewer line.
Spiders. As predators, spiders like to prey on the smaller insects often found in your bathroom areas.
How to Keep Bugs Out of My Bathroom
The best way to make sure bugs don’t make themselves at home in your bathroom is to eliminate anything that would attract them in the first place. Always ensure you do not have any leaky pipes or plumbing issues that are contributing to the humid, moist environment. Consider using a dehumidifier from time to time to aid in this process. Lastly, clean your bathroom on a regular basis! Reduce the clutter in your drawers and cupboards, and make sure to prevent any mold or mildew.
If you’ve done all you can to prevent bathroom bugs but are still dealing with roaches, ants, or another pest, it’s time to call an expert. The experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control can help. Contact us today to get started!
Red velvet ants, also infamously known as the “cow killer ant”, are in actuality wasps rather than true ants. These insects are feared for their painful sting. The female, which is the one capable of stinging, is wingless and covered in dense hair superficially resembling ants. The red velvet ant is the largest velvet ant species, reaching about ¾ inch in length. They are black overall with patches of dense orange-red hair on the thorax and abdomen. Males are similar but have wings and can not sting. The female, however, can inflict a very painful sting on man and animals, hence the nickname “cow killer”. But just how dangerous are their stings? The experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to share everything you need to know about red velvet ants.
What Are Red Velvet Ants?
The female velvet ants dig into the nesting chambers of ground-nesting bees and wasps. They then lay their eggs on the larvae inside which soon hatches into a white legless grub. When the immature velvet ant is born it eats its host and then spins a cocoon within the pupa case of the host. The ant goes through several larval stages before forming a pupa of its own. The velvet ant’s mouthparts are for chewing. Lone females can be found crawling on the ground, particularly in open sandy areas. Adults are most common during the warm summer months. They occasionally enter structures for insect prey. Males are often found on flowers although some species are nocturnal. The velvet ant is typically seen running around open areas, sometimes erratically, in late summer. They may be seen in lawns or pastures or wandering into buildings.
Are Velvet Ants Dangerous?
With such a name, many people may be left wondering if these insects are as dangerous as they’re made out to be. Here’s what to know:
Velvet ants are the biggest threat to other bees and wasps. As mentioned previously, they will attack bumblebees or other beehives in order to lay their eggs.
Although they are rarely aggressive, red velvet ant stings are very painful. If they are threatened or stepped on, they may sting in defense.
Despite the name, these “cow killer ants” do not actually kill cows. It is simply a phrase to suggest how severe their stings can be.
Need Help With Velvet Ant or Cow Killer Ants in Virginia?
These red, fuzzy velvet ants have been in Virginia. If you are noticing their activity in or near your home, it’s important to enlist the help of a professional. Although these pests have no desire to come inside your home, it’s important to never approach them outdoors either. To learn more about cow killer ants, contact the professionals at Loyal Termite & Pest Control today!
We’ve all made the frustrating discovery that ants have taken over our kitchen or bathroom. Ants have long been one of the most confounding pest problems, leaving most people wondering where and how they got inside in the first place. There are many things that can make your home attractive to ants. Keeping them out, then, requires the knowledge of making your home less suitable for them in the first place. The ant control experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to help! Read on to learn everything you need to know about why you might have ants, as well as what you can do to keep them away from your Virginia home.
Where Did Ants Get In?
If you have ants, you may be wondering where they came from. Ants are motivated by their search for food and water. If they find what they are looking for, ants will leave a pheromone trail for their colony to follow suit. Before you know it, a small ant problem can turn into a big infestation. An ant colony can nest in the walls of your home, and crawl into your various rooms through cracks and crevices. They are most commonly found in or near kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas that provide them with food or shelter. Once they’ve established themselves, it can be difficult to control an ant problem.
How Do I Keep Ants Out?
If you want to avoid discovering that you have an ant problem altogether, it’s crucial that you learn how to make your property less attractive to the pests.
There are three easy steps to accomplish this:
Eliminate moisture problems. Especially in your bathrooms, crawl space, or bathrooms, excess moisture from leaky pipes or plumbing issues can attract ants. Always fix leaks and other moisture problems as quickly as possible.
Clean up crumbs and spills. Ants have a sweet tooth. Crumbs on your floor, even pet food, can be a huge draw for ants. To prevent ants, it’s important to regularly clean up spills and vacuum on a regular basis to deny them access to any of your food.
Seal all cracks and crevices. Ants will make use of the tiniest cracks or holes to get inside, especially at the base of your foundation. Annually, inspect your home for these tiny openings and consider sealing them with caulk.
Ant Problems in Your Home?
Sometimes ants persist even after your best effort to get rid of them. If this is the case in your Eastern or Central Virginia home, it’s time to call in the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control. Our ant control team will work to get rid of ants in your home, as well as set up prevention methods to keep them away for good. Contact us today to get started!
Many of us are familiar with the experience of finding an ant or two in the house, only to discover that they’re accompanied by hundreds more. Once one ant finds a way into your home, it seems that all of their buddies figure it out, too. Why does this happen, and what can we do about it? Keep reading for Loyal Termite & Pest Control’s top tips on ant control and prevention in Eastern & Central VA.
Why Are There So Many Ants In My House?
Worker ants are constantly on the lookout for a food source that they can take from to bring back to their colony. When they find one, they will release a signal in the form of a pheromone – this alerts other worker ants to follow them to the motherlode! Ants aren’t terribly picky eaters, but they have their preferences. They will usually try to locate these foods:
Fruits and vegetables
Other sweet foods composed of lots of sugar
That being said, ants will take advantage of any food source left out in the open.
How To Prevent Ants On Your Own
Since ants can be tricky to get rid of once they’ve already entered your home, the best method of ant control is to be properly preventative. Here are a few steps you can take to keep ants out of the house:
Properly seal and put away all of your food right after use.
Clean up your spills and do your dishes promptly
Look for gaps in doors and windows and cracks in the walls
Use diluted essential oil sprays in areas where ants could enter (peppermint oil and lemon juice both work well)
What to Do About an Ant Problem
If you’ve got ants scaling your walls and invading your kitchen, using an EPA-approved ant insecticide spray can work as a temporary solution. However, to set up long-term ant control and prevention on your own, you need to be very diligent. For severe ant infestations in Eastern & Central VA, we recommend leaving the work to your local ant control experts. The exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have spent years honing in on the best tactics for ant control in Virginia and can teach you how to better prevent outbreaks in your home. For a free quote, contact us today!
All of the rainy days that come with the winter and spring lay out the perfect conditions for insects to thrive. Many pests seek out moisture for different reasons, so you have to look out for accumulations of moisture in areas all over your property. This could mean in your yard, your gutters, the foundation and walls of your house, your kitchen, and anywhere else that might be getting wet. So where do you even start?
Are Bugs Attracted to Moisture?
To take the right steps to control pests properly, it is important to anticipate what kinds of bugs you’ll be dealing with. Moisture attracts all kinds of insects, including:
Earwigs, and many more
Some of these insects, such as mosquitoes and ants, are more active in the spring, but others, like termites and beetles, can be active all year long. Make sure to stay cognizant of moisture problems throughout the year!
Common Moisture Problems
There are a variety of places on your property that can accumulate unwanted moisture, and all of these places can attract pests. Some common moisture issues can be found:
In your yard. When you allow rainwater to build up in clogged gutters, planters, or buckets in your yard, it can create a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. These opportunistic insects will use even the smallest pool of standing water to lay their eggs on, and they will continue to hang out in your yard maintaining their reproductive cycle. Moist soil in your yard can also attract termites.
In your walls and foundation. If termites find your yard suitable to nest in, they’ll soon be after the wood in your home. To prevent them from colonizing your house, make sure all downspouts and splashes are pointing away from your foundation, and check around for leaky pipes. Also, pull any mulch away from the house by at least one foot, and allow it to dry before reapplying.
In your kitchen and bathroom. These are the most common living spaces that see moisture buildup, and they often attract ants, or worse, cockroaches. Making sure you keep your bathroom and kitchen as clean and dry as possible will lessen the chances of an infestation. Be sure to clean up your spills and keep your food sealed, too!
In your crawl space. Many homeowners have let moisture buildup go undetected in their crawl spaces, only to discover a thriving pest population. Noticing a musty smell or mildew on your walls and ceiling probably means that you have excess moisture in your crawl spaces. If you notice a problem or want to stay ahead of one, ask our team about our crawl space moisture control protocol. We train our specialists to properly dehumidify crawl spaces, stopping pest problems before they start.
Moisture Control Services to Prevent Pests
If you’ve noticed a moisture issue in your home that might be out of your control, count on your local pest control experts to help. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we train our employees to exterminate and prevent all kinds of pests here in Richmond VA. Reach out today for a free quote, and learn more about how we can help you keep pests away from your home!
Occasional invaders are a group of pests that you will start to see in abundance in the spring as our Central Virginia weather becomes warm and more humid. With the warm weather trends, insects are compelled to procreate and their populations grow in size because of it. Oftentimes, these pests will make their way into your home for a number of reasons. “Occasional invaders” include many types of insects you’re already familiar with: earwigs, silverfish, springtails, boxelder bugs, lady beetles, stink bugs, and ants.
How to Get Rid of Occasional Invader Pests
The invader group of pests is primarily dormant during the winter months. Some, like stink bugs and boxelder bugs, are very sneaky and will find their way into your home through the smallest of entryways as winter approaches. They will hunker down until spring when the warm weather arrives. If you see just a few of these invaders in your home, you can bet there is a bunch more hiding out in their comfort zone somewhere in the house, the attic, or crawlspace. When you see them, it’s important to get rid of them. Rather than crushing the bugs or vacuuming them up, it’s best to sweep them, drop them in a bag, and take them outside. Vacuuming certain bugs, like stink bugs, can make your vacuum cleaner unusable.
Tips to Prevent Occasional Invaders
The best way a homeowner can control occasional invaders is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place! This includes:
Sealing up doors, windows, and other entryways with caulk.
Installing tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.
Keeping a tidy yard with trimmed vegetation to deter insects.
Inside, cleaning your home regularly and wiping up spills and crumbs.
Fix or repair any moisture issues caused by leaky pipes or faucets.
Spring Pest Control With Loyal
To avoid dealing with occasional invaders on your own this year, it’s best to team up with a local expert you can trust: Loyal Termite & Pest Control. We have the experience required to safeguard your home against not only occasional invaders, but all types of pests. Contact our residential pest control experts today to learn more!
Entomologists from Loyal’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021
READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.
To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.
1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:
With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.
“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”
Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.
“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”
2. Mosquitoes on the Move:
Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.
“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”
Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.
3. Bed Bugs:
The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.
“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”
Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.
If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.
4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.
From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.
In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:
Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.
Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”
Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.
5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere
Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.
“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”
6. Pests in the News:
There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”
The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.
“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”
The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.
The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.
“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”
While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.
It’s likely you are spending more time outdoors than ever this year. You’d also likely enjoy your outdoor living space more if you didn’t have to deal with pest problems! Pests may enjoy the Virginia summertime weather as much as you do, but that doesn’t mean you have to share your space with them.
At Loyal, we know how frustrating pests can be—especially when they ruin your backyard barbecue or gardening session. Following our commitment to keep our customers pest-free, our experts are here to share top tips for a pest-free patio and outdoor living area.
What Pests are Common in Your Backyard
The warm weather and longer days invite all types of insects to be out in full-force. Some pests are more of a nuisance than others, and some insects are more dangerous for you and your family! Here in Virginia, the most common pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants,spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. Ticks and mosquitoes are especially concerning for their ability to transmit dangerous diseases to humans. For that reason alone, it’s crucial to learn how to keep pests away from your property.
Top Tips to Achieve a Pest-Free Patio
Everyone wants to be able to enjoy their time spent outside to be pest-free. This is harder than it sounds, especially this time of year. There are a few ways you can make your property less appealing to pests. Our best tips for a pest-free patio are:
Remove any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
Inspect all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and termites) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
Use an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Clean your patio or space regularly. Spills or leftover food will surely bring ants around.
Need Help With Outdoor Pest Control?
Pests and insects are to be expected when you’re outdoors. However, there’s no reason to let them ruin your time spent in your own backyard! The exterminators at Loyal are committed to keeping customers pest-free not just inside their homes, but outside as well. Call our team today to learn more about our residential pest control services.