Prepare for Higher Fall-Winter Pest Activity

What a rat in your house might look like in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlHaving serviced Eastern & Central Virginia homes for so long, our Loyal Termite & Pest Control technicians have seen it all. With the great variance in weather trends that we see throughout the year, all sorts of pest problems are possible. This means that in order to stay on top of pest problems year round, our at-home pest control strategies have to change. As we watch this autumn fade into winter, we have to make sure our home maintenance is keeping up with the season. Read on to learn how!

Cold Season Pests in Eastern & Central Virginia

This fall, we are expecting rodents to become a problem earlier in the year than they usually do. While we usually consider them to be wintertime pests, this year’s colder fall will be driving them indoors, looking for food, shelter from predators, and a warm place to sleep. They could already be living in your yard undetected, but they will find any way that they can to sneak into your crawl spaces, attic, or walls next. Mice and rats are the most common rodents that we get called out to deal with here at Loyal Termite & Pest Control.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently put out their Fall & Winter 2021 Bug Barometer—you can read the full report here.

Bug Barometer 2021 - Loyal Termite & Pest Control

How to Prevent Rodents in Fall and Winter

As you might expect, the nature of keeping pests out of your home and off of your property varies greatly between the summer and winter. Shifting our focus from mosquitoes, ticks, ants, and other small arthropods to rodents and other mammals will help us prevent pest issues most effectively. Here are our top three ways to conduct your own pest control for fall and winter:

  1. Don’t let your yard become unwieldy. Keeping your grass cut and yard waste cleared can reduce hiding places for rodents in your yard. Your firewood piles can host rodents, too, so keep your firewood off of the ground and away from your home.
  2. Check around your home for potential entry points. These could be cracks in your walls and foundation, broken ventilation and roofing fixtures, or gaps around your doors and windows.
  3. Be careful with food and trash. When you’re done eating, store all of your food in airtight containers and wash your dishes promptly. You should also be keeping your trash in sealable bins and bringing it outside as often as possible.

Professional Pest Control for the Atlanta Winter

Whether you’re already dealing with a seasonal pest infestation or you’re looking for help getting ahead of impending problems, you can reach out to your local pest control company for help. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, our technicians take the extra care to inspect your entire property, perform all necessary rodent removal or necessary pest extermination, and leave you with advice to better protect your property going forward. To hear more about how we can help you and receive a free quote, contact our team today!

Why Do Rats Chew Wires?

What rats look like in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlOne of the worst parts about dealing with pests, especially rodents, is the concern of potential property damage. Between mice, rats, gophers, moles, and more, rodents are able to tear up your yard, nest in your attic and crawl spaces, spread filth and waste on your property, and chew up the wires in your home or car. If you have noticed that electrical wiring in your home or car has been chewed up or torn, you’re likely dealing with a rat infestation or a nearby population of rodents. To learn how to prevent more damage, read on for expert advice from the rodent control experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!

Are Rats Chewing Wires in Your Home?

Rats are stealthy pests—they have been known to live in Eastern & Central Virginia homes for long stretches of time before being discovered. Nesting in your crawl spaces, attic, walls, or basement, rats bide their time through the fall in winter laying low and chewing on almost anything that they can find. But why do they insist on tearing up our wires?

Like all rodents, rats have a pair of upper and lower teeth called incisors which continually grow throughout their lives. To keep these teeth from growing into their brain, rats must constantly grind them together or gnaw on objects to whittle them down. This accounts for much of the property damage that we often see related to rodents. Chewed-up wires and wood in your home could mean you have rats or mice.

Why is Rodent Damage Dangerous?

When rats chew up your electrical wiring, they tear through the protective layer of insulation, leaving the metal exposed. This could cause a spark that leads to a fire in your home or car. Especially when within the structure of your home and surrounded by wood, fire hazards become a concern.

To keep rats out of your home, try these prevention methods:

  1. Inspect your home for holes or gaps and seal them promptly
  2. Use baits outside to draw them away from your home
  3. Clean up your spills and don’t leave food out after eating
  4. Call a professional pest expert for a property inspection

Expert Rodent Removal in Virginia

Rodent infestations in the fall are inevitable for Eastern & Central Virginia homeowners who don’t take the proper precautions against them. If you want to ensure that your home is safe from rats, mice, gophers, and more, talk to the rodent control team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control about your concerns. Our vermin control specialists are fitted with equipment and training to tackle any rat infestation or mice outbreak that you’re dealing with. Contact our team today for a free quote!

Rat or Mouse: Which One Do You Have?

Identifying rats or mice in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlRats and mice are two of the most common pest problems here in the Richmond VA area. A rodent infestation can be bad no matter which type of rodent you’re dealing with! Rats and mice may share similar characteristics and habits, but they are different in a number of ways. For example, mice tend to breed at a more rapid rate than rats. Because both of these rodents can cause such destruction and bring dangers into your home or business, it’s important to know what you’re facing. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we want to inform our customers about the differences between rats and mice. Keep reading to learn more!

What Are the Signs of Rats and Mice?

Rodents are unlike other pests in that they make their presence known pretty quickly. The most common signs you have rats or mice in your home include foul odors, odd noises, gnaw marks, chewed up nests, burrows or tunnels, and droppings or urine spots. Besides being a nuisance to get rid of, rats and mice alike are dangerous due to their ability to transmit some of the world’s worst diseases. As soon as you spot the signs of rats or mice, it’s crucial to contact your local rodent exterminator to further investigate.

All About Mice

Mice are known to be much smaller than rats, but their differences don’t stop there. Some of the traits that set mice apart from rats are as follows.

  • Mice are typically no more than 4 inches in length,
  • Mice often have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
  • Mice droppings have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
  • A mouse population can reproduce at a faster rate with 5–10 litters a year and up to 14 mice in each litter.
  • Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.

Mouse and rat identification in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest Control

5 Rat Facts

We all know that rats are bigger than mice. They differ in a number of other ways as well:

  • Rats can be up to 9 inches in length, tail not included.
  • Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
  • Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
  • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
  • Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat meats, grains, seeds, and much more.

What Are the Signs You Have a Rat or Mouse Problem?

When rats or mice infest your home, they leave behind many signs of their presence. Common signs you have rats or mice in your home include foul odors, odd noises, gnaw marks, chewed up nests, burrows or tunnels, and droppings or urine spots. Besides being a nuisance to get rid of, rats and mice alike are dangerous due to their ability to transmit some of the world’s worst diseases. Rats and mice leave some of the same signs of their activity–if you see these signs, it’s time to enlist the help of a professional rodent exterminator.

Rat and Mouse Infestations in Virginia

If you think you are dealing with rats or mice, it’s best to call your local rodent control team at Loyal. We are committed to keeping you and your family safe from the dangers both of these pests can bring into your home year-round. Contact us today to learn more!

Rodent Infestations Are On The Rise

Rodents are entering Henrico VA homes during the pandemic - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlAs if you didn’t already have enough to worry about in 2020, rodent infestations are currently on the rise. With Rodent Awareness Week upon us, now is the time to learn how to protect your property from rats and mice infestations. The pandemic is one of the leading causes of the rise in rodent problems due to restaurant closures. Rodents that once relied on restaurants and bars for food were suddenly deprived of their main resource. And now with the weather changing, they will be drawn inside your own Virginia home not only to escape dropping temperatures outside but to look for food. Keep reading to learn all about the plight of rodents during the pandemic and what you can do to prevent them.

Are Rodents Connected to COVID-19?

There has been a lot of information spread about how rodents are connected to the coronavirus. The good news is that there is no current evidence or research to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Due to the restaurant shutdowns and lockdowns, there have been several reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources.

While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and more. They also can cause structural damage by their nesting and chewing habits. The main concern with rodents right now is their aggressive behavior and abundant populations getting into homes.

Here’s How to Prevent Rodents in 2020

To keep these aggressive rodents far away from your home, you have to make your property less conducive to an infestation! Some of our best tips include:

  1. Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  2. Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside dime-sized holes
  3. Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  4. Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  5. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  6. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  7. Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

Year-Round Rodent Control

Rodent Awareness Week allows our team to focus on the dangers of rodents, which seems more important than ever during the current pandemic. For more information or assistance preventing rats and mice on your property, our rodent exterminators are here to help. Call us today!

Don’t Let These Pests Ruin Your Halloween!

Spiders are one of many pests that can invade Virginia homes in the fall - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlRats, spiders, and bats—oh my! You may gladly hang up spooky webs and fake spiders as decorations this Halloween, but you certainly don’t want the real thing infesting your home. A few pests in particular are very common this time of year. Infestations are also common right now as you start to pull out boxes containing all your seasonal decorations. To keep pest problems from ruining your Halloween festivities, the team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control is here to shed light on creepy-crawly pests to keep an eye out for.

Common Pests During Halloween Time

Pest infestations in the fall months are very common. This is due to the fact that many pests begin to seek shelter indoors to escape the impending drop in temperature outdoors. Here are the pests to look out for this season:

  1. Rats. Rodents infamously squeeze their way inside this time of year for warmth, food, and shelter. They could be nesting in your boxes of decorations.
  2. Spiders. Spider populations are abundant in the fall and many get indoors. They may be lurking in your box of decorations!
  3. Bed bugs. While common at all times of the year, traveling or college students lead to an increase in infestations. They also could be found on second-hand costumes.
  4. Stink bugs & boxelder bugs. These seasonal bugs appear on the sides of homes and could crawl indoors if given the chance.

How to Prevent Pests This Halloween

You may be putting fake rodents or bats out as decorations, but you definitely want to prevent the real ones from getting indoors! As you would any other time of the year, it’s important to implement preventative measures to keep fall pests away. This includes sealing all cracks and crevices in your home with caulk, installing new window or door screens, cleaning up your yard’s foliage, keeping a tidy kitchen with sealed food containers, and storing all seasonal decorations in airtight plastic bins. If you are having trouble sealing off your home to pests this fall, it’s often best to contact your local pest control expert for more prevention tips and tricks.

Seasonal Pest Control

The last thing you have time to deal with this holiday season is a pest infestation. Always be extra cautious when unpacking your decorations or buying secondhand items. If you find yourself with an infestation or want to further protect your Virginia home from seasonal pests hibernating in your home, the residential exterminators at Loyal are happy to help.