3 Step Pest Control – A Homeowner’s Quick Guide

Ants gathering by pooling water in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlIntertwined 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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!

10 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pest Control Company

Pest control services in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlPeople often wait until it is too late to look into professional pest control services. No matter what pest you’re dealing with, trying to take care of an infestation on your own can be tricky. If you don’t approach it the right way, you could end up allowing the pests to multiply without any signs of slowing down. Many DIY strategies fall far short of a long-term solution, and improper use of professional pest control products by untrained individuals can lead to serious health risks.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring an exterminator recently, read on for ten reasons to follow through. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have seen great success servicing homes and businesses around Eastern & Central Virginia and home to help you, too!

Pest Control and Health Concerns

Hiring certified pest control technicians can eliminate many health concerns that you might expose yourself to without their help. Our first three reasons to hire professional pest control are in the interest of your health:

  • One: Controlled pesticide use. A professional will only use pesticides as a last resort, and when they do, they will use them safely. Improper or untrained application of pesticides can expose you and your family to harmful toxins.
  • Two: Decreased chance of illness. Many pests in Eastern & Central Virginia can pass on serious diseases through their bites or droppings. Technicians can help you avoid pest-related illnesses.
  • Three: Less itching and scratching. Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and more pests in the area can leave you with itchy bite marks. You don’t have to endure the bites every year!

Save Time with Pest Control

Hiring professional pest control can eliminate extra tasks from your life in a more efficient manner. Our next three reasons have to do with saving you time:

  • Four: Efficient solutions. Licensed technicians have the necessary experience to resolve pest problems quickly and efficiently, much more so than the average homeowner.
  • Five: Less cleaning. Having pests in your home means constantly cleaning up pest-related debris. Getting rid of them altogether will greatly reduce the time you have to spend cleaning!
  • Six: Safer structures. If you have rodents, termites, or carpenter ants living in your home, you’re likely inspecting your home constantly for new damage. Take that task off of your plate by hiring professionals to remove the pests.

How Pest Control Helps You Stress Less

Being aware of a pest problem in your home comes with lots of stress. Our last four reasons pertain to your mental well-being:

  • Seven: Better sleep. Having a fear of bed bugs or spiders in your home can cause you to lose sleep. Get rid of this worry by finally getting rid of the pests themselves!
  • Eight: Save money. Sticking to DIY remedies can add up after a few unsuccessful attempts. A professional pest control company can come remove your pests in just one session in the right circumstances!
  • Nine: Learn about the process. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control not only eliminate pests from your home, but teach you about how they did it each step of the way. We aim to give you the knowledge to avoid pests on your own going forward.
  • Ten: Peace of mind. Once your pest infestation has been dealt with, it feels like you can finally breathe again! Don’t hesitate to get rid of your problems—you don’t have to deal with them!

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a pest-free home, contact your local pest control company. Our expert technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have helped people all across Eastern & Central Virginia live pest-free since 1960. For a free quote, contact us today!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Loyal termite and pest controlEntomologists 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.

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!

Choosing Between Professional & DIY Pest Control

Sprays are a common DIY pest control method. Learn about the pros and cons of DIY pest control in Henrico VA from Loyal Termite & Pest ControlThe DIY movement is popular, but does it work for everything? When it comes to pest control, do-it-yourself methods can be a gamble. Everyone has tried them: vinegar sprays for ants, store-bought roach spray, rat traps, the list goes on. Unfortunately, these methods are unreliable and will rarely work to get to the root of a pest infestation. For quick, effective, and trustworthy pest control, a professional exterminator is always the way to go. Here at Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we want our customers to be informed when making choices about their pest control plan. Read on to learn how to choose between professional and DIY pest control services.

How DIY Pest Control Fails

A lot of people gravitate toward DIY pest control thinking it’ll save them money. However, in the long run, this can be false. Although store-bought pest control works to control small issues, it rarely works to control big infestations. There are several downfalls to DIY pest control: First of all, they simply won’t work to control more dangerous pests such as bed bugs, termites, rodents, carpenter ants, and more. Also, many store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for your family if applied incorrectly. These products also rarely come with a guarantee or warranty on their effectiveness. In sum, it’s always a guessing game when it comes to DIY pest control.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Exterminator

Yes, a professional pest control company is going to be more of a commitment. However, the investment will pay off in the long run when you are guaranteed with pest-free living! Some of the benefits to professional pest control are: 

  1. An experienced exterminator has the knowledge and experience to tackle any current infestation you have. They are experts in the behaviors and habits of pests, making it easier for them to control any problems quickly and efficiently.
  2. With a focus on IPM practices, they can also work to prevent future problems. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life.
  3. When you decide to have regular pest control services, your exterminator will work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

What Choice is Right For You?

DIY pest control may sound like an easier option, but more often than not, is fruitless. Serious pest infestations always need to be handled by a professional pest control company. For long-term protection against pests, the professional exterminators at Loyal can help!

Look Out for These 5 Pests This Spring!

Spring cleaning your Henrico VA home can help prevent springtime pests! Learn more from Loyal Termite & Pest Control.Pest problems are a fact of life in Virginia year-round, but springtime sees a flux in activity. You may be welcoming the warming weather, but unfortunately pests are too. With spring being only the start of the pest season ahead, now is the time to safeguard your home against them. In addition to working with a pest control expert, there are several ways you can implement springtime pest prevention methods into your spring cleaning routine this year. Read on for expert tips from the team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!

Most Common Springtime Pests

A lot of pests that are troublesome in the springtime are active throughout the entire year. However, they have a peak in activity during the spring, especially after being more dormant in the winter months. The most common pests you need to look out for in the springtime here in Virginia include:

  • Ants. With warmer weather comes hoards of ants in your home.
  • Termites. It’s officially swarming season, meaning many termite problems begin at this time.
  • Rodents. Although they’re active year-round, rats and mice are a problem in the spring.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps and hornets are gearing up to build nests this time of year.
  • Stink bugs. After overwintering, people report a resurgence in stink bugs.

Avoid Springtime Pests with These Tips

It can be hard to prevent pest problems that sometimes simply seem inevitable. With so many people spring cleaning their home this time of year, it’s smart to implement some simple pest prevention methods to lessen your chance of an infestation in the coming months. Some of these tips include:

  1. Thoroughly cleaning your windows and doors. Seal any cracks or crevices.
  2. Deep-cleaning your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
  3. Sanitizing and cleaning your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids will welcome all sorts of bugs and pests.
  4. Removing debris from your yard, and trimming any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
  5. Checking on plumbing and pipes. Quickly address any leaks or blockages.
  6. Keeping a tidy home at all times. Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.

How to Control Pests Year-Round

If you’re dealing with pests despite your best efforts to prevent them this spring, it’s time to enlist the help of a pest expert. At Loyal, our exterminators will work with you to protect you, your family, and your home from pests not just in the spring but all year long.