Common Fall Pests in the Home

Fall pests -wasp nest in ceiling

Are you noticing an abundance of insect sightings in your home during the fall and winter? Unfortunately, it’s not your imagination — in fact, you may have a fall pest infestation brewing within your walls. It’s the result of pests trying to get out of the increasingly cold weather. Some of these insects and other creatures will migrate to warmer climates or burrow under debris, while others may decide that your home has just the perfect climate needed to thrive. This phenomenon is referred to as overwintering, and it’s important to notice warning signs before it gets out of hand.

It’s never fun when you find a resident of the Great Outdoors crawling on the countertops or in the corners of the room. What’s even worse, and what could cause even more damage, are the creatures that hide where you can’t see them. The pests most likely to take refuge here can include Asian Lady beetles, stink bugs, termites, wasps and rodents. Let’s explore more about these fall pests.


Asian Lady Beetle

Let’s say you find what looks like a ladybug, an orange-ish, reddish bug that may or may not have spots. If it’s larger than your usual garden darling, there’s a chance you may be looking at an Asian Lady beetle. And if you’ve found one, the odds are good of there being many, many more. Asian Lady beetles stick together in groups and use pheromones to communicate their location. That means that if one comes into your home to get out of the cold, the result can be a large infestation of fall pests. These bugs may not eat at your home’s structure or sting its residents, but their waste can stain as well as trigger an allergic reaction or breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals. You can prevent this, along with most other insect infestations, by making sure your home is sufficiently sealed from the elements.


Stink Bugs

It’s safe to say that no one is thrilled by the presence of a stink bug. The most common breed in the United States is the Brown Marmorated variety, which is an invasive species from Asia. These smelly squatters are flat and shaped like a shield, colored in mottled shades of brown and gray and sized around ¼” to ⅜”. They’re fond of quiet parts of your home like the attic or crawlspace, or anywhere else where they feel they won’t be bothered. And if they get discovered and feel threatened, they’ll release a deeply unpleasant odor that gives the bug its name. Because of that, it’s best to leave treatment to the professionals at Loyal Pest Control.



Termites are easily the most destructive pest in North America. They’re a serious problem, especially when considering that the annual cost of termite damage in the US is up to $30 billion.  Termites, if you have them, are always trying to enter your house. But fall and winter is when subterranean termites – the most damaging species – tend to burrow deep into the ground to wait out the cold weather. So if you get hit with an infestation you may not notice until spring, and by then you’ll likely be faced with a costly repair and a mess of inconvenience. Once termites can get in your home, they will consume wood and anything else that contains cellulose. Signs of termites in your home may include blisters on painted surfaces, hollow-sounding wood, unexplained pinhole-sized holes and more. 



Most wasp colonies do not overwinter in the colder season, which leaves the workers to die with the oncoming winter. Fertilized queens, however, survive the cold outdoors in hollow logs, stumps or under leaves – or in certain structures, such as the attic of your home. Think right now: is your attic vent screened from the outdoors? If not, calling us to install one for you can prevent wasps and all manner of fall pests from making themselves comfortable without you knowing.



Squirrels, roof rats and mice are all agile creatures and excellent climbers. You can see them making their way from branch to branch and across fence lines. With that in mind it’s easy to think that it wouldn’t be hard to get into your attic and make a nest. Luckily these rodents don’t tend to be very quiet. After some time you’ll hear them scratching or gnawing from up above or inside the walls. Those are both good signs that you have a rodent inside your attic or wall voids, and that means it’s time to call an experienced rodent exterminator like Loyal Pest Control 


Experienced Exterminators in East & Central Virginia

Loyal Termite & Pest Control has been proud to provide the citizens of East and Central Virginia with quality pest control services for the past sixty years. From bedbugs to rodents, if it shouldn’t be there then we can help you get rid of it. That’s why, if overwintering has invited some unwelcome fall pests into your home, we’re here to help. Contact us now for a free quote!

Getting Rid of Winged Termites

What winged termites look like in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlHave you spotted some winged termites flying around your home recently? With spring right around the corner here in Eastern & Central VA, termites are starting to swarm again to find new places to live and sources of food. Causing an estimated $5 billion every year in repair and extermination costs in the United States alone, there is no more destructive pest out there. You have to act quickly when you find termites on your property. Looking to learn how to get rid of flying termites? Read on for advice from our termite exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!

Are Those Flying Termites in My Home?

Flying termites are also known as alates, reproductives, and swarmers. Their function within their colonies is to spread to new locations and reproduce when space and resources run low. You might confuse them for flying ants like carpenter ants if you haven’t seen them before, but there are some key difference that you can use to identify winged termites:

  • Termites are lighter in color than flying ants
  • Termites have two pairs of equal-sized wings, but ants’ forewings are larger than their hindwings
  • Termites’ bodies are more broad and rounded than ants’, which are pinched at the waist

If you are finding termite swarmers on your property, you’ve either stumbled upon a few that are looking for a new place to settle, or you have an existing termite infestation so large that they are looking to spread. The former is bad news, the latter is much worse.

Get Rid of Flying Termites on Your Property

If you’ve been finding flying termites on your property, you can take these preventative measures to keep them from settling down in your yard or home:

  1. Ensure that your drainage systems are diverting water away from your home’s foundation and siding
  2. Move mulch as far away from your home’s foundation as you can
  3. Keep your firewood off of the ground and at a good distance from your home
  4. Inspect your property for leaky pipes and fix them to prevent wood damage

Taking these steps should make your property less vulnerable to termite infestations. However, whenever you find swarmers, it’s important to look around your property for signs of termite damage. If your swarmers are coming from an active infestation, you might have a lot more damage on your hands than you’d expect.

Looking for Professional Termite Exterminators?

Whether you’ve found termite damage in your home already or you’re worried about the flying termites you’ve found, let your local termite exterminators know. The termite control team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control is trained and equipped to handle termite infestations of all sizes and help you keep them out of your home from now on. Reach out today for a free estimate!

Termites—’Tis The Season for Prevention

What eastern subterranean termites look like in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlA termite infestation is one of the most feared pest problems in the country. In Eastern & Central Virginia, homeowners and businesses owners start to call us every spring about their potential termite problems. Once the winter starts to wane, Eastern subterranean termites begin to thrive again, taking advantage of all of the moisture that the rainy season has brought. To keep termites out of our homes in the spring, we have to take preventative measures during the winter before any problems start to arise. To learn the best way to termite-proof your property this winter, read on for advice from the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!

Why Conduct Termite Prevention in the Winter?

In the case of termites, as well as many other pests, certain seasonal conditions accumulate that allow them to thrive in the next season. Eastern subterranean termites thrive in damp environments because they both soften the ground for tunneling and allow for easy access into wooden structures. Damp wood is damaged wood, and Eastern subterranean termites take advantage of this weakness to plow through in search of healthy wood to feed on and tunnel through. They build networks in the earth to provide pathways from their wooden food source to their underground nests. You will notice mud tubes rise up in your yard if termites are present.

Taking action in the winter to discourage termites from going after your home will prove greatly effective when springtime comes.

Preventing Termites in Eastern & Central Virginia

So, how can we make sure that termites don’t infest our homes this spring? Here are our technicians’ recommended ways to protect your home from termites during the winter:

  • Reduce moisture: Make sure that your gutters are in working order and leaving your foundation dry. Also, check around your siding and windows to look for any moisture pooling.
  • Store firewood away from your home: Keeping your woodpile at least 20 feet away from your home and elevated off of the ground is a great way to ensure that termites don’t find it. Termite infestations often move from woodpiles to homes.
  • Keep mulch away from your foundation: Termites are attracted to many kinds of mulch for their ability to retain moisture. Having this too close to your foundation will give termites a better chance of invading your home.
  • Seal any holes and cracks: Your plumbing fixtures, foundation, walls, roofing, and more could have gaps that are allowing termites in. Conduct a thorough home inspection to look for any holes and seal them with a silicone-based caulk.

Professional Help with Termite Prevention

If you feel that you need someone to help with preventative maintenance against termites or would like a professional inspection done to check for termites in your home, look to your local pest control company. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we train our termite exterminators to conduct exhaustive WDI (wood-destroying insect) reports and complete termite removal for home and business owners in Eastern & Central Virginia. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prevent termites. Contact us today to receive a free quote!


The Termite World – Meet the Castes

Eastern subterranean termites found in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlTermites are some of the most prolific pests in the world, tearing through the wooden structures of our homes and causing more damage than any other insect. They are able to work so efficiently by breeding different types of termites for separate tasks, streamlining the ability for their colonies to grow. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to help teach you all about the differentiation of termite castes and what to look for to identify them. Read on to learn more about termites!

What Kind of Termites Live in Eastern & Central Virginia?

Here in Eastern & Central Virginia, we are tasked with dealing with the eastern subterranean termite. This particular species of termite is responsible for over $5 billion in damage costs in the United States every year! The last thing you want for your home is an infestation of eastern subterranean termites.

You can identify these termites by their bulbous heads and abdomen and their brownish-black colors. They are often found in crawl spaces, interior walls, basements, and other areas susceptible to moisture buildup. If they are in your home, you should also be able to find mud tubes that they’ve tunneled through around your property.

Termite Castes

Termite colonies contain three distinct categories of termites: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Here are the main differences between the three:

  1. Soldiers: Soldier termites break off from the others after the larval stage, at which point the larvae can either develop into nymphs or soldiers. They have darkened, enlarged mandibles and bulbous heads.
  2. Workers: Workers are responsible for wreaking havoc on our homes. They have light tan-colored bodies and no eyes. They remain in the dark, chewing through a wood to get to the cellulose.
  3. Reproductives: There are actually three tiers of reproductive termites. The darker, winged ones that you might have found in your house are called swarmers or alates, and they are responsible for spreading the colony to new places and reproducing.

What to Do If You Find Termites

If you notice a few termites in your home, especially swarmers, it could be a sign that there has been an active infestation in your home for a while. They are stealthy pests that are equipped to move undetected for a long time. Be sure to contact your local pest control company right away before your termite issue gets out of hand. The technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control can use a variety of termite control strategies to limit damage and quickly eliminate the active infestation. Contact us today for a free quote!

Moisture: A Bug’s Best Friend

Ants that detected moisture in Richmond VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlAll 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:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Mites
  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

The Termite World – Workers & Soldiers

Termite workers and soldiers in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest Control

Termites may be one of the most feared pests, but they’re also one of the most fascinating—to termite experts and entomologists, anyway. As destructive as they are to family dwellings and business structures, their colony formation and caste system are intriguing to pest pros. Termites live through a very unique life cycle in which they are eventually assigned a unique “role” depending on the needs of the colony.

From nymphs and reproductive (warmers) to queen termites, there are many castes within a termite colony. Today, the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to focus on two of the main roles: worker and soldier termites. Read on to learn more!

Termite Caste System

The most important individual in a termite colony is the queen termite. If there are a million termites in a colony; each and every one of them is there for one main purpose and that is to serve the queen. Reproductive termites, also known as swarmers, will leave the termite colony to mate and form new colonies. These termites are often confused for flying ants. Beyond the reproductive castes and the queen, the main population of a termite colony is made up of workers and soldiers.

Termite Workers vs. Soldiers

Termite workers and soldiers make up the majority of a colony. Here’s how they differ:

  1. Termite workers make up the largest number of individuals within a colony. Workers are wingless, white to creamy white, and ¼ to 3/8 inch long. They do all the work of the colony: feeding the other castes, grooming the queen, excavating the nest, and making tunnels. In working, they chew and eat wood, causing the destruction that makes termites economically important.
  2. Termite soldiers resemble workers in color and general appearance, except that soldiers have large, well-developed brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws. Soldiers defend the colony against invaders, primarily ants.

Termite Colonies in Eastern & Central Virginia

It is important for all homeowners to understand termites in general and why they can be so destructive to the structure of your home and/or business. If you think you have spotted a termite colony in or near your property, it’s time to contact the termite exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control.

What Makes a Home At Risk For Termites?

What makes my home at risk for termites in Henrico VA? - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlTermites are one of the most dreaded pests for all homeowners. Unfortunately, they are a risk for all types of homes here in Virginia. Many people believe that termites are only a risk for wooden structures, but their destruction doesn’t end there. With Termite Awareness Week upon us, the experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to share all you need to know about what makes a home at risk for termites in our region.

What Buildings Do Termites Infest?

Believe it or not, it is a myth that termites only infest wood homes. This is because there are many things that are attractive to termites, not just the materials made to build a home. So while a brick home may be more difficult for termites to enter, once inside, they can still infest many items. For this reason, it’s smart to always work with a professional who can pinpoint what may put your home at risk for termites and keep you safe from infestations.

6 Things That Attract Termites to Your Home

  1. Moisture. Leaky pipes, broken sprinklers, or clogged gutters can all lead to moisture problems in your home. In turn, this could attract subterranean termites (not to mention hoards of other pests) inside.
  2. Cellulose. Termites may be infamous for infesting wood, but they’re actually after the cellulose contained within! This cellulose is a main component that can be found in wallpaper, plants, mulch, drywall, and more.
  3. Proximity to soil. Subterranean termites need contact with soil to live. Any wood items, whether it’s your home, porch, or firewood in the yard, in contact with soil is at risk for a termite problem.
  4. Warmth. Termite problems are generally more common in warmer, humid parts of the world. This puts our Southern state at a higher risk of termite activity year-round.
  5. Decaying wood. If you have logs, trees, or stumps that are rotten or in decay, you can be sure termites will seek them out.
  6. Landscape. Termites can infest mulch, making it important to keep it away from the perimeter of your home. Also, trim back tree branches that may be too close to your property.

Eliminating Termite Risk Factors

Bottom line: no matter what type of home you live in, it’s important to team up with your local termite control experts. At Loyal, our exterminators will inspect your property to pinpoint any vulnerabilities that could invite termites right inside. Contact us today to set up your inspection!

The 6 Most Telling Signs of Termites

Termite frass is a common sign of termites in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlHomeowners rarely see termites. However, termites can leave behind evidence of their activity. Knowing these signs of termites can help stop an infestation from wrecking your property. Although termites are active year-round, the spring and summer months are when we see an increase in their activity. To better prepare yourself to prevent termites, it’s important to learn how to recognize them early on. The pros at Loyal Termite & Pest Control are here to share their expert knowledge on the most telling signs of termites in or near your home.

Top 6 Signs of Termite Problems

If you notice any of the following signs, you may have a termite problem on your hands. Here’s what to keep your eyes peeled for:

  1. Mud tubes
    • Subterranean termites nest underground but use mud tubes to travel.
    • These pencil-sized tubes protect the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air.
    • Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is a top sign of termites.
  2. Termite swarms
    • Every year, reproductive termites (also known as alates and swarmers) will leave their colony to mate and form new ones.
    • Swarmer termites are frequently mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants.
    • Seeing winged termites in the spring or summer months is a sign of termites spreading.
  3. Piles of wings from swarmers
    • After they swarm, the reproductive termites no longer need their wings and will shed them.
    • Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color.
    • After being shed, they can often appear in a pile together.
  4. Termite frass
    • As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood.
    • This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found.
    • Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in groups.
  5. Damage from termites
    • Seeing damage caused by termites is indicative of a serious infestation.
    • Damage most frequently appears in wood around the home. Common damage includes unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters.
    • Termites can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood.
    • Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards.

Help With Finding Signs of Termites

Finding signs of termite activity is often a bad sign there is a serious infestation. For this reason, it’s important to team up with a professional pest control company for regular termite inspections. Contact the termite exterminators at Loyal today to learn more about the signs of termites.

Where to Find Termite Exit Holes

Termite exit holes in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlWood-destroying insects, termites included, are infamous for their ability to tunnel through wood. Their activity often results in tiny, round holes found in wood. So how do you know whether you’re dealing with beetle activity, or something worse? Termite exit holes, also known as kick-out holes, have several unique characteristics that set them apart from holes created by other insects. They are created when drywood termites swarm, often in the spring or summer. While it can be difficult without the expert eye of a termite exterminator, there are several things to know about finding and identifying termite exit holes.

Do All Termites Create Exit Holes in Wood?

Termites are all known to swarm to form new colonies, but only one common termite is responsible for creating holes in wood: drywood termites. While subterranean termites swarm just as drywood termites do, they do not leave exit holes in the wood. This is because subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. For this reason, seeing termite exit holes indicates the active or previous presence of drywood termites in your property. Drywood termites are often found in wood above ground, such as attics, garages, and trees.

What Does a Termite Exit Hole Look Like?

Termite exit holes will be seen in any source of dry wood, often above ground or away from the foundation of your home. A few ways to identify termite exit holes are as follows.

  • Termite exit holes are round and only about ⅛ of an inch (or smaller!).
  • After swarmers (called alates) leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
  • The holes are plugged quickly, making it rare to see uncovered holes in the wood.
  • Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds and can appear in a pile.

Can Beetles and Wasps Leave Holes in Wood?

Termites are not the only insect to leave behind holes in wood. Holes made by other wood-destroying insects can often be confused with those made by termites and vice versa. Some of these insects include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Each of these exhibits unique behaviors and have different wood preferences, making it difficult to know which wood-boring insect you’re dealing with. This is why it’s always important to contact your local pest control experts for help identifying termite holes in or near your property.

Termite Exit Holes in Eastern & Central Virginia

Finding and identifying termite exit holes can be difficult without the trained eye of a professional. As soon as you suspect termite activity in or near your property, it’s time to call the termite exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control! Our experts will help to quickly identify any termite kick-out holes you may have.

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.