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Pest-Blog

There are quite a few stinging insects that people have had a run in with from time to time; bees, hornets, and wasps to name a few. Where some wasps can be social or solitary, they all have the potential to deliver multiple stings if they perceive you as a threat. If you spot their nesting area, it is strongly recommended that you avoid the area and allow the professionals to remove the nests and contend with the wasps. Not only can wasps deliver multiple painful stings, but one can experience different degrees of allergic reactions. With the many kinds of stinging pests in Virginia, Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to shine the light on the different kinds of wasps found in the Greater Richmond, VA area. Though there are several known wasps in Virginia and wasps are not contained in manmade state borders, there are two types of wasps that are more commonly seen in the area; paper wasps and yellow jackets.

 

Paper Wasp & Nest Identification

paper waspPaper wasps have 22 species found in North America. They grow to between 3/4” and up to just over an inch long. Some species resemble yellow jacket coloring, but generally, they have dark brown bodies with yellow markings and black wings. Paper wasps are so named due to the construction of their nests. Comprised of plant materials and wasp saliva, their nests a very paper-like. Within the nests, elaborate compartments are built to lay eggs and raise the young. Typically, paper wasps prefer to buid their nests in sheltered areas such as under door frames, eaves of structures and window sills. Considered beneficial, paper wasps aid in pollination by feeding off nectar and assist in pest control by feeding a variety of insects to the larvae. But despite their advantages, paper wasps have one of the more painful stings, which they will use in defense of their nest if they feel it is threatened.  In many instances, people can be allergic to the venom in their sting and suffer mild to severe reactions. If a paper wasp nest is discovered in close proximity to any home or business or populated areas, it is advised you recruit the help of a trained professional for safe and efficient removal.

 

Yellow Jacket Wasp Species

Yellow jackets are rightfully named due to their appearance; black bodies and yellow markings, though some may be black with white markings. They reach up to 5/8” long and feature thin and more defined waists in comparison to bees. Another beneficial wasp as they control beetle grub, flies, and other insects. They will also consume meats, fish, and sugary delicacies they scavenge in trash and picnic areas. More often than not, they build their nests at ground level; around or under porches, in sidewalk cracks, wall voids, or the base of trees are common. Occasionally, some species of yellow jackets will opt to build their nests in aerial locations like low-hanging branches, corners of buildings, or in bushes. Yellow jackets are fierce defenders of their colonies and will aggressively attack any perceived threat, but otherwise are not inclined to sting. Their stings are painful and they also deliver multiple stings. Lance-like stingers equipped with small barbs are not only painful, but can also induce allergic reactions ranging in mild to severe depending on the individual.

 

Wasp Exterminator & Nest Removal

No matter which wasp you encounter building a nest on your Virginia home or business property, contact the professionals of Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to ensure your safety and their quick, efficient removal.

Cockroaches are some of the oldest living species on the planet. This makes it easy to see how difficult they are to control and get rid of. If you really took the time to understand why cockroaches are so nasty, you would be more alarmed to see them in your home. American cockroaches have contact with human excrement in sewers and with pet droppings. They will then contaminate your home, food, paper goods, clothing and any other surfaces they crawl across with their saliva, feces and body parts. They can spread up to 33 different types of bacteria, with E coli and salmonella being just two. They also carry different pathogens and parasitic worms and can cause allergies in some people due to the protein they excrete in their saliva and feces. Asthma can be triggered in children. Kids seem to be affected more by cockroaches when it comes to allergies but no one is exempt.

Identification of American Cockroaches

American cockroach wiki

American cockroaches are invasive pests that will use any means possible to get into your home when seeking warmth, food and water. The ideal temperature for them is 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When they make their way into your home, they tend to infest basements, crawl spaces and bathrooms. These cockroaches are large and the adults can measure 1-1 ½ inches long. Their antennae are the same length as their bodies. They are shiny reddish to dark brown with a yellow area behind their head. They do have wings and will occasionally fly but prefer to run if they are disturbed. The egg capsules of the American cockroach are mahogany brown and about 1/3-inch long. They look like small ridged purses and can be found on the utility of boxes or along baseboards or other locations that cockroaches are infesting.

American Cockroach Infestation Prevention

American Cockroach infestations aren’t hard to find because they are easy to see. If you see one cockroach inside your home it’s bad news and most likely means there are many more hiding within your home. Prevention is much easier than getting rid of them and the best way to do this is through proper sanitation. Even the cleanest of homes can become infested if sanitation practices slip just a little, so clean, clean, clean! Sweep, wipe and vacuum crumbs and spills and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Seal cracks to prevent them from getting in and keep food and trash areas clean to eliminate sources of food. Make sure windows and doors are free of cracks and check screens for rips and tears. You can also put screens around areas where they can make their way inside. These include utility lines, drain lines and sewer vents. The addition of professional chemical application and baiting regularly will be very effective in keeping them away.

Cockroach Extermination

It’s best to call in the professionals when you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation. They will make a positive identification and come up with the best plan to leave your home cockroach free. Call Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. today!

Termites are notoriously known for their destruction.  They are responsible for billions of dollars a year in homes and businesses in the United States alone.  Termites tunnel galleries in wooden materials in structures, devouring the shavings as they go.   Some colonies consist of millions of members, with that many termites infesting your home for any length of time can result in costly repairs.  Today, we at Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to expound on the different termites that can be consuming your home or business in Richmond, Virginia.
 

Types of Termites Found in Greater Richmond, Virginia

Eastern Subterranean Termites are the most likely suspect invading your home; however, there is also the likelihood that the West Indian Powderpost is also present.  There are Drywood and dampwood termites, but they are not native to Virginia.  
 

Termite Colony Caste System

Termites in general live socially within colonies.  There are three castes; swarmers, workers, and soldiers.  
- Swarming Termites also known as Alates are future Queens and kings. They feature wings and are solely responsible for reproducing and growing the colony.  When a colony is established, approximately taking anywhere from 3 to 7 years, the swarmers will leave the colony to begin a new one in a different location.  Once the swarmers have found a new home to begin colonizing, they will shed their wings. Termites seem more active in the spring, despite their year long activities, because spring time is when swarmers will branch out.
- Soldier Termites are responsible for guarding the nest from predators; their natural enemy being ants.  Equipped with enhanced heads and mandibles, soldiers will emerge quickly from the nest if a gallery or a tunnel should collapse.  
- Worker Termites carry the majority of the responsibility.  They forage for food, excavate the wood to expand nests, feed the younglings, soldiers, and the queen and king, repair any tunnels, and everything else in between.
 

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Swarming TermitesSubterranean termites actually live in the soil. When they move into your structure, you will often find their mud tubes that extend to the wooden rafters above.  As they construct their galleries in the wood, they will bring soil into the hollowed wood as well. More often than not, subterranean termites have intruded into your home through the soil leading to your house in the yard or the swarmers have found your home more appealing with a colony in close proximity.
 

West Indian Powederpost Termites

West Indian powderpost termites have a tendency to live in the furniture and consume the wood used to construct them. The colonies will branch out like other termites, but is fairly common to find separate colonies in the same location.
 

Signs You Have Termites

o The mud tubes as previously mentioned are obvious.
o Piles of shed wings.
o Tiny pellets of fecal matter.
o Sagging floors, ceilings, or walls.
o Hallowed wood in the structure.
o Spotting swarmers in the spring.

 

Termite Inspection & Treatment

If you suspect termites are infesting your Greater Richmond, VA home or business, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc and we can perform a termite inspection and of their presence is confirmed present you with solutions to exterminate the termites.  Our methods are fast and effective, don’t wait and call us today to avoid excessive damage.

Spiders creep along the various surfaces in homes and businesses across the country.  Most spiders are merely just frightening, others bite, mostly out of fear; but some inject poisons with the bites. With the many species of spiders found in the world, there are a few more common to Virginia. Insects, including arachnids, do not stay within the boundaries of manmade states. Where some spiders might be knowingly or unknowingly transported across the country, we can give you a general idea as to which of these spiders are more likely seen in our local area. With that in mind, Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to shine some light on the most common spiders found in Virginia. Black Widows, Brown Recluse, and Wolf Spiders are the primary concerns, though in Virginia there are over 30 other species.  

 

Wolf Spider Facts

wolf spider wiki arachnidWolf spiders are one of the hairier arachnids and their body length can reach up to 1 and 3/8” long. Their coloring from varying levels of black and gray to brown.  Because of their large and hairy statures, some people often mistake them for tarantulas or brown recluse spiders. Despite their large frame, they can move fairly quickly. Rather than construct webs, wolf spiders will burrow, often in suburban gardens, but they can be found in many other habitats as well. When the temperatures drop, wolf spiders have a tendency to move into homes. They commonly use window and door frames as housing, as well as garages, basements, and even more preferable; house plants.  Though wolf spiders will bite and leave a painful, itchy, red mark, their venom is not lethal to humans and does not require medical treatment.  The initial bite feels similar to that of a bee sting.

  

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown Recluse Spiders range in variations of color from dull yellow to dark brown. Their bodies and leg span are equivalent to the size of a quarter and their bodies alone will get up to 7/16”. The biggest distinction is the darker brown violin-shaped mark they bear. Brown recluse spiders prefer dark shelters and are often spotted in barns, basements, and undisturbed areas in a home. Like the wolf spider, they do not fashion webs, but go hunting for their meals. Brown recluse spiders are shy and nonaggressive in most cases, but they will bite if they are suddenly disturbed or feel threatened. The initial bite isn’t painful, but is usually felt a few hours later with pain and redness that fades, but in rare cases tissue damage (necrosis) can occur. If you believe you have been bitten, medical treatment is required to alleviate the symptoms that include fever, convulsions, itching, nausea, and muscle pain.

 

Facts About Black Widows

Black Widows Spiders are notoriously known, bearing a red hour-glass shape against their black bodies.  Females are the only ones that are marked and are venomous. Their bodies range in size, from 1/8” to just over 1/2” with females being larger than males. Black widows prefer dark, undisturbed areas. Outside they have a preference for wood piles. Inside homes they are often sheltered in poorly lit areas like the garage, darker corners, basements, closets and under clutter. Black widow spiders are solitary and basically shy. They do weave webs to catch their prey and will typically only bite if they feel there are no other options. If bitten, medical treatment is required to alleviate the symptoms until the venom dissipates. Black widow spider bite symptoms include severe muscle cramps, abdominal pain, weakness, tremors and nausea. Small children and the elderly can rarely experience fatalities.

 

Spider Control

If you have an unwanted spider infestation in your home or business, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc.

The Roof Rat — or sometimes called a gray bellied rat, black rat or even ship rats—are wide spread throughout the United States. However, most can be found near the coastal states and are a common rat found in many homes today. Identifying and controlling roof rats can be quite a challenge. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share some basic methods on how you can control and prevent roof rats from infesting your home.

 

roof rats wiki

Roof Rat Identification

With the coming of winter we see an increase in roof rats, looking to escape the cold. Therefore, you may notice more roof rat activity. The roof rat is easy enough to identify. They are commonly black or dark grey with a white under belly. They have pointed facial features with a large set of eyes and ears compared to other rats. Their head and feet size are much larger than other rats as well. Young roof rats are sometimes mistaken as mice, due to their facial features. A full grown roof rat can reach up to 10 inches long. They are smaller than other species of rat like the Norway rat. Another keen feature of a Roof rat is their flat, silk-like fur and long tail. The roof rat is a great climber and often climbs up wires as well as the sides of homes to get inside attic spaces where they then can spread throughout the house.
 

Signs of Roof Rats

Roof rats are very shy and don’t like to be seen but there are some other signs that will suggest a roof rat might be present in your home. You may want to look for smudge marks where rats are traveling. Chewed wires or the presence of feces are other tip offs to a rat problem. You may hear noises in the attic space or walls.
 

Roof Rat Prevention

Preventing rats is your first step in control. Once present, it is time for baiting programs and/or traps to be set and monitored by professional exterminators. Inspect the outside of your home for the entry points rats may have used. Roof rats are so named due to the fact that they are found climbing on roof tops and often crawl through chimneys and vents to get inside a home. Seal off larger areas, especially those ventilation sections, with wire meshing to keep proper ventilation and rats out. Make sure your yard is cleared of clutter and plant debris to prevent rats from using the clutter or debris for shelter or to hide in. Should this happen, they will eventually venture closer to your home. 
 

Roof Rat Control; Traps & Baiting Programs

Once a rat problem is identified, traps and/or baiting programs can be employed to exterminate them. If traps are used, they must be be placed in the paths that roof rats are traveling. Professional rodent exterminators always use fresh bait to lure the rats to the traps. We make sure to change the bait often and use different methods because we understand that rodents get used to the same bait and will stay away from the traps. There are many different types of traps on the market and do it yourself efforts can be very confusing. It is recommended you consult with a professional pest control company to know which traps are the best options for your environment.
 
Exterminating Unlimited, Inc can help fight your rat problem. If you are having a difficult time managing these rodents, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc and we will be there to help you devise the proper methods of control for your roof rat and other pest problems. Call us today.

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