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bigstock Termites 514890Termites are the most destructive pests that homeowner’s face. They can live undetected for so long within the walls of your home, that when they are finally found, much of the time they have caused a great deal of damage. While they cause grief all the way around, there are many fascinating facts that you may not be aware of. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. is here to share some things about this fascinating insect that you may not already know.


Termites Play an Important Role in the Environment & Ecosystem

While termites cause homeowners headache after headache, they play an integral role in the natural order of things. They are excellent decomposers and are part of the natural way in which wood is recycled. As they build tunnels they help to aerate the soil as well.


Male Termites Help Raise Their Young

With many insect species, the male and female will mate and soon after the male will die. Not in termite colonies however; males continue to be a part of the lives of their young. Not only do they hang around to fertilize the eggs as needed, but they also assist the queen in the feeding process of their babies.


Termite Workers & Soldiers are Blind & Do Not Have Eyes

The workers and soldiers of almost all termite species don’t have any eyes. They spend most of their time inside the nest and have no real need for eyesight. Actually, the only termites that do have eyesight are the reproductive termites that must go find a mate outside the nest.


How Do Termites Communicate? Pheromones & Head Banging

Termites use a couple different forms of communication when they feel they are threatened or need to send a message to each other. When they feel someone is invading their nest or they can sense they are in imminent danger, they start to bang their heads against the gallery walls to let the other members of the colony know there is trouble. The other way they communicate with each other is with the use of pheromones. These scents are left behind to guide the workers. The queen even uses this pheromone to feed her young with pheromone laden feces.


Termites Have Good Hygiene

With termites living in dirt, you wouldn’t think they would have good hygiene. They do take the time to groom themselves and fellow termites in the colony. It is necessary for them to do this in order to survive. Without good hygiene they would be more susceptible to harmful bacteria.


Termite Inspections & Treatment

If you see any signs that termites may be infesting your home, it is important that you contact the pest experts at Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. as soon as possible. We have the experience and training necessary to get rid of these destructive pests and help you avoid damage to your home. We will equip your home with the Sentricon Termite Control System which works quickly to destroy the queen and the rest of the colony. Call us today for help in eliminating any termite infestation.

American cockroaches are common in Central Virginia. They are also known as the water bug, the Bombay canary or the palmetto bug. The American cockroach is not native to North America. Evidence suggests they were introduced via ships from Africa in the early 1600s. They are the largest of the species found in Pennsylvania, measuring 1.5 inches long but can get as big as 2 inches long and are the largest house infesting cockroach across the country. They are reddish-brown in color with fully developed wings that cover their entire abdomen. They can fly, but rarely do. These cockroaches will eat a variety of foods but prefer decaying organic matter. If food and water are in abundance, American cockroaches will thrive and will communicate with each other using pheromones to decide what location will be best to settle in. They are usually found outdoors in dead logs, wood piles and hollowed out trees. Inside, you will find them in damp areas like basements and crawlspaces. 

What Are the Dangers of American Cockroaches to Humans?

American cockroaches are filthy. Having them in your home can be a serious health risk as they can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of worms and at least seven kinds of human pathogens. Because they feed on and can live in damp and unsanitary places like sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms and storage spaces, they can spread germs that can make you sick. These germs will be spread by cockroaches to food supplies, areas where food is prepared, dishes, utensils and many other surfaces. A scary fact about cockroaches is that they can contaminate far more food than they can eat! Saliva, urine and fecal droppings have allergen proteins that can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Having cockroaches in your home can cause problems all year-round, more so in children.


Signs of an American Cockroach Infestation

American cockroach wikiThere are four signs that will let you know you have these pests crawling around your home. The first sign will be the sight of them fleeing to darkness when you flick the light switch on. The second sign will be the droppings they leave behind in the areas where they hide. These droppings can be mistaken for mouse droppings, so you need professionals for positive identification. Third, you may notice egg capsules that resemble a grain of rice and dark in color. The last indication of a cockroach infestation will be the smell. Many people describe it as a “musty” odor.


Cockroach Prevention Tip

You will need the help of professionals for long-term control but there are ways to limit the number you will have in and around your home.

  • Improve sanitation
  • Seal off points of entry with silicone-based caulk
  • Don’t leave food lying out
  • Use glue traps
  • Call professional for help

Cockroach Control

Cockroaches are very resilient, which makes it very difficult to get rid of them. They have some survival tactics that have kept them alive for millions of years! You need the help of professionals for the most effective treatment. Contact Exterminating Limited, Inc. for the education and experience we can provide.

bigstock Common brown Rat 32631503Norway rats are also called brown rats and originally came from Asia. They are about 18 inches long including their tail. They are grayish-brown in color with a pale gray belly and their ears and tails are hairless. They can be found anywhere people live. Inside structures they can be found any time of the year because they will reproduce all year long. Outside they will mate in the spring or fall. They will live for about five months to a year and their diet consists of grains, fruit, meats, seeds and roaches.

Signs of a Norway Rat Infestation

Droppings will be the first indication you’re dealing with Norway rats. They will be found close to areas they eat and live. These droppings are dark-colored, about ½ inch long and pointed on both ends. You may also notice tiny tracks in dusty or muddy areas. Along with the droppings you may find urine odors or smudge marks on the walls. Rats have oils on their fur that will rub off on the walls along the paths they travel. You may hear squeaking, clawing or fighting noises in your walls or under your floors.

Damage Caused by Norway Rats

Norway rats will cause damage trying to get to food and can cause structural issues when they burrow and gnaw. They will chew on electrical wires that can cause circuits to short and appliances to malfunction. Norway rats can also transmit a number of diseases that are harmful to humans and animals. These include leptospirosis, trichinosis, murine typhus, salmonellosis, rate bite fever and the plague on occasion. Fleas also live on rats and can transmit diseases. If you start to experience strange or unusual symptoms after having any contact with rats you need to get medical attention right away. Getting treatment immediately will prevent illnesses from getting severe.

Norway Rat Prevention

The first step in controlling any rodents is to stop them from getting in. Any openings will need to be sealed. You will need to use concrete or metal. You can also disrupt any habitat they are using. De-clutter areas you find activity and store food in airtight containers to keep them out. If you make it hard for them, they will go elsewhere. Clean any food spills right away. Keeping them away from the house in the first place helps. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed to remove places for shelter. Cleaning debris and organic material will also help. There are scare tactics you can use to deter them. Rats do not like loud noises, but they will get used to the noise after a while, so these methods will only work for a short period of time. 


Rodent Control

Locating and treating Norway rats can be difficult and if your home provides food and shelter, they will make themselves right at home. It’s best to bring in professional pest control for the most effective treatment. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. has the education, tools and skills to ensure they don’t come back. Contact us today!

Mice are one of the common pests homeowners and even businesses face.  They are known for the diseases they can spread, food they contaminate, and destruction they can cause to structures.  Mice are relatively small rodents that are very good when it comes to staying out of sight.  Most are nocturnal in the hopes of using the cover of darkness to evade predators but when they are living inside your home or business, they will forage for food during the day if the need arises, using wall cavities and other hiding places to stay from view.  On occasion, you may see a darting movement, arousing suspicion of their existence, but more often than not, the trail of droppings, the nibbled packaging, and other such indications, confirms thier presence.  In Virginia, there are two mice species more commonly found in the area that are likely to be invading your home or business.  These mice are the common House Mouse, or the White- Footed mouse and we at Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to take the opportunity to discuss these types of mice.

Common House Mouse

house mouse on food wikiThe most common domestic rodent found in and around Virginia homes and businesses is the house mouse. These mice can easily adapt well in most environments in order to survive.  When they are living in the outdoors, they typically keep to themselves and cause only minor damage from their nesting and eating habits.   Typically, when they invade buildings, it’s to escape extreme weather conditions or when their food supply is scarce.   These mice can slip inside with a crack or hole ¼” wide or about the size of a dime.   Without predators or the harsh elements, these mice will rapidly reproduce and become quite the infestation because only one house mouse female might produce from 30-50 or more mice in her lifetime and they have the ability to breed throughout the whole year when living indoors, whereas outside they generally only breed in the spring and fall.

White Footed Mouse

More often than not this mouse is found in the rural and rural-suburban portions of the State.  Typically, their presence in cities and urban areas is limited, preferring to remain out in the wild and keep their distance from people.  One of the animal reservoirs of Lyme disease is the white footed mouse, a very important consideration in Virginia.  This rodent is particularly relevant because of the association between these mice and ticks that feed upon them and other hosts.   In 2015 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Virginia was the ninth most prevalent state in our country for confirmed cases of Lyme disease.  The white footed mouse’s preferred habitat is brush lands, forests, and especially the forests edge where vegetation is low and scrubby.  Their diet mostly consists of insects, nuts, seeds, and berries. Most likely to support white footed mice in suburban areas are the forested areas located next to an area of grass, weeds, or other low growing vegetation.  On the chance they slip into buildings, they are often found constructing their nests in the walls at ground level of buildings.

Mice Rodent Control & Removal

If you discover either of these mice in your Virginia home or business, be sure to call in the experts of Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to get them removed before they spread disease and ailments as well as destroy the integrity of the structure, electrical wiring, or other personal property. Contact us today.

Do you have a four legged bandit of the night? Raccoons often invade homes and yards, looking for shelter and food. Unfortunately, raccoons are very difficult to control. They can feed on almost anything they can find food in garbage cans and around the home. Additionally, raccoons will climb into attics and basements to find shelter. When it comes to controlling raccoons, Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share what can be done and what homeowners should try to avoid when dealing with raccoons.


How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your House & Garden

raccoon houstonWhen it comes to protecting your home and yard, there are sound and beneficial methods that should be applied. Electric fencing or wiring will give a raccoon enough zap to be discouraged from entering your yard. It is also important that you don’t leave trash cans where raccoons can easily access them. Water from a pond or any other water feature will not only attract raccoons, but will attract other pests as well. For those who want to have these kinds of water features, just be aware your yard is at risk from raccoon activity. Removing all available water will help reduce raccoon activity. We also encourage you not to leave pet food or water bowls out. Again you are feeding an ever growing raccoon population by doing that. You will also want to prevent raccoons from climbing into your attic or basements. You can do this by using a heavy metal mesh wiring to cover vents, chimneys, basement windows or any other space that a raccoon can fit through.


Raccoon VS Dog; Who Wins?

Now there is something else many homeowners believe is good for raccoon control, but in reality actually causes more problems. Many homeowners will get a dog in the belief that they can either scare raccoons away or even attack, kill or hurt a raccoon. Well this is a misconception. A raccoon can take on another animal three times its own weight and win. Most canines will lose in a match against a raccoon. Now there are some breeds of dog that were bred to hunt and kill raccoons, but only a very few are successful. One breed of dog that can actually defend a yard from a raccoon is the black, tan or blue coonhound. However most other breeds just don’t match up against raccoons. Don’t put your pet at risk by using a dog as raccoon control.


Raccoon Control

It should be noted that it is illegal to use poison to kill raccoons or any other wildlife. In most cases they don’t work anyhow. In most states it is also illegal to kill raccoons within city limits without a license. That is why if you’re having problems with raccoons invading your home or making a mess in your yard, you should contact a pest control company that handles wildlife. We can place traps to capture the raccoons. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc can help you with wildlife control, and yes even with those little bandits. Raccoons aren't just a nuisance that cause property damage; they can transmit dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites as well. If your home has become the prime hangout for raccoons or other pests, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc today.