Spooky season is upon us, meaning it’s time for ghosts and ghouls, the Monster Mash, and watching Hocus Pocus for the millionth time! Even though it’s a little more fun to watch scary movies and get spooked this time of year, it’s not fun to find surprise pests that are sometimes creepy, sometimes crawly, and always nightmarish to spot lurking in the shadows of your home.
Color: Red, Black
Size: 0.06-0.16 Inches Long
Shape: Round, Asymmetrical
Though they may not be intimidating in size, little black ants live in large colonies which can contain up to 2,000 workers and many queens, causing scary surprises for Long Island homeowners during the fall months. Because these pests are attracted to meats, greases, and sweets, what starts out as an innocent bowl of candy corn on the table may soon turn into a full blown surprise ant infestation in your home.
Where Do Ants Come From?
Outside, ants nest beneath rocks, in the grass, and in dry areas. These insects forage in trails, and most ant infestations are the result of ant workers who are out looking for food. When given the opportunity, ants will sniff out their way into your house for a bite to eat (bringing their friends along, too).
- Maintain a year-round pest control service.
- Caulk any voids or spaces around windows, doors, pipes, and utility entrances.
- Repair and replace any damaged doors and window screens.
- Remove and replace water damaged wood and insulation.
- Securely store food in your kitchen or pantry by sealing it in glass or plastic containers (or in the refrigerator).
- Don’t leave food out on counters or dirty dishes in the sink.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the House
Ants can be hard to control without professional services, so often experts must locate the colony and treat it directly. Regular pest control inspections and service are critical to finding and treating new ant colonies, and preventing future ant infestations.
Color: Gray, Brown
Size: 2.5-3.75 Inches Long
During the cooler fall months, sneaky mice will seek out warm shelter to nest in, like your home’s walls, attic, basement, crawlspace, and even behind large appliances. Like ants, they’re pretty small, but can be terrifying to come across in your home. Mice are known to chew through wires, pipes, insulation, floors, and drywall, and can also damage photos, furniture, flooring, clothes, and other personal items inside your house.
Signs of Mice
There are usually some tell-tale signs you’re dealing with mice. Often the most obvious—small, dark droppings, most likely around food packages, in drawers or cupboards, under sinks, and in hidden areas. You may come across gnaw marks on food packaging or on your home’s actual structure itself. Mice also tend to leave a foul, stale odor behind (your pets may even notice).
How to Get Rid of Mice
Because mouse traps can harm your family and pets, and mice are known to carry diseases you can get by touching their droppings or saliva, it’s best to let professionals handle a mouse infestation in your home.
How to Prevent Mice
- Suburban’s Rodent Shield Treatment—it’s an all-natural repellant applied to your home’s foundation to deter mice.
- Seal openings around your home like cracks and crevices in the foundation and gaps around windows and doors.
- Place a tight-fitting cap on all chimneys and ensure vent covers are secure, and all loose or missing roof shingles are repaired.
- Keep tight-fitting lids on outdoor trash cans.
- Trim back trees and bushes from the outside of your home.
- Keep food inside stored in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.
- Clean up spills quickly, remove the trash, and wash your dishes in a timely manner.
Color: Brown, White
Size: 0.25-0.5 Inches Long
Subterranean termites are often most terrifying to a homeowner’s wallet. These insects cause United States homeowners billions (with a “b”) of dollars worth of damage each year, and the harm they cause to houses is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Signs of Termite Damage
Termites affect the structural integrity of a home by eating wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, amounting to severe damage. Subterranean termites, common on Long Island, in particular feed on cellulose contained in wood, leaves, and other organic matter. Termite workers build mud tubes from their colonies, which are located in the soil, in order to forage for food. They will infest structures if the opportunity arises. If you find evidence of these mud tubes, you’ll know you’re dealing with termites. Termites do prefer damp or rotting wood, but they’ll move on to lumber that’s in good condition, too.
Termite Control & Prevention
- Make sure your home is covered by a termite warranty year-round.
- Limit soil-to-wood contact for structures located on the property.
- Reduce moisture levels inside your home.
- Fix or replace leaking pipes and fixtures.
- Replace water-damaged wood.
- Make sure your gutters are working correctly, and water always flows away from your home’s foundation.
Color: Yellow, Brown
Size: 0.75-0.88 Inches Long
House crickets might make you a little jumpy. Both males and females have wings covering their abdomens, and large hind legs they use for hoppin’ around and surprising Long Island homeowners. House crickets can cause significant damage to personal items in your home; they’ll chew holes in clothes, fabrics, and furniture.
What Attracts Crickets in the House?
Usually, house crickets enter homes while searching for warm, humid environments to live in when the temperatures start to dip outside. Once they’re inside a house, crickets often hide in basements, closets, and crawl spaces, where they’ll feed on plants, live and dead insects, clothes, and fabrics. Unlike many pests, house crickets will let their presence in your home be known, with male crickets making loud chirping noises by rubbing their front wings together to attract the ladies.
How to Prevent Crickets in the House
- Fix leaking pipes and fixtures.
- Control humidity levels by running dehumidifiers.
- Declutter basement and storage areas.
- Seal exterior cracks and holes.
- Stack all firewood away from the house.
- Implement a comprehensive pest management plan that targets house crickets.
Color: Red, Brown, Black
Size: 0.125-0.25 Inches Long
Fleas are blood-sucking, parasitic pests with piercing-sucking mouthparts who love to infest pets, carpets, and furniture. They’re often introduced into homes through rodents and other wildlife, making it difficult to keep them away.
Where Do Fleas Come From
Fleas hide out in grass, foliage, and dirt, and will latch onto an animal or human and hitchhike back indoors, where they lay eggs, oftentimes in homeowners’ carpets. Next thing you know, there’s a full blown flea infestation.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House
Getting rid of fleas in the house isn’t as simple as a one and done spray. Often, it takes multiple treatments by a trusted professional who understands the flea life cycle in order to completely eradicate a flea infestation.
Don’t Get Spooked This Fall…Call Suburban Exterminating!
To keep your home and family safe from all of this season’s creepy crawlies, make sure you’re on one of our Total Protection Plans—available for homes in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and the East End! To help find the perfect pest control services plan for your home, call or text the Suburban team at (631/516) 864-6900 today! 🕷️