This time of year, we welcome the “spooky” in many forms—haunted houses, classic horror movies, and terrifying campfire tales. One constant that remains, however, is that household pests like spiders and roaches aren’t the fun kind of spooky. So, to help you prevent any unwanted jump scares, here are three pests on Long Island this time of year that we want you to be aware of.
As temperatures drop this time of year, rodents like mice and rats are on the hunt for a warm place to nest in; your home’s walls, attic, basement, crawlspace, and behind large appliances (it gets toasty back there!) are a few very common areas for mice to hole up for fall and winter.
Mice are small, and can sneak their way through entry points as small as a dime, which is why fall pest-proofing is essential! Mice frequently chew through wires, pipes, insulation, flooring, and drywall, causing costly damages to houses across Long Island. And no, that’s not a ghost in your house—mice will damage photos, furniture, flooring, clothing, and other goods, too.
Signs of Mice
There are some key indicators when mice show up, the most obvious being small, dark droppings near food packages (which they may gnaw on), in your cabinets or drawers, under sinks, and in hard-to-reach areas. You may even notice a foul, stale odor; if your pet is sniffing out a certain area all of the sudden, give it a look, because even they notice.
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.
Spiders are synonymous with spooky season. Here are the three most common species that may startle you in your own Long Island home:
Daddy Long Legs Spiders
These guys are fairly harmless, and often found in shady, humid areas like your basement or crawl space. They do have tiny fangs, however they’re much too small to break human skin, which is why Daddy Long Legs spiders are no real threat to humans or pets.
Sac spiders are often found along baseboards, ceilings, windows, door frames, and on furniture. They won’t damage your home, however they’re excellent at hiding, so even vacuuming or sweeping them away may not be completely effective. The sac spider’s bite does produce an immediate stinging sensation, similar to a hornet’s sting, followed by redness and swelling.
Wolf spiders can be intimidating due to their large size, and in large numbers, can be a nuisance. Interestingly, these spiders don’t build webs, but instead will run quickly to chase their prey. They’re often found in basements, sheds, or garages near other insects. They will bite if you enter their territory, however their bites are rarely serious.
Signs of Spiders
A common Halloween theme, spider webs are a clear indicator that you have spiders! You may also see visible spiders in moist environments, closets, storage boxes, junctions of walls and ceilings, or near other insects they can feed on.
How to Prevent Spiders
To prevent spiders from entering your home, it’s always best to keep your shrubs trimmed away from your house, seal any cracks and crevices, install screens over your vents and crawl space, and avoid bright outdoor lights.
Roaches are one of the pests our clients are most afraid of year-round, and with good reason—they’re creepy, sometimes they fly, and they always seem to pop up when you least expect them to.
Here are the three types of roaches we deal with on Long Island:
German roaches often enter Long Island homes through any small cracks and crevices they can find while foraging for food, however it’s very common for these roaches to make their way into homes via packages, bags, or even luggage.
Inside residences, German roaches are typically found hanging out in warm, dark environments like basements, kitchens, crawl spaces, and underneath sinks. They’ll eat nearly anything they can find in your home, from breadcrumbs to toothpaste and glue.
German cockroaches have the potential to be dangerous. They’re known carriers of salmonella, E. coli, and pinworms, and will spread pathogens, urine, and feces throughout your entire home. Left untreated, the feces and shed skins that German roaches leave behind will build up and trigger asthma attacks in people, especially children.
Compared to other species of roaches seen on Long Island, American cockroaches aren’t inside homes as often, and instead, these big roaches are commonly found inside places that store and process food, such as bakeries, restaurants, hospitals, and grocery stores. American cockroaches also gravitate toward sewers, basements, crawl spaces, and any other place that provides them with a warm, moist environment. In homes, specifically, they’re usually found on the first floor.
While they won’t cause structural damage to your home, like German roaches, American cockroaches are unsanitary and pose health risks to humans.
If you’ve ever heard “water bug” used as a catch-all term for roaches of any kind, Oriental roaches are actually the original water bugs! They have this name because they can be found crawling out of pipes and drains, and love living in moist areas like sewers, in and under leaves, and underneath rocks and firewood.
If the weather becomes unfavorable for Oriental roaches, which in their case, means it gets too hot or dry, they’ll move inside homes and buildings through vulnerable spaces like underneath doors, through floor drains, and via utility pipes. Inside, they enjoy chillin’ in basements, crawl spaces, and near washing machines, where they’ll snack on any type of starchy or organic matter they can to feed on.
If you end up with an Oriental roach situation in your home, know that these roaches can easily contaminate your food and spread disease throughout your home, and because they’re super into technology, or more specifically, the warmth of electronic gadgets, they can even damage electronics like computers and TVs.
Signs of Roaches
The tell-tale signs you may be dealing with a cockroach infestation include:
- Egg casings
- Musky odor
- Shed skins
- Smear marks
- Visible roaches
How to Prevent Roaches
As with any pest, sealing up cracks or crevices around your home is paramount in keeping roaches out. You should also store food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator, and maintain good housekeeping practices like washing your dishes and cleaning up spills.
Protect Your Home from Long Island’s Spookiest Pests
Not only does year-round pest control provide you with 24/7 peace of mind, but it also eliminates the unnecessary scares a sudden pest infestation in your home can cause. With a regular preventative pest control plan in place, you can rest assured your home is safe from mice, spiders, and roaches year-round.
For help choosing the right pest control plan for you and your family, call or text (631/516) 864-6900.