Common Pests

Thriving on box elder, ash or maple trees, box elder bugs are easily recognizable by their tiny pincers, dark brown bodies and red markings on the abdomen and wings. When disturbed, box elder bugs release a foul-smelling (and bad-tasting to birds) substance that can stain curtains, walls and furniture. Their preference for congregating in warm or sunlit areas frequently causes staining of other household items due to leaving excessive amounts of excrement behind.

Rust-colored box elder eggs are often spotted clinging to host trees in small clumps. Nymphs resemble adults but do not possess mature wings and are gray and red instead of dark brown and red. Nymphs tend to eat the seeds produced by box elder trees while adults prefer to consume the sap released by maple, ash and box elder trees.

Although box elder bugs are not destructive, they are considered a nuisance and can evolve into a tenacious infestation if not properly eliminated by a professional extermination company. During fall and winter, these bugs will actively seek warmer environments and secrete themselves in walls and siding of homes. Continually running heating systems keeps them energetic and in search of food, water and mates, which promotes the infestation further. Homeowners who see only a few box elder bugs in their residences during the summer will probably witness an explosion of them as soon as the weather changes and the bugs search for warmer conditions.

At the first sign of an active box elder bug infestation in your home, contact Simmons Pest Management for an immediate evaluation of your box elder bug issue. As an established, licensed extermination company, we have the knowledge and materials needed to safely and effectively rid your home of a box elder bug infestation.

Carpenter ants are a common pest that can infest homes and other buildings when they are seeking a place to build their nests. Although other species of ants may be little more than a nuisance, carpenter ants can pose a serious risk to a person’s property. As carpenter ants burrow through wood, they create tunnels and galleries that cause structural damage to buildings. Over time, a carpenter ant infestation can lead to damaged walls and other surfaces that can be costly to repair. To control a carpenter ant infestation, it is important to be able to identify the ants so that a plan can be implemented to eradicate them from your building.

Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants are frequently confused with termites; however, they can easily be identified by a few of their most obvious characteristics. Carpenter ants are generally identified by their bodies which are dark in color. When wings are visible on the carpenter ant, you will notice that the hind wings are shorter than the front wings. Additionally, carpenter ants are more likely to venture out into the open during the day, while termites are more likely to stay in their colonies.

Preventing Carpenter Ants
Although carpenter ants can be difficult to prevent, there are a few ways to lessen their attraction to your building. First, try to keep moisture away from any wood in your building. Carpenter ants frequently seek out water-logged wood that is easier to burrow through when building their colonies. If there is wood around your building, then it is also helpful to keep it away from your exterior walls. Be sure to keep your branches trimmed away from your home and move any firewood up above ground level.

Controlling an Infestation
Once carpenter ants have invaded a home or building, it can be difficult to get an infestation under control. Many of the traditional home remedies do little more than stir up the nests and make the problem worse. At Simmons Pest Management, we have experience in handling carpenter ant infestations, and our technicians are trained in the best pest removal techniques. In addition to providing you with professional pest control services, we can also help you to make a plan to ensure that the carpenter ants do not return so that your property is protected from further damage.

Often confused with the bumblebees they closely resemble, carpenter bees are a nuisance that every homeowner is at risk to encounter when the arrival of spring brings warmer weather. These bees have a propensity for nesting in the tunnels they bore in exposed wood; fence posts, children's play sets, fascia boards, decks, exterior window trim and even the underside of a favorite Adirondack chair can all play host to these bothersome pests.

If you know what to look for, carpenter bees are easy to identify by their appearance and behavior. Unlike bumblebees, whose bodies are completely covered in yellow and black hair, carpenter bees have smooth, bare metallic-black abdomens. Carpenter bees are also larger than bumblebees, and the yellow-faced males of the species, who may appear to be hovering closely about with intent to attack, do not have stingers. Females, who have black faces, will protect their nests but are generally docile when out gathering food and do not sting unless caught in hand.

The damage done by carpenter bees is distinctive; the approximately half-inch round holes they bore in wood appear to have been cleanly formed by a carpenter's drill. If caught and treated early, most damage is superficial. However, carpenter bees can be difficult to eradicate; a few nests can soon lead to a large infestation and damage can become cumulative over time.

Eliminating established carpenter bees is a tough job. Pesky adults can be effectively managed with bee, wasp and hornet killers; however, nests are usually impervious to liquid sprays. Instead, each must be located and treated individually. Carpenter bee nests can be many inches deep and are often turned at right angles to the original entry bores; nests may be as many as 25 feet overhead. Chemical dusts will kill the larvae as they emerge from these hard-to-reach nests, but proper, safe application is a time-intensive and tedious job.

Simmons Pest Management is experienced and professional. We have safe, effective ways to help you with your carpenter bee control problem. Contact us for an inspection today.

American RoachHaving a cockroach infestation is a vile and disgusting situation one may have to deal with. Cockroaches are not only ugly, but carry bacteria and disease wherever they go! If you have a cockroach infestation you will definitely need outside help from a professional. Read on for signs of the German cockroach, risks to you and your loved ones from a cockroach infestation, and why a professional should be called to help solve this problem.

There are a few ways you can easily tell if you have a German cockroach problem. If you frequently see live or dead cockroaches in your kitchen and/or bathroom, it is likely that you have a German cockroach dilemma. When you find a dead cockroach, pick it up wearing a pair of gloves and look at the head and back of the insect; check to see if there are two black stripes running from the top of its head to the bottom of its head (beginning of the actual body of the roach); the black lines indicate it is likely a German cockroach.

Risks of a cockroach infestation can include bacteria, viruses, worms and disease from their fecal droppings and physical body. They can also trigger asthma and allergies in some people who are particularly susceptible. Breathing problems can be an extremely important risk if your loved one suffers from any kind of breathing issue. Because these insects can cause so much harm to your family and your home, a professional is really the only solution. With an army of thousands, millions, a person cannot fight this problem by themselves. A professional pest control team knows how to identify the problem, assess the risks, and properly treat and dispose of the cockroaches by infiltrating their food, families, water, homes and other important factors.

mouseOf all the pests that can invade a home, rodents are the most disgusting. Rodents enter a home around plumbing pipes, dryer vents and other openings to the outside. Homes on slabs are less likely to have rodent problems, but the determined pests can still get in through cracks where the home meets the foundation.

Signs of Rodent Infestation
The most noticeable sign of rodents is their droppings. Mice leave tiny black droppings that are about the size of a grain of rice. Rat droppings are much larger. Droppings are usually found on the floor in corners, along baseboards, inside cabinets and behind furniture. Droppings found on furniture or countertops indicate a serious infestation. Less noticeable than waste pellets is rodent urine which looks like small drops or puddles when wet and a yellowish film when dry. Rodents are known for chewing into boxes and containers, especially pet food bags or grain products. Piles of shredded paper in an infrequently disturbed location can indicate a rodent nesting area. Rodents also make scratching noises inside walls, under bathtubs, under floorboards and behind furniture. Gnaw marks on baseboards or doorframes and tracks in dusty areas are also indications of a rodent infestation

Rodent-Borne Diseases
Rats and mice carry a number of harmful viruses, bacteria and parasites, including hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, bubonic plague, leptospirosis, fleas and ticks. Some people who think they have a flea problem are actually experiencing a rodent incursion.

Call a Professional
When it comes to rodents and the deadly diseases they carry, it’s better to trust a professional exterminator. Exterminators know the most effective and up-to-date means to rid your home of the rodents that are already there, and prevent new pests from coming in.

waspOne of the few pitfalls of owning a home with a yard is that stinging insects may be attracted to the vegetation. Whether you enjoy growing a big garden or just like having ornamental landscaping as a part of your outdoor environment, you are probably already aware that stinging insects can be more than a simple nuisance. However, there is no need to allow stinging insects to negatively impact the quality of your life. Extermination methods exist that are environmentally friendly as well as effective that will ensure you and your family's safety and comfort.

The most common stinging insects are hornets, wasps, fire ants, yellow jackets and honeybees. They are all fairly easy to identify, and it should be kept in mind that all of these insects live in colonies. If you see one insect, it's likely that thousands more are close by.

Yellow jackets are found in a variety of climates and are black with yellow stripes. They frequently build their nests underground or in woodpiles or cracks in buildings.

Hornets are usually black although they can sometimes be brown. Yellow, orange or white markings adorn their bodies, and they primarily build their nests in trees.

Paper wasps have sleek, thin bodies that are either brown or black with yellow and red markings. Their comb-shaped nests are easy to identify and are usually found under eaves, in shrubs or small trees with dense foliage or hidden in woodpiles.

Those who live in warmer climates may experience infestations of fire ants. These ants live on mounds and are probably the most aggressive of the stinging insects, attacking with little warning.

Honeybees are round, fuzzy and colored with yellow and dark brown marking. They like to built their nests in protected sites such as trees and old tires.

No matter what the infestation, a professional exterminator will be able to eliminate the source of the pests and provide you and other household residents with a safe outdoor environment.