Why Can’t I Keep Ants Out?

Ants on a bathroom floor

Ants are one of the hardest pests to keep out of your home if you’re not taking the right steps to get rid of them. If you’ve had ants in the house before, you know that they’re capable of coming back strong even when you think you’ve gotten rid of all of them. So, what is it that makes ants so persistent?

Because ants come from large and ever-growing colonies, you need to constantly stay on top of your ant prevention measures in order to keep them from hounding your home for resources. Looking for advice on conducting your own ant control? Read on to learn from the experts at Vermont Pest Control!

Why Does My DIY Ant Control Fail?

The problem with the ant control strategies that we usually turn to when we find an infestation is that they fail to address how ants work. Usually, people tell us that they squashed their ants or sprayed them with some sort of chemical ant control solution. These approaches will most likely only delay or worsen your problem. This is because ants release a pheromone signal when they die to warn other ants of an area to avoid. After sensing this, their colony members will change their route into your home. This shouldn’t be a problem for them, because ants are small and sneaky enough to find plenty of different ways inside!

Ant Control Strategies That Really Work

If getting rid of the ant trail in your home won’t fix your problem, what can you do to keep ants out of your home? We recommend taking these three approaches:

  • Find their access point: If you can follow the ant trail in your home back to the point they’re entering your house from, you can block it off with a silicone-based caulk seal, a screen, or whatever the surrounding material calls for.
  • Remove food and water access: Ants are probably trailing into your home because they have found a reliable source of food or moisture. By cleaning up spills, storing your food properly, and keeping your home well-ventilated, you can prevent ants from finding easily accessible nourishment.
  • Team up with a pro: If you can’t trace your ant trail all the way back to its source, a trained ant exterminator can. Getting rid of the anthills on your property is the only way to ensure ants never come back.

Expert Home Ant Extermination in Vermont

If you’re tired of dealing with ants in your house in Vermont, it’s time to team up with your local ant exterminators. The professionals at Vermont Pest Control are familiar with every common ant species in the state. We can find all active nests and colonies on your property, seal off entry points to prevent any further invasion, and teach you how to prevent infestations yourself. For a free quote, contact us today!

Leaky Pipes: What Pests Are They Attracting?

A leaky pipe attracting pests in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Pest outbreaks can come from many different sources, but one of the most common reasons that our technicians at Vermont Pest Control find is the consequences of hidden leakage. When we have leaky pipes in our walls or cupboards that go undetected, they often create rotten wood and pools of standing water that invite all sorts of pests for an extended stay. To learn what you can do to prevent pest outbreaks caused by leaky pipes in Vermont, read up on the findings of our pest control experts!

What Pests Can Leaky Pipes Attract?

Leakage in your walls, cupboards, attic, crawl spaces, or anywhere else in your home can lead to all sorts of issues, but pest problems are almost inevitable in certain circumstances. Here are the three main pests to watch out for when you have leaky pipes:

  1. Cockroaches: While they are some of the toughest creatures on the planet, one thing that roaches rely on heavily is a water source. Due to their nocturnal nature, cockroaches need to find a dark (and preferably damp) place to hide during the day. They often find everything they need next to our leaky pipes.
  2. Ants: Ants seek out leaky pipes in our home when they’ve become dehydrated and need a cool place to search for food. They are also often attracted to our bathrooms by the sweet scents of our hygiene products, then stick around for the free water source.
  3. Termites: Keeping your wooden structures dry will help you prevent a termite infestation. Once they find a source of wood next to a source of water, only a professional termite control company can stop them from destroying your home from the inside out.

Combatting Leaks to Stop Pests

When you find leaky pipes in your home, you have to act right away to avoid pest problems from starting up or building upon themselves. Here’s how:

  • Seal the cracks that you find by applying a silicone-based caulk. This is the most effective way to stop leaks on your own.
  • Do whatever you can to improve the ventilation of the area experiencing leakage. This will reduce the amount of moisture accumulating in the room.
  • Let your local pest control company know about your problem. They will be able to help you prevent a pest infestation with preventative tactics.

Minimizing Pest Pressures in Vermont

At Vermont Pest Control, we understand that having leakage issues can cause stress that extends far beyond the threat of a pest infestation. That is why we train our technicians to handle pest outbreaks swiftly and professionally for our customers, ensuring that their homes are clear of ants, cockroaches, and more. To learn more about our pest control services or for a free quote, reach out today!

Seal Your Home From Pests With Caulking

How to use caulk for pest control in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Did you know that ants, beetles, and spiders often make their way into your home through tiny openings? Cracks and crevices around your doors and windows are open invitations to bugs, especially in the spring and summer when they’re out in full force. The best way to seal off your home from pests is with caulking. This easy and effective DIY pest prevention method is something every homeowner here in Vermont can learn to do. With pest season just around the corner, now is the time to pest-proof your home. The exterminators at Vermont Pest Control are here to help you learn how to use caulking to pest-proof your home.

Find Where Pests Get Inside

Before you use caulking, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of your property to locate cracks and crevices. Look at your window and door frames from both inside and outside, as well as your baseboards, crown molding, and more. If you have major issues with your door or window frames, you may consider replacing them entirely. Weatherstripping is also a solution for bigger gaps. However, caulk is best for small, easy-to-fix holes to keep pests out.

How to Keep Pests Out With Caulking

Using caulk to pest-proof your home is a quick trick you can do every year to lessen the changes of an infestation. Here’s how to seal your home from pests with caulking:

  1. Choose the correct caulk. When you get to your store, you’ll notice several types of caulk. In general, silicone caulk is the most commonly used caulk for this purpose as it is resistant to moisture. It’s also a low-cost option. If necessary, purchase a caulking gun as well.
  2. Thoroughly clean the area. Before you apply any caulk, make sure to clean any areas you will be applying caulk to. This includes removing any old caulking, old paint, dirt, and anything else that could jeopardize the adhesion of the new caulk.
  3. Apply the caulk. When applying caulk, begin in one corner of the crack or gap and tilt the applicator at a 45-degree angle. Steadily apply the caulk in a smooth, slow line while applying steady pressure.
  4. Let the caulk dry. If needed, smooth any bumps or fill any gaps with a small spoon. Remove any excess caulking. For best results, let the caulk dry for at least 24 hours.

Pest-Proofing Your Vermont Home

Caulking is an easy, cost-efficient way to pest-proof your property. Other best practices for pest prevention include clearing your yard of debris, keeping a clean kitchen, sealing food in airtight containers, and fixing leaky pipes. To learn more about using caulk to pest-proof your home or other best practices for pest prevention, contact the professionals at Vermont Pest Control today!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Vermont Pest Control

Entomologists from Vermont Pest Control’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.