big black ants on a little rock

Pest Library

Use our pest library to learn about the pests most likely to find their way into our homes.

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What You Need To Know About Pests In Our Area

Learning about the spiders, insects, and rodents likely to invade your home is vital to maintaining a house without pest infestations. We want to help you learn about the pests in our region, their preferred habits, the threats they may pose, and how best to keep them away.


black ant on a white flower

Ants are social insects that live together in large colonies. Living worldwide on every continent except Antarctica, ants live both outside, away from people, and close to us. In our region, some of the most common nuisance ants that find their way to our properties are pavement ants, Argentine ants, and ghost ants. Fire ants and pharaoh ants are examples of dangerous ants in our region; both species pose health risks to people.

Ants prefer to live outside, but these small insects often find their way inside when nesting near our homes. Food odors and moisture are what most often lure ants indoors. Sometimes they move inside to nest, typically when trying to escape unsuitable weather conditions. Sharing your home with ants is not ideal because as they move over its surfaces, they spread bacteria, contaminate your family's food, and become an overall nuisance.

The best ant prevention tip is to partner with a professional and implement year-round ant control services, but there are some steps you can take to keep these pests at bay. To help keep ants out of your house, seal cracks and crevices in your foundation and exterior walls through which ants could move in. Reduce their easy access to food by keeping a clean kitchen, keeping lids on trash cans, and regularly vacuuming your home. Eliminate excess moisture by repairing leaky pipes and using dehumidifiers.


a cockroach trying to hide in a home

Cockroaches are not insects you ever want to notice crawling around in your home. They carry diseases, spread allergens, contaminate food, produce foul odors, and create an unpleasant environment. Cockroaches are scavenging insects that can eat almost anything they come across. These pests successfully live outside but definitely benefit from living near people and regularly make themselves comfortable in our houses.

We generally identify cockroaches with their oval bodies, six legs, long antennae, and dark colors. The most common types of cockroaches to find in our homes are American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches. Know that if you spot one cockroach in your house, there are more hidden you don't see. Cockroaches are nocturnal and most active while we are sleeping. Some of their most common daytime hiding spots are wall voids, the backs of drawers and cabinets, floor drains, and behind loose wallpaper, and large appliances.

In order to help stop cockroaches from easily finding their way into your house, it is essential to inspect your home's exterior and seal any defects your find. Keep mesh covers on vents and drains leading into your home and install door sweeps. Stop them from hitchhiking into your home by inspecting secondhand items, deliveries, and anything you bring into your house that has been outside. For effective cockroach control near you, please call a Specter professional today!


a mosquito on a person

We don't want to share our yards with mosquitoes because of their ability to acquire and spread disease-causing pathogens to people. In the U.S., the most common disease associated with mosquitoes is the West Nile virus. Seasonally, mosquitoes are typically most active in the summer and early fall when temperatures are warmest. On a day-to-day basis, they are most active at dusk when temperatures are cooler. During the day, many mosquitoes escape the heat and direct sunlight by resting in shaded areas.

Mosquitoes are small flies; the females bite people and animals to consume the blood meals they need to complete their life cycles. We identify mosquitoes by their tiny bodies, one pair of wings, and six long thin legs that dangle below their bodies when in flight. Mosquitoes are outdoor pests most attracted to places with dense vegetation and areas of standing water that offer them resting areas and breeding sites.

Controlling mosquito numbers is best done with the help of a professional and the completion of regular mosquito treatments. In order to help deter mosquito activity, it is crucial to reduce as much standing water on your property as possible, keep the grass cut short, and regularly cut back shrubbery and trees that offer shaded resting spots. Planting plants and flowers that repel mosquitoes, like marigolds, lavender, and rosemary, can also be helpful.


a spider on the floor in a home

Spiders are arachnids and made villains in many movies and books. Their bad publicity, appearance, and fast, startling movements cause many to fear these pests. While spiders shouldn't be allowed to live in our homes or take over our outdoor spaces, most aren't dangerous to people and are eco-important. Spiders are exceptional hunters and help to control populations of flies, cockroaches, garden pests, and many other insects. Without spiders and other predators, insects would take over our outdoor spaces and destroy our crops and gardens.

Spiders use their fang-like mouthparts to paralyze their insect prey by injecting them with venom. Spiders aren't aggressive but will bite people if they feel threatened or to stop themselves from being squished. Most spiders have venom only potent enough to harm their insect prey, not people; a spider bite usually results in pain and redness around the bite site. Unfortunately, not all spiders are harmless. Dangerous spiders like the brown recluse and black widow spider have venom potent enough to harm people and require medical attention to treat the symptoms.

The best way to avoid problems with spiders in your yard and home is to reduce the populations of their insect prey on your property. Doing things like eliminating areas of standing water, maintaining your yard and gardens, keeping lids on trash cans, and turning outdoor lights off when they aren't needed can go a long way in controlling insect and spider numbers. Please call today to learn more about the year-round home pest control services necessary to solve your property's spider problems.

Stinging Insects

a big wasp up close

Stinging insects like European hornets, red paper wasps, and yellow jackets all have a stinger extending from their backend that they use as a means of defense and as a way to paralyze their captured insect prey. Stinging insects are either solitary (the females create individual nests) or social (nesting together in large colonies). While stinging insects are eco-important, when they decide to nest or regularly forage for food in our yards, their dangers outweigh their benefits.

Having regular contact with stinging insects puts you and your family at risk of being stung. Wasp and hornets stings are not only notoriously painful but can trigger severe or even life-threatening allergic reactions in those allergic to their venom. Stinging insects create common pest problems around our houses and our yards because both offer them food, water, and plenty of sheltered nesting sites.

Make your property less attractive to stinging insects by maintaining your yard, keeping trees well trimmed, eliminating areas of standing water, and reducing the amount of flowering vegetation on your property, especially near your home. But if stinging insects have already invaded your property and are affecting your family's ability to enjoy your outdoor spaces, reach out to us for stinging insect control.


a gross rat up close

Rodents are one of the most common types of mammals living worldwide. Did you know that around 43% of all mammals are rodents? No wonder rodents like Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice are some of our most common household intruders! Something that all rodents have in common is their front incisors which continuously grow throughout their lives.

Sharing our homes with rodents is quite unpleasant. They produce foul odors, leave trails of urine and feces, and contaminate food. Rodents are also destructive. Their presence in human structures leads to fires and water damage after they use their teeth to chew through your wires, pipes, and other structural elements. The spread of diseases, bacteria, and parasites is also a significant concern when rodents live in our homes.

Keeping mice and rats away is tricky since they have learned that living with us benefits them. Making your home inaccessible to them is vital to avoid problems with these pests. Install door sweeps and weatherstripping and ensure window and door screens are intact, and place covers on chimneys, vents, and drains leading into your home. Inspecting your foundation, exterior walls, and the roof is also important. Use steel wool, metal flashing, or caulk to seal any defects you discover in your home's exterior. For effective home and commercial pest control, please call us at Specter today.

image of mostly-white living room

What Our Customers Are Saying

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"Russell did a thorough job in treating both inside and outside my home. He was courteous and knowledgeable and provided a summary of the treatment service. I would highly recommend Specter to anyone in need of pest and maintenance service."

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