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A Guide To The Common Pests In Greenville, SC

Learning about the pests that live around us is the best way to prevent problems with rodents, insects, and more. The following guide will help you determine what types of pests have found their way onto your property. Below is an overview of some of the most common pests found in our area of South Carolina.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting a persons hand

Their ability to ruin any outdoor event or activity makes mosquitoes an annoying pest to have on your property. Female mosquitoes are biting pests, consuming blood from people and animals to get the protein required to develop healthy eggs. Adults have a fly-like body, long thin legs, and narrow hairy wings. They also have an extended mouthpart they use for feeding. The color pattern on mosquitoes depends on their species. In general, they have a brown or black body with or without white markings. Some species may also have silver, green, blue, or iridescent scales.

Regardless of their small size and ability to be squashed with a newspaper, mosquitoes are one of the world’s most dangerous pests. They are dangerous because of their ability to spread a wide range of diseases and parasites to people and animals. Many of the pathogens they transmit can make people very ill, and in many developing countries, can even cause death. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water, so eliminating stagnant water from your property is one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from your property.

Help prevent problems with mosquitoes using the following tips:

  • Store containers that collect water upside down or inside of storage buildings.

  • Empty wading pools, birdbaths, or pet water bowls and refill them each day.

  • Eliminate resting spots on your property by keeping the grass cut short, pruning shrubs and trees, and eliminating overgrown vegetation.

Outdoor Invaders

a pillbug crawling on a porch

Outdoor invaders are insects that live and breed outside but often find their way into our yards. Outdoor invaders are difficult to keep out of our yards and often become a big annoyance for homeowners. Some of the most common species of outdoor invaders living in our area include fleas, ticks, fire ants, ants, spiders, ground beetles, pillbugs, sowbugs, millipedes, and centipedes.

The most popular reason that outdoor invaders may be in your yard is that it is providing them with easy access to sources of food. Things like open trash cans, compost piles, gardens, pet food, and outdoor eating areas attract foraging outdoor invaders. Once comfortable on your property, they may decide to stay and nest, becoming an even bigger problem!

Outdoor invaders often nest close to homes — under mulch, in tree stumps, in cracks along sidewalks, or under landscape ties. Their proximity to your house allows them to find their way indoors while foraging for additional food sources or to escape harsh weather.

Prevent problems with outdoor invaders using the following tips:

  • Limit food sources on your property by keeping locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, picking up uneaten pet food, and keeping outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

  • To keep outdoor invaders out of your home, caulk openings in the foundation and exterior walls, place weatherstripping around windows and doors, and repair holes along the roofline.

Home Invaders

a cockroach crawling on a kitchen counter

Homes invaders are those insects that spend most of the year living happily outside but tend to move inside to overwinter or to escape periods of harsh weather. Some of the most common home invaders that live in our area include spiders, ants, roaches, silverfish, millipedes, centipedes, boxelder bugs, crickets, earwigs, ladybugs, and stink bugs.

Many species of home invaders are attracted to the sunny exterior walls of homes and other structures. In the late fall, when the weather cools, they gather, taking advantage of the warmth a building’s outer walls provide. As they move, they find their way inside through cracks, crevices, and other openings that they come across.

Home invaders often live outside in damp areas and seek out the same type of climate inside homes. Overwintering or nesting home invaders hide in basements, attics, crawlspaces, and behind wall voids. In the spring or when the weather changes, home invaders move back outside to continue feeding and breeding.

Prevent problems with home invaders using the following tips:

  • Seal up all entry points into your home. Inspect the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline, caulking or otherwise repairing any openings you find. It is also important to caulk the spaces around wires, pipes, and utilities that enter your house.

  • Place tight-fitting covers on chimneys, and mesh covers over all vents.

  • Install weatherstripping around all windows and doors.

Small Rodents

a mouse crawling in an old bucket

There are many species of small rodents that have become accustomed to living near people. Over time, they have come to count on people for some of their food and shelter needs. Small rodents live outside in a variety of habitats including wooded areas, fields, parks, and along rivers — all places that are often close to our yards and homes. If our yards provide them with suitable places to nest and forage for food, small rodents will make our property into their home. Some of the most common species of small rodents living in our area include mice, rats, moles, voles, and squirrels.

All rodents, big or small, have one thing in common; their front incisors continuously grow throughout their lives. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, they gnaw on everything they come across, making them a destructive pest to have inside our homes and other buildings. The damage they cause by chewing causes structural damage and may lead to short circuits and water damage.

Those small rodents that live outside in our lawns (moles and voles) can cause a lot of damage to grass, plants, and trees. Furthermore, rodents contaminate food and carry and transmit parasites, human-pathogens, and viruses to people, all of which have the potential to cause serious health problems.

Prevent problems with rodents using the following tips:

  • Reduce hiding spots by keeping shrubs, bushes, and tree branches trimmed away from the exterior of your home.

  • Trash cans and compost areas should be placed away from the outside of your house and should have tight-fitting lids.

  • Get rid of entry points into your home by sealing openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline. It is also a good idea to seal spaces around utilities and place mesh cover over drains leading into your house.

Stinging Insects

a wasp crawling on a tree

Stinging insects live outside, and when living away from people, most species are important to the ecosystem because they pollinate plants and control populations of nuisance insects. Stinging insects have stingers they use to defend themselves or their colony from danger and to paralyze their prey. It is only when stinging insects decide to nest near our homes or in a high traffic area in our yards that they become dangerous and unwanted pests.

Many species of stinging insects live and work together in large groups. A single nest may have hundreds to hundreds of thousands of members. Stinging insects place their nests in a variety of locations depending on their species — on tree branches, in tree cavities, under roof eaves, in doorways, and under decks. Others will place their nest in the ground in tree stumps, under bushes, or in the abandoned ground nests of small animals.

Stinging insects usually nest outside, but sometimes do take advantage of openings in a house or outbuilding in order to build it in a sheltered location. Inside, stinging insects place their nests behind wall voids, in attics, and chimneys.

Prevent problems with stinging insects using the following tips:

  • To help make your property less attractive to stinging insects, keep shrubs, bushes, and tree branches trimmed away from the exterior of your home.

  • Reduce the amount of flowering vegetation planted close to the outside of your house.

  • Keep stinging insects out of your home by repairing torn screens, placing caps on chimneys, and sealing cracks in exterior walls.

Subterranean Termites

a termite colony on a piece of wood

As the name suggests, subterranean termites nest under the ground in damp soil. To feed the colony, worker termites travel from the colony to food sources (damp or decaying pieces of wood) each day. They move with ease through the soil or through the mud tubes they create. While workers are responsible for the damage these pests cause to our structures; their presence is rarely noticed. The "caste," or group, of termites spotted by people the most are the winged reproductives. Winged termites "swarm" from established colonies to mate and then find a new location to nest. After emerging from the colony, the reproductives shed their wings, leaving behind an easy to identify clue of their presence.

Subterranean termites move indoors through cracks in the foundation or wood on your home with direct contact with the ground. Once inside, the termites attack structural wood located below floors, behind walls, and eventually above ceilings. Due to the subterranean termite's high moisture needs, they prefer to invade and feed on pieces of wood previously damaged by water. Because these insects can invade and create costly damage to our homes or businesses, subterranean termites are a serious pest threat.

Help prevent problems with subterranean termites using the following tips:

Eliminate wood to soil contact on your property and home.

  • Repair cracks in the foundation of your home.
  • Remove excess woodpiles, leaf piles, and other moisture collecting organic debris from your yard. Create a 12-18 barrier between any soil or mulch and your foundation.
  • Make sure gutters are in good working order and place weatherstripping around windows and doors. Doing both helps to stop water from seeping into and damaging the structural wood within your home.

If you are looking for help to get rid of fleas, ants, beetles, stinging insects, and more on your property, reach out to PinPoint Pest Solutions for our professional pest control services today!

 

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