Top Differences Between Carpenter Ants & Termites

When it comes to wood-destroying insects, both termites and carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage. They’re also commonly mistaken for one another! In the swarmer stages of their lives, they look quite similar and also swarm at the same time of the year. Although they are both destructive, these wood-boring insects are quite different. To learn about the many differences between carpenter ants and termites, read on for tips from the experts at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas.

How are Termites Different than Carpenter Ants?

As swarmers, carpenter ants and termites are very easy to misidentify as the other. The best way to differentiate them is to look at their size and their wings:

  • Carpenter ant swarmers. These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
  • Termite swarmers. These termites are dark brown to black, and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. termite in Henderson NV - Western Exterminator of Las Vegas

The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects

Both of these insects can be very dangerous and destructive, but one is more of a threat than the other. Carpenter ants typically establish their nests in decayed wood and then later expand into undamaged wood, insulation, or wall voids. Their damage is not always visible, but the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded down.

Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. These wood-destroying insects find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Without a doubt, termites are capable of causing a lot more damage in a short amount of time than carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ants or Termites?

If you think you have wood-destroying insects in your home or business, it’s best to act quickly and contact a professional pest control company. The termite exterminators at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas know the differences between carpenter ants and termites that can help determine the type of infestation you’re dealing with. From there, we will implement the most effective, fast-acting termite or carpenter ant control methods to protect your property.

Rodent Infestations: How Dangerous Are They?

Rodents can cause damage in your Las Vegas NV home - the mice exterminators at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas can help!Rodent problems are any property owner’s worst nightmare. Rats and mice can cause damage, chew through wires, make a mess with their nesting, and even can transmit a number of dangerous diseases. Some of the most infamous diseases spread by rats and mice include hantavirus, salmonella, and even the plague. Because there are more dangers of rodents than you may realize, it’s always important to work with a professional rodent exterminator to prevent them in the first place.

Dangerous Diseases Transmitted by Rodents

Historically, some of the world’s worst illnesses have been tied back to rodents. Although the bubonic plague was transmitted by fleas, plenty of rats and mice carried the fleas and contributed to the outbreak. Today, some of these diseases are still a threat, especially if you’re dealing with a rodent infestation. The main mice-borne diseases to be aware of include:

  • Hantavirus. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases, it can lead to kidney failure or worse.
  • Salmonella. The bacteria spread by rats and mice can track onto food. The most infamous bacteria is of course salmonella, known as food poisoning.
  • Lyme Disease. This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.
  • Plague. Historically, the bubonic plague was caused by infected fleas that were carried by rats and mice. This disease can still be spread today.

Do Rodents Cause Structural Damage?

A rat or mouse pest problem can cause a major mess in your property. Rats have incisors that never stop growing, meaning they never stop chewing. One of the most dangerous things rats chew on are electrical wires. Needless to say, exposed wires can create a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear up any type of material to create nests. Rats are able to make their way through tough materials, leaving the very structure of your property at stake.

The Importance of Rats & Mice Exterminators

If you have a rat or mouse problem, you’re almost certainly going to need help to get rid of them! The many dangers of rodents can cause a hazardous environment in your property, a rodent control expert is the one to call. At Western Exterminator of Las Vegas, our team has the experience and resources needed to get rid of rats and mice in your property for good.

The German Cockroach: 10 Things to Know

German cockroaches are best identified by the two dark lines on their heads. Western Exterminator of Las VegasThere are several common types of cockroaches in the Las Vegas area, but none more prolific than the German cockroach. Not only does this roach species breed at a rapid speed, they also are capable of spreading disease and dangerous pathogens. Infestations are most common in homes, multi-family units, restaurants, schools, hotels, and more. Because they are such a troublesome pest to get rid of, it’s important to learn how to identify the German cockroach by its habits and behaviors.

The experts at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas share the top ten German cockroach facts to know.

German Cockroach Facts You Didn’t Know

Because German cockroaches are such a problem in the Las Vegas area, it’s important to understand their unique behaviors and habits to identify them by:

  1. German cockroaches are best identified by their pronotum (protective plate behind the head), which has two longitudinal dark stripes.
  2. These roaches are most commonly found in residential and commercial kitchens or bathrooms.
  3. German cockroaches typically prefer areas of high temperatures and high humidity.
  4. German roaches are almost entirely found indoors. While rare, they have been known to survive outdoors in warm weather.
  5. German cockroaches have an extraordinary rate of reproduction. One female cockroach and her offspring can theoretically produce hundreds of thousands of offspring a year!
  6. The ootheca (egg case) of the German cockroach contains between 35–40 eggs, which take one month to hatch.
  7. German cockroaches can carry or transmit diseases and pathogens that may be dangerous to humans.
  8. German cockroach infestations have been tied back to causing severe asthmatic reactions in some people.
  9. They are able to climb on smooth surfaces because they have a sticky pad on their feet; this sticky pad is called an arolium.
  10. German cockroaches prefer to spend their lives hidden and protected. They are known to hide inside walls, behind cabinets, inside appliances, and more.

Preventing German Cockroaches

No one wants to deal with a cockroach infestation, which is why it’s so important to learn how to prevent them in the first place! Some of the ways you can lessen the risk of a cockroach infestation include:

  • Keep all food in sealed containers, secure your garbage securely, and store pet food in sealed containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Regularly clean your surroundings, eliminate clutter, and be wary of carrying in old items before inspecting them for German roaches.
  • Promptly address leaks or excess moisture in the home, such as standing water.

German Cockroach Extermination

If you have German roaches in your home, you’re almost certainly going to need the help of a professional exterminator to get rid of them. Without the help of a professional, roaches can spread quickly throughout your entire property. At Western Exterminator of Las Vegas, our cockroach extermination will ensure complete removal of this pesky roach.

2020 Pest Season – 6 Pest Predictions

There are 6 pest problems to look for in 2020 - Western Exterminator of Las Vegas provides tips on preventing them in your Henderson NV home.Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to pests this year, Rentokil is looking into its crystal ball to help homeowners proactively defend their homes against pest infestation.

The experts at Rentokil used their field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine the following six pest predictions.  Along with the predictions, we are offering some quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in the new year.


Mosquitoes

Populations of disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have surged in recent years in some Western states. These mosquitoes, along with the already well-established common house mosquito, can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Zika virus, as well as the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.

Homeowner Tips: To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property.  It only takes a tablespoon of water for mosquitoes to breed. When spending time outdoors, protect yourself and your family by always wearing an EPA-approved insect repellent.


Rats

In recent years, in major metropolitan areas across the country,  rat populations have surged. Expect to see that trend continue and watch for rat activity to increase in suburban areas, as well. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and an affordable housing crisis are all issues that have contributed to the swell of recent rat activity.

Homeowner Tips:  To deter rats, take the following steps: Eliminate excess vegetation, especially dense low-vegetation that serves as hiding places for rats. Keep trees cut back from the roofline. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, ensure that all trash is sealed in bags and placed into garbage cans with well-fitting lids to prevent an infestation.


Termites

Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. These wood-destroying pests are a continual problem for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year could bring heavier pressure than usual. Rentokil experts have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.

Homeowner Tips:  To deter termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Remove excess wood (stumps, lumber, etc.) from your yard. Unfortunately, termites can be present for years before homeowners ever seen signs of their activity, causing extensive and costly damage. To avoid this, have a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.


Cockroaches

Cockroach populations have boomed over the past several years, due in large part to wetter springs and winters. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest stored food, and spread these diseases through their excrement. Cockroach removal is vital as infestations can be serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Homeowner Tips: The biggest attractant for cockroaches is food. Keep a clean kitchen, mopping or sweeping up any spills. Cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Ensure that door seals, including the one on your garage, are in place and intact. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.


Flies

If you have noticed more flies in your area, you aren’t alone. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – are more abundant than we’ve seen in previous years.  You can thank increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure.

Homeowner Tips: Fly activity can be difficult to control, but there are preventative steps homeowners can take to keep them at bay. Screen all windows and doors. Keep trash stored away from your home and ensure that all trash cans have tight-fitting lids. If flies are bothering you when sitting outside, use a box or oscillating fan to keep them away. When air is moving, flies have a hard time landing.


Spiders

Last year, spiders arrived early and more people reported seeing spiders in their homes. Spiders eat other insects, therefore, heavy rain and record-breaking temperatures over the last few years have created the perfect conditions for the smaller insects that spiders love to eat. With a steady food source, spider populations are increasing. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.

Homeowner Tips: Fortunately, most species of spiders can not survive indoors as their systems are built for outdoor weather. If the thought of spiders lurking around freaks you out, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.


The experts at Rentokil agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.

8-Step Checklist for Rodent Control

Compared to most of the states in the country, Las Vegas experiences pretty mild winters. However, that doesn’t mean that residents don’t experience winter pest problems all the same! Rodents are a common problem throughout the entire year, but infestations are especially common in the colder months. As temperatures drop, rats and mice will seek out warmth and shelter inside of homes. Once indoors, they can cause a lot of damage, making it important to know how to prevent them from getting in in the first place! Keep reading for expert tips from Rentokil on rodent control this winter.

Can Rats & Mice Survive the Cold?

Although many types of animals hibernate during the winter, the same cannot be said for rats and mice. In fact, they seem more active than ever with how common infestations are this time of year. In fact, The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has reported that 21 million homes in the U.S. are invaded by rodents each winter!

Mice are infamous for being able to squeeze their bodies through the tiniest holes, which is why it’s crucial to seal your home properly.

Rodent Control Checklist

Rodent control checklist for your Las Vegas or Henderson NV home this winter - Western Exterminator of Las Vegas

Inspecting your property is a great way to lessen the risk of a rodent infestation. Locating and fixing anything that is in need of repair can effectively keep rats and mice outdoors. There are eight areas in particular to inspect to prevent rodents:

  1. Roof: Replace and repair shingles or any other roof damage
  2. Vents: Cover all vents securely
  3. Screens: Fix or replace any damaged window, door, or porch screens
  4. Vegetation: Keep a tidy yard and cut tree limbs back away from your home
  5. Gutters: Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
  6. Outside: Securely seal trash cans and keep a clean yard
  7. Garage: Make sure your garage closes flush to the ground
  8. Foundation: Seal any cracks or crevices larger than a dime

Year-Round Rodent Prevention

If you’ve done all you can to prevent rats or mice and still have noticed the signs of an infestation, it’s time to call the rodent exterminators at Rentokil. Our team specializes in preventing pest problems before they begin, making us your local leaders in rodent control and removal. To learn more about keeping rats and mice out of your home during the winter and all year long, call us!

5 Ways to Prevent Winter Pests

Rodents infest Las Vegas NV homes to escape dropping temperatures in the winter - Western Exterminator of Las VegasLas Vegas may not have the extreme temperatures during the winter that some parts of the country do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deal with winter pest problems all the same! Changes in the weather cause rodents, insects, and other pests to squeeze their way inside your homes in search of shelter and warmth.

For this reason, it’s important to learn how to protect your home from pests in the wintertime. The experts at Rentokil have compiled their top tips on how to prevent winter pests in your Las Vegas home!

What are the most common winter bugs?

During the wintertime, there are many bugs and pests that look to enter homes. Some of the pest problems you may face during this time of year include infestations from:

  • Argentine ants. These fast breeding ants start to produce eggs in the late winter, which is why it’s important to prevent them.
  • Rats & mice. House mice and Norway rats in particular are known to squeeze their way indoors during the cold months.
  • Spiders. House spiders are typically harmless, but black widows are known to get indoors this time of year.
  • German cockroaches. One of the most popular cockroach species, they are known to be especially troublesome in the winter.

Prevent Winter Pests in 5 Steps

Keeping pests out of your home in the winter months requires many of the same efforts of preventing pests year-round. Five ways you can prevent winter pests include:

  1. Seal cracks and crevices outside your property to keep pests from making their way inside.
  2. Place screens over vents and chimneys to eliminate entry points inside the property.
  3. Store firewood away from the home and eliminate clutter in your yard to discourage nesting.
  4. Eliminate sources of excess moisture by promptly fixing leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Promptly clean up spills, dispose of garbage regularly, and avoid excess clutter.

Professional Winter Pest Control

To avoid the frustration of a pest infestation during the winter, you need to learn how to protect your property against pests. Rodents, cockroaches, and spiders are common pest infestations in Las Vegas winters, which is why it’s so important to implement winter pest control into your home maintenance routine. If you need help or want to learn more about how to prevent winter pests, give the experts at Rentokil a call today!

How to Prevent Common Christmas Tree Pests

Inspect your Christmas tree for pests and insects before bringing it into your Las Vegas or Henderson NV home - Western Exterminator of Las Vegas‘Tis the season for picking out a Christmas tree for your home! In addition to looking and smelling great, Christmas trees are quintessential decorations for the holiday season for many families. Unfortunately, a single Christmas tree can be harboring more than 20,000 insects! For as much festive cheer a tree can bring into your home, it can also bring unwanted pest infestations. To prevent an infestation from ruining your holiday spirit, read on to learn Rentokil’s top tips on how to prevent Christmas tree pests.

Types of Christmas Tree Insects

Even though most of the insects inside of Christmas trees are minuscule and not dangerous, no one wants their home invaded by bugs! A few of the most common types of Christmas tree pests include:

  • Aphids: These tiny sap-sicking insects are often located on the lower branches of evergreen, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser firs, and white fir trees.
  • Mites: Mites are known to cause needle loss in Douglas fir, white pine, spruce trees, or Fraser firs.
  • Spiders: In addition to adult spiders, spider egg sacs hidden within Christmas trees may cause an infestation.
  • Beetles: These wood-boring insects are about the size of a grain of rice. Holes in the branches or trunk of a tree are the biggest indicator of bark beetles.
  • Praying mantises: Adult praying mantises are green and can grow to be quite large. Egg sacs, which can contain up to 400 eggs, can also be found on trees.

Tips to Prevent Christmas Tree Pests

In order to keep the aforementioned insects out your property this holiday season, there are several ways you can prevent Christmas tree pests. The most important thing you can do is to thoroughly inspect the Christmas tree before purchasing it. Look for signs of pests or damage. From there, request that they vigorously shake out the Christmas tree before bringing it home. Prior to carrying it indoors, leave your tree in the garage for a couple of days. Lastly, use a vacuum to clean up fallen needles and stray bugs you notice.

Controlling Christmas Tree Insects

Nothing ruins the joy of the holiday season like a pest infestation. If you’ve bought an infested Christmas tree, it is recommended to return to the lot from which you bought it for an exchange. If you’re still dealing with pests after removing the infested tree, call the exterminators at Rentokil for more tips on how to prevent Christmas tree pests!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs During the Holidays

Inspect the bed sheets in your hotel to look for bed bugs. Western Exterminator of Las VegasBed bugs aren’t a common pest problem in the Las Vegas area, but infestations may start when residents bring them home after a vacation. Especially during the holiday season, bed bug problems can start when you stay in hotels or stay with out-of-state family members only to bring home bed bugs. To protect your home from bed bugs this Thanksgiving or Christmas, keep reading to learn how to prevent bed bugs.

Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling

Bed bug infestations are often linked to instances when traveling was involved. Bed bugs are more common than you may want to believe in hotels, and can be spread by hitchhiking on suitcases.

When you’re packing for a trip, it’s important to pack smart to avoid bed bugs. Always pack your clothing in sealed plastic bags and use a hard-case suitcase as opposed to a soft-cover one. When you return from a trip, steam-clean your suitcase before bringing it indoors, if possible. It’s also important to wash all clothing in hot water.

Bed Bugs in Hotels

Bed bug problems in hotels are more common than you may want to believe. To avoid picking up bed bugs in the next hotel you stay in, there are several things to do:

  • Do your research before booking a hotel room by reading through reviews for mentions of bed bug problems.
  • Before settling into a hotel room, pull back the sheets to inspect the bed for live bugs or signs of bed bug activity.
  • Always place your suitcase on luggage racks, on top of furniture, or inside of a bathtub inside hotel rooms.

Professional Bed Bug Removal

If you find yourself with bed bugs even after implementing preventative measures, it’s important to call the exterminators at Rentokil. Bed bugs are resilient pests and always need to be dealt with by a bed bug exterminator. Our team can provide bed bug removal and help you learn how to prevent bed bug problems in the future.

Season of the Rodent: Preventing Rats & Mice

Season of the rodent in Las Vegas NV - Western Exterminator of Las VegasRodents may be a common pest all year long, but did you know infestations spike during the fall? With it being Rodent Awareness Week, it’s important to understand why rats and mice are so common in October and how to prevent them from becoming a problem in your home. When summer ends and the weather starts to cool down, rodents will try to make their way inside to escape the cold. Unfortunately, rats and mice are notorious for their ability to squeeze through the smallest of openings and can get inside easily. To prevent their chances of succeeding, read on to learn some of Rentokil’s top tips for keeping them out!

4 Ways to Keep Rats and Mice Out

Rats are a gross sight that no homeowner wants to deal with. To save yourself from the frustration of cleaning up after a rodent infestation, it’s important to know how to prevent them in the first place!

  1. Locate and seal any cracks or crevices: Inspect your foundation, doors, and windows for any gaps, and patch them up accordingly.
  2. Install screens over chimneys and vents: Rats and mice may feel the warm air escaping your chimney and vents, and make their way indoors. Properly cover your vent systems and chimney.
  3. Store food in airtight containers: Rats and mice will seek out food inside of homes. Always keep food stored in secured containers and clean up spills after meals.
  4. Keep a clean, mess-free home: Rodents are a big fan of clutter, and are attracted to messy basements and attics. Always clean up messes and avoid excess clutter.

Are Rodents Dangerous?

Everyone knows rodents can be gross, but did you know they are dangerous as well? Rats and mice can spread bacteria, contaminate food, and even cause allergic reactions in humans. Some of the diseases that can be spread by their feces include hantavirus, salmonellosis, and even the bubonic plague (as rare as it is). They are also harmful in that they can cause serious structural damage with their gnawing and nesting habits. Bottom line: For the safety of you, your family, and your home, rodents have no business inside!

Get Rid of Rodents Fast

If you’ve done all you can to prevent rodents from getting in your property, they still may make their way indoors. As soon as you see a rat or mouse inside, it’s time to call a professional. A professional pest control company such as Rentokil can not only get rid of any rodent problem you have, but prevent future infestations from forming.

Homeowner’s Guide to Keeping Spiders Out

Homeowner's guide to keeping spiders out of Las Vegas NV homes - Western Exterminator of Las VegasWhile seeing spiders is a normal part of daily life throughout the entire year, they are especially abundant in the fall months. Every year when temperatures begin to drop, spiders start to move inside of homes for shelter and in search of a mate. As with most pests, spiders dislike cooler weather and are attracted to the dark, warm areas easily found inside of homes. Although most species won’t cause harm, no homeowner want a spider infestation. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can prevent spiders from getting inside of your property in the first place. Read on for Rentokil’s top spider prevention tips for this fall and all year long.

What are Spiders Attracted To?

Like any pest, spiders are driven indoors for survival-based reasons. Some of the things inside your property that spiders may be attracted to include: 

  • Food: If you have other types of insects inside your home due to leaving out food or messes, spiders will appear to feed on those insects.
  • Clutter: Piles of debris, clothes, garbage, or anything else are the perfect hiding spots for spiders.
  • Warmth & darkness: Darker, warm areas of the home are sought out by spiders.

How to Spider-Proof Your Home

Except for black widows and desert brown spiders, most spiders are harmless and not aggressive. That said, no one wants to deal with an excess of spiders in their home, no matter what type they are! Successfully keeping spiders out of your home requires the same efforts needed for all types of pest control:

  1. Locate and seal any potential entry points for spiders. This includes patching up holes, cracks, crevices, and the like in your windows, doors, and more.
  2. Always inspect old boxes or pieces of furniture for spiders before bringing them indoors in case spiders are lurking.
  3. Keep a tidy home. As mentioned previously, clutter and messes provide ample shelter for spiders.
  4. Take proper care of your lawn and landscape. Untrimmed shrubbery and overgrown grass may draw spiders to your property, eventually allowing them indoors.

How to Get Rid of Spiders

Even when you’ve tried to seal your home from spiders, they may still be able to make their way indoors. DIY spider control only works so well, and seeing an excess of spiders inside your home signals that you need to call a professional pest control company. Expert pest technicians, such as those found at Rentokil, can not only locate the source of your spider problem but also keep future infestations from occurring.