Pest Control Northern Virginia

We will inspect your residential or commercial property, advise about effective treatments, and then get the job done. We’ll also set up a regular maintenance schedule if need be to help you control any problems. Our general services include:

Cockroaches

Damage:

Cockroaches spread human disease by depositing disease organisms on food and utensils. The American cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings, may transmit bacteria that cause Salmonella and Shigella. German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms such as Staphylococcus, hepatitis, and coliform bacteria. They also have been implicated in the spread of typhoid and dysentery.

German Cockroach and American Cockroach

Recent studies have found a strong association between the presence of cockroaches and increases in the severity of asthma symptoms in individuals who are sensitive to cockroach allergens.

Detection and Treatment:

Cockroaches may become pests in homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and virtually any structure that has food preparation or storage areas. These pests are common even in the cleanest of crowded urban areas and older dwellings. It’s usually not difficult to discover an infestation, because they are often visible. Treatment usually involves sealing cracks and crevices to block entrance; keeping food and trash areas clean to avoid providing food; and the professional application of insecticide and bait on a regular basis. Click here for more info.

Rodents

Damage:

Rodents consume and contaminate food. They also gnaw on electrical wires, wooden structures, and tear insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting. Rodents can also transmit disease to humans, pets, and livestock. They have been found to transmit typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, and salmonellosis.

Detection and Treatment:

The presence of mice and rats is usually detected by the damage they cause to food and structures, by their droppings, and by their nests. Treatment involves eliminating all entry points and population reduction by the application of rodenticides and traps.

Ants

Damage:

Ants cause various types of damage, depending upon the variety. Carpenter ants tunnel through wood, destroying structures. Pharaoh ants may transmit serious diseases. A fire ant’s sting is potentially deadly to susceptible individuals, and all ants contaminate the food they infest.

Carpenter And and Red Fire Ant

Detection and Treatment:

Ants build massive colonies, so their presence is generally detected when you see their nests, or the ants themselves. Treatments involve baiting, insecticide, and sealing off entry to buildings.

Odorous Ants Tapinoma sessile (Say)

Color: Brown or black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/8
Antennae: True
METAMORPHOSIS: Complete

This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.

Habits:

Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially melon.

Habitat:

Typically living for several years, these ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.

Threats:

These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.

Prevention:

Eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of the house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

odorous ants pest controlRECOGNITION:

Workers monomorphic, about 1/16-1/8″ long; queens about 1/4″ long. Body light brown to black. Antenna 12-segmented, without a club. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly round. Stinger absent. Workers emit a disagreeable, rotten, coconut-like odor.

BIOLOGY:

Colonies may be composed of several hundred to 100,000 ants, but usually number about 2,000 to 10,000 ants. There are usually many queens in a colony. Developmental time (egg to adult) is 34 to 83 days, varying with temperature during summer months, and up to 6 to 7 months during the winter. Colonies typically produce 4 to 5 generations a year. Although, they mate both inside and outside the nest, the first swarmers appear from May to mid-July. Colonies can be founded by inseminated females or by budding. The workers and queens live for several years. Individuals from different colonies are not hostile to one another and workers normally move along trails.

HABITS:

Inside, these ants usually construct their nests near a moisture source such as in wall voids especially around hot water pipes and heaters, in bathtraps, beneath commodes with leaking seals, in crevices around sinks, cupboards, etc., but also in wood damaged by termites. These ants prefer sweets but also eat foods with high protein content and grease such as meats and cheese. Outside, they are often found in the nest of larger ants, in exposed soil, but mostly under objects including stacks of lumber, firewood, bricks, etc. They have been found nesting in honeybee hives beneath the top and inner cover. Workers feed on live and dead insects, seek honeydew and plant secretions, and even feed on seeds. They are extremely fond of honeydew and attend such honeydew-excreting insects as plant lice (aphids), scale insects, mealy bugs, etc. They are most likely to enter buildings when their honeydew supply is reduced such as during rainy weather or with leaf fall in the autumn. They forage during the day and at night when the temperature is 43-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Like most ants, they follow guidelines or edges. They tend to move their nests every 3 months or so, often in response to rain. When workers are alarmed, they run around in an erratic manner with their gasters/abdomens raised up.

CONTROL:

Control is a 4-step process. First, location of the nest(s) is crucial and can often be accomplished by following the trail of foraging workers back from the food source. Treat the nest(s) directly with an appropriately labeled pesticide. Second, a thorough perimeter treatment of a nonrepellent pesticide is highly effective in eliminating the ant problem; be sure to treat up under the bottom siding-to-foundation wall junction if present. In addition, all branches of trees and shrubs in contact with the building must be trimmed back. Be sure to check where electrical and water lines enter the building and caulk any gaps.
Third, on the inside, lightly mist/spritz and foraging trails of ants with a nonrepellent pesticide. This will speed up the control process. This outside-inside combo treatment will usually give results in a few days at most. Be sure to cover any surfaces below the application site with plastic before application to avoid unwanted contamination. Fourth, baiting on the outside just beyond the treated area with a sucrose-based liquid bait will intercept the ants before they enter and give greater control for a longer period of time. This works best if inside sources of moisture and food are eliminated first.

Spiders

Except for poisonous spiders, such as the black widow and the brown recluse, spiders are not harmful to humans. When it’s important to control spiders, chemical control is used, along with destruction of webs and eggs. Since they feed on insects, measures that control unwanted insects will also reduce spider populations.

Brown Recluse and Black Widow

Biting and Stinging Pests

Damage:

Bees, wasps and scorpions are dangerous because of their painful and potentially harmful stings.

Bee and Wasp and Scorpion

Detection and Treatment:

Wasp nests and bee hives can be removed by professionals with protective gear. Insecticides are also used. Scorpion problems are usually treated chemically. Click here to learn more about other insects.

Stink Bugs

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is found throughout Virginia. For homeowners, it is mainly a nuisance pest, as it invades houses in the winter looking for a place to over-winter. They develop throughout the summer and molt to adults in
late summer. They can bite and some people have reported allergic reactions to these bites. When agitated or crushed, they secrete an extremely foul-smelling fluid – treat them with great care.

Control

Any home or structure with a history of having stink bugs over-wintering inside needs to have preventative measures taken during the summer to prevent re-infestation in the fall. Spot treatments using insecticides can be applied in the early fall around windows, doors,
attic vents and other locations on the south and west walls of the
structure. Applications have to be carefully timed. Applying too early will allow
the insecticide to degrade before the stink bugs begin to come in.
Applying after the stink bugs have arrived will allow many stink bugs to
still enter the interior of the buildings.

What Pest Control Professionals Can Do…

Pest control professionals can help homeowners and owner associations by identifying and sealing points of access and carefully timing treatments to eliminate these pests.

Call for a free quotation. Call us today.

Cicadas

Common Name: Cicada killer
Scientific Name: Sphecius speciosus

Order: Hymenoptera

Description: These wasps reach up to 1-½ inch in length. Except for a rusty red head and thorax, they are overall black or rusty in color, with yellow band markings on the abdominal segments. They have russet colored wings.

Life Cycle: Winter is spent in the larval or pupil stage. Adults emerge in the summer, feed, mate and produce new nesting burrows. The female provisions each cell in the burrow with one or more paralyzed cicadas on which an egg is deposited, and then seals it. The larva hatches from the egg develops through several molts (instars) before pupating inside a woven, spindle-shaped brown case measuring up to 1 1/4 inch long. One generation occurs per year.

Habitat, Food Source(s): Mouthparts are for chewing. Cicada killers nest in sandy areas; digging burrows about 6 inches deep before turning and extending another 6 or more inches. Tunnels may be branched and end in one or more globular cells. Females are solitary, each provisioning their own nests even though they appear to be nesting in a common area. Cicada killers are active during July and August, coinciding with the appearance of cicadas which they attack, sting and paralyze. They then fly, glide or drag the cicadas back to their nests, provisioning the cells in their burrows. Larvae feed only on cicadas, and the adult will feed on flower nectar.

Pest Status: One of the largest wasps encountered; although females are capable of stinging, they are rarely aggressive towards man or animals; males are incapable of stinging, but can be more aggressive; large numbers of females nesting in localized areas such as sandy embankments can be a nuisance and cause concern because of their large size, low flight and nesting activities; nest entrances are often accompanied by a pile of soil excavated from the burrow that may disturb turf grass.