a tick on a plant outside of a home in lexington south carolina

A Guide To The Common Pests Of Lexington & Columbia

If you’re wondering which pests you're dealing with on your property, take a look at the profiles in this pest guide for help identifying them as well as some helpful prevention tips. Request your free inspection and quote for your home or business in Lexington, Columbia, and the Midlands of South Carolina so we can help you get rid of them!

Ants

argentine ants crawling near their colony in lexington south carolina

Ants are considered by most people to be one of the most common household pests. There are a wide number of different species of ants that can be found living in our area; two of the most common species are the odorous house ant and Argentine ant. Odorous house ants and Argentine ants, like most species of ants, are considered nuisance pests and do not pose serious threats to people or property. They will, however, contaminate food and invade buildings in large numbers, making them difficult to eliminate. All ants have three distinct body regions; the head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have six legs and a pair of antennae. It is important to note that some ants do bite, sting, and spread harmful disease, and some species can even cause structural damages.

Outside, ants nest in a variety of places including underneath woodpiles, rock piles, mulch, and fallen trees and limbs as well as inside tree stumps, around foundations, and in the cracks of sidewalks or pavement. These pests often move indoors while foraging for food, looking for suitable nesting sites, or when the weather outside becomes unsuitable for them to live comfortably. Once inside, ants tend to create their nests in hard to reach, out-of-the-way places like above ceilings, under floors, behind baseboards, and behind walls.

Our experts have some tips for preventing ants from invading your property. Remove fallen trees, tree limbs, tree stumps, and other unnecessary debris from your property. Trim back overgrown vegetation away from the outside of your home. Leave at least an 18-inch barrier between any mulch or grass and your home’s foundation. Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your property, and eliminate all other entry points. Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home. Finally, limit food sources by placing locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, keep outdoor grill areas cleaned up, and pick up garden areas to avoid providing ants with an easy meal.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug crawling on sheets on a bed in a lexington south carolina home

Bed bugs are wingless, blood-eating insects. They have oval-shaped bodies that appear flattened from top to bottom. Bed bugs feed only on the blood of mammals, with humans being their preferred hosts. If people aren’t available to feed on, bed bugs will feed on other hosts including dogs, cats, and rodents. Bed bugs are mainly nocturnal pests, hiding during the day in tight cracks and crevices, and emerging at night to bite and feed on their sleeping hosts.

Bed bugs live wherever people, their source of food, are present. This means that bed bugs can become a problem in any home, apartment building, or dormitory. They also take up residence in many different kinds of public establishments like hotels, hospitals, movie theaters, nursing homes, shopping centers, schools, and libraries. Bed bugs move from place to place by hitchhiking on people and their belongings. Bed bugs are prolific breeders and are extremely difficult to eliminate. If you believe bed bugs have hitchhiked their way into your home, it is important to immediately call a professional to perform a thorough inspection and, if necessary, appropriate treatment.

Our experts have some tips for preventing bed bugs from invading. Keep all personal belongings off the ground in public places. Inspect hotels, motels, or vacation homes for signs of bed bugs before bringing luggage and other personal items inside. Avoid purchasing used furniture, mattresses or box springs for use in your home. Regularly wash your family’s bedding, including pet bedding, on a high heat cycle. Routinely inspect mattresses and box springs for signs of bed bugs, and place a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to help reduce hiding spots. Vacuum your home regularly. Lastly, invest in a comprehensive bed bug control plan from a trusted professional.

Cockroaches

a german cockroach crawling on a plant outside of a home in lexington south carolina

Cockroaches (commonly referred to as palmetto bugs and water bugs) are highly adaptable insects that can be found living in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor environments, mostly nesting in warm, dark, and damp areas. They are large insects with hard, flat, oval-shaped bodies. Cockroaches are scavengers and feed on a wide variety of both food and non-food items. These insects are typically social pests, living together in large groups, and are prolific breeders. The German cockroach is a very common species of cockroach found invading homes and businesses in our area, as this species prefers to live indoors.

Cockroaches are considered to be dangerous pests for many reasons. First of all, roaches are known to carry a large number of bacteria, viruses, and parasites on their bodies, legs, and feces. Their shed skins and excrement can all trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks, especially in young children and in people with weakened immune systems. Additionally, cockroaches secrete a substance that can stain surfaces and produce bad odors, and they also can damage fabrics, upholstered furniture, and items made of paper.

Our pest control experts have some tips for preventing cockroaches from invading your property. Seal any spaces in the foundation or exterior walls of your property. Place door sweeps on basement doors, mesh covers on vents, and weather stripping around windows and doors. Eliminate water sources by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures, maintaining gutters, and using dehumidifiers. Limit access to food by storing it inside the refrigerator or in air-tight containers. Inspect used appliances, furniture, and any packages for cockroaches before bringing them inside. Finally, regularly vacuum your floors and wipe down your tables and counters to remove crumbs and other food debris.

Fleas & Ticks

a flea crawling in pet hair in lexington south carolina

Fleas and ticks are pests that feed solely on the blood of people and animals. They can become a problem on any property after being introduced by wild animals. Fleas are insects that have flat, hard bodies, making them difficult to squish, and they are dark brown in color. Fleas are wingless, but have large, powerful legs that allow them to move quickly and jump onto their hosts. Ticks are arachnids; they have oval-shaped bodies, eight legs, and are also wingless. Ticks lie in wait until a new host brushes by that they can attach themselves to.

Ticks live outside in areas of dense vegetation, tall grass, and wooded areas. Most ticks are not able to breed indoors and, therefore, do not become a huge issue inside of homes. Fleas, on the other hand, can breed indoors and, if introduced inside, can become a major problem and be very difficult to eliminate. Preventing contact with fleas and ticks is important for many reasons. Fleas transmit parasitic tapeworms; ticks carry and transmit a variety of diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. Both people and animals that have an allergy to flea's saliva can develop itchy, uncomfortable dermatitis that has the potential to become infected.

Our experts have some tips for preventing fleas and ticks from invading your property. Establish a barrier between your lawn and wooded areas and keep your grass cut short. Make your property less attractive to wildlife by removing bird feeders and keeping locking lids on trash cans and compost bins. After spending time outside, inspect yourself and your pets for ticks and fleas. Also, make sure to place your pets on year-round flea and tick programs under the guidance of their veterinarian, regularly bathe and groom your pets, and consider investing in a flea and tick collar. Finally, don't bring used furniture or rugs into your home, as they could potentially be infested with fleas or flea eggs.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting a persons arm in columbia south carolina

Mosquitoes are biting insects that feed on the blood of people and animals. Plant nectar and pollen are the mosquito’s main sources of food, while only female mosquitoes consume blood in order get the protein they need to create viable eggs. Adult mosquitoes have slender bodies; long, thin legs; narrow, hairy wings, and extended mouthparts that they use for feeding. Mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet climates, making spring and summer their most active seasons.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water. Mosquitoes will happily live in any outdoor space that provides them with plenty of standing water to breed, as well as flowering vegetation to feed on. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. During the day, mosquitoes are found hiding in tall grasses, under trees and bushes, and underneath decks and porches. Mosquitoes feed on a variety of hosts which, unfortunately, allows them to transmit a variety of diseases to people and animals including equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. They also transmit parasitic heartworms to our pets, which can be harmful or potentially fatal.

Our experts have some tips for preventing mosquitoes from invading your property. Eliminate standing water from your property by storing containers that can collect water upside down when not in use and regularly refilling birdbaths, pet bowls, and wading pools with fresh water. If you own a pool, properly maintain it. Keep your lawn cut short and remove overgrown vegetation from your property. Finally, keep mosquitoes out of your home by making sure window and door screens are intact.

Spiders

a house spider weaving a web in a home in columbia south carolina

Spiders are arachnids and, therefore, all spiders have eight legs. All spiders also have two body regions and fangs, or chelicerae; they lack wings and have no antennae. Spiders are predators by nature and feed on insects, making them beneficial pests that help to protect our homes and gardens from damaging insects. As their name suggests, the house spider is the most common spider that can be found invading homes and yards. However, they are harmless as their venom is not strong enough to pose any health threats to people.

Spiders prefer to live outside but often move inside while following prey or when the weather outside becomes too cold, hot, dry, or wet. Instead of waiting for their prey to come to them, spiders ambush and chase down their prey. These arachnids are usually associated with the elaborate webs they build. However, not all spiders build webs. Some spiders create tunnels in the ground, in woodpiles, or between rocks. Whether they build a web or create a tunnel, spiders usually will choose a location that is quiet, out-of-the-way, and secluded.

Our highly-trained pest control experts have some helpful tips for preventing spiders from invading your property. Trim back overgrown shrubs and bushes from the exterior of your home. To deter spiders, clean up excess piles of debris from your property and storage areas that spiders could hide and nest in. It's also important to inspect your home’s exterior and seal any openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and around doors and windows. Finally, reduce their access to food sources (insects) by implementing a year-round pest control service for your Lexington or Columbia area home.

Stinging Insects

a yellow jacket wasp crawling on a car in lexington south carolina

Stinging insects are pests that possess stingers and use them to defend themselves against perceived danger. The venom that all these insects possess is strong enough to trigger severe allergic reactions or even anaphylaxis. Some stinging insects are considered beneficial as they are responsible for pollination. They are predatory species that help to keep populations of nuisance insects in check. Stinging insects usually only become a problem when they decide to build their nests on or near your home or in high-traffic areas around your property. Two common examples of stinging insects are bees and wasps.

Stinging insects can become a problem on any residential or commercial property because they prefer to live, breed, and feed outside. Stinging insects are typically most active during the late summer and early fall when the colonies are at their largest. That is also the time of year when workers are out working at a frenzied pace, foraging for food to feed their colonies and to sustain their queens during the winter. Common nesting sites include up high in trees, on utility poles, in bushes, under roof eaves, in the corners of doorways, in open lawns, in ground holes, or in wood and rock piles. If there are any openings in the exterior of your home, stinging insects could take advantage of them to nest inside of chimneys, behind wall voids, or in crawlspaces.

Our experts have some tips for preventing stinging insects from invading your property. Place garden and compost areas away from the exterior of your home, and trim overgrown vegetation. Seal any possible entry points into your home, and remove water sources by fixing leaky fixtures and maintaining gutters. Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted near the outside of your home. Finally, keep locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, and keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

Lamp's Pest Solutions has been providing professional pest control services to properties in the Midlands of South Carolina for over ten years, so we've solved many pest problems. To learn more about our comprehensive residential or commercial pest control options, or schedule your free pest inspection, contact Lamp's Pest Solutions today!

 

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