Preparing for Fall: Has Your Home Been Inspected?

As we approach this year’s autumn season, homeowners should be aware of the pests that commonly invade structures in Thurston County, and how to protect against them. Preventative maintenance programs can help to identify these pests, and prevent infestations before they become harmful to people or damage structures. This short guide will give you a basic overview of conditions that Pest Management Professionals look for when inspecting your residence.

Yellow Jackets

With the culmination of summer, Yellow Jackets present a threat to residents as their populations are peaking, and their behavior becomes more aggressive the closer they come to the end of their life cycle. Be aware of their nests which are cone-shaped, and have a light grey or tan color. A common place for wasps to develop their nests is under the eaves around a structure, but they will also create nests in nearby vegetation, wall voids in the house, and in the ground. Ground nests are particularly dangerous because they are difficult to see until you are close to them, which increases the likelihood of being stung.

Rats and Mice

When the weather begins to cool off, rodents will start seeking shelter in crawl spaces and attics where insulation provides a warm place to nest. It is crucial to have your home inspected to identify pest access points so that repairs can be made to exclude rodents before they become established in the home. Residents are often unaware that they are sharing their home with rodents until a large population develops. In the event that rodents are discovered in the crawl space or attic, your technician can take steps to control and ultimately eliminate the population.

Termite Reproductive Swarms

Reproductive Termites are emerging this time of year and are commonly seen throughout Thurston County in and around homes. These insects have 2 sets of wings that are identical in length and straight antennae. In western Washington we commonly see 2 types of Termites, the Subterranean Termite and the Dampwood Termite, which vary in size and coloration from each other. It is common to see reproductive Dampwood Termites around the exterior of your home and does not necessarily mean that you have an infestation. These insects appear randomly throughout the area during late summer and early fall as they fly in search of mates and a place to start their new colony. Dampwood Termites are attracted to wood with high moisture content, and if there is an infestation in your home, these insects will disappear once the damaged wood has been found and replaced.

Subterranean Termites, in contrast, live in the soil underground and do not require wood with high moisture content. This can make them a structural threat as most homes are comprised primarily of wood. If you find reproductive termites in your home it is possible that you have an infestation, or that there is wood in the home that has been damaged by moisture. In either case, it is important to have the insect identified by a professional and an inspection to discover whether there are active termites in the home.

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