Pests in Bucks County come in all shapes and sizes. Some, like bed bugs, are so small that they are difficult to see. Others, like Norway rats, are larger but remain elusive because of their nocturnal lifestyle. None of them are meant to occupy the same habitations as humans, making pest control a necessity.
A pest is any unwanted creature that invades a home, office, garden or landscaped area. While all of these species perform a useful service in the natural environment, they can wreak havoc inside and around human habitations. They cause structural damage, are responsible for fires and they contaminate food. Some of them bite or sting, and many of them transmit potentially life-threatening illnesses to people and pets.
Although it may be tempting to find a DIY solution, it is usually advisable to seek professional assistance since licensed pest control provider is often the only way to guarantee a safe, healthy and functional environment in most instances.
Pests come in many forms. Perhaps the most common of these is the insect. These are six-legged creatures that typically feature antennae. Many members of the insect family have at least one pair of wings. Brown and black are common colorations, though some may be white, green or other colors. Common examples in Bucks County include: pavement ants, odorous house ants, bed bugs, bees, wasps, and termites.
Arachnids also may be considered pests when they invade homes and offices. These are eight-legged creatures that are typically brown, black, white or yellow. Frequently seen arachnids in Bucks County include spiders.
Rodents are another category of pests. These four-legged, furry mammals usually are brown or black. Many species within the family have lighter colored bellies when compared with their backs. Oversized eyes and ears are common, as are long tails and pointy faces. The most frequently seen rodents in Bucks County are the deer mouse, house mouse, white footed mouse, roof rat and Norway rat.
Various pests are drawn to human foods. Sometimes, this merely causes annoyance, but other instances can lead to stings or contamination of food that makes it unsafe to eat. Some pests, like yellow jackets and bees, are primarily drawn to sweet foods like fruit, desserts and sodas because these foods are similar to what these insects eat in the wild. However, other pests may be attracted by meat.
Seeds, nuts, grains and cereals are enormously attractive to most types of pests. Bread, fruit and vegetables that are allowed to sit on countertops are susceptible as is virtually any type of food that is stored in plastic, paper or cardboard packaging. Most pests have an outstanding sense of smell, which allows them to seek possible food sources over long distances. Some pests, like ants, will leave a trail for their compatriots to follow when they find suitable food.
While most pests live in large colonies, others may be solitary. Common places to find nests include underground, beneath concrete, in hollow logs, within wall voids and in basements or attics. In general, pests of all descriptions prefer nests or burrows that are secluded and difficult to find. This protects them from predation. Accordingly, nests may be found under appliances and furniture or in the back of little-used cupboards. Some pests make use of clutter in rooms, garages and sheds while others hide in seams on mattresses. Typically, eliminating the nest is necessary for ending an infestation. Because these nests tend to be well-hidden, a professional pest control technician may be the only one who can locate the source of the problem.
PROBLEMS WITH PESTS
Some pests are mainly notable for the physical and emotional discomfort they cause. This is certainly true of bed bugs and spiders. However, other pests are more destructive and dangerous. Carpenter ants, termites and rodents are capable of causing extensive structural damage to the interior and exterior of buildings. They may harm roofs, foundations, basements, attics, siding, drywall and just about any other construction component. Additionally, some pests, such as rodents, contaminate human and pet food, causing serious illnesses.
Most of the common pests in Bucks County are not typically aggressive and usually try to avoid confrontations with people. However, many of them will attack if provoked. Stings from bees, wasps and hornets are fairly common when these insects feel threatened. Bed bugs bite people to feed on their blood, and a cornered rodent may react aggressively with bites and scratches. Most pests are nocturnal, which means that they tend to be more active at night when people are asleep.
Common pests like bed bugs, spiders, ants and termites do not transmit illnesses to people. However, fleas and rodents are a different story. Researchers have identified dozens of potentially dangerous illnesses that these pests may transmit. Transmission most frequently occurs when people inhale particles in the air from a pest's urine, feces or saliva. Ingestion via contaminated food is another common transmission method. Still other diseases are transmitted through a bite. Contact with any pest can be particularly dangerous for people who have allergies.
SIGNS OF A PEST INFESTATION
Indications of a pest problem include:
• Rustling or squeaking sounds inside walls and above ceilings • Small piles of sawdust or other debris from chewing or boring • Holes in food packaging • Seeing live pests or dead bodies • Swarms of insects inside or immediately outside buildings
Potential pest control issues can be minimized by taking the following measures:
• Immediately repair water leaks • Store food in glass or metal containers • Wipe up spills and crumbs regularly • Do not leave food on countertops • Place tight lids on trash receptacles • Seal cracks, crevices and holes in building exteriors • Keep window and door screens in good repair • Fix cracks in window and door frames
Pest problems are common in Bucks County, but it is not necessary to live with these unwanted guests. However, successful pest control in most cases requires proper species identification, as well as locating and eliminating the colony or nest using the proper treatments and methods.
Such steps are best taken by a licensed professional provider.