Terminix West Michigan Blog

Official blog of Terminix West Michigan
Terminix of West Michigan

Are Termites and Cockroaches Related?

TermitesTo the average person, termites are very similar to ants. In fact, the word "termite" is derived from a Latin term that means "woodworm" or "white ant." However, these insects aren't ants at all. Instead, termites are now part of the cockroach order Blattodea. After decades of research, the Entomological Society of America is changing its categorization to reflect this, bringing the number of cockroach species to more than 4,500 worldwide. The Evolution of Termites Almost 200 million years ago in the mid-Jurassic period, Pangea broke apart and created the seven continents that the world knows in present day. During the split, cockroaches were forced to adapt to changing environments. They had to evolve to survive in new climates and terrain. For the next 120 million years, dinosaurs became extinct as the climate turned drier and colder, and termites appeared. Scientists have recorded that the oldest termite colony is from the...
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Terminix of West Michigan

The Most Effective Ways to Protect Your Home From Termites

termite cardProtecting your home from termites is essential if you care about your property and want to avoid costly repair fees. Once these pests get into your home, they can cause a lot of damage before you notice the warning signs, and getting rid of them is not an easy task.  As long as you keep the right tips in mind and implement a proven strategy, you can reduce your odds of facing a termite infestation, which can save you a lot of money over the long run.  Reduce Moisture Many termites prefer moist environments, and having extra water in the soil around your home will attract the pests if they are in the area. Some people feel hopeless when it comes to getting rid of the moisture around their home, but you can try several approaches that can do the trick.  For example, ensure that your gutters are in good shape...
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Surprising facts about ants

Ant 6Every child knows that ants are unpopular at picnics. Most adults are equally certain that they don't want ants marching through their homes or businesses. What else do you really know about these insects? Although they may be notoriously unwelcome, ants are fascinating creatures. Surprising Facts About Ants Ants may be common creatures that virtually everyone can recognize, but these social insects do have a few surprises up their sleeves. Consider these eight intriguing factoids: Ants are almost everywhere. Avoiding ants isn't easy. Scientists estimate that there may be up to 10 quadrillion ants living in the world at any one time. They live on every continent except Antarctica. A few remote islands don't have any native species of ants, but these intrepid insects have hitched rides with human travelers to settle there. There are undiscovered ants. More than 12,000 known species of ants have been logged, but experts believe that there may...
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Five Surprising Places You Can Encounter Bedbugs

Bedbug 555Because getting rid of bedbugs is much harder than preventing them, learning where you are the most likely to encounter the pests can keep you out of harm’s way. Most people think of hotels when they picture the places at which they will spot bedbugs, but they can infest many other locations. If you don’t know that they are nearby, you will increase your odds of bringing bedbugs back home with you, and you must avoid that problem.  Gyms You might not suspect that bedbugs will be at the gym, but it’s a prime location for them to spread, catching you off guard. When people with bedbugs come to the gym to work out, bedbugs can get into their bags and follow them to the locker room, and lockers that are not sealed will let the bedbugs crawl around and access other people’s bags.  Restaurants Most people are stunned when they...
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Most Active Winter Pests in Michigan

Those who live in Michigan know how cold it gets during the winter. Despite the freezing temperatures and the heavy snows, some pests remain active all season long. During the fall, they come inside and stay through the winter in a warm home. These overwintering pests can cause quite an infestation by early spring if they're not controlled in time. 3 Common Winter Pests in Michigan Rodents Rodents look for entryways around your home throughout the year, not just in the winter. They find refuge behind the walls, down in the basement and up in the attic where they can stay hidden from people. These pests emerge during the night to forage for food and will take it back to their hiding spots. If they're breeding, you're in for a surprising infestation by springtime. Earwigs Earwigs are normally seen during the summer in Michigan, but these pests will remain active in...
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Don't Let Pests Ruin Your Thanksgiving & Football Parties

Bedbug 5As temperatures start to cool and the kids return to school, the excitement for football season and holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving increases. But your family and friends aren't the only ones hoping to feast on your wings and turkey.  While summer might be the busiest season for pests outdoors in Michigan, autumn is when all those swarms search for shelter inside your home. To protect your football party or Thanksgiving dinner, hire pest control for an inspection.  Common Pests That Can Tackle Your Thanksgiving Plans At Terminix, we receive the most service calls during the fall for the following pests.  Bed Bugs If your loved ones sleep over during Thanksgiving weekend, the last thing you want to expose them to is a mattress full of bed bugs. Unfortunately, these are one of the hardest pests to get rid of if you don't hire professional pest control.  You find blood stains on...
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Cold Weather is Around the Corner, so are Rats & Mice

Rat a tat tatAs the weather turns colder, a variety of pests, including rodents like rats and mice, seek a warm shelter in which to overwinter. The animals want a safe space that is situated near a reliable source of food and water. They gain access to your residence through cracks and holes in the foundation and walls of your house where the siding meets the concrete or fascia boards. Depending upon the size of the rodent, the animal can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime. Excellent swimmers, the pests can enter your house by traveling through sewer pipes. They can also climb trees, utility lines and structural elements to reach vulnerable entry points, including damaged eaves and unprotected ventilation holes. Once they have established a nest, a female may have a litter with up to 14 offspring every few months. Problems Caused By Rats and Mice The most common rodents...
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What is a Box Elder Bug?

box elderBox elder bugs are small to medium sized beetle-like insects that are mainly black to dark brown with three noticeable red stripes. One stripe is located behind the insect’s head while the other two are positioned along the sides of their bodies. They are named for their favorite host, which is the box elder tree. When it comes to agricultural pests, box elder bugs are not that destructive. If they cause damage, it is typically slight. The pest is a bigger problem for homeowners because the cold weather inspires them to seek shelter, and when they do, hundreds and even thousands of the bugs make themselves comfortable inside homes.  What is the Life Cycle of the Box Elder Bug? Box elder bugs live through the winter months by climbing beneath plant debris or under loose tree bark. They also seek shelter in homes, outbuildings and garages. When spring arrives, they emerge...
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Mole Control All Year: They Don't Hibernate

Terminix West Michigan offers exceptional pest control services to our residential and commercial customers in the areas around Western Michigan. This area has a climate that is pleasant for many people, but it can also attract moles to the region as well. These rodents can damage your property by burrowing into the holes and digging tunnels. This can be expensive to fix, and it may also take up some of the time you might prefer to use on more pleasant activities. Our professional rodent control specialists can eliminate moles from your West Michigan property during any season. Moles in West Michigan Moles can be a problem during the winter months because they do not go into hibernation. They may continue to damage your lawn even when there is snow on the ground. During the coldest months of the year, moles can still continue to burrow and dig tunnels at a rapid...
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Understanding Ant Swarms: Prevention and Behavior Patterns

Terminix West Michigan provides pest control services to customers in the areas around Western Michigan. This area of the country experiences pleasant temperatures during the spring and summer months. Although this makes it a great place to live and work, certain types of pests are also attracted to these conditions as well. Ant Behavior There are over 100 different types of ants in this area, and correctly identifying them is an essential part of a complete pest-control protocol. Some of these ants will engage in the behavior called swarming, and this makes them even harder to control. Swarming means that the colony will suddenly emerge as a single entity. They will coordinate their movements, and this may include entering the home after a scout has located a source of food. Ants, Swarming and Non-Swarming Carpenter ants are capable of damaging the structure of your building. They are swarming ants, and they...
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Prepare Your Yard for a July 4th BBQ

You want to enjoy your Fourth of July celebration outside without having to go overboard with insect repellants and citronella candles. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can prepare your yard so that it's free of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, among other pests. Fleas These are reddish-brown insects that are notorious for hiding in animal fur. If you own a cat, keep it inside as often as possible; if you own a dog, give it a good flea combing after it spends time outside. Fleas can transmit a variety of diseases, such as Murine typhus, through their bites. They can also leave your pets with parasites like tapeworms. Humans are, of course, not immune to flea bites. One thing that fleas hate is apple cider vinegar, so you can use this as a natural repellant. It would be a good idea to spray an apple cider vinegar solution on your...
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Don't Let Carpenter Ants Crash Your Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day reminds everyone to honor and to appreciate the sacrifice of those who have served and died while protecting our country. It's also a day when friends and family can get together and enjoy a festive barbecue in the backyard. When pests invade the area, they cause a nuisance and bring the festivities to an end. Terminix of West Michigan takes care of the carpenter ant problem before they ruin your outdoor gathering. The Problem With Carpenter Ants Carpenter ants don't just show up to a picnic out of the blue. If you see them on Memorial Day, it's a sign of an existing infestation. These tiny backyard invaders get their name from their nesting behavior: burrowing into wood. Although carpenter ants don't eat the wood, they chew long tunnels through it as they build a colony and a nest for the queen. Signs of Carpenter Ants As carpenter ants...
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Signs You Brought Bed Bugs Home From A Business Trip

There's an unfortunate myth about bedbugs being attracted to dirt and grime. The fact is that bedbugs can invade an upscale hotel just as easily as a rundown motel. So long as a building has cracks outside and a warm, preferably humid atmosphere inside, bedbugs will squeeze through and make their home there. They're also good at hitching a ride on everything from luggage to clothes and shoes. It's possible, then, that you may have brought bedbugs home after your business trip. To be certain, you should look for the following signs. Bite Marks Red, itchy bite marks are the most common sign. Distinguishing bedbug bites from the bites of other pests, like fleas or ants, can be tricky, but it's not impossible. If the bites are found on the exposed parts of your body, like your arms and feet, and appear in clusters or straight lines, then they're most likely...
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3 Ways to Prepare for Termite Swarms

Although most people would like to believe that it would never happen to them, a termite invasion can occur at any time and will cause a lot of damage to any wood structure. When a termite nest becomes overcrowded, swarmers will head out to search for a new place to call home, and your house or business could be the next target. If you don't want to experience avoidable damage, the good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself from this threat. With the right plan and a little dedication, you can greatly reduce your odds of becoming the next victim of a termite invasion. Seal the Holes Around Your Home Termite swarmers will get into your house through any holes that they can find, so taking some time to check the parameter of your home is a smart move. If any of your screens are torn, replace...
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Five Tips for Spotting Signs of Rodents

Five Tips for Spotting Signs of Rodents Rodents are a huge problem all across the country, and we're experiencing an explosion of trouble from roof rats, Norway rats and the common house mouse here in the western portion of Michigan. The cleanliness of your home has nothing to do with an invasion from any of these rodents, and here at Terminex of West Michigan, we've been called upon to eliminate rodents from even the nicest homes in Grand Rapids and throughout all of western Michigan. Signs That Rodents Have Invaded Your Home Rodents are always on the prowl for something good, and they may enter your home looking for warmth or following the smell of food. Mice can get inside through the smallest of cracks, and they are known to squeeze in through gaps that can be found in a home's foundation, walls or floors. Both rats and mice can find...
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How to Identify Box Elder Bugs

How to Identify Box Elder Bugs Box elder bugs have black bodies with red stripes, and they are around one half of an inch in length. They have flat wings that overlap, and they breed during the springtime. They are vulnerable in the winter, and this also leads them to infest residential and commercial buildings. There are some common signs that you can rely on to determine if you are dealing with an infestation of box elder bugs. The best method for dealing with box elder bugs is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Signs of Box Elder Bugs Box elder bugs can infiltrate your home through small cracks and crevices in the home. They can also cause minor damage to the property in a variety of ways. For example, they can leave a trail of droppings on the floor, and this can contaminate the food...
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Have a Pest Free Holiday

Have a Pest Free Holiday Box elder bugs are extremely common winter pests, and they can create problems during the holidays if they infest the inside of your home. They will seek refuge from the extreme temperatures, and they feed on portions of the trees and plants in the area around your home. When these pests infest your home, it can ruin your holiday celebrations. They are also difficult to control using common pest-control methods, so you might need the assistance of a qualified pest-control expert to deal with an infestation. To detect an infestation properly, you must be willing to learn about the various signs of box elder bug infestations. What Attracts Box Elder Bugs Box elder bugs live in different types of common trees including maple, ash and box elder trees. They are not known to invade the homes of human beings during the warm months of the year....
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Don't Let Roaches Crash Your Thanksgiving

Don't Let Roaches Crash Your Thanksgiving Picture this. You're sitting at the table with your closest friends and family who are about to devour the delicious meal in front of them when some roaches pull up their figurative chairs, ready to help. Or perhaps they want to invite themselves to the preparation stage earlier in the day or the leftovers later. Either way, the last thing that you want to see on this holiday are roaches scurrying across the floor or getting into your food. What Attracts Roaches to Your Home? In West Michigan, it starts getting cold and near-winter temperatures start arriving in November. Just like you scurry inside to hibernate for the next few months, roaches are wanting to do the same thing and will take advantage of any opportunity to do so. If you have dirty conditions and food and water laying out, even better. However, clean homes...
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5 Fall Tips for Tick Prevention

5 Fall Tips for Tick Prevention According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 96% of the confirmed Lyme disease cases in 2014 were reported from 14 states. While Michigan wasn't one of the states on that list, deer ticks and Lyme disease still pose a threat to residents in this area of the country. Let's not forget about brown dog ticks, either. Although deer ticks are more threatening to humans, since they carry Lyme disease and recovery from it can takes months or even years, brown dog ticks can be just as harmful for your pets. In fact, just one of these ticks in your home can lead to an infestation. To avoid surrendering your home to ticks this fall, follow these five prevention tips. Wear Light-Colored Clothing and Stay on the Trail If you plan to spend a gorgeous autumn Saturday hiking through the wilderness, remember to...
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Keep Your Family and Pets Safe from Flea's This Fall

Keep your Family Flea Free This Year It doesn't take many fleas or a lot of time for a small nuisance to turn into a huge problem. This is because of the flea life cycle. A single flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day, and fleas may not actually leave their cocoon for months or years because they will wait until the environment is right and a host is present. This means that simply killing live fleas isn't enough to actually completely rid your home of an infestation. How Can You Tell If You Have A Flea Infestation Flea infestations are an issue in Michigan almost year-round because the temperature needs to drop below 30 degrees for fleas to be inhibited by the cold. There are several indications of a flea infestation that can let you know that a problem is present or developing. One of the most obvious...
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