Pest Library

Common Pest Identification and Prevention on the Wasatch Front

The most important thing you need to know about the many pests that live throughout the Wasatch Front area is they do not belong in our homes or businesses, sharing our food, damaging our belongings, or spreading diseases and parasites. Knowing information about the pests that live in our area will prepare you to seek help as soon as you notice their presence in order to protect yourself, your family, and your home from their dangers and damages.

Uinta Pest Solutions is a locally owned and operated company dedicated to helping Utah residents guard their property against pests. With the help of our exceptional pest control services, knowledgeable professionals, and the following pest guide, your home will become and stay free of insects, rodents, and other pests!

While keeping a clean and well-maintained home can help you reduce the things that attract pests, even clean homes can wind up with an infestation. That’s why it’s always better to enlist the help of pest experts rather than try to handle it all on your own. At Uinta Pest Solutions, we offer comprehensive inspections and treatments of Wasatch Front area homes that provide the best defense against all kinds of pests.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are problematic pests that bite people to feed on blood. Avid hitchhikers, bed bugs move from place to place by crawling onto people and our belongings. Bed bugs often move into our homes on things like luggage, purses, clothing, used furniture, or inside of bags or boxes. Some of the most common places we encounter bed bugs include hotels, schools, hospitals, public transportation, shopping centers, and dormitories. However, any indoor space where people come and go in large numbers can have bed bugs lurking within it.

Though bed bugs aren’t social like ants or wasps, they do live together in groups. Therefore, if you spot one live or dead bed bug inside your Wasatch Front-area home, it is likely that there are many more you aren’t seeing. The fastest way to identify an infestation in your house is to have a basic understanding of what bed bugs look like and the signs of their presence. Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, have six legs, are wingless, and have short antennae. One of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation is finding drops of blood on sheets, mattresses, pillows, and walls. Other signs of an infestation include noticing a musty odor in your home, finding shed skins piled under mattresses, or you or family members waking up with unexplained bug bites.

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Preventing bed bugs from finding a way into your home can be tricky because they are small and easy to overlook. However, you can help protect your house from becoming home to bed bugs with some basic knowledge. If you are purchasing used furniture or mattresses, carefully inspect them for bed bugs and thoroughly clean the items. When out in public, make sure to keep your personal property up off the ground. Vacuum your home regularly to pick up any stray bed bugs that do find a way inside your house. Place bed bug proof covers on mattresses and box springs to eliminate the bed bug’s favorite hiding spots.

Boxelder Bugs

The boxelder bug is a black insect that has a reddish-orange color outlining its wings and abdomen. Their striking colors make it easy to identify these insects. Boxelder bugs live outside throughout most of the year, breeding and feeding on the leaves, flowers, and seeds of box elder trees and other seed-bearing trees. In the fall, when the weather cools, these insects migrate to homes and other structures, attracted by the warm, sunny exterior siding. As the boxelder bugs move up the walls of our homes, they find a way inside through cracks in walls, openings around windows and doors, and spaces along the roofline.

While having large numbers of boxelder bugs living in our homes is not an ideal situation. It is important to note that they are only overwintering there, not feeding or breeding, which isn’t to say that having them in your house is without consequence. Inside our homes, boxelder bugs will stain upholstery, walls, and curtains with their excrement. When crushed or handled, these insects will produce a foul-smelling odor. Also, having boxelder bugs in your home means that there are openings in its exterior that will allow other more problematic pests inside.

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Keeping boxelder bugs out of your yard can be difficult, but you can help keep these insects out of your house by making some simple changes. Always keep secure screens in open windows and doors and make sure that weatherstripping is intact. Use door sweeps to eliminate gaps under doors. Check exterior walls and the roofline for openings, using caulk or another material to seal them. Keep a cap on the chimney and covers over vents. Cutting tree branches back away from the outside of your home and the roofline also helps stop these pests from gaining easy access to your home.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are scavengers and are a big problem for Utah home and business owners. They move into structures by hitchhiking or on their own, where they make themselves at home, crawling over its surfaces, introducing health risks, and contaminating food. The cockroach’s longevity has come from their ability to adapt, making themselves at home almost anywhere, including with people. A type of insect, most species of roaches have wings, but very few fly. Instead, cockroaches move their flat oval-shaped bodies from place to place by running or hitchhiking inside things like boxes, appliances, and furniture.

One of the most prevalent and problematic cockroach species found in homes and businesses are German cockroaches. Over time, these small roaches have adapted to living indoors with us. Having German cockroaches or any other roaches in your home is harmful. They produce an unpleasant musty smell, leave behind piles of excrement, and contaminate food. They also cause serious health concerns with their unmatched ability to spread salmonella, E. coli, and gastroenteritis, as well as being a trigger for asthma attacks and allergy symptoms.

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The following tips will help you make the changes around your home necessary to keep dangerous cockroaches out. The biggest thing you can do to prevent problems with cockroaches is to maintain a clean kitchen. Any amount of crumbs or food debris will cause cockroaches to think they are welcome. Wash dirty dishes each day, pick up pet food every evening, vacuum daily, and put away leftover food in the fridge. Always inspect furniture, boxes, or appliances that are coming into your home for cockroaches. Regularly check your home’s exterior, repairing any cracks or openings you find to help keep wandering roaches out!

Rodents

Many rodents find their way to and make themselves at home in our Utah yards and homes. Voles, Norway rats, house mice, and field mice are examples of rodents that live in our area. Rodents are mammals and part of the order Rodentia, which means to gnaw. All rodents have continuously growing front incisors, which helps us tell them apart from other mammals. Rodents are prolific breeders and formidable pests to deal with in our Wasatch Front-area yards or homes.

Voles, Norway rats, house mice, and field mice are species of rodents that have learned the benefits of living with people. While you may sometimes find rodents living away from us, you are more likely to find them living close to people. These rodents have come to rely on us to provide them with their basic needs. The small size of mice makes it easy for these pests to find a way into our homes where they will contaminate food, chew through wires, clothing, and boxes, and spread diseases and parasites that can make us ill. Voles and Norway rats tend to be more of an issue outside in our yards. Voles create unsightly runways and burrows in the ground and damage grass and plants. Norway rats also burrow in the ground and can damage gardens, foundations, and concrete slabs. Rodents are destructive, dangerous pests, and you should not tolerate them!

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Preventing problems with rodents is difficult, but by making some simple changes around your property, you can make it less appealing to them. Mow your lawn weekly and make sure gardens and landscaping don’t become overgrown. Remove things like woodpiles, brush piles, and other debris from your yard where rodents can hide. Bury wire fencing around the perimeter of sheds and other outbuildings to stop rodents from burrowing under them. Regularly walk around the perimeter of your home, sealing any openings you discover. Remove food sources by keeping lids on trash cans and compost bins, vacuuming regularly, and storing your family’s food in the fridge or containers with airtight lids.

Spiders

Spiders are predators that live outside, hunting other spiders and insects to eat, but unfortunately, not all spiders stay outside; some move into our homes, where they hunt their prey, lay their eggs, and live happily. While spiders may be happy in our homes, we are usually not thrilled to have these eight-legged intruders scurrying around the house and building unsightly webs. Spiders move inside our home on their own while following their prey, or we may accidentally introduce them. We often move spiders into our homes on things like firewood, potted plants, or cardboard boxes.

Once inside your home, if it provides dark, quiet areas for them to live and plenty of insects to hunt, they typically stay. Some of the more common spider species to find their way into our Wasatch Front-area homes include black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, wolf spiders, and common house spiders. Black widow and brown recluse spiders are more of a concern for homeowners as they possess venom strong enough to trigger health problems if a bite were to occur, but no matter what species of spider is in your home, one thing is for sure, they shouldn’t be there, and their presence often indicates large populations of other insects living in your yard and home. If spiders and their prey are taking over your Utah property, reach out to the local pest control experts at Uinta Pest Solutions for help!

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Keeping spiders and other pests out of your home is difficult, but by making some simple changes around your property, you can make it less appealing to them. The best way to keep spiders out of your home is to take away as many entry points as possible by placing screens in open windows and doors, sealing cracks in exterior walls and the roofline, and placing covers over drains, vents, and chimneys leading into your home. Make your yard less appealing to spiders by keeping the grass cut short, maintaining gardens, and keeping shrubbery pruned. Inside your home, keep storage areas free of the clutter that spiders and their prey hide in. It is also important to regularly vacuum and dust.

Stinging Insects

Like many other pests, stinging insects, such as wasps, hornets, and mud daubers, have learned to live near people, often choosing our yards and homes as a place to build their nests. During the summer, people spend a lot of time outside; it is also the time of year when stinging insects are most active, making it likely that we will come into contact with each other. Unfortunately, coming into contact with stinging insects generally results in painful stings. When stinging insects feel threatened, they defend themselves by stinging. Their stings are painful and can trigger serious allergic reactions in some people.

Stinging insects will take advantage of any property that offers them food and water. Things like fruit trees, bushes, gardens, trash cans, and recycling bins provide stinging insects with many places to forage. Clogged gutters, birdbaths, puddles, and pools provide them with water. Trees, utility poles, roof eaves, doorways, decks, shingles, shrubs, and ground holes offer safe places for stinging insects to build nests. Some species will also exploit openings they find in a house to create an indoor nest. Though stinging insects are eco-important pests, we still need to protect our family from their painful stings when they decide to nest too close to our homes or in high traffic areas of our yards.

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Keeping spiders and other pests out of your home is difficult, but by making some simple changes around your property, you can make it less appealing to them. The best way to keep spiders out of your home is to take away as many entry points as possible by placing screens in open windows and doors, sealing cracks in exterior walls and the roofline, and placing covers over drains, vents, and chimneys leading into your home. Make your yard less appealing to spiders by keeping the grass cut short, maintaining gardens, and keeping shrubbery pruned. Inside your home, keep storage areas free of the clutter that spiders and their prey hide in. It is also important to regularly vacuum and dust.

Let’s work together to keep pests away from your home and yard. Reach out to Uinta Pest Solutions today and learn more about our effective home pest control and commercial pest control solutions!

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