Insult to Insulation: Rats in Walls and Attics

Rat in home on table

You should know by now the signs of a rodent infestation in the home. It could be that you find droppings, small and large, hidden in the corners of quiet areas or behind where you keep your food. Or maybe you notice scratching in the walls or above your head in the attic. Whatever the case, if you’re here you probably know that you can call the team at McNeely Pest Control to clear a rodent infestation in homes across the Northwest and Piedmont area. But if rats or mice got their way into the more vulnerable parts of your home, such as your insulation, you may be looking at a much more severe and costly problem.

How Rats Use Insulation

Mice and rats get inside our homes because they’re looking for something to eat and a place to make a nest. And for certain families, the insulation inside our homes provides a great source of both. Insulation is usually soft and warm. Because of this it’s very easy for rodents to tunnel through the material, or to bite it for food or to tear for their nest. So while it’s possible to clear a home of a rodent infestation, the damage they leave to your insulation is something that may far outlive their presence.

Can I Repair Damaged Insulation?

The unfortunate news is that you cannot repair insulation that has been damaged by rodent infestations. The only way to remedy the situation is to remove the existing insulation and reapply it. This is something that needs to be done by a professional contractor. We say this because rodent droppings may contain traces of Hantavirus, which can be potentially-life threatening. A home services expert will have the gear and experience to work with the leavings without spreading any toxins into the air.

As for your new insulation, there isn’t a material that’s been proven to be entirely rodent-resistant. We know that rats and mice are particularly drawn to fiberglass, but they’ll nest in nearly anything if given the chance. If that’s the case, what can you do to keep rodents out for good?

Rodent Exclusion Through McNeely Pest Control

Wildlife exclusion is a new method to get rid of pests before they even get inside. As you read this there may be parts of your home that are vulnerable to rats and mice. Luckily, there’s action you can take before you’re faced with an infestation. We can send a technician to your property, where they will inspect the area and pinpoint the exact places where pests can get in. They’ll cover these imperfections and leave your home safer and your mind at ease. That’s just what we do at McNeely Pest Control. To get started, contact us today!

The Benefits of Wildlife Exclusion

A raccoon, wildlife on a white background

If you want to find the most humane way to effectively and safely remove wildlife from your property and to keep them from returning, then animal exclusion is the way to go. We understand that when nuisance wildlife invades your home or business, it can be stressful. That’s why we here at McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem NC offer a wildlife control service that involves prevention, exclusion, and wildlife removal, creating worry-free protection for your family or employees and customers. Check out some frequently asked questions about why humane wildlife removal could work for you and steps to prevent wildlife from entering your property in the first place! 

Why Choose Humane Removal?

While searching for a safe home and place to raise their young, wildlife can unexpectedly nest in or on your property. A home or business creates safe spaces for them to find hiding places where they can nest undisturbed. Humane removal promotes animal welfare and environmental stabilization by removing nuisance wildlife from your property without harming the animal or the environment. As time goes on the animals around your property will be receptive and adaptive to the changes in their environment and will create new routines that help them safely thrive away from your property.

Benefits of Wildlife Exclusion

Wildlife exclusion is a process by which a pest control technician will inspect a property looking for possible entry points for animals and sealing them off to prevent future wildlife infestations. Removal is the first step in protecting your property, but without wildlife exclusion, animals will find their way back in and continue to be a nuisance. Let’s look at some of the long-term solutions to prevent wildlife infestations.

Our Wildlife Pest Control Process

Many DIY methods like chemical repellents or lethal traps are not only inhumane, they are also ineffective at ending the infestation as they don’t address the real problem of how these nuisance pests are getting onto your property. At McNeely Pest Control, our wildlife removal experts have the tools and expertise to effectively remove wildlife around your home and keep them out long term, whether they’ve snuck into your wall voids or are nesting in your yard. Our wildlife removal technicians will take the following steps to keep your home safe from wildlife:

  1. Our team will inspect your property, looking for evidence of wildlife and sources of infestation.
  2. We will place trapping systems and follow other exclusion methods to humanely remove and relocate any animals.
  3. We will provide continual wildlife management and post-treatment prevention tips to help you avoid future wildlife issues.

Long-Term Wildlife Control Solutions

For over 20 years, Mcneely Pest Control in Winston-Salem NC has provided humane removal of wildlife from local homes and businesses. When these pests do find their way onto your property, they can damage structures and landscapes and expose you to diseases through their saliva and waste. Our expert wildlife removal technicians will take the time to inspect your property and create a long-term solution so that these pests don’t become a nuisance while offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today for a free estimate for wildlife removal.

Late Summer Pests in North Carolina

A wasp perched on a leaf

You might think that you’re in the clear for pest problems when the summer heat starts to ease in North Carolina, but certain types of pests actually thrive around this time. With an ample amount of warmth and plenty of people participating in outdoor activities to savor the last of the summer, these pests have an easy time finding what they need, whether it be a blood meal, a food supply, or a place to build their nest. In order to ensure that pests don’t ruin the last part of your summer, you have to take preventative measures. Keep reading to learn what pests to watch out for and what you can do to prevent them, from the experts at McNeely Pest Control.

Common Late Summer Pests

Every season has its own characteristic pest problems in North Carolina and late summer is no exception. The pests that are the biggest nuisance in late summer are typically the ones that have the most to gain from warm conditions. Here are some pests that are especially active in late summer:

Bees and wasps: Stinging insects stay active into the late summer, pollinating plants in your garden and taking advantage of the warm weather. Wasps become both more numerous and more aggressive as the population of the colony peaks and natural food sources start to decline. Be wary of wasps and their nests at this time of year and definitely don’t try to remove a wasp nest yourself.

Ticks: They breed during the early summer, producing a yield of offspring that will climb to the tops of tall grass in search of hosts including you and your pets. They thrive in warm weather so your chance of running into them is increased even during the late summer months. Take precautions when hiking through tall grass and check yourself for ticks after you’re done.

Wildlife: Wild animals like raccoons, possums, and squirrels that wander into your yard could tear through your trash or garden and cause serious property damage. As the summer gets later, these animals like to stash food for the colder months and can end up living in your attic. 

Mosquitoes: If mosquitoes establish a viable breeding population, their numbers will be so high by the late summer that they will be very hard to ignore. Mosquitos remain active as long as temperatures don’t drop below 50°F consistently, so be vigilant and try not to go out at dawn and dusk when they most like to feed.

Pest-proof Your Property for Late Summer

Major infestations of any of these late summer pests call for the intervention of a professional exterminator, but there are some general housekeeping strategies you can try to prevent pest problems on your property before they start. We recommend the following:

  • Keep your yard tidy: Make sure that all of your trees and shrubs are trimmed back, promptly dispose of piles of grass clippings or other vegetation, and make sure you aren’t leaving out any items that could become shelter or habitat for pests.
  • Seal your home: Regularly monitor the outside of your property to make sure that your home doesn’t have any cracks or gaps in roofing, foundation, or siding allowing pests access to your home. Unsealed attic vents are a particularly common pest entry point.
  • Be careful with trash: Using bins that seal and not leaving trash outside the bins will help you avoid attracting hungry wildlife.
  • Get rid of standing water: Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water, no matter how small. Covering up pools, spas, and birdbaths and regularly checking for rainwater pools will help keep mosquitoes from breeding on your property. 

Help with Pests in Late Summer

If you’ve tried everything you can to prevent pest infestations to no avail, it’s time to contact a local pest control company. The team at Mcneely Pest Control are licensed and trained to take on all of the types of pests we regularly see here in North Carolina. We can determine the cause of your infestation, put it to a stop, and teach you how to identify and to make your property less appealing and accessible to pests going forward. Contact us for a free quote

Fall Pests That Become Unexpected Guests

Two termites eating wood

Every year as the weather changes in the fall, pests start to make their effort to escape the cold. Insects that do not die off in the fall take part in a phenomenon called overwintering: they find a habitable environment to wait out the cold months of winter. Some insects will migrate to warmer clients, some find hiding spots outside under debris, while others try to get inside homes and buildings to stay warm. 

Unfortunately for homeowners, the insects that try to overwinter inside warm buildings often end up in our homes, invading our bedrooms and kitchens. Often these fall pests will find low-traffic areas of homes like behind the walls or in the attic. The most frequent home invaders over the winter include rodents, termites, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and wasps. Continue reading to learn more about these common fall pests.

Rodents

Many pests can get into your attic by climbing up onto the roof. Squirrels are the most well-known culprits, but roof rats and mice are just as notorious for invading homes and making nests in the attic. How can you tell if you have rodents living in your home? The most common sign of a rodent infestation is scratching or gnawing sounds from above or from inside the walls; if you hear these sounds, it’s time to call an expert rodent exterminator.

Termites

The cost of termite damage in the United States is estimated to be up to $30 billion annually – it will come as no surprise that they are considered the most destructive pest in the country. While termites are present all year, fall and winter can worsen an already-existing infestation. Like many pests, subterranean termites burrow deeper into the ground during the cool months to survive cold weather, allowing the infestation to cultivate undetected until the following spring. Going undetected during the cool months allows these colonies to do significant damage to the wood structures of a home. How can you tell if you have termites? You may notice blisters on painted wood surfaces, pinhole-sized holes, and hollow-sounding wood.

Stink Bugs

Another common pest that hides undetected during the winter, typically in attics, crawlspaces, or behind the walls, is the stink bug – known for their shield-shaped bodies and their mottled coloring of brown and gray. The most common species, the brown marmorated stink bug, ranges in size between about ¼” to ⅜”. Unsurprisingly, stink bugs release an unpleasant odor when they feel threatened or are squished, as their name suggests.

Asian lady beetles

Asian lady beetles look very similar to ladybugs, but have a few distinct differences: they tend to be a bit larger, and though their coloration is similarly reddish orange, they do not all have spots. These insects can be found in groups and communicate with each other using pheromones – so if one lady beetle finds its way into a nice warm crack in your home, you’re likely to have a large infestation on your hands. Asian lady beetles do not pose any direct threat to your home’s structure and don’t bite or sting, but they can trigger allergic reactions in individuals with sensitivities and breathing problems. Additionally, their waste can stain, leaving behind an unsightly mess.

Wasps

Generally speaking, wasps die off before each winter and the colonies do not overwinter like the rest of the insects on this list. But to keep the colony thriving the following year, the fertilized queens will find a warm hiding spot to overwinter, often in stumps or hollow logs outdoors, or in protected structures like crawlspaces and attics. This can often lead to wasp infestations the following year when the queens restart their colonies.

Trusted Local Exterminators

If you have any of the pests on this list in or around your home in the Winston-Salem or Greensboro NC area, contact McNeely Pest Control right away. As the local leader in fast, effective, and long-lasting pest control services, McNeely Pest Control is equipped to keep your home pest-free all year long.

Contact us today

Getting Rid of Ants in the Bathroom

Ants crawling up a cup in Greensboro NC - McNeely Pest Control

There are many different ant species living around Winston-Salem NC. Because ants try to get into our homes in times of rapid weather changes, it’s hard to predict when your next ant outbreak will be. Given the sporadic nature of ant infestations, it’s important to keep your home protected from all kinds of ants throughout the year.

One of the most commonly ant-infested rooms in homes is the bathroom because ants can often find water, shelter, and even food there. If you’re dealing with ants in your bathroom, read on to learn how to get rid of them with the ant exterminators at McNeely Pest Control!

Why Are Ants Infesting My Bathroom?

Bathrooms are attractive to ants because of the consistent source of moisture and water pools that they provide. Water builds up in your shower, in your sink, and on your floor, providing ants with an easily accessible place to hydrate. Carpenter ants are notorious for breaking into bathrooms through water-damaged wood surrounding them. However, you’re likely to find many different kinds of ants in your bathroom if you aren’t careful. Here’s how ants can get in:

  • Cracks in your foundation and walls
  • Openings in ventilation systems
  • Gaps around doors and windows
  • Holes around plumbing fixtures

It could also be the case that ants in your bathroom came from another room in your home, so it’s important to try to trace their trail.

Getting Rid of Ants in the Bathroom

Identifying the source of your ant trail is the most crucial step in effective ant control. If you can’t take out their colony, the ants will keep coming back. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to trace ant trails all the way back to their source when they travel through walls, pipes, and more. This is why knowing ant prevention strategies can come in handy. Try these methods to keep ants out of your bathroom in the first place:

  1. Seal cracks on the outside of your home with silicone-based caulk
  2. Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated
  3. Close any windows and doors all the way
  4. Replace any wood that has sustained water damage
  5. Move mulch further away from the side of your home

Best Ant Control in Winston-Salem and Greensboro NC

If it’s too late for these strategies to help and you’re already dealing with a persistent ant infestation, it’s time to get your local pest control company involved. The ant extermination experts at McNeely Pest Control can inspect your property to find every ant hill, quickly removing active ants and setting up a plan to keep you ant-free going forward. Reach out today for a free quote!

How to Protect Yourself from Ticks with Lyme Disease

A tick found in Winston-Salem NC - McNeely Pest Control

Finding a tick trying to work its way into your skin is one of the more unsettling pest problems you can experience in Winston-Salem NC. Beyond being creepy, though, ticks can be dangerous, too. Some ticks are capable of passing on the bacterium that causes Lyme disease to humans and animals. In order to protect your family and your pets from this serious condition, it’s important to learn all of the best ways to avoid ticks. To learn more about Lyme disease and tick bite prevention, read on for advice from the expert tick control technicians at McNeely Pest Control!

What to Know About Lyme Disease

Deer ticks, otherwise known as blacklegged ticks, are the tick species that harbor and infect hosts with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that induces Lyme disease in humans. Most commonly, people contract Lyme disease when a deer tick nymph bites them. This is because of their tiny, 2 mm size; they are much less likely to be discovered in the biting process than adult ticks. To help their cause, ticks inject an anesthetic into the bite mark during the process to prevent detection.

The initial symptoms of Lyme disease are tiredness, headache, fever, rashes, joint pain, and muscle pain. However, if you leave the condition untreated, these symptoms can possibly progress into nerve damage and arthritis. If you think you’re experiencing any of the initial symptoms in relation to a recent tick bite, contact a local medical professional for an assessment.

Preventing Tick Bites on Yourself and Your Pets

To keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe from Lyme disease, you have to know all of the best ways to keep out of ticks’ paths. These arachnids are commonly found in humid, shaded, densely vegetated areas, where they wait for small animals to pass by. Remember the following so you can avoid ticks in Winston-Salem NC:

  • When going on a walk or a hike, stay on the trail and keep your pets from wandering off
  • Wear long socks and pants while outside to protect your legs from ticks
  • Check yourself and your pets thoroughly for ticks before coming back inside
  • If you do find a tick on yourself or your pet, don’t try to pull it out with your fingers. Use tweezers to pinch the tick close to your skin and pull away gently.

Tick Control in Winston-Salem NC

Finding ticks on your body or on your pets shouldn’t be a common occurrence. If you’re seeing them too often, you could have a problem on your property. In this case, reach out to your local tick exterminators. The tick extermination team at McNeely Pest Control can inspect your property to find any tick hotspots, draft an extermination plan, and set up a barrier treatment that discourages tick activity and keeps them away for months. For a free quote, contact us today!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me Instead of Others?

Mosquitoes in Winston-Salem NC - McNeely Pest ControlAre you a “mosquito magnet?” Some people report being bitten by mosquitoes far more often than others, and it appears that mosquitoes do indeed favor certain kinds of people over others, but experts are yet to narrow down the exact reasons why. However, we do know the indicators that mosquitoes use to find people to feed on in general, and being aware of these signals can help you avoid mosquito bites going forward. To learn more about mosquito preferences, host detection, and avoiding bites, read on for advice from the mosquito exterminators at McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem NC!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Certain People Rather Than Others?

Some people are clearly more susceptible to mosquito bites than others, but experts haven’t yet come to any solid conclusions on the specific reasons as to why. What we do know is that mosquitoes use a select few sensory signals to identify potential hosts nearby, and some of our behavior can amplify those signals. These three factors attract mosquitoes to humans:

  1. Breath: When humans exhale, we release carbon dioxide into the air that is picked up by specialized receptors on the female mosquito. The more effort you exert, the more carbon dioxide you exhale, attracting mosquitoes in your vicinity.
  2. Body odor: Getting active outdoors also attracts mosquitoes by signaling your presence through your body odor. Perspiration tips off mosquitoes to people close by.
  3. Temperature: Following this theme, exercise will increase your internal body temperature, letting off yet another signal to mosquitoes that an eligible host is in the area.

How Do You Avoid Mosquito Bites Reliably?

Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing you can do to avoid mosquitoes in the spring and summer around Winston-Salem and Greensboro. However, there are three strategies you can take to lessen your chances of being bitten:

  • Look out for standing water: Spring rainwater that pools up in your gutters, planter boxes, or elsewhere on your property will provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Inspect your property for still water and pour out all of it that you find.
  • Choose the right clothes: Dark clothing will trap heat close to your body and increase your internal temperature, giving off a signal to mosquitoes. Wearing white or light-colored clothing is a smart choice to make. Pants and long sleeves will really do the trick, but it’s understandable to not want to cover up in the warmer months.
  • Use a safe bug spray: EPA-approved insect repellents will keep you safe from bites for hours, especially if they contain DEET or picaridin. You can also try lemon eucalyptus and citronella oil for an all-natural option.

Professional Mosquito Exterminators in Winston-Salem NC

If your at-home mosquito prevention tricks aren’t working for you, reach out to your local mosquito control experts at McNeely Pest Control. Our team of mosquito exterminators can set up an optimized barrier treatment made specifically for your property to stop mosquitoes from breeding and keep them away for months at a time. To learn more about mosquito barrier treatments or to get started with service, contact us today!