ants on the floor

What You Need To Know About Pests In New York

Pests are a problem for any home or business owner living across the country. They invade our indoor and outdoor spaces, taking advantage of the food, water, and shelter they provide. The best way to defend your property from these unwanted intruders is to learn which are common in our area, where you will find them, and how you can make your property less appealing to them. To help you maintain a pest-free property at Pro-Force Pest Solutions, we have put together a quick overview of the pests that live in Long Island, New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and Westchester County and regularly invade our properties.

Ants

ant on concrete

Ants are well-known invaders of New York properties; black ants, carpenter ants, and house ants are the most common species we deal with in our area. Ants have a very good sense of smell and are constantly looking for food to gather and bring back to their nest. Things like open trash cans, compost, gardens, and outdoor eating areas often initially attract ants to our properties. Though most ants don't pose significant dangers, these small social insects invade in large numbers, spread bacteria to surfaces, contaminate food, and are difficult to eliminate. Some species, like the carpenter ant, do pose more of a danger. Carpenter ants nest inside of structural wood, and their presence inside of our homes leads to costly damage.

Ants tend to create their main nesting sites outside; often, our yards provide them with ample places to nest. Some of their favorite nesting sites include:

  • Flowerbeds and gardens

  • Under landscaping ties or woodpiles

  • Under rocks

  • In the cracks of rock or masonry walls

  • Inside of tree roots or fallen trees

These tiny insects are often driven indoors by very wet weather or are attracted to our homes by food odors from food stored on counters, dirty dishes, pet food, or open trash cans. Common entry points include cracks in the foundation, gaps under doors, and spaces around utilities entering your home. Once inside, if food is available, they may decide it is a good idea to stay and create a satellite nest to expand their colony near a food source. Some of their favorite indoor nesting sites include behind walls voids, behind door or window trim, under floors, or behind appliances, sinks, and tubs. 

As soon as you see ants trailing through your indoor or outdoor spaces, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional pest control services, the following tips will help you to keep ants away from your yard and out of your home.

  • Remove things like excess woodpiles, fallen trees, and tree stumps from your yard.

  • Never stack firewood next to the outside of your home.

  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins and store them away from your home's exterior.

  • Seal cracks in your foundation, around doors and windows, and utilities.

  • Maintain a clean kitchen and regularly vacuum your floors to remove excess crumbs that ants could exploit.

Bed Bugs

bedbug on gravel

Bed bugs are blood-feeding pests that regularly find their way into New York homes and businesses. They are visible to the naked eye, but their small size makes it easy to overlook if the infestation is small. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations grow quickly, and just a few overlooked bed bugs can quickly turn into a large, problematic infestation. Bed bugs are flat, oval insects that are tan to reddish-brown. They have short antennae, six legs, and are wingless. Because they feed on blood as their only source of food, bed bugs live wherever people are, as we are their favorite food source. 

Bed bugs have adapted to living primarily indoors, moving from place to place on people and our belongings. Doing everyday things like traveling, working, going to school, running errands, visiting a friend, or going to the movies can put you into contact with bed bugs. After bed bugs get into your home, they typically hide in sleeping areas or in places where people spend a lot of time.

Some of their favorite hideouts include the seams of mattresses, the cracks of upholstered furniture, behind floorboards, in electrical outlets, behind walls hangings, and in cluttered areas. Knowing where bed bugs like to hide during the day is essential so you can remain vigilant and contact a professional for help as soon as you notice them. Bed bugs can find their way into any home or business, so preventing these pests is difficult but important because once they find their way inside, eliminating them is even trickier.

As soon as you discover bed bugs in your house, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional bed bug control services, the following tips will help reduce your chances of dealing with bed bugs.

  • Do not leave personal items such as backpacks, luggage, and suitcases on the floor of public places for long periods.

  • When traveling, check your room for signs of bed bugs.

  • Inspect school bags after your kids come home. Teach them to keep their bags and coats away from other kids' belongings.

  • Be vigilant when purchasing second-hand items like furniture, mattresses, and electronics.

  • Regularly vacuum your floors and wash your family's bedding and outerwear.

  • Place bed bug-proof covers on your home's mattresses and box springs, and place a cover on outlets to take away two of their favorite hiding spots.

Cockroaches

cockroach on cement

Cockroaches cause major pest problems for people living on Long Island. The abundance of people, homes, and businesses located in New York provide cockroaches with everything they need to thrive in large numbers. The most common cockroach species that find their way onto our properties include American cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches. No matter the species, cockroaches are well-known vectors of bacteria and human pathogens that can make people very ill. Cockroaches spread salmonella, E. coli, dysentery, and more. Their shed skins and excrement will trigger allergies, skin rashes, and asthma attacks. Cockroaches are serious health risks and should never be in our homes and businesses!

Food, moisture, and ample hiding spots are the main things that attract cockroaches to our properties. Some species like the German cockroach primarily live indoors, while others live outside but regularly find a way into our structures. Cracks in the foundation, gaps under doors, spaces around utilities, and drains or sewers are common entry points. Cockroaches can also become a problem after being transported inside in things like furniture, appliances, boxes, bags, potted plants, or deliveries. Once inside, these nocturnal pests will tuck themselves away in various hiding spots during the day and emerge at night to scavenge for food. Some of their favorite hideouts include:

  • Attics and basements

  • Walls voids and spaces behind appliances

  • The backs of cabinets and drawers

  • Behind baseboards and wood trim

  • Inside boxes or in areas of clutter

  • Electrical outlets and appliances

As soon as you discover a problem with cockroaches in your home, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional pest control services, the following tips will help reduce your chances of dealing with cockroaches.

  • Get rid of clutter from your home; storage areas with a lot of clutter keep cockroaches hidden.

  • Besides your regular cleaning schedule, occasionally do a more detailed cleaning of your home by moving out appliances and furniture and cleaning under them.

  • Store food in your home either in the fridge or in containers with airtight lids.

  • Repair leaky pipes and dripping faucets that can offer cockroaches a source of water. 

  • Seal openings that will allow cockroaches into your home. Use door sweeps, seal spaces in exterior walls, repair gaps around windows, and seal spaces around baseboards.

Mosquitoes

mosquito on skin

The mosquito is a type of biting fly. Females require blood meals to gain the protein they need to create healthy eggs. Though mosquitoes are not social, they gather together in large groups around breeding and feeding sites. In New York, mosquitoes are most active in the summer and fall when the hot, humid weather provides them with the environmental conditions they need to complete their life cycle. 

Mosquitoes live in large numbers in areas that provide them with the standing water females need to lay their eggs, vegetation to rest on, and flowering plants to feed on (the primary food source for males and females). Many of our backyards provide suitable habitats for mosquitoes, making them common unwanted intruders in our outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, mosquitoes pose more risks than just delivering itchy bites; they create serious health concerns for people and animals. Mosquitoes spread many diseases through their feeding process, including the West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, and many more. They are also responsible for spreading parasitic heartworms to our pets (dogs and cats), a potentially life-threatening condition. 

If you are experiencing problems with mosquitoes on your New York property, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional mosquito control services, the following tips will help you reduce the number of mosquitoes living on your property. 

  • Eliminate as much standing water from your property as possible.

  • Keep gutters free of debris that could allow rainwater to build up.

  • Store containers that collect rainwater upside down when they are not in use.

  • Fill in low-lying areas in your driveway or yard that allow puddles to develop.

  • Remove things like tree stumps, woodpiles, and other debris from your yard that collect standing water.

  • Drill holes in the bottoms of trash cans and recycling bins.

  • Maintain your property by keeping the grass cut short and making sure shrubs and trees are well maintained. Mosquitoes like to hide during the middle of the day in dense vegetation.

Stinging Insects

wasp on a nest

Stinging insects are never welcome when they invade our yards; however, when they are living out in nature far away from us, they are beneficial. Bees help pollinate the plants and crops we need to survive, and predatory species like wasps and hornets help reduce the number of nuisance insects. Stinging insects are unwanted in places with a lot of human traffic, such as playgrounds, beach areas, parks, and our yards, because of the stingers they possess. Many species of stinging insects have short tempers, and all will sting if they feel threatened. Being stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet is not only painful, but the venom they inject with each sting is strong enough to trigger serious reactions in those allergic. Having a stinging insect nest in your yard or on your home increases your risk of being stung. 

In New York, stinging insects are most active during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. In the spring, when a queen is deciding where to build its nest, it will look for a sheltered area close to food and water sources. Many of our yards and homes provide the perfect nesting spots for stinging insects. Trees, woodpiles, logs, ground holes, roof eaves, chimneys, decks, porches, grills, and wall voids are common nesting sites. Properties with flower gardens, compost piles, trees, landscaping, and areas of standing water tend to be most attractive to stinging insects.

As soon as you notice a stinging insect nest in your yard, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional stinging insect control services, the following tips will help you to keep stinging insects away from your yard and out of your home.

  • Reduce the number of plants around your home's exterior. 

  • Cut tree branches and bushes back away from your roof, deck, or porch.

  • Keep your grass cut short.

  • Fill in ground holes that you discover in your yard. 

  • Get rid of standing water from your yard.

  • Keep caps on chimneys, repair roof damage, and seal cracks in exterior walls.

  • Place screens in all open windows and doors.

Termites

termite on wood

Termites are social insects that live and work together in large groups and are an unwelcome discovery on any residential or commercial property. Each year over five billion dollars in damages are caused by termites that have decided to move to our properties to feed on our wooden structures. Termites are one of the few organisms able to survive by feeding on cellulose from wood and other plant materials. Out in nature, their feeding habits are helpful, but when these pests feed on our New York home and business structures, their preferred food source turns them into dangerous and destructive pests. 

Many different species of termites live across the country, invading and damaging our properties, including subterranean termites, dampwood termites, and drywood termites. Over time, they will all cause costly destruction to our homes and businesses. 

Subterranean termites are the most widespread species and create their large nests underground. These termites have high moisture needs, prefer to feed on wood previously damaged by water, and are common invaders of homes and other structures. They move inside through spaces they come across in the foundation or through wood that's making direct contact with the ground. Inside, they attack structural wood near pipes, sinks, tubs, and leaky windows, doors, or roofs.

Dampwood termites have very high moisture needs and prefer to feed on wood with excessive water damage or that's resting directly on the ground. These termites prefer to be outside, feeding on fallen trees, logs, tree stumps, and wooden fences. Inside, wood that has been directly affected by a leaking roof or cracked pipe will most likely be invaded by dampwood termites.

Drywood termites feed on dry or sound wood, and they live directly inside the piece of wood they are feeding on. Drywood termites often move into homes inside wood furniture, doors, support beams, flooring, and attic framing. These termites also get into homes on their own through vents, spaces around windows or doors, or through holes in roof eaves. Inside, they prefer to feed on exposed dry pieces of wood. 

As soon as you discover a problem with termites in your house, it is best to contact Pro-Force Pest Solutions for help. In conjunction with our professional termite control services, the following tips will help to prevent problems with termites in New York:

  • Eliminate damp or rotting wood or decaying vegetation from your property, such as brush piles, fallen trees, and tree stumps.

  • Keep gutters clear of clogs that allow rainwater to seep into your roofline and walls. 

  • Keep the soil around the foundation of your home as dry as possible by cutting back shrubs and other landscaping from the exterior.

  • Replace water-absorbing wood mulch with a non-organic gardening material like rubber mulch.

  • Repair damage to your foundation, exterior walls, or the roof that could be used as entry points by termites.

  • Inspect antique wooden furniture, structural beams, or other pieces of wood for signs of drywood termites before bringing them into your home

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels and get rid of excess moisture from your home. 

  • Repair leaky pipes. 

  • Make sure to ventilate your attic and basement.

Premium Solutions For Your Challenging Pest Problems

Pro-Force Pest Solutions wants to help you protect your property from New York's toughest pests. With the help of our pest guide, you can learn about the pests living in your area, why they're on your property, and how to keep them out of your home or business for good. To further combat pests, learn more about our pest control services for Queens, NY and the surrounding areas.

 

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