What You Need To Know About Pests In Lehi, UT
The beautiful scenery, mountains, lakes, and other outdoor spaces that Utah is well known for not only allows people to thrive but, unfortunately, a variety of pests like insects, spiders, and rodents. The best way to protect your property from being overtaken by Utah pests is to learn which are most common, a little about their feeding and nesting habits, and the steps to take to make your yard and home less attractive to them.
At All States Lawn and Pest, we want to help Utah residents maintain a pest-free property with the help of our effective pest control and lawn maintenance solutions. We are a local company that strives to understand and meet our local customers’ unique pest control needs.
Below is a quick overview of some of our area’s most common pests to aid you in your goal of maintaining a pest-free property!
You wake up in the morning, excited to go downstairs and make that first morning cup of coffee, and then you see it, a line of ants covering your kitchen counters. Ants are pests that regularly and enthusiastically enter into our homes, usually to forage for food, but sometimes also to nest. Food is the biggest reason our properties attract ants. Ants are omnivores and feed on various foods, including sweets, proteins, honeydew, and grease. Everyday items that we have in our yards and homes will attract ants- gardens, indoor and outdoor eating areas, food storage areas, trashcans, and recycling bins.
In our area of Utah, carpenter ants, pavement ants, harvester ants, and field ants are most prolific. Carpenter ants burrow into pieces of wood inside and outside of homes to create nesting sites- causing costly structural damage in the process. Pavement ants are small nuisance ants that live together in large numbers and nest in the soil next to sidewalks, foundations, driveways, and masonry walls. Harvester ants thrive in the hot, dry climate Utah provides. They are aggressive and are well-known for biting and stinging. Field ants are large ants that prefer to live outside but regularly find their way inside our homes while foraging for food. The best way to eliminate current ant problems and avoid future ant infestation is to partner with a professional that can provide you with regular pest control services!
Our best ant prevention tips include:
- Always keep your kitchen, grill area, and outdoor eating areas clean and free of food debris.
- Place locking lids on trashcans and recycling bins to keep hungry ants out of them.
- Regularly harvest fruits and vegetables from garden areas.
- Create a rock barrier between and soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.
- Inspect your home’s foundation, door and window trim, and roofline for damage. Repair any defects found that could allow ants inside.
- Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.
Boxelder bugs are insects that spend most of their time outside but also sometimes make themselves at home inside Utah structures. Outside box elder bugs live on box elder trees and other seed-bearing trees. We identify these insects by their black oval-shaped body and wings outlined in an orangish-red color. Young boxelder bugs look similar to the adults but are smaller in size and are a bright red color.
When it comes to boxelder bugs, the good news is that even though these pests are annoying to deal with and difficult to keep out of our homes, they don’t pose significant dangers to people, our homes, or plants. When the temperature outside cools in the late fall or in the spring when they are breeding, these pests often gather in large groups on the sunny sides of buildings. As the box elder bug moves along the exterior walls, they move inside through small openings. Once inside, they gather in dark, secluded spots like attics, crawl spaces, wall voids, and gaps under floors. Boxelder bugs are challenging to eliminate once inside of your home, it is best to be proactive, and partner with a professional before these crawling pests move inside your house.
Our best box elder bug prevention tips include:
- Make sure weather-stripping around windows and doors is intact.
- Repair holes along the roofline and at roof intersections.
- Make sure screens are placed over vents.
- Replace torn screens and damaged door or window trim.
- Cut tree branches away from the outside of your home.
- Don’ plant box elder trees on your property.
Though they are not related, like ants, cockroaches are pests that regularly invade our Utah homes. Cockroaches are always unwelcome in our homes and businesses, not just because they are annoying and prolific breeders, but because they contaminate food and surfaces with human pathogens and bacteria, they chew on and damage fabrics and paper; items, and their shed skins and excrement trigger allergies and asthma attacks! We can easily identify cockroaches by their flat, oval-shaped bodies, long antennae, dark color, and six long spiny legs.
German cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches are examples of roaches that invade our yards, homes, and businesses. German cockroaches are structural pests that prefer to live inside with people, taking cover in our humid, warm kitchens and bathrooms. They are a major problem inside of homes and restaurants. Brown-banded cockroaches also prefer to live indoors and like to stay away from moisture- taking shelter in hot, dry areas like attics, the tops of cabinets, and behind baseboards. Oriental cockroaches have very high moisture needs and like to live outside in areas with a lot of moisture like drains, sewers, garbage piles, and leaking pipes. They also often make their way inside of our homes while foraging for water and food.
Our best cockroach prevention tips include:
- Seal cracks or openings in your home’s exterior cockroaches could use as entry points.
- Place trashcans and recycling bins away from the outside of your home.
- Limit the crumbs and other food debris in your home cockroaches could use as a food source by vacuuming floors and wiping down tables.
- Repair leaky pipes and indoor and outdoor fixtures to reduce excess moisture in and around your home.
Since rodents have discovered that people and our property provide them with food, water, and shelter, these mammals have continued to be a problem for us. Rodents find a way into our yards and homes uninvited, where they use their ever-growing front incisors to cause damage. Wires, cables, pipes, siding, boxes, clothing, and food containers can all be damaged by a rodent’s sharp front teeth. Other problems that rodents cause after deciding to live on our properties include spreading disease, contaminating food, and introducing parasites like fleas and ticks into our yards and homes. Though rodents may want to live near us, we should never allow them to be a permanent fixture in our yards or homes.
Some of the most common rodent invaders of Utah properties include gophers, voles, field mice, and house mice. Field mice and house mice are the two most likely to find a way into your home to forage for food and a nest. Field mice are most problematic in more rural areas, and house mice invade homes located almost anywhere, including urban areas. Gophers and voles are considered lawn and garden pests and prefer to live outside in gardens, yards, and flower beds. Keeping rodents at bay is difficult because our yards and homes often offer them the food, water, and shelter they want. The best way to guard your property against these rodents and other pests is to implement a year-round pest control program from the experts at All States Lawn and Pest.
Our best rodent prevention tips include:
- Seal any openings in your home’s roof, around windows and doors, or at the foundation that could allow rodents to move inside your home.
- Remove overgrown shrubbery, woodpiles, and other debris away from the exterior of your home.
- Keep your lawn’s grass short, making it less attractive to voles and gophers.
- Use raised planting boxes in garden areas to stop gophers from digging through your gardens and damaging the plants.
- Place guards on trees to protect their bark from voles and gophers.
- Keep lids on trashcans and compost bins to prevent mice and other rodents from foraging for food in them.
Their eight legs, many eyes, and quick movement cause spiders to be something that most people fear or at least don’t want to run into on a regular basis! While spiders definitely aren’t at the top of the cuddly animal list, don’t let their appearance fool you! In most cases, spiders are helpful pests, and the majority that we come into contact with are harmless. Spiders are a type of arachnid, like mites, scorpions, and ticks, and are predators. Feeding on a wide variety of flying and crawling insects, spiders help control populations of destructive garden insects, dangerous insects, and just plain annoying insects. Despite being helpful, these creatures should still be controlled and never be allowed to take over your outdoor spaces or become a fixture inside your home.
In our area, orb weavers and wolf spiders are regular visitors to our gardens and homes. Spiders are attracted to any property that offers them sheltered spots to build their webs (orb weavers) or burrows (wolf spiders) and plenty of insects for them to hunt. Our yards offer plenty of places for spiders to thrive; some of the most common gathering spots for these pests include gardens, trees, trashcans, and outdoor lighting fixtures. Spiders are considered outdoor pests but can adapt to living indoors. The most common reason that spiders are in your home is that they have followed their prey inside. Once inside, if there are insects for them to hunt, they stay.
When discussing spiders, it is important that we also talk about black widow spiders. Black widow spiders live in our area, and these shiny black spiders have an orangish-red marking that helps to identify them. These spiders possess venom strong enough to trigger health problems in people that need to be managed by a healthcare professional. Black widow spiders in any number should never be allowed on your property. Our best spider prevention tips include:
- Take the time to regularly inspect the outside of your Utah home. Any gaps, spaces, or other openings in your home that you notice should be immediately repaired.
- Always keep screens in open windows and doors.
- Cut shrubbery, trees, grass, and weeds back away from your home’s exterior.
- Remove clutter from your yard or home that could act as hiding spots for spiders.
- Keep lids on trashcans, maintain gardens, remove standing water from your yards, and keep outdoor lights off as much as possible to reduce the amount of insect activity on your property.
Like spiders, stinging insects are another pest that we tend to have a love-hate relationship with. We love that predatory stinging insects help control insect populations, and they help to pollinate plants, but we hate having them living in our Utah yards. Stinging insects like wasps, hornets, and mud daubers all live in our area and are common visitors to our yards. Building their nests in the ground, on trees, on play structures, and on or in our homes, these pests can quickly make your yard a place you can’t enjoy.
Stinging insects nesting close to people is frowned upon because of the stingers extending from the abdomen. Stinging insects use their stingers to paralyze prey and as a means of defense. When these pests live and forage for food in your yard, the chance of your or your kids eventually being stung is high. Not only are their stings quite painful, but the venom that stinging insects inject is powerful enough to trigger allergic reactions in people. Depending on the person, a reaction could be swelling around the sting site or something much more severe like anaphylaxis. Working with a professional to keep these outdoor pests from choosing your outdoor space to call home is important to you and your family’s safety and peace of mind!
Our best stinging insect prevention tips include:
- Flowering vegetation attracts both stinging insects and the insect prey that some of them hunt. Reduce the amount of flowering vegetation planted near your home.
- Reduce nesting sites by filling in ground holes, cutting back overgrown trees, removing tree stumps and fallen trees, and keeping shrubbery pruned.
- Remove areas of standing water from your property that could provide stinging insects with a food source.
- Regularly inspect roof eaves, spaces under decks and behind shutters, play structures, and outbuildings for stinging insect nests. Give us a call if you notice a nest on your property so our professionals can safely remove it!