A Pest Control Guide For Washington D.C. Residents

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Washington D.C. is a beautiful city, but it can also be a bit...buggy. If you're having problems with pests in your home, don't worry, we've got you covered! In this pest control guide, we will discuss the most common types of pests in Washington D.C., and how to get rid of them. We'll also provide some helpful tips on preventing pests from invading your home in the first place. So whether you're dealing with ants, cockroaches, or any other type of pest, read on for some useful information! 

What Pests are In D.C.? 

The climate in D.C. can be hot and humid in the Summer, and frigid in the Winter. This leads to many different types of pests scavenging for food, shelter, and places to hide from predators. If you are a resident of D.C., you are familiar with the following pests being an issue for homeowners: 

Ants in D.C.

One of the most common pests in D.C. is the ant. They can be a nuisance because they are constantly searching for food, and will enter your home through any crack or crevice they can find. Once they're inside, ants will build their nests and lay eggs, which hatch into more ants! If you have an ant infestation, it's important to eliminate the issue unless their colonies will continue to grow faster and faster. 

There are several species of ants that are common in D.C., including: 

  • Argentine Ants 
  • Odorous House Ants 
  • Pavement Ants 
  • Pharaoh

How To Get Rid of Ants

The most important step in getting rid of ants is to find their nest and destroy it. This can be difficult, as ants are very good at hiding their nests. Once you have found the nest, you can use a variety of methods to kill the ants and their eggs, including: 

  • Pesticides 
  • Boiling water 
  • Diatomaceous earth 
  • Boric acid 

You should also take steps to prevent ants from entering your home in the first place. This includes caulking any cracks or crevices in your walls or foundation and keeping food stored in sealed containers. You can also utilize natural scents to deter ants including citrus, vinegar, peppermint, and black pepper. 

Cockroaches in D.C.

Cockroaches are one of the most common pests in the D.C. area. It seems that these pests are not loved by anyone as they give off a creepy nature and can carry a variety of diseases and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks in some individuals. They also happen to be one of the dirtier pests and can carry many different types of bacteria from the foods they ingest. You can find cockroaches hiding in your kitchen, bathroom, under furniture, and in clutter. Because these creatures are nocturnal, if you are seeing an abundance of cockroaches during the day, this is a key sign of an infestation. 

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are very hard insects to get rid of, and it usually takes help from a professional pest control company, however, there are some things that you can do to help reduce the population in your home. Try these tips:

  • Keep your kitchen clean by washing dishes promptly, sweeping and vacuuming regularly, and storing food in airtight containers.
  • Eliminate hiding places by decluttering your home and repairing cracks and holes in walls and floors.
  • Reduce moisture by fixing leaks and drips, using dehumidifiers, and emptying standing water from containers.
  • Use IPM (Integrated Pest Management) techniques such as traps, baits, and insecticides only as a last resort.

Termites in D.C.

Termites are a problem for many homeowners in Washington D.C. They can cause extensive damage to your home if left unchecked and can be difficult to get rid of once they take up residence. If you are dealing with a termite infestation, this can set you back thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the termite population. Termites will destroy your wood by eating through the cellulose which is their primary food source. 

There are two types of termites in Washington D.C., drywood and subterranean. Drywood termites live in small colonies in wood that have a low moisture content, such as window frames, door frames, hardwood floors, and furniture. Subterranean termites live in the soil and travel to your home through mud tunnels. These termites are more destructive because they can access the wood of your home from the ground up. 

How to Get Rid of Termites

If you think you have termites, it is important to call a pest control professional to confirm the infestation and develop a treatment plan. Treatment options include baiting and liquid treatment 

Baiting involves placing bait stations around your home. The bait contains a slow-acting insecticide that will kill the termites when they eat it. This method can take several months to work because the termites have to find the bait stations and eat enough of the insecticide to die. Liquid treatment is faster because the insecticide is directly applied to the termites. This method will kill termites that come in contact with the insecticide, but does not provide long-term protection for your home. If you are looking for a DIY treatment to repel termites, these are less likely to rid an entire infestation, but there are certain methods that can help, including: 

  • Essential oil spray
  • Vinegar spray
  • Keeping wood away from home
  • Heat treatments

Bed Bugs in D.C.

Bed bugs are a big problem in not only Northeast Virginia but all over the world. They're small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood. These pests are most active at night, which is why they're often called "nighttime biters." Bed bugs are a nuisance and can be hard to get rid of, but they're not necessarily dangerous. Bed bugs can get into your home in numerous ways, including clothing, luggage, and used furniture. 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs can be a challenge, but there are some things you can do to help. One way to get rid of them is to use an essential oil spray. You can make your own by mixing equal parts of water and witch hazel with 20-30 drops of lavender or eucalyptus oil. Another way to get rid of bedbugs is to do a deep clean of your home by vacuuming thoroughly and freezing items that are not able to be exposed to heat. If these methods don't work, you may need to resort to heat treatments. This involves using high temperatures to kill the bugs and their eggs. This can be done with a portable heater or through hiring a professional. Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using heat treatments.

Mosquitoes in D.C.

As the warm Summers appear, so do the mosquitoes. These pests are more than just a nuisance- they can carry diseases like Zika virus, West Nile virus, and malaria. Mosquitoes seem to come out of nowhere, and this is essentially true. They only need 1/4" of water to live comfortably and lay eggs, so this means your gutters, bird baths, muddles, and kids toys are all fair game to habit a mosquito infestation. 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

The first step is to figure out how they're getting in. Once you know where they're coming from, you can start to take actionable steps to prevent them from returning. 

If mosquitoes are coming into your home, check for any cracks or holes in screens and make sure they are properly sealed. If possible, install mosquito netting over doors and windows. If you have standing water on your property, get rid of it! All of the areas we discussed above are fair game, so make sure to inspect your property for other possible areas. You might even consider treating standing water with mosquito dunks or larvicide tablets. For particularly bad infestations, you may need to resort to more extreme measures like fogging or spraying insecticides. But, as always, be sure to follow the directions on the label and take precautions to avoid any potential health risks. 

Rodents in D.C.

The most common rodents in D.C. are rats and mice, and they can pose a serious threat to your home if they're not dealt with quickly and efficiently. These pests can carry diseases that are harmful to humans, and they can also cause damage to your property by chewing through wires, insulation, and wood. Rodents will hide in any dark and secluded spot they can find, so it's important to be thorough when you're searching for them. Look in attics, basements, behind appliances, and in any other small spaces. If you see droppings or urine stains, that's a good indication that rodents are present.

How to Get Rid of Rodents

For starters, make sure to seal up any entry points around your home. Even the smallest cracks have risks of rodents entering as they have very flexible bodies. Cut back on vegetation near your house as rats and mice will hide in this area and wait for the first chance they get to come inside. Pet food is another easy acces point to food for rodents, so make sure to seal it up and store it in areas that do not require easy access. There are a couple of scents that deter rodents, and these include:

  • Eucalyptus 
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Dryer Sheets

Professional Pest Control

Whether you're dealing with termites, mosquitoes, bed bugs, or the common pests like spiders and ants, sometimes professional pest control is the best option. The expert exterminators at Connor Pest Pros service Northern VA and are capable of dealing with any of the pests mentioned in this blog. We offer same day servicing and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can be confident we'll do the job right

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