hundreds of box elder bugs on the side of a home in logan utah

A Guide To The Common Pests Of Cache County, Utah

Understanding more about the pests that live in our area is helpful when it comes to preventing pest problems in and around your home or commercial property. Here is where you can find valuable information about stinging insects, ants, rodents, and many other common pests. The more you understand about our local Utah pests, the easier it will be to protect your family and property from them.

Ants

dozens of ants inside of a home in cache county utah

Ants live all around us in large numbers. They find their way into our yards and homes while looking for food and suitable nesting spots. Ants are one of the most common and recognizable pests that home and business owners have to deal with. Because gardens, trash cans, and outdoor eating areas are in most yards, they can easily find accessible sources of food to feed their colonies.

The soil under fallen trees, woodpiles, bushes, and piles of debris are popular places for ants to nest. Once they are in our yards, it is only a matter of time before they find their way indoors through cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls while they’re out foraging for food or trying to escape bad weather. Inside, ants cause a variety of problems such as contaminating food and surfaces, creating nesting sites, spreading bacteria, and, as with carpenter ants, causing structural damage.

Some of the most common species of ants living throughout our area are Argentine ants, little black ants, odorous house ants, pavement ants, velvety tree ants, thief ants, and field ants. Depending on their species, ants will vary in size, shape, color, and feeding and nesting preferences.

However, all ants have some physical characteristics that are the same. Ants have three distinct body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen), six legs, and bent antennae. The reproductives (queens and kings) are the only members of the colony with wings. During a swarm, reproductives will emerge from the colony to find a mate, reproduce, and begin a new colony.

Ant Prevention Tips

Preventing problems with ants is difficult since they live outside all around us. The following prevention tips will help to make your yard and home less attractive to foraging ants.

  • Avoid having mulch or grass come in direct contact with the foundation.

  • Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed back from the exterior of your home.

  • Eliminate entry points by using a caulking gun to seal cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, and spaces around utilities entering into your home.

  • Get rid of their easy access to food sources by placing tight-fitting lids on trash cans, keeping outdoor eating areas clean, and routinely harvesting fruits and vegetables from garden areas.

Occasional Invaders

a stink bug on a plant outside of a home in logan utah

Occasional invaders are nuisance insects that live most of their life outside. Sometimes, however, these pests move into our homes, garages, sheds, and other structures. These insects are annoying to deal with and hard to keep out.

Two common species of occasional invaders living in our area are boxelder bugs and stink bugs. Most occasional invaders are harmless to people and property, but they are aggravating to have in our homes in large numbers.

Occasional invaders generally move indoors when the weather has become too harsh for them to survive. In the late fall, when the weather cools, boxelder bugs, stink bugs, and other occasional invaders gather on the sunny exterior walls of buildings. They find their way inside through openings in exterior walls, chimneys, and around windows and doors. Once inside, they move throughout the house, seeking overwintering spots in attics and behind floors.

Occasional Invader Prevention Tips

The following tips will help to keep occasional invaders from finding their way into your home.

  • Seal entry points in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline of your home.

  • Caulk the spaces around wires, pipes, and utilities entering into your house.

  • All exterior windows and doors should have weatherstripping around them.

  • Place mesh covers over vents leading into your home and install a tight-fitting cover on the chimney.

Rodents

a large brown rat crawling on trash outside of a home in logan utah

Rodents are mammals and belong to the group Rodentia. Mice and rats are examples of rodents that regularly invade our yards, homes, and businesses. Over the years, as our habitats have merged, rodents have come to rely on people for some of the food and shelter needs.

While mice and rats may want to live near and with us, co-existing with rodents is never advised. Rodents carry and transmit a variety of parasites, human-pathogens, and viruses that make people ill. Additionally, their oversized front incisors grow throughout their life. To prevent their overgrowth, they chew on anything they come across, causing a lot of damage and even triggering fires inside structures.

Rodents live outside in a variety of habitats such as wooded areas, fields, parks, garbage dumps, along rivers, and our yards. Common places rodents forage for food include trash cans, compost, bird feeders, and gardens. Rodents do not hibernate and are problematic for property owners throughout the entire year. They enter into our structures, looking for food and shelter. Rodents that have found their way inside to nest do so behind walls, in insulation, attics, basements, and behind large appliances. Once they’re in your home, rodents are very difficult to find and remove. The best solution to a rodent problem is to contact a professional that understands rodent behavior and how to eliminate them in the most efficient manner possible.

Rodent Prevention Tips

Preventing problems with rodents is difficult because they look to people and our homes for some of their food and shelter needs. The following prevention tips will help to make your yard and home less attractive to these dangerous intruders.

  • Keep shrubs, bushes, and tree branches trimmed back from the exterior of your home.

  • Place trash cans and compost areas away from the outside of your house, and both should have tight-fitting lids.

  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.

  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors and close garage doors when not in use.

  • Eliminate entry points by using a caulking gun to seal cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, roofline, and spaces around utilities entering into your home.

Spiders

a cellar spider inside of a home in logan utah

Spiders are arachnids, not insects, and all adult spiders have eight legs, two body regions, and no wings or antennae. The good news is that while people are often afraid of these creatures, most species pose no real harm to humans.

Most species of spiders that live in our area are nuisance spiders, and the venom they use to paralyze prey is not strong enough to cause health problems in people. Nuisance spiders living in our area include wolf spiders, daddy long legs, cellar spiders, and jumping spiders.

The one species that is dangerous and lives in our area is the black widow. Black widows are not aggressive; they want to avoid people as much as we want to avoid them. They are, however, a dangerous spider because their venom is strong enough to cause health problems in people.
 
Spiders prefer to live outside, but, like any pest living in your yard near the exterior of your home, they often find their way indoors. They move inside while hunting prey or while trying to find moisture, warmth, or a mate. Spiders gain access to homes and other structures through loose or torn screens, spaces under doors, or cracks in the foundation or exterior walls. Once inside, spiders become a nuisance to deal with and are difficult to eliminate. Familiar places that spiders lurk include basements, attics, under furniture, in closets, in bathrooms, and cabinets under sinks.

Spider Prevention Tips

Keeping spiders at bay is difficult; most yards have plenty of areas for spiders to hide and hunt. The following prevention tips will help to make your yard and home less attractive to these 8-legged arachnids.

  • Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed back from the exterior of your home.

  • Place woodpiles away from the outside of your house.

  • Fix loose or torn screens. Remove any spider webs from your house that you find.

  • Get rid of entry points by using a caulking gun to seal cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, roofline, and spaces around utilities entering into your home.

Stinging Insects

a wasp crawling on its nest at a home in logan utah

Bees, hornets, and wasps are familiar examples of stinging insects that are regularly found buzzing around our homes and yards. These insects have a stinger they use to paralyze their prey and to defend themselves against threats. The problem with stinging insects is that their venom is strong enough to cause serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions in some people.

When living out in nature and away from people, stinging insects are incredibly beneficial. They hunt for and keep populations of nuisance insects under control and they pollinate crops, flowers, and plants. However, when bees, wasps, or hornets decide to nest in the high traffic areas of your yard, near the entrance of your house, or even inside your home, they need to be removed.

Stinging insects are either solitary or social. Social stinging insects live and work together in large groups, and a single nest may have hundreds or thousands of members. Those that are solitary create individual nests, but it is common for many females to nest in the same area.

Bees, hornets, and wasps place their nests up off of the ground or in the ground, depending on their species. Aerial locations include trees, utility poles, and shrubs. They also place nests under decks or roof eaves, in doorways, and on or in chimneys. Those that nest on the ground place their nests under woodpiles, shrubs, fallen trees, or in the abandoned nests of small animals. While it is not typical for stinging insects to build a nest indoors, it does happen. You’ll find indoor nests on rafters, behind wall voids, and in garages and sheds.

Stinging Insect Prevention Tips

Preventing problems with stinging insects is difficult because they are opportunistic, and any yard can potentially become a nesting site. The following prevention tips will help to make your yard and home less attractive to stinging insects.

  • Keep shrubs, bushes, and tree branches trimmed back from the exterior of your home.

  • Eliminate entry points by using a caulking gun to seal cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, roofline, and spaces around utilities.

  • Place caps on chimney and mesh covers on vents leading into your home. Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted close to the outside of your house.

Stored Product Pests

an indian meal moth in a pantry in a home in logan utah

Stored product pests (pantry pests) are those insects such as moths and beetles that breed in and feed on dry goods, whole grains, and processed grains stored in pantries and kitchens. These pests are problematic inside homes, grocery stores, restaurants, and food processing and storage facilities. Some of the most common species of stored product pests living in our area are saw-tooth grain beetles, Indian meal moths, confused flour beetles, and cigarette beetles.

An interesting fact about stored product pests is that it is not the adults that do the damage; it is the larvae. Adult females lay their eggs on or inside of a suitable food source. When the larvae hatch, they begin feeding on the whole or processed dry goods.

Stored product pests can create major losses when they get inside food processing and storage facilities. These insects have varied diets, but everyday pantry items they feed on include flour, cake mixes, chocolate, dried meat, cereal, dried fruits, pasta, crackers, oats, and tobacco.

The most common way that these pests find their way into homes is inside dry goods purchased from the store that are already infested with their eggs or larvae. Typically an infestation originates in food processing and storage facilities.

Stored Product Pest Prevention Tips

The following tips will help to keep stored product pests out of your home.

  • Do not buy food from stores with holes or rips in packaging.

  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging and place inside plastic or glass containers with air-tight lids.

  • Avoid buying dry goods from bulk bins.

  • Keep adult pantry pests from gaining access into your home by sealing any openings around windows or doors using weatherstripping.

  • Partner with professional pest control like Affinity Pest Control.

For home or business owners looking for exceptional pest control services, reach out to Affinity Pest Control today!

 

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