Pest Library

A Guide To Pest Identification & Prevention In Uniondale, NY

As a local company with experience serving local homes and businesses, EM Pest Control understands the unique pest pressures that affect Uniondale and the surrounding areas. Our Pest Library is a resource guide for our customers that provides useful information about the most common pests in our area that might try to get into your home or business.

Ants

Ants invade in large numbers, which can make them challenging to get rid of. You might encounter three species in the area: pavement ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants. Like most pests, ants will come onto your property and into your home for food, water, and shelter. Although they have this commonality, they vary in how they are dangerous to you and your home.

Pavement ants are a small species that are reddish-brown to black. Their colonies are large, with multiple queens. Pavement ants are the ones you will find creating small mounds of dirt in pavement cracks, driveways, and bricks. Although these ants don't bite, they are dangerous to humans because they can spread deadly diseases and bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli.

Odorous house ants get their name from the odor they emit when threatened or crushed. They are a small ant species that are dark brown to black. Like pavement ants, these ants can transmit bacteria to humans if they contact and contaminate food.

Carpenter ants and termites are often confused for each other.  Carpenter ants are black but can appear reddish or brown and are among the largest species in the United States. Like termites, carpenter ants are attracted to places with moisture.  However, unlike termites they don't eat the wood. Rather they chew away at wooden structures to create a network of tunnels that lead to their nests. Over time, these tunnels can cause structural damage to your home.

No matter the species, ants are unwelcome guests in any home. EM Pest Control can help if you see ants in your home or want to create a defense line against them. Because an ant infestation is so challenging to get rid of, you should practice prevention techniques to keep your home guarded against these pests:

  • Store food in airtight containers to prevent ants from getting inside.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs off counters and floors.
  • Properly secure garbage inside and outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks and make sure water-damaged wood is replaced.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are among the most feared pests because of how difficult they are to eliminate. This small insect has a flat and oval-shaped body that is brownish. After taking a blood meal, they will appear round and reddish. It is commonly mistaken that bed bugs are too small to see. This notion comes from the fact that they are good at hiding and typically feed at night making it hard for people to spot them without looking carefully.

It is also believed that only dirty homes will be infested with bed bugs. The truth is any home is susceptible to bed bugs. Bed bugs hitch hike on humans, and they are not picky about where they infest. Most often bed bugs find their way inside on luggage, bags, furniture, or appliances.

Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they still result in mental and physical harm. Infestations result in lack of sleep, anemia, and increased stress. Even more, they can cause infections at bite sites.

The earlier you can tackle a bed bug infestation, the better. Although you may be inclined to DIY pest control when it comes to bed bugs, you are much better off with professional help. DIY efforts may reduce your bed bug population, but to eliminate the problem in the long run, you must kill every last bed bug. EM Pest Control can get the job done. Even though bed bugs are unpredictable, you can still practice several tips to try and keep them out:

  • Always inspect second-hand goods before bringing them into your home.
  • When staying in a hotel room, always inspect the room, including the luggage rack, which you should always use, before putting your bags down.
  • Never put your bag or coat on the floor in a public place like a restaurant or movie theater.
  • Reduce the clutter in your home to eliminate hiding places.

Cockroaches

Three species of cockroaches are common to the area: German, American, and Oriental. This is a minuscule number of species compared to the over 4,000 cockroach species in the world. Although each of these species has distinct looks and traits, they behave similarly.

Each of these species has oval bodies, six legs, and spines on their legs. They also all have wings; however, their ability to fly varies. Another commonality they share is their appetite for pretty much anything. Cockroaches are not picky when it comes to food. They will consume anything from human food to garbage and feces.

Cockroaches are gross and dirty, but many don't realize how dangerous they are. Cockroaches pick up many different pathogens from the places they live, like sewers and dumpsters. Pathogens spread by cockroaches can cause diseases including salmonellosis, cholera, dysentery, plague, leprosy, and giardia. They can also trigger asthma.

Essentially, cockroaches will bring the filth-ridden places they dwell in into your home and contaminate your food and living space. This is worsened by their ability to breed quickly and their resistance to pesticides. Instead of waiting for cockroaches to invade, consider seeking professional help from EM Pest Control, and implement the following prevention tips:

  • Clean up spills, food, and dirty dishes.
  • Frequently sweep, vacuum, and remove clutter from your home.
  • Store trash correctly by making sure the lid fits securely.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Repair any leaking pipes.
  • Install humidifiers where excess moisture is a problem.

Crickets

Crickets are a nuisance, even if they make it inside your home. They are nocturnal and are known for the chirping sounds they make at night. You might encounter three species of crickets in the area: camel crickets, house crickets, and field crickets. But no matter the species, crickets can create a terrible sleeping environment.

Camel crickets are light to dark brown, with a hump-back appearance – similar to their namesake. They are usually found in woodpiles and mulch, but you will find them in the basement, crawl space, or garage if they get into your home. If they get into your home, they might eat clothing and other fabric items like curtains.

House crickets are yellowish brown, and have three dark crossbands on their head. They can usually be found in garbage dumps and are attracted to light. When the temperature drops, house crickets will make their way inside homes and sheds to seek the warmth they need. House crickets don't pose any health threats to people, but they can damage items like carpet and upholstered furniture.

Field crickets are dark brown or black. Like other cricket species, they spend daylight hours in dark places. They are known to damage crops like cotton and strawberries and fabrics, wood, plastic, leather, and rubber.

Although crickets are more of a nuisance pest, you don't want them in your home. Most have large jumping hind legs that can make it difficult to catch them. If you need help with cricket control, contact EM Pest Control for assistance.

To try and prevent crickets from coming into your home, we recommend the following tips:

  • Crickets are attracted to light. Removing light sources can help reduce the number of crickets on your property and other light-attracted insects.
  • Keep landscaping maintained and woodpiles away from your home.
  • Check the exterior of your home for cracks and entry points.

Flies

Flies are a nuisance to many people. No matter how many times you swat them away, they seem to keep buzzing by. Several flies you might be familiar with here in Nassau County are drain, fruit, rain, flush, and blow. Although all of these flies are equally bothersome, they vary in appearance and what attracts them.

Fruit flies are some of the most common home-invading flies, especially when temperatures are warm. They are also some of the hardest flies to get rid of, seeming to pop up out of nowhere in large numbers. As their name suggests, these flies can be found around ripening fruit and vegetables, near fermenting food, and around sweet or malted beverages.

Blowflies are metallic blue and green. They are commonly found near dead animals, garbage dumps, slaughterhouses, and meat-processing plants. Blowflies are not only a nuisance, but they can be a danger to humans. They can contaminate food and transfer pathogens that spread dysentery and other illnesses.

Drain and flush flies are known to dwell in sewage. Although they are small insects, they infest in large numbers. They get in through windows, drains, and basements, and once drain flies are inside, they might clog up pipes, spread bacteria, and contaminate food. If you see these flies in your home, it is a sign there is probably a clogged drain and standing water.

Flies are a nuisance pest that can bring disease and food contamination into your home. Luckily, flies are a pest you can prevent with some success. If you do have a fly infestation, you should call EM Pest control for assistance.

Our professionals have some tips for you to try when it comes to fly prevention:

  • Store produce in the fridge and not out on the counter.
  • Take out trash and keep garbage bins clean.
  • Make sure all windows have screens.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are small but are some of the most dangerous animals in the world. In the warm months, mosquitoes wreak havoc outside. They can make any outdoor activity or gathering unbearable.

Mosquitoes are dangerous because of the diseases they can spread to people and animals. These diseases include dog heartworm, malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, dengue, and West Nile virus. They can also cause secondary infection at the bite site and allergic reactions. This is reason enough to reduce mosquito populations on your property.

There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes globally, but not all of them feed on blood. There are only a few hundred species of mosquitoes that bite humans. Only female mosquitoes can bite. Females need to take blood meals before they can lay eggs while males feed on plants.

Mosquitoes need standing water to breed. This is why it is essential to remove standing water from your yard. They only need a shallow amount of water to breed, so don't discount shallow puddles as well as bird baths, ponds, and clogged gutters. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. During the day, they rest in wooded and shaded areas. You can reduce mosquito resting areas in your yard by keeping landscaping maintained.

Although you can put practices in place to reduce mosquitoes in your yard, professional assistance can make all the difference. EM Pest Control provides mosquito control services to make your time outside more enjoyable by greatly reducing your mosquito population.

Here are some tips to make you less desirable to them:

  • Wear light clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
  • Spray a CDC-approved repellant on your clothing.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. If you're exercising and sweating, they are more likely to seek you out.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol outdoors, especially beer, if you are looking to dodge mosquitoes.
  • Go outside in the afternoon when mosquitoes are least active.

Rodents

From mice to rats, rodents are a pest no one wants to deal with. Rodents are adept invaders because they only need a small opening to squeeze through, they will eat almost anything, and they breed rapidly. House mice, field mice, and Norway rats are a handful of rodents you might come across. Although mice are smaller than rats, they both can cause damage to your home and create health concerns for you and your family.

House and field mice are common home invaders but differ in many ways. House mice have solid color coats of light brown or grey, while field mice have brown or tan fur with white bellies and legs. Also, house mice have virtually hairless tails, while field mice tails are dark on top and light on the bottom. When it comes to food, field mice will store food they find near their nest.

Norway rats are much larger than house and field mice. Their fur is shaggy and is brown or grey. To get inside, Norway rats will find an entry point and gnaw to make it bigger. They can chew through wood, pipes, and wires, causing immense damage in the process.

Both rats and mice can spread disease through food contamination. These diseases include salmonella, hantavirus, plague, leptospirosis, and Lassa fever. If rodents have found their way into your home, you should seek help from the professionals at EM Pest Control.

To try and keep rats and mice from getting in, you should practice the following tips:

  • Properly store all food, including pet food; we recommend airtight containers.
  • Secure garbage both inside and outside of your home by ensuring they have lids that close as intended.
  • Seal potential entry points. Even if a hole seems small to you, a rat or mouse can make its way in easily.
  • Keep your yard maintained and clean up dog feces, birdseed, fallen fruit, and nuts.

Stinging Insects

Stinging insects are some of the worst pests to deal with. They have a reputation for sending people to the emergency room. Their stinging can cause mild discomfort to severe allergic reactions. Four stinging insects you might encounter in the area are wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and carpenter bees.

When it comes to wasps, hornets, and bees, they are often lumped together under the category of bees. This is an incorrect categorization, but most people don't know how to distinguish them from each other. There are two types of wasp: solitary and social. Solitary wasps are not aggressive and rarely sting. On the opposite end, yellow jackets and hornets are social and will attack in large numbers if threatened.

The terms hornet and wasp are a general name for species of that family. For example, yellow jackets are a specific breed of wasp. Yellow jackets exhibit the classic look we picture when we think of wasps, yellow and black markings, and banding with a waist. Hornets, on the other hand, are large but look similar to yellow jackets. Wasps vary from social to solitary, while hornets are sociable and very aggressive.

Carpenter bees appear in two categorize in the United States: small and large carpenter bees. Large carpenter bees look similar to bumblebees, while small ones are dark in color and have a metallic appearance. Only female carpenter bees can sting, but they only do on occasion when they are disturbed. The danger of these bees comes from the damage they can do to wood.

Nobody wants to deal with stinging insects. From wasps to hornets and bees, leave removal to trained professionals who can handle these pests and their nests safely and properly. EM Pest Control is here to assist and keep you safe. We recommend trying to prevent stinging insects from making your home theirs by following these tips:

  • Plant gardens away from your home. Many stinging insects are attracted to sweet things like nectar from flowering plants.
  • Keep your yard maintained. Yellow jackets build their nests in holes in the ground, so be sure to fill any yellow jackets' potential homes.
  • Inspect your property frequently to catch nests early.

Termites

Eastern subterranean termites are one of many species of termites that are dangerous due to their destructiveness. Termite infestations often go undetected and untreated for a long time, increasing the severity of the damage. Subterranean termite colonies are made up of three main castes: workers, soldiers, and swarmers.

Worker eastern subterranean termites are small, white, blind, have no wings, and cannot reproduce. Although they might not seem very able, workers are the largest group in the colony and provide the food. They are the ones that do the damage, feeding on wood and other cellulose materials, fixing the nests, and building tunnels.

Soldiers are brown to rust orange and have a rectangular head that is armored. They are the defenders of the colony with pinchers that are used for crushing ants. If a colony is disturbed, soldier termites are the first line of defense.

Swarmers are reproductive termites. These are winged termites that will leave their current colony to find a mate and a place to build a new one. Eastern subterranean swarmers are dark brown with brownish-grey wings that are shed once they land. Swarmers are often the first sign of a termite problem.

When it comes to termites, if you even suspect an infestation, you should contact the EM Pest Control professionals. Because of the damage they can cause, it is better to be safe than sorry for Eastern subterranean termites.

To try and prevent termites, we recommend the following maintenance tips:

  • Remove dead trees and water-damaged wood from your property.
  • Store firewood away from your home and in a storage box.
  • Clear fallen leaves and excess foliage.
  • Address moisture issues inside your home and replace any water-damaged wood.
  • Seal any possible entry points.

Wildlife

Wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons, and opossums might seem harmless, but sometimes they can wreak havoc on your yard and even make their way inside your home. If this happens, they can cause expensive damage to your home while endangering your health and well-being.

Squirrels are so common in the area that many people forget they are rodents and pests. They range in color from white to grey, yellow, red, and brown and have a distinguishable bushy tail. Squirrels are sneaky creatures with climbing, jumping, and scurrying skills that aid them in breaking into your home. Once they find their way in, they will use materials from your home like insulation, linens, and paper products to build their nests and make themselves at home. Like other rodents, squirrels' teeth never stop growing, making gnawing essential to their survival. They won't hesitate to chew through wires, furniture, and the structure of your home.

With their unique mask-like markings, ringed tails, and salt-and-pepper coloring, raccoons will eat anything and will do what they can to get food, from raiding gardens to climbing into garbage cans and dumpsters and breaking into homes. Any way they do it, they are likely to leave a mess and cause you distress. Not all raccoons have rabies, but no one wants to find out which ones do. This is one of the problems that come with raccoons. If they are rapid and bite a person or pet, it can cause significant medical problems if not treated.

Opossums are nocturnal critters that you might spot scurrying across the road. Like raccoons, opossums will eat a variety of food, including trash. When threatened, they will produce a disgusting smell and show their teeth, but they are not generally aggressive. They have white or grayish hair, a long, pointed face, and round hairless ears.

EM Pest Control is here to help when it comes to wildlife control, elimination, and prevention. Although the professionals are here to help, you should also properly maintain your property to keep wildlife at bay:

  • Always make sure your garbage is secure with a fitted lid.
  • Keep your yard free of debris and materials that can be used to make nests.
  • Fence in gardens and easy to access fruit trees.
  • Remove water sources like birdbaths if they are attracting unwanted wildlife.

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