Omaha Pest Control Articles

Pest Inspection in Omaha Required!

Termite Inspections are Required.

Omaha Pest Control, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska’s local specialist provides wood-destroying and termite inspections for refinancing of a mortgage or purchase of a house or commercial structure.

According to the VA, “A wood destroying insect inspection is required in low-rise and high-rise units only when the fee appraiser observes a potential risk of structural damage (current and future)”

  • Rules for Termite Inspections:

Termites and what the VA labels “wood-destroying pests” can be a serious problem for home owners, buyers and sellers. House hunters often worry about the condition of older homes when it comes to these pests–in some cases rightfully so. How can an untrained observer tell whether or not a home has been damaged or infested by termites or other pests?

According to Omaha Pest Control, it’s very difficult to spot unless there’s obvious damage or infestation. Fortunately, FHA and VA loan rules are designed to protect the buyer and the property the VA borrower wants to purchase.

If a borrower wants to buy a home in a region where termite problems are considered light or where such problems rarely occur, there is no requirement to have a termite inspection performed. Borrowers concerned about the home they want to buy would have to schedule an inspection, or contact the VA for assistance.

Borrowers with general concerns about termite problems–but with no evidence of damage or infestation–may need to arrange an inspection themselves.

Are you buying a home and wondering what the VA pest inspection requirements are in your area? Although VA has more relaxed guidelines than most other types of loan products, they do have some requirements that are specific to VA loans. VA pest inspections are one of them. Below is some of that information:

  • Who orders the VA Pest Inspection?

Anyone can order the pest inspection really. If you want to take it upon yourself to speed up the process, you can order it. However, the termite inspector will want to be paid. In general, this payment is done in advance. So, unless the realtor, lender or seller wants to give up their credit card number, you should leave it to one of them to order the inspection. The sellers order it since they are the ones that are required to have one in order to sell a home to a veteran doing VA financing.

  • Who is responsible for the Pest Inspection?

VA guidelines state that the Veteran is not responsible for pest inspections and is NOT to be charged for the pest inspection when purchasing a home. Who does? Answer: Anyone but the veteran. The realtor or lender can pay for it but primarily, the seller is responsible for paying for the pest inspection. There are non-allowable fees that the veteran can pay for in certain situations but this is not one of them.

  • What does the Inspector look for?

The pest inspector looks at accessible areas of the house for signs of termite infestation. This includes attics and crawlspaces. Signs of pest infestation would include shelter tubes, exit holes and staining. He or she will also look for damaged wood and other materials.

  • Previous Extermination Service:

Along with current damage, Omaha Pest Control has to report if the home owner has had any prior pest treatments. Certain states actually require that the seller disclose any measures they took to rid the home of the termites.

  • What Happens if the House has Termites or Carpenter Ants?

The answer to this depends greatly on how bad the infestation is. In general, if our inspector finds that the home is infested, or still has significant evidence of a previous infestation, he/she will simply recommend that the home owner treat the home to eliminate the pests. Once the structure is treated, the report needs to be sent to the lender reflecting the house has been treated for termites.

  • Who pays if the Home is Infested?

This will depend greatly on the location of the home and what your contract says. Anyone can pay for the treatment. However, there are certain states that require the seller pay for repairs up to a certain limit. These repairs can include termite, septic or well repairs or treatments.

If you are a seller with a VA buyer, it would be wise of you to get an inspection right away to speed up the process and eliminate any headaches later. Call us at Omaha Pest Control (402) 934-8024 to eliminate the worries.

Ants Are Back!

Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in the Midwest and Omaha Pest Control, Inc. has over 30 years of experience dealing with them.

team of ants carry log with chief on it

Left, Right, Left, Right !!!

Ants are social insects and are divided up into three castes: workers, males, and queens. Workers are sterile, wingless females which range in size from 1/20th of an inch long to about 1/2 inch long.

Like all insects, ants have three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. All ants have a pair of elbowed (bent) antennae on the head and a constricted area between the thorax and abdomen.

Ants are sometimes pests mistaken for termites that are commonly called swarmers. Ants differ from termites by having a narrow, constricted waist, elbowed (bent) antennae, and hind wings shorter than front wings.

Ants have a wide variety of nesting habits and food preferences. Some ants build nests in soil, producing characteristic mounds while others nest in homes behind moldings, baseboards, countertops, and similar places. Still other ants nest in decaying or moisture damaged wood.

Management

Omaha Pest Control, Inc. services Nebraska in the Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs, Iowa metro areas. Our exterminators know what species of ant is present and that helps to determine the nesting site, food preference, and the best method of management. In most cases, the most effective, permanent solution is inspection and treating the nest; queens must be killed to properly eliminate a colony.

Nonchemical methods

Trying to discourage and control ants from invading your Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs homes can be frustrating. Proper food storage and waste management will reduce the food that often attracts workers indoors. Clean all kitchen surfaces, vacuum daily, and rinse recyclable containers before storage. Ant trails can be temporarily disrupted with a mild solution of vinegar and water. Sticky barriers using commercially available materials can be used to prevent ants from reaching plants or other items. Caulk cracks that ants are using to enter the home.

Outdoors

Many ants enter homes from outside nests as they forage for food. Ants usually take regular routes to and from their nest and the food source by establishing a pheromone trail. The nest may be found by watching where the ants go; for some ants, such as carpenter ants, this works best at night. If the nest is discovered, Omaha Pest Control treat or remove.

Common insecticides we use for treating ant nests in the lawn are listed below:

  • permethrin as a liquid or granules
  • carbaryl (e.g. Sevin) as a liquid or granules
  • bifenthrin as granules
  • cyfluthrin as granules
  • acephate as a liquid

In cases where the nest is not found, we keep ants out of the house by applying an insecticide barrier around the exterior of the building. Careful observation may reveal the ants are entering only through one area of the house; this would allow a spot treatment of that area. If it is not clear where the ants are entering, then treat a 3-foot wide area around the entire building.

Common insecticides we use for treating the building exteriors are listed below:

  • permethrin as a liquid or granules
  • bifenthrin as a liquid
  • carbaryl as a liquid or granules
  • cyfluthrin as granules
  • deltamethrin as a dust
Indoors

When possible, our Omaha Pest Control will find the nest and treat it with an insecticide. When the nest is concealed, e.g. behind a wall, it may be necessary to drill small holes, about 1/8 inch diameter, and apply an insecticidal dust.

Common dusts we use for treating voids/cracks/crevices are listed below.

  • deltamethrin
  • permethrin

Another tactic we use is the use of baits, Workers feed on the bait and take it back to the nest where they share it with the rest of the colony. An advantage of baits is that they are is delivered into inaccessible areas that insecticide sprays cannot reach. However, baits act slowly and may take several weeks to several months to eradicate a colony. Ant baits sold in stores for public use are generally labeled for many common household ants, although ants will not be equally attracted to all baits. It is important to identify what ant species is present so the appropriate bait can be used.

Spraying foraging ants is only temporary and has little impact on the nest. Spraying may be useful for seasonal ant problems, when ants enter from outside nests.

Omaha Pest Control, Inc. professionals have the training and experience to deal with household ant problems. Contact our reputable pest management company if you want to have your ant problem eliminated.

Spiders and Omaha, NE

Spider webHere are just a handful of the spiders you’ll find in Nebraska. 

Woodlouse hunter: Dysdera crocata

This cosmopolitan, medium-sized spider has three pair of legs directed forward and one pair back. It has 6 eyes, closely grouped together. People are often concerned about this spider because it has two enormous, sinister-looking fangs. Its long jaws are used to hunt woodlice, members of the terrestrial crustacean order Isoptera which includes pillbugs and sowbugs.

The woodlouse hunter has distinctive coloration: the cephalothorax (head + thorax) of the woodlouse hunter is brown, legs are reddish-orange, and abdomen is pinkish-tan. The spiders rest during the day under stones, bark or other objects in a silken cell in which the female spider lays her eggs. It is an activea> hunting spider, feeding at night. It is often found around buildings. It is considered an accidental invader in the home.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are the largest spiders found in Nebraska. Their bodies are covered with short hairs in shades of brown, black, gray, white, yellow, or green. They do not make webs or web snares, but instead hunt for prey. Female wolf spiders often have bodies up to 1 1/2 inches long. Some of these spiders shelter under leaves or debris while others construct retreats in shallow tunnels or dig deep burrows.

Egg sacs of most wolf spiders are shaped like a ball (globular) and are carried by the female attached to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings (baby spiders) hatch, they climb onto their mother’s back and ride there for several days before leaving.

Wolf spiders often alarm homeowners because they are large and move very quickly. We see most of these spiders in the fall when concerned homeowners find them in their garages or in and around the house. Wolf spiders are not “house spiders” and will likely die in the home. They are considered accidental invaders. These beneficial spiders can be removed and placed back outdoors where they belong.

As with any spider, do not pick them up with your bare hands. Place a cup over the spider, then gently slide a piece of paper or cardboard under the cup. You can then carry the cup with the spider outdoors and release it away from the home.


Garden Spiders

These spiders, sometimes called “argiopes”, are the largest web-spinning spiders in Nebraska. Full-grown females of the common Nebraska species exceed one inch in body length; males are usually much smaller. These spiders make beautiful, large “orb” webs in gardens and between tall grasses and weeds.

One common type of this spider, the black and yellow garden spider, has silver hairs on the back of its forward body section. The large abdomen (back section) is marked in black and bright yellow. Their egg sacs are spherical (narrow at one end) and up to one inch long. The egg sacs are covered with a tough, paper-like silk.

Another common species, the banded garden spider, is like the black and yellow garden spider. It has lives in the same locations, builds the same type of web, and is a large spider. But the pattern on its abdomen is different. The abdomen is marked with alternating thin, broken, horizontal silver and yellow lines on a black background.

Garden spiders attract a lot of attention because of their size, bright colors and large webs. They also build their webs in open areas near humans. Some people are uncomfortable working around such large spiders, but many gardeners welcome these attractive insect-eaters.

For accidentally invading spiders (these are most frequent spider situations), we recommend that efforts be made to seal cracks and crevices as the most permanent solution.


Note: Some of the information on this site was adapted from the University of Nebraska NebGuide, “Spiders”. Written by David L. Keith, Stephen Danielson, Timothy Miller. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EaZTxQeQMQ

Omaha Pest Control has many years of experience controlling, treating and preventing these unwanted pests. For pest control and treatment of these spiders call Omaha Pest Control at (402) 250-0425.

Omaha & Bellevue get Stung

Wasp on LeafStinging Insects

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are a potential health threat to people in Omaha, Bellevue, Nebraska and the Midwest. Hundreds of people in the United States die each year from allergic reactions to the venom of these insects.

Wasps, hornets and yellowjackets are more dangerous and unpredictable than honey bees and should be treated with respect; nests should be eliminated with care and in a specific pest control manner.

  • Paper Wasps

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets construct nests of a paper-like material which is a mixture of finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions of the wasps. Paper wasps typically build their umbrella-shaped nests under eaves and ledges. These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets, and can be eliminated rather easily with a wasp and hornet spray sold at most grocery and hardware stores. These formulations have an added advantage in that they often spray as far as 20 feet.

  • Hornets

Hornets are far more difficult and dangerous to control than paper wasps. The nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball which typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed. The nests are often located out of reach and removal is best accomplished by a professional pest control firm.

Following treatment, wait at least a day before removing the nest to ensure that all of the wasps are killed. If hornets continue to be observed, the application may need to be repeated. Experienced pest control operators will sometimes remove a hornet nest which is attached to a branch by slipping a plastic garbage bag over the intact nest and clipping it at the point of attachment.

  • Yellow jackets

Yellow jackets are another dangerous wasp encountered around homes and buildings. Nests are often located underground in an old rodent burrow, beneath a landscape timber, or in a rock wall or wall of a building. If the nest can be located, it can usually be eliminated by carefully applying a wasp spray insecticide into the nest opening.

Sevin or Ficam dust is also very effective provided a hand duster or similar type applicator is used to dispense several puffs of the insecticide dust in to the nest opening. Approach the nest slowly and do not shine the beam of the flashlight directly into the nest entrance as this may startle the wasps; instead, cast the beam to the side to illuminate the nest indirectly and place the light on the ground rather than in your hand.

Similar to hornets, yellow jackets are extremely aggressive when the nest is disturbed. It may be prudent to call Omaha Pest Control, particularly when access to the nest is difficult.

Safety is Always First

MSDS InfoBeware of Hazardous Materials.

 

We at Omaha Pest Control are very concerned about using the utmost care in taking care of your pest control needs and performing the services with safe materials.

 

Hazardous materials - Hazardous materials are present in many chemical products used in daily work activities.  Because chemicals can be particularly hazardous to human health and the environment if mishandled, they should be used with caution.  Whenever possible, lower hazardous materials or techniques should be substituted.

Hazard Communication - Hazard Communication is the program that defines how we warn people of the hazards associated with the chemicals they use.  All chemicals must be in containers bearing information about the identity of the material and its hazards.  Original manufacturer containers carry this information.  But if you dispense material into a secondary container you must transfer the identity and hazards of the material to the new container.  In addition to the labeling requirement, manufacturers are required to prepare material safety data sheets to detail physical and chemical properties and health effects of their products. – This page provides information about finding and using product safety information and links to MSDS databases on the web.

Spills – If the spilled material is of a quantity and type that you are comfortable handling, you can clean it up yourself and submit a  to dispose of the cleanup debris.  If the spilled material is of a type or quantity that you are not comfortable handling, do not have the necessary supplies to handle, or if the spill may reach a drain or waterway, contact the Environmental Protection Service to request assistance from the emergency response team.  If there are injuries or exposures or if there is an immediate danger from the spilled material, dial 911 to activate emergency response personnel and procedures.

Happy Holidays !!!

iStock_000010765442_SmallCheers to the New Year!

Wishing you a Happy Holiday season from the team at Omaha Pest Control. During this season, we take the time to reflect upon the good things we have… like our partnership with you. We appreciate working with you and hope that the holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and success.

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Steps

Proud motherSimple Steps to Prevent and Control Pests.

Iowa and Nebraska homeowners can prevent pest infestations by maintaining cleanliness in the home.

Pests love dirty environments since they provide them with an abundant supply of food, water, and a nice hiding place. If you just leave food scraps on the floor and table and never bother emptying your trash can, it is more likely you will see pests roaming around your house.

Here are five steps homeowners can take to prevent and control pest infestations:

  • Clean the Yard

Before pests invade your home, they will colonize your yard. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your house is safe from pests, the first thing that you need to do is to clean up your yard. You need to free your yard from fallen fruits, dead plants, fallen branches, and weeds, for insects crave these things. You must also trim your plants, since excess branches and leaves serve as nice places for insects and pests. Furthermore, wood and fruits serve as a valuable source of food for ants, termites and other insects and rodents. You must also empty any low-spots and containers in your yard that hold standing water. Standing water is a nice breeding place for insects, such as flies and mosquitoes. By keeping your yard clean, you will be able to prevent pests from reaching and entering your home.

  • Clean your Storage Spaces and Rarely Visited Places

You need to clean your closet, boxes, containers and drawers from time to time, for this serve as an ideal place for insects, rodents and other pests to build their nests. You must also clean the areas in your house that you seldom visit at least once a week. In this way, you will be able to prevent annoying pests from colonizing your house.

  • Free the House from Scraps of Food

If you want to make your house uninviting for pests, you must free your house from scraps of food. Remember, food is the main reason why pests want to stay in your home. Therefore, if you want to drive away pests, you must deprive them of food. If pests cannot find food in your home, then there is no reason for them to infest your home. To ensure that your house will be free from scraps of food, it is advisable that you clean and vacuum your home periodically. You must also wipe your table and sweep the floor every time you finish meals. You must also clean up the remains and the bowls of your pet food..

  • Seal the Cracks and Holes

Aside from cleaning, it is also advisable that you check and seal your house of cracks crevices and holes. Mice will always try to break into your house through these holes. Insects can also gain entry through cracks. Sealing cracks and holes in your home is one way of preventing pests from gaining access to your house.

  • Professional Pest Control from Omaha Pest Control

Pest infestations are a nightmare for homeowners because they can cause damage to their properties and belongings. One way of preventing pests from colonizing your home is by maintaining cleanliness in your home, for they hate clean environments. After taking the above mentioned cleanliness steps, and you are still seeing ants, roaches, spiders, and other creepy crawlies; it’s time for professional pest control. Omaha, Bellevue, Council Bluffs and surrounding cities: It’s time for Omaha Pest Control !!

Keep Pests Out

Luxury HomeWinterize Your Omaha Home and Keep Pests Out

Diminishing daylight, tumbling temperatures and autumn rains signal the start of summer’s slow fade into fall. Insects register these clues of seasonal change and start the search for winter quarters. Your home promises to keep those insect pests just as snug and dry as it keeps you and your family.

You may have already taken steps to control your home and landscape for cold weather. As you winterize add a few tasks to help pest-proof your home and avoid inadvertently inviting insects indoors.

Eliminate Habitat

Inspect your home’s exterior to locate and remove potential pest and insects. Typically, insects seek areas that offer moisture, food and shelter – places to rest, reproduce or hide from predators. So think like an insect. Look for things that could give nonflying pests a leg up onto your home’s structure. Also scout for places of refuge, spots where pests can hide out. Take the following home pest control measures to minimize pest and insect invasions:

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Check downspouts to ensure they direct all water away from your home.
  • Eliminate debris resting against or near the house, including rock or compost piles, old boards, or bricks.
  • Store firewood outdoors and away from the house.
  • Pull mulch back so it’s not resting against the house.
  • Store trash cans away from your home. Keep cans tightly closed at all times.
  • Arrange plantings so they’re not directly touching the foundation. Prune tree limbs that overhang gutters or roof lines, and trim shrubs that rub against a wall, porch or deck.
  • Remove autumn leaves that collect against the house, porch and other outside structures.
  • Replace exterior lights. Trade traditional bulbs, which lure insects, with yellow or sodium vapor lights.

Seal Openings

  • Inspect your home’s exterior carefully and take steps to seal any openings you find. This not only can help keep insect pests out, but will help keep the heat in and cold air out.
  • Replace screens with storm windows. If you leave screens in year-round, make sure they fit tightly and don’t have holes or openings.
  • Check seals around entry doors and crawl space openings. Replace worn weather stripping and caulk or repair as needed.
  • Inspect basement windows. If concrete is chipping or broken, replace it.
  • Examine the foundation. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk or concrete.
  • Look at eaves and facia boards carefully, and examine flashing. Damp wood is an invitation to insect pests.
  • Double-check attic vents to ensure seals are tight.

Omaha Pest Control for Your Home

Using preventive tactics to keep insects out is an easy, low-cost pest solution that offers solid pest protection. Make inspecting your home’s exterior each autumn part of your annual maintenance chores. Not only will it reduce time spent on indoor pest control, it will also help ensure structural upkeep.

Gnats and Fruit Flies

iStock_000057523476_DoubleGnats or Fruit Flies?

Gnats are the most annoying pests that can infest your home in Omaha and neighboring cities. They hover around your head, get in your ears and drive you crazy. Gnats can seem like a never-ending problem but you can get rid of them.

 

                                                                                              Where Do They Come From?

Gnats, also commonly called fruit flies or vinegar flies, are attracted to the smell of rotten food. They particularly enjoy sink drains, trash cans and other moist, dark places. One gnat can lay up to 300 eggs in its short lifespan. Even one gnat getting into your house can be enough to start a war. The eggs are too small to see but if you notice any of these bugs in your house, chances are they’ve already laid eggs.

How Do You Prevent Them?

If you don’t want gnats or fruit flies around, your best option is to prevent them from ever becoming an issue. Keep all food sealed and never leave open food products around for long. Take out your trash frequently. Don’t ever keep a compost bucket inside, these can provide great places for gnat eggs to mature. Learn how to care for your house plants and avoid over watering them. There is one type of household gnat that is notorious for infesting waterlogged soil. You can also hang sticky gnat traps in inconspicuous areas to kill any gnats that come in from outside.

How Do You Get Rid of Them?

If you already have a gnat or fruit fly infestation, you need more than prevention strategies. There are a lot of home remedies to get rid of the obnoxious bugs. One effective method is to spray your house with a homemade concoction of diluted lemongrass oil. You can find lemongrass oil at most drug stores. Use 10 drops per 2 ounces of hot water and use it all around the inside of your house. A side benefit to this solution is that it will also kill spiders and ants. Another way to kill them is to use apple cider vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Fill up a cup with the vineger and add just a squirt of the dishwashing liquid. Gnats will drink this liquid and then sink to the bottom and be trapped. If it’s your house plants causing the problem, you want to pick up some food grade diatomaceous earth at any garden nursery. Layer your plant’s top soil with about a 1/2 inch of the diatomaceous earth. This will take care of any gnat larvae lurking in the soil.

If you need a guaranteed and fast way to remove the gnats, you might want to consider using chemicals or hiring a professional. Hardware stores sell a variety of sprays for flying insects. Any of these will take care of your problem. If the infestation is severe enough, you’ll need to use a chemical bug bomb. This will require you to seal up your cabinets and any other places you keep your food. After you use the bomb, you’ll need to leave the house for several hours.

Omaha Pest Control is available 6 days a week. (Monday – Saturday)

Happy New Year!!!

2016aHey! New Years day 2016 is almost here!

Put on your party hat and raise a toast to good times.

Begin this New Year in a very special way with your friends, family and loved ones.

Omaha Pest Control wants to say Thank You to the special customers in the past and looks forward to helping on the road ahead. Be safe, happy and prosperous!