The 4 Worst Pest Infestations You Can Have

Wasps nest

All pest infestations are bad. If you have pests, you should get rid of them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Period. Just because all pest infestations are bad, however, does not mean all pest infestations are equally bad. There are some pests that are inconvenient, while there are others that are… far, far worse. Maybe not “pack your bags and move away” worse, but… close…

These are four of those kinds of infestation. We’re not talking most damaging or most immediately destructive, though there’s some overlap. We’re simply talking about the pests you least want in your home. These are the pests that will keep you up at night–sometimes literally! Give Griffin a call right away if you think you have…

Termites

termites inflict billions of dollars of damage in structural damage in the US every yearThere’s one, very clear reason why you never want termites: they’re the most destructive wood pest in the US. Termite colonies eat and bore through wood, creating cavities that compromise wood’s structural integrity. Every year, termites cause billions of dollars of structural damage. Sometimes, termites can inflict wood damage so significant that it can seriously compromise a home’s safety. Unfortunately, termite infestations are common all over Michigan’s lower peninsula, even in cities.

Termites infest homes by working their way into wood from the outside in. They’ll start by accessing moist, damaged, or low-lying wood. As the colony expands, they’ll chew their way deeper into a home’s structure, damaging it as they go. Termites often access wood by building “mud tubes” between wood and the ground. Look for these mud tubes to find where termites may have accessed your home. Deprive termites easy access to wood as much as possible. Termite-proofing your home will always pay off in the long run!

Wasps

Wasps are dangerous and frustrating when they build wasp nests near people's homesNo common neighborhood pest inspires terror quite like the wasp. It’s not difficult to understand why. Virtually everyone has a wasp sting horror story. The insects are notoriously territorial, aggressive, and unafraid to sting. Wasps are at their most frustrating and dangerous when they build nests near homes. When a wasp nest is right outside your door, it’s all-too-easy to seem threatening to its defenders. Wasps are especially prone to attack people during and after breeding season.

Wasps choose where they build their nests for several reasons. First, they look for places where their nest will be safe from threats. They often build into existing shelters or cover, such as eaves, gutters, house corners, or chimneys. Wasps build nests out of wood fiber, which they collect from damaged wood. If there’s easily accessible weathered wood near your home, wasps could use it to build their nests. Finally, wasps like living near other insects, so they always have a good source of food.

Pantry pests

pantry moths lay eggs that hatch into larvae inside pantry food like pasta and cerealThere are several kinds of pest that love to infest pantries. The worst thing about these pests is that, contrary to popular belief, they’re not just eating your food. They’re often also laying eggs in it. Yeah, that’s no good. Moths, beetles, and weevils all lay eggs directly inside stored food products. These offspring are often the pests doing most of the actual eating. In fact, most adult pantry moths can’t eat at all!

Pantry pests are attracted to easily accessible food, especially when it’s stored in dark, quiet places. They infest a wide variety of dry products, including bread, cereals, pasta, flour, nuts, dry fruits, and more. Basically, if you keep it in your pantry, they want it. Some pantry pests make their way into your home from outside, but more often, you’ll accidentally bring them in yourself! Pantry pests hide in or latch onto other food containers. When you place those containers in your pantry, you inadvertently give pests access to all your other food.

Bed bugs

few pests are as upsetting as bed bugsSure, bed bugs aren’t as damaging or dangerous as any of the other pests on this list. But what if you had to choose one of these four infestations? We’re betting you’d choose any of the aforementioned pests before you subjected yourself to bed bugs. We don’t blame you! Bed bugs are probably the most upsetting common pest infestation in the US. And they are common, too–even here in Michigan.

Like with pantry pests, most bed bug infestations begin when a homeowner inadvertently brings them inside themselves. Bed bugs infiltrate homes by sneaking in on packages and bags. They hide out in dark, inaccessible areas and wait until night to move. Once they’ve found a more permanent hiding place near a food source (that’s you!), they start reproducing. There are all kinds of ways to keep bed bugs out, but they all come down to diligence. Keep a close eye on what you’re bringing indoors, especially if you’ve been traveling.

 

Probably the worst thing about pest infestations is what they can do to you. No one wants to feel like they’re uncomfortable or unhappy in their own home. Pest infestations never go away on their own and they never stop being annoying. If you’ve got a pest problem, it’s always worth it to seek help fast.

Luckily, you’ve got help right here. Griffin Pest Solutions is always ready to help you reclaim your home. No matter the severity of your infestation, we have everything it takes to wipe it out completely. Don’t let pests take your home from you; call today!

Michigan’s Most Wanted

A "No Invasive Pests" logo

Pests serve important roles in maintaining nature’s balance, but only in their proper place. When human tampering alters nature, pests thrive more than they naturally would. Every role in an ecosystem is interconnected, so when one element thrives too much, it throws everything off.

One of the worst consequences of ecological disruption are invasive pests. Pests are invasive when they don’t naturally occur in the environment they inhabit. When these species enter an ecosystem, they can significantly throw off its balance.

According to the Michigan Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), Michigan is at risk from 18 species of invasive insect. The four covered here pose the greatest threat to our environment. We consider them “Michigan’s Most Wanted,” and we’re putting the bounty out: here’s what you should know about these four desperados, and how you can help stop them.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The stink bug is a mottled-brown, shield-shaped bug that superficially resembles a small beetle. Adults grow to .5 to .75 inches long. Look for white bands on the legs and antennae, and black-and-white patterning along the abdomen. Stink bug nymphs tend to be orange or reddish. These pests typically live near their food sources: fruit trees, vegetable crops, and ornamental plants. Come winter, stink bugs attempt to move to sheltered areas such as houses.

According to Michigan.gov, the brown marmorated stink bug can adversely affect fruit, nut, and legume crop yields. They also damage ornamental plants. When stink bugs feel threatened, they release a foul odor. This odor also emanates from their bodies after death. Their smell and constant presence can make stink bugs an annoying pest to have around your house. Check here for more information about the foul-smelling buggers, including how to report them to the MISIN.

wooly adelgid on a pine tree

Balsam and Hemlock Woolly Adelgids

Balsam and Hemlock Woolly Adelgids are two different species in the Adelgidae family and Adelges genus of insects. Of the two species, only the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has been positively identified in Michigan, but both species are on Michigan’s invasive species watchlist. Adelgids are small, pill-like bugs. As they grow they produce a distinctive wool-like wax filament covering. Look for woolly pilling on the branches or bark of trees.

Balsam and Hemlock Woolly Adelgids feed on the sap of balsam fir and hemlock trees. As an Adelgid feeds, they secrete a salivary substance into the tree. This substance stimulates unhealthy growth  that weakens the tree. Vulnerable trees may die as a result of Adelgid feeding and also become more vulnerable to weather and other pest damage. Check out the MISIN’s database for more info on both the Balsam and Hemlock Woolly Adelgids.

Asian longhorned beetle

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is one of the few pests considered so dangerous that possessing it in Michigan is illegal. The beetle is typically .75 to 1 inch long. They’re a shiny black with white spots on their bodies and white bands on their antennae. While the pest isn’t in Michigan, they’re established in NYC, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio, so they may be headed this way.

Adult females dig holes into maple bark and bury eggs inside them. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the inside of the tree, creating tunnels in the process. Mature larvae can penetrate the tree’s heartwood, substantially compromising its sturdiness. There are more than a billion maple trees in Michigan, and all of them would be at risk should Asian Longhorned Beetles invade our state. If you suspect you’ve identified a Longhorned Beetle, contact the MISIN immediately!.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

Like the Longhorned Asian Beetle, Michigan prohibits the Emerald Ash Borer. Unlike the beetle, the Ash Borer is already established here. The Emerald Ash Borer gets its name from its bright, metallic green coloration. Adult Ash Borers are about half an inch long. Ash Borer larvae are cream-colored and resemble fat worms.

Ash Borers have killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan. The insect feeds on ash tree foliage and lay eggs in its bark. Larvae squirm under the bark to feed, creating S-shaped tunnels under the surface. The holes produced damage Ash tree structure, depriving them of nutrients. Michigan’s currently engaged in all-out war against the Emerald Ash Borer, so if you see one, let someone know!

Invasive pests aren’t just a problem for your house or yard; they’re a problem for the whole state! If you suspect you might have an invasive species infestation near your home, let the MISIN know and then give us a call. Together, we can protect the beautiful nature of Michigan!