Keep an Eye Out For These 7 Types of Ants in Minnesota

A very closeup portrait of an ant isolated on white.
A very closeup portrait of an ant isolated on white.

Spring has sprung in the Midwest, unleashing a plethora of pests, including – ants! Environmental Pest Management knows everything about ants (and whatever else is bugging you). And are here to help discuss the types of ants in Minnesota. 

They’ve been in the business since 1986, and service the Twin Cities metro area, its surrounding suburbs, and parts of western Wisconsin, too. 

Whether your ant infestation is at home or work, Environmental Pest Management is here to handle whatever’s bugging you. Contact them today for a FREE quote.

Common Types Of Ants in Minnesota

A colony of ants drinking from a drop of water.

In Spring, ants are eager to find a food source and a nice place to live. Their presence can be a big problem until you call a pest control professional. Environmental Pest Control has helpful ways that you can prepare your home for warmer weather.

Although there are 12,500 different ant species, only about ten call Minnesota home. If you see red ants, don’t freak out! It’s doubtful that they’re Imported Fire Ants.

Here are the most common types of ants in Minnesota:

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) 

These ants are some of the biggest you’ll encounter! Reaching 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch in length, they are usually black or brownish. They may also have long yellow or gray hairs.

Cornfield Ants (Lasius alienus) 

Often mistaken for Carpenter Ants, Cornfield Ants are pale to dark brown but can also be red, black, or a mixture of colors. They range in size from 1/10-inch long to 1/4-inch long. Unlike Carpenter Ants, this odorous house ant emits a nasty odor when crushed.

Field Ants (Formica spp.)

These ants are medium-to-large in size, ranging from 1⁄5 to ⅜ inches in length. Their color can vary as some are black, while others are a combination of black and red. Although these ants don’t nest in your home, they build large ant mounds in your yard, which are unsightly and problematic.

Larger Yellow Ants (Acanthomyops interjectus)

If you smell lemons when you kill or disturb these ants, you’ve got Larger Yellow Ants in your home. These ants range in color from yellow to brownish-red, and workers grow to around 3/16-inch long.

Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum)

Pavement ants are a bit like watching “Game of Thrones.” These warring ants fight each other over territory. The pavement ant only grows to 1/8-inch in length and has a reddish-brown or black body. Furrows line the heads of pavement ants from top to bottom.

Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

These tiny-but-mighty ants are about 1/16-inch long with pale yellow to red bodies with a darker color in their middle sections. They are often mistaken for other ant species.

Thief Ants (Solenopsis molesta)

These little buggers measure about 1/10-1/16 inches. They may have a range in color from yellowish to brown. One unique feature is that their antennae have ten segments with a two-segmented club. In comparison, Pharaoh Ants have 12 segmented antennae ending with a three-segmented club.

Spring Cleaning to Help Prevent Ants

A woman wearing a denim shirt and blue rubber gloves wiping down her counter and spring cleaning to help prevent ants.

As we’ve mentioned, Spring is the time ants become active again. Now is an excellent time to go through the following rooms to check for signs of ants and other pests:

  1. Bathroom 
  2. Basement
  3. Kitchen
  4. Outside

It is also wise to check the seals around your doors and windows. Ants are persistent, creative creatures and can easily find their way into seemingly closed-off homes.

Sometimes a deep cleaning and good ol’ ant traps are all that’s needed to get rid of ants. You think you clean up well enough, but they come back before you know it, and further, any control is needed. That’s the time to call Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. 

What Ants Prefer

Carpenter ants on a piece of wood

  • Carpenter Ants: These ants love wood and wooden structures, especially rotting, wet or damaged wood. They’ll tunnel through the rotting wood to build their nests under your bathroom floor, roof, or behind walls. Carpenter Ants love grease, meats, and anything sweet. 
  • Cornfield Ants: OUCH! Did you know the Cornfield Ant bites? Luckily, the bite isn’t serious and merely causes a slight itch or stinging. True to their name, Cornfield Ants prefer to nest outdoors. These ant nests leave unsightly craters in lawns or planters as the colony increases. If you’ve found Cornfield Ants in your home, it means you have moisture in your home’s wood.
  • Field Ants: Like Cornfield Ants, these sizeable ants create mounds in open areas like lawns and meadows. Although they don’t nest in homes, they may find a way inside when swarming or searching for food. Common points of entry are loose weather stripping and cracked windows. Ant nests built close to the foundation may also enable ants to enter your home quickly.
  • Larger Yellow Ants: These nocturnal ants get busy at night. Like Pavement Ants, these pests often nest under concrete or home foundations. Although they don’t damage masonry, they can be very tricky to control once established.
  • Pavement Ants: These ants love greasy foods and sweets like most other pest ants. They often enter homes through the nests that they build under concrete slabs and homes with concrete foundations. They also like to nest under heated slab foundations throughout the winter.
  • Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants feast on high-fat and sugary foods. They also enjoy a good snack of soap, toothpaste, and other hygiene products. If you notice them coming back again and again, it’s because they leave a pheromone trail to show other ants where your goodies are. The ants will infest your food stores in large numbers if they find food in the same spot twice.
  • Thief Ants: Thief Ants get into your home through cracks in your woodwork, holes in walls, and open doors. These ants feed on greasy foods high in protein or sweets. During your Spring cleaning, make sure to check your children’s room to make sure there’s no candy hiding under the bed or in the closet. 

Help Is On The Way

A pest specialist spraying for ants in a customer/s kitchen.

If infestations are hard to manage yourself, it’s best to call in the past professionals at Environmental Pest Management. They’ll immediately identify the problem and fix it. Contact them today for your FREE quote.

Fill Your Garden With These Beneficial Insects

A ladybug being a beneficial isnects and hunting aphids on a plant.
A ladybug being a beneficial isnects and hunting aphids on a plant.

Whether you have a decorative or food garden keeping it pest-free is important. While pesticides are an effective way to keep insects away from your yard, they are not naturally occurring. For your home garden, try adding some predatory and beneficial insects instead.

Beneficial insects will keep your garden free of harmful bugs that may destroy the fruits of your labor. Keep reading to learn more about the right insects to add around your home to have a beautiful and bountiful garden.

But, if you need a little help getting started, Environmental Pest Management is ready to assist you by safely and effectively ridding your home and garden of unwanted pests or rodents. Contact us today, and we’ll work together to develop your pest-control plan.

What Are Beneficial Insects?

Two Minute Pirate Bugs on a leaf, being beneficial insects

Beneficial bugs eat others, and in turn, provide natural pest control. These helpful insects are mainly attracted to flowering plants and can sometimes be purchased in stores online.

Beneficial insects feed as both young and adults on other bugs. These bugs are ideal for helping to control unwanted Aphid, Whitefly, and Mealybug populations. 

Examples of beneficial insects include a Minute Pirate Bug, Lady Beetle (also known as a Ladybug), and Crab Spider. Another type of valuable insect species is called a Parasitoid. They seek other insects as hosts in which to lay their eggs.

Small wasps are common parasitoids. When these wasp eggs hatch, the young feed and develop within the insect host and eventually kill it.

The MSU Extension has an educational and colorful brochure that shows these and other beneficial predator bugs that work well to prevent other harmful insects.

The Pollinators

A honey bee pollinating a white flower

When it comes to beneficial insects, there are more than just predatory bugs you want.

By far, pollinating is the most common reason any insect is thought of when ‘good.’

Pollination is an integral part of plant reproduction. According to the U.S. Forest Service, pollination creates crucial genetic diversity and allows for adequate fruit growth and seed dispersal. 

Without pollination, there likely wouldn’t be many plants. 

Bees are one of the most popular pollinators.

In the Midwest, there are five prominent bee families. The family names are Apidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, and Colletidae. 

Included in the Apidae family are honey bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. These are familiar sights to most people who step outside in the spring, summer, and early fall. 

Honey bees need little explanation. They collect pollen, then it falls during transport, making honey in their nest from the nectar. 

Bumblebees are also important pollinators.

Interestingly, Bumblebees pollinate by sonicating or buzzing and by using their tongue.

This sonicating is necessary to get the most pollen loose from these plants. Their loud buzzing isn’t to scare you at all, but rather a useful adaptation that makes them the super-pollinators they are.

Bumblebees vibrate their wing muscles, making a buzzing noise, which causes the anthers to shake out pollen grains, successfully pollinating plants.

Bring The Good Bugs to You

Marigold flowers attract beneficial insects

Use integrated pest management theory to attract beneficial bugs while you control garden pests. 

Certain plants will attract the beneficial insects you want.

All flowers and plants to be discussed are native to the north-central United States. In the Twin Cities area, helpful bugs and garden pests won’t have flowering plants to feed on until mid-late May. 

Whether you are planting for food or aesthetic purposes, flowers can provide a safety border. For instance, to protect your tomato plants, add some marigolds.

Marigolds naturally attract aphids. Aphids are tasty and call to good predators like Crab Spiders, Ladybugs, and Pirate Bugs. If the Aphids and predator bugs are distracted by your Marigolds, it will give your tomato plants some much-needed protection.

Creating a Security Border

A bee pollinating a purple flower

When you prepare your gardens to attract the good bugs, you also protect your home from unwanted pests.

Think of a floral security border as you would a child’s pinwheel. It spins, like the seasons changing, yet you always see colors. 

In the first of the growing season, mid-late May, little more than wild strawberry or Golden Alexanders will grow. As you move into June, more variety is available, including hairy Beardtongue, Angelica, and Cow Parsnip. 

In July, flowering options widen more. Indian Hemp, Late Figwort, Culver’s Root, and more are excellent options to draw those beneficial insects, the bees. 

It may be a reflex to swat when you hear the buzzing sound. Science shows more and more benefits bees offer to our environment. 

Once you have planted your vegetables or flowers, welcome the buzz!. 

You’ve given these beneficial insects a buffet of pollen and nectar to devour, and they’ll return the favor by pollinating your plants.

Do you want to identify plants in your garden? This colorful graph matches the flowers’ names and pictures.

Michigan State University gives detailed information regarding plants grown throughout the northern midwest. It is an exceptional resource for using biological control of unwanted pests.

One More Good Bug

A Ground Beetle eating a slug in a garden.

Ground Beetle is a catch-all name given to one of the types of beneficial insects in the Carabidae family. They are also known as Carabids.

Ground Beetles are among the largest insect families, with approximately 40,000 species worldwide and 2,339 species in the United States. The adult beetles hunt primarily on the soil surface but sometimes climb into the foliage, searching for food. 

While the adults are beneficial insects, the burrowing larvae of these beetles also seek out and feed on pests in the soil. Many ground beetle species have broad feeding habits, eating other insects and plants’ seeds (including weeds). Ground Beetles like to snack on mites, slugs, snails, caterpillars, cutworms, earwigs, vine borers, aphids, and other insects.

If you find your garden is infested by any of these unwanted bugs, it might be time to call in the Ground Beetles.

You Aren’t Alone

A beautiful backyard garden with healthy, flowering plants

We’ve offered some creative and earth-friendly ideas to control bad bugs around your home, office, or other commercial building. If you don’t have the time or desire to do it on your own, don’t stress.

Protect your home from unwanted pests. Reach out to Environmental Pest Management for an inspection today. 

I Have Flea Bites! Now What?

A close-up of a flea
A close-up of a flea

Nothing puts a damper on summer fun like insect bites. But if you’re still getting itchy red bumps after going indoors, you may be dealing with flea bites.

Fleas like to hitch a ride on furry pets. When your dog lies in the yard, he’s an easy target. After your pet comes inside, you’re an easy target, too. 

If you need help debugging your home, contact Environmental Pest Management today. Our pest control experts will provide a solution that works for you. Get your free quote today.

The Basics About Fleas

A flea life cycle diagram

Fleas are parasites that hop onto any warm-blooded host available. Their strong claws make them difficult to dislodge. Hair or fur can make them difficult to spot.

Fleas have strong hind legs that give them the ability to jump about 12 inches vertically. Bites on your lower legs and feet are often caused by fleas. 

Fleas reproduce by laying eggs. Eggs can take anywhere from 2 days to two weeks to hatch. 

After hatching, flea larvae grow in dark, humid environments. The dark and humidity under a carpet is a perfect habitat for them. 

After another 1-2 weeks, the flea larva spins itself into a cocoon. It emerges as an adult about four days later.

The adult flea lives about 2-3 months and may lay about 5000 eggs in that time. An adult flea can bite and feed up to 400 times a day. 

How Do I Know If I Have Flea Bites?

A closeup of flea bites on a human leg

Fleas are tiny – about the size of the tip of a pencil. They are small enough that you might not notice them if you aren’t looking for them. 

Fleas can’t fly, but they jump. This little bug packs a big bite. A flea will continue to bite until it is gorged and leave a raised, itchy welt.

Take a good look at your pet. Brush his fur and look for small, black dots. 

Unlike other bug bites, flea bites are likely to occur on your lower legs and feet. A series of red bumps may be the outcome of walking through a flea-infested area. 

Scratching the bite may cause increased itching. Treat bites with an itch cream containing hydrocortisone. Many creams are available without a prescription. 

Though uncommon, flea bites cause an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms range from hives to difficulty breathing. If you have severe itching, swelling, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention.

Flea bites can last up to three weeks but normally disappear within several days if you refrain from scratching them. 

Fleas can transmit diseases, including plague, tapeworms, and typhus, but this is very unusual. It is more likely that scratching those itchy red spots will break the skin, resulting in an infection.

What Do I Do If I Have Fleas?

Couple cleaning their dog and house from fleas

If your home is infected, there are steps you can take to get rid of fleas:

1.Treat your pet and your home at the same time. Bug control requires a blitz attack. If you treat Rover this weekend but don’t vacuum until next weekend, bugs will re-infest in short order. Treat your pet with a flea shampoo, and follow up with preventive treatment. Talk to your veterinarian about the best product for your pet.

2. Vacuum. Do the floors, the furniture, the baseboards, and any other small areas of your home that fleas or their larvae could be tucked into. Take your vacuum outside to empty it.

3. Steam clean the carpets. 

4. Wash all the bedding in hot water, including your pet beds and blankets. Dry them at the highest setting the items can handle.

5. Apply an insecticide that kills both adult fleas and eggs. Wear gloves and a face mask, and leave the area until the spray dries. 

6. Vacuum again to get any remaining fleas or eggs. 

Keep in mind that flea larvae may be dormant for weeks or months, waiting until the temperature is ideal. If you miss any eggs, you could be starting this process again soon.

Fleas In Your Yard

A man mowing his lawn to prevent fleas

If you’ve just eliminated fleas from your home, you don’t want your pet to carry fleas right back in. Don’t wait to discover another round of flea bites. Take action to keep fleas out of your yard.

Fleas prefer shady, humid spaces. Your pet might also consider that shady spot a good place to relax and nap. 

If Fido has fleas, and he likes to lie under the elm tree, odds are you will find fleas living under that tree.

Take these steps to reduce insect bites in your yard and new infestations in your home:

  • Mow the grass. Fleas like to hide in tall grass. Grass that is less than 2 inches tall deters their natural predators, so aim for 3-4 inches.
  • Clean out any areas of damp leaves or other debris. Fleas love to hide and lay eggs in these deposits.
  • Don’t overwater your yard. Fleas love soggy ground and compost.
  • Apply a flea killing treatment. There are several sprays and pellets on the market. 

If you’re uncomfortable using an insecticide, a natural alternative is to release the fleas’ natural predators into the environment. Nematodes can be purchased at your local garden store. These tiny organisms live in soil and help control many garden insects. 

  • Add cedar mulch around plants and in shady areas. Cedar is a natural flea deterrent.

Once your flea infestation is under control, apply a preventive treatment o a regular basis to keep them from coming back.

Consider Professional Help

Portrait of confident pest control worker wearing cap against truck

Flea control requires a targeted approach. 

Be flea-free without tearing your hair out (or shaving your pet’s hair off.) Contact Environmental Pest Management today. We’ll provide a solution that takes the stress off. Get your free quote today.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

A dead cockroach in someon'es home after using the integrated pest management approach
A dead cockroach in someon'es home after using the integrated pest management approach

Pest Management Technology has advanced, just like technology has brought positive outcomes in other sectors. There is no longer a one size fits all method to pest control. Integrated pest management combines effective techniques customized to your pest problem. 

Experts can now eliminate pests economically with less risk to humans, property, and the environment with integrated pest management. Not only will you find peace of mind with integrated pest management, but the results will be long-term. 

Environmental Pest Management uses integrated techniques to prevent pest activity and deal with pest problems when they occur. Our experts will assess your concerns and will implement specific, effective solutions based on their findings. 

This article will explain what integrated pest management entails and why it is a resolution of choice. 

What is Integrated Pest Management? 

pest control worker lying on floor and spraying pesticides in kitchen

Integrated pest management (IPM) uses techniques to control pests while minimizing the use of chemicals. Integrated pest management emphasizes the use of low toxicity methods to reduce harm to humans and the environment. 

What are pests? Pests are organisms that may cause damage or interfere with our property or livelihood. They include organisms that may impact the health of humans or animals. 

Pests are capable of transmitting disease but often are just an inconvenience. Pests are not only animals or insects; they may also be plants or pathogens that harm any part of the ecosystem. 

IPM practices are considered ecosystem-based solutions for pest control. IPM uses a combination of techniques: 

  • Biological control
  • Habitat manipulation
  • Modification of cultural practices
  • Use of pesticides only if indicated
  • Treatment goals of removing only the targeted pests

There is a five-step process for integrated pest management: inspection, identification, monitoring, action, and evaluation. 

How Does Integrated Pest Management Work?

Integrated pest management is customized to the situation to minimize pest damage. Thus there is no single pest control method used. IPM programs use a four-tiered approach: 

Set Action Thresholds

Before experts take action, IPM experts set a threshold to when and how they will intervene to control pest infestations. If not met, intervention is not considered necessary. Often economic threat is a consideration in action thresholds. 

Monitor and Identify Pests

pest control worker examining kitchen with flashlight

Pests do not always be controlled or eliminated. Many are required to keep our ecosystem healthy and vibrant. IPM programs monitor and identify pests accurately so experts can implement proper control methods. 

Monitoring involves evaluating the environment to identify which pests are present, how many they are, and what damage they have caused. Proper identification is essential to determine likely damage and pick the best management plan.

It is harmful to use pesticides when they are unnecessary. Proper monitoring and identification of pest control concerns minimize the use of toxic chemicals and the risk of using the wrong chemicals to control the situation. 

Prevention

Prevention is the most important step in pest control management. Integrated pest management works to manage indoor and outdoor spaces to keep pests from becoming a threat. The techniques used are effective and economically efficient, presenting a low risk to humans or the environment. 

Control

Exterminator in work wear spraying pesticide with sprayer.

Once action thresholds, monitoring, and identification indicate a pest problem, control methods are implemented. Both risk and effectiveness are weighted to determine the right control method to use. 

The first choice is often highly targeted chemicals such as pheromones to stop pest mating or mechanical control such as trapping. If these methods are ineffective, then other techniques may be considered, such as pesticides.

Pesticides used when necessary and in combination with other interventions for effective, long-term control. Pesticides are selected so they are minimally harmful to humans and the environment. 

The best chemicals will do the job but are safe for other organisms, the air, soil, and property. 

Determining the right intervention is part of assessing, implementing, and monitoring for integrated pest management. 

Assessment, Implementation, and Monitoring for Integrated Pest Management

Woven into the process are proper assessment, implementation, and monitoring of the pest concern. You will find innovative and creative techniques through each step of management. 

Assessment

A worker searching for signs of pests

Assessment includes a comprehensive evaluation of the situation. Experts look at why:

  • Why you have ants in one area and not another?
  • Why you hear rodents on a certain side of the house?
  • Where are the pests entering? 

Experts discover the road to a solution through investigation. Building structure, geography, climate, soil properties, and other conditions can contribute to pest control issues. 

Implementation

Ants in the house on the baseboards and wall angle

Using the same method for pest elimination will not be effective for everyone. A customized approach leads to the best solution. 

The four-tiered approaches of integrative pest management: action thresholds, monitoring and identifying, prevention, and control are all part of the implementation process. 

Experts will also advise on eliminating pest “hot spots.” Proper cleaning, maintenance efforts, and sometimes ongoing chemical treatment are included in the plan. If chemicals are necessary, experts will recommend the least toxic and harmful options. 

Monitoring

A pest worker working with a customer

After intervention and treatment, know you will not be left alone. Pest management specialists are accessible year-round to ensure interventions continue to be effective. 

Pest control experts evaluate new signs of pest activity and conditions at follow-ups that may invite further intrusion. Pest control is dependent upon collaboration for long-term results. It is necessary to have a trusting relationship between you and the experts to work together for the best possible outcome. 

Environmental Pest Management Can Provide a Solution For You

Dead cockroaches due to integrated pest management

The experts at Environmental Pest Management use Integrated Pest Management to address your pest concerns. This practical, environmentally sensitive approach is common sense because it is safe and effective. 

By using comprehensive information on pest life-cycles and how they interact with the environment, we can address virtually all pest control concerns, regardless of the challenge. Importantly, we can do this ethically and economically. 

Contact us today to book your free pest inspection. You will soon understand how integrated pest management can work for you!

What To Expect with a Pest Inspection

a cartoon about Pest Inspection
a cartoon about Pest Inspection

Bugs got you down? Are you in need of a pest inspection? Maybe you are buying or selling a home and need to make sure it is free of infestation. Perhaps you have seen those tell-tale signs of unwanted guests.

Whatever the reason, Environmental Pest Management is there to address your concerns. We have been in the pest control industry since 1986. You can trust us to solve the problem safely, effectively, and for the long-term. 

We will walk you through step by step on what to expect with a pest inspection, so you are free of the unexpected. 

What is a Pre-Purchased Versus Routine Pest Inspection? 

person looking an ant with a magnifying glass

There are two types of pest inspections, pre-purchased and routine. Pre-purchased are usually done with the sale or purchase of a new home. The state sometimes requires them; however, it is dependent upon where you live. 

With a pre-purchased inspection, professionals usually inspect before an offer is made on a home. Repairs from pests can be expensive, so a check can identify any issues and give a bargaining tool if necessary. It also eliminates any surprises before moving as no one wants to find out about a termite infestation after it’s too late. 

Routine inspections are completed at regular intervals, often annually. Having a routine inspection identifies issues before they cause expensive damage. Routine inspections can also identify construction faults, drainage, and environmental conditions that put you at risk for pests. 

What Does a Technician Do During an Inspection? 

A woman shaking hands with a pest inspector

A master technician will have the knowledge and experience to do a proper pest inspection. The inspection will include a strategic evaluation of the home, inside and out, to identify areas of concern. Technicians will look for evidence of an infestation, wood decay, fungi, and mold. 

The technician is going to look for evidence of past pest activity and risks for future infestations. Special tools such as moisture meters, motion detectors, and thermal imaging are used to identify areas of concern. 

Using the tools and their eye, technicians will evaluate the following: 

  • Rooms of the home
  • Subfloors
  • Roof Voids
  • Outbuildings such as sheds
  • Fences
  • Stumps
  • Retaining Walls

The pest inspection will likely take two hours or more depending on the home and land size. Detailed notes and photographs finalize a report before any steps of action. 

What Do I Need to Know About Pest Inspection Tools? 

An environmental home inspector is viewed close-up at work, using an electronic moisture meter to detect signs of damp and rot in wooden structural elements.

The technician will use high-tech equipment to assess the pest activity within and around the home. 

Experts include the following tools in a pest inspection: 

  • Thermal imaging cameras to locate nests and activity
  • Moisture meters to assess moisture levels in the walls as pests love moisture and humidity
  • Termatrac microwave radar detection units that can track termites in the wall and find nests
  • Heinemann boroscopes which help find live ants and any damage they may have caused

However, the best tool technicians have is their own eyes. Experienced technicians know what to look for and can often find subtle signs of pest activity. They may identify:

  • Dirt or mud in corners of rooms or along baseboards
  • Electrical issues and faulty plugs caused by pest activity
  • Damage to wood or plaster

They may also ask for help for damage or concern areas you have identified. It is your home, and you know it best. 

Should I Be Present for the Pest Inspection? 

A woman speaking with her pest inspector

It is best if you are present for the pest inspection. Technicians appreciate your presence as you can point out concerns, and they can explain problems to you on the spot.

If you cannot be present during the inspection, it is essential to make sure the technician provides you with a detailed report identifying current and potential concerns.

What Should I Look For in a Pest Report? 

Exterminator in work wear spraying pesticide with sprayer. Selective focus.

Pest reports should identify concerns and list recommendations to fix problems. Reports may identify areas that need further investigation, such as spots they could not access. 

Technicians include pictures in the report. Photographs help to give evidence to the issue. You’ll have a better understanding of the treatment plan.  

The report should identify concerns such as building faults, drainage problems, or environmental issues that make you vulnerable to pests. The information will also include recommended treatment and cost. 

The report should be available to you promptly, usually within 24 hours. Technicians will be accessible to address any questions or concerns. 

You must understand the report; ask questions if you do not. It should give you a better understanding of the home, property, and pest infestation damage. 

How Are Pests Exterminated? 

Exterminator in work wear spraying pesticide with sprayer.

Usually, the home will not be tented. Many of the products used now for extermination are effective without tenting. The chemicals used are less harmful than in the past. 

Why was tenting used in the past? It used to be the only way to get rid of pests. Tenting was sufficient, but the chemicals used were toxic and unsafe. 

Additionally, the exterminator will remove decaying wood. Removal may involve tearing out overhangs, part of roof extensions, window sills, support beams, flooring, or siding. 

Sometimes only a piece of the wood is removed. Communicate with the experts as to what they are removing or replacing. 

Make Sure You Use a Reliable Company With Experience in the Industry

Two Happy Male Pest Control Workers With Toolbox

Experience is the crucial factor of a reliable pest inspection. The technicians at Environmental Pest Management will solve the problem by identifying the source of the issue. By addressing the what, why, how, and when, we can find a solution for your pest concerns.

The experts at Environmental Pest Management use Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a practical and environmentally sensitive approach that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current and comprehensive information on pests’ life cycles and how they interact with their environment. 

Using IPM, we can manage pest damage ethically and economically. 

Contact us today to book your free pest inspection. We will work to eliminate the pests in your life.

Why the Pest Company You Choose Matters

Male Pest Control Worker Shaking Hands With Happy Woman In Kitchen
Male Pest Control Worker Shaking Hands With Happy Woman In Kitchen

You might not think of putting so much intention into hiring a pest control company; however, it’s crucial to make your selection carefully.

Think about it. Pests in your home represent an invasion of your safe, comfortable, valuable space. Trusting just anyone to eradicate the invaders and restore your area to serenity and security is a careful undertaking.

Our professional team at Environmental Pest Management takes their job seriously. We provide you with trustworthy, reliable pest control services that meet your unique needs with timely, thorough attention.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote. We’ll return your home to a pest-free, clean, and safe environment quickly and efficiently, with warm and welcoming customer service at heart.

Hire a pest control company that does the job right

Smiling pest management worker in front of a company vehicle

Partnering with your region’s best pest control company should mean you’ll get great results, clear expectations, and honest service with a fantastic attitude. 

Take care to read customer reviews and other reputation markers on any companies you consider for pest removal services. It’s smart to ask around with neighbors, friends, and family members about their experiences with local pest control companies.

A local referral from someone you trust is the gold-standard for a good business reputation. (Psst: at EPM, we continue to be honored that our customers recommend our services widely across our Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota service areas!)

After all, your pest control company can access your most valuable assets: your home or business. Doing a little pre-treatment digging can help ensure you’ll be pleased with the results.

Do your (pest control) homework

A woman doing research on pest management companies near her

Choosing the right pest control company starts with a little research. There are several selection criteria you must verify before inviting a pest control company into your home.

  1. Trust: Before allowing any service professional into your house, make sure they are licensed (if applicable) and bonded. These credentials mean that the company takes your privacy and security seriously. They are willing to stand by their team members’ honesty and integrity while delivering services in your valuable space.
  2. Membership and local and national professional organizations: When companies join their industry orgs, they have a substantial commitment to quality and oversight. 
  3. Environmental concern: Pest companies especially have a duty to be gentle on the environment with chemicals and practices that do not cause harm to people, pets, or plants, in and out of the house. It’s wise to ask questions about the chemicals used in pest control and how they work to eliminate the intruders in question.
  4. Free inspections: Before a pest control company asks for your money, they should be willing to explore the problem thoroughly and provide an array of solutions from which you can choose the best option.
  5. Safety protocols: How will the pest control company keep chemicals on the pests and not on your counters, floors, clothing, and other surfaces? How will they clean up after themselves? Do they have detailed safety procedures for their staff and customers?
  6. Non-chemical pest solutions: Chemicals are only a piece of the pest control pie. Mechanical measures like crevice-sealing, physical traps, and cleaning practices should be part of the pest control solution mosaic.
  7. Professional appearance: All pest control staff should wear a uniform with their name clearly displayed, as well as provide contact information for questions or concerns.
  8. A “we can solve it” attitude: Even for the most challenging pest infestations, your pest control company should partner with you in their detective work. Rather than settling for “good enough,” your pest company should take the time to be diligent until all pests clear out.
  9. Price clarity and guarantee: Once you’ve agreed to pest control services, the company should honor their quote. Stating clearly the elements of service and noting the cost of add-ons before service begins is paramount to a trust-based relationship.
  10. Commitment to customer satisfaction: If you’re not satisfied with your service, your pest company should work diligently with you to hold up their promises. The job isn’t finished until your pests are gone for good.

What about the cost?

Male Worker With Mask Kneeling On Floor And Spraying Pesticide On Wooden Cabinet Using Flashlight

A worthy pest control company will give you a menu of service options that fit your budget and get the job done. Depending on the type and severity of an infestation, your pest control company should give you a realistic outlook on what it will take to keep your property pest-free year-round.

Rather than being concerned with locking you into a subscription, the company you choose should give you plenty of flexibility, while setting up realistic expectations.

For example, if you notice that carpenter ants return seasonally, your pest control partner should offer one-time pest control visits as well as a preventative maintenance option. You retain the choice to obtain regularly scheduled visits or single treatments, depending on your budget and goals.

Your pest control company should make you aware of the possible outcomes of all your choices, as your unique pest problem may dictate. Plus, your service provider should deliver uniform excellence in service, regardless of the frequency of their visits to your property.

What else should I know about protecting my home or business from pests?

A pest control technician explains something to a customer

Choosing a versatile pest control company with plenty of commercial and residential experience is paramount.  

Environmental Pest Management handles a large number of clientele in small businesses, single-family neighborhoods, and multi-family apartment complexes. There’s no infestation too big or too small for us to handle. We know you simply want relief, no matter where your pests show up.

Environmental Pest Management: your Minnesota pest-buster

Exterminator in work wear spraying pesticide with sprayer.

We are proud to have built a business that serves massive buildings to the coziest houses. We have big-company resources, experience, and expertise combined with community values that count.

When pests disrupt your business, home, or comfort, we come to the rescue. Trust our deep Minnesota roots, environmental stewardship, great rates, and variety of service options to keep your space pest and worry-free.

Visit our website today to learn more and schedule a free quote. We’ll have you pest-free in a flash with the best comprehensive service in the region.

How to Avoid Uninvited Pests This Holiday Season

a bug on a Christmas tree
a bug on a Christmas tree

Holidays are full of all things good: gifts, food, visitors. But occasionally, we find ourselves with visitors that were not invited and definitely aren’t wanted. Let’s discuss holiday pest control.

As fall turns into winter and the air outside gets chilly, most of us spend more time indoors. 

We aren’t the only ones wanting to cozy up inside as temperatures drop. Spiders, insects, and rodents all gravitate toward heated spaces as it gets colder outside. 

If you find yourself with unwanted guests, don’t be a gracious host. Contact Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today. We’ll provide a custom solution to evict those pests and make your season bright.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year… 

A mouse in a Christmas present

Unless you have an infestation. Consider holiday pest control options to avoid a present you don’t want. 

There’s nothing like getting a live tree for your home during the Christmas season. They smell amazing and make an unmatchable centerpiece for the holidays.

Many families make a tradition of trekking to the tree farm, choosing, and even chopping down their tree. Others might get a freshly-cut tree from a corner lot, placing their focus on decorating while sipping a hot mug of cider.

Whether you chopped it down yourself or purchased a tree from a parking lot store, use precautions to avoid holiday pests riding in on those branches. 

The best time to inspect your tree is before it’s in your house. Take a close look between the branches. Shake it well before you bring it indoors. This will also release loose pine needles outside, leaving you with less cleanup.  

Once your tree is up, you’ll probably reach for your decorations.

Where have you been storing those pretty baubles? If those boxes were in the basement or the garage, they might have become homes to insects or even mice. 

Control unwanted holiday pests by opening the box and inspecting its contents before you move it out of the storage area. 

If you do find spiders, centipedes, or other unwelcome bugs, empty the container in a place with easy cleanup, such as the garage. Clean the inside of the container with equal parts vinegar and water. Dry thoroughly and check each item as you put it back in the container. 

Store your decorations in plastic totes instead of cardboard boxes to control holiday pests. It’s harder for spiders and other insects to get into them. They’re also easier to clean. 

A Little Extra Work Will Make That Holiday Hearth More Relaxing.

Mouse looking over a red Christmas ornament

Everyone loves a crackling fire and a cup of something hot on a winter night. It’s less appealing to trudge across the yard for more firewood.

It’s tempting to put your woodpile within arm’s reach, but it isn’t a good idea. Woodpiles can attract mice. If your firewood is right outside your door, you might find yourself with more than kindling when you reach out for a stick. 

Avoid furry holiday pests by keeping your firewood at least twenty feet away from your door. Remove piles of leaves around your house for the same reason. 

Don’t Give Pests A Free Ride Home.

A top view of a bed bug

Bed bugs have become more prevalent in recent years. 

These little tick-like insects are drawn to the smell of carbon dioxide. They avoid light. These two traits make your suitcase full of dirty laundry irresistible. 

Whether you’re traveling to get away from it all or traveling to be near loved ones, you’ll probably be spending some time in a hotel room. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t check out with more bodies than you started with. 

Take these steps to control holiday pests.  At the beginning of your stay, prevent bed bugs from riding home with you:

  • Check reviews of your hotel before staying. Any hotel can have bed bugs, but a good hotel will address them swiftly. 
  • Consider where you put your luggage. Don’t put it on the bed or the luggage rack until you have inspected the room. Leave your luggage in the car or put it in the bathtub (you won’t be setting it on any bed bugs that way) while you check the room. 
  • Bring a garbage bag or sealing vacuum bag for your used laundry. The smell of sweat that attracts the bugs will be contained.
  • Bring an oversized garbage bag for your suitcase. Put the whole suitcase in and seal or fasten it when you aren’t accessing it. 
  • Inspect your room:
    • Use the light on your phone to check over the bed. Look in the seam of the mattress for live bugs or dark spots that could indicate previous or current bugs. 
    • Check the seams of any upholstered chairs or couches in the room.
    • If there is a headboard attached to the wall, use your light to check around the edges and as far behind it as you can see. Do the same with any pictures on the walls.
    • Check the luggage rack if you intend to use it. 

If you do find bugs in your room, tell management. They should offer you a different room – one that doesn’t share a wall with the buggy room. 

Spray your luggage with rubbing alcohol before you head for home. 91% rubbing alcohol is easy to find at drug stores and will kill bugs and eggs on contact. Only do this in a well-ventilated area – you don’t want to breathe it in.  Don’t soak the luggage or you may have discolored spots. 

When you get home, toss your luggage in the bathtub. Take your laundry out and wash it right away. If you have clothes that aren’t dirty, you can skip the wash and run them through the dryer for 30 minutes on high. The heat will kill any hitchhiking bugs. 

Spray your luggage down again with rubbing alcohol and let it air dry. Then vacuum the inside and outside of the suitcase before putting it away.

Enjoy The Holidays With The Ones You Love, And No One Else.

family celebrating ChristmasIf you find yourself hosting unwanted pests, don’t accept them like a poorly chosen present. Contact Environmental Pest Management today for a free inspection. We’ll customize pest control services to evict those unwanted guests and make sure they stay out