4 Destructive Pests That Live Right in Your Backyard

It’s a wild world out there, even in your own backyard. Just a few steps outside your home, there are numerous animals, bugs, and other pests that can damage your landscaping, your home, and may even be a threat to your health.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to stay inside and seek shelter. Some basic preventative steps can keep you and your home safe. Below are four common pests that can infest the area immediately around your home. By understanding the threat and identifying infestations, you can take action to protect yourself.

Carpenter Ants

Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. Rather, they dig out shavings and pieces of wood and then deposit that wood in and around their nest. If caught early, carpenter ants won’t do much damage to your home. However, if they go undetected for an extended period, they can be very destructive to your home’s frame and other wood elements.

Signs of carpenter ant activity include wood shavings found on your counters and along your floors. You also may here a slight “rustling” sound behind your walls as they build their nest. Additionally, carpenter ants feed on fruit and other foods in your kitchen. You may see them walking along your counters to collect food.

Some carpenter ants, known as “swarmers,” are winged and will fly around your home looking for food. Swarmers are among the last ants to develop in any colony. If you see small, black, flying ants, chances are good that you have a mature, well-established colony behind your walls.

The best way to remove a carpenter ant colony is with help from a professional. An experienced pest control company can target the colony, destroy it, and treat you home to prevent future infestations.

Norway Rats

Norway rats are a large breed of rat that can hide in your walls and other enclosed areas. They will feed on fruit, vegetables, meat, dry dog food, and just about anything else that’s available to them. They’ll even eat dead animals and animal feces.

One of the worst things about Norway Rats is how frequently they breed. A female Norway rat can have up to 12 litters per year with up to 20 rats in each litter. As you can imagine, once they’re in your home, they can breed quickly.

Also, you may not notice them immediately as they generally love dark, hidden areas. If you see one out in the daylight, that is an indication that you have an especially large infestation. Common signs of Norway rats are unusual, capsule-sized droppings on the floor, unusual scratching noises behind your walls, and scratches and openings on bags of food.

There are a few steps you can take to prevent a rat infestation. First, take steps to eliminate moisture accumulation around your home. Rats are attracted to water sources. Clean your gutters and make sure you have good drainage.

Also, keep doors and windows closed, especially at night. Seal up cracks in your foundation or in your siding. Norway rats are large, but they can squeeze into openings that are only a fraction of an inch in diameter.

If you notice an infestation, you will almost certainly need professional assistance. A professional can flush out all of the rats in your home and implement measures to prevent future infestations.


Ticks are tiny bugs, often smaller than a sunflower seed. They won’t damage your home or eat your food, but they can be destructive in their own way. They can transmit a variety of diseases, including Lyme disease.

How do you identify a tick infestation? Usually through seeing the actual tick itself. They will attach themselves to a host, usually a person or an animal. They will then burrow into the skin to feed on the blood in the host. A portion of the tick’s body will still remain visible.

Ticks often live in high grass or thick shrubbery. Keep your grass short, especially in the areas directly around your home. Seal up any cracks in the foundation or in the side of your home.

Of course, the biggest tick threat may be your family pet. Dogs and outdoor cats are especially vulnerable targets. They can bring in one tick and that tick can then reproduce, causing an instant tick infestation. Most vets and pet stores offer flea and tick preventative treatments. Keep your furry friend protected against ticks at all times.

Subterranean Termites

There may be no more destructive pest than the termite. There are several different types of termites, but one of the most common is the subterranean termite.

Subterranean termites actually build their colonies in the soil around your home. These colonies include a complex set of chambers and tunnels. The termites then build mud tunnels up your foundation and into your siding.

Termites can be extremely hard to detect because they often stay behind your walls. Mud tunnels on the side of your home can be a sign of subterranean termites, but there are other types that don’t build tunnels at all.

Your best defense is regular termite inspections conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable professional. The pest control expert can look for termites in your home and eliminate them before they do too much damage. He or she can then treat your home and the area around it to prevent future infestations.

Often, the only way to truly eliminate your pest problem is to work with a pest control professional. If you have a pest problem in and around your home, contact us today. Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.