Termite Season: Swarming in Spring

a swarm of white termites over wood

As the temperatures rise in St. Louis, Missouri, homeowners need to be aware of a pest that can severely damage their homes: termites. Termites can be active all year round. But spring is when they begin to swarm, looking for new places to create colonies. It would help to identify why termites swarm and which ones would in St. Louis, MO. 

The Subterranean Termite

Preferring to live in underground colonies, these social insects love to munch on cellulose-based materials like wood. These swarming termites construct mud tubes to move between their nests and food sources, protecting them from predators and dehydration. 

Subterranean termites have a highly organized caste system with workers, soldiers, and winged termites. They are a significant threat to the structural integrity of buildings and homes. As such, regular termite inspections by a professional exterminator are necessary to identify problems before they become severe. 

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Termites swarm to create new colonies. When a colony becomes too big, termites with wings, or alates, will leave to start a new colony. Swarming often takes place in the spring during warm, humid conditions. This is the perfect time for termites to mate and start new colonies.

Which Termites Would Swarm?

Not all termites will swarm. Only mature colonies will send out termites with wings to mate and start new colonies. The two most common types of swarming termites are subterranean and drywood termites.

Subterranean termites live in the soil. They build mud tubes to access above-ground food sources, such as your home’s foundation or wooden structures. These termites typically swarm during the day, usually in the spring. Drywood termites, on the other hand, do not require contact with soil and live within the wood they infest. These termites swarm at night, usually in the late summer or fall.

Signs of a Termite Swarm

The most apparent sign of a termite swarm is seeing winged termites around your home. You may notice these termites on windowsills or around light fixtures. You may also see discarded wings around your home, as the termites will shed their wings after mating.

Other signs of a termite infestation include:

  • Hollow-sounding wood.
  • Mud tubes around the foundation of your home.
  • Cracked or distorted paint on wooden surfaces.
  • Tight-fitting doors or windows.
  • Soft or crumbling wood.

Call a qualified exterminator if you see any of these signs. Your property may sustain severe damage from termites, and the longer you wait, the more serious the damage can become.

Preventing Termites

Preventing termites from entering your home is crucial. You can keep termites out of your house by taking the following steps:

  • Keep firewood away from the base of your house.
  • Fix any leaky pipes or faucets.
  • Ensure your gutters are functioning correctly and clean.
  • Remove sources of standing water near your home.
  • Seal cracks or holes in your home’s foundation.
  • Trim any bushes or trees that are in contact with your home.

Regular termite inspections by a professional exterminator are essential to catch any potential termite problems before they become too severe.

Call a Professional Exterminator

You must contact a qualified exterminator as soon as you suspect you have a termite problem. They can identify your termite type and create a plan to eliminate the infestation. Blue Chip Pest Services is a professional exterminator in St. Louis specializing in termite control. Click here to contact us and schedule an inspection.

Insulation to Treat Your Pests

a close up of a pair of hands holding a handful of TAP insulation

Insulation to Treat Your Pests

Treating pests in St. Louis can be a constant battle. Keeping track of everything you need to do and maintain in order to deter bugs and rodents from your property can be overwhelming – and even more frustrating when you consider that you can do everything right and still wind up with an infestation. 

You know that you can trust the team at Blue Chip Pest Services to treat any infestation that may strike your St. Louis home. But wouldn’t you rather not have to call for treatment in the first place? There are “treated” insulation options that claim to act as a replacement for traditional pesticides, but what exactly does that mean? Does pest-treated insulation really work?

What is Treated Insulation?

If you’ve been looking into insulation, you may already be familiar with insulation treated with EPA-registered pesticides. They say this additional chemical component works to kill and deter a variety of pests and “protect” the home. But does it really? 

The harsh reality of treated insulation is that, while they function as passable insulators, they can only protect the insulation itself from pest damage. If you want to keep infestations from affecting your home and the people that need it, you’ll need something far more comprehensive. 

What is TAP Insulation?®

TAP, or Thermal Acoustic Pest Control Insulation, is a loose-fill, blown-in insulation made up of primarily recycled cellulose. Unlike treated insulation, TAP is not infused with any sort of inorganic solution. Instead, the individual pieces of cellulose are coated with Borate. Many pests, when they come into contact with this mineral, ingest it and cannot pass it, resulting in an eventual death from malnutrition or dehydration. 

This pest-killing insulation kills many of the major insect pests in St. Louis, from creatures as small as Formosan termites to those as large as roaches and slugs. With TAP, you can effectively kill infestations before they even have a chance to form, all without you having to lift a finger.

Benefits of TAP Insulation

Killing pests is only one benefit of installing TAP Pest Control Insulation. When installed correctly, TAP can last and remain effective almost indefinitely. As long as you monitor the moisture in your household, you’ll never need to worry about replacing your insulation. And even speaking outside the scope of pest control, TAP still acts as a quality insulator. It has a taller R-value than fiberglass, and it’s mold and heat resistant. It can even dampen sound flow, leaving your home energy-efficient and far more comfortable.  

Only those with the right training and certification can install TAP Insulation, which gives it a higher bar of quality compared to competitors. And if you’re a homeowner in St. Louis looking for TAP Pest Control Insulation, the best provider in the area is the team at Blue Chip Pest Services. 

Blue Chip Pest Services For Pest Control Insulation

Since we first opened our doors in 1971, we’ve been working to build a team that values thorough and ongoing training. We work to be the most qualified in the area at the things we do best – not only TAP Insulation, but all manner of pest control for homes and businesses across St. Louis. We can make moves to drastically improve the quality of life for you and anyone with whom you share a home. You don’t have to choose between pest protection and quality insulation. Let Blue Chip Pest Services install TAP insulation today and leave you with tangible peace of mind. Contact us today to get started.

Pests that Swarm in Spring

Ant on a rainy twig - common springtime pest in St Louis

Warm, sunny days – especially after rainfall – will bring out swarms of insects from their winter nests. From ants and termites to wasps and bees, there’s a whole host of pests that swarm in spring. The last thing you want is to discover these unwanted guests in your home or yard. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can protect your property from infestations. The experts at Blue Chip Pest Services explain everything you need to know to keep your space pest-free all season long.

Common Spring Insects in St. Louis

As the weather warms up, insects have two main tasks on their mind: eating and breeding. While most pests stay outside, they may seek shelter indoors if your home has enough food and hiding places. Keeping an eye out for the common springtime insects will help you avoid a major infestation down the road. Here are the most common spring insects to be on the lookout for:

WASPS are stinging insects that come in a variety of colors, though they are usually yellowish, red, or brown. Their most defining feature is a narrow waist and angular body. Some species will build nests in sheltered areas along your home or yard, which can pose a safety risk to anybody nearby.

BEES may be stinging insects, but they are generally much less aggressive than wasps. These bugs are crucial pollinators that primarily focus on making honey. You can identify them by their black and yellow striped bodies. Bees tend to nest in piles of wood or other yard debris, but they can be a hazard if they settle down close to a human-populated area.

ANTS are one of the most common springtime pests in St. Louis. Whether they’re swarming in your parking lot or crawling on your kitchen counter, these tricky insects can be difficult to get rid of once they establish a colony. Many homeowners encounter odorous house ants once the weather warms up, which typically measure between ⅛ to 3/16 of an inch and emit an unpleasant “rotten coconut” scent when crushed. 

TERMITES are notorious for causing extensive damage to wooden structures. Though they look incredibly similar to ants, these pests pose a much bigger risk to your home and are capable of causing thousands of dollars in damage. Most termites are brown or black in color and measure between ⅛ and 1 inch in size. If you notice any signs of termites, you should contact a professional right away.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Home

Below are just a few tips to discourage pests from taking up residence in your space. 

  • Clean up after outdoor BBQ and other cooking. Food scraps can attract a wide range of pests to your property; bees and wasps in particular are attracted to sweets and protein-based foods. 
  • Patch cracks or crevices in walls and repair any broken panels or siding.  Maintaining your property will keep pests from nesting in your walls. Keeping your yard neat and tidy can also deter potential infestations.
  • Repair leaky faucets, pipes, or other sources of water. Termites are notorious for invading damp or damaged wood, and many other types of pests search for water to survive. Repairing moisture issues can help protect your property.
  • Keep leaves, wood, and piles of debris away from your home. Organic debris creates the perfect environment for pests to thrive, which could lead these unwanted guests right into your home. Maintaining a clean and tidy space is one of the most effective ways to prevent a variety of infestations.
  • Sore food in airtight containers. Nothing’s worse than leaving a treat out on the counter, just to discover it’s overrun with ants a day or two later. Properly storing your food will make it more difficult for pests to thrive in your space.
  • Store pet food inside and clean pet bowls regularly. Ants and other pests are attracted to sweets as well as protein-based foods, which makes your pet bowl the perfect fuel for an infestation.

Spring Pest Control Services

If you are tired of dealing with swarms of pests in or around your home, the experienced exterminators at Blue Chip Pest Services are here to help. Our licensed technicians have been serving the St. Louis area since 1971, so we are familiar with local pest behavior. We know how to create reliable solutions that protect your property in the long run. Whether you’re currently dealing with an infestation or you want to ensure your property is protected from common springtime pests, we’ve got you covered! Just give us a call today to get your free quote.

Overwatering and Mosquitoes: What You Need to Know

a close-up of a mosquito outside

You need to water your lawn on a regular basis to keep your yard lush and green – but how much is too much? You don’t want to get dry patches from watering too little, though at the same time overwatering brings about its own problems. Excessive moisture in your yard can cause lawn diseases and attract pests like mosquitos. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent mosquitoes and enjoy your yard even more.

Mosquitoes and Moisture

Your lawn needs water, and so do mosquitos. These pests need high levels of moisture in order to live and reproduce. So if your yard has an excess of standing water, it can quickly turn into a breeding ground. Oversaturated lawns can form a thick layer of thatch that will protect mosquitos and other insects from predators and even certain pesticides. You don’t want to get to that point, so it’s important to properly maintain and irrigate for a healthier lawn you can use without being bothered by bugs

Am I Overwatering My Lawn?

How can you tell if you’re overwatering your lawn? Too much water in your yard can stunt root growth and make your grass more vulnerable to fungus and disease, but it might not be apparent until the damage is already done. Luckily there are warning signs you can look for to know if you’re watering to excess.

Squishy Soil 

There’s something called a “step test” that is a great way to tell if your lawn is oversaturated. It’s easy – all you need to do is step on your lawn in multiple places that haven’t recently been watered. If the soil feels squishy or soggy under your feet then it’s a good sign that you’ve watering too much.

Weeds and Fungus

You may have noticed that properly watered yards aren’t full of mushrooms and weeds. That’s because they need water to grow and thrive. If you notice this kind of foreign growth sprouting in your yard it may mean you need to water less. It’s also smart to remove these kinds of growth as you find them, as they can attract insects and potentially cause illness if consumed by children or animals.  


You may not know this, but it’s possible for your soil to be completely saturated. That means it will no longer absorb additional water, resulting in a trail of runoff that strips the lawn of important nutrients. This leaves your yard vulnerable to certain diseases, as well as insects and fungi growth.

Can I Prevent Mosquitoes?

The easiest thing you can do to prevent the growth of mosquitos is to make sure that you aren’t overwatering your yard. Even if you live in an arid climate you may not need to water on a daily basis. The general consensus is that your lawn needs around 1-1.5 inches of water per week, which roughly equates to three days of irrigation for around thirty minutes a day.

Mosquito Control in St. Louis

Mosquitoes, whether they’re after an overwatered lawn or another source of standing water, can be a nuisance to any homeowner. You should be able to enjoy your lawn without a swarm of stinging instincts getting in the way, and with Blue Chip Pest Services, we can make that happen. Our team is expertly trained, and we go above and beyond to provide innovative and customized pest control solutions for homes and businesses throughout the St. Louis area. Contact Blue Chip Pest Services today and increase your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Pool

A diving duck

When summer comes around here in St. Louis MO, we all look forward to taking a swim to combat the heat. Unfortunately, all kinds of birds around the area have the same idea. If you don’t take the proper precautions to keep birds out of your pool, you can easily open up your yard to all kinds of guests. Especially if your pool is nearby dense or fruit-producing trees, you can unwillingly create a bird haven in your backyard or community center. If you’re looking to learn how to keep birds away from your pool, read on for advice from the bird control experts at Blue Chip Pest Services!

Why Are There Birds in My Pool?

Just like humans, birds are looking to relax in favorable conditions and get out of the heat in our sweltering summers. You’ll find birds in ponds and puddles all year long—the only thing keeping them out of your pool is proximity! If birds find an open pool nearby, they will be happy to frequently visit or even set up a nest close by in order to have easy access to it.

If your yard has large, fruit-bearing trees, shaded areas, or sheltered roof and attic access, birds will be even more likely to share your home with you without permission.

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Pool

It takes effort to ensure that your yard stays pest-free, and this goes for birds as well. There are a few important bird prevention strategies to keep up with to make sure birds aren’t using your pool:

  • Keep your pool covered: Whenever you’re not using your pool, leaving a pool cover on will prevent birds from trying to swim.
  • Keep your plants in check: Trees with nuts and berries will contribute to a bird problem that an open pool will only worsen. Keep them trimmed back and collect dropped fruit often. You might want to consider getting rid of your bird feeder, too.
  • Use decoy toys: You can purchase decoy predators like owls, coyotes, and more to prevent birds from scoping out your property. Reflective balls and spikes are also physical bird repellent options.

Bird Control Help in St. Louis MO

If you’re struggling to keep birds out of your pool even after following our recommendations for prevention, it’s time to reach out to your local bird removal experts. Birds are protected animals here in St. Louis, so it’s important to leave their handling to the professionals. We can set up expert bird exclusion techniques to make sure you can enjoy your pool unbothered. Contact us today for a free quote!

What Are Those Tiny Red Bugs?

A clover mite in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Have you been noticing small red bugs crawling around your home or business in St. Louis MO recently? They’re probably clover mites! We’re experiencing a higher number of these tiny pests this year, which has led to lots of calls and questions about dealing with them. Are you wondering what they are or how to get rid of them? Read on to learn all about clover mites from our technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services!

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites are a part of the arachnid family, meaning that they are related to spiders, scorpions, and other eight-legged invertebrates. They are some of the smallest arachnids at only 1/30th of an inch long. A closer look will reveal a rounded body, two antennae, and a vibrant red to brownish-red color.

You’ll often find clover mites in your garden, near your houseplants, or around your fresh produce. This is because clover mites feed on vegetation, the same reason that they’re so active in the spring and summer. Shrubs and bushes provide an easy site for a clover mite problem to develop because overgrowth can allow them to reproduce and thrive undetected.

How to Get Rid of Clover Mites

Fortunately, clover mites do not bite, sting, or pass on diseases to humans. The biggest nuisance that they cause is leaving staining on walls, furniture, and curtains. That said, though, it’s never fun to have unwanted bugs crawling around in your home or taking over your garden. Here are some ways you can get rid of clover mites:

  • Get rid of the plants they’re infesting. You may not want to do this out of appreciation for the chosen plant, but if your clover mites are confined to a small region of your yard or home, a sole plant could be the problem.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner. This won’t address the source of your problem, but using a vacuum cleaner is a sure way to get rid of any clover mites on sight.
  • Use sticky traps. Sticky traps can help to catch clover mites that you might have missed with your vacuum. If you place these traps around the places that you think they’re getting in, it could curb the flow of pests into your home.
  • Call an exterminator. If you can’t figure out how to get rid of your clover mites, an exterminator will be able to tell you where your problem started and help you put it to a stop.

Pest Control for Clover Mites in St. Louis MO

If you need help getting rid of your clover mites, reach out to our technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services. We can send out an exterminator to conduct a property inspection aimed at finding all vulnerabilities and setting up a removal plan. With an emphasis on teaching our customers how to prevent future problems on their own, our service is geared at keeping homes and business clover mite-free for good. Reach out today for a free quote!