Pest Library

Common Pest Identification In The DMV Area

Do you know which pests are most likely to get into your home or business? If so, do you know the problems they can cause once inside? If not, our Pest Library is the resource you need. It provides helpful information about the most common pests in the Northern Virginia area.

Bed Bugs

Top view of a bed bug crawling on fabric fibers

Bed bugs only feed on blood as the sole source of nutrition, and require blood meals to complete their life cycle. Feeding on the blood of warm-blooded animals, and with people being their favorite hosts, bed bugs are common pests inside residential and commercial properties. Wingless and unable to jump, bed bugs have adapted to moving from place to place by hitchhiking on people and our belongings. Bed bugs are small oval, flattened insects that are challenging to eliminate from homes and businesses.

Whether you are traveling, going to work or school, running daily errands, or going out for a day of family fun, there is the possibility of coming into contact with bed bugs. As we travel, bed bugs travel with us on our clothing or personal belongings. After finding a way into our homes, they hide in various places like our mattresses and box springs. Some of the bed bugs lesser-known hiding spots include outlets, behind wall hangings, in upholstered furniture, in rugs, and behind baseboards. To eliminate an infestation, all the hiding bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs, need to be found and treated, a task that needs to be completed by a trained professional.

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you eliminate bed bugs from your Virginia property through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • While at work, school, or any public place, keep your belongings away from other people’s belongings and up off the ground.
  • Regularly vacuum your floors and wash your bedding, and if you own pets, wash their bedding to remove stray bed bugs.
  • Be wary of purchasing used mattresses, box springs, or furniture because they are common hideouts for bed bugs.
  • Purchase bed bug-proof covers for mattresses and box springs in your home.
  • Eliminate clutter in your house that can provide places for bed bugs to hide.

For more information about our bed bug control services, call us today!


American cockroach crawling on the ground

Many different species of cockroaches live across the world, most outside and away from people. Believe it or not, cockroaches are helpful by getting rid of decaying organic matter. But, the bad news is that some species have learned to live with people, taking advantage of the food, water, and shelter we unintentionally offer. Some of the more common cockroaches in Virginia and throughout most of the country include German cockroaches, American cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches.

Each species of cockroach has unique physical features, behaviors, and habitats. Some prefer to live inside (German cockroaches), some prefer to live outside in garden areas (American cockroaches), and some prefer to live in areas with a lot of excess moisture (Oriental cockroaches). As scavengers, cockroaches come into contact with a lot of bacteria; bacteria they contaminate our food and surfaces with after invading our structures. Cockroaches spread diseases, cause allergy symptoms, and trigger asthma attacks. These pests are dangerous and destructive and need to be kept away from our homes and businesses.

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you eliminate cockroaches from your Virginia property through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • Vacuum your floors and wipe down tables regularly to keep your home free of crumbs cockroaches love to nibble on.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food every evening, cleaning out the dishes.
  • Wash dirty dishes every night before going to bed.
  • Eliminate excess moisture by repairing drippy faucets and air conditioners, ventilating crawl spaces, and fixing leaky pipes.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the damp areas of your home.
  • Seal spaces you find in your Virginia home’s exterior using caulk or another appropriate material.

Mosquitoes & Ticks

Tick crawling through hair follicles on human skin

What are ticks? A tick is a type of arachnid that goes through a four-stage life cycle- egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Ticks feed on the blood of both people and animals. At each stage of life, they must have a blood meal to survive. Depending on the species, it can take a tick three years to develop into an adult. In our area, the most common ticks people and our pets come into contact with are the black-legged tick, Lone Star tick, and American dog tick.

The mosquito is another type of biting pest, feeding on the blood of people and animals. Females must consume a blood meal to get the protein they require to create viable eggs. Mosquitoes lay eggs on top of standing water where the larvae (wrigglers) develop into adults that feed on blood, plant nectar, and other sweet liquids. Both ticks and mosquitoes are dangerous, unwanted pests; they feed on various hosts and spread diseases and parasites through their saliva that can make people ill. Partnering with a professional is the best way to reduce the number of ticks and mosquitoes living in your yard and protect your family, pets, and friends from their bites.

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you reduce mosquito and tick activity in your outdoor spaces through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • Remove leaf litter and grass piles from your yard.
  • Cut back overgrown vegetation from your property's perimeter.
  • Keep your grass cut short.
  • Remove items in your yard that collect standing water, or be vigilant in dumping it out.
  • Place pets on a year-round tick preventative program.


Zoom in of a small house mouse in a corner of a room

What can help you identify rodents from all other mammals roaming the earth? Their front incisors which grow continuously throughout their life. These front incisors help rodents feed, defend themselves, and create holes to move into and out of different areas. Their teeth are important and to keep them healthy, and from overgrowing, they continuously chew on objects to wear them down. The rodent’s constant chewing is one of the biggest reasons why they are so destructive and unwanted in our homes and businesses.

Rodents like house mice and Norway rats enter our Virginia homes as they forage for food, escape lousy weather, and look for a safe place to nest. Our basements, cabinets, wall voids, chimneys, crawl spaces, and attics offer a quiet respite for rodents that are near food sources. While rodents see living with us as a benefit, they are an absolute nightmare for us to live with. Rodents contaminate our food, spread diseases, and damage our structures and personal belongings. Signs of a rodent problem include finding dark, rice-like excrement on the floor or in drawers or cabinets, discovering gnaw marks, or hearing scratching noises behind walls. At the first sign of rodents in your home, contact our professionals for help!

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you eliminate rodents from your Virginia property through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • Inspect your exterior for points of access. Mice can move inside through spaces the diameter of a dime and rats the diameter of a quarter.
  • Use a rigid material like steel wool or metal flashing to stop rodents from using their teeth to get into your house.
  • Seal spaces in your home, along baseboards or in walls that allow rodents to move easily from room to room.
  • Keep your house organized and free of the clutter where rodents can hide.
  • Eliminate access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, cleaning up leftover food, removing bird feeders, and maintaining garden areas.

Stinging Insects

Yellow hornet outside on a white flower

Causing fear and making it so people can’t enjoy their own outdoor spaces, stinging insects are formidable pests. Opportunistic, stinging insects build a nest wherever there is plenty of food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, our yards and homes provide stinging insects with some of their favorite nesting spots, such as tree branches, shrubs, ground holes, roof eaves, decks, wooden playsets, chimneys, wall voids, and doorways. Our yards also provide them with plenty of places to forage like gardens, flowering trees and landscaping, compost piles, trash cans, and recycling bins.

Some of the more common species of stinging insects to take up residence in our Virginia yards include wasps, hornets, mud daubers, and carpenter bees. If stinging insects place their nests in an area away from our home and the high traffic areas of our yards, they typically don’t cause many problems for people. But, when they do place a nest near us, they become dangerous. They use their stingers to defend themselves and some to paralyze prey. Stings can happen accidentally when walking through your yard barefoot, gardening, or placing your hand somewhere a bee, wasp, or hornet is resting. They also sting if they feel you are a threat to themselves or their nest. If a stinging insect builds a nest in a less than ideal place in your yard, call a professional for help.

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you eliminate stinging insects from your Virginia home or yard through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins to keep foraging stinging insects and the insects they feed on away from your yard.
  • Limit the number of flowering plants located near your home.
  • Cut back tree branches and shrubbery from your home to help prevent a nest from being built right next to your house.
  • Keep a cap on your chimney.
  • Fill in ground holes that develop in your yard.
  • Keep screens in windows and doors to keep wandering, stinging insects from gaining entry into your home.


Close up of three termites burrowing in wood

Termites feed on wood and other organic matter comprised of cellulose, many species prefer wood that is decaying or water-damaged, and others prefer dry, sound wood. When termites live outside and away from people, they help eliminate excess debris from the forest floor. When they move into our homes and businesses and feed on its structural wood, they become unwanted, destructive pests. There are several species of termites in the Virginia area that we need to guard our yards and structures against — subterranean termites, Formosan termites, and drywood termites.

Subterranean termites are widespread across the country, nesting under the ground in the damp soil. They move through the soil or mud tubes from their nest to a food sources each day, preferring to invade water-damaged or decaying wood. Formosan termites are a type of subterranean termite that live together in huge colonies and have voracious appetites. Unlike most subterranean termites, they also nest above the ground in the carton nests they create and usually place on rooftops. Drywood termites nest within wood they are feeding on. They like to feed on sound wood, not wood damaged by water. No matter the species of termite, none of them should be allowed to feed on the structural wood in our homes. The damage termites cause is extensive and costly to repair. Each year, termites cost over five billion dollars in repairs and prevention across the country.

Matar Termite & Pest Control can help you eliminate termites from your Virginia property through our effective pest control solutions and the following prevention tips:

  • Eliminate damp or rotting wood that termites find attractive. Leaf piles, fallen trees, and tree stumps are examples.
  • Keep the soil around the foundation of your home dry. Leave a barrier between any mulch and the foundation.
  • Use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from your home.
  • Inspect structural beams, lumber, and other wooden items for signs of drywood termites before bringing into your house.

For more information about our termite control services, call us today!

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