a black widow spider on a web

Pest Library

What You Need To Know About Pests In Jefferson City, Missouri

Use this guide to learn about the insects, spiders, and rodents throughout Jefferson City, Missouri. This guide will help you understand the pests that regularly visit our properties and how best to keep them away from your home and family.


ant on a big green leaf

Ants have three body segments (head, thorax, and abdomen), and between the abdomen and thorax, a tight constriction gives them the appearance of a narrow waist. Their bodies have a hard exoskeleton covering them, and they have six legs, elbowed antennae, and compound eyes. Ants are social insects; each colony contains three different types of adults; queens, male ants, and infertile female ants (workers). The queens and males are responsible for creating new ants, and the workers are responsible for the rest of the workload, including gathering food.

Many ants are local to our region, including carpenter ants, odorous house ants, sugar ants, and black ants. Ants are omnivores, and our gardens, yards, outdoor eating areas, and trash cans provide them with a buffet of foods to consume. After ants discover a food source, they lay down a pheromone trail to alert the other colony members. Their excellent communication skills, small size, and large populations are why ants are so challenging to control and keep away from our yards and out of our homes.

Partnering with a professional and putting regular home pest control services in place is the best defense against ants. However, there are some things to keep ants off your property in the first place. A good place to start is to block their common entry points by sealing cracks in the foundation, gaps around windows and doors, and installing door sweeps. Eliminate food sources by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins and keeping your home, especially the kitchen and eating areas, free of food debris. Regularly vacuum your house and wipe down surfaces to eliminate food odors that attract the attention of foraging ants.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug on a person

Bed bugs are insects that are dependent on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Blood is their sole source of nutrition, and humans are their preferred food source. Bed bugs have a close relationship with people, and we find them wherever we live or spend time; houses, apartments, hotels, airports, laundromats, movie theaters, and healthcare facilities.

Though bed bugs feed on blood, unlike other blood-feeding pests, they don't transmit diseases to people. However, in our homes, they use the people inside as food sources. Bed bugs bite through our skin and consume our blood as we sleep. When people know they are sharing their homes with bed bugs, it is unsettling and is likely to cause sleepless nights. Being bitten by bed bugs will cause itchy allergic reactions in some people. Additionally, their bites cause openings in our skin that allow bacteria into our bodies, causing secondary infections.

Use the following bed bug prevention tips to avoid sharing your home with biting bed bugs.

  • Use bed bug-proof covers to help stop bed bugs from infesting their most popular hideouts; your home's mattresses and box springs.
  • Wash and dry sheets and other bedding frequently.
  • Regularly vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture to remove stray bed bugs.
  • Inspect items, especially secondhand items, that you bring into your home for hitchhiking bed bugs.

For local pest control for bed bugs, call today!


a dirty cockroach in a home

Many types of cockroaches can find their way into our Jefferson City homes, but three of the most common are German cockroaches, American cockroaches, and oriental cockroaches. All love warm, humid environments and thrive in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, wall voids, and spaces behind large appliances, window or door trim, and loose wallpaper.

We identify cockroaches by their flat oval bodies, six legs, and long antennae. Having cockroaches in our homes is more than a slight nuisance; these pests spread bacteria, disease-causing pathogens, and parasites. They pose significant health threats to people and trigger allergies and asthma attacks in those vulnerable. In addition to moisture, cockroaches love living with people because of the food our homes provide. Another downside to sharing your home with cockroaches is they contaminate your stored food with their excrement, saliva, and shed skins.

Reduce your chances of unintentionally sharing your home with cockroaches by following these tips:

  • Focus on food and removing their access to it. Make sure to wash dishes, wipe down counters and tables, and practice proper food storage.
  • Ensure trash cans inside and outside your home have lids and are regularly emptied and sanitized.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food and store your pet's food in airtight containers.

 If you find a cockroach in your house, don't panic; simply contact us for the professional pest control necessary to eliminate these pests.


little mouse eating sun flower seeds

Rodents are small mammals that we regularly find in our homes. While technically wild animals, they have adapted and developed a close relationship with people. Rodents know that where we live and spend time, there will be safe shelter, food, and water. Unfortunately, the relationship between people and rodents is one-sided, they benefit from us, but rodents aren't helpful to people. When in our homes, they are destructive, disease-spreading, dangerous pests.

Mice and rats are the two most common types of rodents to invade our Jefferson City homes. The easiest ways for most people to tell the two apart are adult mice are smaller than adult rats, and mice have long, slender tails covered in a light layer of fur, while rats have short, thick, scaly tails that lack fur. Whether rats or mice have found their way into your home, it is important to take action to eliminate them as quickly as possible.

Partnering with a professional is the best way to identify the rodents in your home, quickly remove them, and keep them from returning. It is also essential to remove their easy access to their basic needs. Keep lids on trash cans, maintain gardens, and keep indoor and outdoor eating areas clean and free of food debris. Quickly repair leaky pipes and fixtures and ensure gutters are clear of debris and don't collect rainwater. Stop curious, agile rodents from being able to easily enter your home by repairing damaged siding, roof shingles, and vents.


a house spider in a cob web closet

Spiders are arachnids and predators that feed on insects and other spiders. Their feeding habits make them environmentally significant because they help to reduce populations of insects that can cause harm to people, crops, and gardens. Spiders like to live in quiet, undisturbed areas near food sources and moisture. Our yards offer spiders and the insects they hunt a suitable place to call home, making them a common sight in and around our houses.

Insects like to move into our homes to escape harsh weather or forage for food, and spiders can't help but follow. Luckily having spiders in your home isn't necessarily dangerous, but it should alert you to an overall pest infestation in or around your house that you need to eliminate. While most spiders aren't dangerous, the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider have venom potent enough to cause physical harm to people. Luckily, spiders, as a whole, are not aggressive toward people. Spiders usually only bite people as a way to stop themselves from being harmed.

Use the following prevention tips to help keep spiders and the insects they hunt out of your home:

  • Repair damaged siding, roof shingles, and screens.
  • Place mesh screens over vents and drains leading into your home.
  • Seal spaces around wires and pipes entering your home.
  • Install door sweeps and ensure weather-stripping is around your windows and doors.

Call today for quality pest control to prevent problems with nuisance and dangerous spiders.


a termite on a pile of dirt

One of the most widespread termite species in our region and across the country is the subterranean termite. These termites have high moisture needs, nest underground, and live together in large groups. Worker termites leave the nest daily to forage for food to bring back to the nest; they prefer to invade and feed on decaying, wet wood. The biggest reason termites are so destructive is that they enter our homes without our knowledge, allowing them to silently cause damage to our homes for months or years without notice.

Leaky outdoor faucets, blocked gutters, and dense landscaping cause the soil around your home to be very damp, which attracts moisture-loving termites. It is common for termites to "break" into our homes and other structures while out foraging for food, moving indoors through cracks they come across in the foundation. Another common entry point is when there's wood on a home, making direct contact with the ground. Once inside your house, they will travel through its walls and under floors to areas of moisture. The wood near water pipes, windows, doors, vents, and drains is the most susceptible to termite damage.

Use the following tips to take action and prevent a termite problem. Create a crushed stone barrier between any soil and foundation. Never place woodpiles or construction debris next to your home's exterior, and remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your yard. Make sure gutters are working correctly, place weather-stripping around windows and doors, and repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

In the end, partnering with a termite control professional and taking proactive steps to keep termites out of your home is the best way to avoid the structural damage termites cause inside our houses.

Trust Us To Get Rid Of Pests

The professionals at Denning Pest Control are here to help remove unwanted pests from your Jefferson City home or business. We are dedicated to our customers and help people keep their houses free of unwanted pests. You can trust us to solve your pest problems and, through our seasonal services, keep them from coming back!

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