Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Pest Threats

Stark Exterminators Lists Top Five Most Concerning Pests of 2015

According to an online survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Stark Exterminators in December 2014*, mosquitoes (34 percent) top the list of the most problematic pests of 2015 followed by rodents (13 percent), termites (11 percent), ants (10 percent) and fleas (4 percent).

Many common pests have long been a threat to the quality of life we all enjoy due to their ability to spread bacteria, transmit diseases and cause significant property damage. To prepare families and homeowners for the challenges ahead, Stark Exterminators is providing information and prevention tips on the top five pests causing the most concern this year.

1.  Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are a constant battle for all residents in the region for almost the full year.  While they are most known for the red, itchy welts they leave behind on their victims, mosquitoes are most concerning because they can also transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya Fever and Encephalitis.   These tiny pests need very small amounts of stagnant water to breed and take just 7-10 days to develop from egg to adult.  Be sure to remove all sources of standing water around your home and cut back any unnecessary vegetation.

2.  Rodents: Our temperate climate provides an abundant food source and the perfect breeding conditions for many types of rodents.  These household intruders can transmit diseases, spread bacteria, cause real damage inside a home and often bring with them other pests like fleas, ticks and mites.  They also reproduce very quickly making them nearly impossible to control without the help of a professional.  They only need the tiniest of openings to gain access to a home, so ensure all cracks are sealed around the exterior including utility entry points.

3.  Termites: Termites are a significant property threat in our area.  Experts agree, it’s not about if a home will encounter termites, but when.  These insatiable eaters cause nearly $5 billion in property damage annually and the damage is rarely covered by homeowners insurance.  “Termite infestations continue to create huge financial issues for homeowners,” said Charlie Jones, Stark pest expert. “To protect their property, homeowners should have their homes inspected annually by a licensed pest professional and consider a 24/7/365 termite protection plan as well. 

4.  Ants:  One of the most common pests that invade homes, there are over 700 species of ants in the U.S. alone.  As many require different methods of treatment, ants are also one of the most difficult for homeowners to control without professional assistance.  To minimize chances of an infestation, keep counters free of crumbs and clean up spills immediately.  Also, trim back trees and bushes from the home which can act as a highway for these industrious insects.  If ants are spotted in the home, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to prevent a full-blown infestation.

5.  Fleas: Fleas round out the list and are an increasing concern due to the recent population boom.  Fleas have begun infesting homes across the U.S. at an alarming rate, and not just homes with pets.  Fleas, a lot like bed bugs, have become more resistant to common treatment methods allowing the breeding cycle to continue. Always on the lookout for a warm-blooded host to attack, family pets and humans are the perfect candidates. To help reduce the chances of fleas infesting the home, vacuum often and bathe furry friends frequently.

Stark protects homes from infestations with the STEPS® Total Protection System™, an industry-leading process that utilizes Integrated Pest Management. STEPS includes a full home and property evaluation to pinpoint pest control issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and to help prevent future recurrences. Consumers interested in protecting their homes from pests may obtain additional information at Additionally, consumers can contact Stark for a free whole home evaluation at 855-782-7566.

*Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Stark Exterminators from December 19-23, 2014 among 2,022 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact