James Pest Control
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Fort Collins CO 80528

Pest Control Tips From James Pest Control in Fort Collins, CO

Pavement ant — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO

Pavement Ants

One of the most common ants found in Colorado. Workers are all the same size, 3/16-inch long, and they have distinctive grooves head and thorax. This is the little black ant that often invades homes to forage on dog food, crumbs, etc., and will form lines of foraging ants to and from a food source. They rarely nest inside of walls of homes preferring to nest in soil and underneath concrete, hence their common name. They are the ants that bring up large hills of dirt in sidewalk cracks, in cracks in front of the garage slab, and in slab basements. They also create the large black spot of ants seen on sidewalks in our area. Control is best accomplished by tracing them back to their soil nest and treating directly. If this is not possible, they can be baited. If you are having problems with pavement ants inside your home or sidewalk areas, give us a call today.
Carpenter ant — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO

Carpenter Ants

There are 8 common species of carpenter ants in Colorado. They get their name from the fact that they are often found nesting inside of wood. Because they do not consume wood, like termites, the structural damage they can cause is rarely as severe as caused by termites. Carpenter ants often produce sawdust, because they are moving wood that is in the way of their growing nest. Usually, carpenter ants damage wood that has already been weakened by moisture. In fact, carpenter ant nests require high levels of moisture for the development of eggs and larvae, so carpenter ant nests inside homes are almost always associated with a moisture problem/condition. As with most ant species, control of carpenter ants would ideally involve finding and eliminating the problem nest. Nests can often be found by searching for the moisture condition their nest requires. If the nest cannot be found, a baiting routine is often the best way to combat this issue. Homeowners can take several preventative steps for their property including:
  • Correct any moisture problems, leaking roofs, gaps in siding, clogged gutters or faulty plumbing.
  • Trim shrubbery and trees away from the house.
  • Replace water-damaged or decayed wood. Wood should not be in contact with soil.
  • Remove stumps and dead trees. A 50-foot cleared perimeter around the house is recommended.
  • Repair broken branches and any other damage or holes in live trees.
  • Store firewood away from the house, preferably off the ground. Examine and discard heavily infested pieces.
  • If you are seeing large (1/4 inch) ants inside your home, call us today for an inspection/evaluation
Yellow jacket — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO

Yellow Jackets

We have two main species of yellow jackets in Colorado, the western yellow jacket and the prairie yellow jacket. We also have the aerial hornet, which resembles a yellow jacket but builds nests above ground. Yellow jackets are responsible for a large percentage of stings in Colorado, much more so than bees. They build large nests primarily in the soil or in wall voids of homes. A common spot for them to nest is under concrete steps near the front door of homes or under siding. Yellow jacket nests are quite large and completely covered with a paper shell, even when built underground. They can be football sized containing hundreds of workers who will aggressively defend the nest. By late June, yellow jacket nests can be identified by watching the constant stream of workers enter and leave the hole in the siding, concrete, etc. during daylight hours. Because their nests are almost always hidden in areas like wall voids or under concrete, they are very difficult to control with over the counter wasp sprays. They will also aggressively defend their nest during treatment. Treatments are best done at night when all members of the nest are present as they do not forage after dark. Call us today if you need a yellow jacket nest eliminated.
European paper wasp — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO

European Paper Wasp

This wasp was introduced into the US in Massachusetts in 1981. It has spread across the country since then, and has found a particularly nice home in Colorado. Easily the most common wasp now in our area, this exotic wasp can literally be found in every yard in the front range of our state. Unlike yellow jackets or our hornets, their nests are smaller and not completely covered by a paper shell. This species looks very similar to a yellow jacket. If you cannot see the nest, they can be differentiated by how they look in flight. European paper wasps have long back legs which dangle in flight while our yellow jacket is streamlined in flight and does not hover about. European paper wasps are not attracted to the yellow jacket traps sold over the counter, and will not be caught by them. If you have a nest where you can see the individual cells of the nest and the wasps tending those cells, it is most likely this species. It is not uncommon to find multiple nests in a single property, and are commonly found under decks, awnings, in laundry line metal tubes, trampoline tubes, playhouses, etc. Once nests mature, it is best to treat them in early morning hours or after dark as all members will be present then. Treatments during daylight hours can fail as this species has multiple queens and will simply rebuild if all members aren't eliminated. Call us for help with this introduced pest wasp species.
Mice — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO


We have two kinds of mice that are common in our area, house mice and deer mice. Deer mice can be differentiated by their white feet and underside with generally a brown ventral surface. Our area has large populations of mice who are always looking for opportunities to enter structures. Our treatment programs involve not only controlling the mice inside the structure, but most importantly, identifying and sealing outside entry points into the structure as well. Our treatment program includes optional visits to insure sealing efforts have proven successful.
Rats — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO


Rats species that occur in our area can be differentiated by general body size and dropping size as well. Wood or pack rats are more common in our foothills areas, while Norway and roof rats can be found in our suburbs and cities. While not as common as mice, rats do invade homes and structures in our area and a treatment plan must include not only control of rodents that are present, but an investigation and elimination of entries into the structure for long term control.
Spiders — Common pest problems in Fort Collins, CO


Colorado has numerous species of spiders that can be found in and around homes. Most are harmless to humans.
Funnel Weaver Spider
One of the most common spiders found in homes in our area. They create a funnel which they can escape into when predators are around. These funnels are often seen in juniper bushes, grass, and in corners of buildings. They are frequently misidentified as brown recluse spiders and are harmless.
Jumping Spiders
Many species of jumping spiders are found in our area, many are brightly colored and are generally harmless.
Dysdera crocata or Wood Louse Hunter
This could be one of our scariest looking spiders as it is hairless and has large fangs which it uses to crush the shells of pillbugs or roly-polies. They can produce a painful bite but are not aggressive and their venom is considered harmless to humans.
Sac Spiders
They as generally pale to light green in color and are often found in homes near the interface between the ceiling and wall.
Wolf Spiders
One of our biggest spiders found in the state. These spiders can enter homes and while normally non aggressive they can produce a painful bite.
Widow Spiders
One of our most venomous spiders in the area, widows like nesting areas generally away from people and activity. Dark corners in basements/garages, wood piles, and other areas left undisturbed are favorite haunts of these spiders. While their bite is very painful and potentially dangerous, widows are not aggressive and bite humans infrequently.