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5 of the Most Difficult Pests to Control

5 Difficult Pests in the Charlotte Area | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

Carolina homeowners are no stranger to pest and moisture control problems, and Nelon-Cole has made its reputation on keeping Carolina homes and businesses safe and pest-free. While some pest infestations are relatively easy to control and eradicate, others require special attention and training as they can be particularly adept at stealth, cunning, and survival.


Often nesting inside structures such as rafters, eaves, vents, gutters, and rooftops, birds can nest pretty much anywhere in your home that appears a suitable nesting spot for them.

Bird Control in the Carolinas | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

troublesome birds can be surprisingly difficult to remove or relocate

They are usually seen at dusk or dawn unless they are nocturnal such as bats. Bird infestations can take time to deal with even for experienced pest control professionals, which is why it is important to call attention to the issue quickly. Birds can cause damage not only to your building structure but also to electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems if left unattended, in addition to potentially carrying dangerous diseases.

The difficulties in dealing with birds are numerous. They can nest in hard-to-reach locations such as rafters and light fixtures, making access difficult. Deterrents such as netting and spikes may need to be used as birds will often return to nesting areas that have been removed. Also, some birds may enjoy protection from a number of laws. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act offers protection to hundreds of bird species as well as their nests and eggs. Removing these on your own could land you in hot legal water!

Professionals such as Nelon-Cole will need to accurately identify the species and possibly obtain permits to destroy or relocate a nest. Live birds may need to be captured and relocated according to regulations.


Ah, mice. One of the oldest and most well-known pests to homeowners in the Carolinas. While mouse infestations are relatively common, their disease-carrying reputation is reason enough to call for professional eradication. Mice and rat species common to the Carolinas are known to carry and spread over 35 different diseases. They also can cause significant damage to your home’s structure and infrastructure.

Mice and Rodent Control in Charlotte and the Carolinas | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

the classic home pest, mice are particularly dangerous due to carrying diseases

Mice most often nest in walls, closets, attics, crawlspaces, and basements. Droppings are the most common sign that you may have a mouse infestation, but musky odors, chewed food containers, and gnawed wires and furniture are other signs. Mice can be difficult to control for several reasons. As they are often found inside walls, they are notoriously difficult to find and contain.

While solutions such as sticky traps and common spring-loaded traps can take care of the occasional straggler, the root of the problem (main nesting areas) need to be found to remove the infestation entirely. Mouse infestations can also leave very unsanitary conditions, meaning that professional cleaning services may be needed to ensure a sanitary environment. The Nelon-Cole professionals are both well trained and adept at finding mice and not only taking care of the immediate problem but also leaving your home better protected against future infestation and you (the homeowner) better educated in their causes and signs.


Bed Bugs are pests that no one wants to think about. If you find that you have them then it is too late for preventative measures, and costly steps likely need to be taken. If you didn’t know better you would be forgiven for thinking that such a small, slow insect couldn’t possibly do so much damage, but they are one of the most feared pests of all to Carolina homeowners when it comes to pest control.

Bed Bug control in Charlotte and the Carolinas | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

bed bug problems often require chemical or fumigation treatments

Bed Bugs are tiny and can be quite hard to spot. They typically bite while their host is sleeping, so you often don’t even feel the effects of a bite until long after it has happened. Often found in bedding (hence the name), they can also be found in couches, carpets, curtains, or even in wall cracks and behind wallpaper.

Common signs that you may have a bed bug infestation are

  • Itchy bites and rashes that typically appear overnight

  • Small blood stains on sheets

  • Brown or rust-colored excrement spots

  • Shed carcasses and eggshells

  • A sweet, musty odor with larger infestations

Bed Bug infestations often go unnoticed until they have multiplied to the point of being out of the control measures of the typical homeowner. They do not create nests, so there isn’t a central control point for them. Bed Bug populations grow quickly, with a female bed bug able to lay as many as 500 eggs during its reproductive life. Bed Bugs infestations can easily spread from room-to-room, and even from home to home. You could be carrying a few bed bugs on your jacket or shirt and not even notice them. When you visit a friend or relative all they have to do is drop into their carpet and a new infestation can start.

Control measures are best left to the Nelon-Cole professionals, who routinely receive the very latest in specialized training. Chemicals (family-safe) may be used, or structural fumigation may be needed in extreme cases.


Much has been written about termites in the Nelon-Cole blog here, and with good reason. They are the single most costly pests to Carolina homeowners. Practically invisible when just looking around your home, you often don’t notice a problem at all until significant structural damage has been done, which leads to costly repairs.

Termite Control and Damage Repair in Charlotte and the Carolinas | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

termites are the single costliest pest that you can have in your home

Like ants, termites can live in large colonies. Their diet of mainly wood is easily digested by their specialized biology – and wow can they eat a lot of wood! As most home and business structures here in our region rely on wood, you can see how this can be a very common problem. While notoriously difficult to spot there are some visible signs that you may have a termite problem. These include

  • Mud tubes along the foundation of a building

  • Piles of wings

  • Wood-colored droppings

  • Small holes and maze patterns in wood

  • Flying termites, or swarmers, which investigate structures before an infestation begins

Termite eradication itself isn’t a particularly costly endeavor; it is the cost of repairing the extensive damage that can chew through your money (just like they chew through your floor joists!). While some off-the-shelf baits may show you some results, the majority of termites won’t come out of the structure enough for this to control an entire colony of termites, which can further give you a false sense of things being ‘under control’. The best defense against termite problems is a regular inspection by a termite and pest control professional.


Bees have an exceptionally good defense to protect themselves and their hive – they have a painful sting! Controlling a bee and wasp problem can be made difficult because nests can often be found in difficult-to-reach locations, such as eaves, rafters, or even inside your home walls.

Some bee species can even cause structural damage. A perfect example here is the Carpenter Bee, in which the female burrows deeply into existing wooden rafters to lay eggs. They can bore and tunnel fast, leaving supporting beams weakened and well below their engineering specs.

Wasp and Bee Control in Charlotte and the Carolinas | Nelon-Cole Pest Control of the Carolinas

bees can be difficult due to their natural defense - their sting

Normally, bee infestations are taken care of with chemical products that are people and pet-safe products. However, honeybees are often not killed but relocations due to their scarcity and importance in local ecosystems. This requires specialized training and equipment to carry out properly and is not recommended that the homeowner take this on themselves.

Yellowjackets often nest in the ground, in flower beds, or in gardens. These can be a real danger, especially to pets and children who love to play in the yard. Nelon-Cole offers lawn treatment solutions that help control many painful lawn pests for an overall safer lawn environment.


The answer to when to call your pest control professionals at Nelon-Cole is ‘yesterday’, of course! It is always easy to know what should have been done in hindsight, but realizing that protecting your home isn’t something that should be left to the typical homeowner is important.

One of the best steps you can take in protecting your investment and saving yourself expensive repair bills is to have a quarterly inspection and control program put in place. Our technicians apply safe, effective deterrents while (perhaps more importantly) using their specialized training to inspect for any signs of all the above infestations and more. There is no substitute for trained eyes checking your home or business for problems.

We aren’t here to hard-sell you something that you don’t need (we leave that to companies of lesser reputation). We are here to be your partner in the long-term care of your home.

Have questions? We are here to answer them. Protecting Carolina homeowners from pest and moisture-related problems is what we do, and honesty and hard work are how we have earned our reputation. Call us TODAY and let us get to work for you!

Nelon-Cole Pest Control of Charlotte and the Carolinas


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