Categories
ants insects

How can you tell if you have a carpenter ant infestation?

No one likes seeing ants in the house, but carpenter ants can be especially bad news for buildings. Carpenter ants are especially difficult to remove because they make their home in wood (and love soft or damaged wood in particular). In fact, carpenter ants are sometimes mistaken for terminates because both insects burrow tunnels in wood. If you suspect you have a carpenter ant infestation, there are a few key signs to look out for.

Seeing ants is always the first tipoff of an infestation. If you notice ants in and around your home, take a closer look. The bottom segment of a carpenter ant (aka its thorax) will be smooth, and carpenter ants often have a visible notch on their waist. Noticing winged ants near walls or ceilings may be a key warning sign pf a carpenter ant infestation. Winged carpenter ants are looking for a mate, and their presence may mean a colony has been active for several years. However, seeing carpenter ants does not mean you have an infestation. Carpenter ants often look for food (and mates) quite far away from the nest.

Finding wood shavings and sawdust is another key signs of a potential carpenter ant infestation. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood. Carpenter ants like their nests to be very smooth and clean, and remove the debris and sawdust they create as they burrow tunnels. This debris sometimes looks like irregularly-sized pencil shavings. It may also contain dust or segments from dead ants. Carpenter ants remove debris through slit-like openings (called ‘windows’) which may also be visible.  

Carpenter ants are most active at night. You may be able to hear them by holding a glass up to the wall and tapping on it. A soft clicking or rusting sound may indicate carpenter ants. If you knock on the wall and it sounds hollow, that may be another telltale sign.  It’s also important to know where to look. Carpenter ants prefer soft wood like pine, or wood that is moist or decaying. Inside, they like to live near water (kitchens, bathrooms, moist basements and leaky attics can be prime targets), and near door and window frames. Outside, carpenter ants are often drawn to damaged hardwood trees and tree stumps.

The presence of carpenter ants (particularly winged ants looking for mates), wood shavings and debris and rustling in the walls may all be signs of a carpenter ant infestation. If you suspect you may have a carpenter ant infestation, the best advice is to call a professional.

Categories
rodents

How to Avoid a Rodent Infestation

There are a few things you can do around the home to prevent a rodent infestation. First, keep food and food scraps tightly sealed inside the house. Open food and food waste will attract any nearby rodent. Also keep all garbages sealed tightly. This includes indoor garbages and also any garbages that you store outside.

Rodents also love composts piles. They are a not only a source of food for the rodent but the decomposing food also gives off warmth for the rodents, so the compost becomes a hotel and grocery store all in one! Make sure composts are sealed or tightly covered. Regularly turn the pile as well, as this will deter rodents from staying there. Turning the pile frequently will also cover up any new food scraps.

Avoid leaving out food for birds. Rodents are attracted to these foods and it can soon lead to an infestation. If you must feed birds, feed them huskless food or food that doesn’t leave a lot of waste around. This goes for pet food as well. If your dog or cat eat it, then rodents will also eat it. Do not leave out loose pet food. Larger bags of food should be sealed tightly in tubs, or well secured inside thick bags.

Although not all rodent infestations can be prevented, if you follow these simple steps around your home you will be much less likely to find yourself with a rodent infestation.

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Categories
general

Why is service every 30 days for a Crazy Ant infestation ideal for getting them under control?

The crazy ant, – Paratrechina longicornis, is not native to North America, it is not entirely known where it originally came from though it is believed to have arrived at the United States from Africa, or Asia. It is also thought they may have been brought in from the Carribean. Named the crazy ant because of its movements and behaviors, it is familiar to the northern states, and northeastern areas. The crazy ant is also very common in the southern states, and some of the states out west such as California and Arizona. Hawaii and Canada are also acquainted with the crazy ant.

Adults are typically 2-3mm in size with long legs. Crazy ants feed on an array of things which make them omnivorous. Their diet contains dead or live insects, composts, fruits, sweets, grease, meat, plants, and various liquids. They love environments like trash, rotting trees, plants, and soil. You may even find nests under large rocks or timbers. They have been found in top floors of tall buildings as well as the kitchens of normal size structures, though they are not believed to fly. A bad infestation can invade a home causing extensive damage to property and they are also known to short electrical units. They may forage long distances from their nest, making infestations even more difficult to control. A crazy ant worker will carry food on its back long distances to its nest to feed the colony. Crazy Ant Colonies are actually quite moderate in size and several queens (8-40) might reside in one colony. When a Queen has mated she will then lay her eggs in the nest for the worker ants to care for. The life cycle of a crazy ant is typically 76-84 days. These nuisances don’t sting, but they will bite and these minor bites are treated easily, not typically requiring medical attention.

If the crazy ant isn’t controlled they can become a larger problem. These destructive and abrasive insects reproduce quickly which makes controlling them more of a challenge. These ants aren’t attracted to the typical ant baits or red ant baits. Commercial products do not have an impact on the crazy ant. The best solution to these pests is contracting a qualified pest control specialist. After the treatment, any ants that survive may relocate their colony. Treatment is recommended every 30 days because these ants are known to re-invade, which makes them nearly impossible to eradicate.

W.J. Arnold. © 2016

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Categories
insects termites

Why are stoops, a dirt filled porch, ideal for termite infestation?

Termites are small insects which are harmful for humans in many ways. These termites can eat the wooden furniture in homes and lead to damage. These termites eat clothes and make holes in them. These termites can bit on the skin of humans and lead to pain and infection. There are many types of termites and they are spreading in large numbers.

Spreading places

Termites are mainly spreading due to dirty places. Dirty places have all the required items for termites to grow. They get their food from dirt and grow in huge numbers with the passage of time. They start to spread and make their lines on walls and continue to spread to different places. You can see large bulks of termites which have many types of termites in them. Some types have wings and these fly when the shelter is removed. Some types are not having wings but these types move faster and find another shelter for safety.

Elimination of termites

It is important to use protective measures so that termites could be eliminated. Different types of sprays are available in the market which can be used for elimination of termites. Many types of sprays which can kill insects are also effective for killing termites. These sprays are quick in action and kill the termites on the spot. However these are not killing the whole colony and area of termites.

It is important to use such chemicals in sprays which can kill the termites slowly. When a slow killing spray is used for elimination of termites then the poison will be taken to the whole colony by some termites. As a result the entire colony will be infected with the poison and eliminated in a short time period. You can select such slow killing poisons to be used in sprays so that termites can be eliminated.

Termites can be eliminated by using sprays which will fill the soil. You can use these chemicals and mix them as per directions and make small canal around the walls. Then you can fill the canals with chemicals to make sure that termites could be resisted. When your home is covered with a protective layer of chemicals then termites will find it hard to get entry.

If any types of termites get entry in the home then you can use sprays on them to eliminate them. Slow killing chemicals are good for elimination of termites as these will spread the poison in the whole colony and kill it in a short time period.

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