Category: Pest Control

Silverfish That Invade Our Homes Regularly

Silverfish That Invade Our Homes Regularly

SILVERFISH CONTROL

Silverfish are wingless insects that are typically smaller than 2 inches long. The insect derives its name from is silver-like color combining both light gray and blue along with its distinct movement pattern that resembles a fish. The abdomen of a silverfish is tapered further giving the insect a fish-like appearance.

Silverfish come in many different varieties yet all share a common appearance. Slight color variations may be present, but all exhibit the same basic features. Two long cerci adorn their head and the abdomen contains one terminal filament that protrudes between the left and right cerci.

The silverfish has two compound eyes that are very small, unlike other members of the same family. In most cases, similar insects will have no eyes. This is a characteristic that is unique to the silverfish insect in comparison to its common relatives.

Silverfish are a wingless insect and use a wiggling motion as means of transportation. This wiggling motion is often reminiscent of a fish. Silverfish are very good runners and use this benefit to escape common predators including spiders and centipedes. However, without appendages, silverfish can’t climb with the same speed and it is limited to horizontal surfaces

LIFE CYCLE

Silverfish do not procreate through direct fertilization methods. The mating habits of a silverfish can be broken down into three distinct parts. In the first segment of the silverfish mating ritual, a male and female silverfish will rub their antennae together. During the second stage, the female will flee from the male before returning for the third and final phase. In the final phase, the male will begin vibrating his tail onto a female silverfish to release spermatophores, which the female will receive through ovipositors without direct fertilization.

 

How to Protect Your Home From Silverfish Infestation?

Silverfish are creepy little silvery nightmare creatures that you can often find in the dark, damp corners of your home. They are harmless to us and our pets, but that doesn’t make them any less creepy. They are a natural disaster for books, clothing, and anything else which contains starch

Unlike other household pests, they are slow to establish infestation levels of terribleness but, once they get to that point, they are incredibly difficult to control and remove. Thankfully, there are methods of getting rid of these Lovecraftian nightmares. Keep reading to find out how.

Why do silverfish invade your home?

Like most pests, silverfish like to invade our homes because there is an abundance of food and a lack of predators. Human homes also have a lot of dark, damp hiding places where they can live their little creepy nocturnal lives. All of these elements combined make for a silverfish paradise where they can eat as much as they want, live without the fear of being hunted, and cause adults to scream like children when they run over their foot in the dark.

How to get rid of silverfish infestation

There are quite a few methods of getting rid of silverfish but, for the best results, you should use a mix of preventative measures and extermination methods

Here is a mix of natural and chemical methods that rid you of silverfish:

Spread cedar shavings. Spread cedar shavings around areas you want to keep silverfish away from. They don’t like the smell and will naturally avoid those areas. Since wood shavings are a little bit messy, it is best to put them in places you can’t see them, unless you always dreamed of living in a sawmill, of course. Vacuum or sweep the shavings up once a week and replace them until you stop seeing silverfish.

Lay jar traps. For this to work, you will need some jars, masking tape, and torn up pieces of bread. Wrap your jars in masking tape all the way to the top and put the bread inside the jar,. Before you go to bed, place the jars in areas that you suspect are good silverfish hunting grounds. The masking tape will allow the nightmarish bugs to climb into the jar, but the smooth glass will prevent them from climbing out.

Apply essential oils. Just like most insects, silverfish cannot stand the smell of lemon and lavender. Buy a bottle of either lavender oil or citrus oil and dilute it in a larger bottle of water. Shake the bottle well and spray this mixture around places that are likely to attract silverfish, such as under sinks, in cupboards, and the edges of rooms. The great thing is that this method is non-toxic for us, so spray to your heart’s content.

Powder diatomaceous earth. This powder is one of the ultimate weapons against anything that creeps and crawls. The powder is incredibly sharp and is able to pierce their tiny exoskeletons. If, on the other hand, they eat it, their bodies will shut down from the inside out. All you need to do is spread Diatomaceous Earth everywhere silverfish are likely to appear, wait one night, and then vacuum the aftermath.

 

The Dangers of Silverfish

Silverfish are tiny, crustacean-looking creatures, often found in moist dark spots around the house such as basements, toilets, shelves and closets. Many scientists consider them the oldest living species of insect on the planet, existing roughly 100 million years before the dinosaurs. They have a gray coating, antennas and they shed their skin continually throughout their lives. Despite their frightening appearance, they do not bite humans, nor have they been known to be venomous. However, this does not mean they cannot cause their fair share of problems to you and your household. Here are some of the dangers of silverfish and how you can avoid them.

Silverfish in Your Home

Although silverfish do not bite, sting or transmit any major pathogens that spread human diseases, there is a reason to believe that they may trigger allergic reactions in people who are exposed to them. As mentioned above, silverfish molt multiple times throughout their lives, leaving behind their old scales. These scales or skins turn into dust, which over time, may begin to irritate people who are allergic to them, causing coughing, sneezing, congestion or rashes. Not only this, but silverfish may even attract other pests into your house such as dust mites.

The really aggravating aspect of silverfish is their propensity to consume everything from books to sweaters to wallpaper. Silverfish live on a diet of sugars and carbohydrates which they get from things like paper, cardboard, tissue, cotton and wood. Silverfish do not discriminate between the things they devour. They’re just as quick to eat holes through an antique war uniform or a precious book as through an unattended paper towel. This is why everyone with any items of value made from cloth or paper should make sure their house is free and clear of any silverfish who may want to destroy them.

To keep these pests at bay, make sure all food sources are kept safe in sealed off areas. Don’t leave crumbs lying on the floor or the counter top, as that will attract silverfish by the dozens. Also, use dehumidifiers in high moisture areas like basements, as silverfish thrive in damp environments. Furthermore, seal off any openings where silverfish may sneak through. Use caulk around the outside of your house and repair any window screens which may be torn. Hopefully, these tricks will keep silverfish out of your home for good.

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: CRITTERS THAT LIVE IN OUR HOMES

Humans are an indoor species. Despite spending nearly 90 per cent of our lives under a roof, we know next to nothing about all the life that lives with us — insects: the most successful creatures on earth.

In The Great Wild Indoors, a team of entomologists spends a week delving into the dark crevices of a typical Toronto house, finding a whopping 112 distinct species. But they say that’s no cause for concern; an insect census taken in homes all over the United States revealed that number is about average.

The Silverfish

This insect goes all the way back to the Paleozoic era. In fact, silverfish haven’t changed much in 400 million years and are found all over the world. Studies even show that they’ve been with us since we first started indoor living in the Stone Age

They often live in our bathrooms and can make a meal of almost anything, especially our dead skin. As long as water is abundant, silverfish can live for up to a year without food.

They run very fast, can jump up to half a metre and squeeze into tiny cracks in walls. All of this makes them very hard to kill. For such a tiny critter, they have a surprisingly long lifespan of three to six years.

 

Identifying and Treating a Silverfish Infestation

Curious creatures they may be, but an infestation of silverfish can cause a serious pest control problem for commercial and residential properties alike.

Silverfish are tiny wingless insects which mainly inhabit warm humid environments such as bathrooms. They prefer the dark and damp and are predominantly nocturnal which – combined with their rapid movement – means a silverfish infestation can go unnoticed for some time.

Silverfish get their name from their teardrop shape, blue-silver scales, and the wiggling motion of their movement. Whilst only around 20 mm in length, these tiny creatures may seem harmless enough however, they can cause serious damage to plaster walls, books, paintings, photographs and household items that contain starch or cellulose – as they feed on carbohydrates

Identification

The easiest way to identify a silverfish infestation is by seeing them with your own eyes. As they are nocturnal, this is most likely to happen if you go to the toilet at night, or when having a pre-bedtime bath or shower. If you are seeing them regularly, it probably means there is an established infestation present.

Improved housekeeping

Now you have identified a possible infestation of silverfish, you are no doubt looking for some pest control advice on how to tackle the problem. Thankfully there are a few practical steps you can take to dissuade the pests from hanging around, using a little knowledge.

When Do Termite Become Active

When Do Termite Become Active

Drywood Termites – What’s the Difference?

A termite’s a termite, right? We wish it were that simple. There are actually a lot of differences between termite types and termite species. If you get drywood termites in your home, they are going to present a different problem than subterranean termites. And they are going to require a different strategy for treatment. Here are a few things you should know.

Drywood Termites

You already know quite a bit about this termite by looking at its name. These termites prefer drywood. That means they’re going to feed on your window sills, door frames, and other hardwood building materials. They’re also going to feed on furniture. If you have antiques or furniture keepsakes that are made of wood, these termites could ruin your day.

Each year, termites cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars, but only a fraction of that is drywood termite damage. Estimates for drywood termite damage is in the hundreds of millions. One big reason for this is drywood termites are not nearly as stealthy as subterranean termites. As they feed on wood, they push their feces out kick-out holes. Though these tiny droppings are often mistaken for sawdust, sand, or some kind of pellet, they are hard to miss. And the appearance of these hard droppings is enough to alert a property owner to the danger.

Subterranean Termites

These termites are also called ground termites. As you can probably guess, they come up from the ground to feed on a home. They prefer soft or decaying wood, but have no problem moving into sound, hard timbers. When they do, they can literally total a man-made structure. Formosan and Asian termites are both subterranean termites. You’ve probably heard of them. Of all the subterranean termites in the world, these two are the most destructive. One reason they do more damage is that they both are able to establish nests in the walls of a building. This gives the worker termites less distance to travel to acquire food.

 

How are drywood vs. subterranean termites’ wings different?

Winged termites are called alates. Subterranean alates have one single thick, dark vein that runs parallel to the top of the wing. Drywood termites have a complex system of veins, usually at least three or four in each wing. Most termites shed their wings within minutes of landing. This is often the only evidence they leave behind.

Are there any differences in their nesting habits?

An important difference between the two is that subterranean termites nest in the ground, while drywood termites nest inside the wood they are infesting. This leads to varying points of attack on your property. Subterranean termites make mud tubes to tunnel through the ground and invade your home. These tubes protect them from predators and dehydration. Drywood termites don’t dig mud tubes, needing zero contact with soil. They infest your home by air and require less moisture (which is why they don’t need soil or the mud tubes).

 

What Does Each Look Like?

Drywood termites tend to be larger, producing worker caste members with creamy-white bodies throughout. Drywood termite soldier caste members maintain the milky body color but have larger bodies and darker heads which look almost scorched. The drywood termites with wings, however–otherwise known as swarmer termites–will have a series of complex veins running along the topside of the wing which is a surefire way to tell which type of termite you’ve got on your hands (that is, if you can see that close).

Subterranean winged termites, however, have just one vein which runs along the top line of the wing instead of the series of veins characterized by the drywood termites. Additionally, the bodies of the subterranean termite soldier and worker caste members are smaller than that of their drywood cousins.

 

Termites vs. Ants

Termites, both drywood and subterranean, differ from ants in the following ways:

  • Termites have thick waists while ants have noticeably small waists.
  • Termites have straight antennae while ants have clubbed or bent antennae.
  • Termites have short legs while ants have longer legs.
  • When termites have wings, all wings will be the same length. When ants have wings, the front wings are longer than the back wings.

Once you have determined that you are indeed dealing with termites instead of ants, you will need to figure out what type of termites you have. It can be difficult to identify the type of termite you have by looking at the insect itself. Instead, it is much easier to identify the kind of termites you have by the damage they cause.

 

Signs of dyrwood termites

The common sign of a drywood termite infestation is the appearance of frass.

Frass is termite waste or fecal matter. Unlike subterranean termites, which build nests and tunnels for foraging out of fecal matter, drywood termites have no use for it as they only excavate tunnels in wood. They get rid of their feces by making a small hole in the wood and pushing it out of their home.

A clear sign of a drywood termite infestation is the collection of frass on the floor or flat surface below the wood they are inhabiting. Termite frass often looks like sawdust from afar, but on closer inspection, you will be able to notice granular pellets, often varying in colour.

Why Mosquito Control Is Important

Why Mosquito Control Is Important

Tips for How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Your go-to guide to what works and what doesn’t to fight mosquito bites

The whine of a mosquito may be the most annoying sound on earth — and if you’re in a zone where mosquitoes transmit disease, it can also be a dangerous one. If you’re planning to camp, kayak, hike, or garden, you can prevent mosquito bites before you’re attacked by the bloodthirsty arthropods.

DEET products

This chemical repellent has been studied for over 40 years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that when used properly, DEET works and poses no health risk, even to kids. Marketed as Repel, Off! Deep Woods, Cutter Skinsations, and other brands

Picaridin

Picaridin (also labeled KBR 3023 or icaridin), a chemical related to the black pepper plant, is the most broadly used repellent outside the U.S. The Zika Foundation says it works for 6-8 hours. Safe for use on babies 2 months or older, it’s marketed as Natrapel and Sawyer.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus

Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE or PMD-para-menthane-3,8-diol). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this plant-based product protects as well as repellents containing DEET. Marketed as Repel, BugShield, and Cutter

IR3535 (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)

Used in Europe for about 20 years, this repellent is also effective for keeping deer ticks away. Marketed by Merck.

 

Understanding mosquitoes can help us find better ways to kill them

Astronomer Royal Dr. Martin Rees wrote in 1999: “What makes things baffling is their degree of complexity, not their sheer size… a star is simpler than an insect.”

You might not think an insect like a mosquito could be so complex, so I thought I would share some lesser-known facts about them.

Blood meals are only for the ladies

The females of most species of mosquito are blood feeders (a practice entomologists call hematophagy), because they use proteins in blood to make yolk for their eggs. They also consume plant nectar to fuel their activities to locate blood sources and lay eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, feed only on plant nectar.

Finding a nice spot for dinner

Once a mosquito has landed on a host, it has to find the best location to take a blood meal. Mosquitoes that prefer to feed on humans, such as Ae. aegypti, tend to seek a blood meal on our feet, ankles and legs. These areas of our bodies are accessible and can be more “aromatic.” Blood feeding may also go undetected at those locations.

Mosquitoes don’t want to get infected with our germs

While enjoying a blood meal, female mosquitoes may pick up a pathogen or parasite from their host and then transmit it to other hosts during subsequent feedings. That means the mosquito is infected by that bacteria or pathogen, even if it doesn’t make the mosquito sick.

 

Tips to Combat Mosquitoes in Your Yard

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away from the House: Remove Water Sources

Having accessible water sources around your home will draw in mosquitoes. Why? Because mosquitoes actually lay their eggs in standing or slow moving water. By cutting these water sources, you are cutting the number of mosquitoes laying eggs around your home—and in return, having fewer mosquitoes around the house in general.

Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away: Avoid Scented Body Products

Although some scents work as a repellent for mosquitoes, other body lotions or perfumes can actually attract these pests. The best thing to do is stay away from fancy smelling perfumes, colognes, body washes or lotions if you plan on spending time outside during high mosquito activity hours. These hours are typically dusk to dawn between April and October. If you hate bugs

What Keeps Mosquitoes Away from Biting You: Wear Light Clothing

Not light in weight, although in the summer that is a given. But light-colored clothing! Turns out mosquitoes are attracted to darker colored materials. As for the length, if you can cover up, you should do so. Wearing long sleeves and pants will significantly reduce the number of mosquito bites you accumulate by the end of the evening.

How to Repel Mosquitoes: Prune Hedges and Mow the Yard to Reduce Shade

Mosquitoes like shade to escape the midday heat. Hedges, bushes and tall grass provide shade that shelters mosquitoes. They need a place to get out of the heat and sun during the day, so the fewer shaded areas they find, the less they’ll congregate in your yard.

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away: Treat Pools of Water

Treat pools of water you can’t drain to kill mosquito larvae. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to get rid of standing water. And sometimes, like when you have a small pond, you just don’t want to. And we certainly love adding water features to the backyard.

 

How mosquitoes find you to bite you

Are you dousing your skin with bug repellents and lighting citronella candles to keep mosquitoes away? These efforts may keep them at bay for a while, but no solution is perfect because mosquitoes have evolved to use a triple threat of visual, olfactory, and thermal cues to home in on their human targets, a new Caltech study suggests

The study appears in the July 17 online version of the journal Current Biology.

When an adult female mosquito needs a blood meal to feed her young, she searches for a host — often a human. Many insects, mosquitoes included, are attracted by the odor of the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas that humans and other animals naturally exhale. However, mosquitoes can also pick up other cues that signal a human is nearby. They use their vision to spot a host and thermal sensory information to detect body heat.

Mosquitoes combine this information to map out the path to their next meal.

To find out how and when the mosquitoes use each type of sensory information, the researchers released hungry, mated female mosquitoes into a wind tunnel in which different sensory cues could be independently controlled. The researchers injected a high-concentration CO2 plume into the tunnel, mimicking the signal created by the breath of a human. In series of experiments, they found that the insects were attracted by the CO2, which is an indicator of a nearby host, and would also spend a lot of time hovering near high-contrast objects control experiments – think: a person. In another set of experiments, to test thermal factors, the researchers found that mosquitoes are attracted to warmth.

Information gathered from all of these experiments enabled the researchers to create a model of how the mosquito finds its host over different distances. They hypothesize that from 10 to 50 meters away, a mosquito smells a host’s CO2 plume. As it flies closer—to within 5 to 15 meters—it begins to see the host. Then, guided by visual cues that draw it even closer, the mosquito can sense the host’s body heat. This occurs at a distance of less than a meter

Even if it were possible to hold one’s breath indefinitely, another human breathing nearby, or several meters upwind, would create a CO2 plume that could lead mosquitoes close enough to you that they may lock on to your visual signature. The strongest defense is therefore to become invisible, or at least visually camouflaged. Even in this case, however, mosquitoes could still locate you by tracking the heat signature of your body . . . The independent and iterative nature of the sensory-motor reflexes renders mosquitoes’ host seeking strategy annoyingly robust.

 

Natural Ways to Keep Mosquito Away

Many people prefer to use natural mosquito repellents because of this method considered more affordable and safe instead of chemical products. There are at least 3 common natural mosquito repellents which you can count on to be the best mosquito organic defence at home

Lemongrass

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a fragrant plant that has many positive uses for humans. These perennial herbs are one of the favourite scents of many people because it can radiate a pleasing and relaxing aroma when it is extracted to a variety of commercial products like perfume, aromatherapy, lotion and candles.

But, do mosquitoes hate lemongrass? The short answer is yes. Lemongrass contains citronella, natural oil that has been known among people of many cultures around the world as a natural ingredient to keep mosquitoes away.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are one of the often natural ingredients used as an insect and household pest repellents like cockroaches and ants. But, who would have thought if using burned coffee ground is also serve as a natural and safe mosquito repellent solution?

Garlic

Apparently, garlic can be more than just a perk up the flavour to your food. Garlic is known on its natural sulfur that is toxic when mosquitoes ingest it. Thus, homemade garlic-based natural mosquito repellent getting more popular since many people’s beliefs that its strong smell are able to offer mild protection to pesky flying insects like mosquitoes.

Tips To Eradicate A Termite

Tips To Eradicate A Termite

DIY Termite Control: Must-Know Tips for DIY Termite Control

Termites are active all year-round, so there’s no bad time to start preparing your defenses against these wood-chewing pests. There are many highly effective DIY termite control steps that homeowners can take to guard their homes. Here is what you need to know.

Inspect Your Foundation Each Season

Several times a year, take a slow walk around your foundation and look for any signs of damage so you can formulate a termite treatment plan. No, termites don’t eat concrete, but they do create mud tubes, which are a sign termites are trying to scale up your foundation in search of siding or other tasty wood. If you see mud tubes, it’s time for a closer inspection and some DIY termite control tactics.

Maintain Proper Ventilation and Sealing

Ventilation and sealing are key to moisture control. Without the right ventilation in attics and basements, condensation can build up and seep into wood and make it the perfect habitat for termites (plus condensation causes mildew and rot). And without the right sealing and moisture barriers, moisture can even build up behind your walls. Without that moisture, termites have fewer reasons to go exploring, which makes this one of the more effective termite control methods.

Create an 18-Inch Space Between Soil and Wood

Any place that you have wood that you want to protect—especially siding and decks—you should try to separate it from soil (where termites linger) by at least 18 inches. This is enough to keep termites uninterested. The easiest method is to use a gravel bed, which can serve as DIY termite control and good drainage at the same time.

Use Repellent Termiticide on Safe Wood Structures

Repellent termiticides help you protect wood that has not yet been located by termites. Use it around sheds, decks, fences and similar areas to help prevent termites from discovering them.

Heat Can Also Kill Termites

Termites are heat-sensitive, so heat can be an excellent termite repellent and an easy homemade termite killer. If you can heat up a space to at least 120 degrees F. for at least half an hour, the termites there will die. This is a cost-effective way for DIY termite control without using pesticides. However, you can’t try this near plastics or wiring, and it doesn’t work as well on especially large beams, so be careful.

 

Do Termites Live in The Ground?

As we already mentioned, termite larvae live in underground burrows all its life. These insects can be found on all continents except Antarctica. However, most of the species are found in tropics, subtropics, and sometimes in warm temperate regions. There are more than 2000 different termite species, some of them live only in certain places, are protected by the government and are on the IUCN Red List. There are only 10 species of termites in Europe, while Africa has more than 1,000. The northernmost areas where termites can be found are in the south of Canada, in central France, Korea, and Central Asia.

Mediterranean termites, which do not cause any severe damage, live in temperate climates of the Mediterranean Sea region.

 

HOW TO GET RID OF TERMITES YOURSELF: THE 5 BEST METHODS

Professional termite control is expensive; there’s no doubt about that. After seeing just how expensive, it’s natural to wonder how you can kill termites yourself and whether or not it would be effective. The good news is that if you detect the infestation early enough, you stand a great chance of taking care of the termite problem yourself.

We’ve compiled five of the best DIY methods on how to kill termites yourself right here.

METHOD #1: LIQUID TERMITE BARRIER

This method will not only kill the termites already present in your house, but it’s a good preventative method too. The idea behind a liquid termite barrier is to completely surround your house in a pesticide barrier that will poison termites upon contact. While it is commonly used around the entire foundation of the home, it can also be used around specific wooden structures, wood piles, or tree stumps.

METHOD #2: POISONED BAIT

For some people, the liquid barrier treatment, though undeniably effective, is a little too radical for them. They might not view their termite problem as too serious, or perhaps they do not feel comfortable with having gallons of pesticide being sprayed around their home. For such individuals, we recommend using poisoned bait. You don’t have to spray pesticides around your home; the bait will attract foraging termites that will then spread the poison back to the colony.

METHOD #3: DIRECT CHEMICAL TREATMENT

While a liquid barrier treatment or poisoned bait is very effective for the outside of your home, you can’t really use it for the inside of your home. Don’t get us wrong; liquid barrier and poisoned bait treatments are perfectly able to kill the termites within your home due to the poison transference effect. We are just saying that you cannot directly use the products within your home. That means that if you spot some termites in a crevice in your wall, attic, and rafters etc. you need something to take care of them right there and then.

METHOD #4: BORIC ACID

Boric acid is considered to be the best ‘in between’ solution when it comes to the pesticides vs. natural solutions debate on pest control.

It works on most insects, including termites, where it is theorized that it affects their digestive and metabolic systems. After contact, it would take anywhere from 3 to 7 days for an exposed termite to die. And while not exactly a natural remedy, it is much lower in toxicity compared to the stronger insecticides used in the previous methods.

METHOD #5: BENEFICIAL NEMATODES

Now we are getting wholly into the ‘natural’ methods of termite removal. No pesky chemicals required, however be warned that chemicals and pesticides are used for a reason; they are extremely effective. That said, if your termite problem is on the minor side or if you are looking more for prevention rather than cure, these natural methods are a good option with zero health risks.

When these beneficial nematodes come into contact with termites or other harmful insects, they invade its body and begin feeding on it. In the process the nematodes release gut bacteria that cause blood poisoning and subsequent death of the host. After the host is dead and consumed, the nematodes move on to their next target, while breeding and multiplying the whole time.

 

Take Preventive Measures

The best way to treat a problem is to make sure the problem never occurs. Instead of trying to find ways to get rid of termites, look for ways to keep them from getting into your home in the first place. Regular Mesa termite inspections can help you keep tabs on the situation. But you should also make sure to keep wood, cardboard, and other cellulose away from your home – such as extra lumber in the crawl space, firewood stacked up in the garage, or even untreated mulch in the bed by your door. You should also keep moisture out of your home by ensuring that you have proper ventilation, as well as proper drainage in the landscape around your home.

 

HOW TO KEEP TERMITES OUT

  1. Keep all shrubbery near your home trimmed, allowing at least 12 inches between the shrubbery and the exterior wall of your home. This will create a nice air flow and allow damp areas to dry out quicker. It also allows termite tubes and termite damage to be discovered earlier.
  2. Use pine needles instead of mulch. Pine needles are less appetizing to subterranean termites and will also help minimize the environment that other insects such as ants like to nest in as well. If pine needles aren’t available in your area, consider pea gravel or other non-organic material as a barrier between your house and mulch.
  3. Keep all sprinkler heads pointed away from your home’s foundation. Subterranean termites like moisture and a sprinkler pointing toward you home creates an ideal environment for them.
  4. Preventative maintenance goes a long way. By properly maintaining the exterior of your home such as wooden siding or windows, it will decrease the likelihood of water leaking behind your wall and creating an ideal environment for subterranean termites.
  5. If your home has a crawl space underneath it, make sure it has proper ventilation and a good vapor barrier to help minimize moisture from reaching the floor joists and subfloor. Moisture not only can be a conducive condition under your home, it can also cause wood destroying fungus to grow. Moisture in a crawl space can also lead to unpleasant odors inside the house and in the right conditions create an environment for certain kinds of wood destroying beetles to infest the wooden members under your home.
Tips How To Handle Ants

Tips How To Handle Ants

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST

CAN YOU FOLLOW ANTS BACK TO THEIR NEST?

Trailing ants back to their nest is possible, but it can be very difficult. Ants are often hard to track due to their size and ability to sneak into spaces were humans cannot. Still, if you have patience and determination, you can try following the ants you see. With luck, they will take you back to their nest site.

However, you should be aware that ants rarely walk in a straight line from a food source to their colony site. Instead, many ants walk a zigzag pattern — the result of previous ant-explorers searching for something to help feed the colony. Those scouts laid down a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. Since these trails often meander, it can take an ant a long time to cross even a short distance.

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST INDOORS

Tracking ants to a nest inside your house is very important. You want to address these house ants as soon as possible to eliminate the colony that could be damaging your structure and polluting your food and water.

THREE GREAT WAYS FOR BATTLING ANTS INSIDE THE HOUSE

ant nest dustIf you have ants inside your house, TERRO® offers several great options for controlling these bugs.

 

Ant Inspection Guide

Where to Inspect Indoors

Most ant species prefer moist areas to nest and hide eggs. Typically kitchens and bathrooms are the first rooms to be infested. Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.

Where to Inspect Outdoors

Ants are opportunistic by nature and can make a nest just about anywhere depending on the species of ant. When inspecting for ants outdoors you should look.

  • In firewood piles
  • Under yard debris
  • In electrical and utility boxes
  • In dirt mounds in the yard
  • Under the siding on your structure

 

Tips for Eliminating and Preventing Ant Infestations in the House

Seal Entry Points

Ants are tiny creatures and can enter homes and buildings through minute cracks and crevices. To minimize this, seal around windows and doors and all cable, pipe, and wire entry points. Regularly inspect foundations for tiny cracks through which ants can gain entry to your home.

Keep It Clean

Sanitation is critical for the prevention and control of any pest. Like all living creatures, ants need water, food, and shelter for survival. Ants leave the shelter of their colony to find food and water. Don’t make it easy for them! Keep foods sealed, floors swept, and all surfaces cleaned. Be especially careful to keep things clean while you are targeting the nest, as this will make the sweet ant bait the only thing available to the ants. But don’t clean away the ant trails until you have eliminated the infestation, as these trails will allow the ants to find your bait and carry it back to the nest. Once the infestation has been eradicated, then clean up the trail surfaces and keep them clean.

Use Spray Pesticides Outdoors—Carefully

If you happen to follow ant trails and identify an outdoor nest for the colony, then it may make sense to apply a heavy dose of liquid pesticide that can soak down to reach the queen. Drenching the nest with an approved insecticide spray (following all label directions) can be effective. Make sure, however, to verify that this is the colony creating your indoor infestation problem. Many types of ants are helpful garden creatures that you have no reason to kill. And be aware that these pesticides are likely to be toxic to all insects, including beneficial ones, so apply them carefully according to label directions.

Be Patient

The worker ants will carry the pesticide bait back to the nest, but it can take several days to eliminate the colony, or even a few weeks if the colony is very large or it has several queens, as some ant species do. You may even need to replace the bait station if the ants empty it. Gradually, though, you will see an end to the infestation.

Use Ant Bait Indoors

Avoid the temptation to simply use pesticides to spray visible ants marching along trails in your home. Pesticide sprays can eliminate a few visible ants, but more will quickly replace them, and you’ll never make real progress to eliminating the infestation. Instead, use these worker ants as the ticket into the colony by placing ant bait for them to carry back to the hidden nest.

 

How to Get Rid of Ants

Keep ants out of your yard.

Yes, this is very tough to do, but there are pesticides (again, available at your local hardware store) that you can apply to your lawn on a regular basis that will help keep ants at bay. It also helps to keep your grass cut short during growth months so that you can see the appearance of any new hills as fast as possible.

Get rid of easy access to your home.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of all the culprits, you need to focus on keeping them away for good. While you have already put out repellant on the ground you need to make sure that you also discourage any other methods for the ant to get across the yard and onto the house, thus avoiding the stuff they hate on the ground. The way to do this is make sure there are no plants, trees or, undergrowth touching the house. Trim any such contact back and try to keep a 6-inch clearance space between soil and your foundation. Also, remove any standing log piles or any other inviting piles of organic matter from within close reach of the house. You’ll also want to seal any cracks and crevices with caulk.

Fire ants.

These insects, known as red imported fire ants (RIFAs) are aggressive and will dose out a painful round of bites (multiples) to anyone that disturbs their nest. They are also an unfortunate way of life in Georgia. The best way to remove them is to apply a heavy concentration of fire ant bait purchased from a local hardware store. The best time to apply bait is in early spring when ants begin to form new colonies and again in the fall. Give your entire lawn a treatment. If any mounds survive then give them a heavier dose – but not directly on the mound, sprinkle it uniformly in a 3-4 foot circle around the mound.

Destroy outside ant colonies.

If it’s not carpenter ants, the colony spawning the invaders is likely outside. Check your lawn, but also be wary of loose bricks or siding on your house. If you find ants watch their movements and follow them to the nest. Once you discover it use insecticide to destroy the colony. You may also pour boiling water (3 quarts or more) over any hills and then, once it has dried, pour another mixture of orange rinds and water onto the hill. A mixture of liquid dish soap and water will also kill ants.

Find indoor ant nests.

If you have carpenter ants, you cannot just feed them bait and have them carry it back to the nest and the queen. They don’t behave that way. So, you will have to locate the nest and deal with the critters there. Carpenter ants tunnel through wood and can do serious damage to your home. They generally like damp areas, so be wary of any spots in your home afflicted by leaks, including framing and flooring. If you cannot find the area easily call an expert that can devote all of his time to locating the culprits. If you do find the colony, douse it with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin or deltamethrin. Be careful with these chemicals, or if you’d prefer, call a professional.

 

How To Get Rid of Ants

If You Can’t Stop The Them, Are Ants In The House Harmful?

Ants tend to be harmless in your home. They don’t carry disease like other pests, but they are very persistent creatures. Most ants that you find in your home are mostly just a nuisance and aesthetically displeasing, if anything.

“People spend a lot of money on year-round pesticides,” says Deborah M. Gordon, associate professor of biological sciences and lead author of the study published about ant infestation by Stanford researchers, “but it’s not the pesticide that keeps ants out of your home, it’s the weather.”

If you find ants in your home, don’t worry! Most people will find ants in their home at some time or another. Controlling your ant problem in your home is your best bet, and using a combination of the above techniques during the peak ant infestation months will help to keep your ant problem under control.

How do I get rid of ants permanently? Is it possible?

​I would say that it is relatively impossible to permanently stop ants from coming into your home.

It’s important to know that once ants get into your home, they won’t go away on their own. You’ll have to hire a professional to take care of the ant problem or you’ll have to learn to get rid of ants yourself.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira