Pest Control- Weekly Links

Pest Control- Weekly Links

 

Pest Control Links Round-Up
Pest Control Links Round-Up

Carpenter Ant Awareness Week

This week is carpenter ant awareness week. How can you spot carpenter ants? Where are they found? What can you do to prevent them? Here’s what you need to know. More…

Bird Mites

Here’s an article discussing the appearance, lifecycle, habits, and behavior of bird mites. More…

Have You Seen the Asian Tiger Mosquito?

Our pest of the week is the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Turns out that this flying pest is also common in California. Here’s what you need to know. More…

Asian Cockroaches In Charlotte, NC

Out of all the different species of cockroaches, the Asian cockroach just might be the most difficult to control. One of the reasons these roaches are so difficult to control, is because they can fly. In fact, Asian cockroaches have been known to fly well over 120 feet. More…

Dealing with Fire Ants Near Your House

Fire ants are considered to be one the most dangerous pests in North America. With the ability to attack and kill small animals and inject venom that may cause an allergic reaction in some people, they’re one pest you simply don’t want near your home. More…

Pest Of The Week: The Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

Asian Tiger MosquitoWith black and white striped legs, similar to that of a tiger, the Asian Tiger Mosquito has become a serious pest control issue throughout much of the Eastern United States. These flying pests are actually native to the tropics of Southern Asia, but were unintentionally transported to the United States around 1985; in a shipment of used tires.

Recently, states like New Jersey have had an influx of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, with reports of huge swarms descending on the state. These mosquitoes are closely associated with humans, more so than other species of mosquitoes, because they are not attributed strictly to wetlands. Additionally, while most mosquitoes only bite during the dawn and dusk hours, the Asian Tiger Mosquito will bite and feed all day long; even during the daytime.

Cicada Invasion To Hit Eastern US

17-Year Cicada Illinois Brood XIII

Much of the eastern United States, including areas as far south as Georgia, are about to be overcome with millions of scary looking insects called cicadas. Swarms will be anywhere and everywhere. When they hatch, the ground will look like it is boiling. It’s a phenomenon that cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the world. Here’s what you need to know about these swarming bugs:

Swarms Of Cicadas To Hit Eastern U.S.

Welcome back cicadas! For the first time since 1996, after spending 17 years hiding underground, massive swarms of cicadas are set to descend on the eastern United States.

From New York down to Georgia, these noisy and menacing looking insects are expected to be everywhere and on everything. You will see clouds of them buzzing through the air. Clusters can range from tens of thousands to 1.5 million per acre. These cicadas, referred to as Brood II cicadas by scientists, will be stuck on the sides of your home and car. They climb buildings and trees. These cicadas are 17 years in the making.

Imagines of Magicicada septendecim, 17-year-pe...

Back in 1996, when Bill Clinton was the President of the United States and gas was a mere $1.21 a gallon, swarms of cicadas laid eggs in the soil. A single cicada female can lay as many as 600 eggs. These cicada eggs lay dormant under the soil for 17 years as the larvae grow. When soil temperatures reach about 64 degrees on the East Coast, which is expected any day now, the cicadas will hatch. When they do hatch from the ground, they’ll climb up your trees, shed their skins, and then transform into loud, obnoxious adults. They’ll lay their eggs in the ground and repeat the life cycle.

Within about six weeks, all of these swarming cicadas that crawled out of the earth will be dead … Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of them. You’ll see piles of them; so much that you may need a snow shovel to clean them all up off your property.

What Do Cicadas Look Like?

Brood II cicadas are about 1.5 inches long, or about the size of a quarter. They are an ominous black color with fiery red eyes that are set on the side of the head.

If you cannot see the swarms of cicadas, chances are you will definitely hear them. Their annoying buzzing sound can reach 90 decibels… That’s about as loud as a lawnmower. This buzzing sound has even caused permanent hearing loss for some.

Animated Gif of a Cicada (Tibicen sp.) Molting...

Are These Cicadas Dangerous?

There’s no doubt that these cicadas are frightening to look at, but there in no reason to be afraid of these bugs. They do not bite. They do not sting. Despite their terrifying appearance, the cicadas are relatively harmless… Just loud, annoying and bothersome.

How Long Will The Cicadas Be Around?

In late May or June, when the soil temperatures reach a moderate 64 degrees, the cicada nymphs will begin crawling out of the ground. Witnesses describe the scene as something straight out of a horror flick. The ground will look like it’s boiling. Fortunately, the entire cicada cycle will only last about 6 weeks, wrapping up by the Fourth of July. After that, we won’t see the cicadas again until 2030.

What Can I Do About The Cicada Invasion?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much homeowners can do to prevent these swarms of cicadas from infesting their homes. It’s going to happen. You may need a snow shovel of sorts to clear away the piles of cicadas from your home. Make sure all doors and windows are tightly secured throughout the end of May until the end of June.

All entry points to your home need to be sealed up, or you risk these cicadas entering your home. Just remember, this cicada invasion will only last six weeks at the most, and will not be seen again until 2030.

 

Pest Control For Carpenter Ants

Head of a Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus penn...
Head of a Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) (Photo credit: Thomas Shahan)

There is much confusion out there when it comes to Carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are frequently confused with termites, because they both nest in wood. The following article is intended for pest control professionals and homeowners alike, who are in need of some answers when it comes to identifying, and treating Carpenter ants. 

Knowing a little more about these Carpenter ants can help homeowners and pest management professionals take some preventative measures to minimize damage to homes. If it’s too late, and you fear that you may have a Carpenter ant infestation, please enlist the help of a licensed ant control professional who can administer the proper insecticides. 

The 3 Most Common Types of Carpenter Ants 

Across the lower 48 states, some 14 different species of Carpenter ant can be found in all their variety. Most share similar characteristics, like nesting in wood, but there are a few slight differences in appearance, geography, and habits. Here are the three most common species that threaten US homes: 

Carpenter Ant

Description: This image shows a Carpenter ant ...

Simply called the Carpenter ant (Camponotus vicinus), it is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest; but is also found in California, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, and Oklahoma. These ants have a black head, red thorax, and black abdomen. Like other Carpenter ants, this ant can be a serious structural pest. 

Western Carpenter Ant 

Western Carpenter Ant, Camponotus modoc

 

The Western Carpenter ant (Camponotus modoc) is a foraging ant that is commonly found in the states west of the Mississippi River. They have a dull black body with reddish legs. One easy way to distinguish the Western Carpenter ant from other ant pests is that this ant has a circular ring of gold colored hairs on its abdomen. 

Black Carpenter Ant 

Black Carpenter Ant: Camponotus pennsylvanicus...

The Black Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus), is the most common Carpenter ant pest in the United States. Found primarily in the Eastern United States, the ant is sometimes referred to as the Pennsylvania Carpenter ant. The Black Carpenter ant is distinguishable from other Carpenter ant species by the dull black color of the head and body; as well as white-yellow hairs on the abdomen. 

 

Pest Control For Carpenter Ants: 5 Steps 

When it comes to eliminating Carpenter ants, it’s not as easy as spraying them with a can of over-the-counter insecticide. These ants are tremendously resilient. While you may kill a few of the surface ants, a hundred thousand more may be hiding deep inside the nest. There are five basic steps that need to be taken to successfully eliminate Carpenter ants. 

carpenter ant damage under the front window sill
Carpenter ant damage under the front window sill (Photo credit: 123yvo)

Step 1: Inspection. The first step in controlling a Carpenter ant infestation is to thoroughly inspect the suspect property. It is best to determine the nest’s location as specifically as possible. Look for the signs of Carpenter ants, including sawdust piles around dead or rotting wood. The nest may be located by careful and patient observations of worker ants, especially between sunset and midnight during spring and summer months when carpenter ants are most active. You can increase your chances of following workers to their nest by setting out cat food that is attractive to carpenter ants. Place the food in areas where you find workers. Sometimes sound detection methods are equally as effective. Listen for the chewing of wood. Carpenter ants tend to be noisy within their nest, so listening devices may be needed to help pinpoint the exact location of the colony. 

Step 2: Identification. Once you have discovered the ants, and/or the nest, you can now determine what type of ant is infesting your property. Different species of ant may require different treatment techniques. Specimens may need to be taken for positive identification. If the ants are found nesting in wood, you almost certainly have a Carpenter ant problem. 

Step 3: Recommendation. After inspecting your property, and identifying the type of ant pest, you will need a plan of action. Multiple treatments may be necessary to completely control or eliminate a Carpenter ant colony. Sometimes, Carpenter ant nests are hidden in wall voids, ceilings, attics, or hollow doors. It is usually necessary for an ant control professional to drill small holes inside your home to apply insecticide into the nest area. Occasionally, the answer may be as simple as removing a nest that is found in some decaying wood around the property. Another common recommendation is to remove conditions that are supporting the Carpenter ants (i.e. unused wood, tree stumps, etc.) 

carpenter ant damage
Carpenter ant damage (Photo credit: Dave Bonta)

Step 4: Treatment. Treat Carpenter ant nests with a residual insecticide applied either as a dust or spray. You may need to drill small holes into wall voids, window and door sills, baseboards and other areas to reach the nest or major part of the colony. Pesticide dusts are particularly effective, as ant activity tends to spread the dust throughout the colony. For colonies in wall voids, inject an insecticide dust, such as Drione or Tempo, or inject voids with Premise Foam. 

When choosing an insecticide, opt for those containing active ingredients like chlorfenapyr, fipronil, or any of the pyrethroids (permethrin, cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin). For effective perimeter treatments, apply Temprid SC, Tempo, Suspend or DeltaGard G. 

Baits with active ingredients such as hydramethylnon, fipronil, and abamectin, are labeled for Carpenter ants. The colony can be controlled successfully if foraging ants take the bait to the queen. Place Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel on foraging trails, near suspected nest locations. 

Step 5: Evaluation. The key to long-term success in controlling and eliminating Carpenter ants is to follow up and assess the effectiveness of the measures taken. Additional treatments may be necessary to ensure the ants never come back. 

Ant Control 

As previously mentioned; if you are a property owner who is battling Carpenter ants, please seek the assistance of an ant control professional before attempting to exterminate these dangerous ants.