Texas Ants

Kissing_AntsTexas is home to a variety of many different ant species. The main reason why there are so many ants in Texas is the weather. The weather in Texas never really drops down past a freezing temperature for a long period of time. This will allow the ants to live out of their colony or nest year round, and infest yards and homes.

What ants live in Texas? 

Some of the ants that live in Texas include: Carpenter ants, Crazy ants, Fire ants, Ghost ants, Little Black ants, Pharaoh ants, and Thief ants. All of theses ants have different habitats, but can pose a huge problem on you and your family if they infest your home.

Where do these ants live? 

Most ants will live on the outside of your home, but some will be found inside your home as well. On the outside of your home, ants will be found around concrete slabs, under rocks, walking stones, and piles of wood. On the inside of your home, ants can be found in almost every room. The way ants can do this is by living inside the walls of the home. The walls will provide protection for the ants year round. If the ants are in the walls of your home it will only get worse if they are not exterminated.

camponotus japonicusWho does Ant Control in Texas? 

There are many companies that will take care of ants in Texas, but Bulwark Exterminating technicians are specialized in ant control. They have been taking care of ants in homes for 20 years. Bulwark Exterminating will come check your whole property for ants. They will then place baits down and treat around the whole home. On the inside they will also bait, and place a product in to the walls that will ensure an ant free home.

Halloween Ants: 3 Ants Inspired By The Things Of Our Nightmares

What do Halloween spooks like vampires, ghosts, and zombies have to do with the picnic ruining, biting, stinging, and all around pesky ant? More than you might think!

Here are three different species of ant that are inspired by the things of our nightmares:

Dracula AntDracula Ants

Horrifying ants that suck blood… Say it isn’t so! Dracula ants (Adetomyrma venatrix) are named after the very famous fictitious vampire count Dracula; because of the grisly way in which these ants feast on the blood of their young. Well, technically it’s not the blood of their young that Dracula ants are drinking, but rather the hemolymph or ant blood equivalent. This practice is actually a form of non-destructive cannibalism, as it doesn’t kill the ant larvae.

If you think the ant larvae are simply providing a public service to the rest of the colony, letting hungry worker ants scratch and chew holes through their bodies as they feast on their blood; than think again. Scientists have witnessed the young Dracula ant larvae try to flee in fear, whenever a hungry work ant enters their chamber.

Dracula ants are primarily found in Madagascar, and are actually an engendered species. A typical colony will have about 10,000 ants, and have been found making nests in things like rotting logs and tree stumps. They are orange in color, and have abdomens that resemble wasps more than they do ants.

Ghost AntsGhost Ants

That tiny translucent creature crawling across your kitchen this Halloween is not a pint-size apparition with legs. It’s not the visible manifestation of that bug you squashed with your shoe last week either. Rather, it’s the pesky Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum).

Found in Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Hawaii, these ants can be rather spooky for homeowners; as they intrude looking for food. Ghost ants get their name from their distinctive ghost-like appearance; translucent colored abdomen and legs. Unlike the Dracula ant, which feeds on the blood of their young, Ghost ants primarily feed on the honeydew they collect from plant-feeding insects like aphids.

Zombie Ants

You wake in a puddle of some unknown and impious fluid. You disjointedly crawl to your feet, but have no control over your body. You are no longer the living organism you thought you once were, but are some sort of rotting corpse; a hollow vessel harboring something disturbing inside. You’re confused, disorientated, and no longer seem to have any self-control. Most believe you’re dead, but fortunately your loved one’s think you are still alive – your soul still somewhere deep inside this now walking monster of a creature. Whatever sinister it may be, one thing is certain, you only want to satisfy your desire to eat others of your kind and spread the virus within.

No I’m not talking about the pilot to AMC’s The Walking Dead. I’m talking about ZOMBIE ANTS!

Zombie Ant

When I say zombie ants, I’m not referring to a specific species of ant named a “Zombie ant,” but rather a condition affecting tropical Carpenter ants that happen to come into contact with a certain type of fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). This fungus is a mind-leeching parasite responsible for creating extensive hoards of the zombie ants. Once the fungus has infiltrated the ant’s brain, it will become powerless to resist the calculated directives of its subversive ruler. After spending some time in this zombie-like state, the infected ant will die at a spot that has optimal reproduction conditions for the fungus. The fungus will sprout from the zombie ant’s head, almost like a tombstone, and release more parasitic spores that will infect other ants.

You can watch the whole process here:

 

What’s the scariest ant you’ve ever encountered? 

PestWorld 2013 Day 2

PestWorld 2013 Jordan Belfort

Day two of PestWorld 2013 (October 23, 2013) got off to an enthusiastic start as the 3,300 attendees got the privilege to hear from Jordan Belfort, “the Wolf of Wall Street.” After his remarks all of us pest professionals spent the rest of the morning checking out the pest management exhibits in the exhibit hall, while we mingled and networked with pest management professionals from all over the world. The afternoon was spent sitting in on some concurrent educational sessions, learning about some of the latest pests and pest technologies. During these sessions, much emphasis was also placed on PMP marketing, business management, and industry related training.

Here are a few of the highlights from day two at PestWorld 2013:

Opening General Session: Jordan Belfort “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

 

Jordan Belfort at PestWorld 2013

Day two of PestWorld 2013 was kicked of by “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort, sharing his interesting story; his rise and fall and rise again. As one of the most successful and dynamic sales guys in the history of Wall Street, Jordan was earning $50 million a year selling $5-$6 stocks to the wealthiest 1% in the country. During the peak of his success, Jordan fell into some of the pitfalls that super successful lifestyle. He found himself on some 22 different drugs, and in jail with Tommy Chong of all people, before he had a moment of clarity and turned his life around. Through this rise and fall, Jordan learned a few things along the way. Here are just a few points he touched on:

“Success in the absence of ethics and integrity is failure!”

  • You can change your life story by not succumbing to a negative situation.
  • If you have a vision, goals, and are driven toward something, you’re happy no matter where you are in life.
  • Our success or lack there-of, can come from our inner-world skills. Our belief systems, or the things in our head, lead us to success.
  • There’s always going to be stuff to trip us up.
  • Be visionary. Focus on visions, not just goal setting. Gravitate to other people with vision.
  • To get on top and stay there, you must continue learning
  • It’s hard to turn non-buyers into buyers. It’s easier to get existing buyers to flip.
  • Reciprocity is a powerful marketing tool
  • Linear concepts are easier for customers, and all of us to grasp.
  • Failure= not managing your growth

3 Things For Success

1. Have a vision for the future

2. Have the ability to share your vision. Make it known to others and empower them to take action.

3. Give more value than you look to receive. Monetize this value. Money and success is a byproduct of value.

The Wolf Of Wall Street Movie Trailer

 

PestWorld Educational Sessions

 

There were 24 different educational sessions to choose from today; everything from hiring/training PMP’s, to bedbug progress, to risks and rewards of pest control technologies. I had the opportunity to personally sit in on these three educational sessions.

Tramp Ants: What New or Exotic Ants Are Coming To Your Area

Dr. Laurel Hansen, from Spokane, WA, presented on Tramp ants. Tramp ants are introduced, exotic, invasive, and alien. They have made their way into urban environments from territories around the world. They are transported by us, usually by accident. Here are a few of the ants popping up in new territories around the world:

Tramp Ants: These Ants Get Around

Ponerine ants- From Africa and Central Asia, now worldwide. They sting! Nest under concrete slabs. Winged females are problems, leaving colonies, mating and stinging. Difficult to control.

Odorous House ants- is a tramp ant because they’re moving across the country. Now #1 most invasive ant, overtaking carpenter ant. Gel baits work best for these ants.

Velvety Tree ant- Similar to odorous house ant, but bigger. Moving from forested areas into structures. Very serious problem.

Pavement  ants- Stinging ants hiding under concrete slabs. Move around a lot.

Ghost ants- liquid baits, showing up in shopping mall atriums even in cold weather climates

White footed ants- found in Florida, SE United States, California, and Hawaii. Liquid baits to treat as well.

Pharaoh ants- Comes from Africa, and might be biggest tramp of them all.

What Would A World Without PMP’s Look Like?

  • Dr. Faith Oi of the University of Florida offered some insights on what our future would look like without pest control. Here are a few quick points I took away from her very in depth and historical presentation:
  • U.S. has ability to export food to poverty stricken countries. Pest control protects this food. Our food exports also affect our economic stability and GDP.
  • Malaria caused 289 million cases and 836,000 deaths in 2010. 90 percent come from areas without pest control. U.S. has very low rates because of pest control and medical technology.
  • 80 percent of diseases are spread by pests. Example: Typhus, Yellow Fever, Plaque which is spread by pests like rats, mosquitoes, and fleas, may have killed billions more victims.
  • Found this fact interesting: If we had pest control in early 1800’s, we wouldn’t have 1/3 of the U.S. Yellow Fever wiped out populations in Haiti, causing Napoleon to sell land known as Louisiana Purchase for $13 million.

German Cockroach Management: How Your Application Methods Can improve Your Speed and Efficacy

german cockroaches

Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University presented a very elaborate and detailed guide on some of the most effective ways to combat German roaches. In this strategy, it’s crucial to start your baiting program in January if at all possible (tricky I know), and bait highly infested communities with a lot of bait fast. I will likely dedicate a separate blog post to this method and technique in the near future; so stay tuned!

Stay Tuned

Check back tomorrow for our highlights from day three of PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ.

 

Friday Links Round-Up: Pest Control Articles

fall leavesFriday Links Round-Up: Pest Control Articles

 

Kissing Bug – Everything You Need To Know About This Dangerous Pest!

Kissing bugs are blood sucking insects that are known to attack humans for their food. A major reason these insects are called “kissing bugs” is because they tend to bite around the mouth and eye region while you sleep which is definitely pretty creepy. To make matters worse, these pests have the ability to transmit a dangerous disease called “Chagas” that can cause all sorts of health complications and can sometimes even be fatal. More…

Pre Treatment Bed Bug Advice

There are a few things you need to know and a few steps that need to be taken before a bedbug treatment. Learn more here.

Creepy Movies With Creepy Crawley Bugs!

Curl up on the couch this Halloween with a few good horror flicks featuring bugs! More…

The Why & The How of Termites In The Home

This article, complete with illustrations, offers a few fairly simple explanations about termites, including “why are they in my home?” More…

Yellow Jacket Sting

This article is one of the most comprehensive pieces of literature I have found about yellowjacket stings. It’s awesome, and a must read!

 

Ghost AntsPest Of The Week: The Ghost Ant

With Halloween just around the corner; what better pest to feature as our pest of the week than the Ghost ant. Ghost ants garner their name because of their translucent legs and abdomens. These tiny ants, measuring a mere 1.3-1.5 mm, are found throughout the tropical areas of the world. In the United States you can find Ghost ants in Oregon, Hawaii, Iowa, and Texas. These ants are not fond of cold weather climates.

Ghost ants enter our homes usually to forage for foods like sweets and grease, but will also feed on living or dead insects. Serious Ghost ant infestations require professional ant extermination.