Pest Control Information- Friday Links Round-Up

Pest Control Information- Friday Links Round-Up

 

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

Bedtime Stories For Pest Control Enthusiasts

Have your parents ever told you to “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”? Thinking about it… isn’t this scary – especially for children? More…

Termite Facts To Chomp On Infographic

Here is an awesome infographic about termites. Get all the termite facts here.

Problems with DIY Pest Control

Does DIY pest control really work? Use caution and read about all of the problems that can occur here.

Stinging Insect Classification: Wasps, Bees and Hornets

Controlling any pests starts by knowing the type of pests that are inside the premises. Learn about all the different flying and stinging pests here.

False Widow Spiders

False Black Widow Spiders have round, bulbous abdomens. The males body is thinner and more elongated than the females, however, the color pattern is similar. More…

Pest Of The Week: The Striped Scorpion

 

Striped ScorpionThe most widespread species of scorpion found in the United States is the Striped scorpion. They vary in color and pattern, with scorpions from Kansas and Oklahoma appearing darker with light orange striping; compared to the Striped scorpions found in West Texas that tend to be more pale with lighter yellow striping.

Striped scorpions measure about an inch to inch and a half in length, making them smaller then other scorpion species. They can be found living together in large numbers under rocks. These scorpions are especially hardy and have the ability to survive for extended periods of time in below freezing weather.

Striped scorpions have a powerful sting that feels comparable to that of a wasp’s sting. The pain and symptoms of a sting can last for several hours, and it is advised that scorpion control measures should be taken to ensure homeowners avoid these painful stings.

 

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. 

Pest Control For Fire Ants

fire_ant_worker1
fire_ant_worker1 (Photo credit: bart_drees)

The following article is intended for pest control professionals and homeowners alike, who are in need of some answers when it comes to dealing with fire ants. If you are a homeowner who is battling fire ants on your property, please seek the assistance of an ant control professional before attempting to exterminate these dangerous ants.

Fire Ants

The Red Imported Fire ant is one of the worst ant pests in the Southern United States in terms of human health, property damage, and environmental damage. If you are a pest control professional in states like: Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, and North Carolina; you likely take frequent calls from homeowners that are battling these nasty pests.

Pest Control For Fire Ants

Unfortunately, treating fire ants isn’t as easy as heading to your local hardware store and picking up an aerosol pesticide to spray on a mound. Over-the-counter sprays will only kill a few of the ants. The remaining ants will leave the nest and return when the pesticide dissipates.

Some pest control operators will only sprinkle an insecticide over a mound. This is ineffective in controlling the whole colony because most fire ant mounds have multiple queens; and colonies may be spread over unseen areas and across multiple properties.

Texas A&M University has developed a couple of effective fire ant control strategies, developed through years of research. They include a one step wide area treatment or two step bait and mound treatment. The two step method works best in fully infested areas (five or more mounds per quarter-acre of yard).

(Solenopsis invicta) This photo shows a colony...
(Solenopsis invicta) This photo shows a colony of reddish brown fire ants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One Step Wide Area Treatment

If a homeowner is only dealing with a few fire ants, this wide area treatment is effective. It may require cooperation from other homeowners, as the infesting ants may be coming from multiple properties.

Using this method, a pest control professional distributes a granular product containing Fipronil over a property once a year, preferably in the early spring. Spread two pounds of Fipronil per 1000 square feet. Fipronil granular products, like TopChoice and Taurus G, are slow-acting but have season-long control. Best results will not be seen for six weeks after application. Treat a property evenly, and lightly water after the granules have been applied.

If the Fipronil granules are distributed after April, an additional application of fast acting fire ant baits may be necessary to reduce the fire ant population. The fire ants will be very active long before the Fipronil ever kicks in.

It’s important to note that this fire ant extermination method is ineffective a controlling other species of foraging ants, as it’s not a barrier treatment.

Fire Ants
Fire Ants (Photo credit: Marufish)

Two Step Bait & Mound Treatment

The two step bait and mound treatment approach has been proven effective at controlling fire ants, and is ideal for highly infested areas. During the first step of treatment, a pest control professional will distribute a fire ant bait insecticide over a property in the early spring or late fall. A few weeks after the baits have been applied to a property; the pest professional will treat each mound with an approved mound drench, granule, or dust pesticide.

Baits

One of the more environmentally sound ways to treat fire ants, is with baits. These baits are a combination of insecticide and corn. A fire ant worker will find the bait, bring it back to the nest, and share it with his friends and the queen. After ingesting the poisoned food, the ants will die.

Look for fire ant bait with one or more of the following active ingredients: indoxacarb, abamectin, s-methoprene, hydromethylnon, or pyriproxyfen. Put these baits down evenly throughout the property, when the ground is dry, and when you’re not expecting rain for the next 48 hours. Late afternoons and evening work best for baiting, as that’s when fire ants are actively foraging. Make sure the bait is fresh, and do not mix it with other substances like fertilizer.

Mound Treatments

Texas Fire Ant Nest in October
Texas Fire Ant Nest in October (Photo credit: gurdonark)

A week or two after the application of fire ant bait, a pest control professional must chemically treat each individual ant mound with dusts, drenches, or granules.

Liquid drenches generally eliminate ants in mounds within a few hours and leave little surface residue after application. Use a long injection probe to apply Temprid SC, Tempo or Suspend under high pressure into mounds.

Granular products are rather fast acting. They require putting granules on and around the mound and then sprinkling one to two gallons of water on without alarming the fire ants inside the mound. Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait provides fast knockdown and long-term control.

Ant Control

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

Read more about fire ant control methods at: http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/