ants Archives - Pest End

Category: ants

Where Do Bugs Hide?

A common question that customers often ask our technicians is, “Where Do These Bugs Hide?” It is only natural to wonder where these pests have been, only to suddenly have them appear in your kitchen, bathroom, or scurrying around your attic or basement. Have they been in your house this whole time? How did they originally get in? And how can you be proactive about preventing these pests from becoming a more serious problem? Here is what we know:

  • Bed Bugs – These pests, that can leave you sleepless, can easily hitch a ride into your home on luggage or clothing items from places like: hotels, movie theaters, conference halls, airports, malls, schools, and pretty much any public place. Check your items before bringing them into your home. In addition, vacuum out suitcases and travel bags when coming back from trips.
  • Ants – Chances are, if you are seeing ants regularly in your home, that there is a nest somewhere either in your home or just outside of it where the ants bring food crumbs back to the colony. These pests are extremely small, so getting in and out only takes a small crack or opening in the siding or foundation. Talk to our experts to find out where your ant problem originates.
  • Ladybugs – Every spring, and again in the fall, Ladybugs seem to flock to the side of homes. Where did they come from and where have they been hiding? In the fall, Ladybugs are looking for a place (like under your siding or hidden in exterior walls) to overwinter. Then, in the spring, they reverse the process and emerge when the weather improves.

Bugs and insects seem to come out of nowhere, but usually there is a reasonable explanation as to why they have certain behaviors. If you have a pest issue that you want solved, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Is that an Ant or Termite?

In our last two blogs we have discussed the potential damage caused by carpenter ants and how to prevent these pests from making an appearance at your home in the first place. We also discussed that many homeowners often confuse termites and ants in that the flying ant looks much like a termite and the damage can sometimes look similar. Here is a quick side-by-side comparison so that you know what kind of pest you are dealing with in your home whether it is an ant or termite. 

Appearance – To begin our comparison, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the differences in appearance between a winged ant and a termite. For more images, check out our website for images of other types of termites and ants.

Behavior – Termites and ants also behave differently. While both pests live in colonies, they tend to live in separate areas.

  • Termites love to nest in rotting trees, wooden structures, tree stumps, and firewood stacks. Carpenter ants also frequent wooden locations, but they can be found in other areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and backyards where water is easily accessible.
  • Carpenter ants do not consume wood but rather just hollow out the wood for nesting galleries. A small pile of sawdust will be located just outside carpenter ant tunnels, which can be easily missed unless you’re on the lookout.
  • Termites create pencil-sized mud tubes to travel in and around your property to get to their food source and back to their nest.

Dietary Choices

  • Carpenter ants eat nectar, seeds, other insects, and food debris found around and inside homes. They do not eat the wood that they are hollowing out.
  • Termites consume mainly wood, paper, and other cellulose-based products.

If you are concerned about ants or termites infesting your home, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321. We can thoroughly inspect and determine whether your uninvited house guests are ants or termites, and then schedule an appropriate treatment plan.

 

Tips for Preventing Carpenter Ant Infestations

In our last blog, How Much Damage Can a Little Ant Do?, we discussed the damage that carpenter ants can inflict upon a home or business if the nest is allowed to reproduce and grow year after year. What can homeowners do to avoid this damage and prevent carpenter ants from entering their home in the first place? Here is a quick list and some simple tactics to get you started on preventing carpenter ant infestations. 

  • Caulk any cracks around the exterior of your home to eliminate entrance paths. This should include vents, windows, chimneys, doors, air conditioning units, and bulkheads.
  • Caulk around electrical and water lines where carpenter ants could enter the building as well.
  • Trim back branches of trees and bushes near your home or office so that they aren’t touching it. This keeps ants from using the branches as a bridge to your structure.
  • Consider installing a gravel or stone strip around your home that will create a barrier.
  • Store firewood 15-20 feet away from your house and keep it off the ground to stop pests from nesting right next to your home. Be sure to give the wood a whack on the ground before bringing into your home to shake off pests that may be on or in the wood.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers and clean the kitchen regularly to make your home less appealing to these unsightly critters.
  • Make sure crawl spaces and attics are well ventilated.
  • The wooden parts of porches and decks should not be in contact with the ground where ants and termites can access them. Use concrete blocks underneath to eliminate other possible entrance paths.
  • Immediately fix any leaks in the roof or plumbing pipes so that the source of water is not easily accessible.

If you suspect that you may have an ant infestation call Pest-End Exterminators immediately at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

How Much Damage Can a Little Ant Do?

It’s spring and that means those pesky ants are back. At first, it is just one or two in the pantry or bathroom, but then they tell their friends and it’s like an ant reunion is happening in your kitchen! Aside from the gross factor that a bug just walked across your kitchen counter, how bad is it really that a few ants have found their way inside your home? I mean, how much damage can a little ant do?

 

When it comes to pests doing damage inside your home, there is a wide spectrum as to the type and scope of damage that can be done. For example, carpenter ants don’t do nearly as much damage as termites, and don’t cause as many sleepless nights as a bed bug. They also don’t carry West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis like mosquitoes, nor Lyme disease like ticks. But that is not to say that ants do not do damage. Here is what you should be fearful of when it comes to those “little” black carpenter ants milling around your home.

 

  • Carpenter ant damage usually goes unnoticed until it is a costly fix. It can take years for damage to become noticeable and by that time it is a huge problem.
  • Carpenter ant damage is often confused with termite damage. While termites feed on (actually eat) the cellulose found in the wood, carpenter ants excavate (dig out) tunnels in decaying wood. Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood. Instead, they hollow it out
  • Colonies of carpenter ants can survive for years nesting and reproducing inside the wood of your home, which means that the damage can spread considerably as each year passes.

 

In short, to answer the question about how much damage can a little carpenter ant do, the answer is considerable damage! Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home inspected and treated for these small but damaging pests!

 

“The Ants Come Marching In”

Remember that old song about the ants coming marching in two-by-two and the four-by-four, hurrah? Well, now that spring has really begun to set in, you may have noticed that this song is playing out in earnest in your kitchen or bathroom. And you certainly are not singing “hurrah” as you see the line of ants. What can you do as a homeowner to prevent this seemingly inevitable occurrence?

 

When ants begin arriving in the early spring it may feel like they suddenly materialized overnight and have now set up shop in your home. Pest-End has some treatment options to help you eradicate these pests, but in the meantime here are some simple things you can do to make your home less welcoming to ants. Let’s take a closer look at some simple habits that may help curb your ant problem.

 

  • Understand the Enemy – In order to stop ants from making themselves at home in your home, learn a little bit about them first. For example, to solve an ant problem, you need to first eliminate the ones you don’t see to get rid of the ones you do see.This means that the queen ant, who never leaves her nest, is the one who lays all the eggs and the one that needs to be exterminated to solve the root of your ant problem. If you don’t have time to learn about ants, trust in a reliable, experienced exterminator like Pest-End.
  • Eliminate Food Sources – What is causing ants to make a pilgrimage to your kitchen or bathroom? The answer is the food and water source that is usually readily available in those areas. Clean thoroughly the floors and other surfaces that could contain crumbs or sticky food residue. Make sure your kitchen or bath are as sterile as possible and that faucets are not dripping or leaking. For the kitchen pantry area this includes putting food items in plastic resealable containers.
  • Seal Up your Home – Face it, ants are small and don’t need a large opening to get inside your home, so try to do as much as possible to seal up the openings you can see such as under doors, near windows, and around vents.
  • Choose Plantings Wisely – If your home has plantings close to the foundation you may be inviting ants to get close to your home. Ants use vegetation for shelter and food, so any vegetation that is close to your house is just a bridge between the ant’s natural habitat and yours. To keep ants away, trim those plants as soon as you notice any contact with your home.

 

If you have the beginnings of an ant invasion in your home call  Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

 

Garage Pests

For homeowners, garages are often convenient spaces to store excess “stuff” such as holiday decorations, bikes, lawn equipment, bins of old clothing and, of course, trash. For pests however, garages are a cornucopia of treasures such as: discarded food in the garbage barrels, a warm place to nest in the bins of old clothes and, of course, garages provide shelter from the elements. What critters do you have in your garage? Here are some of the most common garage pests to be aware of and how you can protect your “stuff” from unwanted visitors.

Common Garage Pests –

  • Raccoons
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Skunks
  • Ants
  • Termites

In order to avoid this line up of critters from making their home in your garage, here are a few tips on how to protect the area.

  • Keep your door down when you are not in the need of using the interior of the garage. This may mean maintaining the mechanisms or just remembering to shut the door each time. Keeping the pests out is the first step in making sure they do not take up residence in your garage.
  • Clean up the clutter. The less clutter there is for pests to find a home inside of, the better. Clutter is attractive to many pests because of the the hiding places it can offer, so do your best to keep clutter in your garage to a minimum.
  • Reduce the attraction. Keep lights off and garbage barrels covered. These two things can be like a beacon to pests such as wild animals and bugs to enter the area. The smells from your trash and the light from the garage may cause some pests just to check out what is in there.
  • Have a pest management team inspect your garage. If you suspect that some critter is living or at least visiting your garage regularly, call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321 for an inspection and a solution to your garage pest problem.

Ant Dangers and Damage

Ants are extremely active during the spring and summer months especially in New England. Ants can enter through the tiniest openings of your residence or business. They nest out of sight in walls, storage rooms, and the landscaping surrounding a building. Once ants get into a building, they leave an invisible pheromone trail for others in their colony to follow. There can be hundreds if not thousands of them to follow.What are common ant dangers and damages?

So if you find these pests in your home or business, should you worry that they are dangerous to family members, employees or clients or even to the structure itself?  The answer really depends on the type of ants and the region of the country you live in. For the purpose of this blog, we will be talking about the ants most common in the New England region.

  • Carpenter Ants can infest any building in the Northeast and cause fairly significant damage to the wood structure they have taken up residence in. Carpenter ants can chew through different types of wood, and can destroy aspects of your home, like your deck. Carpenter ants can also ruin elements in your landscaping by chewing through wood in retaining walls, or compromising the health of you garden.
  • Common House Ants do have the ability to carry bacteria, dirt and pathogens on their body. Since they crawl over food and areas of the kitchen where homeowners prepare food it is possible that they can transfer those unhealthy germs. Although ants are not usually a public health risk they can contaminate food. They can taint any food, making it unsuitable to eat. The best course of action is to eliminate and exclude ants from your home by calling Pest-End Exterminator who have years of experience in getting rid of pests from home in our region.

Creating an Ant-Free Home

Did you know that ants outnumber humans 140,000:1? There are thousands of species of ants and they have taken up residence on all of Earth’s continents except Antarctica. In short, they are the number one nuisance pest in the world.  Ridding your home of ants means finding and destroying the nest, removing food sources, and building exclusion barriers once your home is ant free.Can you create an ant-free home?

While no home is immune from the invasion of pests, including the common ant, there are some things that homeowners can do to stop them from coming into your home. Pest professionals, like Pest-End Exterminators can quickly and safely exterminate ants from your residence but here are a few things that you can do to discourage ants from finding your home as a snack bar before they become a problem.

  • Seal It Up – Make sure that all screens, windows, doors and outside shingling/siding are well maintained and have no cracks or crevices that could be used as entrance to your home. As you can imagine, an ant only needs a tiny opening to enter your home. So do your best to make sure you have not made it easy for them to enter and set up a nest. Use sealants like caulk, putty and poster tack to stop ants from finding a way in.
  • Remove Food Sources – Ants are coming inside in search of food, water sources, and a warm environment. Make sure that all crumbs and drips are cleaned up especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Wipe down all food areas and keep it clean daily especially during prime ant season in the spring and summer. Pay special attention to wiping down the sink.
  • Seal Foods – Use containers that keep food safe from ant invasion such as resealable cereal containers, and tupperware for foods that remain out of the refrigerator.
  • Plants Inside and Out – If your house plants have ants then try to separate them with some sort of barrier. If your bushes and shrubs outside your home are an easy bridge to the home. trim them back regularly.
  • Get Professional Help – Once you have identified that you have ants, it is best to call in the experts such as Pest-End Exterminators who can find and destroy nests and maintain treatments to keep them from returning.

Where Do Ants Hide?

Ants are remarkable creatures as we saw in our last blog post. They are strong, resilient and work great as a team! But if you are finding trails of ants in your kitchen or bathroom and want to put an end to these bothersome creatures, you may need to call in the experts to find the source of their nest in order to exclude and exterminate completely. So what areas of your home tent to be ant-infestation areas and where do ants hide?

While ants usually make their all-to-common appearance in the kitchen and the bath, they do nest a short distance away from those areas in order to keep food and water sources close. A recent survey of pest professionals across the country, conducted by the National Pest Management Association, found kitchens (96%) and bathrooms (89%) to be particularly vulnerable to ants. The NPMA survey revealed ants are also found in the following areas:

  • Inside walls (73%)
  • Bedrooms (61%)
  • Living rooms (60%)
  • Basements (54%)
  • Air conditioning and heating units (37%)

Ants usually live in wood or soil outside the house, and only march indoors to gather food and find water, particularly during the spring and summer. Ants, unfortunately, may also live inside the house. It’s important to track down the ant colonies to identify the species and choose the right control. If you can find the ant colony early, you can typically prevent ants from causing serious damage to the home.

Ants are considered difficult to control, because once they find a way into your home they can colonize and build up the population to numbers upwards of thousands of ants. If you notice ants in your home contact pest professionals like Pest-End Exterminators immediately and take some steps on your own to curb these pests from being welcome in your home. Please read our blog next week to find out how homeowners can create an environment where ants are not welcome!  

Amazing Ant Facts

Seems like every spring the ants march back into our lives whether it’s interrupting our outdoor barbecues, scrounging for bits of food in our kitchens or searching for water drips in our bathrooms. While these pests can be a huge nuisance they also have some amazing features. Let’s discuss some amazing ant facts.

 

  • Most ants can lift 20x their weight.  If a second grader was as strong as an ant, she would be able to pick up a car! Some ants can do this upside down.
  • Ants can live a long time. Some species can live up to 30 years!
  • There are over 12,000 species of ants across the globe.
  • The ant is the world’s strongest creature in relation to its size.
  • Ants are found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Ants can move 50 tons of soil in a square mile in a year!
  • When foraging, ants leave a pheromone trail so that they know where they’ve been.
  • Queen ants can have millions of babies!
  • When ants fight, it is usually to the death!
  • Most ants can hold their breath for 24 hours under water. Ants don’t have lungs, they breath through small holes found around their bodies called ‘spiracles’. When an ant is drowned in a flood, it may appear to be dead.
  • Ants use vibrations to hear, using it when foraging for food or as an alarm signal.
  • The first ants were discovered to be around during the time of dinosaurs!

 

If you find ants are invading your home this Spring, call Pest-End exterminators to solve your pest problem.