Carpenter Ants Archives - Pest End

Category: Carpenter Ants

Bathroom Bugs

There really is nothing more unsettling than seeing a bug while you are in a vulnerable position like in the shower or using the toilet. It is enough to make you scream for assistance. Bathrooms, like attics, kitchens, and basements, are well-known activity centers for pests. These rooms, due to their moisture content attract a certain kind of pest that loves the areas around the sink, tub and toilet. Common bathroom bugs include:

  • Silverfish – These silvery bugs with three antennae feed on the mold and fungi commonly found in bathrooms, especially round drains and in the crevices where it is hard to clean out the moisture. They also tend to eat items with carbohydrates such as books, paper and wallpaper, so left unchecked they could cause some minor damage. Other than that damage, Silverfish are not usually dangerous unless you have an allergic reaction to them.
  • Cockroaches – The infamous cockroach loves the bathroom for the water and moisture. Unfortunately, left to reproduce, these pests can become a headache. Have any leaks in the plumbing taken care of and have a professional pest inspector take a look behind your walls and in crawl spaces around your bathrooms if you suspect an infestation.
  • Drain Flies – Since the larvae of drain flies feed off the gunk in your drains they tend to be found near and around bathrooms and kitchen sinks. To avoid these pests remove drain build up and keep leaks to a minimum.
  • House Centipedes – You may immediately think that this bug has a hundred legs and will be attacking you in the bath or while on the toilet. This is a myth because these bugs usually only have 15-190 legs and are not there to attack you but rather as a predator after other water bugs or bathroom bugs.

If you have pests in your bathroom that your would like to evict call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

Carpenter Ants a Misnomer?

 

When thinking about the carpenter trade you probably envision woodworking, building and fine craftsmanship. Unfortunately, this description is far from the truth when dealing with “carpenter” ants. They are not building, creating or crafting anything. In fact, carpenter ants are excavating wood structures instead of adding to them. While they are not eating the wood, they are tunneling out grooves that could cause significant damage to structures. If that structure happens to be your house, then you may begin to think that the term “carpenter ant” is a misnomer.

 

Carpenter ants prefer to establish their colonies in galleries excavated from damp or damaged wood. They do not eat wood as termites do, but instead remove wood and deposit the debris outside of their nests in small piles. Therefore, homeowners may notice dust piles or sawdust piles in the basement, or other areas of the home. This may be an indicator that your home has an infestation of these destructive pests.

 

Unfortunately, carpenter ant infestations often go unnoticed until it is a costly situation to correct.

While pests like termites, who are often confused with carpenter ants, feed on the cellulose found in the wood. Carpenter ants excavate galleries or tunnels in decaying wood. It may take years for damage to be noticed, as well as to cause damage. Therefore homeowners should be vigilant of any signs including seeing ants themselves, seeing frass or sawdust piles, or hearing rustling in your walls that can not be explained.

 

Call Pest-End Exterminators if you notice any of these signs because those pesky ants are not using their carpenter skills to create – they are quite possibly damaging your home.

The Ants Come Marching In

Every spring it happens. My kitchen becomes a haven for black ants. They march in, right on schedule, once the weather starts warming up and take up residence in my kitchen around the sink, pantry and stove.  Why do they do this?  What can I do to prevent them? What type of ants are they?  

 

As we slowly inch toward spring and the weather begins to moderate, you may have a similar situation in your home. We hear these questions all the time. Depending upon the type and size of these black ants, your home may have ant infestation problem or just a real nuisance. Pest-End Exterminators can complete a comprehensive inspection to determine what type these ants truly are whether they are sugar ants or carpenter ants and create a viable treatment option based upon our findings. Many times carpenter ants get a hold of a home and inflict considerable damage to wood and structures. Little brown ants tend to be less damaging but just as much a nuisance especially if they are visible in your cabinets, around your sink and anywhere food items may be.

 

Ant control is one of our specialties and we are happy to help you eliminate the problem that is fairly common in our region. Give us a call for a complete inspection and discuss treatment options. In addition to our professional services we suggest the following sanitation habits to control these pests in your home.

 

  • Eliminate conditions that are conducive to ant infestations such as open food containers and food remnants around the kitchen. Even a small crumb can attract ants.
  • Keep all surfaces clean including the stove, cabinets, counters and pantry areas. Practicing good sanitation is one of the best preventative measure homeowners can take.
  • Take the trash out regularly so that it does not attract ants.
  • Remove standing water around the sink and refrigerator.

 

These pests may be small in size but can quickly become a big inconvenience. Call Pest-End Exterminators for fast and effective treatment options.

The Interesting World of Bugs

Almost everywhere on the planet there are bugs. These critters are wildly diverse in color, size and behavior. While most homeowners call us to eliminate the pests from their property, we can’t help but marvel in their interesting features and characteristics. Every once and a while it is fun to take a closer look at pests and their interesting world.

 

Did you know. . . ?

  • A cockroach can live for up to 3 weeks without its head!
  • The weight of all the termites in the world outweigh the weight of all humans 10 to 1!
  • The queen of a certain termite species can lay 40,000 eggs per day.
  • The life cycle of a mosquito features four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  • Female mosquitoes drink blood in order to obtain nutrients needed to produce eggs.
  • A mosquito flaps its wings 500 times a second.
  • Male mosquitoes do not bite humans but rather live on plant juices and other natural liquids from plants and decomposing organic material.
  • The average housefly lives for one month.
  • Out of every 1,000 Mosquitoes, one female carries a disease that could be fatal to humans.
  • Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.
  • To survive the cold of winter months, many insects replace their body water with a chemical called glycerol, which acts as an “antifreeze” against the temperatures.
  • Ants leave trails and communicate with each other using pheromones as chemical signals.
  • There are nearly as many species of ants (8,800) as there are species of birds (9,000) in the world.
  • Although insects can be found by the buckets just about anywhere on Earth, there’s one continent where they barely have a foothold: Antarctica. In fact, only one true species of insect, a wingless midge called Belgica antarctica, calls the southernmost continent home.

 

Carpenter Ant Damage

As professional exterminators, we know the importance of insects and pests in the large scheme of the ecosystem. We understand that carpenter ants are valuable in that they are decomposers in the environment chain. Carpenter ants chew up tons of wood and turn it into fine sawdust that rots, providing compost for new environmental growth. While carpenter ants do have an important role in our ecosystem, they also pose a threat to our homes if they find their way into our man made structures.

 

Signs of Damage –

You may recognize that you have carpenter ant damage to your home when you see (or hear) any of these signs:

  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped upon – since carpenter ants are social and live in large colonies the hollowed out wood could be a fairly large area.
  • The sound of faint rustling within in the walls can be heard in infested wood. Professionals can quickly identify the location of carpenter ants and their nests.
  • A knife can very easily penetrate the surface of wood that has been infested with carpenter ants.
  • The presence of wood with wide, irregular galleries that are smooth-surfaced (almost as if they’ve been rubbed down with sandpaper) and free of debris.
  • Shed wings of swarmer carpenter ants laying around near window sills, baseboards and vents. Be sure to check out our page that shows the difference between termite swarmers and carpenter ants.
  • Trails of sawdust that can be left behind where carpenter ants have bored holes into the wood

 

The first step in resolving a carpenter ant issue is to first identify that they are, in fact, carpenter ants. Then finding the nest and infestation is important.  Professionals at Pest-End Exterminators can conduct a thorough inspection of your property and begin treatments to rid your home of these damaging pests.

Prepare for Summer Pests

Have you been preparing for summer? Got your deck chairs ready?  Is your fire-pit packed with kindling and ready to roast some s’mores? If so, then you probably have done some of the things needed to prepare for summer. But have you considered preparing for the pests that can ruin all your summer outdoor fun?  Some of the most common indoor pests during the summer are ants, stink bugs, and house flies. Let’s review some prevention techniques that you can take so that these pests don’t crash the summer party this year.

  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood grain to form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. They are not eating the wood but rather finding their home in the wood. This activity produces wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants which provides clues to nesting locations. Since these pests love to reside in homes it is important to control the access points to your home. Follow any ant trails you discover back to their source and be sure to seal or caulk any holes you notice. In addition, store firewood as far away from buildings as possible, remove nearby tree and shrub stumps and roots, and control moisture levels within your home since carpenter ants are attracted to wet or damp wood conditions.
  • Stink Bugs – Stink bugs get their name from the strong stench that they emit when crushed or agitated. Due to this stink bugs can be a malodorous problem inside homes. Locate and seal off the openings where these insects gain access. Typically, stink bugs will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trims, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Call an exterminator if you notice these pests in your home because they tend to revisit the same homes over and over again.
  • House Flies – While house flies may seem like just a nuisance bug that gets in your home when a door or window is left open, they can be dangerous in that they transmit at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis. Flies regurgitate and excrete wherever they come to rest and thereby mechanically transmit disease organisms. There are four basic principles of pest management important in controlling house flies: sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical measures, and chemical methods. Sanitation includes keeping their food sources to a minimum. This includes garbage cans, fecal matter from pets and moist areas around your home. Keep these areas clean. Exclusion means keeping flies out of your home using screens, calk or closing entrances to the home. Chemical and non-chemical methods can be used by professional pest control companies like Pest-End who know where and when to safety treat for these insects.

Spring Cleaning? Don’t forget those hot spots for pests!

Spring has finally sprung! It is such a pleasant time to open the windows, air out the house, clean the curtains and check off all those items on your spring cleaning “To-Do” list. As a professional pest control company, Pest-End would like to remind you to add “clean for household pests” to your probably long list. Here is a handy room-by-room guide to address the pest hot spots in your home.  Trust us, it is worth the effort.

  • Kitchen– The kitchen is a common haven for pests of all sorts. One of the best spring cleaning tasks you can undertake is to empty out the kitchen pantry and cabinets that hold food items such as cereals, cooking ingredients, spices and packaged foods. Go through them and discard stale foods and other dated items such as flour. These baking ingredients attract pantry pests, including several types of beetles, Indian meal moths and ants. Next, wipe down the inside of your cabinets. Cleaning up any crumbs and spills can go a long way to preventing a pest invasion this spring.
  • Bathrooms– Bathrooms tend to also attract pests because of the moisture content. Eliminating sources of water in the bathroom is the best way to prevent pest infestations, especially because this pest can only survive for one week without water. Clean or replace the shower curtain, clean out the medicine cabinet, and wipe up under the sink.
  • Basement– The lowest levels of our homes tend to be the most ignored when it comes to spring cleaning. Rodents, spiders, and termites love basements. The main reason that pests often take up refuge in this underground space is because this room tends to harbor dark corners and clutter, which provides the ideal place for rodents and spiders to hide. If you can, take some time to move clutter and tidy up any areas that could harbor mold, mildew or critters of any kind. Keep an eye out while you are down there for signs of infestations such as gnawing marks by rodents and termite tubes.

Spring cleaning is meant to usher in the warm weather and pleasant breezes. It should also mean cleaning to prevent spring pests that could cause damage or become a costly headache. Call Pest-End if you have questions or need help taking care of any unwanted guests in your home.

Common Winter Pests

Winter is usually a time when homeowners put pest control out of their minds thinking that nature has gone to sleep for a few months. Yes, spring and summer are the prime months to be concerned about abundant bugs and insects, but winter brings its own share of issues.  Unfortunately, the fact is that all pests do not become inactive during the winter months.  Many pests, instead, find shelter inside walls, attics, crawl spaces and any warm location in your home.  Let’s take a look at the most common pests that homeowners should be aware of this winter season.

  • Rodents – The house mouse is the most common rodent encountered in homes across the United States.   Mice and rats can cause serious damage to property by chewing through drywall, stored items and even electrical wires running between walls. Things to keep an eye out for include: droppings, gnaw marks, and shredded cardboard or drywall.  Also be aware of scratching sounds or scurrying heard late at night or in the early morning hours.
  • Cockroaches – These pests are extremely common in the United States and prefer areas in homes that are close to food and water. Cockroaches, other than being creepy to find crawling in your kitchen,  can also contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Keep kitchen well clear of food crumbs and stop any drips/leaks that occur in bathrooms/kitchens.  Other tips for avoiding these pests include vacuuming regularly and disposing of garbage daily in sealed containers.
  • Ants – Finding ants in the summer is usually a common occurrence in many homes but finding them in the winter may signal that there may be a carpenter ant nest in the structure of your home. Ants will make themselves known by looking for crumbs and water in the kitchen.  If you notice ants in the winter contact a pest control company like Pest-End to inspect and determine whether your home has a nest that could be causing structural damage.
  • Termites –  Some classes of termites are known to swarm and reproduce until February.  While you will probably not see the termites you will see their tubes that they use to travel.  Since termites cause up to $5 million in damages in the United States to personal property, it is a good idea to be alert of these pests year round.
  • Bed Bugs – These nuisance pests are travelers who like to hitch on to clothing, luggage, and bed sheets.  They are often found on planes and in hotels during any time of year.

Carpenter Ants

Seems like this is the time of year that many people experience ants in their home especially areas that have a water source like the kitchen or bathroom.  They are unnerving to discover especially if you find them near food or in large groups.  Now is the time to do something about this pest so that this will be the year they stop visiting.  Let’s look at how to identify and treat carpenter ants in your home.

Identify – Carpenter ants measure from 3.4 to 13 mm in length and can be colored black, red, brown, yellow, orange, or red and black. They are among the largest ant species in the world but size is not always the best indicator of identification.  Carpenter ants are many times confused with termites.  Note our image that depicts the differences between ants and termites. Ant Vs Termites.

Behavior – Carpenter ants reside both indoor and outdoors.  They build nests inside wood consisting of galleries chewed out with their mandibles, preferably in dead, damp wood. They do not consume the wood, however, unlike termites. They also commonly infest wooden buildings and structures, and are a widespread nuisance and major cause of structural damage. Carpenter ants have been known to construct extensive underground tunneling systems.

Signs of carpenter ant infestation

  • Frass – wood shavings, bits of soil, dead ants and parts of insects.  This material is often piled up outside of nest openings and found in spider webs and window sills.
  • Night activity – Worker carpenter ants are active mostly at night, so you may not see any activity during normal working hours. Obviously seeing a carpenter ant is a major sign that there may be a nest nearby.
  • Shed wings of swarmer carpenter ants laying around near window sills, baseboards and vents

Treatment – Ants are a vital part of the ecosystem as decomposers of dead wood.  They are however unsightly inside homes and can cause damage to the wooden structures.  Many homeowners mistakenly think they can stop the problem using traps and bait.  Unfortunately, these methods do not identify nests and treat the main problem.  Contact Pest-End to have them inspect and treat for carpenter ants both inside and outside your home.

 

 

Identifying Ants vs Termites

Ants are a common problem is our region.  Unfortunately, so are termites.  The two are often misidentified and confused by homeowners.  Treatment for each type of pest varies greatly so correctly identifying the differences between the two is critical to determining what type of damage there may be as well as eliminating the problem.

figure_4.__winged_carpenter_ant_department_of_entomology_university_of_minnesotaCarpenter ants differ from termites in that they have dark-colored bodies, narrow waists, elbowed (bent) antennae, and – if wings are present – hind wings that are shorter than front wings. Carpenter ants are very common and are frequently seen in the open, especially after sunset.  An ant generally has three distinct body segments.

figure_6.__winged_termite_department_of_entomology_university_of_minnesotaTermites are light-colored, have a broad waist, have straight antennae and, if present, wings are of equal length. They avoid light and are rarely seen outside of their colony, except when winged reproductives, called kings and queens, leave a termite colony. A termite has two distinct body segments with a waistline closer to the head.

When there are swarms of flying insects inside or outside of a home, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a swarm of flying ants and a swarm of termites.  Telling the difference is extremely important, because ants are generally just a nuisance, whereas termites can cause extensive, extremely expensive damage to a home.

If you are still confused and need help both identifying and eliminating the pest call Pest-End to solve your pesky problem.  We can not only correctly identify but treat according to the type of pest we find.