Is This Really A Possums

How to Keep Possums Out of Your Garden

Possums are marsupial animals that have a flexible diet and nomadic lifestyle. One of the most famous characteristics that they’re known for is playing dead when they feel threatened. However, if they’re on your property and you prefer that they weren’t, you’ll need some unique animal control tactics to encourage them to leave and to keep them from coming back

Blocking Access

Possums are notoriously attracted to new growth, including fruit on trees, new growth on deciduous vines, and even new growth on pruned evergreens. When they eat the new growth, the stunt the overall growth of those plants, which is a nuisance for gardeners. The first tip is to pay attention to what the possums are going for on your property and start choosing plants that they don’t like. Block access to your fruits and vegetables with cloth bags. You could even go as far as building an enclosure for your garden beds or installing netting that will block their entrance to your yard.

Deter Climbing

Deterrence is one of the most effective animal control tactics and deterring possums from climbing your plants and structures is a matter of making it difficult or even impossible for them to do. Wrap galvanized iron around the posts and over beams. Keep your trees neatly trimmed back from fences and apply greased PVC pipe on top of your fencing.

Sprays and Repellents

There are many different types of possum sprays and repellents on the market. The best tip to ensure their effectiveness is to use them as directed on the packaging. You could also make your own quassia chip spray to deter the possums. There are also household items you can use, including mothball flakes, laundry detergent, tobacco sauce, and other strong-smelling herbs. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but specialty stores also supply predator urine, which is also effective for scaring the possums away.

A guide to all species of possums and gliders

Hissing, growling or completely silent, they perform a circus act of acrobatic feats, the larger gliders spreading their gliding membranes to travel more than 100 m at a single jump.

Some gliders have even been recorded doing a U-turn in mid-air. With large eyes to capture more of the light at night, they’ve adapted to watch for owls, quolls and pythons, but their biggest threat – humankind – has increasingly encroached on their territory, destroying old-growth forest and its sheltering, century-old treehollow

One of the most frequently seen gliders in spotlighting surveys on the Great Dividing Range, the greater glider is the largest of gliders, 40 cm long, with a tail longer than its body, and weighing up to 1.7 kg. It has long, luxuriant fur, ranging in colour from creamy grey to black, is virtually silent and feeds almost exclusively on eucalypt leaves.

With a scientific name that means the pygmy acrobat, the fast-moving feathertail glider is the smallest of the gliding possums, weighing only 10–15 g. The most characteristic feature is its exquisite, 8 cm long feather-like tail that is the same length as its body. It also has sweat glands on its feet that create surface tension, so the footpads can act like mini suction cups, able to stick to glass.

Cercartetus concinnus

This tiny possum weighs around 15 g and is found feeding on nectar and insects in mallee heath and dry forest. It is light enough to climb and hang from long grass stems and often moves along the ground, sometimes sheltering during the day in a leaf-lined nest in a grasstree. Its most common indigenous name is mundarda.


Possums can get inside your roof and cause damage to your property. They like to take shelter in roofs where it’s warm, dark and safe to sleep during the day.

How do I know if I have a possum problem?

First check that it is a possum and not a rat. If you’re not sure contact a licensed pest control agent.

Check your home for:

broken or loose tiles on the roof

loose sheeting

holes around the eaves in timber or brickwork.

Possum problems

It’s illegal to kill possums. You can only legally remove a possum from an area if you have a permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage. Removing a possum is a last resort as it will more than likely come back.

Possum proofing your house

There are things you can do to prevent a possum problem.  These are:

fix your roof (secure lose or broken tiles, secure any lose roof sheeting etc)

place a bright light in your roof or garden area

attach sheet metal collars around the tree trunks, pergola posts or anywhere that possums may climb

prune back overhanging branches

place barriers across access points to your roof

provide nesting boxes with nesting material and fresh fruit inside (away from your house).

Removing possums

Before you remove a possum from your home you must apply for a permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH). Trapped possums must be released the same day within 50 metres of the capture site. It is illegal and inhumane to relocate possums.

Living with Brush-tailed Possums

The lively brush-tailed possum is one of Australia’s most familiar marsupials, largely because they are highly adaptable to a wide range of natural and human environments. Their natural and preferred habitat is forest, where they nest in tree hollows. They will also cohabit with humans in cities and towns where they seek shelter, warmth and protection in the dark recesses of buildings

A favoured spot is between the ceiling and the roof and this can be a problem to some people. They can damage crops and gardens because they are partial to exotic plants, pasture grasses and vegetables as well as native plants.

The following notes provide practical information to satisfy the house and landowner having problems with brushtail problems, without harming the animal. Remember, brush-tailed possums are protected by law and cannot be bought, sold, taken or harmed except by a permit

Possums in your home

Is that noise in the ceiling a brush-tailed possum? Sometimes, the intruder turns out to be an introduced rat or mouse. Sometimes both possums and rats or mice are involved and separate action is required

Possum proofing

The brush-tailed possum can be the focus of complaints from urban residents for a variety of reasons.

Possum-Proof Gardens

Possums are a protected species so it is important to remember not to harm or hurt them. The goal is to deter them by making your garden less appealing.


Possums use their sense of smell to detect potential predators and are less likely to spend time in a yard where they feel vulnerable to attack.

Menthol Rubs – Try smearing something ‘stinky’ around the boundaries of your garden like menthol chest rub. Place the smelly ointment on areas where there’s an over-hanging hanging branch or structure. To protect vulnerable trees, you can wrap the limbs in cling film and then smear the chest rub over the top.

Moth Balls – You can also try hanging moth balls in citrus trees to deter possums from taking fruit.


Possums like to operate under the cover of darkness, so anything that you can put in your garden that mimics the reflective eyes of a potential predator or lights up when they enter the garden should help scare them off.

Some ideas include:

Light-up eyes – garden owl ornaments that have motion sensors that activate light-up eyes

Motion sensor lights – aiming a motion sensor solar light onto the possum’s preferred food plants can make fruit trees less desirable


Sound can work to deter possums from the garden.

Sonic emitters – Many people swear by sonic emitters and clickers and they do work as a deterrent, but in a suburban situation, they can be bad for neighbourly relations, especially if there’s a dog involved!

Radios – You can try hanging a small radio in a fruit tree. Move it to a different position every night so the possums don’t get used to it.

Fencing and Barriers

Possums can be deterred by making it difficult for them to enter your garden.

Rolling fence tops – Try retro-fitting lengths conduit or irrigation pipe to the top wire of fences. Simply make a slit along the pipe lengthways and slip it on. The top pipe will roll on the wire, making it difficult for possums to get a grip and scale the fence.

Wavy, loose fences – Make an arm extending out from your fence at a 45-degree angle from the upright posts and then attach chicken wire loosely across to another arm. Possums are very good at climbing up, but not so good climbing upside-down. The looseness of the wire makes the wire move which further discourages them.

Effective Termite Control Methods To Make Your Premises Termite Proof

What are the Types of Termites?

While there are many species of termites around the world, they typically fall into one of three types: drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termites.

All About Drywood Termites

Unlike other termites, drywood termites do not need contact with soil and only infest dry wood. Since they do not require moisture from the ground, they prefer to nest in dryer wood above the ground, such as roof materials, wooden wall supports, or dead wood around a home. When they infest a home, they likely entered through exposed wood or infested wood that was brought indoors. One reliable way to differentiate them from other types is the fact that drywood swarmers shed their wings after swarming.

Habits of Dampwood Termites

Learn the different types of termites from Heron Home & Outdoor in Orlando, Apopka, Leesburg, Oviedo, Kissimmee and Central FL areasTrue to their name, dampwood termites are attracted to wood that has a high moisture content. They are much larger than other termites and are known to infest stumps, fallen logs, tree branches, and other damp wood sources that are often in decay. When they infest a home, they most likely entered into the building where the wood is touching the soil or where a leaky pipe has created moisture. Dampwood termites cover up their entry holes with their fecal matter rather than building mud tubes as other termites do.

Signs of Termite Activity

Evidence of Termites

Termites can often live on your property or inside your home for an extended period of time before being detected. Whether it’s drywood termites, which burrow deep within wooden structures, or subterranean termites, which are primarily found underground, these discreet intruders can be tough to discover before significant damage has already been done. To help keep damage to a minimum, it’s crucial to catch the warning signs as soon as possible.

Keep an eye out for the following signs of termite activity:

  • Discolored or drooping drywall
  • Peeling paint that resembles water damage
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Small, pinpoint holes in drywall
  • Buckling wooden or laminate floor boards
  • Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
  • Excessively squeaky floorboards
  • Crumbling, damaged wood
  • Stuck windows or doors
  • Maze-like patterns in furniture, floor boards or walls
  • Mounds of drywood termite pellets, often resembling small piles of salt or pepper
  • Piles of wings left behind after swarms, often resembling fish scales
  • Mud tubes climbing the foundation of your home
  • Flying termite swarms anywhere on your property

Do Termites Bite?

Can Termites Harm Humans?

While termite colonies include a highly evolved soldier caste, these soldier insects are equipped to combat invading insects, such as ants and members of rival termite colonies. Termite populations also cause severe harm to homes, but are not known to bite humans.

Solider termites have the ability to bite humans, but would only do so if handled. Essentially, termites definitely bite wood and do attack other insects, but they do not bite people.

Although homeowners experiencing an infestation should not be concerned about receiving bites from termites, professional extermination methods should be sought and implemented to protect the structure of your home. Signs of termite infestation depend on the type of termite but can include termite droppings, damaged wood, sagging floors or ceilings, mud tunnels located near the foundation or winged swarmers.

How Bad Are Termite Bites?

In the event that you have been bitten by a termite, you will notice a tiny red dot which is its point of contact with your body.

Being bitten by a termite isn’t much different than being bitten by a mosquito. If you feel anything at all after being bitten, you will not suffer any health problems as a result.

Irritation in the area should subside within a few days, but you do not risk infection or disease because of the bite. If you’ve been bitten by a soldier termite, you may experience the burning of the insect’s mandible which is what they use to break down the cellulose.

Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites

Here are some ways do identify the differences:

  • While both species have four wings, termite wings are uniform in size. Winged ants have noticeably larger wings in the front than the pair in the back.
  • Termites antennae are almost straight where the ant’s antennae is elbowed.
  • Termite wings are twice as long as their body. Ant wings are shorter and more proportionate to their bodies.
  • Ants appear distinctly segmented, because of their thin waist. Termites have a broad waist and are mostly a uniform width along their entire body.

A Simple Guide To Finally Get Rid Of Ants

How Can I Control An Ant Infestation?

Your first step to battling an ant infestation in your home is to identify the species that’s giving you trouble. Since different species have different habits and preferences, they may also require specific methods to control them. If you’re not sure which species is plaguing you, here are a few basic tips to get you started:

  • Seal – Ants are extremely adept at locating even the smallest cracks and crevices in walls, windows and foundations to enter your home to forage. Seal any potential points of entry you can find using caulk and other appropriate materials. You probably won’t be able to find them all, but it’s a good start.
  • Clean – After sealing all of the entry points you can find, it’s important to clean around them. Ants leave an invisible trail containing pheromones so other ants can follow it to the resource they’ve discovered. Scrub around ant entrances with soap and water to wash away these trails. In addition, clean up messes you make in the kitchen to prevent attracting them again.
  • Remove – Attractants such as sugar, grease and other foods are one of the main reasons ants enter your home. Remove potential lures by keeping food in sealed containers. Pet food should also be sealed and not left out where ants can easily access it. Also, take out trash regularly to prevent the smell from drawing ants in as the garbage breaks down.
  • Dehydrate – Ants need moisture to survive, so you’ll want to minimize their access to it using a few simple tricks. First, fix any leaks you may have around pipes and other areas. Then, check your gutters and spouts to make sure they’re draining away from the house. Finally, try implementing a dehumidifier to reduce other moisture inside your home.

Common Reasons For An Ant Invasion

Ant invasions don’t come out of nowhere. There are usually triggers that lead to an ant invasion. The following are some of the reasons that ants may invade.

Causes of Ants

Sugar, Crumbs, and Uncovered Food

The most common reason that ants invade is because they have found access to sugars and uncovered foods. Ants send scavengers all around your home to try to find some sign of food. When they do, they go back to their nest, send a message to other workers, and suddenly swarms of these ants will come into your house to pick up food for the rest of their colony.

Spilled crumbs, uncovered foods, and more are all very common causes of ant invasions, and unfortunately no matter how much you clean it may be hard to completely control for all uncovered food items.

Dog Food

It’s not always your food either. Dog food can also lead to ant invasions, because the food is often sitting outside for extended periods of time. While many people control for their own food, they often forget about pet food and the way that pet food is often sitting in the same spot out in the open. Dog food, cat food, and any form of animal food can be a common source of ant invasions.

Nearby Nest/Openings

In some cases, the problem may not be with what’s around your house. The problem may simply be that you have ant colonies too close to your home and too many holes and openings on your property. You’ll need to have someone inspect the property thoroughly to find nearby colonies, eradicate them, and then seal the holes that they’re entering from.

There’s always a source.

Unless you see just a handful of ants foraging for food — randomly milling around your countertops — they’re generally going somewhere, and coming from somewhere. Instead of swiping them up, take your time to follow the train in both directions. Most likely, you’ll be able to find their food source — whether it’s a juice spill or a dirty spoon in the dishwasher — and where they’re getting in, too. Typically if you clean up the spill, the ants will go away on their own (until next time). And while you can try to seal up their entry points, it’s sort of a losing battle: Ants can get in just about any crack or crevice — we’re talking about pinholes here — so they’ll be coming through holes in your screens, or cracks along the baseboard.

Ants Follow The Scents Of Other Ants

Another reason why ants are infesting your home even if it is spic and span is that they may have picked up a scent that has attracted them. The scent could be the sweet scent of sugar or candy, the scent of other ants and even their own scent if their colony has previously invaded your home.

Perhaps these new ants were triggered by a collective memory of their colony which indicated that your bedroom or kitchen is where they can find food. No amount of ant spray can prevent them from invading your home if this is the case.

The reason is that members of this colony have been pre-programmed to scout your home for food regularly. In that case, this colony will send out scouts at regular intervals. The best way to prevent them is to eliminate the entire colony so that there will be no collective memory left.

There are times when ants pick up the scent trail of other ants which have previously infested your home. Perhaps the ants invading your home now have just followed this previous trail. When they can’t find food at the end of the trail, they will wander around your home to find it.

Want to guard your fortress from a colony of ants? Try these outdoor preventative measures:

  • Use crushed stone or rock around your house rather than mulch or pine straw — ants love to nest under garden bed mulch — and keep a mulch-free zone under the perimeter of the house
  • Fix leaking water pipes and maintain proper drainage of water away from your home (clean gutters and landscape drainage systems)
  • Seal cracks and crevices around your house with a silicone-based caulk
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed away from the exterior of your house
  • Keep firewood stacked at least 20 feet away from the house — ants and other pests love it!
  • Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes

If you’re too late and ants have already started making themselves comfortable, grab some household cleaner and wash down the surfaces where you’ve seen them crawling.

A Few Natural Fast Acting Remedies For Mosquitoes Bites

Get Rid of Mosquitoes and Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are frequently in the news because they are both a nuisance and a health threat. It is important to reduce mosquito populations around your home and other living and recreational areas.

Mosquitoes thrive in tropical weather, but are found throughout the USA. Many species (not all) rest during the day in dense vegetation such as tall grass, weeds, and shrubs. Any successful mosquito control program should target these areas.

Mosquito Reproduction:

Female mosquitoes ingest blood to lay eggs. They use the protein found in blood. They feed on humans by following the scent of our exhaled carbon dioxide, tracking our body heat, and detecting the complex blend of scents found on our skin. An average female mosquito will be 2.5x her unfed weight.

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes can breed in any standing water, but they are particularly drawn to standing water with lots of organic debris. Nasty water is a common place to find mosquito larvae. During the summer months, you can verify a water source’s mosquito content by dipping a cup into the stagnant water. Look for mosquito larvae in the cup. The larvae are about the size of a fingernail and they squiggle around.

To eliminate mosquito breeding sites, begin with obvious areas and empty the water from them. These sites include old tires, buckets, wheel barrows, and clogged gutters. Flower pots and the saucers that they sit on are often over-looked so check these. In-ground pool drains remove water from the pool decking, and they are often full of water. The pool drains aren’t easily emptied, but they can be treated with Mosquito Bits or Altosid Pro-G Granules. Mosquito bits can also be placed anywhere that frequently collects water.

Should You Spray Your Yard for Mosquitoes and Ticks?

If you’re considering spraying your yard to ward off mosquitoes and ticks, you’ll have no shortage of companies to choose from. As the list of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases grows (thanks in part to the 2016 Zika outbreak), the insect-control business is booming.

“There’s been a proliferation of companies that are doing mosquito control,” says Stanton Cope, former president of the American Mosquito Control Association. “But some of them are much more professional than others.” Some companies may spray without proper licensing, experience, or equipment.

Spraying is serious business, Cope says. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a number of pesticides for residential spraying, saying they are generally safe when used properly. But the agency also warns that any chemical spray poses some risks. And those risks are made far worse if the person doing the spraying isn’t properly trained.

nexperienced sprayers may lead you to waste your money by spraying chemicals the wrong way or by using products that don’t work. And they can expose you to unnecessary risk. Misapplied chemicals can result in more toxins reaching your children and pets, and they can harm natural foliage and nonthreatening insects (some of which have protective effects). They can also breed insecticide resistance, which will make any existing insect problems much worse.

Start With Simple Steps

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the EPA say that for reducing insect populations around your home, integrated pest management (IPM) is the best first step.


The onset of the rainy season in South Africa does a whole lot more than make the surrounding foliage grow. They also bring out a whole host of creatures many of us would rather not deal with – most infuriating of all, mosquitoes. During this time, organised mosquito control is necessary not only because they make us itch, but also to prevent the spread of disease in humans and animals.


We use professional, effective mosquito treatment that work fast and are safe for a number of internal and external environments


We work quickly to ensure that your mosquito problem is dealt with swiftly, minimising downtime for your family or business.


All our technicians are expertly skilled and registered with the Department of Agriculture.


Avoid stagnant or standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed

Mosquito Control

Mosquito Control

Unfortunately, if you live in Florida, you’re probably more familiar than you’d ever want to be with mosquitoes. There are pests, and then there are mosquitoes. Mosquitoes not only intrude on a good time and are a nuisance, but they can also dangerous. Many of the diseases mosquitoes can spread, like malaria or yellow fever, don’t show up in the United States, but others can, like Zika Virus. In other words, mosquitoes are a bigger threat than most people realize — a threat that should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Why Mosquito Control Is Important

We all hate mosquitos for the obvious reasons — they are irritating, leave itchy bites, and can make spending time outside significantly less enjoyable. All these reasons on their own should be enough to justify mosquito control services. But in case you are looking for even more reasons for mosquito control in Florida, did you know that mosquitoes can carry and transmit dangerous, sometimes lethal, diseases to humans?

Top Rated Mosquito Control

Our Approach To Home Mosquito Control

Finding a top-rated mosquito spray service for your backyard is made easy by the team of mosquito control experts at American Pest. Our licensed professionals have been providing Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia residents with quality pest control services for nearly a century

Mosquito Treatments for Special Events

We recognize that peak mosquito season begins and ends during graduation and wedding season. That’s why we offer a one-time mosquito spray service for your outdoor special event. Regardless of your number of party guests, we can accommodate small yards with intimate gatherings to lavish parties with expansive lawns. If you are hosting a ceremony, cookout, or planning a backyard party, let our certified mosquito control experts spray the area 24-48 hours beforehand to decrease the number of mosquitoes invading your summer gathering. 


A professional mosquito control technician will perform a thorough inspection of your yard to identify where mosquitoes live and breed.


Your technician will use a specialized misting system that applies a repellent mosquito treatment around your yard, paying special attention to bushes, shrubs, and areas that retain moisture. Your mosquito service will be performed monthly during peak periods of activity (typically April to September).


We’ll stop mosquitoes before they even start by treating breeding areas with a biological mosquito larvacide.  This will stop developing mosquitoes in their tracks!

Live Ants For Ant Farm

How House-hunting Ants Choose The Best Home

Dr Elva Robinson and colleagues in the University’s School of Biological Sciences fitted rock ants with tiny radio-frequency identification tags, each measuring 1 / 2,000 (one two-thousandth) the size of a postage stamp, then observed as they chose between a poor nest nearby and a good nest further away.

The ant colonies showed sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting the superior site even though it was nine times further away than the alternative. The best nest was chosen, despite the fact that very few individual ants made direct comparisons between the nest-sites.

When a colony of rock ants needs to emigrate to a new nest, scouting ants first discover new nests and assess them then the scouts recruit nest-mates to the new nest using tandem-running, where an informed ant leads a second ant to her destination. When the number of ants in the new nest reaches a quorum, scouts begin rapid transport of the rest of the colony by carrying nest-mates and brood.

In the Bristol tests, very few ants appeared to make direct comparisons between the two nests by making multiple visits to each before choosing one or the other. However, approximately half (forty-one per cent) of the ants that first visited the near nest later switched to the far nest, whereas only a tiny minority (three per cent) of the ants that first visited the far nest switched to the near nest. This ultimately resulted in the entire colony ending up in the better nest.

Dr Robinson said: “Each ant appears to have its own ‘threshold of acceptability’ against which to judge a nest individually. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies ended up in the good nest. Individual ants did not need to comparatively evaluate both nests in order for the entire colony to make the correct decision.

How house ants pick their dream home

Seeing all the available houses in the neighborhood and then choosing is not necessarily the best option, at least if you’re an ant. These house-hunting rock ants manage to make a decision together even without going through the options they have.

In this recent study conducted by Dr Elva Robinson and colleagues from the Bristol University, they put tiny radio-frequency identification tags on the ants; each of these small tags was about “1/2000” as big as a postage stamp. What they wanted to observe was how they made the difference between a poor house nearby and a better house further away. They were pretty surprised to find out the ants have a pretty sophisticated way of choosing, and location isn’t all that matters.

When a colony of ants decides there’s a need for a new nest, they first send out scouts to smell out the nearby nests. If the scout fancies the respective site, he, as an informed ant, briefs some other greenhorn. Then this greenhorn goes to the site and if he thinks it’s all good, he goes out to another and so on, until they reach a certain number. When they reach a quorum, they start moving the necessary materials for a new nest. This may result in a temporary split of the ant population, as some may pick a different place than the majority, or they can split into more than 2 places.

“Each ant appears to have its own ‘threshold of acceptability’ against which to judge a nest individually. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies ended up in the good nest. Individual ants did not need to comparatively evaluate both nests in order for the entire colony to make the correct decision.

“On the other hand, animals – including humans – who use comparative evaluation frequently make ‘irrational’ decisions, due to the context in which options are compared or by inconsistently ranking pairs of options, (for example option A preferred to B, B preferred to C but C preferred to A).

How house-hunting ants choose the best home

Direct comparison of alternatives isn’t always the best way to make a decision – at least if you’re an ant. House-hunting rock ants collectively manage to choose the best nest-site without needing to study all their options, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Dr Elva Robinson and colleagues in the University’s School of Biological Sciences fitted rock ants (Temnothorax albipennis) with tiny radio-frequency identification tags, each measuring 1 / 2,000 (one two-thousandth) the size of a postage stamp, then observed as they chose between a poor nest nearby and a good nest further away.

The ant colonies showed sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting the superior site even though it was nine times further away than the alternative. The best nest was chosen, despite the fact that very few individual ants made direct comparisons between the nest-sites.

When a colony of rock ants needs to emigrate to a new nest, scouting ants first discover new nests and assess them then the scouts recruit nest-mates to the new nest using tandem-running, where an informed ant leads a second ant to her destination. When the number of ants in the new nest reaches a quorum, scouts begin rapid transport of the rest of the colony by carrying nest-mates and brood.

In the Bristol tests, very few ants app eared to make direct comparisons between the two nests by making multiple visits to each before choosing one or the other. However, approximately half (forty-one per cent) of the ants that first visited the near nest later switched to the far nest, whereas only a tiny minority (three per cent) of the ants that first visited the far nest switched to the near nest. This ultimately resulted in the entire colony ending up in the better nest.

Choosing the Proper Ant Bait

You arrive at a home to do a routine service and the customer lets you know they’ve been seeing ants inside. Depending on where you are located, the offending ants could be one of several to many different species. You’ll need to identify the ant because the type or species of ant will determine your approach to inspection and treatment.

Is the ant a soil- or wood-nesting ant or is it opportunistic in nest site selection? Is it a type that is polydomous (many nest sites) or polygynous (many queens)? Is it a species that will respond to baits well enough to affect control? Soil nesting ants will be found near ground level while wood-nesters typically associate with moist wood. Opportunistic species that are polydomous and polygynous are the most difficult ants to control due to the widespread nature of their infestations around structures.

The fastest way to control ants is finding and treating the ant colony or colonies directly which with polydomous species is easier said than done. In most all cases, most of the infestation originates from outside with possible satellite colonies indoors. Even with Pharaoh ants which are primarily nesting indoors, a great deal of foraging is done on the outside of a building.

You’ve identified the ant involved and done your inspection. If you’re dealing with Pharaoh ants and maybe rover ants, you should head straight for the ant baits. For other types of ants, you should first attempt to find and treat the colonies involved and use ant baits as a supplement to treatment. If the colony has been difficult to locate or with a hard-to-solve case, then ant baits become the key tool to select.

Many times, ants may start feeding on a bait then, after a short time, begin ignoring the bait. Ant colonies also have different nutritional needs at different times of the year or by preference. For these reasons, it is a good practice to offer ants two or more different baits, including types of formulations to find out which the target ants prefer. For example,  you might offer a drop of 2 different gel baits and 1 or 2 different granular baits. Whichever the ants prefer, give them more of that bait.


Ant-keeping as a hobby become popular in the past years. Thus, there is a wide variety of ants for sale nowadays. You can find local, European and tropical species – all sorts of ants! What should a novice do in order not to get lost among so many ants species, when you want all at once, and chose the pets? We will try to help solve this issue and understand what type of ants is the most unpretentious.

Messor is the most popular ants that have become true pets

Usually, you can find two types of harvester ants for sale – M. structor (they are black) and M. denticulatus (they have red or orange breast). Messors natural habitat are arid regions with not a large number of living creatures. Their other name – harvesters – gives a clue of the natural ration of these ants. A major part of harvester ants’ ration is seeds of different steppe (and not only) plants and insects play only a marginal role. Every morning (and every evening in the summer) hundreds of foragers go out of Messor’s ant hill that looks like a funnel in the ground. The workers look for seeds that fell on the ground. Messor’s path can spread over ten meters (over 30 feet) and the whole time the ants are using it to carry seeds back to the anthill or to go out to find more seeds. There are big round rooms filled with seeds almost to the ceiling in the harvesters’ nest. They preserve the seeds there preventing it from deteriorating in storage by turning it all the time and biting off sprouts when necessary. The portion of seeds is transported to more humid conditions where they are couched. The soldiers (big ants-workers with large heads) separate grains from the cover and ground them with the help of forceful mandibles in flour. The other ants will later eat this flour.

Polymorphism is the key characteristic of harvesters, but their soldiers don’t usually fight anybody as their goal is to ground the grains. For a successful start of a new colony, you need to give a piece of pumpkin seed or nut as help to a lonely dam that comes off in May. It is not a good idea to give syrup to Messors. When the first ants appear you need to feed them small seeds (like poppy or mustard seeds) and after the soldiers appear you can give them big seeds, they will cope with them. Protein has a positive influence on the colony – don’t forget to feed Messors with a dead insect.

Camponotus (carpenter ants)

It is a great variety of ants in appearance as well as in behavior or habitat.

Polymorphism unites Camponotus: the colony always has small slim workers and massive soldiers with a big head. Unlike harvesters, they are real fighters however young soldiers prefer to hang on the nest’s walls and serve as “honey barrel” – living storage for liquid food that workers pour into them. Adult soldiers help workers hunt, slice pray in pieces with the help of their mandibles and protect the nest from enemies. The workers’ goal is building, food searching and taking care of the brood. A classic dwelling of carpenters is almost always dry wood. European Camponotus vagus, for example, belongs to classic carpenter ants. They are large black ants and as usual for Camponotus colony, it has aggressive ant soldiers. Despite the fact that vaguses are very fascinating, we would not recommend them for beginners. The reason is that all Camponotus need severe cold hibernation that they need to be prepared for. Sometimes seasonal rhythm becomes irregular and vaguses can fall into diapause in the summer when it’s even more difficult to achieve smooth redaction of temperature.

Feeding – young families eat mainly dead insects but adult ones can hunt living insects. Both of these species are easy to take care of at home (as all other ants from our review), but for normal development, the ants need to be fed insects and live in high temperature (25-28 degrees Celsius), after all, their motherland is tropics.