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.

MOSQUITO CONTROL

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.

TARGETED MOSQUITO CONTROL METHODS

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

QUICK AND EFFICIENT SERVICE

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

PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED TECHNICIANS

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

HOW TO AVOID MOSQUITO BITES:

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 THOROUGH INSPECTION

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

MOSQUITO SPRAY TREATMENT

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).

TREATMENT OF MOSQUITO BREEDING AREAS

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.

WHAT KIND OF ANT SPECIES SHOULD A BEGINNER CHOOSE?

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.