Ants Ants everywhere Ants: Facts, Identification & Control

Facts, Identification & Control

Did you know that there are over 100 species of ants.

Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:

Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.

Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source.

Nest locations: They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.

Colony size: Colonies can number up to 300,000 to 500,000, and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.

Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years.

Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches kill only the ants you see. Some truly effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.

Ant Life Cycle

The ant life cycle has four distinct and very different life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. This is known as complete metamorphosis. It generally takes from several weeks to several months to complete the life cycle, depending upon the ant species and environmental factors.

Eggs

A female ant that successfully mates with a male ant will become a queen ant that lays eggs. Fertile queens select a sheltered place to begin a nest (colony) and begin laying eggs. Ant eggs are very small – only about a half of a millimeter in diameter. The eggs are also oval, white and transparent.

Larvae

After about 1-2 weeks in the egg stage, a grub-like, legless ant larvae hatches. This stage has a voracious appetite, and the adult ants spend much of their time feeding the larvae with food and liquids they digest and regurgitate.

Pupae

After the larvae molts and shed their skin, they change into the pupal stage. Pupae appear somewhat like adults except their legs and antennae are folded and pressed against the pupal body. Initially, ant pupae are usually white, but slowly become darker in color as they age. Depending upon the ant species, pupae may be housed in a protective cocoon.

Adult

Once the pupal stage is complete, the adult ant comes on the scene. At the time of emergence, the adult ant is fully grown, but darkens in color as it ages. Adult ants are one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males. Queens are fertile females that lay all the eggs in a colony. Workers are females that do not reproduce, but do gather food; feed the larvae; and maintain and clean the nest. Workers are wingless, and it is the worker stage that is seen foraging around for food or defending the colony from intruders. The male ants are winged, but their only job is to mate with the queens during the swarming process.

Don’t be confused with the winged ants. Both ants and termites have wings. Let a professional at NWA Lady Bug Pest Control identify so you will know the difference.

So Now What Do I Do?

Confused on how to treat? Most consumers are. It is not simply a matter of going to your local hardware store and picking up “ant bait”. At NWA Lady Bug Pest Control, our professionals can identify the species so that the right treatment can be done. And remember, ants come year round. Therefore, year round treatment just makes sense.

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Bed Bugs: How to get rid of Bed Bugs 101

How to identify Bed Bugs

Appearance

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal. For more information, see What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Bed bugs only feed on blood. Under cool conditions, bed bugs have been able to survive up to a year without a meal. They prefer to be more active at night when the host is asleep.

Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage or other personal belongings such as purses and briefcases.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

1Seeing the bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the shape and size of an apple seed.

2Case skins. As the juvenile bugs grow, they shed their skins, discovery of which can indicate their presence.

3Defecation. After feeding, bed bugs return to their harborage to hide where they defecate black to brown stains on porous surfaces or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces.

4Bites also may indicate bed bug activity, but further signs will need to be found, since other sources can cause red welts on the skin.

How do you get Bed Bugs?

You can pick up bed bugs almost anywhere — offices, stores, hotels and gyms for starters. They’re great at hiding and have been known to hitchhike in luggage, personal belongings or even you. Once indoors, they can be very difficult to control without the help of an experienced pest specialist. You can reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.

Tips

  • Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
  • Wash and dry your bed linens on the hottest temperature permitted.
  • Closely inspect any second-hand furniture before bringing it in your home.
  • Inspect your home after moving, trips, service calls or overnight guests.

How serious are Bed Bugs?

Reproduction

Females can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a Bed Bug’s lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days.

Bed Bugs and Disease

It is possible that Bed Bugs can carry diseases, however, they are not known to transmit diseases to people.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bugs feed exclusively on blood, and people have various responses to Bed Bug Bites. To identify, learn about symptoms etc, see Bed Bug Bites.

What NWA Ladybug does

Bed Bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation. Our integrated A.I.M. protection process works to assess your home, implement solutions, and monitor any bed bug problems you may face.

CONTACT NWA Ladybug Pest Control at the first sign of a possible bed bug outbreak. The sooner it is addressed the easier to get rid of.

 

 

 

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Moles: Getting Rid of Moles

Moles and Mole Control

Recommended Measures for Getting Rid of Moles

There are several methods of mole control on the market : baiting with mole bait, gassing, repellents, trapping with mole traps and using insecticides to kill their food sources.

With all the methods and particularly with trapping, patience and persistence are the key words. Trapping moles with mole traps is usually easiest during the spring and fall with mole activity is at a peak. Trapping in the spring can also eliminate the pregnant females, reducing population.

Mole Presence : It is completely essential to locate the main mole runways or tunnels for successful trapping with mole traps or baiting with mole bait.

First: Detect the Presence Of Moles

  • The presence of moles will be indicated by mounds of soil created as they construct their tunnels
  • To locate mole tunnels in frequent use, clear away a mound of soil and probe for the opening usually a short passage that leads down a few inches to the main tunnel. Place Victor mole traps or Talparid Mole Bait in this tunnel

Identify main runways- look for runways which:

  • Follow more or less a straight course for some distance
  • Appear to connect two mounds or two runway systems.                                                            
  • Follow fence rows, concrete paths or other man-made borders or                                           
  • Follow a woody perimeter of a field or yard.                                                                                 
  • Nest are commonly found along protected areas like fence rows or hedgerows.

 

Using Mole Bait
Talpirid mole bait Talparid mole bait’s size, shape and feel let moles consume the bait in the same manner as its primary food source, the earthworm. Talpirid mole bait mimics the mole’s natural food source and has the same size, shape and feel as earthworms.

  1. One worm contains a lethal dose of bromethalin, an active ingredient that capitalizes on the mole’s high energy demands.
  2. Special enhancers ensure immediate attraction and excellent product acceptance.
  3. Talpirid mole bait works quickly and can kill in 24 hours.

 

Using Mole Traps : Talpirid and Victor
Talparid Mole Trap
Lawn damage caused by moles plagues homeowners and lawn care specialists alike. Seldom seen as they tirelessly tunnel underground, moles leave their telltale marks aboveground as unsightly “mole hills”, mounds of soil, or grassless brown streaks. Trapping is most successful during the spring and fall months after a rain. Moles are more difficult to locate in the summer and winter months, since their tunnels are deeper in the soil. When using a mole trap, locate the active runways first. Do this by stepping on a run or mound and mark the location. Wait for 24-48 hours to see if the opening is re-opened (indicating mole activity). Place mole traps in this location.

Talpirid Mole Trap is a heavy-duty, dual-spring trap designed for use by the professional pest control market. Talpirid Mole Trap offers professionals speed and safety in servicing mole accounts. This specially designed “hands-free” mole trap is fast and easy to place and set.

After identifying and properly preparing an active mole tunnel, simply place the trap jaws in the active mole tunnel and step on the trap’s yellow foot pedal which sets the trigger below the surface. Once set, the low-profile TALPIRID Mole Trap sits close to the ground – no bulky metal or equipment sticking out of the ground. The trap’s dual springs ensure maximum catching power. When a mole encounters the underground trigger, the yellow pedal springs up making notification of capture easy and safe.

Captured moles are released by removing the trap from the ground and compressing the pedal by hand. Using the safety release button, the trap can be easily and safely disengaged and relocated to other mole tunnels, depending on mole pressure. Talpirid Mole Trap can be used over and over again.

Made of glass-filled nylon, Talpirid Mole Trap will not rust and can be used in all types of soil.

Victor Mole Trap
Victor Out O Sight Mole Trap is a typical scissor-type trap. This trap is more economical than the Talpirid Mole Trap, but more difficult to set.

ESTABLISHING INITIAL ACTIVITY:

Use your finger, small wooden dowel or a narrow rod to puncture a hole in the top of subsurface runways. Be careful not to crush runways. Mark opened runways and revisit them 48 to 72 hours later. Runways that have had holes resealed within 72 hours should be baited.

To get complete instructions, please view the video below.

 

Using Gassers for Mole Control
Although the poisonous gases such as Revenge Rodent Smoke Bombs are generally less effective unless you can gas the major nests and/or repeated applications are made, some people have gotten good results with this type of product.

Controlling with Insecticides To Kill Insects and Grubs
Treating the lawn surface with a granule such as Imidacloprid .5G or Merit Granules would eliminate their food sources (insects, grubs and worms). Eliminating their food source, however, has one drawback. The moles will tunnel more aggressively in search of food, causing more temporary surface damage. This increased tunneling and surface damage will last for 2-4 weeks.

Imidacloprid .5G or Merit Granules are best applied during the spring months and are long lasting. Most Imidacloprid liquid formulations do not work well as the granule formulations.

Using Mole Repellents
Granulated Repellents:

  • Mole Scam Professional-22 lbs (Top Recommendation) is a professional granulated mole repellent that drives moles from your yard by organic repellents (Castor Oil – 17.0%, Citronella Oil – .9997% , Garlic Oil – .0003%). Apply Mole Scram Professional during the mole seasons, usually in the spring and fall; lasts 30-45 days.
  • MoleMax is also a granululated product by Bonide, with a lesser percentage of Castor Oil (10.0%, no other ingredients), but you can get it in a 10 lb bag.

Liquid Repellents:
Sweeney’s Mole and Gopher Repellent (Top Recommendation)
Shotgun Repels All

 

Biology/ Identification of Moles

Moles have bluish-black to gray fur. They have a slender snout, teeth like needles, flattened feet, claws and small ears. Moles can grow up to 12 ” long; depends on the species. Moles have pointed noses that distinguish them from meadow voles, gophers, and shrews. Their noses extend well in front of their mouths. Their small eyes nad ears are concealed by fur. Their feet are spade like in shape and are wider than they are long.

Discharged mounded soil and heaved runways are indicators of the mole’s presence. The Eastern mole is the most common mole found in the eastern US, the most troublesome species on the coast of Oregon and Washington is the Townsend’s mole, the Broad-footed mole can be found in California. Eastern moles can be found from the Atlantic to the foothills of the Rockies and from Southern Canada to the panhandle of Florida. All moles can be damaging, but the Eastern mole is by far the most widespread. It is better described as the common or grey mole. This mole is the strongest of the group and is most often associated with tunnels and or mole mounds by residential homeowners. Moles are not rodents, but belong to a group of mammals called insectivores. Moles have a very high metabolic rate and, therefore, have to consume large amounts of food.

Moles mate during the months of February and March. They produce a single litter of three to five; gestation period is six weeks. Moles do not hibernate and store food or fat. Severe lawn damage can result until mole control is used or the lawn surfaces freezes in the winter. Newborn female moles will mate the following spring, and the cycle begins anew.

Mole activity occurs both during the day and night. They can be seen during damp days or the day after a rain during the spring and summer months as they push up the their tunnels or mounds. If the lawn freezes in the winter or there is a very dry summer, the moles use deep burrows.

Moles have large appetites and may eat up to 100 percent of their body weight in one day. White grubs, earthworms, beetles, and assorted larvae are their principal foods. Moles feed primarily on insects that feed below the ground. The tunnels that the mole excavates while searching for food may be used only once or may be traveled repeatedly. Moles may be active during any time of the day and seem to prefer cool, moist soil (the same as that preferred by grubs and earthworms). Moles do not eat the roots and bulbs of flowers and vegetables, a commonly held belief. Voles and shrews will attack the roots and bulbs. In fact, moles may benefit these plants by feeding on grubs and worms that can damage them. However, the tunneling activities of moles may disfigure lawns and gardens.

Mole Habits – Mole Tunnels

 

Moles produce two types of runways (tunnels); sub-surface runways and deep runways. Moles build vast underground tunnels in search of worms, insects and nesting/living space. Mounds form a row of excavations unlike the random excavations of a gopher.

Certain mole tunnels of both the deeper runways and the sub surface runways are used as major lane of travel (main runways) and may be used by several moles in the areas. Sub-surface mole runways are feeding tunnels just below the soil surface and commonly seen as the raised ridges running through lawn areas. The mole is capable of extending these runways at the rate of 100 feet per day. Sub-surface mole runs may be used daily, may be revisited at irregular intervals, or may be used only once for feeding and then abandoned.

Moles connect with the deep runways, which are located between 3-12 inches below the surface. As a rule, few or no mole mounds are produced as a result of the production of sub-surface tunnels. The deep mole tunnels are usually main runways since they are used daily as the mole travels to and form the main subsurface runways or the nest. The soil excavated from the deep tunnels is deposited on the surface through short vertical tunnels in volcano-like mounds (Mole mounds should not be confused with pocket gopher mounds which are horse-shoe shaped.) The number of mole mounds or surface ridges present is no indication of how may moles may be present. On average, one acre of land will support about two or three moles at one time. But areas next to large tracts or forested areas may be subject to continual invasions by moles because such areas may support many moles.

NWA Ladybug Pest Control can take care of all your Mole problems. Contact NWA Ladybug Pest Control today to have a Service Technician evaluate your property and provide you with the best solution.

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NOT A “DO IT YOUR SELFER”?

We at Lady Bug Pest Control get it. Some want to learn how and DIY with all their projects. While most property owners just want someone to get rid of the silly pests. Either way, the professionals at NWA Lady Bug Pest Control have the solution.

CONTACT NWA LADY BUG PEST CONTROL today. We will have a professional visit your lawn, evaluate, then provide a solution. Don’t wait.

 

Pest Control – Brown Recluse Spiders

 

Brown recluse spiders, or Loxosceles reclusa, belong to a family including eleven indigenous US species and are also, due to a marking on their backs, known as violin or fiddle-back spiders. Because other spider family members have a similar marking, the violin shape isn’t the brown recluse’s most distinguishing feature. The thing that sets the brown recluse apart from other violin marked spiders is that brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight.

Chocolate brown/tan and measuring about .25 inches with a leg span of about 1 inch, the brown recluse’s reputation is a lot larger than its actual physical size. Brown recluse spiders mate in June or July at which time the females deposit 20 to 50 eggs, in a spherical-shaped case. Over their two-year life spans, female brown recluse spiders deposit 2 to 5 batches of eggs.

Well established in the South and Mid-west, brown recluse habitats are expanding into northern areas

Established in mid-western and southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, brown recluse spiders make the occasional appearances in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming. Although brown recluse spiders are rare in these areas, they may be transported in cargo boxes and similar items from a locale where brown recluses are common.

Brown recluse bites dangerous, with physical damage

Living in caves and rodent burrows in the wild, brown recluse spiders can become pests when they take up residency in attics, under furniture in storage areas, in cracks and walls, as well as in woodpiles and other yard debris. Non-aggressive by nature, brown recluse spiders avoid humans, making their homes in dark, undisturbed places. Brown recluse spiders only bite humans as a defense when trapped or threatened. Typically this happens when someone is searching for things in an attic, moving stored items, or cleaning up woodpiles and other yard debris. Accidentally blundering into their nesting areas, humans can fall victim to brown recluse bites.

Initial bite not painful but may cause flu-like symptoms and in rare cases, death
While the initial bite from a brown recluse isn’t seriously painful, no more than a stinging sensation in most cases, brown recluse spiders inject a venom that can cause systemic flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, nausea, chills, fever, joint pain and other more serious symptoms, such as jaundice, bloody urine and convulsions leading to death in rare cases.

Brown recluse venom contains tissue-killing neurotoxins
Because brown recluse venom contains cytotoxic neurotoxins, brown recluse bites can cause necrotic lesions that take a long time to heal. Generally, around seven hours after a brown recluse bite occurs, a small blister appears on the skin that will continue to grow. Depending on the amount of venom injected, a brown recluse wound could be as small as a dime or as large as 8 inches in diameter.

Destroying the blood vessel walls around the bite site, the tissue surrounding the bite site turns black and eventually sloughs off. Decayed tissue around the bite site can leave deep depressions in the skin and cause scar tissue to form, with healing often taking six to eight weeks or as long as a year in some cases. Due to the lengthy healing process, victims risk secondary infections as well.

Other cases of mistaken identities

Brown, medium in size with chevron patterns on their abdomens, hobo spiders, from Western Europe were introduced to the Pacific Northwest some time before the 1930s via Seattle’s international port. Unlike brown recluse spiders that naturally avoid humans, hobo spiders have been spotted running across floors in homes.

Also, many bites previously attributed to brown recluse spiders are now being acknowledged as hobo spider bites. Although hobo spiders are now taking the heat for causing the most cases of serious venomous bites in the Northwest, in many cases, hobo spider bites do not result in necrotic lesions as no venom is injected into the skin.

Ways to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders

While brown recluse spiders aren’t known for large infestations by definition, as they tend to live in out-of-the-way places, away from other living beings, should you see more than one spider per week, you may want to contact a trusted pest control company.

The best way to avoid brown recluse spiders in your home and on your property is to make your home unattractive to all spiders and other pests, as well. Preventive measures include:

  • Excluding spiders and their prey by sealing or caulking all cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home and any points of entry in your home.
  • Be careful where you are reaching with your hands, so you don’t come in contact with one accidentally.
  • Eliminating all clutter from the interior and the exterior of your home.
  • Cleaning storage areas and attics regularly.
  • Regularly vacuuming and sweeping, as well as keeping all food items stored properly and food prep and dining areas wiped down and all food contained or deposited in closed trash containers.
  • Removing all debris, dense vegetation and woodpiles from the exterior of your home.

Cut to the Chase: Contact The Bug Lady

Cut to the chase and contact NWA Ladybug Pest Control to ask about our Four Seasons approach to pest control. Convenient scheduling and our innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system use many different techniques and materials to keep your home pest free all year-round. Contact NWA Ladybug Pest Control  for a free pest inspection today!

 

 

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