Background

Blog

Why Do You Keep Finding Mosquitoes In Your Home?

 

Most often you’ll be swatting mosquitoes away when you’re staying outside, trying to enjoy your time in your yard on a summer evening. But it can also happen that you encounter these pesky insects inside your home.

Mosquitoes are considered one of the most irritating pests during the warmer months. Typically, they can be found in places with high humidity and they survive by sucking blood from humans and animals.

When you’re relaxing at home after a long day of work or sleeping at night, the last thing you want to worry about is being bitten by one or several of these insects. If you suddenly keep finding a lot of mosquitoes inside your home, it can leave you asking where they are coming from. So it’s probably time to start an investigation.

Keep reading to learn more about what brings mosquitoes to your home and how long they can stay there.

 

 

Where Are The Mosquitoes In Your House Coming From?

If you’re wondering why the mosquitoes have come into your house, the answer is that they are typically looking for water. There’s a high chance of increased mosquito activity if your house is near standing water or has sites with a constant water source like clogged rain gutters or old tires collecting rainwater.

House plants are also known to draw these pests inside the house. Flower vases and plates under flower pots are notorious for having mosquito larvae develop in them.

These insects are also looking for warm, dark places that have plenty of moisture. They also seek shelter from wind and adverse weather conditions and therefore, may fly into the house in search of shelter and shade.

The main way they get inside is by sneaking in while you are entering or exiting your house. Mosquitoes can always find a way to slip into every small entrance. They will actively seek cracks in windows, doors, and any openings that are large enough for them to fit through. Then, they might get trapped inside the house.

When at home, these bothersome creatures can commonly be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. Outdoors, you may find a mosquito nest buried in the grass, leaves of plants, flower beds, overgrown shrubberies, and similar places. To take the necessary steps to eliminate mosquitoes, first conduct a survey of your property and see if you can find any of these areas.

 

 

Do Mosquitoes Live Inside A House And How Long Can They Live?

The next question you might ask yourself is how long can adult mosquitoes potentially stay alive indoors.

The lifespan of a female mosquito depends to a great extent on the level of heat and moisture in their surrounding environment. After the female mosquitoes are done with their blood-sucking rampage, they can live indoors for quite a long time.

While the average mosquito lifespan is from four days to a month, or two months under ideal conditions, most female mosquitoes that feed daily can survive for around two or three weeks inside the house. Even though most mosquito species won’t last that long, it can still seem like an eternity when dealing with these irritating bugs.

On the other hand, when you’ve got a male mosquito in your home, it will only live between 6 to 9 days. But these are not to be feared as male mosquitoes will not bite you.

That said, mosquitoes can live, breed, and lay their eggs in your home. They will hide in dark, humid places such as under sinks, under furniture, in showers, or in closets. Once a female mosquito bites, it can start laying eggs indoors. Given the proper circumstances, it can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. The larvae will begin to develop in standing water. Therefore, a single mosquito making its way indoors could quickly become a big problem.

 

Mosquitoes in the home are not only annoying but can be very dangerous as they transmit diseases like malaria and dengue. Unfortunately, if they take up residence in your house, getting rid of these unwelcome guests may take some vigilance and know-how. Therefore, your best option is to seek the help of a knowledgeable specialist.

Contact us today for more advice on how to get rid of mosquitoes in your home and learn more about the safe and effective mosquito control services we offer.

When you call American Pest Control to rid your Northeast Georgia home or business of mosquitoes, you are really dealing with seasoned and licensed experts on the subject. Our technicians are passionate about customer satisfaction and always go above and beyond to ensure that, when they leave, your home is completely mosquito free.

 

How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

 

Bed bugs and fleas are two tiny, blood-sucking household pests that are tough to deal with. If you experience an infestation in your home, you might be wondering which bug you have as they both are so similar.

Read on as we illustrate the major similarities and differences when it comes to bed bugs vs fleas.

 

APPEARANCE

Both bed bugs and fleas are insects with a reddish-brown color and no wings. Fleas cannot fly but only jump from one person or animal to another, while bedbugs do not fly nor jump.

Even though both species are small in size, they are still visible to the naked eye. You’ll notice that fleas have longer, more narrow bodies, while bed bugs are wide, oval-shaped, and flat. Bed bugs will turn dark red or brown in color when filled with blood.

 

HABITAT

Fleas and bed bugs are both annoying household pests that can be difficult to get rid of. They can find shelter in your bed, in cracks and crevices, behind pictures, in closets, in clothing, along floorboards, or in any dark area of your home. Fleas may also nest in carpets, rugs, pet beds, or upholstered furniture where they can stay warm.

 

ACTIVITY

Fleas and bedbugs are considered nocturnal creatures, which means they are mainly active at night. However, they can bite you at any time of the day or night. Fleas are most active at dusk and least active at sunrise. Bed bugs come out to bite strictly while you’re asleep.

 

 

BITES

Bed bugs and fleas have some important similarities, but it’s the differences between them that set them apart. And the most distinct difference comes down to their bites.

Both pests feed on the blood of humans, and both leave bite marks that itch and may become infected. However, bed bugs feed solely on humans, while fleas prefer to feed on animal hosts.

Flea bites are small red bumps that are more likely to happen on the lower body, for example on the feet or around the ankles. Bedbug bites can appear on any part of the body, mainly on the legs, arms, or back. Furthermore, in contrast to bedbug bites, flea bites often appear in clusters on the skin and have a dark red spot in the center. You may notice that your flea bites are surrounded by inflamed skin.

Bedbug bites look similar to that of a flea, or a mosquito. The marks will appear in a straight line or may be random, with a red and slightly swollen, itchy skin area that’s irritating to the touch. Bedbug bites can cause anxiety, insomnia, and skin problems if someone is allergic to them.

 

FEEDING

Although a flea can live for as long as 100 days, if it is without access to blood in your home, it has a relatively short life span of just a few days. On the other hand, bed bugs can live even more than a year without feeding on blood from a host, but ultimately this depends on the temperature and humidity in their surrounding environment.

 

How Do You Know If It’s A Bed Bug Or A Flea?

You should precisely inspect the room for signs of bedbugs or fleas.

Check your bedsheets to see if there are any tiny black specks. These might be flea feces, or flea dirt, which look like sand and contain digested blood. You may also notice fleas hopping on your carpet, curtains, or furniture. If you have a dog or cat, check for multiple dot-like insects in its fur. Your pet will also be scratching, biting, or licking themselves excessively.

Bed bugs can leave blood stains on your mattress, sheets, pillowcases, or pajamas. These are dark or rusty spots of bedbug waste. You may find bedbug fecal spots, shed skins, or egg shells in areas where they typically like to hide. Also, you may smell a foul, musty odor coming from the scent glands of bed bugs.

 

 

Which Is Worse Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

Bed bugs and fleas are equally bad because they are very difficult to eliminate. Both will make you uncomfortable in your home, leaving you with sleepless nights.

However, because fleas can transmit serious diseases such as the bubonic plague and typhus, this makes fleas worse pests. Fleas can also live on various animals and then travel and spread diseases to humans. Therefore, fleas appear to be somewhat more dangerous than bedbugs.

Bed bugs and fleas can go unnoticed for long periods as they are experts at hiding, and once they start to lay eggs, these pests can be very challenging to eradicate. By the time you realize and catch them, you will have a problem and you’re likely to have a serious infestation in your home.

In addition, DIY methods usually fail to work effectively and permanently. So if you suspect you have fleas or bed bugs, it’s best to call in a pest control company to address the issue professionally.

To protect your family and home against the common infestations of bed bugs or fleas, get our experienced pest control team on your property. Contact American Pest Control in Northeast Georgia today for a consultation or to request a complimentary inspection.

 

 

Why Does Your Yard Attract Ticks?

 

There are many factors that cause ticks to be attracted to your yard.

Ticks love semi-darkness and high humidity, and will favor places with dense vegetation. So if you have a large yard, you might be struggling with an explosion in tick numbers in certain areas. With a severe infestation, the average residential lawn in the US can host even over 250 ticks on a quarter of an acre.

The weather is another important factor. Even though the peak season of tick activity begins in spring, the warm winters, high temperatures, and a mild climate in Georgia cause these loathsome pests to stay active all year round.

Keep reading to learn more about what kind of environment ticks thrive in, and what you can do to keep the lawn ticks away.

 

 

What Causes Ticks In Yard?

A tick infestation can easily start on your property as it only takes one tick. You or your pet might bring the pest into the home or yard after coming into contact with a tick in a wooded or bushy area. The tick can attach itself to your body and bury itself into your pet’s fur.

Sometimes humans and animals act as hosts for ticks, which causes tick-borne diseases a serious health problem.

 

– Weather Conditions

Tick activity goes up as soon as the temperatures rise. A consistent temperature of 70-90°F will cause an increase in tick breeding and population.

On the other hand, extreme heat will cause ticks to die, particularly when high heat is combined with dry and sunny weather.

All species of ticks thrive in darkness, and warm, humid, and rainy weather. They need at least 80% humidity most of the day to survive. Therefore, they tend to congregate in shaded, moist areas.

Ticks can become dehydrated and dry out during times of low humidity. This will cause them to become inactive, or go into diapause, a period when they stop developing due to unfavorable environmental conditions.

 

– Environment

The favorite hiding spots for ticks include areas with unmown tall grass with weeds, damp soil, and plenty of shade.

Even if your lawn is cut short, they may still hide in the outer areas, where they can find low-lying ground cover plants, foundation plantings, or low-hanging shrubs, and use them as shelter. In fact, over 80% of ticks reside in the outer 9 feet of the lawn.

Ticks are also commonly found in moist ground litter, leaf piles and brush, low tree branches, and among other yard debris. They can also be found in yards that are close to woody areas and forests.

As they usually live in areas around ground level, they cling to vegetation, ready to jump off onto their next prey.

 

– Wildlife

Wild animals such as deer, raccoons, and small rodents can bring ticks into your yard. Birds transport ticks as well. If you have a bird feeder or bird bath in your yard, it can attract ticks as the birds will bring and drop them off, letting them thrive on your property. This is especially true when the feeder is located in a damp and shaded area over the grass.

 

 

 

How Do You Tell If You Have Ticks In Your Yard?

Unfortunately, ticks are able to lay eggs just about anywhere. They have been found to lay their eggs in any warm, damp, and soft place indoors or outdoors.

Even though this tiny pest is no larger than 0.08 inches, each one can lay thousands of eggs.

But there are some simple ways that will help you figure out if there are ticks in your yard:

 

Tick dragging

Do a quick test, called a tick drag, to check if you have a tick infestation in the yard. Take a light-colored towel or sheet attached to a rod or stick, and drag it over the areas you suspect the pests might be hiding.

After pulling the towel through the yard, inspect it carefully for ticks. They will usually climb onto the towel, which helps in locating them. If you find any, transfer them into a sealed Ziploc bag and destroy them.

 

Use a flashlight to check for ticks

You can also inspect the yard manually using a flashlight. Check the following locations for signs of ticks:

– In areas of dense or tall grass.

– On trees and in landscaping bushes.

– Along brick, rock, or retaining walls.

– In piles of yard debris, firewood piles, and areas where leaves or other organic debris has accumulated.

– Places where your pets spend most of their time, such as outdoor kennels.

 

Inspect your pets

Check your outdoor pets for ticks after they’ve come back home. Run your fingers through their fur and press gently to feel for any hard bumps or a small mass that will indicate a tick. If you find ticks on your pet’s body, chances are they’ve picked them up in your yard.

 

 

 

How To Prevent A Tick Infestation In Lawn?

Here are some great ways to keep ticks out of your yard:

– Check for ticks regularly, as described above.

– Mow frequently. Cutting your grass more often and keeping it well-maintained and free of weeds, can help rid your yard of these pests. This is because ticks don’t tolerate dry conditions and short vegetation.

– Prune back any dead tree branches. Trim any tall plants and shrubs. The vegetation may rub against people or pets that pass by.

– Clean up lawn clippings and remove piles of old leaves.

– Put down a barrier of mulch or gravel around your yard. The barrier will make it harder for ticks to migrate from the surrounding wooded areas.

– Introduce animals that are natural predators of ticks to naturally prevent tick infestation in your yard. The animals that feed on ticks include spiders, ants, and birds, chickens, frogs, squirrels, lizards, guinea fowl, and wild turkeys.

Also, opossums are one of the top tick predators. Opossums can eat up to 5,000 ticks per season, killing over 90% of the ticks they come across.

– Additionally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a one-time application of an acaracide tick pesticide, such as bifenthin, in the spring to greatly reduce the number of ticks in the yard.

 

Are ticks taking over your yard?

You don’t have to grin and bear it, hire an exterminator who can help eliminate ticks from your yard.

Contact us today – the team of tick control experts at American Pest Control in Athens, GA, are here to help! Using our professional outdoor pest control services is the best way to protect your yard from infestations of these harmful critters.

 

 

How To Know If Carpenter Ants Are In Your Walls

 

Carpenter ants get their name because they make their homes out of wood, just like a carpenter could do. But these insects actually live inside the different wood structures and products, and chew through them, too!

They don’t really eat the wood but once they enter the structure, they will gnaw on it to build a nest with its many pathways or galleries. They prefer wood that is damp, damaged by other insects, and contains decay fungi but they are also able to nest in dry and sound wood.

Damage caused by carpenter ants rarely threatens the structural integrity of a house. Nevertheless, this might be due to the early control measures taken in order to eliminate these pests before they cause serious damage. Most of us don’t like finding any insects in our homes, and carpenter ants are considered serious pests, whether or not they have caused structural damage.

Drilling tunnels in wood structures weakens the building over time. If not found and exterminated early enough, the carpenter ants can be very harmful to your wooden structures.

Keep reading as we cover in more detail whether carpenter ants can live in the walls and explain how to check for a nest in your house structure.

 

 

Can Carpenter Ants Live In Your Walls?

These ants like to nest in structural lumber such as wall voids and foam wall panels. However, apart from wood, carpenter ants can also readily infest other materials.

They are attracted to the warmth and moisture as well as the softness of the insulating material that’s in your walls. In fact, wooden structures and the foam or fiberglass insulation are the favorite nesting sites for carpenter ants.

Buildings with exposed hollow wooden beams arching overhead on ceilings and walls are particularly susceptible to infestations.

 

 

Where Are The Carpenter Ants Coming From?

The carpenter ant workers might tunnel under the foundations or patio blocks of your house.

Adjacent to a house, they might trail along the edges of your lawn, driveway, sidewalks, garden hoses, and landscaping timbers. Inside the structure, they follow the edges of floors, or cabinets and other furniture pieces.

Within the walls, they excavate through insulation, follow utility lines, and travel through voids on pipes and wires. Free branches or vines touching the exterior house walls usually provide a foraging trail or connection between parent and satellite ant colonies.

Trailing on structural elements is an adaptation that results from the natural tendency of ants to follow guidelines such as tree branches or the grooves and ridges in the tree bark. For this reason, all trees, stumps, and driftwood on your property, or any wooden objects used in landscaping must be carefully inspected.

 

 

 

How To Detect A Carpenter Ant Nest In The Wall?

Carpenter ants may build multiple nests in different parts of the house and outside. It is, therefore, necessary to look for nesting sites that could be created inside and outside your house.

If you see large black ants crawling around on surfaces, this could be a sign that a carpenter ant nest is in your home. Check any possible areas on the interior and exterior of your house where moisture may have gotten into the wooden structure.
Wet wood as well as leaky pipes and pipes covered in condensation are likely to attract the ants. By finding out the route to the water, you’ll be able to follow these insects back to their nest.

Remember that insulated spaces will be the favorite spots for carpenter ants to build nests because they retain heat and moisture, and are easy to excavate.

It is also helpful to knock on the wall to check if it sounds hollow. A wall made of solid wood sounding hollow can be a sign that it’s infested with termites or carpenter ants.

Even treated wooden structures or decorative landscaping timbers mostly have cracks and other tiny holes that provide easy access for the ants to the untreated interior wood for nesting. These nests are often overlooked by homeowners because the insects have deposited the sawdust under or behind the wood, or used the sawdust to line their underground foraging trails.

 

 

Signs Of Carpenter Ants In House Walls

In order to spot a carpenter ant infestation, there are various signs to look out for, such as:

– If you see the ants in your home as well as sawdust this indicates an infestation. If carpenter ant workers or alates appear within a house structure during the winter or early spring, then you can assume that there is at least one nest indoors.

– You may discover an infestation when sawdust from your decorative beams starts to build up on the windowsill.

– Sawdust piles of up to 10 inches in depth can accumulate along the walls of your basement or attic.

– An interior wall can buckle when you lean against it.

– You hear rustling noises in the walls or ceilings, mostly at night. You can actually hear the ants chewing on the wood as they build their nest.

 

 

So if you hear that faint rustling sound coming from your walls or inside the woodwork, it’s best to call a professional exterminator for advice and inspection.

Trying to find the carpenter ant nest on your own may not guarantee that you will find all the ants. But an experienced and knowledgeable pest control technician will know exactly how to get the job done right. After locating the nest, he will then drill small holes in the wall and spray an insecticide into the holes to exterminate these pests.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team at American Pest Control in Athens, GA. Call us today for a free quote and inspection!

 

 

Do Carpenter Bees Damage Wood?

 

Having a wooden house structure is one of the best investments, but it might be prone to pests like carpenter bees or termites, as well as discoloration and rotting. Many homeowners are wondering whether the carpenter bees can really cause serious damage to their wooden structures. In fact, the carpenter bees will bore into the wood, which impacts the quality of the wood and can eventually damage it.

Keep reading as we share more information about the habits of the wood-boring bees and offer some tips on how to deal with these pests.

 

 

What Do Carpenter Bees Do To Wood?

The carpenter bees, also known as wood bees, are solitary insects that resemble the bumblebees but have black, bare, and shiny backs, and don’t produce honey or live in the hives. These bees have a habit of boring into wood, thus, causing cosmetic and structural damage to the wooden surfaces. They lay their eggs in the wood and drill holes about a quarter inch in diameter.

The female wood-boring bees will remain in the holes while the males will be hovering nearby to ward off any intruders. They appear aggressive which may frighten you. Fortunately, they typically don’t sting and are harmless. However, if you provoke a female bee, it may sting.

Once the bees drill the hole in the outer layers, they will excavate a tunnel through the wood grains. After the bee has drilled into the wood, you may notice coarse sawdust that has come out of the hole and piled up underneath. The tunnels will run for several inches, which creates cavities that destroy structures. The females then lay the eggs in the pit in each chamber filled with pollen to feed the larvae until they mature.

Once the larvae have matured, the bees will continue drilling new holes in the wooden structures. Therefore, if you don’t immediately treat the wood once you notice the damage, the bees will cause more severe issues for your wooden structure.

During the wintertime, the carpenter bees will hibernate in the holes, and in early spring, they will resume their activities. The insects will clean out the old holes they used in winter and create new holes. They tend to migrate back to the same area, thus, it is better to exterminate them completely.

 

 

 

What Kind Of Wood Do Carpenter Bees Like And Avoid?

The carpenter bees don’t like and usually won’t eat hardwoods. Therefore, to keep them away, opt for hardwood such as walnut, hickory, oak, cherry, and black locust.

If you invest in softwoods like cedar, pine, redwood, douglas fir, or cypress, they might be an easy target. But these insects might attack any wood species. Pressure-treated wooden structures might not be resistant to the carpenter bees, either. Moreover, they might be attracted to distressed and bare wood, and they may attack stained wood as well. The bees will bore into the wood and form a tunnel network that damages the structure or furniture in the long run.

 

 

How To Protect The Wood From Carpenter Bees?

Since the carpenter bees will easily attack damaged, bare, and stained wood, it would be wise to paint the wooden surfaces to prevent the bees from infesting. The bees must see and feel the wood grain before they attack, therefore, painting the surface reduces the carpenter bees’ attack.

You may fill the old holes and tunnels with Energy Seal to prevent recurrent attacks, as the bees are attracted to existing holes.

You may also spray the wooden surfaces with pesticides that kill the carpenter bees, preventing further damage to your wooden structures. Make sure to check for pesticide ingredients that are dangerous to the carpenter bees. The pesticide may not kill the bees but act as repellents as they are not poisonous. The effectiveness of the pesticide may last for a month, and you would need to spray it frequently, especially if the carpenter bees had attacked your wooden structures in the past. The pesticide may be helpful during the peak summer season when these insects are most likely to attack your structures.

The high gloss might be another solution for carpenter bees. The gloss provides a finish that prevents the bees from drilling the holes. The insects don’t drill when they cannot see, feel, and recognize the wooden grains. Therefore, you may need to maintain your house with stain and solid topcoat paint, which act as a barrier between the pests and the wooden grains.

You should regularly inspect the wooden structures on your property for existing holes and tunnels, especially during the warmer months. If the carpenter bees are actively drilling, you may notice sawdust around their nests. You can fill the holes with putty as it kills the bees. Even if the holes look empty, they may need to be treated before sealing them off with a topcoat. Even if they are gone, the bees may come back next season, so be sure to fill each hole during the wintertime when the carpenter bees are inactive.

 

Carpenter bees can be a nuisance in more than one way. To prevent these insects from taking over your Northeast Georgia property, it would be wise to seek professional pest extermination services.

Our specialists at American Pest Control can safely and effectively treat your home to get rid of carpenter bees. So if you need a local bee and beehive exterminator, we are the one to call. Contact us today for more information, a free quote, or an inspection!

 

 

Do Termite Swarmers Eat Wood?

 

Termite swarmers do not eat wood because they do not have biting or chewing mouthparts. Thus, they cannot cause any damage to structures or objects made from wood.

Termite swarmers are winged termites that represent the maturity stage in the termite’s lifespan. Besides having reached the maturity stage, flying termites fly when their original colony has reached a certain capacity, and they are ready to expand the colony. Also, the weather conditions become optimum for flight, which happens mostly during late summer.

The sole purpose of their wings is to fly, leave their existing colony, reproduce and look for a new nest to lay eggs. So when you see flying termites, it is worth noting that they come from the nearby established nest and they are looking for a new place to establish a colony.

In general, there are queen, soldier, and worker termites inside the termite colony. Soldier and worker termites usually mature in about 2-3 years and then, they develop wings to produce alates, i.e. winged termite swarmers. On the other hand, the queen outlives both soldier and worker termites as she is capable of living up to 10 years. Swarming termites have a short lifespan of an hour at the maximum if they do not find soil. Hence, they prefer flying and moving around in the evening or at night when the humidity levels are high.

 

 

What Do Termites Swarmers Eat?

Termite swarmers do not eat anything because they do not have mouthparts to chew or gnaw on. Instead, they are highly motivated towards searching for a new nest to reproduce and colonize.

After hatching, the larvae (called nymphs) entirely depend on workers so they can be fed. In order for the workers to feed the baby termites, the wood is broken down into simple sugars by living microorganisms in their stomachs. Then, the workers take the digested wood back to the colony while in their belly and share it with other termites in the colony through a process called trophallaxis (i.e. the exchange of food between two individuals).

 

 

Can Swarmers Cause Damage To Your Home?

Swarming termites do not cause damage to a home. They are simply mature termites looking for a new location to reproduce and create a new colony. Thus, their main role is to reproduce after they have matured.

An interesting fact, however, is that after mating the flying termite mates lose their wings and then start drilling holes in the wood. In contrast, the ones that did not mate die with their wings and legs broken.

When they get in the wood, the queen termite will lay eggs and establish a new colony of termites. After hatching, the newborn termite individuals will feed on the wood, which results in structural damage. Nevertheless, after they have completely devoured the wood, they further spread to other areas and eat up anything that is made of wood.

The rate of structural destruction also depends on the termite species and colony size, the type of wood, as well as surrounding conditions, as this affects the speed at which they consume. For instance, subterranean termites have huge colonies that prefer nesting in moist underground places. These conditions allow them to construct mud tubes that they’ll use to forage their colony into your home and consume at a constant rate, regardless of the size of their colony.

 

 

Do Flying Termites Mean Infestation?

When you see a colony of flying termites it means you have an existing termite nest in or near your house, or these insects want to establish a nest. Or, already you have a termite infestation and they will continue spreading in your home because they want to establish a new colony. Because swarming termites is a warning sign, you should act immediately towards exterminating them before they establish a new colony in your home.

To prevent the swarmers from entering your home and establishing a new colony in your home, it’s recommended to contact a professional pest control exterminator as soon as possible. Calling in an expert is much more effective than using DIY home remedies because getting rid of termites is not easy. Hence, the DIY method won’t be effective and make the entire process a daunting task if you don’t have any knowledge of how to kill them.

However, you can also take measures to prevent them from invading your home before an exterminator arrives. We strongly advise you to take the following steps to keep these pests away. They include:

– Always close all the windows and doors during the peak swarming season to prevent them from entering your home.

– Do not keep plants near your home and switch off all the outdoor lights because this attracts them indoors.

– Keep firewood at least 30 feet away from your house as this provides favorable breeding conditions and a direct food source for the nymph termites.

 

Despite having a short lifespan, they will keep showing up because they are seasonal. Hence, you need to be extra cautious and continue to practice the above-mentioned measures.

 

Are termites taking over your home or business? Of all the pest problems, termite infestations are probably the worst to eliminate. These insects can cause serious damage, so if you need termite control services in Northeast Georgia, contact American Pest Control today for a free quote or inspection.

 

Termite Swarmers vs Flying Ants: Which Ones Do I Have?

 

 

Many people, even those with some knowledge about insects, often confuse flying ants and termite swarmers. But, why should you know the difference between these two? Well, correct identification can save you time, money, stress, and your property.

Swarmers and winged ants have a similar appearance, which is why many people confuse them. However, there are major differences that you can spot.

For instance, while both have four wings equal in size and length, the wings of flying ants are larger in the front than in the back. Keep reading to learn more about how to distinguish these insect species.

 

 

What Are Winged Ants And Flying Termites?

Many ant species are wingless. However, it’s not uncommon to see swarms of flying ants during certain seasons. Experts refer to these winged ants as alates, swarmers, or reproductive.

They have elbowed antennae and a thin waist constricted at their throat. In addition, their rear wings are smaller than their front large wings. This difference will help you distinguish them from other insects.

Flying termites are also the alates or reproductive members in a termite colony. They seek mates, lay eggs, and start new colonies. Their wings are approximately two times the length of their body when unfolded in flight. Plus, they come in orange color that appears burnt with a smoky dark membrane. Alates are the only termites with compound eyes.

 

 

Main Differences And Similarities Between Termite Swarmers
And Flying Ants

No doubt it’s hard to tell the difference between these two insect types as they appear so similar. Both of them are small household pests that can frustrate the homeowner or tenant. Both have four wings and usually nest in indoor spaces. This is why you often spot them in your home or garage. After nesting, they swarm off to create new colonies.

In regards to the main differences between them, you can distinguish these pests from each other using three simple ways:

 

Color

The most common similarity is the color. Drywood swarmers are solid red and subterranean termite swarmers are solid black. At the same time, fire ants are dull red, and carpenter ants are typically black and red or dark brown.

 

Body

A flying ant has three distinct body parts, that is, the head, thorax, and abdomen. Its waist is thin, pinched, and divides into three body parts.

Termites, on the other hand, have a straight body that you can only tell apart the head from the body. Winged ones have a straight waist, meaning that there isn’t a clear distinction between their thorax and abdomen.

 

Wings

The wings of a winged termite are equal in length. But with a flying ant, the front wings are usually larger than the back wings.

Also, the size of the wings is an important distinction. Ants have short wings that are proportionate to their body. But termites have disproportionate long wings that are larger than the insect itself.

 

Antenna

Flying termites have relatively straight antennae, while a winged ant has a bent or elbow-shaped antenna.

 

 

Signs Of Flying Ants And Termite Swarmers

If you discover an ant in your yard, there is no major reason for concern. Ant infestation is not considered harmful in most cases. Signs of flying ants include shed wings and frass accumulation in certain areas like in crawl spaces or inside wall voids.

Flying termites don’t always mean an infestation. But, the more you notice, the more you’re likely to have one. If there are any alates in your home, you probably have a termite infestation. Note that colonies take a lot of time to develop, even years. Therefore, if you are dealing with a colony, it’s probably well established.

Termites often lose their wings when mating or as they age out of their reproductive ability. If you notice wings on window sills, around door frames or wooden surfaces, you’re dealing with an infestation.

Also, check whether there are mud tubes around your home and rotting wood. If these are present, you may have termite swarmers inside your property.

Other signs of termite infestation include exclusively squeaky boards, peeling paint, and hollow surrounding wood.

 

 

Can Termite Swarmers Be Mistaken For Flying Ants?

Yes, many individuals mistake these two insect species, as mentioned before. Ants species that are commonly mistaken for termite swarmers are fire ants and carpenter ants.

Note that these species also have some similarities. Both of them have winged reproductives that swarm in the spring.

However, it’s crucial to distinguish between them because if they are not properly identified you could be treating the wrong infestation. Not only can this waste your money, time, and effort, but it can also cause further damage to your property.

Termite swarmers fly off to new locations and start colonies. After mating and establishing new colonies, they won’t need their wings anymore. Thus, they shade them.

On the other hand, flying ants have a thin waist, while termites have a broad waist that’s uniform with their body. Flying ants also have a bent antenna, while termites have a straight one. If you’re not sure of what you are dealing with, you can call our professional pest control experts at American Pest Control to help you.

 

 

Are Flying Ants Or Termite Swarmers Worse?

Every pest control specialist will admit that termite swarmers are more harmful than flying ants. Typically, winged ants don’t present any serious problems. The only issue with them is that they can be a nuisance.

However, termites are destructive to houses and other structures and can cause severe damage. They attack wooden structures and often target exposed wood. As a result, they can damage the structure massively, forcing a homeowner to spend thousands of dollars on house repairs.

 

 

If you believe that there is a termite or ant infestation in your home, the best option is to consult a pest control professional to take a look at your house. Trying to treat the pest infestation on your own might make the problem even worse.

American Pest Control in Athens has been servicing the northeast Georgia areas for more than 50 years. Our experts know best how to properly exterminate termites or ants. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and request your free quote or inspection!

 

 

Why Do Termite Swarmers Die In Your House?

 

 

If you have ever entered your house and found a couple of wings on your window sill, then chances are that termite swarmers have recently been flying around your home. While these swarmers might not cause any direct damage to your home, it is a clear indication that you might be having a more serious termite issue that needs to be addressed in the near future.

Getting all the necessary information will ensure that you can make the right call when you see these swarmers appear in your house. Keep reading as we’ve covered here everything you need to know about termite swarmers.

 

 

What Do Termite Swarmers Do?

Also known as alates, swarmers are adult reproductive termites with wings. They can fly out of the nests seasonally to find mates and start new colonies by reproducing. Because their existing colony gets too big, the adults have to fly away and look for a new place to establish a colony.

While they don’t sting, bite, eat wood or cause any damage to your house, it can get scary, especially if you have never seen swarmers before or you have young children around.

These insects come in a huge swarm and fly all around the place, looking for where the light is. During the day, chances are they will head towards the window and try to get out of the house.

Swarmers come out through tunnels dug up by the worker termites when the colony was created. They can either come out through the house or from outside. Since they do not bite or destroy much, you need not worry about a termite attack. They are simply vacating the colony, but that is also an indicator that there might be a termite issue where you are.

 

 

Do Termites Die After They Swarm?

Adult termites have a very short life span. When they leave their colony, they need to get good soil to settle on, food, and moisture. If they do not get any of these, or if they are not able to escape from the house, they will die within 30 to 40 minutes. That is why it is so easy for you to find swarmers in one place a few minutes after they got out of their colony.

They get drawn to a light source like a window or glass door, and when unable to fly out, they’ll die in open areas. Thus, most of the time, just dead insects or their shed wings, can be found.

As previously mentioned, these flying termites do not cause you any immediate damage, but they will be an indication of a bigger termite colony nearby.

 

 

How Long Do Termite Swarms Last?

Swarmers can come out of their colonies for a couple of hours and keep doing this daily, especially if the colony is full. However, the majority of the colony usually dies within a day or two of the swarm.

These insects will fly a short distance. After that, they fall to the ground and shed their wings. The good thing is, if they do not get soil, food, and water, they will die off in about 40 minutes.

While you might get an exterminator in, some of these swarmers might still escape through the intricate colony tunnels they have built. It might take a couple of days to get rid of them completely.

 

 

When Do Termites Swarm?

Often termites will swarm during the day because they are looking for light. If they have made a home in your house, then chances are they might swarm at night and head in the direction of the light source indoors. Swarmers in the house show that you might have a termite infestation somewhere on your property.

 

 

How To Deal With Swarmers?

While swarmers might not cause any immediate damage to your house, they can leave behind a huge mess that you’ll have to clean up. The best way to deal with these pests is to contain them at first.

Here are some things you can do when you realize there are swarmers in the house:

– Contain them. If you notice they are in one room, close the doors and windows to that room, it will ensure they do not swarm in the entire house, which can be messy and frightening.

– Try and keep them in one place. If you notice where they are coming from, you can put a plastic bag over that exit hole. That way, all the insects will get in, and it is easier for you to dispose of them than cleaning the entire room.

– Vacuum the room. If it so happens that they got out before you got the bag, you can always vacuum the critters and their wings as well. It is best to do this after you are sure there are no more swarmers around. That way, you do not keep vacuuming all day or night.

– Get an inspector to come and look around. Swarmers indicate a termite colony that has grown so big and could dig its way through your home. Ensure you get a pest control professional to come and look at your house if you have had swarmers in the home. They will help get rid of them and ensure no more damage is done to your property by these pests.

 

For a free inspection and termite treatment services, seek the help of our experts at American Pest Control in Athens, GA. The technicians are highly qualified and experienced in treating a termite infestation, no matter how bad it is.

So if you have swarmers in your house, don’t worry. Since they will do no harm by being around, simply let them fly out before you clean the place up. Save up a couple of their wings as well as the insects so that you can show your inspector. He will be able to develop a way to contain the swarmers in the house.

 

 

Can Rats Live In The Ceiling?

 

It can be distressing to wake up to rat droppings and chewed items all over your home. Unfortunately, spotting a rat during the day can be difficult as these pests love to stay in out-of-sight places and are nocturnal, which means they are active mostly at night.

Thus, it is probable that rats are nesting in the walls and ceilings, or crawl spaces in your home, away from predators and the elements. Besides, these rodents will gnaw on anything that comes their way, causing a lot of damage to your property.

Having rats in the ceiling is an indication that they have already built a nest and started breeding. And as they are capable of reproducing at a very fast rate, it won’t be long before their numbers grow exponentially and become an infestation.

Keep reading to find out if you have rats living in the ceiling and how to deal with the rat infestation, if detected.

 

How Do Rats Get In The Ceiling?

Rats can enter the ceilings through small holes as they can fit through a half-inch diameter opening. Sometimes they might chew their way through the cracks and crevices in the ceilings and other entry holes. Some species of rats tend to live exclusively on the roof, and you will find them running in high places such as trees or telephone lines, and climbing into the attic and ceiling in your home.

 

Can Rats Climb On Ceilings?

Considered to be excellent climbers, the rats can climb on surfaces such as ceilings. In fact, rats are able to climb most rough and smooth vertical surfaces, up to 13 inches in height. Thus, they can climb up the walls and find openings in the ceilings. The ability to jump even 20 times their height or walk on pipes, wires, and thin ropes, allows them to easily get up onto the rafters in your home.

Moreover, they can access climbing objects from the outside and use them to climb onto the roof, before entering through openings into the ceilings.

During the dry or cold winters, the rats will look for climbing materials to access the ceiling. When living in the ceiling, they can easily come out and get downstairs at night to find food and water in your house.

They can also stay on your roof and climb up the ceiling during the winter season. As they are warm-blooded animals, they would stay on the roof as long as they are protected from the harsh weather outside.

 

 

Can Rats Chew Through The Ceiling?

If a rat has found its way from the outside into your home, it might chew through the ceiling to get into any space in the house. In fact, it happens quite often that a rat that lives in your home to chew through the ceiling.

The chewing often happens in house structures that are made from materials such as drywall. Typically, ceilings and walls are made from drywall. The rats’ sharp front teeth, the incisors, can easily eat through drywall, as well as plaster, wood, and plastic. They will bite through the ceilings when they recognize a food and water source in your home.

Thus, if you hear chewing sounds in your ceiling at night when it’s quiet in the house, it might be best to call a pest and wildlife control expert to investigate. It can be challenging for a homeowner to find the entry spots made by a rat in the ceiling. This is because rats tend to be discreet and won’t chew on the obvious spots in your ceiling. They might chew about a half-inch hole in the ceiling, close to the wall, and find their way into the house by climbing down and up the walls.

These rodents prefer cluttered places in the house, so it would be better to check these spots for rat bites and find ways to exterminate them from your property. What’s worse, the rats might chew on electric cables on the roof, which can lead to a fire hazard, so you should deal with the rats on your roof immediately.

 

Can You Hear Rats In The Ceiling?

The roof rats can be quite noisy and will make scratching and squeaking sounds when nesting or running in the crawlspace of your ceiling. You can easily distinguish the rat noise from the noises made by the home appliances.

Because rats are very fast, it’s likely that you hear them scurrying quickly around the crawlspaces. They also tend to follow the same runways over time, thus, you may hear noises coming from the same area in your house structure.

In addition, your pets will hear the sounds before you hear them, so you should observe their behavior if you suspect a rat infestation on your property. Your dog might be looking up the ceiling constantly or bark while staring at the roof.

Moreover, apart from hearing animal noises on the roof or ceiling, you can notice rat droppings in your home, and they might host pathogens leading to health issues. Also, if you have fruit trees in your backyard, you might notice half-eaten fruits. If these pests enter your home, you might find that leftover foods in your kitchen are gone. You might be lucky to see the rats climbing the walls up the ceiling if you wake up at night.

 

If you can hear strange noises on the roof or in the ceiling, especially during the night, you should have a pest control technician inspect it as soon as possible to find out whether there is a rat infestation.

Rats can be really hard to remove once they have entered your house, thus, specialist help is needed. At American Pest Control, we provide homes in Northeast Georgia with reliable and effective pest control services specific to your homes’ needs. So don’t hesitate to contact us today for a quote and a free inspection!

 

Can Mice Travel With You When You Move House?

 

Mice are notorious wild animals that can be a big problem to get rid of when they get into your home. These small creatures are able to use any tiny hole to access the house in order to look for food, warmth, and shelter for survival.

Thus, it is necessary to take precautions when moving house so that you avoid a mouse infestation in your new home.

 

Can Mice Travel With You When You Move House?

Mice can travel from one house to another and they are very smart when it comes to hiding. They can hide in furniture like sofas, beds, and closets, and will create a comfortable nest for themselves and their babies.

When you move house, you most likely don’t even realize that there might be rodents hiding in your storage boxes, bags, and containers. They create a cozy nest in sofas and armchairs mostly because they find soft and warm fabrics, foam, stuffing inside.

These pests can reproduce while nesting in there and will have many young ones at once. Keep in mind that is not wise to poison the mice nesting in the sofa because it can cause serious health problems in people. The best way is to set up traps where these rodents go for their food and water.

 

Can They Hide And Travel In Furniture, Boxes, Or Bags?

Don’t be surprised that mice can follow you, travel in your belongings, and move with you into your new house. This is because they squeeze into your boxes and bags that they find to be warm, cozy, and dark.

Mice can climb surfaces up to about 79 inches and jump up to 9.5 inches in height, which means they could jump and climb from one item to another with ease to find shelter. They are capable of climbing and jumping any smooth and rough surface, which makes it easy for them to travel to new locations.

It is very easy to notice the presence of these rodents in the house when you hear strange noises and see mysterious holes in the boxes. Additionally, there is a probability of spotting chewed clothes and shredded papers when you start unpacking in your new home. They will do this to build a comfy nest for themselves. Mice will also leave their droppings anywhere in the house.

 

 

Can They Survive The Move?

When you relocate to a new house, the mice will also travel together with you. Once in your new house, these animals will have to learn about their new surroundings and ways to find food and water.

Provided there is enough food, the new environment will automatically suit the rodents and they will be able to survive there. However, a relocated mouse may find it hard to survive in the new environment and may not survive if there is not enough food and water in the new location. If it’s not able to find anything to eat or drink, it’s going to eventually die.

 

How Do Mice Get Into The House?

Mice are clever, inquisitive, determined, and opportunistic, thus, they will search for tiny openings and cracks to squeeze through in search of food. For this reason, it’s important to take care of small gaps in the house structure to ensure that mice are not getting inside.

 

They can climb the ladders, walls, cables, and can swim through the water pipes to get indoors. These rodents can quickly adapt to the new environment that is your new home if they can easily hide and find a meal. On top of that, they can be very destructive because they can easily damage your belongings, furniture, clothes, and food supplies.

 

Surprisingly, mice can potentially come up through the toilet. They can also enter into a home through the bathtub drain and sink if the drainage is not properly sealed. They can access through windows, ceilings, and walls as well because they’re able to climb rough vertical surfaces.

 

Because of their small size, they can squeeze themselves through a small, 1/4 inch gap. They will sneak in very small spaces as they have a sharp sense of smell, hearing, and touch which enables them to find food and be difficult to trap. Since human housing is the best place for these rodents in terms of shelter and food, they hide very well and usually come out at night or in dim light.

 

They are most attracted to messy and cluttered homes because they can easily get into rubbish, get scattered food and various materials to build nests. They will also get inside clean and tidy houses, although they don’t favor them as much as unkempt houses.

 

Thus, if you want to avoid mice infestation in your new home, take the time to finish unpacking from your recent move as soon as possible. If you leave your unpacked possessions still sitting in the attic, garage, or in an undisturbed corner of your house, these rodents will get a perfect place to make a nest.

 

Your new home is supposed to be a place where you can relax, and feel comfortable and safe. This may be difficult to do if you suspect that you have mice roaming around your clean house. If you think there might be a mice infestation, don’t hesitate to call the exterminators at American Pest Control in Athens, GA, for a free inspection or an estimate.

 

Background

Protect the Ones you Love!