Nuptial Flight: Ants & Termites

Termites…the arch-nemesis of homes all across America. In the South, we have a saying that goes, “it’s not if you will get termites, but when”.  Although termites live underground  ground, every spring, swarmer termites take flight in search of new places to put down roots. Swarmer termites are the reproductive members of a termite colony and have wings. These invaders typically emerge when the temperatures reach 70 degrees after a good rain. Female swarmers send out a pheromone to attract a male. Once they have found each other, they break off their wings. This symbolizes to the rest of the termite world that they are a couple and will be taking their places as king and queen of a new colony.

Termites are not alone in this nuptial flight. Ants also have winged reproductive that head out in search of a new home. There are differences, however. Swarming termites have straight antennae, a broad waist, and wings equal in size. In contrast, flying ants have elbowed antennae, a jointed waist, and unequal wings. Termite swarmers usually appear in early spring, while flying ants hang back a little and make their debut closer to summer.

If you see either of these winged bachelors and bachelorettes in or around your home, you could have a fully functioning colony nearby. Contact a pest professional to ID the pest, provide solutions to protect your home, and give you peace of mind.


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We Don’t Need No Stinking…Bugs! 

Cold weather winters mean no bugs, right? Wrong, unfortunately. During colder months, your home is still susceptible to termites, increased rodent activity, spiders, and the smelliest of them all: the brown marmorated stink bug. These little stinkers aren’t harmful to humans, but have become a major problem for the agricultural industry due to the damage they can cause to crops.  

So, what is that smell? When disturbed, stink bugs secrete a smelly fluid from pores on their bodies. (It tastes bad too, but hopefully you’ll never find that out firsthand!) Some compare the scent to cilantro. To these bugs, humans are predators and when they feel threatened, they release the stink as a form of protection. Stink bugs invade our homes because they are looking for shelter from the elements, including cold weather. 

Although stink bugs don’t present a health threat to people, the fact that they look to our homes as a winter vacation spot makes them a major nuisance. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends these prevention tips to minimize the chance of a stink bug invasion:  

  1. Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches to prevent stink bugs from entering the home. 
  2. Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.  
  3. Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors. 
  4. Install screens over the chimney and attic vents. 
  5. Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces. Consider using a dehumidifier. 
  6. If stink bugs have already entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area. 

As always, when you spot a pest issue, call or text us to schedule a free inspection! American Pest Control would love the opportunity to partner with you to ensure a pest-free home. 

2019 Employees of the Year

American Pest Control is proud to announce their 2019 Man and Woman of the Year and Rising Star Awards. The Man and Woman of the Year awards are presented each year to employees who have exhibited the company’s core values of Honesty, Integrity, Community, Family and Quality Customer Service.

The “Doug Craft Man of the Year Award” was named after long time American Pest Control employee, Doug Craft, who has been with the company for 48 years. In his honor, this year’s Man of the Year award was presented to Jeff Perry, who has been with the company for 18 years. Jeff lives just outside of Athens in Danielsville, Georgia with his wife of 29 years. David Butler, the Operations Manager at APC, and Jeff knew each other through mutual friends. Butler told Perry about a job opening and he applied. Once he came in for an interview, they knew he was a great fit and he was hired on the spot. Jeff loves working at APC because he loves the people; both the customers and his coworkers. He likes that American Pest Control is a family-oriented business. Jeff enjoys hunting, fishing, watching NASCAR, and football. He is proud of the fact that American Pest Control has partnered with and supported his community over the years by sponsoring his son’s little league and supporting Extra Special People, a non-profit that he and many of his coworkers are passionate about. Jeff says he is “humbled and appreciative about winning the award” and finds it rewarding that he “has helped influence other people into doing the right thing and doing a good job for their customers.”

The “Kathy Hollin Woman of the Year Award” was named after American Pest Control’s Office Manager, Kathy Hollin, who has also been with the company for 48 years.  This year’s winner is Deirdre White. Deirdre has worked at American Pest Control for 24 years. She began her journey with the company when she left the medical field to pursue a new path. Her sister was working at American Pest Control at the time and told her about an opening. Deirdre has been with the company since then. She is from Oglethorpe County and currently resides there with her cats and two pet roosters. She loves open land and the quietness of country life.  Deirdre says that her favorite thing about her job is the family connection at the company. She says it is great to work for a company that really cares about the employees. Deirdre enjoys shopping and crafting in her free time and loves making anything with a hot glue gun, ribbon and glitter. She also has a heart for animals and is honored to be part of a company that supports that cause through various non-profits in the community like AthensPets and The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

The “Rising Star Award” is a new award at American Pest Control. This award was created to recognize employees who have been employed three years or less and represent American Pest Control well by exemplifying the company’s core values. The inaugural winners for the Rising Star Award this year are Logan Bookwalter and Jenna Smith. Logan has been with the company for almost two years as a Universal Technician. In that time, he has set records on performance and been an example for new employees. Logan is from Hart County, where he lives with his wife. He enjoys being outdoors, fishing and golf. Logan is passionate about building relationships with his customers and loves being part of the American Pest Control family.


Jenna Smith was also a recipient of the Rising Star Award. Jenna has been with American Pest Control for almost three years. She is a Training and Development Specialist and her favorite part of her job is being able to arm new employees with everything they need to succeed while welcoming them to the APC family.  Jenna is from Oglethorpe County and now lives in Athens with her husband. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Jenna is grateful to be a part of the APC family and work for a company that supports The Tree House, a local non-profit that supports families who have struggled with abuse.

The award winners were announced at a company-wide meeting held during 4th quarter of 2019. American Pest Control is grateful for these outstanding employees who, along with the entire staff, contribute to the long-running success of the company.