Ants are one of the most common pests a homeowners has to deal with. The most common types called on for pest control service are the very small Odorous House Ants and Argentine Ants. These ants are similar in that they have multiple queens and use your entire perimeter as a nest These ants will also infest the walls of your home. If you see ants outside near your home, it is only a matter of time before they are inside.
Fire ants are not as common inside houses, but if left untreated near the foundation, they too will enter. Fire ants have a painful sting. They have been known to crawl on a person, and when a pheromone is released, all sting at once.
When you see ants in your home, keep in mind that you are seeing only a small fraction of the infestation. Only about eight percent of the colony are out of the nest at any one time.The most common place for ants to be seen are in kitchens and bathrooms but they can infest the entire home if left untreated.
What a homeowner can do to prevent ant infestation.
Trim bushes and trees so they are at least one foot away from the house. Seal around pipes coming into the house and caulk windows and doors. Maintain doorsweeps in good condition. Certain plants attract ants, such as hostas and strawberries. If using these type of plants, keep them far away from the home. Ants also like to nest in the moisture under flower pots. Eliminate all sources that maintain moisture near the home. Clean gutters often. Remove or replace any rotting wood as this holds moisture that ants will nest in. Also, when you receive a delivery of Pine straw very often it can include a delivery of ants.
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We are told that spiders are good to have around because they eat other insects. Although, this may be true, most of us don’t want spiders around our home or office any more than we do other insects.
What you can do to prevent spider infestation.
First: One of the most effective methods to eliminate spiders is to replace standard outdoor white light bulbs with yellow light bulbs. Flying insects are not nearly as attracted to yellow lights, (appropriately called “bug lights”). Web building spiders will build their webs by standard outside white lights because those lights attract flying insects, thereby assuring the spider of a plentiful food supply. Eliminate the food supply and the area is no longer attractive to the spider.
Second: When a spider web is found, it should be removed by using a long handled broom or spider brush. This discourages the spider from using this location for it's web. The webs often contain spider eggs, and by removing the web you eliminate the eggs from hatching and further infesting the area with spiders.
Third: If you are finding spiders inside your home or office, the best way to eliminate this problem is to check the weather stripping on all windows and doors. Also, check window caulking and eliminate any cracks and crevices where spiders can crawl in.
Word of caution about spiders:
Although most species of spiders are non poisonous to humans, two poisonous species of spiders are fairly common in the State of Georgia. They are the Brown Recluse Spider and the Black Widow Spider. The highly poisonous Black Widow likes to hide under things. They can be commonly found hiding under the bottom row of shingles by the foundation of your home, in wood piles, crawl spaces, cluttered areas, attics and other dimly lit spaces. They are identified by their jet black color and a red marking on their abdomen, commonly but not always in the shape of an hour glass.
The Brown Recluse spider also likes to hide. These spiders are often found in drop ceilings, behind or under boxes, in attics and any other dark hidden areas.
If you are bitten by a spider, It may not be possible to see or identify the spider that has bitten you. But If you suspect you have been bitten by one of these poisonous spiders, you should seek medical attention immediately.
American and Smokybrown Cockroaches
Two very common roaches found here in Georgia are the American Cockroach and the Smokybrown Cockroach. American roaches are reddish brown, have a yellowish band near the head and grow to about 1.4 to 1.6 inches in length. The Smokybrown Roach is brownish black to mahogany and about 1 to 1.25 inches in length. They are most active at night and are usually seen in kitchens and bathrooms. Both species can fly. The adolescent roaches (called instars) are smaller and have what looks like horizontal stripes.
Roaches usually live outdoors in pine straw, woodchips, woodpiles, trees and bushes. But during autumn, when the weather turns cooler, they are likely to enter homes to escape the cold. They easily find their way into attics, crawlspaces and living areas. They can enter through spaces in the eaves, windows and doors. They also gain access from pipe openings under sinks, behind toilets, from shower heads, as well as outlets and drains.
They hide their egg cases, each containing 14-16 eggs for the American Roach and 20 – 25 for the Smokybrown Roach. In their peak, the females will lay 2 eggs cases a week, which will hatch in 6 to 8 weeks. They can quickly infest an area.
It is important to rid your home of Roaches as they can carry diseases and aggravate asthmatic conditions by the allergens that they leave behind as they shed parts of their bodies. They carry and spread harmful bacteria that they come in contact with, such as salmonella and other bacteria that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders.
What the homeowner can do:
First: The homeowner can help prevent roaches from getting inside by using weather striping around doors and windows and caulking outside pipe openings.
Second: Don’t leave food on counters or dishes in the sink, and keep the stove top free of grease.
Third: Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
Fourth: Vacuum often to keep food particles off the floor.
If roach infestation should occur, it is important to take action by applying the appropriate chemicals labeled for this type of pest. This will eliminate the adult roaches and prevent newly hatched roaches from laying more eggs.