Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Carpenter Ants - How to Prevent an Infestation

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus) are the largest ants found throughout the United States. They range in color, from black to brown, or a combination of both. Black carpenter ants are commonly found in the Northeastern side of the U.S. They have 6 legs, elbowed antennas, a slender waist and the size range from 1/4 of an inch, to 1/2 an inch for a worker ant, and 3/4 inch for a queen. Black Carpenter ant swarmers emerge from a mature colony usually beginning in early spring (May) through the summer. The carpenter ant swarmer's has 2 pair of wings, but the second pair are shorter than the first.
 Carpenter Ants can cause serious damage to wood inside and outside your home. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants excavate galleries and build nests to rear their young. This is especially harmful in wood support members such as sill plates, floor joists, rim joist, posts and beams, to mention a few. They can be found in logs, firewood, moist damp wood, and tree stumps. Though they can be found in dry wood, carpenter ants prefer wood with a high moisture content. The longer the colony stays in the wooden structure, the more damage they will do to your home. Over time any structural wood they attack can be weakened, resulting in unlevel, or sagging floors, bulging walls, or worse.
 Debris that carpenter ants produce from excavating wood, such as saw dust like shavings mixed with body parts of dead ants, is a clear indication of a nearby nest.














Prevention

Carpenter Ants are usually found near moisture, and rotting or decaying wood. Home owners should make sure their gutters and downspouts are functioning properly. If holes or leaks exist in the gutter system, that can allow rain water to accumulate around the home, thus attracting carpenter ants. Replace all dysfunctional gutters and downspouts. Adding downspout extensions, or splash blocks is also helpful in keeping water from accumulating around the structure.
The grading around the structure should slope slightly to allow rain water to drain away, instead of toward the structure, or from settling around it.

Where wood is in contact with soil, these areas should be closely examined. If nests are discovered, replace the infested wood if seriously damaged. Exterior steps, posts, or railings should rest on concrete pads instead of in, or on the soil.

Stopping water from entering the home is very important. Repair all roof leaks and replace missing shingles if needed. Have the flashing on the roof inspected, especially roof penetrations such as plumbing vents and chimney flashings. Clean gutters of leaves and dirt to prevent them from overflowing.
Caulk and screen any potential entryway ants may use to gain access, like doors and windows, and outside water connections. Ventilate areas where moisture accumulates, or where high humidity exists, such as crawlspaces, attics and storage rooms.

Vegetation in the form of bushes, hedges and tree branches should be trimmed back at least one foot away from the exterior walls, and tree branches overhanging roofs should be cut back. When vegetation is in contact with exterior walls, or roofs, this is conducive for pest infestation.

While wood mulch is good for plants, it also attracts wood destroying insects, including termites. If you have wood mulch, or plan to have some put around your home, many pest control professionals strongly recommend having the mulch treated to prevent the infestation of wood destroying insects. Wood mulch can be sprayed, or granular bait can be applied.

 Carpenter ants have their place in nature, however, we don't want them in and around our homes. With careful planning, and good home maintenance and repair, we can reduce the use of pesticide and co-exist with the insect world.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit Fly


Fruit flies are a common nuisance pest that usually invade orchards, breweries, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, canneries and homes. Adults measure about 1/8" in length and range in color from dull tan to brownish yellow or brownish black. Their eyes are usually bright red, but can also be very dark red or brown. They are found world wide and throughout the United States.

 Not only are they a nuisance pest, fruit flies may also act as disease vectors. In addition to this, adult females can lay up to 500 eggs that hatch in about 30 hours! That being the case, it is extremely important that integrated pest management (IPM) measures are taken to prevent, or at the very least, limit their breeding sites.

                                                                     Fruits & vegetables

Fruit flies are primarily attracted to fresh fruit and vegetables - nearly any material that is fermented by yeast. They are also attracted to decaying organic matter and can be found around fermenting water from refrigerators. In restaurants they are commonly seen in sink and floor drains where decaying food scraps are found. Dirty or sour mops and rags, and fermenting pet food are common breeding areas.


                                                                         Control Measures


 Eliminating all breeding sites is the key to controlling fruit fly infestation. In restaurants when floors are mopped and food preparation areas, such as counter tops are wiped down, accumulated food particles are often found in cracks and crevices where it ferments, thus providing ideal breeding conditions. Cracked, missing and loose floor and wall tile and missing grout should be repaired or replaced to eliminate food scrapes from accumulating. The use of  microbial floor cleaners is very effective for floors. Mops should be cleaned and/or replaced when dirty. Food can also be found under baseboards, so if it doesn't sit flush on the floor, sealing any gaps will greatly help eliminate breeding sites.

If you discover these pest are coming from outside, reducing the screen size (mesh) can be helpful since some species can easily penetrate ordinary screens. Floor drains should be cleaned with foam drain cleaners to break down the build up of biofilm.

 If problems still persist give us a call and a friendly and knowledgeable Pest Control Professional will conduct an inspection in and around your business or home, find any breeding areas and eliminate the problem for you. Call us.

 Service - Solutions - Satisfaction, Guaranteed!

EM Pest Control
www.empestcontrol.com
516-455-6742
516-850-8926








Monday, June 5, 2017

Are Bed Bugs Only Found On Beds?

Most adult bed bugs are about 3/16" long and are oval and flat in shape. They are brown to reddish brown in color after a blood meal. Nymphs (young) resemble adults but are smaller and pale in color. After molting (shedding their skin) they are white in color and then light tan before feeding. Bed bugs have no wings, however they can crawl long distances (in excess of 100 feet) for a blood meal.

Bed bugs on mattress
 The flat, oval shape of bed bugs allows them to hide under mattresses, mattress beads and buttons, in box springs or their coverings as well as in any crevice of a
Bed bugs behind headboard
wooden bed frame, such as where wooden members join. Beds, including the frame and headboards are typically the initial infestation site and the first place a Pest Control Professional will inspect. In time other places can become infested such as upholstered furniture, dresser draws, curtains, picture frames, mirrors, light switches, electrical outlets,door and window frames, under carpets, baseboards, crown mouldings, radios, clocks, televisions, telephones, stuffed animals, shoes, wall voids, between floor boards, etc. Bed bugs love clutter as this gives them the best chance of survival and reproduce. so it's important to keep all room neat and clean as possible.

Bed bug on plywood


                                                              Reproduction

Female bed bugs lay around 1-5 eggs per day. The eggs are white, 1/32" long and are usually deposited in cracks in some of the items listed above or on rough surfaces and are secured in place with her transparent cement. The nymphs (young) go through five stages of growth. A blood meal is required before each growth stage or molting, that is the shedding of their skin.

Studies show that adults and nymphs can survive months, and in rare cases even up to a year, for adults without a meal. This is one key reason why they are difficult to control and why they are spreading throughout the United States.
 Because of their ability to hide deep into furniture and bedding, and live electrical equipment, it is best that a pest control professional be called in for an inspection and treatment(s) if you suspect bed bug issues.

We at EM Pest Control are committed to Service, Solutions, and Satisfaction for your home or business.

Visit and/or call us at:
www.empestcontrol.com
516-455-6742
516-850-8926

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Home or Business

     

One of the most successful life forms on earth are ants, in fact according to many pest management professionals ants are at the top of the list when it comes to structural pests. What makes them so successful is their efficiency, tenaciousness, resiliency and numbers. It's a good thing that most ants live outdoors, however, some make their nest in or around structures and therefore can become a nuisance, get into food, attack humans and/or cause structural damage. In order to successfully get of ants, properly identifying the type of ants and why they are drawn to the structure is key.                                                                                                                                                        

Types of Ants     

There are many different types of ants. Identifying these type of ants that are invading your property is huge because each species are drawn to different foods and environments. There are 3 types of ants that are commonly known to invade your house or place of business. Those 3 are Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants, and Argentine Ants. Let's take a look at Carpenter Ants. Carpenter Ants are drawn to wood, but not just any wood. They like to nest in wood that has a high moisture content and suffered water damage and has been softened up by decay. High humidity is essential for the development of carpenter ant eggs and larvae. They do however have the ability to create an environment of humidity and can thus spread into sound wood.

        Pavement Ants are commonly found in commercial buildings. They get their name because of nesting under the pavement and sidewalks. They are known for making soil mounds commonly seen in sidewalks, pavement cracks, around foundations and decorative stones. Anything that provides a protective cover you can find pavement ants. Inside structures they can be found nesting inside walls, in wall insulation, and under floors. This species of ants particularly likes to be near heat sources. Indoor swarms can happen if they are found under slabs.
                                                            
Argentine Ants are seen above when indoor nests near moisture sources such as water pipes, sinks, and potted plants. When conditions outdoors are unfavorable, such as too wet or too dry, they can invade buildings in large numbers. Because they crawl over refuse, sputum, and carrion to mention a few, they are responsible for spreading disease organisms.
                                                                              
These are just three species of ants commonly found in structures, but there are many more such as Fire Ants, Acrobat Ants, Thief Ants, Odorous House Ants and the Little Black Ants each with their own habits and preferences, so identification is a key to long term control. Identifying the problem ant brings us to the next key formula of getting rid of ants - Inspection
                                                        
Inspection and Treatment

There are three components to an inspection -  1) Finding the Nest, 2) Detecting Foraging Routes and 3) Spotting conditions conducive to infestations. Many people use over the counter gels or liquid baits to fight an infestation. Improperly placements of gels or liquid baits will do little good. Also used are over the counter sprays, but this only kills the ants that are seen or foraging for food. Locating the nest goes a long way if you are to eliminate ants for good. Sometime locating the nest is not possible, so looking for other conditions is helpful. Look for and repair broken seals around windows and doors, water damaged wood and cracks in foundation walls. Of course sanitation is very important inside as well as outside. Correct any moisture related issues inside and outside the structure. Keeping the perimeter of the structure dry and keeping vegetation growth at least one foot from the structure will aid in ridding your home or business from ants.                                                                                                        
If these tactics are ineffective call your local pest control professional. They have experience in locating and treating the nest, applying a barrier treatment, baiting and applying a residual that is safe and long lasting.


                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                       
                                                 
                                        


                                                                             











        

Friday, May 5, 2017

Spring Maintenance Is Not An Option

If you want to increase your chances of keeping your home or place of business free of insects and rodents, then spring maintenance is not an option. Warming temperatures and increased rain, starting from March through May, results with insects such as ants, sow bugs, earwigs, flies and of cause mosquitoes to spring into action. Ticks and fleas are a major concern as well due to the relatively warm winter in which they survived. Rodents like mice and rats add to the problem as they are always happy to invade homes and businesses year round.
What can home owners do to protect their family and friends from these pesky, disease carrying  invaders? What can business owners do to protect their employees and/or customers?


                                                                Spring into Action

There are three things that insects and rodents need for survival and to reproduce, they are:
1. Food
2. Water
3. Shelter

Let's begin with food. Insects and rodents are small, so it doesn't take much to satisfy their hunger. If you keep garbage cans and/or dumpsters clean and keep the lids on them, pest will be forced to  find food somewhere else. It's even helpful to have dumpsters and garbage cans treated at least once a month during the spring and summer as an added protection.

                                                                           

 Replace cans and lids if they have holes in them. Holes in the lids not only allow access, but allows rain water to collect in the cans which can result in a breeding area for mosquitoes.

Let's consider water. Insects and rodents thrive when water and moisture are readily available, In fact like humans they can go longer with out food than water. Eliminating water and moisture around the foundation, crawlspaces, basements and attics is very important. Take a look at the condition of your downspouts as an example.


 
If your downspouts are damaged or not working properly, water can accumulate around the foundation and slowly seep down into the basement creating an excellent environment for insects and rodents to breed. Even if you don't have a basement water sitting around a slab on grade brings insects of all types. Downspouts should extend at least six feet. Additionally the grading around a structure should have enough of a slope so rain water can drain away. Also make sure gutters are clean, free of leaves and dirt, and properly in place.


Finally let's take a look a shelter.  Outdoors, rodents have to move about undercover, that's because they're constantly hunted by predators like birds and cats. Keeping grass cut low and eliminating weeds will help keeps rodents at bay. Low cut grass and a weed free perimeter makes them easily seen by predators and so will discourage them from coming around the property. Keeping fire wood away from the exterior walls will help reduce termite and carpenter ant infestation. It's wise to keep the perimeter of the structure as dry as possible, so remove items that will create a cover for insects and that holds moisture.

Cutting vegetation back at least one foot away from the structure will also keep rodents and insects from invading your home or business.



If vegetation is allowed to grow on the building it will only invite both insects and rodents. The pictures to the right and left are great examples of  maintenance that was neglected at this house. As a result of this over growth mice, bugs, mosquitoes and mold growth was found both inside and outside the house creating an unhealthy environment. Repairing doors, screens, windows, attic louvers, thresholds and cracks on the exterior walls will help keep unwanted guess away.

 Be aware of wood mulch. Wood mulch looks nice and enhances the appearance of  plant beds. It's also great for plants as wood mulch retains moisture to the plants roots, thus reducing the need for watering, but it also attracts wood destroying insects. Having wood mulch treated with Eco friendly products monthly helps reduce wood destroying insect infestation.




Keeping pest away takes a little time and effort. If you want to keep spring and summer pest from taking over your home or business then spring maintenance is not an option. Your local pest control professional will also be happy to give you tips and help with any pest control needs or concerns you may have. If you want to learn more on outside maintenance or exterior home inspections visit www,closerlookpi.com













Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Management of Blow/Bottle Flies


                                                                     


Blow flies and Bottle flies are common out door/indoor pest. The blue bottle fly is slightly larger than the house fly and is commonly seen in early spring. The green bottle fly which is about twice the size of the house fly is usually seen during the summer months. Both flies breed in decaying flesh such as rodents, animal waste, and garbage. Both flies are comparable to the house fly in that they present similar health hazards as the house fly.

Some of the diseases they carry can affect both humans and animals such as intestinal tract problems like Escherichia coli (Migula) and Shigella dysenteriae (shiga) which cause diarrhea and Vibrio comma which causes cholera. They also carry non - intestinal diseases tuberculosis.

                                                                   Management/Treatment

 If found out doors keep lids on garage cans sealed. Regularly clean and dry the interior of garbage cans to eliminate breeding. Remove any excrement around the property. Keep screens to doors, windows and vents in good repair. If found indoors check attic spaces, chimneys, dryer vents and other voids for carcasses of bats, raccoon, mice and birds. If voids are not accessible call a pest control professional who will then drill holes into voids and apply an insecticide which is effective in eliminating these disease carrying pest.