Category Archives: Ants

Keeping Your Summer Cookout Pest-Free

DSC_2474gSummer gatherings are one of the highlights of the warm months, but they are best done without the addition of creepy, crawly uninvited guests.  Insects such as mosquitoes can cause annoying bites and can potentially transmit dangerous diseases and stinging insects can pose a threat to guests with allergies.

Following the tips below will help keep your outdoor cookout pest-free and allow you to sit back and enjoy your gathering time.

Pre-Cookout Yard Inspection and Clean-Up

Inspect your yard for any potential insect problems such as ant hills or stinging insect nests. Call a professional pest management company if needed.

Mow the grass the day before a cookout can help reduce harborage for insects hiding in taller grass, such as ticks.

Drain any standing water sources to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

Pick up leaves, sticks and any fallen fruit that may attract insects from your yard and out of your gutters.

Make sure trash is properly stored in a covered container.

During the Cookout

Have on hand an EPA approved repellent with DEET to ward off mosquitoes.

Remind guests (even make a sign) to close doors tightly when entering and exiting your home to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside.

If you’re attending a cookout, have a change of clothes along. If the weather allows for it, long sleeves and long pants will protect from bites from mosquitoes.

Avoid wearing perfumes or fragrances that will attract insects.

Have plastic cups available for use. Beverage cans and bottles are attractants for stinging insects.

Keep food tightly sealed and covered and/or keep food in sealed coolers.

Keep food prep areas clean and immediately wipe up any spills. Ants and flies are especially attracted to leftover food remnants.

Keep trash in covered receptacles. Keep trashcans away from main gathering areas.

Use fans to create a breeze that will keep insects away.

 

If you’re in need of professional assistance with an insect issue, give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Ants, Flies, Fruit Fly, Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Stinging Insects, Ticks, Uncategorized

Spring Shall Bring Those Pesty, Buzzy Things

After months of shivering, we embrace spring and the warmer breezes, but maybe not everything that blows in with the season. Pest invaders are pretty quick to get moving once the temperatures rise. Some insects you’re sure to see early on include: Boxelder bugs, Asian ladybeetles, ticks, ants and mosquitoes.

According to NPMA’s Bug Barometer, ticks and mosquitoes (along with ants) will be on the rise in numbers this year. We offer a Mosquito program that can aid in reducing numbers of both pests, while protecting your yard and family from these dangerous nuisances.

Three female Blacklegged ticks

Three female Blacklegged ticks-NPMA

Ticks

Ticks are not insects. Ticks are actually arachnids like spiders, scorpions and mites. Unlike insects, all members of this group have 4 pairs of legs as adults, and haven’t any antennae. Ticks do not fly or jump. They will crawl onto grass or brush until they find a host to crawl up and attach to.   It is thought that ticks also have the ability to wait on higher ground and drop onto a host. Ticks are in need blood to survive. They will bury themselves deep within a host and can stay attached for days to eat.  A quick tick check after being outdoors and a prompt removal of a tick is important. Ticks transmit a wide array of disease-causing microbes, with Lyme disease as the highest reported tick-borne illness in Wisconsin.

  • To prevent tick encounters avoid known tick-infested areas. When you are outdoors, keep to the center on cleared walkways and trails and try to avoid brushing up against vegetation and tall grass.
  • Wear protective and lighter-colored clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes when you think you may be encountering a tick-infested area. As an added extra ounce of protection, tuck your pants into your socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing. The CDC recommends using insect repellent with at least 20% DEET if you plan to be in a tick infested area. Plan to do a tick check every couple of hours on yourself and your loved ones, and YES, check those furry loved ones too!
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Mosquito

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have been labeled as one of the deadliest killers in the world. Mosquitoes like to breed in stagnant water and have an extremely fast life cycle, which allows for quick growth in population. Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and, of course, West Nile virus.

  • To prevent mosquito populations to grow: Eliminate sources of standing water. Water is breeding ground for Mosquitoes. Areas you may not think of as a source: Birdbaths, grill covers, baby pools and flowerpots
  • Screen all windows and doors, patch any holes in screens
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk hours when Mosquito activity is highest
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Use a fan at outdoor gatherings to keep Mosquitoes at bay

 

Our Mosquito Program will give you protection all season long for only $380.00*. Contact our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800 for more information or to sign up for this beneficial program that will give you and your family Peace of Mind.

 

*Price is for 1 acre or less. See additional details on our Website.

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Filed under Ants, Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Ticks, Uncategorized

Ant Attractants

ANTAnts can be frustrating to deal with when they are invading your living space, especially when they are marching through food areas. The best form of action is to prevent a situation from ever happening by eliminating potential attractants.

So what are some aspects of your home that could be attracting ants? Let’s investigate!

Ants can also be found in bedrooms, inside walls, in living rooms and basements and even in air conditioning and heating units, but kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most vulnerable locations for ants, so we will concentrate on those rooms.

Ant Attractants in the Kitchen

  • Left over crumbs and spills
  • Grease spills on the counter-tops and floors
  • Sweet staples such as syrup, honey (especially sticky bottles) and sugar left out on counter-tops
  • Fruit bowls-Over ripe fruit is an ant attractant
  • Empty juice and soda containers
  • Water sources

Ant Attractants in the Bathroom

Ants, especially carpenter ants, are drawn to areas with excess moisture; this makes bathrooms an attractive place for infestation.

  • Leaking sinks, tubs, toilets and plumbing
  • Open shampoo, lotion and soap containers

Ways to Reduce the Chance of an Ant Infestation  

  • Clean up food messes. If you’re lax about cleaning up in the kitchen, you may be supplying ants with a food source.
  • Rinse out containers and take the trash out regularly
  • Check and repair the sinks, tubs, toilets, plumbing for water buildup and plumbing leaks
  • Seal cracks and crevices, repair screens on doors and windows and replace weather-stripping to prevent ants from entering your home
  • Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home

Ant colonies can be large so it may be best to contact a licensed pest management professional if you think you have an ant issue.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to inspect and treat ants. Call us at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  and check out our current specials while you’re there!

 

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Filed under Ants, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized

Pest-Free Spring To-Do List

Spring 1As the warmer weather moves in, we all spring into action, including those pesky, unwanted intruders!

If you’re looking for a way to prevent some of those intruders from entering your home, try hitting some or even ALL of our points on our Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist below and have a happy and hopefully pest-free spring season!

 

Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist

  • Check your roof (or hire a professional) for any leaks
  • Sweep up cobwebs and clean out nooks and crannies where spiders and other insects may dwell
  • Repair any screen damage before opening those windows and screen doors to let in that spring air (You probably don’t want to let insects in as well!)
  • Check for gaps around windows and doors
  • Clear and replace old mulch
  • Check for evidence of moisture or condensation around plumbing or windows
  • Make sure garbage containers are properly sealed and stored
  • Clear old shrubbery away from the home
  • Clean out gutters
  • Clean out pantries and around appliances in the kitchen to pick up any food debris
  • Check to make sure pet food is stored in sealed containers
  • Clean out any unneeded clutter in storage areas where pests can hide
  • Check your yard and eliminate sources of standing water
  • Keep moisture down by making use of a dehumidifier in your basement
  • Call your preferred pest management company to inspect for any potential problems

 

Safeway Pest Management can inspect and locate areas that could potentially cause a pest problem. We offer one time service options, but also offer monthly, bi-monthly and seasonal options for regular maintenance of your home and business. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at www.safewaypest.net to get a free quote!

 

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Filed under Ants, Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Flies, Fruit Fly, Mosquito, Pantry Pests, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Spiders, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized

Where do Insects Go in the Winter and What Makes Them Emerge Early?

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Image by: Danielle Fornal

Summer has insects buzzing all around us, but as the chill of winter sets in, suddenly, like magic, these insects disappear.

The mystical answer as to the fate of insects in the winter isn’t so simple. Some survive as eggs, larvae or pupae, while others endure the winter as full-grown adults.

Some, like dragonflies and butterflies will spread their wings and migrate south, much like many birds do.

Some insects find different types of shelters to survive the cold temperatures, such as wall voids in homes or some burrow deep into the soil to escape the cold.

Some, such as the Emerald Ash Borer, enter a state of hibernation, called diapause, which is a semi-frozen state and they stay that way until they thaw out in the spring.

Many insects actually do die out in the winter, but leave behind eggs, which brings about a whole new generation in the springtime.

Sometimes, even in the early months of the year, we see a pleasant (but typically temporary) warm up in our temperatures. This slight rise in temperature can make some insects emerge from their hiding places. Insects such as spiders, ants and even box elder bugs may be suddenly seen in indoor dwellings. These are not necessarily new infestations being made, but more likely insects emerging from the previous season.

Can we still treat in the winter? Of course! We can treat the problem areas now and use preventative treatments and techniques to safeguard your home for when spring does finally arrive and other insects emerge.

Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.

Check out current specials on our website or on our facebook page at: Safeway Pest Management-Facebook

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Filed under Ants, Box Elder Bugs, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects

The Destructive Carpenter Ant

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Image by: NPMA

“What are these big, black ants in my home?”

A common inquiry we hear our clients ask, especially in late winter and early spring.

The answer is typically the carpenter ant.

Seeing these ants around your home can mean a few things. It could mean that there could be a colony outdoors that has carpenter ants foraging for food; in fact carpenter ants can forage over 100 yards from their nests to find food. Another option could be that a larger colony has split to form a satellite colony indoors, or it could just mean that you may have a colony based within your home. A good rule to use is if you are only seeing ants indoors and can’t find any outdoors, there’s a good chance the nesting ground is in your home.

Carpenter ants tend to nest in wood that has been softened by decay or moisture. This wood may be a hollowed out tree in your yard, or the nesting ground could be found in your home such as a wall or door void, or could be in a moisture-rich area such as a bathroom. Nesting colonies can cause structural damage within your home as carpenter ants have the ability to make galleries in wood. You may see a sawdust type material around hollowed window holes, these shavings are called frass. You may also see evidence of dead insects. Sometimes if a nest is large enough, it can be heard if inside a wall void.

There are a few different varieties of carpenter ants and they can be dark brown to black, or a red and black in color, and can be anywhere from 1/8”-3/4” in size.

A carpenter ant colony in a structure can live up to 20 years and have as many as 10,000 individuals making up the colony.

Carpenter ants can be difficult to eradicate and many times require professional assistance.

Prevention techniques include clearing out and/or replacing damaged or decayed wood and eliminating sources of moisture.

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your carpenter or other ant problem. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 in Muskego, 262-354-3444 in Oconomowoc or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.

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Filed under Ants, Pest Prevention, Wood Destroying Insects

Staff Picks: Favorite Pest-Related Movies

With Ant Man presently playing in theaters, our Safeway staff decided that they wanted to weigh in on their all time favorite pest-related movie. What’s yours?

MouseHunt (1997)  Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Sal-Owner and President

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 Joe’s Apartment (1996)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Brian-Supervisor and Art-Pest Specialist

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Starship Troopers (1997)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Josh-Service Manager

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A Bug’s Life (1998)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Courtney-Office Manager

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Antz (1998)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Dana-Route Coordinator and Ben-Pest Specialist

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Big Ass Spider (2013)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: John F.-Pest Specialist

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The Birds (1963)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Jerry-Pest Specialist

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The Fly (1986)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Rick-Pest Specialist

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Wasp Woman (1959)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: Shane-Pest Specialist

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The Swarm (1978)   Favorite Pest Related Movie of: John W.-Pest Specialist

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Filed under Ants, Rodents, Spiders, Stinging Insects