Tag Archives: ants

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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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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Pharaoh Ants, Big Name, Bigger Problem

There are some insects which are capable of surviving, and even causing an incredible nuisance, even in the winter. Pharaoh ants are one of these insects.

Pharaoh ants are very tiny ants, they are about 2 mm long (or 1/16th “). The ants are light yellow to reddish brown in color with red and black markings on the abdomen. Interestingly enough, their thorax hasn’t any spine.

Pharaoh ants take advantage of our artificial heating indoors to survive the winter. Infestations commonly occur in food service or unsanitary areas, although nesting will be in well-protected and hidden areas throughout a structure. Pharaoh ants can be found outdoors during warmer months in garden, patio or lawn areas.

Pharaoh ants, which have also been referred to as “sugar ants”, eat many types of foods and other insects, but especially prefer sweets, greases and meats. These trail-making ants will be found foraging through unsanitary places and/or pet food areas quite often looking for food.

The most obvious signs of a Pharaoh ant infestation are simply witnessing the small workers as they forage along surfaces; they will appear as trails in motion.

Medical facilities are of a heightened concern with pharaoh ants, as the ants can spread diseases such as salmonella, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and more, and contaminate sterile equipment and rooms. Because Pharaoh ants have a well-known knack for “getting into” things, they can typically transmit multiple pathogenic pathogens to patients.

Pharaoh ants can build nests in wall and cabinet voids, behind baseboards, refrigerator insulation, the hollows of curtain rods, the folds of clothes, boxes of food, sheets and paper and other quiet, dark spaces.

Pharaoh ants have multiple queens and are able to move their colonies from place to place when disturbed. A colony of Pharaoh ants will scatter if a toxic substance disturbs it, creating multiple problems and colonies where before there had been only one.

Pharaoh ants rarely cause damage to buildings, although they can be a nuisance since nests can be difficult to eliminate.

Pharaoh Ant Prevention Tips:

  • Keep pet and human food in stored containers.
  • Daily wash dishes (food stained dishes can be a food source).
  • Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Keep tight-fitting lids on garbage containers.
  • Avoid using ant and bug spray as it can cause the nests to split and spread the infestation out.
  • Pharaoh ants are a difficult pest to control, it is best to find a professional to help.

Safeway Pest Management’s pest specialists are licensed, trained and knowledgeable about Pharaoh and other ant problems. Call us now for a free quote at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at http://www.safewaypest.net.

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The Excavating Carpenter Ant

With more than 700 species of ants in the world, it’s no surprise that ants rank as one of the top nuisance pests in the United States.

One type of ant that can cause a problem in a structure is the Carpenter ant.

A Carpenter ant infestation usually starts by ants finding their way into a structure via cracks around doors and windows or through holes for wires. You may also find them traveling overhead along tree limbs or wires that touch a structure.

Contrary to popular belief, Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but instead excavate wood in order to build their nests. This excavating results in tunnels being built inside the wood. Usually the initial wood chosen is wet, and or damaged by mold, but the ants will continue to branch out and build smooth tunnels throughout any wood, damaged or undamaged, throughout a structure.

Carpenter ants are large, from one-quarter inch to up to three-quarters inch for a queen. They are usually red to black in color.

The Carpenter ant requires a water source, so to prevent an infestation, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches shrubbery cut back and away from the structure. Firewood should also be stored away from the structure. Lastly, check and seal up any cracks or entry points to keep Carpenter ants from creating a problem and future damage to your home or business.

If you think you may have a Carpenter ant problem, it’s best to call a professional for assistance.

We treat many species of ants, including the Carpenter ant. For a free estimate and knowledgeable answers, please call us at 262-679-4422 or toll free at 800-956-0800. You can also email us at safeway@safewaypest.net or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net .

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The Ants go Marching One by One…

You probably aren’t “hurrah-ing”, as the old rhyme states, if you’re dealing with an ant problem.

Ants tend to be one of the first insects to emerge in the spring. It does not take ants long to build a vast community and invade human space. Ants can be destructive, intrusive and many will hunt out and find food sources provided by humans.

Ants, although a nuisance, have some interesting facts attached to their species. For instance; the largest colony ever found was over 3750 miles wide. Ants are also known as one of the world’s strongest creatures in relation to their size.

There are over 12,000 different species of Ant, but below are the most common ants you will find in and around Wisconsin homes and businesses.

Field Ant

1/8”-¼” long Color: Black, red or combination of colors

Field Ants feed on honeydew, nectar, insects and household sweets.

You can find Field Ants on trunk trails, not likely to forage indoors; if they do then it is singly.

Field Ants nest outdoors, usually near trees, sidewalks, rocks, fences and foundations.

 

Pavement Ant

 1/10 to 1/8 inch (2-3mm) Color: Brown to black

Pavement ants feed on a variety of materials, including live and dead insects, honeydew from aphids, meats, grease, etc. They often enter houses looking for food. They may become numerous in a short period of time in a kitchen or outside on a patio.

Pavement Ants usually nest under stones, concrete slabs, at the edge of pavements, and in houses in crevices in woodwork and masonry.

 

Pharaoh Ant

Body length 1/12 to 1/16 inch long Color: Body coloration varies from golden yellow to reddish-brown

Pharaoh Ants feed on sweets (jelly, sugar, honey, etc.), cakes and breads, and greasy or fatty foods

Pharaoh Ants nest near sources of food and/or water, such as in wall voids. The size of the colony tends to be large but can vary from a few dozen to several thousand or even several hundred thousand individuals.

 

Thief Ant

Workers are all the same size, tiny, 1/32-inch long Color: Yellow to light brown with very small eyes

Thief Ants feed on grease and greasy foods, proteins, dead insects, and even dead rodents; may sometimes feed on sweets. They will often steal food and ant larvae from nests of other ants.

Thief Ants travel in set trails inside cabinets, on walls, along baseboards, and along branches of trees and shrubs and they may travel from one room to another by traveling on electrical wires; may be seen in electrical outlets.

Thief Ants are also small enough to forage into packaged foods.

 

Carpenter Ant 

Adults vary in length: Minor worker: ¼ inch (6 mm) Major worker: ½ inch (12 mm) Color: Black, red, or a combination

Carpenter ants feed on sources of protein and sugar. Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects. They are also very attracted to honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. Aphids and scales feed on trees, shrubs, and other plants. Indoors, carpenter ants feed on meats, as well as syrup, honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood. They remove wood as they create galleries and tunnels.

 

Carpenter Ants generally nest outdoors- indoor nests may be satellite colonies. Carpenter ants nest in moist wood including rotting trees, tree roots, tree stumps, and logs or boards lying on or buried in the ground. They can also nest in moist or decayed wood inside buildings.

 

Many other species exist in Wisconsin. If you are having an ant problem, it’s best to contact a licensed pest management company to assess the situation and assist in eradication.

Safeway Pest Management is licensed, certified and knowledgeable in the treatment of ant species in Wisconsin. If you have an ant problem, please call our office at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800.

You can also visit our website at http://www.safewaypest.net

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