There are more than 700 species of ants in the United States. Some of the most common include argentine, carpenter, odorous house, pavement and red imported fire ants.
All ants are social insects that live in colonies. They can be identified by their three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. However, the biology and habits of each ant species is different and understanding these differences is necessary to effectively control an infestation.
It depends on the species, but ants are commonly attracted to the food in a kitchen, especially sweets and protein-containing substances. Ants are most often found on floors, countertops and in food items. Some species prefer to build nests in soil – such as landscaping – or cracks in concrete on your driveway, walkway or in your garage. Carpenter ants build nests in wood. Ants are typically found indoors the spring and summer months as they search for food.
Most species of ants are considered ‘nuisance pests,’ meaning that they don’t pose a significant threat to health or property, but are an annoyance when found indoors. In fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States.
Some species of ants, however, can pose threats to health and property. Carpenter ants, for example, excavate wood in order to build their nests, which can cause extensive damage to a structure. Fire ants, on the other hand, sting when threatened, resulting in painful welts that can be dangerous to allergic persons. These species should always be handled by a professional.
Regardless of the species all ants can contaminate food sources and small infestations can grow quickly, so any sign of an infestation should be dealt with promptly.
A trained and licensed pest professional is the best person to make a recommendation based on the proper identification of a particular ant species and the threats they could pose to health and property. Also, homeowners may have a preference as to which treatment is used, so it is important that they have a detailed conversation with their pest control company. The cost of the treatments can vary depending on the size of the infestation and the property being treated.
There are as many ways to control ants as there are species of ants! Different species eat different things – making it almost impossible to inspect a single area and control the ant population. The best strategy homeowners can employ when attempting to control ants is to clean, clean, clean. Wipe down counters, regularly remove garbage, clean up grease spills, rinse and remove empty soda cans or other recyclables and mop/sweep the floors. Homeowners should also keep food in sealed containers and keep pet food/water dishes clean. Outside the home, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water such as birdbaths or kiddie pools. Finally, seal cracks and holes around the home to close entry points.
A 12-centimeter-long stick insect that hadn’t been seen for 80 years was rediscovered in 2001. Only 24 individuals remained, so conservation became vitally important.
Today, there are over 9,000 of the stick insects, thanks to the conservation efforts at the Melbourne Zoo. However, they are still considered critically endangered by the IUCN.
More info: http://n.pr/17tGPm1
University of Florida researchers are still working on strategies for controlling crazy ants found so far in 20 Florida counties, but they’re offering some preliminary advice.
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Protect Your Family. Preserve the Planet. Eco-Effective Pest Control.
As individuals across the world make great strides to preserve our planet and increase consumer awareness for environmentally responsible initiatives, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is excited to offer the world’s largest and most credible green certification program for pest management professionals – GreenPro.
The GreenPro certification means that your pest management provider must comply with a multitude of qualifications to ensure that you receive a safe and effective service each time they arrive at your door.
GreenPro is the most widely recognized certification available to companies in the pest management industry.
- It has the most comprehensive standards of any available program.
- Requires companies that participate to submit to independent audits.
- Service technicians, salespersons and managers must be trained, tested and recertified.
In addition to green pest management service standards, participating companies are also evaluated on business operations, such as criminal background checks, reference checks, drug screening and more, prior to being able to participate in GreenPro.
It’s easy to go green…
When you are ready to hire a GreenPro company, it’s easy to get started. Just enter your zip code in the locator field at the top-right of the screen and know you’ve made the right decision for your family and the environment.
What is green pest management?
When hiring a GreenPro company for your pest management needs, understand that the technician sent to your account must meet tough standards to ensure that you receive an environmentally responsible service. This kind of service is frequently called integrated pest management (IPM), though GreenPro standards go beyond the requirements of traditional IPM. A GreenPro service includes:
- The company must first inspect and monitor the property.
- If the company finds a pest problem, it will first eliminate the sources of food, water and shelter that pests need to survive (for example, they may seal cracks, recommend the installation of screens or remove debris from the exterior of the building).
- If they need to use a pesticide, they will use products in a manner that minimizes any risk to people, pets or the environment.
- Before making a traditional pesticide application, they must first discuss it with you and obtain your consent.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM KEY TO SUCCESSFUL PEST CONTROL
Hulett Environmental discusses the importance of creating an integrated pest management (IPM) program
IPM is a process involving common sense methods and environmentally friendly solutions for controlling pests. The approach incorporates three basic steps: inspection, identification and treatment by a pest professional.
The goal of IPM is to stop pests before they invade homes. Developing an IPM program with a professional will give homeowners peace of mind that they will be protected against pest-related health and property threats.”
There are a few standard pest prevention protocols in every IPM program. Pest experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Hulett recommend the following techniques:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys, and keep tree shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
- Eliminate sources of moisture and keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Keep counters, floors and other surfaces clean and free of crumbs.
- Store food in plastic or glass containers with secure lids.
- Vacuum often.