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Protect properties against tawny crazy ants
Fire ants have long been a threat in the southern United States, but another aggressive ant species known as the tawny crazy ant is taking over in many areas of the region. These ants can invade structures in extraordinary numbers and, Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida is advising homeowners to take preventative steps to protect their properties from infestations.
Unlike fire ants, crazy ants don’t sting, but they can become a nuisance once inside. They are highly adaptable, nest everywhere and are even known to damage electrical equipment, so it is important for homeowners to take steps to curb their activity.
Crazy ants enter homes in the autumn or after rainfall because both conditions reduce their supply of honeydew. Once inside, crazy ants usually nest underneath floors or in wall voids. Outdoors, their nests are commonly found in soil under objects or next to foundations.
To prevent crazy ants from gaining access to a structure, experts Hulett Environmental
- Trim vegetation away from the home to prevent pathways inside.
- Seal all cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including around doors and windows.
- Clean up food spills and other potential attractants as soon as possible.
- If an infestation is suspected, contact a licensed pest professional to treat the problem.
n a village on the outskirts if An Kang, China, a little girl, just 18-months-old, is dressed head-to-toe in clothing far too hot for the mild fall weather. Her mother removes one of her tiny socks and a still-gaping wound is revealed. An Asian Hornet stung the little girl there one month ago, releasing venom so potent multiple stings can cause kidney failure and death.
It was the only place her flesh was exposed, her mother explained. She gestures over the foot and up the shin, describing how swollen her daughter’s leg became. She was lucky to be stung just once, and survived. So now the girl’s parents make sure she wears socks. It is their best, and their only, defense.
An Kang is ground zero for the horrifying recent outbreak of Asian Hornet, or Giant Asian Hornet as the larger species is known, attacks on humans. Government figures put the death toll at 42 and the number of injured at 1,600. But officials at An Kang tell ABC News the actual number is much higher.
“These hornets have been killing people for some time,” said a city official who requested anonymity, “This year, just in this district more than 20 people have been killed. The number should be a lot higher than that. The number is shocking.”
The Asian Hornet, or Vespa Mandarinia, can grow to be thumb-sized. It is capable of flying at speeds of up to 25 mph and a distance of 50 miles. Their stingers carry a lethal mix of foreign protein that when mixed in the human bloodstream can cause sepsis. Without proper treatment, such as dialysis, a victim will die.
The insect’s existence in An Kang is not new. Nor is this the first time humans have been attacked. For years the Asian Hornet has lived among inhabitants here and elsewhere across East Asia. Parts of Japan in particular have been home to significant populations for years. But they have never attacked like they are attacking now.
Ren Chengan, 28, has lived on the outskirts of An Kang all his life. He remembers seeing hornets quite regularly while playing in the mountainside forest and along the riverbanks as a young boy. When he was around 8, he remembers, he was stung on the back of his head but suffered only minor swelling. Today, his family watches his young niece very carefully. Ren says it is no longer safe for children to play so freely.
During his youth, his family farmed a small piece of land. Eventually, with China’s rise, he says government officials instructed his family to stop farming and open a restaurant to cater to tourists. Ren believes the disruption in the co-existence of his family’s old way of life and the ecosystem of the forest has contributed to the outbreak in hornet attacks.
“If you didn’t bother them,” he says, “they would not bother you.”
Ren points out a hive across the river. It is high in a tree and on a mountain slope, far enough from the road so that passersby do not come close to it. It is possible to see a small swarm of hornets flying above it, but Ren is nonplussed. He guesses it contains up to a thousand of the killer insects.
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No home or apartment is safe. There is some kind of insect or pest invading your space including ants and termites. Dealing with harsh solutions can harm you, your family and the environment. You know not to let them take over, so take back your home by containing or eliminating the threat altogether. Here are some environmentally responsible ways to handle ants and termites with Pest Control in West Palm Beach.
Along with being a nuisance the ant will either eat your food or eat the structure of the home. The ant comes from a colony and if the colony is threatened it will not hesitate to bite back. However, there are responsible and environmental ways to contain the situation.
- Seal cracks: Cracks and other crevices that ants enter from the outside should be sealed with caulk.
- Remove food: Remove access to sugary foods and other foods by placing foods in an ant-proof container. Clean up food spills on the floor with a vacuum or broom. Clean dishes, pots and pans in the sink.
- Trees: Cut limbs and branches of trees that hang over the home. Ants use this as a route to enter the home.
- Household solutions: There are plenty of things around the home that will deal with ants. Some examples are vinegar, dishwashing liquid, cinnamon and baby powder. Clean the home with vinegar or dishwashing liquid. Sprinkle baby powder or cinnamon on the ant or ant colony. Ants don’t like the smell of either and will not come back.
Termites eat away at wood until your home is destroyed. There are plenty of responsible methods you can use to control the situation.
- Seal gaps: Some termites like soil and water while the other like small cracks in wood. Remove access to both. Sweep soil off porches and destroy soil that’s shaped like a mud tube around the home. Don’t use mulch as it attracts termites. Fix moisture problems in crawlspaces, basement areas, the roof and the foundation of the home. Water plumbing, gutters and HVAC condensation must be fixed and fully dry. In addition seal off water and gas lines so they won’t enter the home. Seal cracks, joints and crevices.
- Removal: Inspect lumber for termites before use in indoor or outdoor projects. Remove the infected ones. Inspect trees and firewood for termites and remove those. Place them in the trash can. Never bury them underground. Pay special attention to wood shingles and the area around it.
- Paint: Painting wood can seal cracks in wood so termites won’t get inside.
- Bug screens: Add bug screens over every vents in the home.
Be sure to add Hulett to the list of environmentally responsible ways to remove ants and termites. We will inspect the home for termites using techniques like our No Tent Termite Control for Drywood termites and Liquid Defense Termidor treatment for Subterranean termites. Call us at 866-611-2847 and let us tackle the pest or contact us for more information on our services.
Although these ants usually nest outside, they will forage indoors in large numbers in cooler temperatures or after rainfall. Inside, crazy ants usually nest underneath floors or carpeting, inside wall voids and soffits.
Crazy ants can become a problem when they infest a home or another structure for a couple of reasons:
- Extremely large colonies resulting in massive infestations which can be difficult to treat, often requiring multiple treatments. Colonies may grow to about 1 million.
- These ants also have an odd propensity to nest in electrical boxes and around electrical equipment, causing short – outs and electrical equipment failure.
Hulett Environmental offers the following prevention tips for homeowners to help guard against termites:
- Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes and rotting wood.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
- Divert water away from the home through properly functioning downspouts and gutters.
For more information on termites, please visit www.bugs.com