Archive for Ants

What are some common stinging insects?

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Insects can be more than a nuisance. Some species are genuine health hazards, and an infestation will ruin your garden, transmit diseases to your children and even kill your household pets. Here are just a few common stinging insects that you should beware for the protection of you and your family.

Bees

No one likes a bee sting, but they can turn downright deadly if the recipient goes into anaphylactic shock. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to hornets, honeybees and bumblebees, all of which have been known to sting if disturbed or provoked. They may look sweet on Hallmark cards, but they represent a big risk if allowed to build hives in your yard.

Wasps

Wasps aren’t bees, but their stings are just as painful. Take precautions when trying to rid yourself of nests or infestations. It’s a common misconception that wasps can only sting once before they die, so even a small swarm can send you to the hospital with dozens of stings.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can carry everything from malaria to the West Nile virus. They’re also extremely difficult to eliminate on your own; there’s only so much that bug lights can do. You’ll need to look into professional-grade insect repellants and misting systems if you truly want to keep your property bloodsucker-free.

Asp Caterpillars

Not all caterpillars are cute and fuzzy. The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) considers the asp caterpillar to be one of the most toxic insects alive, and their venomous hairs can cause a painful and even debilitating sting when they come in contact with human skin.

Fleas and Ticks

While not technically stinging insects, fleas and ticks operate by attaching their suckers to warm-blooded animals, and the results can produce the same effects as stings. You’ll need to be careful when it comes to brushing Fido. Disease-carrying insects can have devastating consequences for their hosts.

Fire Ants

Fire ants inject a venom into the skin of their victims. While a single sting might only cause itchiness or discomfort, people are rarely stung by just one fire ant, so the effects are usually a little more severe. They can be a particular concern among young children.

Protection

If you’re serious about keeping your family safe, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

What’s so crazy about the crazy ant?

220px-Paratrechina_longicornis_casent0134863_profile_1Have you ever wondered why it is called a crazy ant? It is actually named the Raspberry or tawny crazy ant and got its moniker from its erratic and quick movements. This rough and tumble ant has formic acid that covers its body and works as an antidote to the venom of the fire ant. Pretty cool, huh? Actually this is even cooler, crazy ant colonies are sometimes found living within a fire ant mound. Another thing that sets these ants apart is the fact that the colony has multiple queens instead of a single one like other types of ants. All of these peculiarities (or cool things) add up to one crazy ant.

It was difficult classifying the crazy ant. It was not until 2012 that this ant got its official classification as the Nylanderia fulva. This ant was the first insect to show the ability to negate the venom of another insect. Covered in brownish and red hairs, this ant is smaller than a fire ant at 3.2 millimeters. Unlike other ants, these do not create nests or mounds, preferring to make their home under rocks or inside already existing mounds. These ants gravitate towards a warm and moist area like coastal locations. They tend to eat small insects and enjoy sweet plants.

The tawny crazy ant is a native of South and Central America, especially the Columbia urban area and Argentina. They have been slowly making their way north into the southeastern United States. They were first documented in Texas in 1938. However in 2002, a local Texas exterminator noticed that the rate of migration into the United States was increasing at a rapid rate. These crazy ants make their home from Texas to Georgia without a sign that their spread is slowing. They are beginning to arrive in the North Carolina area, so keep an eye on your yard for any ants moving erratically.

Dealing with the tawny crazy ant has proved to problematic for the people of the southeast. This stems mainly from the fact that these ants are not attracted to normal baits. Also, because each colony has multiple queens, it is more difficult to exterminate them. All of the queens need to die in order for the treatment to be effective. Over the counter pesticides have little to no effect on these sturdy ants.

If you find that you have a colony of crazy ants living on your property, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratrechina

Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Is a Borax and Sugar Solution Effective Against Ants in the Kitchen?

1280px-Modern_KitchenAnts invading your kitchen is a frustrating experience, leaving your pantry and counter items vulnerable to these hungry insects. If ants are able to access your kitchen, you’ll soon have a steady trail working its way through crevices and doorways. Spraying pesticides around the kitchen is harmful to the entire household so several home remedies have been concocted over the years. By mixing borax and sugar together, you have an effective weapon against ant invasions.

Ant Trail Science

There are thousands of ants in just one colony, making it crucial to find a food source nearby. Ants don’t send out all their members in search of food, but actually appoint scouts to survey the area. If you see one or two ants, it’s important to eradicate them immediately. They are setting odor trails, similar to leaving bread crumbs on the ground to find your way out of a forest. If they find food, the odor trails connect the entire colony to your kitchen.

Sweet And Deadly

Sugar and borax work well together because the solution mixes an attractant with a toxicant. The sugar brings the ants to the solution, encouraging them to stay away from other kitchen temptations. They feed on the sugar and consume the borax at the same time. Although the borax doesn’t work immediately like a spray pesticide, the ants soon die and cut off the odor trail.

Correct Application

This solution turns into a wet paste when initially mixed. Place it on cardstock or cardboard, locating it on the ground and away from kitchen food sources. Keep an eye on the solution because it does dry up within a day or two. Replace it as needed, especially if many ants are foraging from it. Keep children and pets away from the mixture as well.

Perfect For Kitchen

A borax and sugar solution is well-suited to the kitchen environment because it kills off the ants before they return to the colony. If you tried to use this control strategy with a colony, the borax wouldn’t reach the majority of ants fast enough to be effective. You can keep an eye on the solution as well to see the eradication effort in action with a kitchen application.

With diligent observation and a steady solution supply, your ants will find another region to explore. Unfortunately, some infestations are too big, even for a nifty home remedy. For situations out of your control, contact a pest control professional.

For any concerns or questions about ants in the North Carolina area, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. Keep those ants out of the kitchen for healthy meals every day. 

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Kitchen#mediaviewer/File:Modern_Kitchen.jpg

Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Does Chalk Actually Deter Ants?

Chalks and AntsMost people have witnessed a skillfully-executed home invasion conducted by ants. The small, yet intelligent creatures may be found in the kitchen near trash cans, sugar, and any other potential food source. Though it seems like ants can invade overnight, many people struggle much longer to get rid of the insects. One common remedy that is often used to deter ants is drawing a line around entry points using chalk. While many have successfully prevented ants from returning to their homes by using chalk, there is much debate regarding the reason this remedy actually works.

Some people argue that it is the talcum powder content of regular classroom or sidewalk chalk that keeps ants at bay by interfering with the insects’ sense of touch. Based on this reasoning, a line of baby powder can be substituted for chalk if chalk is unavailable. Others suggest that chalk or any sort of powdery line interferes with the chemical trails ants leave behind. According to this theory, ants that encounter a chalky, powdery line while following the chemical trail become confused and no longer have a clear path to follow into a person’s home. Still others argue that chalk that is made of the crushed shells of marine animals. The crushed shells contain calcium carbonate, which is believed by some to be a natural ant repellent.

It is important that consumers not confuse the classroom or sidewalk chalk remedy with ant chalk, also known as “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” or Chinese chalk. Unlike common chalk that is used by teachers and children, ant chalk is a chemical insecticide that simply resembles classroom or sidewalk chalk. Consumers should avoid purchasing this product as it has been found that the product’s labels often do not comply with lead content regulations, and ant chalk has been alleged in cases of child poisoning.

While the exact reasoning may still be unclear, many people find drawing a chalk line to be an effective, natural way to deter ants. Chalk offers the benefit of being safe for animals and small children, and it is easy to clean up. However, if repeated attempts to use chalk as a barrier against ants fail, it is best to enlist the services of a qualified pest control company to assess the situation and deliver an effective solution.

When using any type of at home remedy such as chalk, keep in mind any pets and small children that you may have. Either keep the pets and children away from the chalk or take precautions to make sure they cannot be within reach of it around the house.

For professional help with your ant infestation calls Clegg’s today at 1-888-MR-CLEGG or contact us online.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lone_Chalk_Stick.JPG