Ok, no more complaining about the heat…only makes it worse! Even the technicians are telling me that the only bugs venturing out are the ants…Fire Ants. Seriously, be careful in this heat and please allow your service technicians at little extra time to complete their work.

The biggest bug problems we have been hearing about are the fire ants, carpenter ants, little black ants, tree roaches, fleas, mosquitoes and wasps/bees. Yep, that’s just about all of the insects you are dealing with at this time. However, since George, the editor, will not allow me unlimited pages to address all of the insects in detail I will have to be selective.

Let’s start with Fleas. For some reason, the fleas have been absolutely “hopping” this year. Should you have pets, you really need to consider having them dipped and then utilizing an approved flea/tick control product. Flea control begins with the source of food for the insect…the pet. Should you experience a flea problem on the inside of your home you can attempt to resolve yourself, but try to find a product that has Precor. Additionally, do not forget about the exterior lawn and shrub areas. These areas also need to be treated at the same time. For the best results you need to coordinate the interior, exterior, and pet bath to occur around the same day, if possible. Before you allow your pet to re-enter the home, you should aggressively vacuum several times and discard the bag or clean the reservoir. If you elect to perform this service yourself, please read all product labels and adhere to the retreatment time frame. The flea cycle is 21 days, so it is very important to be consistent with your product applications in order to break this cycle. If you do not have a pet and you are experiencing a flea problem, then you probably have an unwanted rodent or animal taking up shop in your home. If this is the case, you have to have the animal removed and the entry point sealed prior to treating for the fleas.

Ok, what about all of these ants? Well, the first question is what type of ant? Proper identification is the first step in preparing to treat. The easiest ant to get rid of in your home (remember, I said IN your home, not in the lawn) is the fire ant. Locating the entry point and treating that particular area can stop their activity. However, be prepared to treat the entire exterior perimeter or they will simply move a couple of feet down and re-enter. The Little Black Ant, (that’s the actual name) is becoming a true problem for property owners. Though they do not destroy the property, they are hard to eliminate and I would not suggest doing-it-yourself. You can try liquid Terro, but keep it fresh. Another ant that is difficult to control yourself is the carpenter ant and, unlike the Little Black Ant, they do damage our properties. We have two types of Carpenter Ants. One is all black and 3/8 to 5/8 inch long and the other is red and black and about ½ inch long. Either ant if seen on or in your home should be treated by a licensed pest control operator. These ants will often build satellite colonies in our homes. This means that their main colony is located somewhere outside in the landscaping or trees and they are establishing a secondary location in our homes. The first step when carpenter ants are seen in or on the home is to remove ALL limbs, branches, shrubs and/or vines that are in contact with the structure. You have to minimize the access points or they will simply find and alternative entry point, making total control almost impossible. Additionally, should the activity be inside the house, attic dusting with an approved product is highly recommended. So that you are not caught off guard, expect to pay $175 and up for a professional carpenter ant treatment.

Bee control is best left to the professionals. Should you locate a beehive or see hundreds of bees entering your home at one location, there are only two options: physical removal or chemical elimination. We recommend physical removal, as the Honey Bee is a beneficial insect and is declining in population. The option you choose depends on your own personal desire. Some people do not care about the bee population and some do. In either case, if the hive is located in your home, once the activity has ceased the area will need to be opened up so that the hive/comb can be removed and the area thoroughly cleaned. If the cleaning part of this process is not completed there is a very good opportunity that the bees will return and the honey/comb will begin to mildew creating an entirely different problem.

Until next time, if you’re tired of ”swatin, stompin and throwin” things at bugs…give us a call…we’ll Chase’em away. Should you have a particular insect question or problem email me at chasepestcontrol@consolidated.net and I will do my best to answer any question.