If Christmas Lights indicate cooler weather, I’m ready to put mine up and see if it makes a difference.? At this point I’ll try anything. Heck, even politics is taking a third/fourth (sometimes a “fifth”..if you know what I mean) seat to the heat and lack of rain. Being outside isn’t for the faint at heart, even the “seasoned” professionals are struggling.

The other night there was a news segment specifically pertaining to the pests problems due to the heat and lack of rain. It seems as though many of us are experiencing more insects than we prefer. All I can say is keep up the barriers and be patient. When it’s hot and dry the insects are coming to your home looking for food, water and shelter…no different than you and I. If you have a chemical barrier around your home, they will come in contact with the active ingredient and ultimately die. Unfortunately, they may not die outside…they just may find you bathroom or kitchen before “kicking the bucket”. Only a contact killing agent gives you the knowledge of knowing they are immediately killed on the spot. It doesn’t help either when we are watering our lawns…attracting the insects from their “desert” homes into the land of “awe”. But I would much prefer to deal with the insects than replant my lawn and shrubs…it’s your choice. Imagine what it’s like for those homes and businesses that are not performing any type of pest management…yikes!!!

Gnats, Rover Ants & Crazy Rasberry Ants seem to be driving people crazy, including us. Gnats require a knockdown of the adult population and identification/inspection/treatment to the source. The source could be anywhere, but concentrate on potted plants; fruits; empty bottles/cans (especially wine bottles); leaks under sinks, behind the dishwasher, fridge, tubs or showers; make certain windows are closed and has a good seal. Interior lights on at night and a window that doesn’t close tight, will allow gnats to enter and no amount of product we apply will stop that activity. Once (if) the source is located, correct that problem and your gnat issue will be over.

As for Rover Ants, these guys are a plain pain in the “you know what”!! Sugar ants are easier to get rid of than Rover & Crazy Rasberry ants. Rover ants are little, black and fast moving. One day you see them on your counter and the next day they are gone, only to return a few days later. We have found that it takes a combination of two products applied to the exterior of the home and to the surrounding landscape to gain any type of control. Yes, some baits do work for interior assistance, but the exterior treatment is critical to the success.

The Crazy Rasberry ant runs with about 100 billion of his “buddies” back and forth between the nest and feeding source. They are all moving about Mach 5 and act like they have been feeding on energy drinks, with an LSD additive, while snacking on coffee beans. (How’s that non-technical description?) Rasberry Crazy Ants are 1/8 inch long, reddish-brown and crawl rapidly and erratically. Ant colonies occur under landscape objects like rocks, timbers, piles of debris, etc.; they do not build centralized nests, beds, or mounds. While their true effect on society has yet to be determined, what we do know is that this ant is infesting homes and businesses with no true sense of direction. Large numbers of ants have accumulated in electrical equipment, causing short circuits and equipment failures. Wildlife has been irritated causing animals to relocate due to their mass numbers covering the ground and even found in trees. Even the red imported fire ant vacates areas of heavy infestations. But, it’s been reported that homeowners prefer the fire ant over this rasberry crazy ant…go figure!!

Control of this ant is still undergoing research. Baits are not proving effective. Interior only treatments have not proven effective at controlling and/or eliminating activity. Products with active ingredients consisting of acephate, pyrethroid or fipronil are showing some degree of success, but must be reapplied frequently, until control is obtained. Most of these products are not readily available to the consumer; requiring a licensed pest control operator to apply.

If you would like more information or have a specific pest concern, please contact me at Chase Pest Control. Our office number is 936-441-2847 or by email at cary@chasepestcontrol.com. Until the next issue, have a great time outdoors. Drink plenty of Water and take many breaks.