What Are the Major Differences between Carpenter Ants and Winged Termites?

When winter is over, everyone is always eager to welcome spring. However, spring comes with bugs such as carpenter ants and winged termites.  Most of these bugs are small, live in large colonies and disturb the peace of many homeowners. Winged termites and carpenter ants are professionally known as swarmers. Most of these swarmers are female, and their responsibility is to reproduce with males to form new colonies.

Most of the time, we are not able to differentiate termites and carpenter ants swarmers because they look the same. It is important to know that carpenter ants are very different from winged ants. When it comes to treatment, a terminate treatment is very different from a carpenter treatment. 

What Is the Difference Between Carpenter Ants and Winged Termites?

Carpenter Ants

–The antennas of a carpenter ant are usually bent.

–They have three body regions – the head, thorax and abdomen. 

–The carpenter ants have two pairs of wings. There is the front pair and back pair making four altogether. The back wings are also shorter than the front wings. The wings also tend to go straight and can be very difficult to see. However, you can spot them by checking the color, which is a brown tint. 

–The wings do not break that easily.

Winged Terminates

–The termites have a straight antenna that is shorter than the carpenter ants.

–The termites have body regions but the three regions (thorax, head and abdomen) are not definite. 

–The termites have two pair of wings; a front pair and back pair. Both the front and back pair are of the same length. The wings can be difficult to see. What you will clearly see is the color, which is usually white and translucent. 

–The wings of termites break very easily. 

If you notice any of these bugs in your home, you need to act as soon as possible. Looking out for their nest is important so as to eliminate them completely. Immediately contacting a professional is a great idea. Treating swarmers on your own is not advisable because you might not get rid of them professionally. An expert will be in a better position to use the ideal tools and skills to treat your home.

It is also good to note that homemade solutions sometimes work on carpenter ants but never on winged termites. If you are still not sure whether swarmers investing your house are termites or carpenter ants, you can request a pest control professional to come over to your house and carry out an analysis. This analysis will enable you to get the best treatment for carpenter ants and winged terminates hence your house will be bug free.

Tips on How to Identify Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are responsible for the damage of wood used in the structural construction of homes. Significant damage to the wooden structure of homes can cause problems with the structural integrity of the house. Since your house is one of your most valuable investments, damage to it should be prevented or dealt with as soon as possible to mitigate any loss of value. It is useful to note that structural damage to your home is a serious threat to the safety as well.

A brief introduction to carpenter ants can be useful in helping you appreciate how serious a threat these pests pose. Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not eat wood. These ants use their strong mandibles to chip away small bits of wood and carry them away so as to create space for their nests. Depending on where the ants dispose of these fine wood shavings, you can see them and hence identify the piles of wood shavings. The ants come in different sizes ranging from ¼ to ½ inch length on average. They are mostly black, but some can be seen to be black and red. It is necessary to have these physical characteristics in mind to successfully identify carpenter ants. 

The sheer size of carpenter ant colonies means that they require extensive space to house them. A typical carpenter ant colony can have a population of tens of thousands of ants all dispersed in different nests. These main nests can also be divided into different satellite nests connected by multiple tunnels. This population is mainly composed of worker ants whose duties include looking for food and water, protecting their queen and most damaging of all digging tunnels through wood to house their growing population. 

During the establishment of a new nest, the queen produces small ants that are commonly mistaken for pavement ants by many home owners as they are similar in terms of size. In a year or two the queen begins laying bigger eggs that produce bigger ants up to the standard ½ inch length. As the nests mature swarmers start to emerge. These swarmers have reproductive abilities. 

It normally takes 3-5 years for carpenter nests to mature, at which point swarmers start to emerge. These are larger than normal carpenter ants as the females are nearly an inch long while the males are at half this size. Their long translucent brown wings also distinguish them from the other working ants. When swarmers mate the male dies while the female ant loses her wings and goes on to start a new colony as the queen. 

A useful tip in identifying swarmers from other similar winged pests is that they mainly come out in spring, but can continue through summer. The fact that these ants deposit the wood shavings inside house walls makes them hard to find. 

Do You Attract Mosquitoes?

Do you always attract mosquitoes every time you step out of your house during summer? If mosquitoes bite you more than your friends and family members, then you are a mosquito magnet!  You could be engaging in various activities that could be making you more attractive to biting mosquitoes. It is important to know that your body chemistry and metabolism plays an important role in determining how much you attract mosquitoes.

Factors that Determine How Attractive You Are to Mosquitoes

–If you drink beer, you may be making yourself more attractive to mosquitoes. According to a research uploaded in Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, consuming one bottle of beer can greatly increase your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes. 

–Wearing of dark clothes can also increase the attraction of mosquitoes. According to researchers, it was found that red and black clothing are most attractive to mosquitoes. On the other hand, blue, green, light khaki, yellow, green and grey clothing is less prone to mosquitoes. 

–Is your blood type O? Well, according to a Japanese study, mosquitoes are more likely to bite a person with blood group O compared to other blood groups. 

–If you are pregnant, chances are high you will attract biting mosquitoes because the belly is warmer than the rest of the body. Mosquitoes are also attracted to substances contained in the sweat of a pregnant woman. In addition, there is reported evidence that shows women are more attractive to mosquitoes during ovulation. 

–Are you feet stinky? If yes, then chances of attracting mosquitoes are high. According to a study conducted by Dutch scientists, a man dressed only in his underwear was exposed mosquitoes. Surprisingly, the mosquitoes went straight to his stinky feet. After he washed his legs, the mosquitoes randomly landed on his body and didn’t head straight to the feet. 

–If you always wonder why mosquitoes are so attracted to you, your charming personality could be the cause.  Mosquitoes always have a specific preference from physical appearance to one’s scent.

What to Do?

If you want to keep mosquitoes off, there are other things you can do except sleeping under a mosquito net. Wearing light colored clothing and making sure your feet are clean and fresh all day long will keep mosquitoes far away. Another option is to contact a certified pest control professional. A good pest control company should be in a position to offer mosquito control solutions and other pest control choices. Mosquitoes are very annoying and can cause sleepless nights as well as serious diseases such as Malaria. This is the reason why you need to treat and get rid of mosquitoes and their breeding grounds from your house. 

Treatments Needed to Get Rid of an Ant Infestation | Portland OR

Ants can cause a nightmare in your house particularly when you have an infestation. The situation usually becomes insufferable during the yearly mating phase when ants come out of the colonies located under the floors and cavity walls of your homes. Both wingless and winged ants can become troublesome particularly when homeowners fail to seek for permanent solutions to deal with them. What you may not know is that your heating systems, which are active during the winter, encourage metabolism to take place.

The headache caused by ants’ infestation is unbearable and, as a result, many homeowners are forced to call in pest management experts. Experts advise that there is no single treatment approach that will permanently rid your household of ants. Implementation of continuous treatment methodologies coupled with strict monitoring is the only way to keep away ants permanently. The common mistake that homeowners make is to rely entirely on single treatment methods which are not sustainable for long-term prevention of ants. 

Common treatments for ants include Pesticides that have the ability to instantly kill ants. The only issue with these pesticides is the short residual life that only allows them to be effective for limited time periods. Typically, most pesticides only work for about one to two months before allowing ants to regroup and attack. A single treatment kills an ant population but doesn’t effectively deal with queens that lay eggs on a continuous basis. 

Pheromone Trails, on the other hand, are not completely destroyed by residual pesticides because trails take long to destroy. When the pesticide becomes weak, these trails become active again, and ants flock back to your home. Pest management professionals find it very difficult to trace ant pests. Destroying one nest doesn’t necessarily mean all of them have been destroyed. 

While it is perfectly fine to use pesticides to control ants’ infestation, homeowners also need to find experts to advice on alternative preventive techniques. Having a long term strategy of dealing with ants and other household pests delivers the best results. We have other types of treatment that focus on the exterior sections of the house. Small holes are drilled into cavity walls of the house. An insect powder is the applied into the cavity under high pressure. Doing this forms a secure barrier that makes it impossible for ants to pass through. A pesticide can then be used to ensure cavities remain effective for a long time. Experts advise this procedure to be done in the spring though it can be done any time of the year. 

In summary, the best way to deal with ants in your house is to adopt a recurring service that emphasizes sanitation and yard maintenance. Getting an expert who can do regular home visits to carry out various preventive techniques is the best solution. Single treatments only give immediate results but are not feasible for long term use. Do you need help with your Ant Infestation in the Portland OR area? Let us help! 

Is Your House Infested by Termites? | Portland Pest Control

Termites may be infesting your home or your yard without you even knowing of their presence. These pests feed on cellulose, which is available in a number of things found in almost all homes including furniture, wood, dead trees and even books. Even your house foundations are not safe from a termite infestation, so you need to know how to be safe from these.

Signs That Termites May Be Infesting Your Home 

If you are on the lookout for termites, a number of telltale signs include spotting a swarm of winged insects around the house or the soil outside and noticing mud tubes on wooden beams, exterior walls and crawl spaces. Another way of determining that you are suffering from a termite infestation is by tapping on wood. If it sounds hollow, chances are that you need a pest exterminator. 

How to Protect Your Home against Termites

If you want to secure your home and prevent termites from infesting it, follow these two steps. 

Get Rid of Moisture –Make sure that your home is moisture-free. For that, make sure that A/C units, water pipes and leaking faucets remain repaired. Discouraging any kind of water retention on the roof and regularly cleaning downspouts and gutters also stop termites from infesting homes. Finally, clean your vents and clear wood mulch just in case. 

Regularly Check the Food Sources of Termites – For discouraging termite growth, possible areas that may serve as a food source for termites should be regularly checked. These include wooden fences along with decks. You should also properly get rid of any debris and stumps near your home. Moreover, make sure that paper, lumber and firewood are kept away from both crawl space and foundation.

Termites are called silent destroyers for a reason. Therefore, before they damage your possessions and make your home unlivable, take the necessary precautions to keep them at bay. If, however, you do get termites, the best thing you can do is contact a professional and have them get rid of these pests in a professional way. Just do not wait long or else you may be at the risk of losing your possessions.