Common Spring Pests

Carpenter ants are a common spring pest in Georgia - Active Pest ControlHave you noticed that pests start to get worse here in Atlanta as spring temperatures warm up? Wasps and bees begin to buzz around, winged insects crawl on your exterior walls, and you start to notice the dreaded ants crawling along your floorboards. Springtime is pest time nationwide. This time of the year is when many pests that were less active in the winter months begin to come out of dormancy. The reason why pest problems become so common in the spring, however, is because many of the pests were already lying in wait in the winter—right inside your home.

At Active Pest Control, we are committed to keeping pests out of our customers’ homes all year long. Keep reading to learn about the most common spring pests to look out for this year.

What Pests Are Common in the Spring?

1. Termites

While spring is the best time of year to see termite swarmers, those winged insects are probably not new to the neighborhood. Termite swarms don’t travel far or last long. If you’re seeing them on your exterior walls, it is likely that you already have a mature infestation in your home or on your property.

2. Carpenter Ants

When the temperatures here in Atlanta warm-up, you may see winged carpenter ants walking around on your exteriors walls. If you’re thinking you can vacuum them up and you’ll be safe, you may want to think again. Carpenter ant swarmers, just like those termites swarmers, are a warning sign of a current infestation. It is also a warning that the mature nest on your property is about to multiply, making it important to call your local ant control experts.

3. Mice

If you start to hear bumping and scraping in your walls, you may be tempted to think that the spring weather is responsible for allowing mice to get into your walls. But those mice could have been in your house all winter long. Mice live as close to their food source as possible. If they have a nest in your pantry wall, you wouldn’t hear them just before bedtime, bumping through your walls. But spring temperatures outside may invite those mice to find a route to go in and out of your home. Sadly, those mice are not likely to leave and never come back. Most mice prefer to live with humans. While they’ll step out to go look for more food options, they won’t be gone for long.

4. Wasps

These stinging pests are another common spring pest that probably spent the winter in your home. Wasp queens overwinter in eaves, soffits, and under the “bark” of our homes. In spring, they emerge to find a place to create a nest. Unfortunately, this often means right inside or outside your property. Coming across a wasp nest can be dangerous, making it important to always contact a wasp control expert for assistance.

Preventing Common Spring Pests

Preventing spring pests means preventing pests all year long here in Georgia. The best way to keep pests out is to seal off your home to them in the first place. Once indoors, it’s crucial to contact your local pest control experts for help. At Active Pest Control, we will work with you to come up with a plan to keep pests out for good. Contact us today to get started!

How to Prevent Summertime Ants

How to prevent summertime ants in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlAnts can be a problem year-round, but they tend to show up in overwhelming numbers during the summertime here in the Atlanta area. Although ants aren’t considered as dangerous as other pests, they are the number one nuisance pest in the nation for a reason. They often will appear in your kitchen, bathrooms, and along your floorboards in search for food and shelter. To avoid the frustration of ants in your property, it’s important to learn how to prevent summertime ants.

What Type of Ant Do I Have?

With more than 700 species living in the U.S., it is crucial to know which one you’re dealing with in order to properly get rid of these common summer ants. An infestation from any of these can be a major pain to deal with, making it important to know what you’re coming up against. A few of the most common types of ants you’ll likely encounter include:

Prevent Summertime Ants in 5 Steps

To avoid dealing with ants, it’s important to learn how to stop them from making their ways indoors in the first place! Some of our top tips for preventing summertime ants include:

  1. Keep a clean home. Sweep your floors regularly to get rid of crumbs. Ants are attracted to sugary food sources and a few crumbs will keep them coming back for more.
  2. Store away food. Avoid leaving food out uncovered. Keep food in airtight containers or store them safely in cupboards and fridges.
  3. Seal entry points. Ants can crawl through the tiniest of cracks. Inspect your property and use caulk to seal any gaps, holes, or potential entry ways.
  4. Get rid of excess moisture. Areas with standing water or leaks will attract ants quickly. Attend to broken pipes and clean up spills quickly.
  5. Trim back trees and vegetation. Plants close to your home can encourage ants to come in. Make sure tree branches, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed away from the perimeter!

Long-Term Ant Prevention

Keeping ants out can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve done all you can to prevent them! To give yourself peace of mind, it’s best to contact your local ant exterminator. At Active Pest Control, we have the experience and resources needed to prevent ants in the summertime and all year long. To learn more about how, contact our team today!

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIn today’s day and age, the DIY movement is more popular than ever. Whether it’s a household chore, gardening, or an art project, do-it-yourself tasks are favored by many. However, when it comes to pest control, DIY methods are never a long-term solution. We’ve all tried them: vinegar spray for ants, snap traps for rats, store-bought pesticides for roaches … the list goes on. But at-home remedies for pests are unreliable, timely, and can even be expensive. For quick, effective, and guaranteed results, it’s always best to use a professional exterminator such as Active Pest Control. Keep reading for info on the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional pest control here in Atlanta GA!

Pros & Cons of DIY Pest Control

Many people favor DIY methods because they believe they will save them money in the long run. For some small pest flare-ups, DIY methods can work. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a risk for several reasons:

  • Certain pests, such as rodents, termites, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these infestations will be a challenge for any novice.
  • Many store-bought products are filled with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
  • At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
  • Buying DIY or store-bought remedies don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services.

Why Professional Pest Control is Important

Yes, professional pest control is certainly an investment of your time and money. However, the payoff is tenfold. A professional exterminator has years of experience and knowledge to tackle any current infestation you have. With a focus on IPM practices, they can also work to prevent future problems. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life. Lastly, a pest control expert can work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home in your region.

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control: How to Choose

When it comes down to it, no one wants to deal with pests in your home. If you want to get rid of them completely, a professional pest control company is your best bet. In the long run, a pest control professional can provide you with the tools you need to keep pests out for good. Give the Active Pest Control team a call today to learn more about how we can guarantee a pest-free lifestyle.

Termites or Carpenter Ants: How to Tell the Difference

Carpenter ants are often confused for termites in Atlanta GA. Learn more from Active Pest ControlIf you think you’ve spotted a termite in or near your home, how can you be so sure it’s not a carpenter ant? These two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for one another. Together, they are responsible for some of the worst residential pest infestations each year for homeowners. Swarmers (termites or carpenter ants with wings) are both active around the same time of year, but their similarities end there.

Keep reading for expert info from Active Pest Control on how to tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants.

What do Carpenter Ants and Termites Look Like?

To the untrained eye, it’s very easy to confuse carpenter ants for termites in the swarmer stage. Although they look very similar, the size of the swarmer differentiates the two. The main differences between how carpenter ants and termites look are:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
  2. Termite swarmers: These termites are dark brown to black, and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. Termite Swarmer in Atlanta GA & Knoxville TN - Active Pest Control

What’s Worse: Termite Damage or Carpenter Ant Damage?

Both the termite and the carpenter ant attack wood, but in very different ways. For the most part, carpenter ants establish their nests in decayed wood and then later expand into undamaged wood, insulation, or wall voids. Their damage is not always visible, but the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded.

Termites, on the other hand, eat through wood. These wood-destroying insects find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. For this reason, termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.

When to Call a Termites or Carpenter Ants Exterminator

If you’ve seen the signs of either of these insects or have noticed damage, it’s crucial to call the exterminators at Active Pest Control as soon as possible. Everyone knows termites are infamously difficult to control, but carpenter ant colonies are hard to exterminate as well! With our licensed and tenured termite control specialists, we can inspect your Atlanta GA property and protect your structure from wood-destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants.

What Are Flying Ants?

Are you finding winged ants on the insides of your windows? Are you curious how those ants got inside your house? It can be mysterious dealing with these pests every spring, but don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about flying ants.

Entomology of Flying Ants

When you find these pests in your home, the first thing you need to know is that flying ants are not a species of ant. They are a caste of ant. Flying ants (also known as winged reproductives or alates, or swarmers) are only one part of a thriving colony.

The cycle of a colony begins and ends with male and female reproductives. In the beginning, winged reproductives take to the air, mate with each other, and then establish a colony. The females become the queens of new colonies, and the males (also known as drones) die off.

When a colony has matured, it will begin to produce new male and female reproductives in order to establish new colonies and spread. When you see them on the inside of you windows, this is a bad sign.

What Flying Ants Mean

How long have you been vacuuming those flying ants up? If this is a chore you do every spring, you may want to stop and take a closer look at those ants. Not all flying ants are created equal. If your ants are large and black, you might want to call an expert. Carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners millions of dollars every year by burrowing into wood and weakening support structures. If you’ve been seeing these ants for years, you may have several mature colonies inside the walls of your home.

What You May Find Surprising About Carpenter Ants

If you’ve read this far and wondered how you could possibly have several mature carpenter ant nests in your home when you only see a few random ants in your kitchen, we understand. The truth is carpenter ants do most of their living and working within the walls of your home and typically forage for food outside of the nest at night so encounters with these pests will be uncommon.

When you see winged ants in your home it is important to get a professional opinion. The experts here at Active Pest Control know how to track and eradicate these elusive pests. That means safety for your equity.

Don’t let carpenter ants wreck your home.

Ants in My Chattanooga House?

It’s springtime again – Time to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful sunshine, colorful blossoms, the smell of flowers in the air, and lines of ants on the kitchen floor. Okay, you probably aren’t going to enjoy that last one, but ants are definitely part of spring. When temperatures warm, ants will make their presence known. Here are some ants you’re likely to find in or around your Chattanooga home.

Little Black Ants

These tiny creatures are dark brown or jet black and can be found all throughout the United States. They range in size from the 1.5mm worker ants, to the 4mm queens. They have antennae with 12 segments, and a thorax that is unevenly rounded. While these tiny critters have a stinger, it is too small to be a threat to humans or pets. Being an omnivorous insect, little black ants will eat anything from sweets and vegetables to greasy, oily foods. If they get into your pantry or on your counters, they can contaminate foods, but other than this, they are only a nuisance pest.

Odorous House Ants

These stinky little critters also live in most of the country and measure from about 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch in length. They have brown to black bodies, twelve segments in their antennae, and a thorax that is uneven. Foods these ants like to eat include honeydew, meats, sugary foods, dairy products, and vegetables. Odorous house ants, like the name suggests, give off a bad smell when they are crushed. It has been described as the smell of rotten coconut. Other than this unpleasant characteristic and the possibility of contaminating food items, these ants are mostly a nuisance pest.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are black or reddish-black. They are easily distinguished from other ants by their larger size and their heart-shaped heads. They have a smooth thorax, can be found throughout the U.S., and are far more than just a nuisance.

If you are seeing little black ants or odorous house ants in your home, there is little cause for alarm, but when carpenter ants appear, you’re going to want to take notice. Carpenter ants tunnel through wood and create galleries, and it is possible for these pests to be inside the wood of your home or inside decks and outbuilding for many years without being detected.

If you’re seeing ants in your Chattanooga home, Active Pest Control has a solution that will work for you. With 5 decades of experience and a ranking as one of the top 25 pest control companies in the United States, we are equipped to take care of any pest problem you’ll find in your home this spring–including ants.

Spring is better without ants. Give it a try with pest control you can trust from Active Pest Control.