Carpenter ants can vary in size and color but are usually 1/4 - 1/2 inch long and blackish in color. Some homeowners in the spring will see swarms of winged carpenter ant reproductives inside their home. Normally when this happens it is a good bet that their is a colony nesting somewhere in the structure. Carpenter ants damage wood by hollowing it out for nesting but they do not eat the wood. They will nest in any wood but prefer wood that is moist. Nests inside homes are more likely to be found near water leaks, windows that are poorly sealed, flashing of chimneys or any other moisture problem that the homeowner may have been experiencing. When hollowing out areas for nesting they create a sawdust material called frass. Areas like garage door frames, window trim and basement sill plates are good areas to see this frass in piles left by carpenter ants. When piles of frass are found the nest is close by. It is important to realize that carpenter ants can nest either inside or outside the structure. A parent colony is a nest with a egg laying queen, brood and over 2000 worker ants where as a satellite colony may have large numbers of ants but no queen, eggs or larva young. When someone gets carpenter ants inside a home, they may have originated from the parent colony or from one or more satellite colonies. An effective treatment in controlling carpenter ants is to do an exterior perimeter treatment as well as an interior service to areas of current activity and high probability. Communication between the homeowner and the pest professional is a big key in eliminating this pest.
As you have been hearing on the news for quite awhile now, bed bugs are back! The number of people that are dealing with this pest is growing in Northeast Ohio every year. Lots of factors have contributed to the bed bug reinsurgence including more people traveling and certain pesticides being removed form the marketplace. Bed bugs are most active at night and a female will lay 200-250 eggs in her lifetime. This becomes a major problem as these eggs hatch in 6-10 days and newly hatched nymphs begin to seek a blood meal nearby. A mature bed bug can survive for up to a year without feeding and during its lifetime, can produce three or more generations of new bed bugs in a year. It does not take long for a home or business that has bed bugs introduced to it to become infested to a point that a pest control professional will need to be involved.
There are two ways to treat for bed bugs, a liquid chemical application and a heat treatment. Heat has been regarded as the best method of treatment to solve a major bed bug issue. I have been involved in many heat applications over the last 4 years. It does a nice job but does have its drawl backs. It is a very expensive treatment and if you have lots of clutter it will have its limitations. To be fair, any treatment will be difficult when clutter is involved, that is why the homeowner and pest company have to work together to achieve the best results. The other downside of a heat treatment is that is an event, not an ongoing protection against re-infestation. If you have found bed bugs in your home at a high number of samples (100 plus), then you would be a candidate for a heat treatment. The good news is most people are fortunate and find far less numbers in their homes. That is when a liquid application treatment can solve the problem at a fraction of the cost. According to the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force most homes will required three to four treatments to eliminate the bed bug infestation. In our experience we find that to be a true statement.
Prevention Pest Control has a bed bug service that is custom tailored for people who travel frequently and want to minimize the chance of getting bed bugs. First we will treat all bedrooms, bed frames, mattresses and other high traffic areas to have something in place in case of a bed bug being introduced into the home. Second we will treat luggage, carry on bags or any other form of travel accessory that you use. Third, we will set up a schedule based upon the frequency of your travel that will minimize the chance of having bed bugs get established in your home. These proactive steps will help long term and will provide you the peace of mind to get a good nights sleep. Contact us at Prevention Pest Control to hear more about our bed bug program.