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ants

Ants Can Prove to Be Troublesome Indoor Pests, Even in Winter

antsAnts Are Drawn to Glucose, Warmth, and Water

Getting rid of ants during the winter months can sometimes be a tricky proposition, because an infestation can quickly spread from one area of the house to its entirety at a pretty alarming rate.

Ants are drawn to glucose and water, and during the coldest parts of the year, your home is a particularly attractive foraging ground. While driving ants away from your home is obviously an important aspect of pest control, it’s equally important to actually keep them away.

Ants usually establish a nest close to their food source, so they’ll likely try to nest in walls, floors, and crawlspaces. While it’s true that ants are generally less active in the winter than they are in the summer, they still have the capacity to expand their populations alarmingly quickly as long as they have sufficient access to food, water, and warmth.

Nevertheless, there are a number of proactive steps you can take to reduce the chances of ants making incursions into your home in the first place. One of the most important is to seal all food containers and clean spillages and crumbs thoroughly as soon as you can. Ants can detect even minute traces of glucose—which is in nearly all of our food—so maintaining a clean living space is a critical precaution.

carpenter antsIf you spot a solitary ant wandering around your home, chances are high that there are many more of his fellows lurking around. If possible, try to make a note of where the ant goes—if it enters a crack in the wall or slips under a door—which will help indicate where these pests are entering your home.

While it’s never ideal for ants to be living inside your home, some species, like carpenter ants, for example, can prove particularly damaging to walls, floors, and ceilings. These ants burrow through wood in much the same way as termites, although carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood in which they nest. Over time, a large population of carpenter ants can weaken the structural integrity of buildings.

AntsNaturally, your first step as a homeowner if you suspect that your home may also be hosting an ant infestation is to get in touch with your local pest control professional. Despite a number of commercially available ant baits and traps, it’s extremely unlikely that a non-expert will be able to fully eradicate an infestation on their own, and such an attempt may end up costing even more time and money in the long run.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Texas ant control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

ants

Ants Are Attracted to Sugar and Water Around Your Home

antsCarpenter and Fire Ants Present Unique Threats to Homes

Ants are social insects, so when a few of these pests find their way inside your home, many more are sure to follow. Ants are particularly attracted to sugar, although they also need ready access to water in order to thrive. Naturally, the kitchen is the area of the house that’s most likely to attract ants from the outdoors.

Uncovered food in pantries and even in refrigerators prove more than sufficiently enticing for a hungry ant colony. Garbage cans and even exposed pet food are often enough to pique an ant’s interest from even relatively great distance.

There are over twelve thousand species of ant around the world, and even though many are harmless, there are a few species native to North America which can become particularly unwelcome houseguests. Among these troublesome pests are the fire ant and carpenter ant, that latter of which can burrow into walls, ceilings, and foundations which can weaken structural supports and necessitate costly repairs.

In the wild, carpenter ants will nest in tree trunks and piles of wet and decaying wood. Their perpetual search for food and water will sometimes bring them into contact with human habitations. Homeowners should take special care to eliminate any areas around the home where moisture tends to collect, particularly in bathrooms and basements. Even a leaky pipe or collected rainwater may be sufficient to attract carpenter ants to your property.

carpenter antsCarpenter ants are relatively large in size, and are generally black in color. If you spot these insects wandering around your home, are suspect that they have caused damage, contact your local pest control professional right away.

Much like carpenter ants, fire ants are drawn to sugar and water, but while carpenter ants can pose a threat to property, fire ants can occasional pose a threat directly to your person. It’s especially important to maintain a thorough fire ant control regimen if you have young children or pets, as idle curiosity may often compel them to start digging around near a fire ant mound.

Perceived threats to the mound will cause these pests to swarm, and you’ve no doubt experienced first-hand the painful defense mechanism these pests can employ when their territory is under attack. It may be tempting at try to remedy an ant infestation on your own, however it’s much more cost-effective and efficient in the long run to hire a pest control professional evaluate and eliminate the infestation in a timely manner.

antsCantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas termite control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control to get in touch with our Dallas ant control professionals at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

ants

Maintain Household Cleanliness to Prevent Ant Infestations

antsAnts and Other Pests Are Drawn to Sugar and Water

Removing ants from the home can be a tricky proposition because of their adaptability. These pests can consume a wide variety of food and can build nests either outdoors or inside your home. Ants are principally attracted to sugar, but they will consume basically anything in an effort to keep their colony growing.

Ants are likely to enter your home in the winter in order to find food and water, and to find an optimal nesting area away from the elements. In order to effectively control ant populations, you must first be sure to eliminate the substances that attract them.

Finding and sealing any food storage areas like pantries and refrigerators is the first step on the path to controlling a pest infestation. Sanitation of your kitchen and other food preparation areas is critical in getting rid of ants. For example, they can live off of food spillage and grease that may accumulate under and behind appliances. Crumbs and leftover food in cabinets and pantries are also ideal feeding grounds for ants. Likewise, it’s important to keep opened food in sealed containers, as ants have the ability to detect even the smallest traces of glucose, which is in nearly all of our food.

carpenter antsLimiting where you consume food in your house may also help when it comes to keeping these pests under control. A few crumbs in a bedroom may prompt ants to venture even farther into your home, causing the problem to spread from one rooms to multiple rooms.

Since ants come out to feed at night, when potential danger is least present, it’s also a good idea to give your kitchen area a thorough wipe-down before you go to bed. Even this simple precaution can go a long way towards discouraging ants from entering your home.

Apart from keeping the kitchen clear of spills and food residue, you might consider sweeping or vacuuming up around your house every few days as well. This practice will keep your home clear of crumbs, hair, and dead skin—which are appealing to other insects like cockroaches—but you’ll also eliminate other ant eggs and ant feces, both of which contain pheromones which will attract even more ants to your home. These pests are also attracted to pet food, so be sure to empty your pets’ bowls overnight and make sure that any stored pet food is properly sealed.

antsCantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas termite control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

ants

Ants Can Get Out of Control Incredibly Quickly

antsAnts Live in Elaborate Mounds Just Below the Surface

Ants live together in populations of hundreds of thousands and construct elaborate mounds to sufficiently house the colony. Effective ant treatment programs entail treating the entire colony with pesticides.

Ants will enter your home if they sense easy access to food and shelter. These insects will be especially eager to enter your home during the winter months while food and warmth are at their most scarce. Most of the time, however, ants are content to live in elaborate mounds which consist of a small section which is visible above the surface of the ground, and an intricate network of tunnels which usually spans many yards in each direction.

Mounds can be constructed incredibly quickly by colony workers, and can usually reappear a few days after being destroyed. These characteristic mounds serve several purposes: primarily, the mound is used for protection from the elements and predators. Likewise, the elaborate tunnel system serves to maintain a consistent internal temperature of the mound. This is important because the queen as well as her larvae require precise environmental circumstances in order to thrive.

antsDespite the fact that the surface level of the mound presents a pretty obvious target for predators, the deep tunnels allow the members of the colony to retreat to a safe place in the event of an attack.

The appearance of ant mounds in your yard is the first indication that there is a larger problem at play. It’s always better to begin combatting ant infestations as soon as you become aware of them, because as long as ants have access to enough food, their numbers will continue to increase at a distressing rate. These pests can breed worryingly quickly, and infestations often spiral out of control much faster than homeowners would believe.

Naturally, as ant populations increase, the chances that they’ll make incursions into your home will increase as well. Many otherwise diligent homeowners have ignored an inconspicuous ant hill, only to find the pests crawling all over the inside of their homes a few weeks later.

antsIf you notice or even suspect that an ant colony has found its way onto your property, you should get in touch with your local pest control professional right away. These professionals will begin by making a thorough inspection of your property, after which they’ll be able to recommend the most effective course of action, whether it be the use of Green Shield Certified pesticides or boric acid-based ant traps.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas ant removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

carpenter ants

Carpenter Ants Can Destroy Wooden Structures at an Alarming Rate

ants

Sagging Walls and Ceilings Are Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestations

Published on August 1, 2017

Carpenter ants are among the most common ant species found throughout Texas. They are an extremely adaptable species and have been known to thrive in outdoor and indoor environments.

In broad terms, these ants prefer semi-moist and humid environments and usually nest in trees, tree stumps, fallen logs, fence posts, ceiling beams, roofing boards, and even inside attic insulation.

There are twenty-five different species of carpenter ants in the United States, each will slightly different behavior and appearance, which means that identifying these pests can be difficult. They can range anywhere from three to thirteen millimeters in length, and have been known to sport colors like black, brown, yellow, orange, and red.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wooden structures in which they nest. Rather, they break down and remove the wood in order to enlarge their nesting space. Depending on the size of the colony, the amount of wood that these ants are able to destroy over time can be extreme.

Although these pests have the ability to break down and remove cellulose material, they usually prefer to move into preexisting cavities like termite galleries, or areas that have been gradually worn down by rot. These areas prove especially attractive to carpenter ants as they search for a nest because of the naturally moist conditions.

carpenter ants Keep an eye out for piles of sawdust-like material or similar wood shavings that may be collecting around suspicious holes. This removed wood material is one of the telltale signs that carpenter ants have been expanding their nest in the vicinity.

It’s important to keep in mind that carpenter ant workers can vary in size within the same species. Likewise, these pests have been known to traverse great distances as they forage for food, meaning that even if you spot some of these ants around your home, it shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence that they have decided to nest inside your walls.

When trying to determine the nesting place of a carpenter ant colony, check these kinds of areas first. One you determine the nest’s exact location, it’s possible to treat the infestation with an insecticide dust or aerosol spray. However, attempting to administer these pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets.

Baits have traditionally not been successful in dealing with carpenter ants, but your local pest control expert will be able to determine which extermination method will be the best fit for your home.

antsCantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas ant control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

ants

Identifying Common Ants and Their Mounds

Ants

Ant Mounds Herald Possible Subterranean Infestations

Ants are remarkably adept when it comes to adapting to their environments. This, of course, depends on the species of ant as well as where it’s found. It’s worth noting, therefore, that not all ant species build large, telltale mounds. Some species are more prone to build large craters the connect to intricate networks of tunnels, the entrance to which are many times found between gaps and missing chunks in concrete and pavement.

Some species, like harvester ants, pyramid ants, Argentine ants, Allegheny mound ants, Texas leaf cutter ants–which have been known to plague cities like Houston and Dallas–and red imported fire ants have been known to build elaborate nests that, admittedly, present a large target for predators, as well as humans who wish to rid themselves of an infestation. Mounds are the most obvious and easily spotted sign that ants are present in the area, but it’s worth remembering that, like an iceberg, only a small fraction of the actual structure can be seen above ground.

Ant mounds are always built by workers, and often at incredible speeds. The characteristic mound like structure is actually an incidental byproduct of workers removing and relocating bottom soil to make room for more tunnels and nesting chambers. With nowhere else for it to go, this soil is merely deposited near the surface by the workers, which, after a period of time, will take on the characteristic mound shape a the tunnels become deeper and deeper.

AntsThe ant mound, apart from being a byproduct of excavation, has three major purposes. The first, and the most obvious to the casual observer, is that it serves as the entrance and exit to the deeper tunnel system of the nest from the surface. Likewise, the mound also serves to maintain the internal temperature of the nest, which can be important when the lives of thousands of ant larvae are on the line.

The mound serves as a means of protection from predators who would wish to damage or destroy the nest. It provides a safe place for the ants to retreat to if under attack; and, as it’s made up of fine dirt particles as well as some plant material, offers a degree of cushion again the impact from larger predators.

Apart from the physically harmful bites and stings that ants can inflict on both humans and pets, an ant infestation may cause costly damage to landscaping and may negatively impact the overall aesthetics of the area. It’s worth mentioning, though, that if you do come across an ant mound or two in your yard, it’s a wise decision not to play live and let live with the ants.

antsOnce you begin to ignore the problem, the ants can multiply and reproduce astonishingly quickly, and the problem will become vastly more difficult to deal with than if you had called a professional at the outset.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas ant removal experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

ants

Carpenter Ants vs. Termites

ants

Carpenter Ants and Termites Both Threaten Wooden Structures

Carpenter ants are among the most common ant species found throughout Texas. They are an extremely adaptable species and have been known to thrive in outdoor and indoor environments.

In broad terms, these ants prefer semi-moist and humid environments and usually nest in trees, tree stumps, fallen logs, fence posts, ceiling beams, roofing boards, and even inside attic insulation.

There are twenty-five different species of carpenter ants in the United States, each will slightly different behavior and appearance, which means that identifying these pests can be difficult. They can range anywhere from three to thirteen millimeters in length, and have been known to sport colors like black, brown, yellow, orange, and red.

Thanks to their tiny size, these ants can go undetected for long periods of time if they choose to nest inside your home. By the time their presence become apparent, extensive damage to your home may have already been done.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wooden structures in which they nest. Rather, they break down and remove the wood in order to enlarge their nesting space. Depending on the size of the colony, the amount of wood that these ants are able to destroy over time can be extreme.

Although these pests have the ability to break down and remove cellulose material, they usually prefer to move into preexisting cavities like termite galleries, or areas that have been gradually worn down by rot. These areas prove especially attractive to carpenter ants as they search for a nest because of the naturally moist conditions. Keep an eye out for piles of sawdust-like material or similar wood shavings that may be collecting around suspicious holes. This removed wood material is one of the telltale signs that carpenter ants have been expanding their nest in the vicinity.

The appearance of worker ants will be the most obvious sign of an infestation in your home. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that carpenter ant workers can vary in size within the same species. Likewise, these pests have been known to traverse great distances as they forage for food, meaning that even if you spot some of these ants around your home, it shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence that they have decided to nest inside your walls.

When trying to determine the nesting place of a carpenter ant colony, check these kinds of areas first. One you determine the nest’s exact location, it’s possible to treat the infestation with an insecticide dust or aerosol spray. However, attempting to administer these pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets.

Baits have traditionally not been successful in dealing with carpenter ants, but your local pest control expert will be able to determine which extermination method will be the best fit for your home.

If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

ants

Ants and Pheromone Trails

ants

Ants leave behind pheromone and chemical trails, ensuring that more are soon to follow

Ants can be incredibly difficult pests to get rid of once they have found a foothold into your home. Part of the problem stems from the staggering number of individuals that can make up a single ant population; not only that, but thanks to their size, they can enter through practically any opening.

Many homeowners might feel compelled to take matters into their own hands when confronted with an onslaught of ant invaders, but it’s important to know which insecticides are the most effective—and least harmful to humans—before they try to tackle the job themselves.

Boric acid is a popular insecticide choice for the do-it-yourself crowd, as it’s considered mild enough for use in household kitchens. Boric acid was initially registered as an insecticide in the 1940s for use against cockroaches, termites, fire ants, and a variety of other pests. When ingested by these insects, it acts as a stomach poison and affects its metabolism.

Likewise, the dry, abrasive power form of boric acid irritates the exoskeletons of these insects. While ready-made boric acid compounds are available for purchase and have proven reasonably effective against fire ants, there are a number of problems that arise when the ambitious homeowner tries to make their own version.

The concentration of the boric acid that’s to be used is very important. If it’s too weak, for example, the bate will fail to kill the ants at all; if it’s too strong, however, the acid will kill the ants before they can share the food with the queen and other workers at the hive. Likewise, a over concentration of boric acid will simply cause the ants to ignore the bait, as they’ll detect something unsafe to consume.

Another easy at-home deterrent is to spray vinegar along your baseboards. This will remove the scent and chemical traces from other ants that have been through the area before. Simply spray the vinegar from a spray bottle and wipe clean. In addition, make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs that may fall throughout your house.

It’s also important to note that while boric acid is safe for use in kitchens in small, diluted quantities, it should be handled with extreme care around children and pets. Mixing containers and plastics should be washed and sanitized accordingly.

The tradeoff, of course, is ease of use, convenience, and its ability to be used in a home environment with less risk. A word of warning for those homeowners trying to deal with soil-infesting ants: boric acid baits should not be applied directly to soil that’s currently yielding plant life, because heavy doses of boric acid will sterilize soil, rendering it barren.

It’s a tricky business all around, trying to deal with ants; and while boric acid baits are sometimes a viable option when dealing with small-scale infestations, your author recommends contacting your local pest control expert in order to determine what kind of pesticide if right for your specific infestation.

If ants have made unsightly appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

ants

Eliminating Fire Ants With Boric Acid

ants

Boric Acid is a Viable Option For Removing Fire Ants

Fire ants can be incredibly tenacious pests if they detect food or water inside your home. Ant populations can be massive and can consist of many millions of individuals. Likewise, their tiny size means that they can enter through even the smallest cracks and crevices of your home’s foundation.

When faced with an infestation of ants, some homeowners might be faced with the desire to take care of the problem on their own, but if that’s the case, it’s important to know the difference between commercially-available insecticides, as well as how they can impact both humans and pets that may come into contact with these toxins.

Boric acid is one popular choice for homeowners wanting to eliminate pests from their own homes, as it’s considered safe enough to use in kitchens. This particular chemical compound was initially registered as an insecticide during the mid twentieth century for use against cockroaches, termites, fire ants, and a variety of other pests.

When ants consume boric acid, the delicate chemical balance in their stomachs are disrupted and their metabolism is likewise effected. Although boric acid compounds are commercially available by the average consumer and have proven to be reasonably effective against fire ants, it’s a risky proposition for homeowners to attempt to make their own mixture.

The concentration of the boric acid that’s to be used is very important. If it’s too weak, for example, the bate will fail to kill the ants at all; if it’s too strong, however, the acid will kill the ants before they can share the food with the queen and other workers at the hive. Likewise, a over-concentration of boric acid will simply cause the ants to ignore the bait, as they’ll detect something unsafe to consume.

It’s also important to note that while boric acid is safe for use in kitchens in small, diluted quantities, it should be handled with extreme care around children and pets. Mixing containers and plastics should be washed and sanitized accordingly.

One of the main drawbacks of using boric acid as a pesticide is that it commonly takes around two or three months to notice significant results. In order to achieve ideal results, the bait should be changed every two to four weeks. The tradeoff, of course, is ease of use, convenience, and its ability to be used in a home environment with less risk.

A word of warning for those homeowners trying to deal with soil-infesting ants: boric acid baits should not be applied directly to soil that’s currently yielding plant life, because heavy doses of boric acid will sterilize soil, rendering it barren.

It’s a tricky business all around, trying to deal with ants; and while boric acid baits are sometimes a viable option when dealing with small-scale infestations, your author recommends contacting your local pest control expert in order to determine what kind of pesticide if right for your specific infestation.

If ants have made unsightly appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.