They’re Here: House Ants Invasion

Home Pest Control: Odorous House Ants

If you live in Howard, Montgomery, Carroll, or Frederick County, Maryland, and are experiencing an issue with ants, the most likely annoying culprits are known as “Odorous House Ants”. They are often referred to by homeowners and “pest control professionals“ as Sugar Ants. These smaller ants (1/16″ to 1/8″ inches) invade Central Maryland by the thousands. They create homes on our countertops, in our sinks and even in our dishwashers.

They are found almost everywhere.

They derive their infamous name because if you happen to squish one, they emit foul odor resembling a rotten coconut.

Odorous house ants colonies usually have around a few hundred to tens of thousands. The bigger colonies even have several queens.  These particular ants are very resilient. Even the injured workers don’t stop. They keep working. The queens can also survive without food or water for up to two months. Heat or cold do not seem to affect them either.  Once a colony of odorous ants is built, they are very difficult to remove from a home.

Using their many nests, odorous ants forage for food. They will move the queen and workers from nest to nest to deliver food. Their goal is to get as close to the homeowner’s food as possible. Their favorite food? sugar and anything that has it.

During the winter, the colony will stay in a single nest. In spring and summer, they create multiple nests as food is easier to find. Then, when winter returns, they go back to the same nest location. The months they are are most active are March to September and were most inactive October to December. Most of their home invasions occur after rain. They are also quite tolerant of other ants, so they only add to any infestation that you may have meaning they will only add to your home’s pest infestation.  

Odorous house ants also colonize near heat sources or in the insulation. If the weather is hot, they may nest in toilet lids or house plants. Outdoors they can be found under rocks and in the soil. However, you can really find them anywhere around your home and just about anywhere inside it.

 

Though you may want to spray them with an over-the-counter product, we urge you not to do it. These annoying pests can “bud” or develop multiple colonies when disrupted and spread quickly, making the problem even worse. Know that these main colonies are outside the structure and travel back and forth to our homes, developing “satellite “ colonies when conditions are favorable such as our homes.

Pest Shield will solve these common nuisance pests utilizing our non-repellant transfer effect treatments mainly from the exterior of your home. Your trained Pest Shield Technicians will also inspect for conducive conditions (moisture, vegetation/trees/bushes touching the home; leaf litter, etc) that can contribute to Odorous House Ant populations.

So, call our experienced pest control technicians to rid your home of these ants. Pest Shield, Inc., will send a consultant to your home. Call us at (301) 829-0060. Serving Mt. Airy, MD and the counties of Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick, and Howard.

Green Pest Control Solutions: What does this mean for my family or business?

Back of house with overgrown brush

We have a proven strategy to reduce destructive, disease-carrying, common nuisance pests in and around our client’s homes and businesses. It is a pro-active approach where we reduce the conditions that are favorable for pest populations in your home to thrive.

Here are some practical tips and recommendations that will work synergistically with Pest Shields Pest Management Service for both homeowners and businesses:

  • Moisture Reduction: this is the best way to reduce mosquitoes and other pests such as termites, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and other pests.
  • Vegetation Reduction: trim remove plants, bushes, and tree limbs from touching the structure(s).
  • Source Reduction: remove leaves, debris and other stored material that attracts pests and rodents.
  • Sanitation removal and repair: this removes potential food source attractions for pests inside and outside
  • Structural Modifications: remove weathered wood and potential entry avenues to the foundation including pipes, HVAC lines and holes in screens.
  • Regular Pest Assessments and Applications: Pest Shield Inc’s professional, award-winning staff can assess, recommend and apply.

Pest Shield Inc.’s team of Pest Management Professionals will work with you to ensure that your home or business will have the most effective Green Pest Control and Management Reduction Strategy incorporating all of the above recommendations! Call us at (301) 829-0060 for a free inspection.

Termite Control: “If You Have a Wooden Structure or Cellulose Materials, They Will Come”

“If you have a wooden structure or cellulose materials, they will come.”

That’s a little creative play on a famous movie line, but it is so true when it comes to a massive pest: termites.

These immensely destructive pests are active in Maryland, especially in March and April, but do damage all year round. Termites have to be exterminated or they will cause massive, uninsured property damage.   

But, first, we need to understand how termites work.

The Eastern Subterranean Termite is indigenous to our area. They live in colonies under the soil. They have a queen, soldiers, winged reproductives (swarmers), and worker termites. The winged reproductives (swarmers) are the ones usually seen by homeowners. They resemble flying ants and can go unchecked, as many homeowners think they are only ants and not as damaging.

The swarmers, however, are not the ones causing damage. They mate and begin a new colony. They spawn the worker termites which cause damage to wood and cellulose-containing materials when they forage for food. Termites convert the cellulose from wood products into sugar, then utilize it as a food source.

If you see the following “termite red flags,” you know you have an infestation:

  1. “Shelter Tubes.” These 1/4 inch wide dirt tunnels will show up on the foundation, along with exposed wood. They may also dangle from the ceiling.
  2. Dirt tightly packed in cracks or crevices on the structure.
  3. Piles of silvery, membranous insect wings, all about 1/4 inch long, on floors, on window sills, or in spider webs.
  4. Floors that sag or cracks that settle.
  5. Paneling that has dark or blistered areas. Peeling or blistered paint that has moisture under it.

When you see any or all of these termite infestation red flags, your home or business is under attack. It’s time to take action.  

However, termite control cannot be done effectively by using over-the-counter solutions. Termites are too powerful and too destructive for most home remedies. It’s recommended that homeowners and business owners contact a termite control technician or specialist who can analyze the infestation and apply the correct solutions.    

Pest Shield, Inc., provides experienced termite control technicians who use effective solutions to rid your home of termites. We offer termite control protection and prevention for private homes, apartments, condominiums, and multi-family residences. We serve residences in Mt. Airy, MD and the counties of Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and the Northern Virginia region.

Contact us to schedule a complimentary inspection of your residence or business or to request other services. Call us at (301) 829-0060 or email info@pestshieldinc.com.

How to Hire an Exterminator for Pests in Residences and Businesses

If you look up “exterminator” in the dictionary (www.dictionary.com) this is what you find:

noun
a person or thing that exterminates.
a person or business establishment specializing in the elimination of vermin, insects, etc., from a building, apartment,etc., especially by the controlled application of toxic chemicals.

“Exterminator” is a common term in the pest control industry. It does explain what we do. We “exterminate” bugs and other pests from homes and businesses.

However, when the time comes and you need an exterminator, what do you look for exactly? Anyone can say they exterminate pests. Anyone may claim to be an exterminator.

So, what should we look for in a qualified exterminator? Here are five things to consider when choosing an exterminator:

  1. Years of service: How experienced is the pest control company when it comes to protecting your family and home? How many years have they been in business? Do they have company marked pest control vehicles? You need to make sure they are not a fly-by-night company with no marked company vehicles. Those are definitely red flags. Pest Shield’s award-winning staff has over 60 combined years of protecting families like yours. Two of our staff members have protected our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan against disease-carrying pests!
  2. Certified and licensed pesticide applicator/technician: Maryland requires that pest control services have a business license: “Any business that is offering pest control services, or applying any type of pesticide for hire, as part of a service or contract agreement is required to have a Pesticide Business License and have at least one certified pesticide applicator who has demonstrated competence in the use of pesticides.” Also, each pest control company must have one certified, licensed commercial pesticide applicator. Registered technicians are not required to be under direct supervision. They must, though, have verifiable training in order to apply pesticides under the company license. You can verify licenses by calling the Maryland/Virginia/Washington, D.C. Departments of Agriculture. Be sure to get a copy of the pest control license to verify that the pest control company is licensed and experienced.
  3. Request references: Any experienced pest control company will have satisfied customers. They should have these references available. Additionally, reviews and references should be posted on their Facebook or on Home Advisor.

Pests are a part of life. They can be found in your home and your business. The importance of an exterminator is understood. So, do your homework. Make sure you get an experienced, licensed exterminator with good reviews and references. Your property and health depend on it!

All the exterminators at Pest Shield, Inc., of Mt. Airy, MD, use only our environmentally-conscious pest control solutions. We are licensed and certified by the Maryland and Virginia Departments of Agriculture in all Pest, Termite, and Public Health Categories. Please contact us at (301) 829-0060 or (888) 9 NOPEST or info@pestshield.com.