Pest Control 101: Ant Infestation in Maryland Homes

carpenter ants Pest Shield Inc

Everybody loves summertime. 

The school kids are at home. College students are at home. Teachers are at home. Grandparents are at home. 

And the ants are home.

Yes, summertime in Maryland/DMV and that means that ants are probably going to invade your home, and unlike your family, they are uninvited and destructive. Ants will not only tear up your property, but they can also injure your loved ones and pets.  

Here are the main types of ants in Central Maryland that can cause problems: 

  1. Carpenter ants: These ants build nests inside of wood. They tunnel and remove wood along the way. They also contaminate food. They need moisture to survive. You can keep them away by removing water-damaged wood from your home and making sure gutters are clean and properly draining water. Store wood away from the house and trim trees and bushes that are touching the house.  
  2. Pavement ants: They build their nests under pavement, but can also be found in walls and under floors. Be sure to clean up pet food, your food, and beverages and keep your kitchen clean. Food should be stored in sealed containers. Your home’s foundation, windows, and doors should also be sealed. 
  3. Acrobat ants: These nasty ants sting when threatened and get in your food. Seal window cracks, doors, pipes, foundation, and exterior walls. And, again, clean your dishes right away and store food in sealed containers. 

All of these ants have one thing in common: they are destructive! You can do your own “pest control” by taking the necessary precautions of storing or wiping up food right away. 

If you have spotted these ants and they are taking over, 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 to rid you of these ants! Call us at (301) 829-0060.

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.