Spring is finally here and with it the warmer and extremely wet mild winter, that means all types of flying and crawling bugs in Maryland! This includes our new clients in Woodbine, Gaithersburg, Columbia, Sykesville, and all of Maryland are calling us now about these flying insects with wings.
They may be winged ant reproductives or winged termite reproductives. But, how do homeowners tell the difference between the two??
First, the easiest way that a homeowner can tell if they have termites or an ant species is fairly simple:
Ants (Carpenter, Odorous, Citronella, Pavement, etc.) have a definitive segmented body with a head, thorax, abdomen. They have pinched waists and they do not shed their wings.
Winged Termites (Alates) have no segmented body parts and definitely shed their wings. So, you will find a pile of wings around windows and door frames, especially after a nice soaking rain followed by sunny skies. These signs may indicate a termite issue.
In either event, don’t panic! For a free, accurate assessment you can send a photo or text photos of the pests in your home and we will promptly identify for you, which is the first step to a positive resolution.
Contact your local Pest Shield, Inc., professional home pest control exterminator. We can do a free, accurate assessment. Text pest photos to (301) 275-7765 for an identification. You may also call (301) 829-0600 or email at email@example.com for a consultation. We serve Mt. Airy, MD, Central Maryland and the counties of Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick, and Howard.
In our next blog, we will delve into the Biology of Subterranean Termites. So visit us here again.
Hoping you have a safe and peaceful April.
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 home 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.