Carpenter bees are very active from early spring through summer around houses and other wooden structures. These insects bore one-half inch wide holes that appear to be perfectly round on exterior wooden surfaces of house siding, eaves, window trim, fascia boards, shingles, decks and outdoor furniture. For a successful carpenter bee pest-control strategy, several tactics must be employed.
CARPENTER BEE BOMBERS
Homeowners are often frightened by these pesky black bees that fly erratically around their homes. The male carpenter bee is very territorial and protects its nesting sites by hovering and attacking intruders. Although the male is aggressive, it does not have a stinger, making it harmless. The female does have a stinger, but rarely stings.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Fine sawdust caused by the adult bees excavating activities during the spring of the year will normally be found lying on the ground beneath the gallery entrances. Repeated boring activities may result in unsightly stains caused by falling bee waste around the entrance hole. Homeowners often notice a buzzing or burrowing sound coming from within the wood this time of year. The excavating bee will bore directly into the wood with her mouth parts for about an inch, then turn sharply and bore at a 90-degree angle usually along the grain of the wood. Normally, the gallery will extend about four to six inches, but with repeated use galleries have measured ten feet long. Nest sites by a single bee results in slight damage, but repeated colonization over several years may result in considerable destruction.
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROL
Unpainted, exposed wood is especially attractive to carpenter bees. A helpful deterrent to carpenter bee activities is a painted (oil-base or polyurethane) surface. Wood stains provide little repelling action. Nail holes or exposed saw cuts should be filled in with wood putty or dowels and painted. If practical, remove severely damaged wood and replace with chemical pressure-treated wood to deter nest construction. To further discourage carpenter bees looking for potential nesting sites, a homeowner should secure all doors, windows, and other building openings during the spring. Non-wood surfaces such as vinyl siding are not damaged by carpenter bees.
Questions? Need help? Please click here.
ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS – As their name suggests, odorous house ants, when crushed, emit a smell of rotting coconuts. They tend to build nests both inside and outside. Common places to find odorous house ant nests are in wall crevices, near heaters, under carpets, and beneath floors.
This small ant that goes by the common names odorous house ant, sugar ant, stink ant, and coconut ant. Their colonies are polydomous (consist of multiple nests) and polygynous (contain multiple reproducing queens). Like many social insects, it employs complex foraging strategies, allocates food depending on environmental conditions, and engages in competition with other insect species.
These ants can be found in a huge diversity of habitats, including within homes. They forage mainly for honeydew, which is produced by aphids and scale insects that are guarded and tended by the ants, as well as floral nectar and other sugary foods. They are common household pests.
Quick control is crucial, because the larger the population becomes the longer it will take to control the infestation. You should be on the lookout for these ants in late winter and early spring (particularly after rain), because is when they most commonly appear. Taking these steps should help:
- Standing water should be eliminated: odorous house ants are attracted to moisture.
- Plants should be trimmed back so they cannot be used to get inside.
- Cracks, holes and joints should be sealed with polyurethane foam or caulk, especially those that are near the ground.
- Firewood, rocks and other materials should not be stored next to a home because it encourages nest building.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us HERE at ClearDefense Pest Control. We’ll be happy to help!
PAPER WASPS gather fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. Some types of paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests.
WHERE TO LOOK
The nests of most true paper wasps are characterized by having open combs with cells for brood rearing, and a “petiole,” or constricted stalk, which anchors the nest. Paper wasps secrete a chemical that repels marauding ants, which they spread around the base of the nest anchor to prevent the loss of eggs or brood. Nests can be found in sheltered areas, such as the eaves of a house, the branches of a tree, on the end of an open pipe, or on an old clothesline.
ATTACK WHEN THREATENED
Unlike yellow jackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on people, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us HERE at ClearDefense Pest Control. We’ll be happy to help!
We may still be in winter, but you can’t go wrong with proper planning for spring. Part of that plan should include an audit of your current pest control efforts to ensure warming weather doesn’t equal free room and board for nasty pests.
While dozens of pests can be problematic during springtime, here are four pest families to be acutely aware of:
While honeybees provide mostly positive benefits to lawns and gardens, some next of kin can be dangerous to your home and health. Wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets are common in the Southern United States, often nesting in trees, gutters, and even home attics. This proves to be challenging and expensive, as nest removal / relocation can be complicated to prevent painful stings.
Few things cause more uneasiness than knowing your home is infested with fleas. As your cats and dogs enjoy more time in the sun, so grow their chances of picking up parasitic hitchhikers. Fleas are hard to spot due to their small size (roughly 3mm) and can cause widespread havoc if they’re given the opportunity to breed indoors. Female fleas can lay up to 5,000 eggs during their lifespan, which is only a few months.
Having an ant problem is no picnic. There are an estimated 22,000 species of ants in the world, of which a few (namely fire ants and carpenter ants) are particularly problematic for the Southeastern United States. Ants a hearty and resilient — queens can live up to 30 years or more, and worker ants can live a few years to boot. Fighting an ant infestation requires proper perimeter protection as well as thorough detection and treatment of problem spots and ant mounds.
As the winter cold starts melting away, spiders will stretch their eight hairy legs and mobilize to find places to hunt and nest. Problem spots include cluttered areas, damp indoor spots, and dark corners. North America is home to 3,000+ spider species, a few of which are particularly venomous. Just clearing cobwebs won’t do the trick!
Want to ensure your home is ready and protected for spring? Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE for a free consultation.
Though pests come and go with varying frequency throughout the year, there is no such thing as a “season” for pest control. Pests, like cockroaches, are ever-present; lurking, waiting for an opportunity to build a home on your property.
Wintertime brings about an influx in rodent activity indoors simply because mice and rats favor the warmth and safety of a cozy house over brutal cod. Depending on region, you’ll likely also see more stinkbugs, ladybugs, and select other critters.
As Mother Nature begins to thaw, ant populations will begin stirring. With blooming flowers come bees, wasps, and spiders. You’ll also see an influx in flies and mosquitos, particularly if you live in damp areas or near a body of water. Any and all of the above can result in major problems (including potential health risks) if left untreated.
One important takeaway is to remember is that pest control is a year-round exercise. Proper prevention for springtime pests needs to begin in the winter unless you want to deal with a potential infestation when temperatures rise. Further, you can’t forget to continue home maintenance to ensure proper wintertime pest control.
It can be a juggling act if you’re not careful, as each season brings about its own challenges and requirements. While you won’t be constantly monitoring for cobwebs in the dead of winter, you’ll need to actively maintain your home and clear clutter to ensure spiders won’t have an easy transition inside as spring rolls about. The same holds true for rodents in that winter stowaways will become more active in search for food, and therefore more apt to scurry around.
To ensure you’re ready for all seasons, it’s recommended to have routine preventative maintenance on your home:
- filling gaps
- fixing cracks
- sealing leaks
- clearing clutter
For active prevention, we also recommend an ongoing pest control arrangement with a professional team like ClearDefense Pest Control. This will include regular inspections, monitoring, and assistance should a pest issue arise.
Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE today for a free consultation to discuss your home or office needs. It’s never too late to consider a pest control solution!
PEST CONTROL RESOLUTIONS – At ClearDefense Pest Control, we invite you to join us in a New Year’s pledge to prevent pests from invading your home or office. The pledge is simple and straightforward, and might help save your home from unwanted guests.
This year …
I promise to keep my yard clean and protect my perimeter
It’s an acquired taste to enjoy mowing the lawn, clearing brush, and trimming overgrowth. The reality though, is that a clean yard minimizes chances of unwanted pests. A disheveled yard provides ample hiding and a safe haven for pesky critters. Keep hedges trimmed, clean up the wood pile (or rotting trees), and monitor for unsolicited activity.
I promise to check my home quarterly for cracks, loose siding, and entry gaps
Your home is only as safe as your siding. A single crack can be a welcome sign for various pests of all sizes — rodents, bugs, snakes, and more. Ensure gaps are sealed and paths to entry are minimized. Regular maintenance can mitigate long-term damage and improve property value to boot.
I promise to minimize clutter in my garage every month
When’s the last time you used those golf clubs? Do you really need to have those old tools piled in the corner? Clutter is home sweet home to spiders and other creepy-crawlies. Keep everything clean and dry with preventative maintenance and the chances of infestation reduce drastically. For extra protection, lay down bug or mouse traps in high-risk areas such as under workbenches or dimly lit areas.
I promise to stay proactive with routine inspections
While ClearDefense Pest Control offers thorough home inspections, we want you — the homeowner — to stay alert too. You don’t need a professional exterminator to check spackling or caulking, nor do you need an expert to identify a hole in the roof. Mark your calendars and take an hour out of your day to ensure your home is not susceptible to risk. If you need us, we’re happy to help!
I promise to ask for help if I need it
It’s not always easy to ask for help, but sometimes you must. In this case, we’re pest control specialists who alleviate infestations and keep your home and yard protected around the clock.
Want to schedule preventive maintenance? Contact us today at ClearDefense Pest Control today HERE for a quote.