Tag Archives: ants

Early Spring Cleaning Tips

As pest professionals, were here to remind you about early spring cleaning tips and to get a jump start on the “spring” cleaning around the home.  It’s safe to say we have definitely had a mild winter and some great temperatures the last few weeks.  With it being so warm out, this is the time that those pests seem to try and make up for lost time and come out of nowhere. Spiders are out making new webs, ants are marching along, mosquitoes start annoying, and bill bugs start eating away at lawns. But don’t fret, even if you don’t use a professional pest control company there are some ways you can help prepare your home to help keep it pest free this season!

Being proactive and following Alpha’s Early Spring Cleaning Tips.

Inside:

Clean out common clutter areas such as basements, attics, closets, under beds, and even bookshelves. Areas with clutter generally don’t get disturbed too much and make a nice place for pests and rodents to make a home and start a family. Keeping these areas clear of clutter and clean will minimize the hiding spots for many pests. The kitchen should also get a good deep clean. Go beyond cleaning up daily crumbs and spills. Check behind and under appliances for pest activity and give it a good wipe down while you’re there. Wipe down cupboard shelves, and inside of drawers, removing all crumbs and debris. Don’t forget the pantry. Dispose of expired foods, vacuum the floor and shelves, and wipe down all the shelves. If you keep a trashcan in the pantry give it a quick rinse, removing spills or sticky spots that may have occurred.

Outside:

You can start by raking up the yard. Getting rid of leaves, old mulch, and picking up fallen tree limbs can help keep pests away. Trim back bushes and trees away from the house. Just like clutter, overgrown trees and branches make a great home of all kinds of insects and pests. Insects and rodents can get through some of the smallest of holes. Check the outside of your home for holes and/or cracks and make sure all window screens fit properly and are in good condition. Check for any standing water and remove it to help reduce mosquitoes.

Another thing that a lot of people seem to forget is the outside trashcan. Trashcans can attract all types of pests such as ants, bees, wasps, mice, even stray cats! On the day that your trash has been picked up, use a garden hose and spray inside of the trashcan, leave the lid open and let it dry in the sunshine.

Alpha Home Pest Control encourages you to be proactive against unwanted spring pests. If you feel you need help preparing your home for spring or think you may already have a pest problem, don’t hesitate to call us!

Ants a Common Winter Pest

Ants, a common winter pest.  Here in the Treasure Valley the snow has been melting away and we have already answered a handful of calls for ants.   We have mentioned before, pests do not just “go away” and/ or die when winter hits.  Ants will find a safe place to try to escape from the cold just like rodents and spiders do. Depending on the type of ant, their safe place may be rooming with you, underneath the house, in the kitchen and even up in the attic.

It’s not definitely not unheard of to spot ants in the kitchen during the middle of winter with frozen grounds outside.  However, once the temperature start to rise, snow is melting, that means the ground is warming up and ants will be on the move.

The most common types of ants that we deal with in our area are Carpenter Ants, Odorous House Ants (also known as Sugar Ants) and Pavement Ants.

Carpenter ants can be found residing both outdoors and indoors. Usually in moist/damp decaying or hollow wood. Carpenter ants cut galleries into the wood grain to make their nests and to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. When they do this activity you will commonly see bits of wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants.

Odorous house or sometimes referred to as “sugar ants” are small, measuring 2.4 to 3.3 mm in length. They have dark brown or black bodies with one node on their petiole, which is hidden by their abdomens. The thoraxes of odorous house ants are unevenly shaped when viewed from the side. The most noticeable characteristic of these tiny ants is the strong, rotten coconut-like smell they give off when crushed.

Pavement Ants, which usually make their homes in pavements, are small about 2.5 to 3mm long. They are black-brown ants, with lighter legs and antennae. They can be identified by two spines on the back, two nodes on the petiole, with parallel lines on head and thorax. The colonies can be moderately large.

If you find ants or other pests inside your home or office, give Alpha a call 208-475-4440

Crawl Space Restoration

Alpha Home Pest Control now offers crawl space inspections.

The need of a Crawl Space Restoration has many different reasons, including infestations from rodents, termites, snakes etc and mold issues.  Crawl space areas need to be able to have enough air flow to stay cool and dry.  If they are allowed to build up excess moisture that’s when problems start.  Most rodents and insects will need access to water/moisture to be able to survive in the crawl space, if you eliminate their sources you may likely eliminate the problem be for it has a chance to start. Eliminating the moisture will also decrease the risk of mold issues.

There is a wide range of unwanted pests that could be hanging out in your crawl space.  Most common crawl space pests are rodents, ants and wood destroying insects such as termites. These types of pests if left untreated can cause some serious damage in the crawl space which can lead to costly repairs.  Pests will likely keep themselves busy by:

  • Chewing through electrical wires
  • Destroying insulation, perhaps using it for nesting
  • Leaving excrement all over
  • Carrying in filth on themselves, such as fleas and diseases
  • Damaging air ducts by gnawing holes
  • Damage to the wooden structure
  • Create a large colony

There is no need to wait until there is a pest problem to have a crawl space inspection.  If you are buying a home it’s a good idea to have the home inspected for pests especially wood destroying pests like termites that can eat away at your home.  If you are buying an older home make sure the crawl space has been updated with a vapor barrier.

It’s a good idea to have your crawl space inspected yearly by a pest professional.  Being proactive about pests can save you a lot of headache in the future.  Our certified technicians will ensure your crawl space stays pest free.  They will be looking for cracks, crevices and holes that may be being used as an entry point into the crawl space. If any are found they will be properly repaired.  Foundation vents are another common way pests find their way into crawl spaces. Be sure that you have secure screens with no rips or tears.

If you are fighting with pests in the crawl space, buying a new home, or just wanting a yearly inspection, give Alpha a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

(208)475-4440

www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Common Winter Household Pests

Common winter household pests, when the outside temperature starts to cool many types of pests will start to seek warm shelter within your home or garage.  When pests are successful at keeping this new shelter throughout winter it can create problems in the spring, such as allowing time for a large infestation to build or even damage to your property (personal belongings and/or structural damage).

Common winter house hold pests and where might you find them in your home

  • Attics– The attic is a common place for pesky rodents such as mice and squirrels. Both types of rodents can cause some serious and costly damage as well.  Mice love to chew, they like to chew on electrical wires which can cause a major fire risk to your home.  If you have items stored up in the attic, be sure to store them in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes, mice will chew on and nest inside cardboard.  Mice can also cause a lot of damage to insulation as it is another place they like to nest inside of.  Plus all the urine and feces. It would need completely replaced.
  • Bathrooms– the bathroom is a nice place to a cockroach to hang around during winter. They love water and need it for survival.  Be sure to repair leaky pipes and that drains are draining properly.   Regularly check under the sink, around the tub and toilet for water leaks.  If you store items under the sink or have a bathroom closet, use sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes.
  • Kitchen– the kitchen is a common place for many different pests, but ants are definitely at the top of the list. Ants can easily invade homes by the thousand and with so many possible food and water resources it can seem to happen overnight.  To help avoid finding an army of ants in your kitchen be sure to seal cracks and crevices, repair any water leaks from sinks, dishwashers or refrigerator water dispensers.  Wash dishes after every meal, wipe down counter tops and sweep and mop the floor, do not leave pet food out overnight.
  • Pantry– the pantry can host home to different pests but specially beetles, Indian meal moths and weevils. These pests can hitch rides home from the grocery store and invade into other products in the pantry. To help keep your pantry pest free do not buy products that have any type of damage to the package, store food items in sealed plastic containers, take time at least twice a year to clean out your pantry by removing everything, wiping down the shelves, and tossing out any expired and stale foods, paying extra attention to spices, flours and nuts.
  • Bedroom– the bedroom can be a place where you first notice bedbugs as for many people the first sign of bedbugs is irritated bite marks, but be aware that bedbugs are excellent travelers and do not just stay in the bedroom. Bedbugs typically enter the home through secondhand furniture (especially mattresses, box springs and couches) or brought home on luggage from hotels during traveling. If you do buy secondhand furniture be sure to carefully inspect for signs of bedbugs, look for dark spots which could be dried blood or feces from the bedbug, wash clothes and blankets as soon as you get home in hot water and dry on high heat.  Do the same with luggage and items brought home from traveling, all clothes and fabric material should be washed immediately.  If you do find signs of bed bugs or actual bedbugs themselves call your local pest professional as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the longer they have time to spread and get established in your home.
  • Basements– Basements tend to be place for storage. Basements can provide the perfect environment for rodents and a plethora of spiders and insects, especially of the basement is on the cluttered side.  Clutter provides many hiding spots or all these pests and material to chew on.  What you need to is keep your basement as clean as possible, repair any leaks to eliminate access to water, store items neatly in plastic containers that seal tightly.  Seal up cracks and crevices with a silicone based caulk.

Ant Control

Ants can be a major problem anywhere. Whether it’s a ground floor apartment, a country home, or even a house in the city, ants have a way of invading a home in force. If you need to know how to get rid of ants, then you want to do a little research to get the knowledge you need. While an exterminator may end up being necessary, most of the time a few basic ant traps and some smart prevention measures can help.

The first step is also understanding that there are several different types of ants. You want to learn the most common types of ants in your area so you know what methods will be the most effective in getting rid of your particular ant infestation.  Being a specialized ant control Boise Idaho company we’ll help you get rid of your unwanted pests, but here how you can tackle the problem yourself.

originalCarpenter Ants
You are going to notice a large group of carpenter ants. This is because carpenter ants are among the largest in the United States and can grow up to a full 13mm in length. They love meats and sugars, and are large enough to even prey on other insects.

Look around your property for signs of ants in old, damp, wet, or rotting wood. Whether inside or out, carpenter ants prefer to make their home within wood. If you see these signs, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with carpenter ants.

You need to find the main nest and get rid of it. The best prevention is making sure that any wood on your property, whether an old out building, stump, or damaged wood on your house, you need to get it fixed as quickly as possible before an infestation occurs.

Black_AntPavement Ants
pavement ants look a lot like carpenter ants, but they tend to be much smaller. These can range in size from 1.5 mm to 4.0 mm in size. These black ants can also be dark brown in shape or color and not just black. They are extremely common throughout the U.S. and like to set up colonies in dark areas.

They like a wide variety of different foods and can be attracted by sugar, vegetable remains, corn based foods, greasy and oily foods. In other words, these small pavement ants are very easy to attract and chances are if you see a lot of small pavement ants you’re dealing with actual pavement ants over carpenter ants.

The first thing you can do is make sure you wipe counters and never leave foods out. Clean up spills just to make sure that there’s no trace of food around. Beware of leaks, as water can attract them in dry climates, as well.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants can include a wide variety of ants and range from as small as 2 mm to as large as 15 mm. If you’re seeing winged ants, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon a odorous house ant infestation. They tend to especially become active in the dusk and evening hours.

Odorous house ants are all about reliable sources of food. Get rid of these and you’ll have all the information you need to get rid of odorous ants from your home.

Discouraging Kitchen & Bathroom Ants

Ants tend to show up in two rooms in particular: the kitchen and the bathroom. The water from the bathroom attracts them, and explains why they’re drawn into that room. Ant traps by the corners of the walls or any obvious cracks can help take care of that. It also helps to dry up any loose water after a shower or bath with a spare towel to sop up the water that might be getting their attention.

The kitchen is the main room where infestations often appear. It’s critical then to keep food out only when you’re preparing it, and to wipe and clean as often as possible. This includes the oven, counter spaces, and sweeping and mopping. It’s a good idea to have an ant trap by the garbage, as well as hard to reach spots around appliances or other areas they might be sneaking in from.

Follow these tips and no matter what type of ant, you’ll be prepared to handle an infestation and keep them from coming back!

 

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