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Ants in My Dash


I just bought a used 1997 buick park ave. and i notice that every day a see an ant or two up where the steering wheel adjusts.  what can i do to get rid of them?  thank you
 

Not knowing where you live, I'll refer to warmer climates where ants will still be active.  During Fall, and continuing into Winter where warm enough, I recommend that you use a carbohydrate bait in preference to a protein bait.  Visit a pest control supplier who will sell to the lay public.  Ask them to recommend a product.  The ants may have moved into the vehicle steering column.  Not knowing what specie of ants is appearing,  I have given you a very general answer.

If you like, you can send me samples so that I can identify the ants.

GM

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

ANTS!


Hello,


What do you recommend to get rid of medium to big sized black ants, maybe carpenter ants.  We live in Central Ohio and we've killed about one to two ants per day.  Also we have flowers (Peonies) outside that ant's like in the spring, but there aren't there now, just in the house!  If you have brand names of products that would be great too.


Thanks
 

At this time of year, protein baits are still the baits of choice for many ant species.  The use of a product known as Advance Carpenter Ant Bait could be extremely helpful.

If you take the time to review past questions that I have answered, you will find much detail in these previous answers.

If you want a more thorough answer, I will gladly oblige; however, you will most likely get that information as I suggested.

Carpenter ants will become more attracted to carbohydrate baits in the late Summer, and Fall.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Ants! Ants! Ants!

Question


Hello! I'm doing a senior project for school where I take a problem and engineer something to fix it. The problem I have chosen is this: Ants can get into and consume pet food.

Now, to continue with my project, my teacher has asked that I provide justifications. A justification is something that confirms that my problem is actually a problem. In other words, my teacher doesn't want me to engineer something that no one, other than myself, thinks is actually a problem. A justification can come from an article, primary research, OR from an expert.
So I have to ask: Do you, as an expert, agree with me? I know it sounds silly, but basically, my opinion doesn't matter. I think ants are a problem because they eat household plants, can get into laundry, and are downright pests. And if you leave poison, this might cause health issues with pets, which is not good. But then again, I am not an expert! And this is where you come in.

I'd like to know your opinions, testimony, and experiences with this problem.

Thank you again! Your time and patience is greatly appreciated!

Answer

It will be useful to identify the ant species that you will be discussing for your senior project.

Most home invading ants will prefer protein based poison baits in the earlier months within a four season area.  As the Summer wanes, their tastes will switch more to carbohydrate baits.  It is sometimes useful to experiment with ant taste preferences by supplying a choice between protein such as dried fish food, crushed aromatic sugar such as a raspberry lollipop, and finally placing a grease/protein combo such as fried bacon.  This should be done where there is an ongoing ant problem.

If you don't have an ant source now, maybe a classmate's home is experiencing such a condition.  If allowed, you could post a wanted sign on the school bulletin board, asking for an existing ant problem that you might address.

Finally, baits can be placed where ants will find that source of food, without presenting an opportunity for a pet to eat the product.  Ants have an exquisite sense of smell, and I can assure you, they will locate a bait somewhere within their foraging territory.

Look up pavement ants, acrobat ants, Pharoah ants, carpenter ants, and thief ants.  These could be useful as study types for your report.

As regards the actual poison baits; they are low toxicity, much too low to be a dangerous product for pet consumption.  There is a slight exception when placing borate based baits within the reach of cats.  Cats seem to have some disruption to their digestive system with borates.  I believe their micro-flora may be effected to a slight degree.  You can look into this factor further by looking up the subject on the Internet.

My main concern would be that if pets eat a bait product, it will not be available to the target ant species.

As regards your theory that ants can get into a pet's food.  The answer is, it is absolutely true.  As a matter of concern, when placing baits for ant kill, we depend on the foragers to carry back the poison to feed the queen(s), and the maturing larvae prior to pupation.  In order to make the bait available to these ants, the nurse ants within the colony must convert the bait into a papp that can then be fed to the larvae and queen(s).  Ants will store baits within the colony when the product is a dry substance.  these baits will be utilized over a period of time. When baits disappear overnight, this is a good sign that the baits will be fed until entirely consumed.

By eliminating a competing food source at times when bait is available, one will have a better opportunity to wipe out the offending colony.  Keep bet food away overnight, especially, during your baiting program.

I hope that I have been helpful Thomas.

Best wishes with your assignment,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Expanded Question:

I live in eastern Canada (Quebec).Last summer I noticed quite a few large black ants in my kitchen cupboards and in the bathroom.  I used traps and poison which kept them at bay however they would always come back.  In February and March this year I noticed quite a few large black ants all over my house. I don't know where they are coming from.  What can I do about this now.  I'm afraid that if I wait until spring, I will have a huge problem.  Please help.  Thank you.


Answer:

When you are seeing large black ants in February and March, they area living within your building. This is the time to be applying a protein bait such as the product known as Advance Carpenter ant Granules.  At this time, ants have no source of food but what they are finding within your house.



As the day length gets longer, the queen produces more eggs, and the demand for food for her and the young larvae is increasing.  From the bait, the ants will make a pap that will be fed to the young larvae.  The bait that you place where you can see the ants collecting , will be the location that you should be baiting.  Dogs and cats are highly attracted to this product.  It is extremely diluted, and can't hurt animals or young children, but you do not want to lose the bait that is intended to kill the ants.  Bait will be carried away over night.  You should continue to place bait until ants are not taking it.  The product is stored in the colony and is gradually converted into the pap that will destroy the colony.



Somewhere in my list of questions, you will find a more detailed answer to Carpenter ant questions.  Go to our website at www.pestproblemssolved, where you will find additional answers to your questions.



Contact me again if you need additional information. 

Our website is linked to a company that can send you pest products.

Lorraine, thanks for your inquiry. 

You can let me know if I've been helpful.



Best wishes



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

Big ants


I live in eastern Canada (Quebec).Last summer I noticed quite a few large black ants in my kitchen cupboards and in the bathroom.  I used traps and poison which kept them at bay however they would always come back.  In February and March this year I noticed quite a few large black ants all over my house. I don't know where they are coming from.  What can I do about this now.  I'm afraid that if I wait until spring, I will have a huge problem.  Please help.  Thank you.
 


When you are seeing large black ants in February and March, they area living within your building. This is the time to be applying a protein bait such as the product known as Advance Carpenter ant Granules.  At this time, ants have no source of food but what they are finding within your house.

As the day length gets longer, the queen produces more eggs, and the demand for food for her and the young larvae is increasing.  From the bait, the ants will make a pap that will be fed to the young larvae.  The bait that you place where you can see the ants collecting , will be the location that you should be baiting.  Dogs and cats are highly attracted to this product.  It is extremely diluted, and can't hurt animals or young children, but you do not want to lose the bait that is intended to kill the ants.  Bait will be carried away over night.  You should continue to place bait until ants are not taking it.  The product is stored in the colony and is gradually converted into the pap that will destroy the colony.

Somewhere in my list of questions, you will find a more detailed answer to Carpenter ant questions.  Go to our website at www.pestproblemssolved, where you will find additional answers to your questions.

Contact me again if you need additional information. 

Our website is linked to a company that can send you pest products.

Thanks for your inquiry. 

You can let me know if I've been helpful.

Best Wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Expanded Question:

Okay, I recently purchased a 30 year old home in NW Washington. During the inspection, we noticed carpenter ant damage to some of the floor joists. The ants were gone and the owner said the house had been treated for carpenter ants since. We repaired the damage and moved in. However, over the past couple weeks (the last week in March and the first two weeks of April) I have seen 3 carpenter ants in the house. Two looked like they were in the process of dying but I can't be sure. Are these foragers from outside or inside? I bought a spray treatment but thats only useful if I know where they are coming from. Should I worry and buy a bait trap or rely on the in-place treatment? I went back into the crawl space last week and didn't see any ants, but they may be somewhere else.

Thanks.


Answer:

Washington is known to be one of the most carpenter ant infested States in the USA.



Your questions are well thought out and clearly delivered.  It is as if you have had carpenter ant experience somewhere else before this new confrontation.



In your climate, if the weather has been consistently cold, not rising above 43 degrees by the time you saw these three, presumably slow moving ants; you still have an inside infestation.

If the temperature has been in the high 40's or more for several weeks, then the ants could be coming in from the exterior or from exposed portions of your building that are not receiving interior heat.



Ants moving as you saw them, could be coming out of torpidity.  Carpenter ants body fluids convert to an ethylene glycol-like substance; whereby, they remain alive but completely immobile during winter conditions.  If they live indoors, they can remain active during the colder months.  The queen slows down egg laying, even indoors.  We believe egg production is tied into day length, and is registered through the queens eyes to stimulate ovulation escalation.



The following persons received answers to their carpenter ant questions.  I recommend that you look these up on my answer history.  They are as follows:
 

Lorraine -- 3/21/08
 

Amanda ---- 2/06/08
 

Sonia ----- 2-11-07

I'll be able to help you further, if you will need further assistance.

Best wishes, and good hunting Nathan,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


Pest Control Chicago,
American Pest Solutions

 

treating carpenter ants while wall is open George, We have carpenter ants (Eastern Massachusetts), and have also located the wet rotting wood (inside our kitchen wall) where they probably have a nest. This will not be the first nest we have found while repairing water damage in various parts of the house over the last few weeks. I have a few questions: 1) When the carpenter opens up the siding to replace the rotted plywood and framing, what should he do to address the nest while the wall is still open? 2)Also, once we've sealed the water source and removed as much of the nest as possible, is there some kind of chemical we should spray or ?? inside before replacing the fiberglass insulation, plywood sheathing, siding, and sealing things back up? 3) Should we also bait now as well? Any recommendations? We are finding a bunch in the kitchen, esp inside the dishwasher, where they seemed very interested in a kernel of corn. Thanks, Jim You are asking excellent carpenter ant questions. I'll answer as follows: 1) Ideally, delay the work until you have baited for the ants, making sure that they are taking the bait product. If you go ahead with carpentry, be certain that your tradespeople are armed with aerosol containers with the active ingredient pyrethrins plus piperonyl butoxide. They will need to kill the ants immediately as they uncover them because they will relocate, possibly multiplying the new locations, although remaining one colony. In addition, since these ants have been of long standing, you may already have multiple satalite locations within the buildings structure. Baiting will be best handled by a sustained reapplication of bait until it is no longer taken. Patience is required. The bait must be converted into a pap which is then fed to larvae and queen(s). The amount of bait carried away will have been stored in the colony where nurse ants perform the conversion of solids to the liquefied toxic product. My recommendation for the early season baiting is a large granule protein bait such as "Advance Carpenter Ant Granular", later in the year, ants will prefer sweet carbohydrate baits which come in paste or liquid form. 2) The use of a borate salt such as "Tim-bor", placed in the areas of the roof system and voids, cracks and crevices, will have long-time active effect against most crawling pests, ei, silverfish, firebrats, psocids, and other types of ants such as acrobat ants. 3) Start the baiting immediately. Place baits where ants are seen. If you have pets or small children, the bait is not of a strength that would do bodily harm if taken in the small doses available, but it will pose a problem, since the ants will be deprived of their designated food substance. You might check exterior activity to see if ants are moving about. Best times after 2PM and into the night. These ants are mostly nocturnal, but not exclusively. Spread granular bait, and watch for acceptance. Good luck Jim--keep me posted if you wish, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Amanda


Carpenter Ants


We recently had a leaky roof and some carpenter ants in the house.  We had the roof and all the moldy wood removed and repaired (even the front entrance). The workers found a small group of ants 50-100 or so and sprayed everything new and old with pyrethrin.  About two weeks later I found on or two ants in different rooms.  Do you think they are "leftover" or is there something bigger we are missing?


Answer: Carpenter Ants

Hello Amanda--

Thank you for your inquiry.  On face value, you did everything right.  Looking further, your thought that you may have "hit the tip of the iceberg" is likely.

Carpenter ants satellite: that is, they send out larger workers, pupae, and virgin queens and male ants, when their colony matures.  This species takes six to seven years to mature to a population of six thousand members or so.  At that time they extend their numbers by sending outward those groupings that we term satellite colonies.  They remain in contact with the mother colony, passing to and from and keeping their territory protected from foreign carpenter ant invaders.

It is possible that you killed a small satellite, or you might have killed some of the primary and not the total colony.  It is possible, too, that by spraying, ants fled and reorganized at a new location.
Not knowing if you are in winter cold or a warmer climate, I'll make general references to all weather conditions.  These creatures are late risers, and are seen more actively from midday to the wee hours of the morning.  They will become torpid in colder climates during winter cold, but could remain active when their colony resides within the warmer house temperature.  Even then, their numbers are much reduced since the queen will slow down on her egg laying when the days grow shorter.  As days lengthen so does her egg production increase.

When in an outdoor colony, say within a tree,  should you locate the ants, they will be immobile.  Should you squeeze one, the distinct smell of ethylene glycol can be detected during this torpid state.  Since you are seeing ants now, whatever the exterior temperature, I recommend that you place bait out for them.  You can inquire at a pest control supply house as to what bait would be appropriate for this time of year.  As a colony is building size, it prefers protein baits.  Later in the year preference will eventually shift to carbohydrates. Let me know if I've been of help.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Carpenter ants Hi, I've read how difficult it is to eradicate carpenter ants. I believe I will be able to find the nest and the queen since I've narrowed it down. My question mainly has to do with chemicals and baits. -Do baits work? So are carpenter ants going to eat up and deliver it to the queen? Do you have a recommendation? -Is it better simply to spray everywhere possible with a chemical rather than a bait? Again, there seem to be several ant killer chemicals, so do you have a recommendation? Art Carpenter ants have already changed their food preferences by mid-August in four season regions of the Country. At this time a carbohydrate gel bait may be the most attractive to these creatures. Towards the end of the Summer, most hymenopterous insects (bees, wasps, and many ant specie) change food tastes. The queens slow down their egg laying, and the colony wants energy sustenance more than protein type baits will furnish. I'd spray if you have located a colony, and can access their colony. If not, I'd bait. In my answers to questions, I've written much about this species behavior. Contact me again if I have not completely answered your concern. Best wishes Art, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Carpenter Ants


Okay, I recently purchased a 30 year old home in NW Washington. During the inspection, we noticed carpenter ant damage to some of the floor joists. The ants were gone and the owner said the house had been treated for carpenter ants since. We repaired the damage and moved in. However, over the past couple weeks (the last week in March and the first two weeks of April) I have seen 3 carpenter ants in the house. Two looked like they were in the process of dying but I can't be sure. Are these foragers from outside or inside? I bought a spray treatment but thats only useful if I know where they are coming from. Should I worry and buy a bait trap or rely on the in-place treatment? I went back into the crawl space last week and didn't see any ants, but they may be somewhere else.

Thanks.
 


Washington is known to be one of the most carpenter ant infested States in the USA.

Your questions are well thought out and clearly delivered.  It is as if you have had carpenter ant experience somewhere else before this new confrontation.

In your climate, if the weather has been consistently cold, not rising above 43 degrees by the time you saw these three, presumably slow moving ants; you still have an inside infestation.

If the temperature has been in the high 40's or more for several weeks, then the ants could be coming in from the exterior or from exposed portions of your building that are not receiving interior heat.

Ants moving as you saw them, could be coming out of torpidity.  Carpenter ants body fluids convert to an ethylene glycol-like substance; whereby, they remain alive but completely immobile during winter conditions.  If they live indoors, they can remain active during the colder months.  The queen slows down egg laying, even indoors.  We believe egg production is tied into day length, and is registered through the queens eyes to stimulate ovulation escalation.

I'll be able to help you further, if you will need further assistance.

Best wishes, and good hunting Nathan,

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

I have a ento degree from Texas A&M but im unfamiliar with ants species population Chicago particularity cook county hospital distract i live in UIC dorms i notice a influx a black ants moderated to large size worker ants( for house type ants comparative) black and wondering what it could be i have no microscope so unable to ID nodes or antenna things (even if did im not very good) and i cant find source so know idea colony size i know random abstract question with no hardcore facts.

Answer

Various sized ants, black in color, and moderate to large in size sound as if you are seeing carpenter ants.  Polymorphic specie that are home invaders are not many.  Carpenter ants, Camponotus pennsylvanicus is such a species.

Their range of travel can be a 300 foot radius from the location of their habitat(s).  At this time of year, you can use a protein product known as Advance Carpenter Ant Bait.

You will be able to order their product from our supplier, whose information is linked to our website.

For detailed information about this species, please scroll down my past answers pages.

You are welcome to send me a specimen for quick identification.

Best wishes Kim Lee Smith,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com
American Pest Solutions

 

Carpenter Ants in Wall


I just had two windows replaced and the carpenter said that I have carpenter ants in the wood.  What do I do?  Do I have to get a professional service, as in dealing with termites, or can I do this myself?


Answer 


Among the many questions I receive, I have answered numerous carpenter ant questions.  They are not placed in categories according to subject so you would need to scroll down to find them.

The carpenter, having replaced the windows may have seen ants as he was removing the old windows.  Had he not removed the dryrotted wood that surrounded the window, ants could re-infest that location. When removing the old windows, he would have caused the ants to scatter, carrying the pupae(third stage of development:egg,larva,pupa,adult)to an unknown location if they were not killed at once upon finding them.  If only damage appeared, then the ants had moved to another location before the work had begun.

If you are seeing large ants travelling outside your building; especially after 2PM in the afternoon, throughout the night, until 
early morning, you know that the primary colony is nearby.  Often outpost colony activity appears, whereby, a portion of the mother colony settles into another location, and remains connected to the primary colony through travel and communication.

It is difficult for a lay person to find the ant colony(s).  It is possible to bait the ants so they will carry poisoned bait back to the colony where house ants will store bait and gradually convert the substance into pap which they will feed to the queen and larvae.

If bait is accepted, continue placing it out until the ants stop taking it.  The colony will eventually collapse and cease to exist .

A protein bait is usually the one of choice at this time of the year.

Soon, mid-August through the rest of the ant season, ants will prefer sweet baits.

A professional will be able to help.  It is unnecessary to set up a contractual monthly agreement with a company.  Elimination will take place if the company applies bait that ants accept.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Question
I live in a desert area of Arizona. When I first looked at my house it had hundreds of dead, winged ants on the floor and on the roof. Now that I am living in the house, I am finding them again. Most of the time they are alive, but die off quickly. They are dark in color, are winged, and have a pointy rear end, or gaster. I was told they get in through the chimney of my fireplace and I've read that some ants swarm to the chimney tops to attract females. After I moved in I found thousands of dead ants on the roof, behind switchplates and inside the guts of my propane fireplace. What are they and how do I keep them out of the house? Thank you.
Mark


Answer
Purely guessing, I think you may be seeing Harvester ants, a Ponomyrmex species. I say this because the Harvesters, locally called Pogos, are a common ant. The description;dark color, and gaster(abdomen) reference described, plus the numerous winged forms seen, makes me believe that I am correct about the genus, but not the species.

These ants have a stinger. If one is stung they can make one ill, or in rare cases, kill by anaphylactic impact.

You could lower a plastic strip of DDVP, known as ProZap Insect Guard down the chimney, close the flue and reduce the roof opening so as to allow the toxic vapors to permeate the chimney.

Spraying with a pyrethroid known as deltamethrin, or more commercially known as Suspend.

Let me know how your schedule permits your implementing these suggested products.

Best Regards Marc,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblems solved.com

 

Expanded Question:

They are a long established problem here near Houston, TX. and are once again destroying everything I plant. I've been spraying the area with Malithion and directly down the holes
(their feeder holes) Most instructions for exterminating them is about treating the mound. Frankly I can't find their mounds, only the feeder holes that are always 10-20 feet from their target. How far away could the mounds be? HELP!


Answer:

Control of Texas leaf cutting ants is difficult. Although plants can be protected temporarily using powder or granular formulations of contact insecticides like acephate (Orthene®), carbaryl (Sevin®) or permethrin, these treatments must be reapplied frequently. Also, plant applications do not eliminate underground colonies. The large size and complexity of leaf cutter ant nests makes it difficult to obtain good control with dust, liquid and granular insecticides. Because these ants eat only the fungus they cultivate, they do not respond to most other ant baits, such as those labeled for fire ants. A special formulation of hydramethylnon, Amdro® Ant Block, is currently the only widely available product that is labeled for control of leaf cutting ants. This product can be used on most sites such as lawns, landscaped areas, golf courses, ornamental gardens, and other none cropland areas such as roadsides, commercial grounds, etc.
      

According to Texas Forest Service tests, hydramethynon bait is about 30% effective in eliminating colonies with a single application. Follow-up applications may be needed, especially for larger colonies. This bait should also not be stored for extended periods of time due to a relatively short shelf life. Shelf life may be extended by refrigeration. This product should be available through a variety of stores, including Ace Hardware and WalMart.
      

The most widely available consumer products for leafcutter ant control include acephate dusts and insecticide granules labeled for general ant mound control. These products should be applied to all nest openings according to label directions. If possible, dusts should be blown into nest openings using a garden duster or squeeze bottle. It may be difficult to obtain complete control of large, well-established colonies using these products.



Since you can't locate the mounds, I copied the above information for your consideration.  I would recommend watching the activity, as ants travel back and forth.  You should be able to follow ants carrying leaves back to their mounds. 



Natural approaches that you might use are as follows:
 Spread wettable sulfur powder over the mounds and water in.  You can use Rosemary oil soaked into the mounds.  Obtain a product known as Eco-EXEMPT IC that contains 10% Rosemary and 90% of a combination of wintergreen oil plus mineral oil.
 There is a vine known as Tanaercium nocturnum, Bignoniaceae, where when scrapings are applied to the top of the mound, ants are killed instantly.  Google all the above information to locate sources to obtain the suggested material.

Leaf Cutter Ants collect vegetation, in order to compost within their mounds, a fungi which the ants require as their food substance.  No fungi-no ants.  Much research is being done on this subject.  Colonies produce upwards to a million ants.  Such numbers can defoliate an entire grove.



I sincerely feel for you.  You have a challenge, but then, all gardeners fight the elements.  Use this information to combat, and with battle experience, and never say,"I quit", you can win.



Good luck Robin,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

Arlene


Leaf Cutter Ants


Is there an effective way of preventing them  [leaf cutter ants] from destroying a plant?  I am not into chemicals if they can be avoided as we have a dog and for environmental reasons.  I live in Guatemala and the leaf cutter ants are playing havoc on some of the bushes and trees in my courtyard.  Any help you can give is appreciated.  Thanks
 


 

Answer: Leaf Cutter Ants


Natural approaches that you might use are as follows:

Spread wetable sulfur powder over the mounds and water in.  You can use Rosemary oil soaked into the mounds.  Obtain a product known as Eco-EXEMPT IC that contains 10% Rosemary and 90% of a combination of wintergreen oil plus mineral oil.

There is a vine known as Tanaercium nocturnum, Bignoniaceae, where when scrapings are applied to the top of the mound, ants are killed instantly.  Google all the above information to locate sources to obtain the suggested material.

Leaf Cutter Ants collect vegetation, in order to compost within their mounds, a fungi which the ants require as their food substance.  No fungi-no ants.  Much research is being done on this subject.  Colonies produce upwards to a million ants.  Such numbers can defoliate an entire grove.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Leaf cutter ants


They are a long established problem here near Houston, TX. and are once again destroying everything I plant. I've been spraying the area with Malithion and directly down the holes
(their feeder holes) Most instructions for exterminating them is about treating the mound. Frankly I can't find their mounds, only the feeder holes that are always 10-20 feet from their target. How far away could the mounds be? HELP!


Answer
   

Control of Texas leaf cutting ants is difficult. Although plants can be protected temporarily using powder or granular formulations of contact insecticides like acephate (Orthene®), carbaryl (Sevin®) or permethrin, these treatments must be reapplied frequently. Also, plant applications do not eliminate underground colonies. The large size and complexity of leaf cutter ant nests makes it difficult to obtain good control with dust, liquid and granular insecticides. Because these ants eat only the fungus they cultivate, they do not respond to most other ant baits, such as those labeled for fire ants. A special formulation of hydramethylnon, Amdro® Ant Block, is currently the only widely available product that is labeled for control of leaf cutting ants. This product can be used on most sites such as lawns, landscaped areas, golf courses, ornamental gardens, and other none cropland areas such as roadsides, commercial grounds, etc.
       According to Texas Forest Service tests, hydramethynon bait is about 30% effective in eliminating colonies with a single application. Follow-up applications may be needed, especially for larger colonies. This bait should also not be stored for extended periods of time due to a relatively short shelf life. Shelf life may be extended by refrigeration. This product should be available through a variety of stores, including Ace Hardware and WalMart.
      

The most widely available consumer products for leafcutter ant control include acephate dusts and insecticide granules labeled for general ant mound control. These products should be applied to all nest openings according to label directions. If possible, dusts should be blown into nest openings using a garden duster or squeeze bottle. It may be difficult to obtain complete control of large, well-established colonies using these products.

Since you can't locate the mounds, I copied the above information for your consideration.  I would recommend watching the activity, as ants travel back and forth.  You should be able to follow ants carrying leaves back to their mounds.

Natural approaches that you might use are as follows:
 Spread wettable sulfur powder over the mounds and water in.  You can use Rosemary oil soaked into the mounds.  Obtain a product known as Eco-EXEMPT IC that contains 10% Rosemary and 90% of a combination of wintergreen oil plus mineral oil.
 There is a vine known as Tanaercium nocturnum, Bignoniaceae, where when scrapings are applied to the top of the mound, ants are killed instantly.  Google all the above information to locate sources to obtain the suggested material.

Leaf Cutter Ants collect vegetation, in order to compost within their mounds, a fungi which the ants require as their food substance.  No fungi-no ants.  Much research is being done on this subject.  Colonies produce upwards to a million ants.  Such numbers can defoliate an entire grove.

I sincerely feel for you.  You have a challenge, but then, all gardeners fight the elements.  Use this information to combat, and with battle experience, and never say,"I quit", you can win.

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com


Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Small black ants


We just moved to Tampa, Florida.  Before we moved in the house was vacant and had a lot of dead bugs inside.  We have hired a pest company and that problem seems to have been resolved.  Recently, we've noticed tiny black ants coming from the yard or garden beds coming up the walls of our outside of the house and going into the attic.  I haven't seen any in the house.  Why are they doing this and how can I control them.  I've creating a boric acid barrier around the house to spraying boric acid in my attic.  Any suggestions would be helpful.

Answer


A boric acid barrier can be helpful in reducing the foraging ants.  This may not halt the activity within the colony.  Ants will continue to be generated by the laying queen or queens. Ants follow pheromone trails that are set down by earlier travellers that have found a food source.  The intensity of the trail brings about additional ants that continue back and forth along a verified food trail.  When ants are killed, this may not be enough to destroy a colony.  I suggest that you test their trail by placing grated cheese in their path, and also a bottlecap  filled with honey, in order to see if either will cause the activity to swing to your test site.  After a time, say an hour, ants should be telling you which bait they prefer. You will then know if you should purchase a protein or a carbohydrate bait. 

When ready, contact the supplier of your choice or go to our website and link to the supplier in our link list.

Bait continually until ants no longer take the bait.  Ants store large quantities of food that they prefer.  Once they have carried their desired fill, the process of destruction will take a while.  Allow three weeks before you feel that its taking too long.  Do not use any boric acid during this kill time.  The foragers are your aids in destroying the colony.  If they are stopped by alternative killing methods, you lose on the baiting approach. 

Liquid and gel baits will eventually destroy foragers because they will carry these substances in their crops(storage stomachs), and  they will eventually succumb.  Dry granular baits are carried by the mandibles, and are not ingested on the way to the colony.

One other footnote is that as the ants focus, you will know if they originate from the attic or from the yard, since their trailing will be to and from their colony.

For further ant information, there are other ant postings from previous questions asked of me.

Good luck,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

stubborn ant problem

Question
I live in Los Angeles.  I have had problems with rodents, but never with ants, until now. Starting several weeks ago, we found thousands of tiny ants streaming along our kitchen counter, in my home office, and elsewhere.  At first we thought we had attracted the ants by leaving out food or dirty dishes, but when we remedied this, the ants still came.  We could wipe away the ants and clean the area; they would come back, sometimes within minutes!  We then tried Combat brand ant bait traps.  Absolutely no effect. The ants just seemed to go around the traps.  The ants have more or less stopped everywhere but the kitchen, where they are just as bad as always.  We have gone to our last resort, which is spraying insecticide (the "earth-friendly" kind you buy in the grocery store, by Raid).  Of course it kills the ants that are present, but apparently does nothing to deter ants from coming back.  I sometimes notice ants streaming outside the house as well, near the garbage bins and in the
garden.  We would rather not go to the expense (and hazard) of a professional exterminator unless we absolutely have to, as I am currently not working.  But we are becoming desperate.  We have a theory that the unusual heat we have experienced lately has attracted the ants, but have no idea if this is based in fact, and if so if it helps us toward a solution.  Please help.  We want the ants to stay out of our house!   We have a five-year-old girl and three dogs and don't want to do anything that might hurt them or ourselves.  But the ants must go!  Thank you for a speedy reply.



Answer


I found your question in our question pool where it remains until a volunteer expert finds it.  I frequently check the pool when I have the time.

Fortunately for me, I just answered a similar question for a high school student's science project.  I am copying it in for your consideration.  Please let me know if you require further assistance.  There are numerous answers to ant questions if you scroll through my general answers to previous questions. The taste preference test will be useful to you in your climate local too.  Here is the copy:

It will be useful to identify the ant species.

Most home invading ants will prefer protein based poison baits in the earlier months within a four season area.  As the Summer wanes, their tastes will switch more to carbohydrate baits.  It is sometimes useful to experiment with ant taste preferences by supplying a choice between protein such as dried fish food, crushed aromatic sugar such as a raspberry lollipop, and finally placing a grease/protein combo such as fried bacon.  This should be done where there is an ongoing ant problem.

If you don't have an ant source now, maybe a classmate's home is experiencing such a condition.  If allowed, you could post a wanted sign on the school bulletin board, asking for an existing ant problem that you might address.

Finally, baits can be placed where ants will find that source of food, without presenting an opportunity for a pet to eat the product.  Ants have an exquisite sense of smell, and I can assure you, they will locate a bait somewhere within their foraging territory.

Look up pavement ants, acrobat ants, Pharoah ants, carpenter ants, and thief ants.  These could be useful as study types for your report.

As regards the actual poison baits; they are low toxicity, much too low to be a dangerous product for pet consumption.  There is a slight exception when placing borate based baits within the reach of cats.  Cats seem to have some disruption to their digestive system with borates.  I believe their micro-flora may be effected to a slight degree.  You can look into this factor further by looking up the subject on the Internet.

My main concern would be that if pets eat a bait product, it will not be available to the target ant species.

As regards your theory that ants can get into a pet's food.  The answer is, it is absolutely true.  As a matter of concern, when placing baits for ant kill, we depend on the foragers to carry back the poison to feed the queen(s), and the maturing larvae prior to pupation.  In order to make the bait available to these ants, the nurse ants within the colony must convert the bait into a papp that can then be fed to the larvae and queen(s).  Ants will store baits within the colony when the product is a dry substance.  these baits will be utilized over a period of time. When baits disappear overnight, this is a good sign that the baits will be fed until entirely consumed.

By eliminating a competing food source at times when bait is available, one will have a better opportunity to wipe out the offending colony.  Keep bet food away overnight, especially, during your baiting program.

 

Cheryl


Tiny Ants


Dear George,  Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. I live in a slab house that I purchased over the summer. I have tiny ants everywhere. The kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms etc. I have used ant traps and spray in the areas that my dog does not go. But, the ants come right back. I think they are coming thru the foundation. Its 15 degrees outside and I still have them Its driving me CRAZY!! What can I do that will be safe for my dog and get rid of them for GOOD??? Sincerely, Cheryl

Hello Cheryl:

Your floor may be radiant heated, have below floor hvac ducts or possibly have radiators.  All these systems keep concrete warm and allow ants to remain active, even when the outside temperature is 15 degrees.

Probably Pavement ants, Tetramorium caespitum(Linnaeus), are the ants that are appearing all over your floor.  You see worker ants foraging for food.  When they find a satisfactory food, they will place down a pheromone trail that others will follow.  If you have exposed food stuff such as dog food, you may be supplying their immediate need.
Reduce such opportunities while you start the elimination process.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Follow up question to tiny ant problem

Hi, George!  I read your answer to the person who had the question about the tiny ants in her house.  I too live in a slab house and those pesky little ants are in my kitchen, bathroom, and a few are in one of my bedrooms.

I have ordered the granules and will use them as soon as they arrive.  In the meantime, I'm using Combat ant traps and a liquid bait called Terro.  I think that perhaps the Combat stuff is too potent for the little ants and they are not living long enough to get the stuff back to the colony (lots of dead ants around the traps).  The liquid stuff is like a watering hole for them and seems to be just feeding them.

I really want to leave it alone and let the stuff do its work, but hate all the ants that are crawling all over the counter.  Am I messing up the process by taking a wet towel and wiping up as many of the live ants that I can get at?

Thanks for your help!
 

Hello Lisa--


Answer 

I understand your impatience with baiting techniques.  The condition would go away for a very few moments only.  The ants have been programmed to feed at sources on your counter.  The fact that you will remove foragers may not dissuade additional ants from arriving on your kitchen counter.  If your intention is to eliminate these visible foragers, then, by all means, spray them with an insecticide.  If you want to temporarily prevent their arrival to this location, then you might use vinegar water, or hydrogen peroxide to wipe out the pheromone trails placed down by former foragers that directed other foragers to the food source. Remember your objective is to kill all of the ants.  You will need these foragers, that are grossing you out, to carry the bait back to the colony.  Although Terro is an excellent bait, it does not serve well to use the ants as carriers of poison.  Granted, the liquid, which is ingested and carried to the colony, kills the young larvae, and the queen, but the poison may destroy the forager too soon to effect destruction of the total colony.  You are seeing this by the number of ants that are returning, only to die around the Terro bait cup. Follow through with my recommendations that you found in previous answers.  If you do not have complete success in two to four weeks, let me know.

Good luck,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Colleen


Ants in House
What is the best time of yr to spray inside and outside of ants?  We have a problem with the small black ants all yr long.  We have a 2 yr and if there are crumbs left on the floor, a few hrs later we have a bunch of ants. I'm ready to pay someone to treat our house but not sure the best time of yr.

Answer: Ants in House


Dear Colleen:
It would be helpful to know where you live.  There are so many ant species that invade homes, their habitats can vary, their food preferences vary, and their colony reproductive rate can be a factor.  Multiple queens as opposed to a single queen per colony could be a factor in going about the business of eliminating a given ant source.

Test your invaders to see to what class of food they are attracted.  As a carbohydrate, try honey or cool aide powder; strawberry or raspberry flavor.  As protein, try powdered yogurt or actual the real thing.  Try powdered egg.  Experiment with such food as peanut butter or crisp, dry, minced bacon.  From the information gleaned, you can contact your local pesticide supplier or pest control shop.  They will be able to recommend several baits that you can try against these ants. Unless you are in a warm climate, ants will not be active out-of-doors, and exterior treatment will be unnecessary.  Ants, active indoors in cold, winter weather, are living inside, within wood, or between stud plate and studs behind drywall, below the concrete floor near a basement furnace where the concrete stays warm.  Look for sand or soil piled up along a wall where a concrete floor exists.  Look at spider webs that are constructed at the base of windows or at concrete/wall corners where webs exist.  Spiders consume ant body fluids and trap the ants in their webs.  You may use bait in such locations where the walls are not so cold that ants will not currently be present.

In warm climates, you can sprinkle a granular pesticide that will slowly degrade. Sprinkle over ant hills, door thresholds at the crack along the outside of the door.  Sprinkle the product along the exterior perimeter of your house.

Spraying may disperse ant colonies.  In some cases colonies with many queens will scatter, multiplying the infestations.  Unless you hire a professional, stay away from indoor spraying.  Contact me for further follow up questions.  I'll be able to help.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Flies!!!


I just started opening our kitchen and living room windows. Since then I've been bombarded by flies! I believe they're breedin in my house. I've closed the windows but they seem to be multiplying. I've killed/swatted about 30 of them but thay continue to come and they only stay/fly on the kitchen and living room window/curtains. I've used Raid on the curtains and the window edges. They die but more seem to fly around the windows. My question is- what do you think is the source of all the flies that are appearing in my house is and what do you suggest I do to kill this source of the problem?
 

Flies in the home without a known source may be the result of flies finding your garbage can.  As you lifted out the garbage bag, maggots escaped and crawled to a hidden spot to complete their development from maggot to fly.

Are the flies blue or green or are they houseflies?  Could be garbage.  Did you have a mouse or rat condition or squirrels which died in attic or crawl space?  This would attract flesh flies and even blow flies to your home after emerging from their pupal cases.

aerosol spraying upward at rate of 1 second per 1000 square feet will knock off existing flies

Contact me again if you require further help.

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com
 

 

Deer fly population cattle population Are deerfly populations affected by the presence or absence of cattle? Deer flies are breeding in wetland or in chronic pools of water. They do go after cattle, and blood meals guarantee reproduction of the species. The eggs are laid on grasses or other plant life in these areas. The newly hatched larvae drop down into the water where the dig down, or in mud and remain there during their developmental time. They feed on organic substances, as well as snails or other available small aquatic life. Their cycle from egg to adult may be as short as several months or as long as two years. They remain a pest to humans during June and July, and then they are gone. We know of no way to eliminate them short of draining marshlands. Repellants help. Best wishes Marie, George Manning Consulting Entomologist george@pestproblemssolved.com www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

I have had a problem with drain flies for the past 2-3 years.  I am sure that I have identified them properly, but we can not find their source.  The congregate in our laundry room.  We have tried cleaning the floor drain, running hot water, sealing any cracks along the floor, covering the drains, but nothing seems to help.  I do notice a correlation with the timing of our air conditioning.  They began about a week after we turned our air conditioning on and go away soon after we turn it off in October.  Is there something we are missing?  How can we get rid of these things?
 


Slime mould builds up in drains, condensate tubing such as you have on your hvac system.  The flies originate in the public sewer and find their way into your home where there are ideal conditions for propagation.

I'm presuming that you are calling Psychodid flies, drain flies.
These are small flies which, when resting, have a shape appearing triangular with the wings folded tent-like.

DF 5000 in drains and tubing will destroy the mould.  You can include a Pyrethroid insecticide such as permethrin mixed with the DF 5000, or DrainGel.

If you can't find these products, you are welcome to contact our supplier linked to our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com.

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

Expanded Question:

I have a major problem with fly's coming out of hibernation at my house and what could i get to spray to kill or get them to leave for good.


Answer:

These questions have been answered for previous questioners, but I'm having difficulty locating them because the subtitles are not clearly showing the question - sorry.



I'll guide you to further information, but if you wish, I'll spend more time with you.  For now, I'll give you information that will guide you further.



You seem to be referring to one of two species or even both.  These are known as cluster flies or possibly face flies.  the former breeds in earthworms, over winter in sheltered places and emerges in the Spring, making you aware of their presence.  The second breeds in cattle dung and emerges to pester the faces and eyes of cattle.  Again, you become aware of their existence when they attempt to exit to the outside but also enter the inside from the walls.



In Fall spray the south and west sides of your home from top to bottom with one of the pyrethroids such as flumethrin or Delta.



This can prevent access to points within the buildings interior.  



At this time vacuumed them up.  Sprays and powders can be responsible for causing secondary pests like carpet beetle, and larder beetles, which can live on the mass dead flies.



Google these two fly species and a third, which is known as flesh fly.  In addition search my answers.  They are not titled.



Please contact me again if you require additional information.



Best regards Gary,



George Manning

 

Fly Breed/Living Conditions
I have a question about flies. My landlord tried to accuse us of having maggots living in old food under our oven. Is it possible for maggots to grow under an oven that is used, and about how much food would have to be under there for maggots to grow? If they can grow under an oven, does it make it better for the flies if the oven is used a lot or a little?

Hello Sara--

Knowing what kind of flies you see would be helpful.  House flies are dark grayish in color.  Bottle flies, both metallic green or blue, or flesh flies are the more usual seen.  These can fly into the home.  Bottle flies and house flies will lay their eggs in garbage.  It is feasible that these flies as maggots fall to the floor when you carry out the garbage.  Depending on the moisture content of discarded food that inadvertently is pushed under the stove, maggots can move to that location.

Not knowing if you had also seen maggots, I cannot speculate further.  Give me more information so that I can be more specific.  Thanks

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Giant house flys


Question


HELP!!!!  My mother is suffering from dementia and left a dirty pan in an enclosed electric wall oven. She left her home about 6-8 weeks ago.  I cleaned out the entire kitchen but never looked in the wall oven.  When I entered the house yesterday I noticed a few GIANT house flies.  My husband...for no reason..opened the wall oven door..and BINGO...more FLIES!!!!  He quickly shut the door.  YIKES!!!!  We have left what ever is in there....UGH...and imagine it is a very dirty old pan with some old cooked food in it.  Obviously, we need to get rid of the infestation.  Do I hire an exterminator, cook whatever it is at a very high temperature (afraid of odors), or just let them all out???? and then deal with whatever was left in the oven.  It is very gross...please help!


Answer


You are seeing flesh flies and, or blow flies that have been attracted to a rotting food source, probably decaying meat that was left in the oven.  The adults(flies) are short-lived, and will expire on their own.  Their goal is to mate and then lay eggs.  If there is no further food source, this will not happen again.

If you like, you can purchase any aerosol that is labelled for fly control in the home.

Although, I understand the shock of a swarming fly emergence from the oven, this is a normal response to odors that attract a female fly(s) to a source that attracts their reproductive requirements.
Flesh flies are viviparous, meaning that they give birth to tiny maggots that will grow, going through several stages of molting before the mature and enter the pupal stage prior to emerging as flies.  In the case of blow flies, the situation is similar; however, eggs are laid which will hatch into larvae, usually within 24 hours.

I hope that I have been helpful, Susan,

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

Expanded Question:

I have great big flies all over the front and back of my brick home here in Va.Beach and when I open the front or back doors I have to always watch so they won't come in the house. What can I do to get rid of them.

Answer:

Sarcophagids, known as flesh flies, will often hang out in certain spots such as outside stairwells, corners of a building away from direct sunlight and wind.  These flies are attracted to carrion where they lay their eggs which emerge as maggots that feed on the flesh of the demised.  A fan will keep them away.  Spraying the walls with a pyrethroid such as "Suspend" will destroy them.  Their presence should not be continuing anyway.  In the heat of the day, they find your location.



What has been the situation in past years?  Be guided with your past experience.

Regarding preventing their entry into the home, the use of screen doors will; be helpful.  Seal cracks to prevent their crawling inside from the collection spots where they are resting.



Our website links to a supplier that can send you product.  



Best wishes Pam,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

 

Great big flies

QUESTION: I have great big flies all over the front and back of my brick home here in Va.Beach and when I open the front or back doors I have to always watch so they won't come in the house. What can I do to get rid of them.

ANSWER: Sarcophagids, known as flesh flies, will often hang out in certain spots such as outside stairwells, corners of a building away from direct sunlight and wind.  These flies are attracted to carrion where they lay their eggs which emerge as maggots that feed on the flesh of the demised.  A fan will keep them away.  Spraying the walls with a pyrethroid such as "Suspend" will destroy them.  Their presence should not be continuing anyway.  In the heat of the day, they find your location.

What has been the situation in past years?  Be guided with your past experience.

Regarding preventing their entry into the home, the use of screen doors will; be helpful.  Seal cracks to prevent their crawling inside from the collection spots where they are resting.

Our website links to a supplier that can send you product. 

Best wishes Pam,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


pestproblemssolved.com


americaneaglepest@yahoo.com


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


QUESTION: My house has been all redone with new roof and trim painted and had a complete work over inside and out. I have never had this problem so I don't know how to handle it.  Also I take care of my 21 month old niece and am concerned for her.  Where do I buy Suspend and do I spray it all over my house and will it hurt the baby?
 


The Bug Stop is a supplier that can send you the product, Suspend, instructions as to application dilutions, and an inexpensive spray applicator.  Their website and e-mail address are linked from our site, wwwpestproblemssolved.com.  You can communicate with them; they are very helpful.

Regards,

George Manning

Best Wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Terry


Harmful Insects in NH Log Cabin


Last summer we finished building our retirement home in NH - a pine log home.  We continue to work inside as time permits. We have been told that we should spray various chemicals externally to ward off harmful (destructive wood boring insects such as bald faced wasps etc.)  We also seem to have been invaded by slow moving large (1/4") flies that quickly die off??? once we heat up the place.  We use the place presently only on the occasional weekends to do work, and summers (we are teachers).  These flies weren't around during summer.  

Can you give us some info on 1. what insects could attack the logs and what we need to do to prevent them; and, 2. what to do with those horrible flies that buzz and die.  Would appreciate insight on both.  
Thanks, Terry



Hello Terry:

Exterior spraying in late April to mid-May can reduce the presence of wasps before they get started building nests.  At that time, fertile queens are searching for ideal spots to set up their future families.  Only the queens survive each year.  The current colony is never reoccupied.  Colonies begin anew each year.  It is safe to knock down wasp nests during winter after the occupants have died.  The insecticides mentioned later in this response are appropriate for prevention and killing of wasps when applied at the time recommended.  

It sounds as if you are experiencing the presence of either cluster flies or face flies or both.  These specie seek over wintering protection from the weather and often find attics and wall spaces
to their liking.

Cluster flies breed in earthworms and their late summer-early fall crop, as they emerge as flies from their hosts, begin the process of seeking winter quarters.  With face flies, the food source is the runny mucous that drains from cattle eyes.  Their eggs are laid in cattle dung where they develop into flies.  As with cluster flies, they seek winter shelter as adults.

It is useful to seal all possible cracks and crevices that can allow the flies access to your building's attic and inner wall voids.  In addition,  spraying the exterior walls especially the south and west ones will be necessary.  Using a vacuum cleaner to suck up dying flies is preferred over using insecticides in the attic and dwelling.  Carpet beetles and larder beetles can become a secondary pest as they feed and breed on the dead flies.

Insecticides of choice are pyrethroids such as deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, sumethrin, or tralomethrin.  You can contact a pest control supplier to purchase a product.

I hope that I have been helpful to you.  Please contact me if you require  more detailed response or have other questions.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

more drain flies...


You answered a drain fly question on 6/15/08.  The question sounded so much like our situation that I thought my husband sent in the question.  We also have had this problem for 3 years.  They appear to be mostly in the laundry room where our hvac system is also.  We have treated all drains with a variey of products and also used a fogger.  We have never seen any flies coming out of drains.  In fact, we cannot see where they are coming from.  We are killing 20-50 a day now.  The hvac tubing sounds like another good avenue to try.  Do you have any additional suggestions for getting the drain treatment/pesticide into the tubing?  Anything else we might try?
 


Change the HVAC tubing so that the slime mold is arrested, or remove, clean and return.  the floor drain may not show actual flies, but if you shine a flashlight in the drain, you may see shimmering on the water surface where the fly larvae are developing.
If your laundry overflow line, which is seated in a copper or plastic 2 inch drain line is nearby; this may contribute to the overall condition you are experiencing.  In addition, ejector pumps that are fed through plastic lines, even drainage lines, could be another breeding ground for these flies.

When this is the case, the fungus known as slime mold must be mitigated with a product known as Drain Gel, or DF-5000, blended with an emulsifiable pyrethroid such as Permethrin.

I hope I've passed on useful information.  If you are still having problems, recontact me and we'll "brain storm" further.

Best wishes Mike,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Question


I live in Maine.  My house has vinyl siding on 2 sides and common house flys are all over the outside on and under the vinyl.  I've had to do work on the siding and I have found them living under the siding.  They are also making their way into the house as well.  I can't figure out how they are getting in but especially why they are living under the siding. I had thousands of them crawling around on the outside today.  How do I get rid of them?

Answer
Over-wintering flies, Cluster, Fly Pollenia rudis (Fabricius), and Face Fly Musca autumnalis (DeGeer) do resemble the house fly Musca domestica.

In northern climates, it is rare to find house flies in their adult stage behaving as you are describing.  Yes, within a home, they can last a time prior to breeding, laying eggs and, thereafter, soon dying; however, they over winter as either larvae, but moreso as pupae.

Face flies look so much like house flies that they are mis-identified as the common house fly.  In turn, the cluster fly looks less like a house fly but similar.  Whoever diagnosed your problem as house flies is incorrect.

Without cattle nearby, I doubt if you are seeing face flies, however, if cattle are in the vicinity, it is a fair bet that you see these critters, and, or cluster flies, which breed in earth worms and seek shelter in protected areas such as your home during early Fall. In either case, you must immediately treat the entire surface of your south and west side building exposures with one of the pyrethroid insecticides labelled for out door application.

If these flies enter the walls of the home, they can reappear during the winter days when the sun is shining on exterior walls and the heat is nice and cozy within the home.  In the Spring, they will re-energize and seek to go outside, occasionally being attracted inward to the light within the house.

I hope this response will help you.  Contact me again if you require further guidance.

Best wishes Dennis,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Phorid flies


I live in Southern California. Over the last month or so we have had quite a bit of rain, which is not usual for us. About 2 and 1/2 weeks ago I began seeing these gnat-like insects inside my house, which I though were termites. I saved a couple in a bag as they are so easy to catch and gave them to a pest control company and was told by them that they were Phorid flies. All the pictures I find on the web sites do not exactly look like them but their behaviors do match the information I read. They look like gnats to me. I am really freaking out. I have a very, very clean house. I spent over 9-hours this past Saturday cleaning again, unable to find the source. I also have two small dogs that I pick up their feces on a daily basis. I want to know: 1) If the house is exterminated, will it kill the phorid flies, (as well as the spiders that I also have a problem with)?; 2) Are the phorid flies dangerous to my dogs? One web site stated they can live in the digestive tracks of dogs (this has put me over the edge) Is this true? 3)Today I also purchased some Drain Gel online. Is this going to help-in addition to having the house exterminated?


4) How did I get these things and will I ever be able to get rid of them? I even have to cover my bed each day with a big sheet as I have gone in my room to go to sleep at night and found one or two sitting on my bed. I am even having trouble sleeping now because of these things-hoping they don't land on our faces while we sleep. Help! I know I sound nuts but I am feeling nuts lately!


Thank you so much, in advance.
 


Phorid flies, when not flying, have a rapid erratic darting kind of a locomotion. They run before they fly.  Their appearance is gnat-like, that is true.  You can send me samples for identification to American Eagle Pest Elimination, Inc., 9137 S. Baltimore, Chicago, IL 60617

You may not be seeing Phorids but possibly Psychodids.  There are some answers to similar questions on my answer record which you can review by scrolling down my answer list.  Google Psychodids and see if this species is what you are seeing.

Slime mould which does breed in drain lines, especially plastic plumbing, could have initiated this condition following severe rain fall.  House hold potted plants will be an excellent site for phorids that will feed on root surfaces and organic substances in the surrounding soil.  They may also be breeding in the garbage disposal.

DF 5000, a fungicide, combined with a pyrethroid such as permethrin can be used in p-traps and other drainage vessels. 

Get back to me after you have reviewed other info on my question roster, and I can be more helpful following your abc effort.

Good luck,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Question

bathroom flies (maybe) in the past month or so i have found hundreds and hundreds of flies that through research seem to be bathroom flies they are a 1/4 inch or smaller all black and heart shaped. they are all along my siding on my house. we live in a very low area in Illinois and always seem to have stagnant water in the yard and under the house. i don't know how to treat this. everything i have found on the Internet is about if they are in the house in drains. that is not my problem as of yet. i have noticed them getting in the house when the doors get opened. any help would be greatly appreciated.


Answer

Within my answers to previous questions, I have answered such descriptions such as yours. It sounds as if you are describing Psychodid flies. These flies may be found where there is chronic dampness in organic material. Within sewers this species breeds well in slime mold, but it is not restricted to that environment. You should be seeing tiny worm-like creatures wiggling in the medium, if that material is truly the breeding source. More likely, there is a downspout line entering an open clay or plastic sewer opening where these flies are emerging from. They would line up along a humid side of the building, close to the point of emergence from the sewer. You may also have an open drain near this landing area. Give me more information based on what I have written to you, or, look at previous answers. You can search for them on this site.

Best regards,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Glynis


Strange Fly


This morning in my bathroom I found a strange looking fly.  I is the same colour as a house fly although slightly larger, however the wings where attached to the body and along most part are very narrow, it is only at the tip does it get slightly more rounded.  Needless to say it can't fly.  (bit of a bummer if that is what you were born to do).  

I now have it in a jam jar and was thinking of trying to breed?? it.  Wanted to see what came of it.  Have you ever known of a fly like this and how should I go about breeding cute baby mutant flies?
 


Answer: Strange Fly

Glynis--

You won't be able to breed this fly.  It will require another fly of the same species but opposite sex.

 When wings seem plastered to the body, the fly recently emerged from its pupal case.  Flies go through complete metamorphoses which means they pass from egg to larvae, to pupa, and finally to adult.  If you found one like this, undoubtedly there were others, since eggs are laid at the site of a food supply in numbers and not as a single solitary egg.

Without seeing the specimen, I'm at a loss ti identify it.  You may send it to me.  Should you wish, please confirm, and I will supply you with our mailing address.

Regards,

George Manning


Entomologist

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Bed Bugs


I went to the dermatologist and was told I have bed bugs.  I have since torn apart my apartment and haven't found any.  The mattress have been steamed twice, curtains, I've pulled the bed apart... looked in the nightstand table, vacuumed the table out... still nothing.  I want to get rid of them naturally, if possible.  How dangerous are the pesticides.  If I go with pesticides, how long do I stay out of the apartment?  What about my clothes?  Could bed bugs live on my clothing?  I am in a panic... what do I do?
 


Bedbugs over-engorge blood from the host.  This occurs while someone is sleeping.  Blood spots should have appeared on sheets where the bugs were feeding because they burp up some of the ingested blood.

Using one of the insecticides from the class known as pyrethroids would be a way to go.  This is not an easy job for the occupant.  It would be more reliable to hire a professional, who must guarantee complete elimination.

If you are living in a multiunit building, you should notify management regarding your experience.  The responsibility for treatment will be building ownership.  Bedbugs spread rapidly and could have arrived from other apartments via plumbing or radiator line floor or wall passthroughs or back to back apartments and across the hall.

People travelling, are bringing these true bugs back with them.

The chemicals will not require you to stay outside your apartment for more than several hours.

Good luck,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago

 

Question
I recently moved into a half double that turns out to have bed bugs. I am a single mother on disability and after reviewing the cost of chemicals and extermination have ruled out that possibility as a solution. However, through my research I have learned that the bugs are unable to survive temperatures of 120 degrees or higher for more than ten minutes, hence driers will kill any on your clothes. So I am considering trying to figure out what would be the best way to temporarily turn my house into a very large clothes drier. I have tried a round of hotshot bombs that did absolutely nothing. Do you have any suggestions on what my options are?


Answer

Certainly placing clothing in the drier for several heavy duty cycles will destroy all stages of bedbug development.  Once completing the extensive dryer process, and bagging all treated items in large plastic bags, having removed all bedding and having applied the drier/kill technique; begin a spraying program throughout the dwelling.

The use of diatomaceous earth plus boric acid dust under the plastic mattress covers; lifting and compressing the plastic repeatedly while dusting, will distribute a coverage of the plastic's interior as well as the mattress.  You may want to spray a product such as Cynoff to both sides of the mattress, let dry, and then cover with the plastic or cloth mattress cover.  Pull out all drawers, spraying the interior of the cabinets followed by spraying the drawers.  Treat hinges of all doors, below the radiator discs that cover the hole where radiator pipes supply the steam or water to the radiators, behind all wall hangings, couches from top to entire bottom, dust inside of shoes, hallways, a ceiling's crown molding, below baseboards, all cracks and crevices.

Do not return clothing, etc, until you are certain that all bugs are gone.  Don't forget to treat the bedsprings too.

You might place glue boards around where bugs were last seen.  This will help to test the effect of your program.

By all means, ask the neighbor if they have been suffering from night bites.  If so, you must insist that the neighbor unit be treated against bedbugs too.

Best of luck,
George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com
American Pest Solutions

 

Question:

Hi. My current apartment is infested with bed bugs, and the landlord's pest control agency is going to come in to treat, but the apartment is old and absolutely full of cracks, and I don't trust that they are actually very thorough, so I am not confident that the treatment will actually rid the place of the bed bugs. I am planning to move in to my dad's house while I look for a new apartment. I DO NOT want to take bed bugs with me to my dad's or to my new place. I frequently transport my laundry and other belongings in my car, so I am concerned that I may have brought bed bugs and/or their eggs into my car, and when I try to move, even if I clean the things I'm moving, they'll get re-infested in my car as I transport them. Is there a way to safely fumigate a vehicle? Would interior detailing of the car get rid of any potential bed bugs in there? I'm scared to move anything without ensuring that my car is clean, and I'm allergic to the bed bug bites so I want to get rid of them (or get away from them) as fast as possible.

Please help! Thanks 


Answer:

Bedbugs have a high reproductive rate, live as long as a year, and  can last without a food supply for months.  With access to a host, their spread is assured.  



Your concern about their being transported to your dad's home is a real consideration, and, yes, your vehicle could have received some "hitch hikers"  



You say that you do not trust that the landlord's exterminator will kill all the bedbugs, and you want to take extra steps to prevent their spread.  A professional should be able to eliminate bedbugs.  One visit may not be enough.  That technician must treat all the apartments to be certain that there are no more bedbugs.  You can ask that your car be treated, since the possibility of spread is eminent.



Purchasing a self release bomb for your car is a good idea.  First, make certain that all loose contents have been removed, and placed in a plastic bag.  You can dust the bags contents with DeltaDust or silicagel, which is also a powder.  Do not place electronic or computer type equipment where dust can effect the chips.  You can place such items in another plastic bag and store the contents in a freezer for at least three days, setting the temperature to the lowest point.

The plastic bag with the other contents should have had most of the air removed.  This is done by folding the bunched open end and tying or placing a rubber band over that end, in order to, then grab to sides and move the bag like an accordion so as to distribute the dust in all cracks and crevices.  Once completed, leave the bag in the car during the over-night treating time.  Air out the car the following morning.



You may do the same thing with objects that you are not able to thoroughly inspect.  Being thorough is the key to success.



It is possible that you have batbugs rather than bedbugs.  They look alike to the non-professional.  Attics and chimneys may be the source of a bat colony.  Birds may also carry batbugs.  Unless you know the origin of these creatures,  You might suspect bat activity in the building.  Of course, other tenants may have introduced them, and they are now finding you.



I can send you more detail, but this response can be adequate to your immediate needs.



Landlords are responsible for this problem, and can be held to a certified clearance of the condition.  Before you take on this project completely, hold the landlord to task.



Best wishes Lisa,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

Bed Bugs!!!! Hello, I have a bit of a problem and am hoping you can help---I stay at my best friend's condo about half of the week. He bought the condo last year and the inspector told him that the place had termites before, but they had been exterminated--he had them last year and got them exterminated--they came back again this year, just a few months ago, and have been sprayed again! I was paranoid because of them and one night I felt faint tickles, then faint bites, but couldn't see a thing, I thought it was just me--a few weeks later the situation worsened, so I googled "bugs in your bed" and found information on bed bugs, we bombed the place twice and found hundreds of dead adult bed bugs lined up along the walls and underneath the dresser, also we found a mound of something that looked like rust, along the molding on the bottom of the wall, I think it was blood. I had three huge bites, in a row, from my chest up to my neck, they were most definitely bed bug bites, one of them is still there. My friend thought that they went away, I knew that they didn't, because of the research I did. I knew that they were probably hiding in the tunnels in the walls, dug from the termites and that the entire building has to be exterminated, not just one condo bombed. He called the exterminator who works for the condo association, and showed him one of the dead bugs. The moron told my friend that it was not a bed bug, that it was some other kind of bug that doesn't bite you, but he didn't know the name of it! The exterminator then looked along his bed and said that he didn't have bed bugs! He also said that they don't hide next to the person's head, that they go as far away as possible from their host! I wasn't there unfortunately, so nothing was done about this uneducated exterminator's evaluation. My friend is afraid that if he calls the condo association and tells them about this, that he will have to pay for the extermination, and that if no one else has them, that everyone will be notified that he has them and he will be embarrassed. Is it the condo associations responsibility to treat the entire building, even if he is the only person who has them? I am guessing that by now, other people have them, especially because of all the connecting tunnels in the walls, from the termites! Please help! Thanks!! Bedbugs have no relationship with termite tunnels. I have no knowledge of such an association between these two species. Termites do build mud tubes so that they can travel back and forth to the soil for moisture without being exposed to light. Within these tubes(tunnels) termites culture an algae which they also eat. These tubes are highly humid because termites continually move water, termite to termite, throughout the colony, as they; likewise, pass on food. Bedbugs hide during the time that their host is away. When an individual returns to bed, chair, or couch, the bedbugs return to feed. Many people do not sense the bedbug bites, while others are really bothered by these incisions and subsequent blood engorging by bedbugs. What becomes most obvious, besides the welts that are left on the host's skin, are the blood splotches that are found on one's sheets. Bedbugs take in more blood than they can hold and therefore, they regurgitate blood which then appears on the sheets. These true bugs, having no wings, only vestigial wing plates, crawl everywhere, swiftly but hide, usually in clusters when resting. Elimination of these nasty creatures is possible with thorough examination of the entire living unit. Picture frames, door hinges, shoes, and slippers; space below carpets, bed springs, the ropes of a mattress are all places to examine and treat. I would never recommend that the home dweller take on the extermination assignment. The experienced pest control technician must perform this task, and subsequently, guarantee the results to be the complete removal of the bedbugs. Such work cannot be completely assured without treating apartments directly below, above, and across the hall, or back to back with the troubled unit. It is a tenants obligation to report an infestation. I would think there might be some recourse to punish the tenant who does not report the presence of bedbugs when it is discovered that such an individual intentionally kept the problem hidden from building management. As concerns paying for extermination; this is a building responsibility, no matter who brought the bedbugs in. the fact that they will spread throughout a complete building places the onus upon the management. I hope that I've answered all your concerns. Good luck and best wishes, George Manning Consulting entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Budo


Bedbugs


I have bedbugs in my apt.  I got a use mattress over 7 months back and apt management says bedbugs have come from that mattress.


Question 1---  Is it possible that the Mattress will contain bedbugs but will not start showing up and/or biting for 7 months?


Question 2 --  I see a very high concentration of bugs near AC vent (Central AC)  as well as corner of wall and ceiling. Is it more likely that the bugs have come from the vacant apartment above me

Thanks in advance


Hello Budo--

The answer supplied you by Jule was correct.  If you can show ownership that you had no bites until recently, you can correct their misunderstanding.

There is a federal health requirement that enforces building ownership to act immediately when a problem such as yours exists.  It is certain that your State and Local health departments will enforce owner action to eliminate this bedbug condition.

You must e-mail or write them of your condition and demand immediate action to eliminate bedbugs from the entire building.  It might help to inquire of other tenants as to who is experiencing bites, and/or seeing these creatures in their units.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

possible bedbugs


Hello. My spouse is currently traveling in China and is due home in 2 days. She has received quite a lot of bug bites while sleeping and we're concerned that the hotel might have bedbugs. What can we do to prevent the bugs from infesting our home? Are there any products I can buy at a local store or do I need to order something special? She hasn't actually seen any of the bugs, but she's getting bitten at night, mostly on her legs, and the bites are small and red. Thanks!
 


Bites on the legs are not the usual location for repeated bites by bedbugs.  Fleas are the more likely repeat leg biting condition; however, don't rule out the possibility of bedbugs.

Bedbugs regurgitate blood and leave blood spots on bedding.  They develop to adults by gradual metamorphosis so the young can be quite small; however, most stages are large enough to see if ones feels their bites; fleas can be more elusive biters.

Your wife could use a repellent such as tea tree oil while in China.

Upon her return, examine all the luggage and contents before entering the house.  Launder everything, check shoes, books, and other objects.  Finally, spray the home with a pyrethroid insecticide.

If you can't locate a supplier in your area, you might contact the supplier linked to our website.

Let me know further developments, and good luck Lynn,

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

Pest control Chicago

Exterminator Chicago

Dear George,

We live in the Caribbean and we have subteranian termites by the tons. Our home is 100% concrete including the roof. Our resources here are rather limited. I have an area in which I really cannot install by excavation a chemical barrier because the immediately adjacent concrete wall is the external wall of our 28,000 gallon cistern. Our problem is that when I prune the woody landscape plants in this area, the mites tunnel up from the earth, up the outside of the trunk of the plant, enter through the pruned wound, eat their way downward and eventually kill the plant by destroying the root system.  Yes, they are termites and yes they produce the clay tunnel and no, they are not merely attacking a plant that is sick from another disease.  I can gently pop the top edge off of the tunnel and watch the little buggers.  I have let them go on one plant just to make sure my theory was correct and I was right on.

Here's the question...is it really true that Sevin has no impact on termites?  I know it is not labeled for termites but I have found a couple of references on the web to it working anyway, in two cases recommended to a homeowner by an exterminator in terms of routinely applying the powder or spray to an infected stump.  How about Tralomethrin .03%?   If I apply one or the other of these regularly to the ground around the base of these plants and the termites have to tunnel through this to tunnel up the stump, won't it have some effect?  I am comfortable with these products on the surface of the ground or cultivated in to a shallow level a few feet out from the cistern but not with the routine termiticides.  In the long run, I will go for the bait, but wonder if it is really true that these two insecticides have NO impact on termites or if it is merely true that they are not labelled for such because in the larger sense, they will not be as effective as the termiticides.  Is there any homemade termiticide that works at all?  Thank you so very much!

Answer-
All the ---methrins(pyrethroids) are residual in the soil to my knowledge.  A carbamate like Sevin should do some termite damage too.  Label expansion to include additional insects is expensive, and that is why so many products list only the target specie that have been tested on the efficacy test runs for field and lab type testing.

I am not at all sure that those products, you include, Tralomethrin, and Sevin would be safe near a cistern.  I think, obviously leaching can possibly invade your cistern in time.

Insect growth regulators dispersed throughout the field of termite activity, sounds like a winner in this case.  There are over-the-counter IGR products out there.  If you have a local supplier, check with that agency, otherwise, our website has a link to a supplier.  You can discuss this with him too.  Mention you talked to me.

Best regards,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

Pest Control


No     View Published Answer
 


house pest


There are numerous transparent wings (5/16") scattered near and on the window sills in the mornings, there is tiny black excrement on the wooden window sills piled in the corners, there are a few tiny brown (~5/16") worms or larva seen occasionally.  We live in Gainesville, Florida.


It sounds as if you are experiencing the winged forms of a Drywood termite infestation, as well as the droppings that appear from the excrement of the worker termites.  When the reproductives swarm, they will lose their wings eventually.  This appears to be a recent, but not current swarming of the reproductives(alates), since you do not write that you see dark colored creatures moving about in that window sill.  The fact that you've seen lighter colored creatures, could be that you've spotted several workers.  The droppings may be the termite feces dropping out of the infested wood.

please google the following termite specie:

Dampwood, Drywood, Formosan, and Subterranean termites.

Let me hear from you again,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

Expanded Question:

We are currently in the process of buying a house. We have rented a house for 3 years, and now discovered it has termites. I have no idea how long this problem has been there. So what do I need to do to make sure we dont move them with us?

Answer:

Moving with termites is a virtual impossibility as regards the in ground specie, unless you carry lumber that is sufficiently infested, and wrap the timber in moist fabric to retain the required moisture, this cannot happen.

Not knowing in what region of the Country you reside, I don't know if your area experiences drywood, dampwood, or formosan termites, which could be, in some instances, transported.

If this response is not sufficient, please let me know the location of your present residence and where you will be moving.



Best wishes Samantha,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist
Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

Expanded Question:

We are currently in the process of buying a house. We have rented a house for 3 years, and now discovered it has termites. I have no idea how long this problem has been there. So what do I need to do to make sure we dont move them with us?

Answer:

Moving with termites is a virtual impossibility as regards the in ground specie, unless you carry lumber that is sufficiently infested, and wrap the timber in moist fabric to retain the required moisture, this cannot happen.

Not knowing in what region of the Country you reside, I don't know if your area experiences drywood, dampwood, or formosan termites, which could be, in some instances, transported.

If this response is not sufficient, please let me know the location of your present residence and where you will be moving.



Best wishes Samantha,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist
Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

Termite Prevention

We own a house in Honolulu, Hawaii.  It was treated with a liquid treatment 11 years ago.  Two years ago, termites were found in a deck (not the ground termites though) so the house was tented.  Terminix doesn't recommend the bait system (ineffective according to salesperson) and instead encouraged liquid treatment and/or "termite inspection and protection plan" (the latter includes NO treatment, but they will inspect and fix house if necessary).  We would like to keep the cost and chemicals to a minimum.  What do you recommend?
 


Subterranean termites can be baited, but, to my knowledge above ground specie are not currently treated by baiting as an effective protocol.

There are more recent methods for treating other than subterranean.  The use of heat, freezing, carbon dioxide, silica gels, and borates have all found a place in termite remediation.

I suggest that you contact the University of Hawaii, and the Hawaii Pest Control Association for in depth guidance.  The association can be contacted at 677 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 815, Honolulu, HI 96813; ph. 808-533-2739.

If you need further assistance, please contact me again.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminstor

 

Dear Latasha:



You call the relationship that your building has had with the termite company, a bond.  If this is a contract for a treatment that was made by the previous owner, and if the warranty is passed on to you, the new title owner, you may be entitled to an annual inspection which may forward your warranty for an additional year.  If the company refuses to honor your warranty because your time of warranty is date sensitive, you may not be under warranty any longer; however, you can challenge that company because they did not attempt to reschedule you, and you were not aware of their timely visit.

If you go to dispute, you may want another company to inspect your home.  If there was never a previous treatment, annual inspections are always useful.  You can, then start a relationship with any company you choose.

I hope that I've been helpful.  

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

George Manning cc Category: Pest Control Private: Yes Subject: Termidor Question: Hi there, I have a question to the safety of Termidor, it says on their website that its low toxicity however, i am terrified of chemicals.. What's worse is that i have already had my home that we are building pre-treated with Termidor, what they did was we had the footer dug, (we only had concrete blocks on the footers, no concrete slab just dirt crawl space, anyways, it has a garage and there is footer that runs across the inside of the house as well so kinda like you divided it in half and put an extra middle footer, only closer to one side, ok with that said, the pest guy sprayed all of the footer, and the concrete guys came out and poured concrete in the footer, all EXEPT, they left out about a three foot wide area in the footer for a crawl space, and 16 foot for the garage door, (they wanted to wait until later to pour the entire garage floor) so there was two openings and the 20x20 garage that was treated and left to the elements. This scares me. It is still not covered over with concrete, and is pretty far along in the building phase. The garage was eventually poured, but still didnt cover the termidor spray at the end. and of course we have the bare termidor sprayed crawl space. well now they are working on the plumbing and hvac, and they are going in and out of that crawl space going through the termidor tracking it into my house im presuming, as theres dirt everywhere, and im scared silly.. do you have any suggestions? Thanks :) Answer: Termidor has a high mammalian toxicity, meaning that it would take much more than other pesticides to register harm to human and animal. If the product was carried in on one's shoes, the residual time that traces of termiticide would be present is short in duration. there is little concern for toxicity in this case. Termidor has a long presence in soil. Termites do not detect its presence, and therefor, when travelling through soil, termites make contact with the poison without realizing that they are being contacted by the killing agent. I would say that it is entirely possible that termites will pass from a treated area to one that is untreated, and in so doing, become disoriented and will die. The manufacturer is claiming that you have only to treat one side of a bearing wall to kill off their presence Best wishes CC, George Manning www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

Frank


Termite Control


Confusing info from multiple sources!  Five-year-old house in Alabama, ranch style, one level, slab foundation.  Chemical saturation for termite control during construction.  Now facing questions on renewal of bond.  Liquid barrier treatment with all the trenching & drilling?  Or perimeter baiting, as with Dow’s Sentricon?

Frankly, the annual renewal prices appear to be more like insurance premiums against unlikely loss, even if inspection and re-treatment were never done.

Frank

Answer: Termite Control

Hello Frank:

Your correct about renewals.  They represent a form of insurance. Has an inspection uncovered new termite presence?  If not, just continue qualified inspections.  If a condition is discovered, then you might approach a new treatment.

Sentricon or other similar baiting programs have value but probably not within the field of your original termiticide pretreat.  As an area monitor against resurgence, you could simply monitor with two inch pbc tubing plugged at bottom, drilled 3/8 inch holes at random along an 18 inch length so that termites can enter the tube within which you have inserted a clear red or white pine stake, then inserted in the ground, leaving an inch of tubing exposed above soil level.  Place around house at 10 to 15 foot intervals outside of the chemical margin. In your part of the country, termites would attack the monitors within months of the application.  Where attacked, you could insert an IGA treated cardboard filler, shaking into tube those termites found in the monitor stake.  Your choice to deal with a termite company hence.  Dry wood and Formosan termites are an additional threat.  Good inspection is not a waste of money.  Your treatment was against subterranean termites only.

Contact me again if need be.  I am sorry for the delay.  I've had a siege of day and night activity that kept me away from your proper answer.  Hope I've been helpful

 

Zygi


Termite and Infested Walk


To George Manning. This might not be in your expertise but I'll ask you anyway or anybody else for that mater. I have this, 37 years old, - all above ground - 3 floors, 2 family house, aluminum sided with sidewalk and huge brick stairs attached - on north/west side - going to the middle floor in North NJ. Possibly, for all those years rain might seep in between stairs and the house. The was also washer hose broken and water spill thru the same north side wall. I think all that and wooden unattended area the house is close to, accumulated to termite problem I have for couple of years, They coming out every beginning of April. 2 years a go we hired some pest control business but we didn't see improvement. I'm not afraid to fix the problem myself as long as I get right hints and advise. Or I'll hire legal, Pest control business, but how I'll know that they fix the problem and not cheating me or doing job poorly so they all have something to do year after year in my house? PS. - I have also, corner to corner, cement patio on north/east side. I also looking for advise what I should check for or do to more or less infested house construction. Thanks.  Zygi

 Hi Zygi:

A saturated area that cannot completely drain may not deliver the necessary concentration of termiticide because it becomes diluted to a point where it becomes ineffective. This condition, if continually soaked do to lack of drainage or evaporation, makes it impossible for the chemical to bond with the soil particles where it should hygroscopically bridge soil particles together, and or coat soil particles permanently.

There are ways of treating in such conditions, however, you must first consider correcting the water problem if at all possible.

It's entirely possible that the soaked condition has permitted a stranded colony to develop above ground that is cut off from the rest of the colony and cannot, or does not need to return to the soil for moisture, and because of the moisture, either has not attempted to return to soil or cannot, depending on the termiticide used.  Currently, there are several termicides that do not repel termites so they cannot detect its presence, while, there are others that repel termites so they will not pass through a proper concentration of that substance.

In addition to using chemicals, are baits which can be placed at regular intervals around your building, whereby, termites will receive a mild doss of the termiticide or with another, a level of growth inhibiter which in turn gets distributed throughout the colony as termites pass the substance, one to another.

You may also use a borate salt, namely Tim-bor, which can be placed as a powder or a saturated liquid, into the invaded wood through drilled holes, and by surface application.  Even this material will be ineffective if there is always water saturation.

Finally, dry, or wet rot will develop in such conditions as you are describing, and also a severe mold condition can ensue.  You may also find certain flies that arrive at such a place and continue to propagate.

Correct the water problem first, Zygi, and

Good Luck,

George Manning
American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

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