Got an Ant or Termite Problem? Know the difference
To distinguish a carpenter ant infestation from a subterranean termite infestation, it is important to examine the hollowed-out wood. Carpenter ants clean and polish their galleries of wood so that they appear smooth inside, while galleries of subterranean termites contain large amounts of soil and mud.
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In this post, I’m going to show you how to keep ants from invading your house and bothering you without poisoning ALL of the ants in your yard which are protecting you from other worse pests like ticks, fleas, and cutworms. I hope this guide to natural ant control will give you a greater appreciation for ants while helping your home stay free of ants and other invading pests.
The best overall control for ants is simply cleanliness.
Like all creatures, ants need food, water, and shelter to survive. By limiting these three essentials, you make it impossible (or at least more difficult) for ants to live in the infested area. Simply by improving sanitation you can often suppress existing ant populations and discourage new ant invasions. Safe Solutions Tweetmint enzyme cleaner with peppermint is not only an excellent sanitizer it will literally “dissolve or melt” the ants!
The mistake most people make when attempting to control ants is trying to kill the ones they see. This “control” will never solve your ant infestation because the ants you see are not only sterile but they represent only a small portion of the ant colony. Typically, there will be thousands of additional ants including one or more egg-laying queens hidden somewhere in at least one nest. Eliminating queens and other colony members within those nests is the key to effective ant control. But, where are their nests? Ants build their nests in many different locations both inside and outside of buildings. Ant species nesting inside, or those that nest outside and come inside to forage for food or moisture, tend to be the most challenging ant species for you to control. Like all pests, ants require food and water to survive; by eliminating these basic necessities you can greatly reduce their numbers. Store all food and organic wastes in sealed containers, clean up all kitchen surfaces and spills and empty trash daily. Caulk, seal and/or screen all openings, cracks and crevices.
Ants have many natural enemies – so encourage them to help you control ant infestations. Some kinds of scavenger beetles inhabit ant nests and feed on larvae and pupae. Parasitic mites attack ants in their nests. Braconid and chalcid wasps attack ants in all life stages. Research shows that more than 15 kinds of spiders (including the much-maligned black widow) take a heavy toll of ants in farm fields, so it’s a safe bet that spider webs are spread for ant foragers in your yard as well. In the world’s tropical regions, some mammals specialize in eating ants. Many of these animals are actually called anteaters, and they have long, skinny tongues with which to pull ants into their mouths. Many frogs, arachnids, feathered predators, serpents and other reptiles also like to eat ants. And any ant that falls into a stream, river or pond is likely to get eaten by a fish. Some people even eat ants. One kind of ant that lives in the Amazon rainforest tastes like a lemon drop, and the children who live there eat as many of these ants as they can find!
Ground beetles, antlions, earwigs, humpback flies, parasitic wasps, praying mantids, woodpeckers and the yellow-shafted flicker all dine on ants. You may see woodpeckers also pick up ants in their beaks and crush them on their feathers. What are they doing this for? Crushing the ant’s bodies releases tannic acid which in turn protects the bird from parasites! Flickers and other woodpeckers are especially fond of ants. Most other insect-eating birds include ants in their diet, and huge numbers of ants are snapped up on their mating flights by swallows, chimney swifts, and many other birds, including gulls. To enlist the birds’ help in your fight against ants, provide food, water and shelter for birds on your property. The Author often has thousands of birds at his various feeders throughout the year! Spread Mulch: In your garden, the best overall ant control is a constant layer of organic mulch over all bare soil. Three to four inches of organic mulch such as chopped leaves or wood chips helps to discourage ant colonies in the area. Mulch harbors their natural enemies, such as spiders and shrews. Stop all visible aphid and scale attacks before they begin producing honeydew. Pinch tender tips of plants where aphids cluster and put them in the trash. Scrape scale off leaf undersides with your fingernail. Or spray your plants with diluted Tweetmint Enzyme Cleaner at a rate of one ounce per gallon of water or lightly dust your plants with food-grade DE.
Turfgrass that grows thickly (from 6 to 9 plants per square inch) and has deep roots in healthy soil makes life difficult for all ground-dwelling ants. Dense, deep grassroots in the soil interferes with their ability to dig their elaborate tunnels. Foster dense root growth by periodically aerating your lawn. Properly water, fertilize and overseed for thicker grass!
Catnip, pennyroyal, peppermint, sage, and spearmint are plants that all repel ants. That is one reason why Safe Solutions Tweetmint Enzyme Cleaner contains peppermint. Tansy is often recommended as an ant repellant – but it may only work on sugar-type ants.. Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere that livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate and contaminate livestock fields. Simply sprinkle leaves and flowers from sage, mints or tansy around your home to repel ants. These plants can also be used as a living plant barrier for ant control, bearing in mind that they are very invasive plants.
Vinegar sprays in and around the house foundation will also repel ants. Keep these vinegar sprays away from the soil, plants, and concrete. Lemon juice concentrate can also be used to repel ants: mix 50/50 with water add a shot of dish soap and spray. You could mix equal parts Windex and Ivory Soap and spray ant-infested areas. Lightly dust baby (scented talcum powder), or freshly ground pepper or chalk dust or food-grade DE. Caulk all cracks and crevices in the building to deny the ants access. Be sure to use high-quality pure silicone caulking as these caulks are less likely to shrink or crack once you apply them. Scatter some cucumber peelings as an ant repellant. Cucumbers contain a compound known as “trans-2-nonenal” that repels ants as well as it repels cockroaches! Sticky barriers like Tanglefoot makes an excellent barrier and can be applied to tree trunks to disrupt the ants from climbing on them. Tanglefoot will naturally biodegrade itself towards the end of the season. NOTE: On young trees with smaller trunks or those with thin bark (aspens, birches, etc.) do not apply Tanglefoot directly to the bark surface. Instead, use some thin fabric tied around the trunk with the sticky stuff applied over this. Remove the fabric at the end of the season. A simple band of petroleum jelly will stop most ants immediately.
Fast Acting Natural Ant Killers
Pour (apple cider) vinegar down into the nest.
A sugar-soaked sponge works well for light invasions of ants. Use a large sponge with big holes in it. Soak it in a strong solution of sugar water and place it where you want to catch the ants. Freeze the sponge overnight and then rinse out the sponge every day in warm water;
After the rinsing, you can “rebait” the sponge with sugar water – repeat as needed.
Dust such as food-grade DE can last a long time. Their mode of action is to dehydrate the ants. They work slowly and are easy to apply with a bulb duster into voids and into cracks and/or crevices.
Make strong hot water and hot pepper “tea”. Use the hottest peppers you can find, finely chop them in a food processor, mix with hot water. Carefully pour the “tea” or simply boiling water directly into the active ant nest.
Repeated flooding of the nest every few days using plain water from your garden hose can often be enough to get the ants to relocate. You must be persistent with this method.
Sprinkle Splenda® or aspartame around active ant nests and lightly mist the powder.
Overall Ant Summary
All ants can easily be controlled using a combination of the above information which includes good sanitation, baits, dust, caulking entry points, and eliminating active nests. Your very best control is cleanliness. The ant’s greatest enemies are other ants. Diluted Safe Solutions, Inc.Tweetmint Enzyme Cleaner with peppermint or Bug Mojo sprays can be used both to kill foraging ants and totally destroy ant nests. While the above facts, general biology, and control information will help you prevent and/or control most ant invasions there are also specific control strategies that may have to be used depending on nest location(s) and food preferences of the various species of ants that arrived hungry at your door – the Author would now like to present some more specific information and controls for some of our more common ant invaders. But, do you know exactly which ant is invading your home? Collection Tip – It helps to determine exactly which ant species you have infesting your building before you plan any specific control strategies – so put some foodstuffs in a plastic bag (sealable) and let the ants enter and feed – or find some infested material with foraging ants and place them in the bag – seal the bag and freeze it overnight – in the a.m., take several ant specimens and drop them into a vial of alcohol and then submit them to an expert for identification.
Individual Species – Facts, Identification and Control
Acrobat Ants – Facts, Identification & Control
Their Latin names are: Crematogaster spp.
Acrobat worker ants measure around 1/16” – 1/8 inch long and are easily identified because of a somewhat heart-shaped gaster, especially when viewed from above. The ant has two nodes; it is shiny brown to nearly black in color. The workers appear to have their abdomens attached upside down: flat on top, “bellied” below, and pointed at the tip. When excited they point their abdomens up or even over their heads, hence, their name. Acrobat ants are common over most of the United States. There are many species. Their antennas have 11 segments and their thorax has one pair of dorsal spines. Some species are quick to bite and emit a repulsive odor when disturbed. Acrobat ants feed on sweets and proteins and will tend aphids, scale and mealybugs for honeydew (so bait with honey and 1% – 2% borax or boric acid or food-grade DE) -they will also kill and feed on other insects. They usually establish their colonies in wet wood, e.g., in or under rotting logs, trees and stumps and will even occupy abandoned termite or carpenter ant galleries if the wood is damp enough. They can also carve their own small galleries in wet roof boards, foam insulation, house siding, porch rafters, pillars, sill plates, eaves, soffits, firewood, wall voids or virtually any part of a structure where they find wet wood that does not completely dry out. Like Pavement ants, Acrobat ant colonies occasionally dump their refuse. It consists of tiny wood shavings like those of the Carpenter Ant. The difference between Acrobat Ant and Carpenter Ant shavings is that those of the Acrobat Ant are smaller and always dark stained from fungus. Acrobat ants may forage 100 feet from their nest and may feed inside kitchens; they are opportunistic omnivores that feed day and night; they seem to prefer sweets, high carbohydrate and protein foods. New colonies are formed by swarming flights of reproductives. The workers in large colonies can inflict a painful bite and sting when disturbed.
If you need help with Ant Pest Control in Cooper City, Weston, Davie, or Pembroke Pines, please contact us
Carefully inspect where structural wood has had water leaks and in all foam insulation:
Look at the porch roof near the house, porch floors, siding where gutters overflow, ends of rafters in the shade, sills, and window and door casings where rainwater hits, and carefully inspect older buildings that haven’t been kept up. (Fungus or rot problems are very likely to cause more damage than the ants.)
Of the many annoying pests found in almost every home, there are those that are truly bothersome and destructive. These pests are the ones that you should really watch out for and seek to destroy since in some cases, even a single one insect can bring about an unstoppable infestation in your home, so serious that expert help is needed to totally kill them or drive them out of the house and stop them from coming back ever again. Knowing about these pests and their behaviour can help you to understand how to effectively destroy them or prevent them from even entering your home, which is more recommendable.
The following are the said top 12 most common invasive pests that can be found or can possibly overtake your home.
Rodents, specifically mice and rats are two of the most blasted pests you can ever have in your place. House mice and two types of rats can be commonly found in most households, particularly Norway rats and roof rats.
Rats and mice are very notorious for their high reproductive capability. They reproduce by the numbers. In the past years, it has been reported that the rat population in the UK has reached to more than 60 million. Adding to that, rats can grow to enormous sizes if unchecked. Others can grow to the size of kittens, while some can even grow a bit larger.
Not only are they a nuisance, wreaking havoc with scratches and bite marks on your things and chewing on furniture and clothes, they are also dangerous as they are one of the most effective carriers of diseases such as E. Coli, Tuberculosis, Salmonella, Weil’s disease, Lyme disease, Hantavirus, and more. Mice are relatively ‘cleaner’ compared to rats. While the first will live near their source of food, most of the time inside your home, the latter live in areas with moisture such as sewers and drains, the perfect source of bacteria, and viruses. They can enter your homes through uncovered holes and crevices and eat almost anything that they can chew on, that is why you should keep your homes, especially your food storage, tightly sealed and properly protected.
These insects are perhaps one of the most annoying pests that you can ever have in your home. They enter your house through the tiniest of entrances and raid your stored food. Not only that; some of them have the nastiest bites. Of the many species of ants all over the UK, only the garden ant or black ant and the Pharaoh ant are known to enter homes. Although most of the time, ant colonies are found outside the house and in gardens, there are some that are found to have established permanent residency within other residential structures.
There is also a number of species of cockroaches, but the Roaches prefer damp and dark places, particularly one with a water source such as dripping pipes. Roaches are also known to carry serious diseases such as E. Coli and also food poisoning. That is why evidence of cockroach infestation must be dealt with as soon as possible.
Mosquitoes are feared for their bites, but they are more feared because of the deadly diseases that their bite can carry and pass on. Mosquitoes are known carriers and spreaders of diseases such as malaria and dengue, which have killed many people worldwide. They live in dark and damp areas especially those with stagnant water like under bushes, on sewers and drainage, open pots and jars, and more. There they lay their eggs, which rapidly become larvae and adult mosquitoes in just a matter of days.
Fruit flies, Cluster flies, Bluebottle flies and Blowflies are just some of the common species of flies in the UK. The main issue people have with flies is the disease that they can carry with them, together with germs and bacteria they get from their foraging activities, like E. Coli and Salmonella. They also reproduce in numbers that is why a fly infestation is a serious problem.
Termites are a common nuisance to homeowners because they attack the wooden components of households, making them brittle and weak – destroying years of hard work and making them into dust, literally. Once they get to burrow in your walls and foundations, you surely will have to put up a hell of a fight.
Fleas are known bloodsuckers or parasites that live off of other nutrients. Fleas can be brought in your home either through you or your pets. Although there are human fleas, dog fleas, and cat fleas, they can still live off on another host. For example, cat fleas can also bite humans. These bites are what make fleas intolerable.
8. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are flat, oblong-shaped insects that are normally found in cracks and crevices of the room, floor, bed frames, and furniture. Bed bugs are annoying because they provide discomfort and unnecessary hassle to homeowners. Not only can they bite, they also leave blood marks on linens and bed sheets when they are squashed. And when there is an infestation, their numbers often give off the room an unpleasant smell.
Another common invasive pest that will surely give you headaches are wasps. They can be distinguished from other wasp-like insects by their black and yellow colour. Although wasps are not known carriers of diseases, they should still be controlled because having a hive of wasps near your home or worse, in your home, is far from comfortable and safe. Most active during the summer when the temperature is warm, they can construct their nests on roof space, inside your walls and your loft. And if they so as much feel threatened, they can go on a full out attack and sting you or anyone in the vicinity, which is the greatest danger that they can pose. Though not all suffer greatly from wasp stings, it is still a source of great pain and inconvenience. And unfortunately for some who are allergic to wasp stings, it is ten times more dangerous. There are a number of species of wasp that can be found all over the UK, with the German wasp and common wasp being the greatest nuisance and the most painful stingers.
Moths, especially clothes moths, provide a constant problem to every household’s wardrobe. They attack fabrics and materials made up of natural fibre and wool. Their larvae, particularly, eat up these fibres leaving holes and marks in what were once usable clothes.
11. Carpet Beetles
Though not a carrier of any disease and does not bite, carpet beetles are still a nuisance to homes. Just like moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae also eat natural fibres found inside the home. They can destroy clothes, upholstery, curtains, beddings and many more.
12. Dust Mites
These minute insects that are barely visible to the eye are everywhere in most houses. They reside in beds, furniture, beddings, decors, curtains, carpets, rugs, and etc. The problem with dust mites is that there are people who are allergic to them, particularly their excrement. When dust mite allergic people come in contact with them or the excrement, they can suffer from asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
If you need help with Pest Con Cooper City, Weston, Davie, or Pembroke Pines, please contact us
In this section, you will learn the exact strategies and methods you can use to remove ants from your home and stop them from ever returning.
There are several ways you can do to take action against ants. This can range from the use of natural products to chemicals. Another way to deal with ants is to prevent them from ever coming into your house in the first place. Of course, in worst case scenarios, total eradication is needed and should be done by professional pest control companies. A quick scan through your local yellow pages should help you track down the best ones in our near your locale.
What can you do if you have an ant problem?
The first thing you can do when you have an ant problem or believe that your house is a target for ant infestation is to prevent it from ever becoming a problem in the first place.
Steps to prevent ants from becoming a problem in your home and garden
Scout around your immediate vicinity to check for tell-tale signs of ants or ant colonies. With enough research done, you should be able to identify what type of ant species is present in your home. Knowing the type of ants you have will help you combat the issue faster and easily.
Next, remove any elements near or around your house that would make it ideal for ants to make their home in. For example: the number one thing that attracts insects is a water source. Remove any standing bodies of water near or around your house.
Clear up the clutter in your backyard. Leaves and other rotting materials that are present in your background are surefire ways to encourage ants to build a colony near you or in your garden. Make sure you dispose of your garden’s garbage properly.
Check for access points ants can use to get into your house. Branches or clutter that is touching your house are excellent bridges for these tiny insects to enter your house. Once again, clean up your surroundings!
Lastly, try to check the foundation of your house for any visible cracks and seal these properly to ensure that ants cannot sneak into your house through those passageways.
Steps to take when you’re faced with an ant problem
Perform a thorough inspection in your home
Performing a thorough inspection is the first step you should take when trying to get an ant problem in control.
It’s quite easy to find an ant’s nest. Just follow the trail! Or in this case, the pheromone trail. Ants leave chemical pheromones for their sisters to follow. In this way they are able to lead the rest of the gang to where the food is!
Places to inspect:
Inside your home
- Along the carpet edges
Outside your home
- Check for any visible ant hills in your immediate surroundings
- Check the overgrowth for hidden anthills
- Check the debris and other rotting materials in your garden for hidden ant nests
Follow the trail back to the colony
Ants don’t just wander around without a purpose. They’ll find a food source and bring it straight back to their colony without making any unnecessary stops. Nothing will stop an ant from bringing back food it’s found to the colony. All you have to do is be observant and follow the ants back to where they live.
This strategy is also dependent on the type of ant species you have. Some ants are nocturnal so you may have to get up in the middle of the night to follow these ants. Again, check what species of ants you’re dealing with in order to handle your issue effectively.
Deal with it accordingly
Now that you know what type of ants you have and you know where they live, it is time to deal with the issue at hand. There are several methods you can use in dealing with ants and each has its own efficiency in controlling ant problems.
Special consideration: dealing with anthills
Ant hills are fortified with hardened soil and protected by soldier ants. Approaching one almost immediately sparks off a massive outpouring of ants to defend their territory. This usually happens even if it is an unintended intrusion into the ant colony. Sometimes an innocent passerby just happens to step on the ant colony.
An ant bite from a regular worker ant is painful. Now imagine a bite from a soldier ant! These ants are designed by nature to kill other insects with their massive jaws. Compared to a worker ants jaws, the jaws of a soldier ant is massive!
Natural products you can use for offense and defense against ants
Natural products used in the fight against ants are oftentimes just deterrents. This usually works well for people who only have a mild issue concerning ants.
has a chemical product that when sprayed on the openings in your house stops ants from coming in. This is because the Chemical in lemon juice seems to mess with the ants’ senses. For best results, spray around the openings in your house or where you think they are likely to enter.
If you love cinnamon, then you’re in luck! Why? Because ants hate cinnamon and they will go through great lengths to avoid it. Best used in and around your kitchen and other areas where moistness comes into play.
Using peppermint spray is a great smelling solution against ants. This is perhaps one of the best smelling products people use today against ants!
Borax, water and sugar
This is a very old technique that you could use and the products are pretty easy to come by in your local hardware or grocer.
Boiling water and dish soap
If you’re feeling particularly malevolent and would like a very up close and personal approach towards getting rid of ants, there’s nothing more effective than boiling water and dish soap.
As soon as you locate the ant hill, all you have to do is boil some water, add some dishwashing soap and voila! You have an excellent way of getting rid of ants.
You can spread this substance around the perimeter of your home. As long it doesn’t get wet, the Diatomaceous earth should work to containing ants and making them realize there’s a boundary to where they are able to go through.
Here’s a little factual tidbit: Ants won’t cross a line of chalk. Now this can be your regular run of the mill chalk you find in educational facilities or the processed chalk made by the leading consumer goods producers all over the world
Baking soda and powdered sugar
This is usually used for baiting the ants. Just mix equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar and you’re good to go. Just make sure you place this in a strategic location and you should be able to see a sharp decrease in ant numbers.
Same with cinnamon, ants totally hate coffee grounds. Using this to mark off an area is highly effective against ants.
Want an extremely safe solution that won’t break the bank and is totally safe to use even with pets and children around? Use cornmeal! Pour some cornmeal near an ant hill or along a marked ant trail and allow the ants to take it back home with them. Although cornmeal is food, ants aren’t able to digest it thereby starving these little critters to death. Safe, cost efficient but may take some time to actually accomplish the goal of getting rid of ants.
Cream of wheat
Cream of wheat! When ants eat cream of wheat it makes them explode. This is another malevolent way to kill them if you’re feeling particularly evil.
Another natural product that you can use that can easily be found in your kitchen is vinegar. All you have to do is pour half a liter to a liter of white vinegar into ant hills and it should drive them away. Of course the initial shock and panic this causes is going to get the ants running around furiously and you should be ready to get out of their way when you use this.
Add some peppermint oil and dishwashing solution for an even more potent mix!
Aside from natural solutions, pest control companies and agricultural companies have started creating chemicals targeted toward the eradication of ants. There are many chemicals you can choose from.
For now look around your home, you just might find other natural products you can use to defend your home against ants which you can share with the rest of the world too!
In this section you will learn about modern methods, weapons, and techniques to remove ants from your home. You will also learn the keys to stop ants from ever entering your home in the first place.
Prevention is the best cure for ants in your home. The easiest ant invasion to deal with is the one that never happens! Here are some of the best tips and strategies to stop ants from ever becoming a nuisance in the first place.
Monitoring and Inspecting
In order to prevent ants from ever becoming a problem in your house and garden, always perform monitoring and inspection schedules.
- Regularly inspect for ants or their entry points.
- Monitor attractive food sources or moist areas. This includes the entirety of your property. That means kitchens, bathrooms, offices and bedrooms should be checked. Sinks, pipes, cupboards, and electrical wires are also key areas to check.
- Look for large trails or signs of ants in your immediate vicinity. Follow the trails.
Exclusion and Sanitation
- Caulk cracks as well as crevices near foundations and other sites that offer entry from outside.
- Look for obvious entry points.
- As a preventive measure, apply professional ant control products in between your walls before you seal them up.
Reduce the attractiveness of your home to ants
- Ants love cracks and crevices especially if they’re near food storage and preparation areas. Make sure you take care of these tiny cracks and crevices immediately to reduce the risk of ants taking up residence there.
- Store enticing food items properly. Use air tight containers to reduce the scent of these food items from inviting these unwanted guests over. These include: sugar, honey, syrup and pet food in sealed containers previously washed to remove residues that may have remained in the outer surfaces.
- Get rid of empty soda bottles if you’re not going to use them. Or at the very least, clean them up as any residue from the drinks once stored in their might still attract ants.
- Thoroughly clean up food spills and grease. A quick wipe over with a dishrag soaked in dishwashing liquid should do the trick!
- And last but not the least: Take the garbage out regularly and change your liners frequently.
Go on the offensive
- Always be on the lookout for potential nesting sites for ants.
- Indoor potted plants are a good example of possible nesting sites for ants. If you find any ants in these potted plants, immediately remove the containers from your home. Place the pots in a solution of insecticidal soap mixed with water at a ratio of 1 to 2 tbsp. of insecticidal soap for each quart of water. Make sure that you totally submerge the pots so that the soil surface is covered by the water & soap solution.
The use of ant baits is regarded as the most efficient way to manage ant infestations all over the world today. Ant baits are mixed materials targeted at attracting worker ants in search for food. These baits are laced with insecticides and often come with a carbohydrate or protein compound.
The lead forager ants then take a portion of the bait and relay a message to other worker ants to assist in bringing the whole bait back to the colony. These food particles are then passed on from one ant to another and into their food storage area where it will further contaminate the rest of the food in there. Over time, the ant bait gets used to feed other colony members.
One key thing that all ant baits should have is a slow acting mechanism to maximize its efficiency. Although others may not totally agree with this, it shows that by using a slower acting mechanism, you may not have outright results there and then but in the long run, a single bait can effectively wipe out a colony.
As studies show, ant baits are becoming more popular than commercial ant sprays for there long term effect on ant management.
Refillable Bait Stations
One way that you can effectively manage an ant infestation is to set up ant baits. There are several products out there in the market today that you can use as ant baits. Look for borate based baits as these are the ones noted to have the highest efficiency in killing off ants.
Look for ant baits that have a lower percentage of the active ingredient as this will allow foraging ants to bring back the borate product back to the colony. Now some may debate that this is not the way to go as it is a very slow process to kill ants. Think about it this way: a high concentrate will kill foraging ants almost immediately. But that doesn’t take care of the problem that there are probably more than a thousand ready to take the place of one fallen ant.
A lower concentrate is going to be a slow solution but it will allow for the borate product to be ingested not only by the worker ants but possibly the queen ant too.
For maximum efficiency try to install at least one dispenser around each side of the house and also along ant trails. Make sure that the bait stations are in well shaded area as extreme exposure to sunlight may dilute the potency of the chemical. And lastly, regularly check and refill these stations as necessary.
Common chemicals used in the fight against ants are:
- Avermectin B (abamectin)
- Borate-based products2
Although these chemicals are targeted in the control of ants, their effectiveness may vary according to ant species and product used.
Borate products may likewise include the active ingredients below:
- disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
- borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate)
- orthoboric acid.
Chemicals may only be obtainable for professional use only. You can’t blame these companies for doing that as these chemicals are potentially harmful to both humans and the environment if improperly used.
Indoor Insecticide Treatments
Note: although there are insecticides that can be used indoors, it is highly advised to leave the application of these chemical agents in the hands of professional pest control companies.
What to do instead of spraying insecticide indoors:
- Thoroughly wash areas where ants are observed. Sponging and/ or mopping these areas remove the scent trails dropped by foraging ants and will leave other ants “blind” as to where to go. Also do this on entry points such as windows and doors.
- Use a vacuum to physically remove ants from target areas.
- Use plant-based oils like peppermint, cloves, etcetera instead of chemicals.
Outdoor Insecticide Treatments
For outdoor insecticide treatments, the most common practice to keep ants from getting indoors is to treat the areas around the foundation with residual sprays.
Chemicals used for this purpose include:
- Pyrethroids bifenthrin
Other more potent chemicals are only available to professional pest control management companies. Shop around for one if you want a better and more permanent solution. A good company will also offer you preventive maintenance on a monthly basis so be on the lookout for that package!
You can also use ant baits as a safe and effective DIY ant management for outdoor purposes. If you combine this with the preventive steps mentioned in the previous section, this has the highest probability of totally eliminating unwanted pests in your immediate vicinity.
Special considerations for carpenter ants
As mentioned, carpenter ants are a class above the other ants so it should go without saying that carpenter ants should be treated differently.
As a last resort, treating the nest should be the ultimate move for you. But, you have to do this efficiently; otherwise these ants will just disperse and regroup somewhere else.
For carpenter ants, use ant baits. Carpenter Ants are nocturnal and most active in the evening. Follow their trails and place your traps and baits accordingly for maximum efficiency.
The next step should be to locate their nest and treat the issue directly by pouring a chemical solution into the hole or allowing these ants to bring in chemicals to kill each and every last one through ingestion of chemicals.
Also, use non-repellent ant spray to reduce the risk of scattering.
And to ensure they never ever come back or they never ever become a problem in the first place, try to regularly clean your surroundings. Paint any exposed wood or dispose water damaged ones. Remove dead tree stumps. And get rid of decomposing material in your immediate surroundings.
In this post, you are going to learn some vital information about ants such as their anatomy, lifecycle, and other facts that will help you to control them.
Knowing the Enemy
In any battle, any good general knows that researching and finding the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents is vital in order to win the war.
Since you are embarking on a journey to rid yourself of pesky ants in your home, it is best to know a little more about these amazing tiny creatures!
First of all, you need to understand the basic anatomy of an ant.
What is an ant?
An ant is an insect. Like all insects, ants have three body segments – the head, the abdomen and the thorax.
Depending on the species of ants, an ant doesn’t live for very long. An ant’s life can vary from as short as 45 to 60 days up to a year or more. The reason you can never seem to get rid of ants is that every time one dies off, another one or two ants take its place.
Ants live in colonies ruled by a single queen. Without the queen ant, an ant colony will eventually die within a couple of months. Queen ants can live for a couple of years and give birth to millions of ants during their whole lifetime!
Ants start out as eggs and then hatch into larvae and afterward go into a pupa stage before they eventually develop into full-grown ants within a couple of days from hatching. Most ants laid by the queen are females, although a small number is reserved for males. These males eventually head out in search of future mates.
An ant has six jointed legs covered with minute hair. These legs are very strong in proportion to their size. For example, if an ant was the size of a full-grown man, it would be able to run as fast as any race horse. Aside from speed, ants also have remarkable strength. This enables ants to carry objects 20 times their own body weight.
The legs of ants end in claws that they use to hold on to surfaces. As long as an ant can have a firm grip on any surface, they’ll be able to hang on. Even if that means the terrain is upside down!
Pound for pound, ants are probably the strongest creatures on Earth. Ants can lift loads up to 20 times their body weight.
Ants breathe differently than you or I. Instead of lungs, they breathe through small holes all over their bodies. They also hear things in a different way. Since ants don’t have ears, they listen to sounds through their legs. Vibration travels from the ground to their legs and that’s how they hear the world around them.
The head of an ant is equipped with two large jaws which can be used for holding and shearing off pieces of food they find. The head is also where you’ll find the antennae which ants use to sense their surroundings as well as communicate with other ants in the colony. These jaws are also strong enough to bore through wood and chew up material for lining up their colony. Now here’s an interesting fact, although these jaws are extremely strong, ants can exact a level of control that allows them to perform other duties which require precision and care. For example, nurse ants use the same strong jaws to tenderly transport larvae from one place to another or to groom the queen.
Another thing: ants are nature’s vacuum cleaners. If you’ve ever been to a picnic, try to take note of what happens to your bread crumbs a few minutes or seconds after it’s fallen from your plate. As soon as one ant appears, others are sure to follow. Why? Because ants leave pheromones behind them wherever they go; this helps them retrace their steps back to their ant hill when they’ve found a food source. This is also a way for other ants to follow them towards the food source and back. So when you see one, there’s bound to be a hundred more on the way!
This is the reason why ants, although wonderful creatures in their own way, are much maligned as pests when they invade our homes!
Knowing the Enemy’s Basic Organization
In this section, you are going to learn about the different types of ants, how they fit into the ant colony, and which ones are the cause of all your problems.
There are three types of ants in every colony: the queen, the females, and the males. In order to get the best result when waging war on ants, you must know the difference between the three types and how to fight them. In this section, you will learn about the queen ant and how it is the cause of all your problems, the pesky female ants that are a constant nuisance, and the male ants.
The Queen ant
The Queen is perhaps the most important element in any ant colony. Without the queen, the colony will eventually die off. The queen is responsible for laying eggs on a massive scale. One queen ant can lay more than a million eggs throughout her entire lifetime. These eggs eventually hatch to either become workers or soldiers. There usually is only one queen per colony but depending on the size and the species sometimes there are more queens existing within one.
Why is the Queen Ant considered a pest?
The Queen Ant is the one that produces millions of other ants to serve its needs. These ants then invade your home to look for food or nesting spots, becoming a constant nuisance to you and I. In effect, you could say that the Queen Ant is the progenitor of all your issues today.
The female ants branch off into many factions from the basic worker ants to the formidable soldier ants
The worker ants are the ants we see on a daily basis. These ants are the ones responsible for finding food, bringing it back to the colony and relaying information to other worker ants where to find the food. A single worker ant can carry up to twenty times its own body weight.
These are the female ants responsible for grooming the queen in order to keep her laying eggs. As soon as an egg comes out from the queen a nurse ant carries it off to the nursery where several nurse ants take responsibility for cleaning, feeding, and grooming the future additions to the colony.
Ants also take care of fungi which they can derive food from. Farmer ants line the colony’s walls with fungi by chewing up leaves and allowing growth to happen. These farmer ants even take care of smaller insects like aphids and milk them like cows!
Soldier ants very rarely leave the immediate vicinity of the colony. These ants are the ones responsible for protecting the ant hill and everyone inside it. These ants usually have larger heads equipped with large jaws or mandibles to help them shred those who would threaten the colony’s existence to pieces.
Why are female ants considered pests?
Female ants are considered pests because these are the ants that literally swarm all over your food or scurry around in a haphazard line all over your home and garden. Furthermore, these are also the ants that bite people whenever they are threatened or perceive anything as a threat. One female ant near a food source can multiply within minutes to a hundred and even more!
The Male Ants
Male ants live only for one purpose, to mate with a potential queen and then they die off. Male ants also have wings like the queen ants. When it is mating season, these male ants swarm all over the place with queen ants who are winged at the start and start pairing off. As soon as the male mates with a queen ant, they usually die off. The queen ant then goes off to create a colony and sheds off their wings as well.
Why are male ants considered as pests?
Male ants are considered pests because these ants are bred for one purpose and one purpose alone: to mate with a queen. During mating season, hundreds of male and potential queen ants converge in a well-lit area. This usually happens on a warm summer night on your porch. They’re not out to bite you but you might find it really annoying to be constantly swatting at these flying insects to avoid having them collide with you mid-air! These swarms can number from a hundred to well over a thousand flying insects. One way to avoid these annoying swarms is to turn off the lights when you see a swarm just beginning to happen.
Knowing the Enemy and Their Allies
In this section you will learn about some of the different species of ants, including the ones that are most likely to invade your home and garden, causing you grief.
Like all animals, ants are sub-divided into several species. There are over 12000 different kinds of ant species all over the world. Discussing all of these would require another book, so we’re going only going to touch upon the species known to invade our homes and gardens.
The only place where you probably won’t find any ants is in Antarctica! But, for the rest of the world, virtually everyone has to deal with ants. Now, depending on the area where they originated, these ants have mutated to adapt to their surroundings. These adaptations can range from their basic appearance, coloration, behavior, or in some extreme cases body modification.
Here are some examples of ants from all over the world:
- Argentine ants
- Carpenter ants
- Odorous ants
- Pavement ants
- Acrobat ants
- Army ants
Red Imported Fire Ants or RIFA for short. These are probably one of the peskiest ants in existence today. These species of ants are very aggressive and highly adaptable to their immediate environment. This is the reason why RIFAs are very successful in areas where they are transported to.
This is just a small sample of the many different types of ants infesting homes and gardens all over the world today!
There are two main types of ant problems: Ants that live outside your house and forage inside and ants that have already built their nest inside your house.
Ants that live outside and forage in the home.
Here’s some good news: Ants prefer to live outside. But that’s not going to stop them from coming into your house! And if the conditions are right, they just might take up permanent residence in your house.
Some examples of these ants are:
- Argentine Ants
- Crazy Ants
- Ghost Ants
- Leafcutter Ants
- Odorous House Ants
Ants that live inside your home.
This would probably be the main reason why you got this book in the first place. Ants are known to take up permanent residence in our homes. This is especially true if your house has all the right conditions for it to stay inside. For example, it is full of clutter and there are many food sources they can get meals from.
Special Consideration: Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are a class all of their own. These ants are nocturnal and are most active in the evening hours. This is when they start foraging for food. No place is safe as these ants have no reservations when it comes to foraging both inside and outside the house.
If you need help with Ant Pest Control in Cooper City, Weston, Davie, or Pembroke Pines, please contact us
Getting rid of roaches takes some work. The larger the infestation, the more difficult it is. It can be done though a four-step process:
It is important to complete each step and stay consistent. In most cases, one round of treatment will not be enough. Remember, roaches hide their eggs in walls and difficult to access areas. This means that there could be egg capsules waiting to hatch at any given time regardless of the adult roach activity. The absence of adult roaches, especially after you’ve launched a full on assault to eradicate them, does not mean there aren’t eggs or immature roaches waiting to emerge. Then, when they do, you have a whole new population of the pests in your home. This is why the monitoring step is so important.
Note where you are seeing roaches. Are they under the ledge of the counters? In cabinets? Under or behind appliances? Behind pictures or clocks? Try to look without disturbing the roaches too much. Just get an idea of where they are. Use a good flashlight and look in the most obscure, out of the way places you can find, concentrating on the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms.
Look for evidence of roaches. One of the most obvious is waste that is found where roaches cluster. It is a dark, grainy speckling that can stick to walls and litter surfaces like the inside of cabinets. Egg cases and the shed exoskeleton (as they grow they shed it) are other ways to know if you have roaches.
If you have pets, you may find roaches in the pet food or find treats and food that they have been eating. Roaches love pet food.
Of course, if you see roaches in your home that means you need to take action. It may not be an out of control infestation yet, but you want to get ahead of it.
To start, you need to know where the roaches are and get an idea of the level of infestation. Set out some sticky traps, called monitor boards, in various areas where you suspect you have roaches. You also want to place them in areas where roaches may be – under and behind appliances, in cabinets, behind the toilet, and other out of the way, dark places. You might not have actually seen any activity there, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hiding in that area.
Check your monitors in a day or so. They will give you a good idea of what you are dealing with regarding roaches and other insects as well as the possible size of your infestation.
Once you know where they are and about how many you are dealing with, you can begin a treatment plan.
Prevention is a crucial part of getting rid of roaches. The best way to do this is to make your home unattractive to the pests. Keeping your home clean is a good first step. Roaches will enter a house looking for three things: food, water, and harborage. When those things are absent or they don’t have access to them, they will have no reason to stay.
Exclusion is best though. Concentrate on restricting access completely.
While even clean homes can have roaches, cluttered or dirty homes are much more likely to have infestations. Those environments provide plenty of hiding places and an abundance of food choices. Even tiny crumbs on a counter are veritable feasts for roaches.
Eliminate food sources:
- Don’t leave food out on counters or tables, especially overnight
- Wash your dishes and put them away each night
- Wipe down counters after each use
- Sweep floors daily
- Don’t let your garbage sit. Take it out regularly, preferable every night.
- Clean pantries and cabinets
- Clean appliances in the kitchen including the coffee pot, toaster, toaster oven, stove, etc.
- Empty pet food bowls (food and water) every night, put or seal them in a container or plastic bag. Putting them outside can attract outside roaches to your home and they can sneak inside under doors, through cracks in windows, or when you open the door.
Many experts recommend cleaning your kitchen each night before bed, including sweeping or vacuuming the floor.
You should also designate one room in the house for eating. If you allow eating in bedrooms or other parts of the house, there are bound to be spills and crumbs left behind which will attract roaches.
Eliminate water sources:
- Anything that is damp (wet clothing, towels, etc.) should be sealed in a bag before bed each night or put them in the washing machine
- Put wet dish towels, sponges, and brushes in a plastic bag to store overnight
- Don’t leave dishes soaking in a sink full of water overnight
- Seal openings or cracks around pipes
- Fix faucets and pipes that are leaking Dry your toothbrushes and put them in sealed bags or containers
- Fix pipes that sweat
- Empty and dry water bowls for pets – do not leave pet water out overnight
- Dry kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as the bathtub every night
- Plug the drain for kitchen and bathroom sinks and bathtub every night
Basically, if it holds water, you don’t want to leave it out overnight.
Eliminate harborage sources:
- Seal all cracks and other potential access points
- Avoid clutter, especially paper products like boxes and books
- Turn and rake mulch regularly
- Ensure your window screens fit properly
- Don’t stack firewood next to your home and check firewood before you bring it inside
- Plants, bushes, and trees should not touch your house and they should always be trimmed
- Get rid of any junk, clutter, or debris that is in your yard
- Keep mulch away from the outside of your house maintaining at least a 6-inch perimeter between your home and the mulch bed
The key is to eliminate clutter in and around your home. This will cut down on your pest issues considerably.
It usually requires more than one product to effectively get rid of roaches.
However, your treatment plan begins with stopping the use of any other products, especially those insect sprays and bombs that you get at the grocery store. Roach populations can become immune, or more specifically, the young from an infected female can emerge immune to those products. What you need are heavy-duty pest control products and in many cases, you don’t have to hire a pest control professional to get the job done.
You may want to start by vacuuming up all the live roaches that you can see. This will immediately reduce your active population. When you empty your vacuum though, make sure you take it far from your house and inspect the machine thoroughly for any stragglers before you bring it back inside.
Again, do not use bug sprays or bombs! Throw them away, get them out of your house. They will make your roach problem worse.
If you need help with Cockroach Control in Cooper City, Weston, Davie, or Pembroke Pines, please contact us
CLASS – Insecta
ORDER – Blattaria (named for blattae, the domestic pest of the ancient Greeks)
FAMILIES – Cryptocercidae, Blattidae, Polyphagidae, Blattelidae and Blaberidae
TYPE METAMORPHOSIS – Gradual/Simple Egg
Found in a capsule or ootheca (of 4 – 60 eggs).
The nymph resembles the adult in appearance but is smaller and wingless. (Think you have some albino roaches? All newly emerged cockroaches are white for several hours.)
Adult – Fertile males and females. Parthenogensis (or egg production without fertilization) does occur in American, brown, brownbanded, Florida woods, German and Oriental cockroaches, but egg capsules produced this way usually fail to hatch or produce only a few nymphs.
TYPE MOUTHPARTS – Chewing in all stages.
DISEASE ASPECTS – Cockroaches are known to be vectors of disease, especially intestinal infections, and are capable of carrying disease pathogens. Cockroaches produce secretions/fluids from various points in their bodies which have a foul (unpleasant) odor which may ruin the flavor of food and when the populations is high, impart a characteristic stench to the air in the general vicinity of the cockroach infestation. These insects are thought to be the transmitters of the causal agents (carriers of several disease-producing organisms) of gastroenteritis, food poisoning, dysentery, infectious hepatitus, leprosy, typhus, polio, boils, diarrhea, parasitic toxoplasmosis, cholera, salmonella and other illnesses. Some of the organisms which cause these diseases are carried on the legs and bodies of the cockroaches (similar to the house fly) and are deposited on food and utensils as cockroaches feed and move about. In addition, they cause gross contamination because of their annoying and disgusting habit of depositing saliva, excrement, fluids from their abdominal scent glands and a dark-colored vomit wherever they go. They often are a source of embarrassment and can cause anxiety and psychological distress in some people. Excrement and cast skins and dead roaches contain allergens and cause breathing problems, rashes, watery eyes and sneezing. Cockroaches are a leading cause of allergies – second only to House Dust mites. Vacuum and clean thoroughly with Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint.
Cockroaches are stout-bodied insects that have a soft, oval (broad) flattened shape, six long, spiny legs and long antennae, a pronotum (shield-like covering projects over their heads) and they have chewing mouthparts. Adults of most species have well-developed wings. The young nymphs resemble the adults except for the lack of wings and their smaller size. Depending on the house infesting species, roaches are light brown, reddish brown, dark brown and/or black, and some have characteristic markings; most have an unpleasant odor. Each species can be distinguished from each other by their appearance and their characteristic habits and habitats. The adults and immature forms of all roach species that are household pests are all present in established infestations. Cockroaches are normally nocturnal and will usually hide from bright light and only expose themselves to the light if they have no where left to hide, so if you see one during the day, you can be certain you have many, many more unwanted guests. Cockroaches are among the most common and adaptable of insects on earth and have been able to survive many changing environments is evidenced by the fact that approximately 4,000 species exist in the world today and about 70 species are known to live in the United States. The cockroach was here on earth before mankind and is capable of surviving mankind. They are found in caves, mines, animal burrows, orangutan, termite and ant nests and in all of our buildings. Cockroaches need moisture to survive and follow edges when migrating to and from their harborage to feeding/moisture areas. The English word “cockroach” was first used in 1624 by Captain John Smith. Repellents – Try dusting with food-grade DE or baking soda or talcum powder or Comet® or spraying with diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, eucalyptus and/or rosemary or cedarwood or catnip essential oils or fresh marigolds or cucumber peels or petroleum jelly or a fan to repel them from an area temporarily. covering projects over their heads) and they have chewing mouthparts. Adults of most species have well-developed wings. The young nymphs resemble the adults except for the lack of wings and their smaller size. Depending on the house infesting species, roaches are light brown, reddish brown, dark brown and/or black, and some have characteristic markings; most have an unpleasant odor. Each species can be distinguished from each other by their appearance and their characteristic habits and habitats. The adults and immature forms of all roach species that are household pests are all present in established infestations. Cockroaches are normally nocturnal and will usually hide from bright light and only expose themselves to the light if they have no where left to hide, so if you see one during the day, you can be certain you have many, many more unwanted guests. Cockroaches are among the most common and adaptable of insects on earth and have been able to survive many changing environments is evidenced by the fact that approximately 4,000 species exist in the world today and about 70 species are known to live in the United States. The cockroach was here on earth before mankind and is capable of surviving mankind. They are found in caves, mines, animal burrows, orangutan, termite and ant nests and in all of our buildings. Cockroaches need moisture to survive and follow edges when migrating to and from their harborage to feeding/moisture areas. The English word “cockroach” was first used in 1624 by Captain John Smith.
Repellents – Try dusting with food-grade DE or baking soda or talcum powder or Comet® or spraying with diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, eucalyptus and/or rosemary or cedarwood or catnip essential oils or fresh marigolds or cucumber peels or petroleum jelly or a fan to repel them from an area temporarily.
Overcoming Common Cockroach Control Problems
Because the cockroach continues to reappear no matter how many times it has been professionally eliminated from a structure, the pest control industry considers these ancient creatures its bread and butter, so much so that the majority of the pest control industry’s income revolves around your need for continual cockroach control using their ineffective volatile poisons! Historically, over 15 billion dollars are spent each year (in the vain attempt) just to poison cockroaches. Obviously, this type of control has not worked – we still have the same amount of roaches and the volatile poisons are extremely dangerous to the human occupants and pets of the building. The only real control that can be obtained safely is to reduce the sources of food, water and the harborage points roaches need to survive. For the pest control community to actually control these pests permanently would simply destroy the poison applicators – no one wants to actually control or kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Despite man’s constant all out war waged upon this one insect for untold generations, its chances of ever becoming extinct and/or needing to be placed on a protected or an endangered species list are considered doubtful at best. They are all born scavengers, but the American roach will even feed on bed bugs when confined with them. They can live for weeks after their head is removed until they starve to death!
More money was historically spent yearly to “control” the lowly cockroach with poisons than any other house infesting pest. Learn the habits of each cockroach so you will know how to actually control these terrible pests.
Most cockroaches are tropical or sub-tropical in origin, generally living out of doors and most are only active at night when they emerge from their hiding places to forage for food. Their preferred living area provides them with food and water and is warm and moist. Some tropical roaches only consume vegetation, and some are gaily colored. Cockroaches that inhabit houses not only eat all kinds of human food, with a particular fondness for starchy materials, sweetened or sugary substances, beer and meat, they will also eat a great variety of other materials such as grease, soap, cheese, bone, leather, dead animals, plant materials, glue, paste, cardboard, ink, shoe polish and even dirty clothes. They have even been known to chew the fingernails, hair and eyelashes off sleeping people, especially infants. The most common mistakes in using bait stations is not placing them close enough to the area where roaches live – not eliminating all nearby alternative food choices and/or not using enough bait on stations and/or using too much boric acid or active ingredient.
Basic Cockroach Control Protocol
Each cockroach has its own peculiar habits and nesting area as different from each other as deer are from beavers. When trying to capture any animal, we try to place our traps where they nest or travel. Therefore, we must learn the habits of all cockroaches, so we will know how and where to effectively control them. Cockroaches spend about 75% of their time hidden in crack and crevice harborages into which they can just squeeze. Therefore, we must first find, then vacuum, power wash or heat or steam or enzyme or dust and then caulk all cracks and crevices and patch all openings that lead into wall voids, etc. The most preferred harborages are those of the proper size that are located nearest food and water sources and are warm and have a high relative humidity. Control these conditions and you control the roaches. They are also excellent hitchhikers.
Nontoxic Pest Management Protocols
Change the conditions conducive to infestation. First eliminate clutter, especially any/all corrugated cardboard, paper and plastic grocery bags, pallets and debris which provide hiding places or shelter for roaches. Properly store food and garbage. Then install dehumidifiers and/or fans or negative ion plates, then daily inspect all incoming items for cockroaches and oothecae (egg cases). Then follow through with routine performance of proper maintenance; make sure the building is in tight physical condition to reduce entry and finally the routine and thorough caulking and patching all cracks and crevices and other openings inside especially plumbing and heating runs. Do not allow eating in any area outside of the dining room or break areas. Inspect all incoming goods.
2. Good Sanitation
Continue to eliminate clutter. Adopt cleaning standards that daily reduce the amount of available harborage, garbage, food and water. Routinely and thoroughly clean with enzyme cleaner all shelves, counters, cooking utensils, steamers, floors, fryers, ovens, mops, break areas, soft drink and/or beer dispensers, storage areas, dishwashers, stoves, mixers, refrigerators (don’t forget to remove the fiberglass insulation), drawers, sinks, drains, seals, baseboards and all cracks and crevices and then fog or mist all drop ceiling voids and tunnels with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaners or Eucalyptus or Peppermint Soap and/or borax. The best way to clean is with a power washer. Then dust, use glue traps or simply vacuum all electrical boxes, motors, etc. and your roach problems will drop dramatically. Do not forget to rinse out all returned or recycled pop and beer cans with diluted enzyme cleaner before bringing them inside. There is enough sugar to feed roaches for days in these empty cans and literally thousands of recycled or returned cockroaches can be and are brought into a store each day.
3. Inspection and Routine Monitoring
A thorough nocturnal inspection of the entire building using a flushing agent, e.g., an aerosol can of air and (red or yellow covered) flashlight is the key to successful control because it determines which specie is involved and exactly where any/all the infestations/populations are and, therefore, where and what additional treatment is required. Part of any good monitoring or inspection program is the use of cockroach traps; these can either be purchased commercially or home made. They will help you see the real problem. Put down several strips of double-sided carpet tape or duct tape (sticky-side up) to clearly see from where they are coming. To make a cockroach trap take a quart or pint-sized mason jar and tape the outside with masking tape or stretch a dark man’s sock over the exterior; then coat the inside of the jar mouth with petroleum jelly, place in the bottom a 10 to 1 mix of water and molasses, a few inches of beer, some dry kibble and/or a slice of bread with a few drops of beer or a full pheromone trap and then set the jar upright in room corners. Cockroaches will climb up and fall into the jar to get the bait, but will not be able to cross the petroleum jelly barrier to escape. You can kill the trapped roaches with hot, soapy water, or simply screw a lid on the jar and put it in the freezer overnight. One of the primary means of initial cockroach infestation is being carried in, is on incoming goods, e.g., infested cardboard and grocery bags; look carefully before putting grocerie/products away; leave the bags and boxes outside if possible. Freeze used appliances and furniture before bringing them inside or put them in completely sealed plastic bags with CO2 for a few days or store them for several weeks or at least carefully inspect with air blasts all incoming goods, furniture, packages and luggage.
4. Elimination of water sources
The single most important factor in determining cockroach survival is the availability of water/humidity. Install and maintain fans, air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers. Repair all plumbing leaks. One leaky faucet can waste 6,000 gallons of water a year. Do not overwater plants. Empty refrigerator or air conditioner drip pans or add some Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner and/or borax. Repair leaky appliances, sinks and bathtubs. Do not let pet water remain out over night. Eliminate water (inside) humidity with dehumidifiers and/or air conditioners and collection sites outside and/or add a few drops of Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner and/or sprinkle some borax.
Most roaches are attracted to moisture and areas with high humidity. Once people move out of an apartment unit and stop breathing, sweating, flushing, bathing, washing, showering and cooking the humidity drops and most roaches move away to a more humid unit. This should tell you a very important control secret. Use desiccating dusts and properly install and maintain dehumidifiers and fans and/or air conditioners. Repair all moisture problems and your roach population will also drop dramatically. Direct hair dryers on high or adjust tile softeners to the perfect setting and force dry, hot air into all cracks and crevices and see what happens. Fans left on 24 hours a day for 3 to 4 weeks will kill them.
Basically stated, practice proper sanitation; then routinely inspect the area carefully; use 5% or less boric acid or borax or food-grade DE or aspartame baits and/or dust only if and when necessary; paint/seal all bare wood, vacuum and/or steam clean and/or power wash thoroughly; routinely clean thoroughly; correct any moisture problems; seal and/or caulk thoroughly and screen thoroughly. Store all foods and wastes properly. Mop with diluted enzyme cleaner with sodium borate. Install pheromone traps. Vacuum them as they run from blasts of air during the day or vacuum at night with red or yellow lights to physically remove roaches – do this once a week until all activity ceases – remember start one hour after dark or one hour after the lights go out. Remember to dispose of vacuum bags by burning, burying, sealing them in plastic and placing outside in the garbage or after freezing them for several days. Routinely and thoroughly clean with diluted Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint. Sprinkle talcum powder or baking soda or Comet®, or food-grade DE and/or mop with borax or Mop Up®. Remove infested fiberglass insulation, paper bags and cardboard boxes. Caulk, caulk, caulk. Use copious amounts of nonvolatile bait with aspartame where they live or travel. Lower the temperature and humidity as often as possible. Spray Not Nice to Bugs® as needed.
7. Poison The Buggers
Later, after all else has failed and only if absolutely necessary carefully make a spot (nonvolatile) insecticide poison application. Start with boric acid or dusts, e.g., food-grade DE, talcum or medicated body powder or Comet® carefully placed in cracks, crevices and voids. Be sure to carefully read and follow the entire pesticide poison label regarding kitchen food areas, because some pesticide poisons may be applied only when the kitchen is not in operation while others may not be used in commercial food areas at all.
8. Follow-up or Maintenance Service
Once an IPM program is carefully instituted, follow-up usually consists of nocturnal and/or daytime inspections with a flashlight and mirror and/or a flushing agent (canned air) and/or the use of monitoring traps or tapes to find missed or newly introduced cockroaches, and carefully vacuuming or spot treating any active reinfestations found. Search out the source. Reread the first sections. Clean and/or spray with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaner and/or Not Nice to Bugs
No matter where you live, it’s vital to get rid of these nasty, pesky roaches! Now that you have an inkling as to how you can identify them, you can get rid of them. However, it’s not all that easy to eliminate these roaches completely. Once you’ve gotten rid of them first, you’ll have to put in some effort to make sure they don’t invade your home again!
In addition, it’s equally important to also kill all of the young roaches so that their population in your house reduces drastically. Roaches never dwell in clean places, so they can bring in a lot of bacteria into your home, which can be quite disgusting. Apart from the diseases they spread, they also secrete compounds that have a mild odor. Time is of the essence since these buggers can reproduce fairly quickly, so let’s get to it!
There’s a chance that your first few attempts to get rid of your nasty friends may not eliminate them completely. There are various ways in which they can gain entry into your house, which makes their intrusions unpredictable. Before you think about the cure, I would suggest thinking about preventive methods. This especially applies to people who want to prevent roaches from entering their homes, as opposed to those whose houses are already roach-infested. In some cases, it will take up to 8 weeks to eliminate them, but if you’re lucky, it can take as little as 2 weeks. Therefore, it’s better to use preventive methods before anything else.
- An effective method to prevent roach infestations is to maintain a clean home. Roaches cannot survive in clean areas and thus, if you’re clean, it makes it very difficult for them to continue with their antics. Clean each and every corner of your house and make sure it stays that way. Sanitation is very important in order to prevent roaches from invading your space.
- Be sure not to drag any roaches home with you! If you spend some time in an unclean environment, be sure to check all your bags. Regardless of whether you are at a friend’s home, a hotel or a warehouse, if there is a roach infestation it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is very possible for roaches to accompany you back to your home. So, as a preventive method, check everything to make sure they are clean before returning to your abode.
- Make your home unsuitable for them. Make a conscious effort not to leave any food outside the refrigerator at night. Also, don’t forget to wash your dishes! Unwashed plates lying in the sink can turn out to be a huge party for these pests.Since they love warm places, they spend their time in bathrooms and kitchens more than the other rooms in the house. Also, you need to clean your kitchen cabinets by wiping them down from time to time.Seal all your food containers, ensuring that the roaches can’t destroy them.I understand that it’s easy to preach than to practice, but you need to remember that if these roaches enter your home, they make it a point to stay with you for a long time.
- Surprisingly, roaches even feed on other miscellaneous non-food items, especially paper products. Items such as newspapers, books, cardboard, paper bags, etc. can easily absorb a particular pheromone that roaches give off. This pheromone relays a message to other roaches, informing them of the whereabouts of their comrades. It’s also used as a guiding system so that roaches can make their way from place to place. That being said, it’s important that you avoid letting many of these paper products pile up anywhere in your house!
- Leaving food crumbs on the ground is essentially a direct invitation for roaches. Allocate a single room to eat your food instead of eating in multiple rooms. It can be difficult to mop your floor every day, but I would highly suggest doing it at least three times per week to make sure it’s clean. After mopping, don’t forget to mop it dry since roaches will use the water to survive. Be sure to use a minimal amount of water to avoid splashing and spilling too much. Using your handy vacuum cleaner is also a great idea. Not only does your vacuum cleaner help you pick up all of your food crumbs, but it also helps you eliminate eggs and shed skins. The more you vacuum, the more likely roaches will leave your house alone.
- If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll probably find it a bit easier to get rid of roaches rather than preventing them. As the climate gets hotter, it becomes impossible to get rid of them and as a result, roaches thrive in places like Florida. However, even if you reside in a location with warm climates, you need to maintain a clean, dry home. Remember that ‘dry’ is the keyword here, because roaches find it difficult to survive if your home is dry. As an added measure, you can also wipe your sinks, showers and bathtubs dry at night before you to go to bed.
- Roaches love to reside in trash cans and other dirty areas, so you need to pay attention and remove trash cans and keep your yard and other places clean.
- I mentioned that roaches love hotter climates, but the humidity also plays a major role. Simply put – roaches tend to live in places that have high humidity. Therefore, you can control the humidity by using a dehumidifier if you want to prevent roaches from entering your house.
- Roaches can’t survive forever without water. However, they can still survive for at least a week without water supply. Of course, you aren’t supplying any water directly to them, but they are smart enough to figure out where they can find it.The main source is usually a leak somewhere. Since there are various places where water can leak in your home, you need to find them all and stop leakage, if any. Check your shower heads, garden hose, taps, hose bibs, meter lines and toilets to see if there are any leaks. Find a way to quickly fix all the leaks in your house or hire a plumber to do the job for you.
- Roaches usually enter through cracks, so it is very important to find all the cracks in your home and seal them, thus blocking their entrance. It’s important to seal the cracks on the exterior as well as the interior of your house to block every pathway. Of course, this will take some time, but this tactic is the most effective preventive method since you are eliminating their breeding and hiding locations. In addition, check all your kitchen cabinets, floors and walls to identify any cracks and seal them up completely.
- Trim plants that are around your building to increase the light circulation, particularly near vents as this reduces the possibility of dense plants growing there. Since roaches love residing in warm, dark places, trimming plants will reduce their population considerably. In addition, having gravel areas that are at least 10 to 12 inches wide surrounding the perimeter of the buildings can help keep roaches away.
If you need help with Cockroach Control in Cooper City, Weston, Davie, or Pembroke Pines, please contact us
There are about 4,600 species of cockroaches, but only six of them commonly become irritating pests: the German cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach, the Turkestan cockroach, the Smoky brown cockroach, and the Brown-banded cockroach. Indeed, there are about 4,594 other species of roaches other than these six; however, they don’t normally take refuge within the human habitat. Every once in a while you may find one of these cockroaches crawling into your house when temperatures rise but have no fear; it probably isn’t your typical harmful pest that should be worried about.
Identifying the specific type of cockroach plays a key role in choosing the correct method to eliminate it. Belonging to the superorder Dictyoptera, cockroaches are polyneopterous insects that grow in medium to large sizes. It is considerably easy to spot a cockroach, and while some roaches have a noticeable odor, others are odor-free. These flattened, large, broad pests have long antennae and a pronotum, which is the visible section behind the roach’s head that is shaped almost like a shield.
Many people confuse beetles with cockroaches, though there are some distinct features that separate beetles from roaches. For instance, while beetles have hard forewings, also known as Elytra, roaches have wings that consist of various membranes. However, small cockroaches that have yet to become adults lack wings.
Cockroaches are nocturnal insects and tend to separate from their group when they are disturbed. Among the six species of roaches mentioned above, the Brown-banded and the German cockroaches are the ones you should worry about the most! These two species have a tendency to invade buildings and homes inhabited by people. The remaining four species live outdoors and rarely intrude into buildings.
I will now go over the various types of roaches that you should be looking out for. Remember, identification is a crucial part in determining the appropriate method of extermination!
The German cockroach
Size: 0.5 inches.
Color: Light brown with about two stripes on their pronotum.
Dwelling Locations: Places with storage and food areas, homes, bathrooms, kitchens, warehouses, etc.
Among all the species of cockroaches, the German cockroach is considered the most harmful since it can invade numerous buildings and structures, especially those that contain multiple families. Needless to say, this cockroach puts all the other cockroaches in bad light thanks to its ability to destroy homes.
These cockroaches thrive in places with warmer temperatures and studies have shown that they can’t inhabit structures or places with cold temperatures. In fact, it is commonly known that these roaches can’t survive in places that aren’t inhabited by humans. For the most part, the German cockroaches dwell in locations that contain an abundant supply of water, food, and heat.
The Brown-banded Cockroach
Size: 0.5 inches.
Color: Adult males are light golden-tan and females are usually dark brown. Both male and female adults have colored bands on their abdomen, sides of their pronotum, and wings.
Dwelling Locations: Kitchens, clutter, hollow legs of any furniture, warm areas, etc.
The Supella longipalpa, otherwise known as the Brown-banded cockroach isn’t as popular or as destructive as the German cockroach. These pests seek warm hiding places and nest in places where the temperatures are at least 80 degrees F. Their favorite locations are warm places such as electrical components in televisions, refrigerators, and radios.
These roaches love starchy food and are often seen at places that store paper (for example, offices). Since they prefer locations that aren’t air-conditioned, they search for hospitals, warehouses, animal rearing facilities, and kitchens. Adult males will fly when they are disturbed, but females don’t fly. Females glue their egg cases (which are typically a quarter-inch long) to ceilings, closets, spaces beneath furniture, and other dark places. The eggs incubate for many weeks before they hatch and every female cockroach (including her children) has the capacity to produce more than 600 new roaches every single year! That’s a lot of cockroaches!
The Oriental Cockroach
Size: 1.25 inches.
Color: Adult males are almost black in color and have wings that are usually shorter than their bodies. Adult females are also black in color but their wings are commonly underdeveloped.
Dwelling Locations: Places that are damp and cool are usually preferred. These roaches love areas such as garages, drains, woodpiles, ivy, and basements.
The Blatta Orientalis, otherwise known as the Oriental cockroach is oftentimes referred to as either the black beetle or a water bug. Found in damp, wet areas, these roaches survive in temperatures that are colder and often multiply to huge numbers when given the chance.
These roaches tend to move slower compared to the other species of roaches and come out at night in search of food within buildings and other damp areas. Oriental roaches can’t fly and don’t have the ability to walk on vertical, smooth surfaces. Therefore, they are commonly seen stuck in tubs and sinks. Similar to Brown-banded roaches, the Oriental roach also deposits egg cases that are dark red or brownish in color.
The Smoky Brown Cockroach
Size: 1.5 inches.
Color: Nymphs are usually dark brown in color. Their pronotum is slightly darker than their body and is almost black.
Dwelling Locations: Places that are damp and cool are usually preferred. They also like trees, attics, shrubs, planter boxes, and other vegetation.
Similar to Oriental roaches, these guys love to reside in garages, basements, and water meter boxes. You’ll also find them dwelling in trees and other vegetation. However, Smokybrown roaches are also commonly found in attics since they love the upper levels of buildings, unlike others that prefer lower levels.
Females are known to carry their egg cases, which are dark brown and blackish in color. They carry it for an entire day before delivering the goods. Each egg case can be at least 3/8th of an inch long. The cases typically produce at least 40-45 nymphs when they hatch. Hatching can occur anywhere within 24-70 days, depending on the temperature.
The American Cockroach
Size: 2 inches.
Color: Adults are usually reddish-brown in color. Their pronotum has a lighter color when compared to the body.
Dwelling Locations: Places that are warm and humid are usually preferred. They also love outdoor locations such as zoos, animal rearing facilities, storm drains, steam tunnels, and sewers. The Periplaneta Americana, also known as the American cockroach, loves environments that exceed at least 82 degrees F. Commonly dwelling in zoos and other warm locations, they are known to travel from sewers to buildings and reside in lower levels. Adult females attach their egg cases to protected surfaces, allowing them to incubate for at least 2 months.
The Turkestan Cockroach
Size: 1 inch.
Color: Adult females have colored markings that are cream in color. These markings are present behind its head and around the wings, which are short and have a yellow-colored tan. The wings also have stripes around the edges.
Dwelling Locations: The Blattalateralis, also known as the Turkestan cockroach, is found within concrete cracks, litters of leaves, plants and other compost piles. Also found in sewer systems, they are generally mistaken for roaches from other species. Adult females are very similar to Oriental roaches. The nymphs are usually dark red and black.
The Field Cockroach
Size: 0.5 inches
Color: Adults are usually grayish or olive-brown in color. Additionally, they have two stripes on the pronotum, including stripes between their eyes.
Dwelling Locations: Similar to Turkestan roaches, even these little guys like to reside in leaf litters and other plant debris. The Blatellavaga, also known as the field cockroach, is usually found outdoors but may invade your indoor area when the temperature is too hot to bear. They are olive in color, albeit darker when compared to German roaches; however, they are commonly mistaken for them. It takes about 3 months for a nymph to grow into an adult cockroach. Adult female field roaches tend to carry the egg cases, each case having the capacity to produce at least 30-40 roaches.