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Pest-Blog

Fire ants are not native to the United States but have become quite a nuisance here. They were accidentally brought into the country in the 1930s via a shipment of cargo, first in Alabama and then spreading to other states. Fire ants can commonly be found throughout the southern part of the United States, from Maryland to Texas, California and New Mexico. In our state of Virginia, fire ants can be found in urban areas. They are very resilient and aggressive, inflicting painful bites and stings without provocation.

 

Identification; What Does a Fire Ant Look & Act Like?

Fire ants wikiFire ants have copper brown heads and bodies with darker abdomens. They are 1/8 to 3/8 inches in size. The worker ants will be blackish to reddish in color and smaller. You will see large mound nests that are flattened, irregular in shape and can be anywhere from two to four square feet large. These mounds can get as high as 16 inches and can be found in open areas. Fire ants will feed mainly on young plants and seeds but they aren’t picky. They will also feed on animal or vegetable sources of food. Fire ants do not hibernate and can survive extreme conditions.  In a well-established colony, you will see ants of three different sizes at the same time and can have 100,000 to 5,000,000 ants. Fire ants can kill a small animal during an attack.

 

Fire Ant Bites & Stings

Many ants bite and then spray acid on the wound but fire ants will bite to get a grip and then sting from the abdomen and inject a toxin. If a fire ant nest is disturbed, they will sting and these stings are painful. The result can be raised welts that will turn into white pustules. The pustules can get infected if they are scratched but will disappear within a few days if left alone. To avoid any scarring try and leave them alone. External treatments like hydrocortisone creams and oral medications are the best way to treat fire ant stings. There will be multiple stings and if a person is allergic to the stings there will have more severe reactions. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling and slurred speech. These symptoms can be fatal if ignored so get medical help right away.

 

Preventing Fire Ants

Fire ants will come into a new area through plotted plants, shrubs and trees. They will build nests around structural foundations or in landscaping and while they prefer to be outside they can get into our homes through HVAC systems and AC units. These ants will bring soil with them into the house and into the walls or under first floor bathrooms to start building a nest. Seal all cracks and cervices that these ants can use to get into your home.

 

Indoor & Outdoor Ant Control

Many homeowners find that DIY baits are ineffective as fire ants are very good at reinvading so it’s best to get in touch with professional pest control if you notice fire ant activity. We can conduct a thorough inspection and present a custom plan as to how best take care of your fire ant problem and make sure fire ants can’t get into your home. Fall is the ideal time to treat for fire ants to reduce populations over the winter. Contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. to treat your ant or other pest infestation.

bed bug featured imageBed bugs become an exceptional problem during the summer months. With college kids coming home for the summer, vacations, and frequent visitors to your home; it is the perfect recipe for a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are hitchhikers that grip or climb into or on backpacks, purses and even clothing. It is not surprising that summer is one of the busiest times of the year for pest control companies that do bed bug removal and control. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share more about the bed bug and how they are removed and can be prevented.

 

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are tiny insects that typically get from place to place by hitchhiking as stated. They feed on warm blooded mammals, most especially humans over cats and dogs since we don’t have thick fur covering our body and bed bugs can easily navigate round our skin. Bed bugs are about the same size of an apple seed and are brown in color. The nymphs are cream in color and slowly darken as they mature. They are nocturnal creatures, coming out at night to feed on a sleeping host. Bed bugs retreat into dark places during the day. Some sure signs that you have bed bugs are: bug bites, small brown or reddish spots that stain your sheets, shed exoskeletans, a pungent odor and of course, visual evidence of their presence.

 

Where Do Bed Bugs Live & Hide?

Bed bugs are known to hide in the cracks, underneath box springs, mattresses, and bedding, along with couches, clothes and wooden furniture. They hide in the cracks of carpet, baseboards, and in curtains. Bed bugs can’t climb on smooth surfaces and they shy away from cold surfaces, which is why you typically don’t find them in bathrooms or kitchen or other similar areas. Bed bugs can be difficult to locate and often it take an experienced bed bug inspector to locate where the bed bugs are hiding.

 

Bed Bug Treatment

After your home is inspected, and bed bugs are located, the pest control company will begin treatment. Most treatments involve heating up the interior of the home or building. Bed bugs are sensitive to heat over 114 degrees. Heaters are placed throughout the home. The high temperatures kill bed bugs and their eggs. However, there are times that multiple treatments are needed.

 

Bed Bug Prevention

After your home is treated for bed bugs, it is up to the homeowner to prevent future invasions. This is done by being aware of bed bugs and how they can get into your home. Additionally, it helps to reduce a bed bug invasion by regularly cleaning the home and by washing bedding with hot water and then drying them with high heat. Wash curtains and vacuum carpets, rugs and even furniture and mattresses often. Be aware when you travel and use temporary lodging. In these places, you run the risk of inviting extra passengers home with you. Make sure to check your lodgings for bed bug before bringing your luggage into the room. When you return home, wash all linens immediately and vacuum out bags and luggage in the event you have an unknown passenger.

 

Bed Bug Inspections & Removal

If you found bed bugs in your home, or believe your home has been invaded by bed bugs, contact Exterminating Unlimited Inc. Our experienced bed bug inspectors and treatment specialists can help rid your home of these blood sucking pests. Contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to schedule your bed bug inspection and treatments today!

Pestering man with their blood pilfering crimes and leaving behind itchy reminders, mosquitoes have been roaming the planet for millions of years.   Mosquitoes in Virginia are no exception to their annoying presence.  Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to take the opportunity to expound on the mosquitoes that are in your own backyard.

 

Yellow Fever & Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

During mosquito season in Virginia, the risk of a local mosquito transmitting a disease is very possible.  Throughout Virginia, mosquitoes are found that are infected with various diseases that can be detrimental. Mosquitoes are only too eager to bite and though they can potentially spread multiple diseases, the Zika virus is what has the natives mostly concerned about.  The yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito are the two species primarily transmitting the Zika virus.  Virginia has both of these mosquitoes are here and the Asian tiger mosquito is by far the most commonly seen in the area. Mosquito season is here, which also means the potential for our local yellow fever mosquitoes and Asian tiger mosquitoes to obtain the Zika virus by biting infected persons who have returned from areas of Zika activity and to spread it to their current hosts.  These two mosquito species are different from most other mosquito species in Virginia because they fly and bite during daylight hours and will enter homes through any opening they can find especially an open door or window and bite indoors. Another difference of these two mosquito species is that they lay their eggs only in containers of water as opposed to laying their eggs in bodies of water such as puddles, flooded ditches, ponds or streams the average mosquito does.

 

Mosquito Prevention

bigstock Mosquito 70726885Mosquito prevention requires strategic tactics that branch off from other mosquitoes as the Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquito are also different in reproduction and daily habits.  Simply locating and removing potential containers where the bodies of water might collect can remove breeding grounds. Such areas may include; metal, concrete, plastic, glass, ceramic, wood, or stone is where the eggs are laid. If removed, these mosquitoes will not have a favorable place to lay them and look elsewhere.  In depth inspections of the yard for all potential mosquito nurseries is one of the first steps in preventative maintenance.  Directed at the hedges, ivy, shrubs, and other vegetation as well as structures where a mosquito may perch is where the mosquito fog sprays should be strategically placed and targeted.  Especially prudent in homes and businesses where the doors and windows frequently opened; homes and businesses should be equipped with screens in prime condition on the windows and doors.

 

Effective Mosquito Control Methods

More common in Virginia, these mosquitoes are threatening the locals with more than the Zika virus, but other less common mosquito-borne ailments as well as other less populated mosquitoes in the area also pose a risk.  West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and La Crosse encephalitis are a few examples of the other potential diseases. Additionally, diseases also get imported into Virginia and mosquitoes could also be important vectors of tropical diseases like dengue and chikungunia. When it comes to the safety of your home and loved ones, ensuring the mosquitoes are nowhere in sight is ideal.  Call Exterminating Unlimited, Inc for effective mosquito control to avoid annoying itchy bites and serious ailments.  

Carpenter ants are the most destructive of the ant species. Much like termites they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to a single home. If carpenter ants have been discovered within a home it is important that the homeowner reacts quickly and seeks out professional assistance to rid their home of these pests. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share more about carpenter ants and how they pose a serious threat to your home.

  

Carpenter Ant Identification

carpenter ant wiki 5Carpenter ant is one of the largest species of ants in North America. They can range a little larger than ½ inches in length. They are mostly black in color however other species of carpenter ant color can vary from a reddish color to a yellow. The workers have a very large pair of mandibles. Carpenter ants will live inside as well as outside and typically in moist areas. They will also live in decaying or hollowed out wood. The workers will cut galleries, or rooms, for nesting grounds to provide passageways to move the eggs or larva to the nursery. Unlike termites where they actually feed on wood, carpenter ants do not. They use wooden structures to build their nest and prefer feeding on meat and sweet food. They will also feed on other insects. Carpenter ants aren’t just a problem because they cut galleries into wooden structures. They are also a worry as to how fast they can expand in one area. A single queen can lay 16 batches per year which isn’t too bad but a single queen can live up to 25 years and there are often more than one queen per colony.

  

How to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations & Nests in Your House

To control carpenter ants you first must locate their nest. Once the nest is found it will need to be chemically treated or removed. Carpenter ants require water, so they will be near a water source; typically leaky water pipes or outdoor water features. However they may even be within the home where they are most often found in areas with high moisture levels such as bathrooms, kitchen or laundry room in search of water. Maintaining water lines is key in preventing their return. It also helps to prevent an ant invasion by keeping food out of their reach. Carpenter ants need a water source as well as a food source. You must eliminate both. Make sure all food is properly sealed away where carpenter ants won’t find it.

Pest Inspections to Look for Signs of Carpenter Ants

If discovered early enough, treatment of carpenter ants can prevent any major structural damage. However that is why it is important to inspect your home often for signs of any pest and most especially the destructive kinds such as carpenter ants or termites. You can even use a professional pest inspector to regularly inspect and treat your property to prevent an intrusion and to confirm they have not yet invaded your home.

Carpenter Ant Control

Ants, along with any pest, needs to be kept in check. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc can help you maintain a pest control program to keep your home protected. If your home has become a nesting site for carpenter ants, contact us immediately and we can treat your home for these destructive pests. For all of your of your pest management needs, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc today

There are quite a few stinging insects that people have had a run in with from time to time; bees, hornets, and wasps to name a few. Where some wasps can be social or solitary, they all have the potential to deliver multiple stings if they perceive you as a threat. If you spot their nesting area, it is strongly recommended that you avoid the area and allow the professionals to remove the nests and contend with the wasps. Not only can wasps deliver multiple painful stings, but one can experience different degrees of allergic reactions. With the many kinds of stinging pests in Virginia, Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to shine the light on the different kinds of wasps found in the Greater Richmond, VA area. Though there are several known wasps in Virginia and wasps are not contained in manmade state borders, there are two types of wasps that are more commonly seen in the area; paper wasps and yellow jackets.

 

Paper Wasp & Nest Identification

paper waspPaper wasps have 22 species found in North America. They grow to between 3/4” and up to just over an inch long. Some species resemble yellow jacket coloring, but generally, they have dark brown bodies with yellow markings and black wings. Paper wasps are so named due to the construction of their nests. Comprised of plant materials and wasp saliva, their nests a very paper-like. Within the nests, elaborate compartments are built to lay eggs and raise the young. Typically, paper wasps prefer to buid their nests in sheltered areas such as under door frames, eaves of structures and window sills. Considered beneficial, paper wasps aid in pollination by feeding off nectar and assist in pest control by feeding a variety of insects to the larvae. But despite their advantages, paper wasps have one of the more painful stings, which they will use in defense of their nest if they feel it is threatened.  In many instances, people can be allergic to the venom in their sting and suffer mild to severe reactions. If a paper wasp nest is discovered in close proximity to any home or business or populated areas, it is advised you recruit the help of a trained professional for safe and efficient removal.

 

Yellow Jacket Wasp Species

Yellow jackets are rightfully named due to their appearance; black bodies and yellow markings, though some may be black with white markings. They reach up to 5/8” long and feature thin and more defined waists in comparison to bees. Another beneficial wasp as they control beetle grub, flies, and other insects. They will also consume meats, fish, and sugary delicacies they scavenge in trash and picnic areas. More often than not, they build their nests at ground level; around or under porches, in sidewalk cracks, wall voids, or the base of trees are common. Occasionally, some species of yellow jackets will opt to build their nests in aerial locations like low-hanging branches, corners of buildings, or in bushes. Yellow jackets are fierce defenders of their colonies and will aggressively attack any perceived threat, but otherwise are not inclined to sting. Their stings are painful and they also deliver multiple stings. Lance-like stingers equipped with small barbs are not only painful, but can also induce allergic reactions ranging in mild to severe depending on the individual.

 

Wasp Exterminator & Nest Removal

No matter which wasp you encounter building a nest on your Virginia home or business property, contact the professionals of Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to ensure your safety and their quick, efficient removal.

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