Termites Create New Colonies

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The winged, sexually mature adults, called alates, fly off to create their own colonies during the spring. The presence of multiple winged termites inside a residence and around window sills is a good indication there’s a termite nest nearby.

Since invading termites thrive on moisture during warmer temperatures, homeowners need to protect their homes.

Here’s a few homeowner tips:

  • Don’t let moisture accumulate near the foundation
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces
  • Check for points of entry
  • Check for the presence of mud tubes (also called shelter tubes) along the foundation, near pipes, in the attic, within crawlspace, or around other access points to your home. Wood that is in contact with dirt is a good entry point (eliminate wood contact with the ground). Cracks in the foundation or concrete porch allow termites to enter into the crawlspace. Flower planters that make contact with the side of the home are also entry points. The outside heating unit keeps the surrounding ground warm all year and allows termites to grow rapidly throughout the year as well as being a good entry point.
  • Food sources – use mulch sparingly, firewood, tree stumps, wooden posts sunk into the ground, wood decks or porches, trees & shrubbery
  • Moisture – downspouts, water spigots, leaky water lines, air-conditioner drip lines, along sewer lines, any standing water, missing, broken or clogged gutters or roof tiles.
  • If you find swarmers, mud tubes or just want peace of mind, call a professional exterminator.
  • Both flying ants and winged termites have four wings.
  • Termite wings are uniform in size.
  • Winged ants have noticeably larger wings in the front than the pair in the back.
  • Termites antennae are almost straight where the ant’s antennae is elbowed.
  • Termite wings are twice as long as their body.


Usual Suspects – The Top Three Insects and Bugs Expected To Be a Pest In 2019

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Usual Suspects – The Top Three Insects and Bugs Expected To Be a Pest In 2019

Usual Suspects: The Top Three Insects and Bugs Expected To Be a Pest In 2019

ROACHES
The largest cockroaches found in homes, the American cockroach, is not native to North America. The American cockroach most likely was transported to North America via ships from Africa in the 1600s. Being nocturnal, cockroaches spend the daylight hours in dark secluded areas. They venture out at night in search of food and water.

  • Cockroaches need daily consumption of water
  • Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year
  • Cockroaches don’t get their wings until they become adults
  • Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and run away when exposed to light
  • Cockroaches will eat just about anything, including plants and other insects
  • Sightings of the cockroach are most commonly reported in the evening hours
  • Cockroaches can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children
  • The average lifespan of an adult cockroach is about 1 year depending on the species
  • Most species of cockroach are about the size of a thumbnail, but several species are bigger
  • Cockroaches prefer warm environments close to food and water, therefore they are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Cockroaches prefer close spaces, fitting into small cracks and crevices, thereby evading humans and eradication efforts

ANTS
Trouble distinguishing an ant from a termite? This can be difficult because termites and ants do look very similar, especially during the spring when female termites seek a mate before losing their wings and finding grounds for a new nest. When wings are present, the front wings will be longer than the back wings on ants. Only reproductive ants, queens, and males, have wings. Queens shed their wings after the nuptial flight.

Ants are social insects that typically live in underground colonies, made up of workers and a queen. Most queen ants live for many years and breed millions of baby ants. The queen, the female workers, and males make up the ant colony. The queen and the males have wings, while the workers don’t have wings.

Ant colonies also have soldier ants that protect the queen, defend the colony, gather or kill food, and attack enemy colonies in search for food and nesting space. If they defeat another ant colony, they take away eggs of the defeated ant colony. When the eggs hatch, the new ants become the slave ants for the colony. Some jobs of the colony include taking care of the eggs and newborns, gathering food for the colony and building the anthills or mounds.

  • An ant has three distinct body regions: head, thorax and abdomen, as well as antennae
  • An ant’s head contains many sensory organs
  • Two antennae (“feelers”) are attached to the head; these organs detect chemicals, air currents, and vibrations
  • The queen is the only ant that can lay eggs
  • Once the queen grows to adulthood, she spends the rest of her life laying eggs
  • Depending on the species, a colony may have one queen or many queens
  • Queen ants may live for up to 30 years, while ant workers live from 1 to 3 years
  • Ants are active during warm/hot weather, but hibernate during cooler/cold weather

Ant invasions usually start with a few lone ants striking out to find a food source for the rest of the colony. Scout ants mark a scent path to the food and then return to the colony. The scent trail leads other worker ants straight to the food source. Ants will eat practically any kind of food, but are especially attracted to sweets.

MOSQUITOES
Best known as a summer pest, female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days. Once reaching adulthood, the mosquito may live 5-6 months.

A mosquito uses heat sensors on its antennae and around its mouthparts to locate capillaries near the skin’s surface. The mosquito has a proboscis, a long pointed mouthpart, uses it to pierce the skin and to tap the capillary then drink up to three times its weight in blood.

  • Mosquitoes are attracted to your body warmth and odor
  • Carbon dioxide is considered to be the greatest attractant to mosquitoes
  • When the female mosquito sense carbon dioxide (your breath), she will fly back and forth in a zigzag pattern, until she finds the source
  • Female mosquitoes need protein to lay their eggs and get it by feeding on warm-blooded creatures. If a mosquito bites an infected animal or a person, then bites you, it can pass the disease to your blood through its saliva
  • Mosquitoes breed in soft, moist soil or stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, clogged gutters and birdbaths
  • Mosquitoes are busiest at night and will fly up to 14 miles for a blood meal
  • Mosquitoes spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, malaria and dengue fever
  • People with Type O blood attracted more mosquitoes than any other blood type
  • Almost all mosquito-bite illnesses have similar symptoms: Fever, Body aches, Rash & Headache
  • Ideally, you want to avoid being bitten by wearing long sleeves and long pants or other protective measures


Company Announcement – Commercial Services

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Company Announcement – Commercial Services
In response to customers’ requests, Southern and Sovereign Pest Control are proud to officially announce commercial pest control services are now being offered for small offices and individual businesses, warehouses, industrial and multi-family dwellings. We are using the same service concepts that have enabled us to grow our residential pest control business over the last 30 years. The service concepts are low prices, effective service, and Exact Time appointments so you won’t have to wait for one of our technicians to service your business.

Southern and Sovereign Pest Control provides

Our team of qualified, experienced, and licensed pest control professionals are prepared to resolve any pest issues that your business might face. Unwanted pests can pose a huge risk to your business on multiple levels. Southern and Sovereign Pest Control’s commercial services will protect your customers, employees, reputation and business property from pests. Even a small pest problem can have large consequences on your brand reputation and bottom line. Every industry has unique pest challenges, which is why we work with you to create a tailored, expert solution that prevents pest problems from occurring. You can trust our team of experts to protect your business.

Southern and Sovereign Pest Control offers tailored pest control solutions for your business and commercial properties. Our Commercial Service Agreements offer treatment for termites, ants, roaches, spiders, crickets, centipedes, millipedes, rats, and mice.  Clients can choose One-Time, Monthly, and Quarterly Service Plans. As well as our wide range of specialty services including (Mosquitoes, Yard Service, Fly Prevention, Bee, Hornet & Wasp Removal, Stink Bugs, Pantry Pest, Box Elder Bugs, Cicada Killers, Fire Ant Service, Outdoor Party Service & Pet Lovers Service).

Our Commercial Service Agreements are also eligible for our Refer a Friend Discounts and Payments program so you can earn $50 to $100 when you refer a business to our company for service.http://www.southernpestcontrol.com/blog/company-announcement-commercial-services/


Christmas Tree Hitchhikers

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There could be up to 25,000 bugs living in your Christmas tree. Thirty-Three million natural Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year. Insects brought into the warmth of a home behave as though spring has come and become active again.

Some common pests hiding in your Christmas tree:

  • Mites
  • Sawfly
  • Aphids
  • Spiders
  • Adelgids
  • Bark Beetles
  • Praying Mantises
  • Pine Needle Scale

Pest Prevention:

  • Vigorously shake the tree before bringing it into your home.
  • Look out for bird nests, since they may contain parasites such as mites and lice.
  • Beware Spruce Spider mites appear as tiny red and brown dots when shaken out of Christmas trees. Vaccuum all discarded fallen droppings.
  • Cinara Aphids and their eggs are often hidden down inside the lower branches of Christmas trees where they are hard to find.
  • The Praying Mantis and Gypsy Moth will lay eggs in Christmas trees. Look for the walnut-sized tan egg masses. If you find any, remove them.


Unwelcome Pest Invasion

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What do we do when the temperature drops? We seek warm shelter. Same for a lot of pests. In addition to seeking refuge from the cold, pests are also searching for food sources.

Rats and mice transmit diseases, transport fleas, mites, ticks, and lice, trigger asthma attacks in children and cause significant damage to the home by gnawing through electrical wiring causing fires. Rodents can squeeze through spaces as small as a coin and create holes in the foundation for easy entryways.

Prevention

  • Store food in airtight sealed containers.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Screen vents and openings around the foundation.
  • Ensure shrubbery is well-trimmed and away from home.
  • Repair all damaged torn screens and cracks under doors.
  • Store firewood away from the home on an elevated surface.
  • Inspect and seal areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Seal with caulk all cracks in and around the foundation of the home.

If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.


Don’t Do It Yourself Pitfalls

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Homeowners may be tempted to buy “do it yourself” pesticides at a local hardware store in an attempt to rid their home of bugs.

  • In order to effectively treat your home for pests, the insect must be correctly identified. Our technicians are trained to correctly identify the target pest and determine the appropriate treatment. There are 17 different ant species that populate the Southern & Sovereign Pest Control service areas and the appropriate treatment depends on the type of ant being treated.
  • In many cases, the off shelf products are not as effective as the products used by a licensed professional. The active ingredient may not be as effective and the application may only be effective for a short time period.
  • Do you want to go into your crawl space?
    Many of the treatments for common household pests require an application to be performed in the house crawl space. Let’s face it, most crawl spaces are dark, dirty, and a little scary. Our technicians frequently encounter spiders, rodents, and snakes in crawl spaces. A professional knows what to look for and can make decisions on effectively applying pesticides in the crawl space.

Check out a cool video regarding “Don’t Do It Yourself Pitfalls”.


Ouch. What stung me?

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Fire Ants

  • Fire Ants can sting several times
  • Male fire ants die soon after mating
  • A fire ant queens’ lifespan is 7 years or more
  • Fire ants are extremely aggressive, especially if their nest is disturbed
  • The fire ant uses it’s antennae to hear, smell, find and taste food
  • Fire Ants are reddish brown to black in color and are about a quarter inch long
  • Fire ants were accidentally imported to the U.S. in the 1930’s via South America ships
  • The ants themselves are reddish brown in color and roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length
  • One fire ant colony may have numerous queens, each with the fertility to lay up to 1,500 eggs per day
  • Fire ant mounds may reach two feet in height and have been found to extend twenty feet into the ground
  • Fire ants mate when the temperature is between 70 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with peak times during the spring and fall months
  • Once the queen has established a group of new workers, she continues to lay 100,000 to 300,000 eggs per year and can live for six or seven years


KICK the TICK

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Fun Fact Friday

  • An engorged female tick may lay around 2,000 eggs or more.
  • Adult American dog ticks are reddish brown in color with silvery-gray or whitish markings on the back or upper body.
  • American dog ticks are most numerous along roadsides, paths, old fields, marshy areas and trails in brushy woodlands or meadows with tall grass or weeds.
  • The American dog tick, is the primary transporter of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the eastern United States.
  • People or their pets may bring these ticks from outdoors into the home, where they can survive for many days. The Brown dog tick is capable of causing household infestations.
  • Keep lawns mowed, brush trimmed, and leaf litter away from the home.
  • Keep trails or paths in wooded areas on your property clear of vegetation.
  • Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a “tick barrier.”
  • Wear clothes that will help shield you from ticks; long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Protect your home, family and pets from flea, tick and fire ant infestations For more details and to schedule an appointment, contact your Southern & Sovereign Pest Control representative today 1-800-627-0577.


Heavy Rain plus Hot Weather equals Mosquitoes

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With significant and frequent rainfall this year, combined with hot temperatures, the mosquito season is buzzing. Puddles of stagnant water are ideal breeding spots for the females to lay their eggs. All a female mosquito needs is a bottle cap of water to lay 100 to 200 eggs. Once the eggs are laid, they hatch into larvae within 24 to 48 hours.

Since hot air incubates viruses faster in mosquitoes, there is an increased risk catching West Nile (most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds) or the Zika Virus during warmer weather. The warmer it gets, the more efficiently they transmit the virus. In addition, warmer temperatures increase their appetite for blood meals.

Did You Know?

  • Some female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the fall, lying dormant and eventually freezing. The frozen larvae keep until the weather warms up then they hatch.
  • Only female mosquitoes bite. The female needs the protein in blood to help her eggs develop.
  • For the majority of mosquitoes, their activity peaks during the dusk hours.

Tips: Control Mosquito Populations on Your Property

  • Make sure you drain or get rid of any standing water.
  • Keep grass and vegetation cut/trim to reduce places to hide.
  • Have a pest control expert treat your property.

For more info regarding Mosquito Elimination Services click here.


Increase in Tick Population

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Rainy Spring Sundays, the Winter’s Snow, and Hot Humid Days, Increase Tick Population.

In addition to rainfall and temperature, climate change with seasonal weather variations are contributing to the acceleration of a tick’s developmental cycle, causing an increase in eggs. A humid spring creates conditions conducive for a tick outbreak in early summer. Increased humidity creates the ideal environment for ticks.

  • Adult females lay their eggs in the spring
  • An engorged female tick may lay around 2,000 eggs or more
  • After hatching, ticks must immediately begin their quest for a hosts’ blood in order to survive
  • A tick must draw blood from a host in order to molt and reproduce
  • Once full of blood, the tick will fall from the host and be able to lay eggs

tkbld554pxTicks are known for climbing grasses and shrubs in an attempt to attach themselves to a host (people or animals) walking by. A tick needs to be attached for a certain length of time extracting blood before it can transfer disease. Of all blood sucking arthropods, ticks transmit the widest array of diseases.

After being in an infested area, and since most tick bites are painless, be sure to check yourself and your pets for ticks immediately.

Taking precautions can help reduce the risk of infection related to serious diseases carried by ticks. Wear long sleeves and pants. Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a “tick barrier.” Be aware and avoid any harboring grassy unmanned landscape, wooded or brush areas.

Tick Avoidance Tips

  • Walk in the center of trails
  • Find and remove ticks from your body
  • Avoid tick habitat such as densely wooded areas
  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET
  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors

Apply pesticides outdoors to control ticks, if needed.