If you have never encountered ants in your house, office or school, count yourself among the lucky few. But if you are like most people, you have fought your fair share of battles against this annoying pest—whether it’s a nest of pavement ants in your garage or a parade of odorous house ants marching across your kitchen counter. There are more than 700 ant species found in the US, although only about 25 species commonly infest homes.
Ants are social insects that typically live in underground colonies made up of workers and a queen. Ants will eat practically any kind of food, but are especially attracted to sweets. Ant identification is relatively simple due to their three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen, as well as antennae.
Despite similar construction, ants vary in overall appearance. Small or large ants and brown or black ants are common nicknames for different species. If you do find signs of an ant infestation in your home, contact Day Pest Solutions promptly. Treatments for these ants are usually painless and are completed with a combination of baits, liquid sprays and granules. A treatment plan will be provided for you onsite.
Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building, where they will excavate the wood and form smooth tunnels inside of the wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, they only tunnel and chew through wood to create nests. The western black carpenter ant colony, when mature, contains about 10-20,000 workers, with large colonies of more than 50,000 individuals. There is usually only one functional, wingless queen per colony. Swarmers are not produced until the colony is more than two years old. They are produced in the first year and held over the winter in the nest for release the following year. Swarmers appear from May until August in the eastern United States and from February through June in the west. Treatments for the ants are situational and can vary, an inspection needs to be completed to provide a precise and effective treatment plan.
There are two species of termites prevalent in western Oregon. Both of which are highlighted below. Either one requires a thorough inspection to identify conducive conditions and to provide a proper treatment plan.
Subterranean termites build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as "mud tubes," to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. They use their scissor-like jaws to eat wood 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like other termite species, subterranean termites also feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring when groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies. The best method of subterranean termite control is to avoid water accumulation near your home's foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard. Most importantly, eliminate wood contact with the soil. Maintain a 6” gap (if possible) between the soil and wood portions of the building. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time.
Dampwood termite colonies, like drywood termites, have no worker caste. The nymph dampwood termites take care of the kings and queens of the colony and feed the soldier caste. These termites create a series of chambers in wood, which are connected by tunnels with smooth walls, as if sandpapered. Dampwood termites are usually found in logs, stumps, dead trees, fence posts, and utility poles. Dampwood termites do not usually infest structures because of their need for excessive moisture. However, care must be taken to avoid attracting dampwood termites to a structure, as they can cause serious property damage. To avoid dampwood termites, homeowners should eliminate sources of moisture by diverting water away from the home's foundation. It's important to repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units on the outside of the home as dampwood termites are often drawn to these areas. Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from the house. To prevent dampwood termites indoors, reduce humidity by properly ventilating crawl spaces, attics, and basements.