How to Get Rid of Rodents in Fredericksburg, VA; Roof & Norway Rats, House Mice & More
In general, rodents are very adaptable and harmful. They carry a long list of diseases in addition to the potential diseases any fleas or ticks they may be hosting have as well. Rodents are known to terrorize homes with damage to utility lines, structure, insulation, furnishings, and other property. They are also responsible for contaminating and pilfering food. With their destruction, having rodents infest your home can be difficult and challenging to get rid of. Today, we at CSI Home & Commercial Services would like to share the possible rodents that might be invading your Virginia home.
From the tip of their nose to the end of their tails, roof rats measure in about 15 inches. When compared to other rats, they have a larger ears and eyes, longer tail, and a pointed nose. Their black or brown fur is smooth, and they are smaller and sleeker than Norway rats. Black rats, ship rats, or house rats are also other names for roof rats. As accomplished climbers, these outdoor rodents stick to high places like in trees with dense leaves and branches for protection. Inside they tend to stick to the attic space, and in the wall voids as well as above ceilings. When they infest homes, roof rats are especially known to gnaw through wires and pipes. It is usually because the food or water is scarce or to escape extreme weather conditions when they come into homes. The rat’s diet includes fruit and nuts; however, they are omnivorous and will eat nearly anything.
From the end of their tail to the tip of their nose, these rats average 16 inches and weigh over 17 ounces (just over a pound). Norway rats are known as the “big rats”. The length of their bodies is shorter than the tail. Their ears and tail are covered in scales and have shaggy brown or gray fur. To help identify their presence, these rodents have capsule-shaped droppings. They do prefer to live outdoors and nest in underground burrow and when compared to other urban rodents, these rats are bulky though they take advantage of indoor living. The ground level of homes and businesses in addition to sewers and basements are popular nesting areas. To offer more concealment, they will also nest in vegetation, as well as the dense vegetation found around the home, the increase risk if them coming inside is high. These rats include seeds, cockroaches, grains, meats, fruit, and other food wastes in their diet as omnivorous critters, they will eat anything from eating garbage to eating what other edibles. Norway rats do live in communities with dominant and subordinate members though they are not social pests.
Common House Mouse
The short hair varies from light brown, gray, and black and the house mice white or light-colored bellies. A bit sparser, the ears and tail have hair. The tip of the nose to the tail averages about 7 inches long and weight about an ounce. Pointed on both ends, their droppings are rod-shaped. Throughout Virginia, house mice are notorious for invading homes and business. Their nesting habits cause minor damage and only require ¼” crack or hole to gain entry to structures. These mice have shelter from the elements and predators and the rodents prefer living indoors where food and water are readily available. To nest in clutter, unsanitary places, and other such areas house mice will often hide in the wall voids.
Found in the rural and sub-rural areas of Virginia, the white-footed mouse prefers habitats that include forests and brush lands, specifically, the forests edge where vegetation is low and scrubby. These mice will also construct nests in the walls at ground level of buildings. In addition to the grass, weeds, or other low growing vegetation, these mice can nest. Insects, nuts, seeds, and berries are included in their diet.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter, Fire, Pavement, Pharaoh & Other Types of Ants in Manassas, VA
Ants, large and small, can show up suddenly and in large numbers. It’s always a bit alarming to see a trail of ants in your home. Where are they coming from? How did they get in and what kind of ants are they?
Carpenter ants are reddish black in color and 5/8 inch in size. Carpenter ants will build their nests outside in different wood sources and will come into buildings through wood that is damaged, cracks around windows and doors, or holes that are meant for wires and/or pipes. They will also use tree limbs or shrubs that touch your home to get inside. These ants can cause damage to your home as they create tunnels through wood to build nests. The amount of damage will depend on the number of ants you’re dealing with and how long they have been there.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported ants are dark reddish brown in color and can be 1/8-3/8 inches in size. These ants will build nest mounds in outdoor landscape areas or near the foundation of your home. They will also get inside through holes and/or cracks in the exterior of your home. When the nest of red imported fire ants becomes disturbed, they can and will attack with a painful sting. These stings often result in raised welts that will become white pustules. If a person in allergic to the sting, they will react more severely.
Pavement ants are dark brown to blackish in color and 1/8 inch in size. Pavement ants are most likely found in ground-level masonry walls. They will also nest in these walls and in the insulation under floors. Outside of your home they will nest under stones, cracks in pavement and next to buildings. While pavement ants are not dangerous to your health, they can contaminate food.
Pharaoh ants are light yellow to red in color, with black markings on the abdomen and are 1/16 inches in size. These ants are often found in commercial food handling establishments like hotels, grocery store and hospitals or your home. They will nest in warm, humid areas near food and water sources. Their nests are often located in areas that are hard to get at. Outside, they will nest in shaded areas or under debris. These ants have been implicated in the spread of more than a dozen disease pathogens.
If you’ve never had a run in with ants in your home, consider yourself lucky. But since ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States, you should take steps to keep them away, so you won’t have to try and get rid of them. Ants will always look for a supply of food and water, so eliminate food and water sources. Seal all entry points into your home and call the professionals if you need help. Professionals will identify the type of ant, eliminate the problem and provide a plan to keep them from coming back. Call CSI Home & Commercial Services. We know ants!
How to Get Rid of Lone Star Ticks in Your Fairfax, VA Yard; Identification, Treatment for Bite & More
Because of the single silvery-white spot marked on the females’ back, the lone star tick was so named. These ticks attack people more frequently than most any other type of tick. They usually leave behind a circular rash and lone star ticks are notorious for spreading harmful diseases. It is crucial that if you discover a lone star tick on you or your pet is immediately removed. In regard to lone star ticks, the we at CSI Home and Commercial Services would like to share some basic information with you today.
Lone Star Tick Identification
Lone star ticks are reddish brown and will look a slate gray when engorged, and as mentioned, the ladies feature a whitish marking on their back. By adulthood, they have 8 legs, qualifying them as arachnids, though as larvae they only have 6 legs. With oval-shaped and flattened bodies, females average between ¼ inch long and ½ inch when engorged and the males are smaller.
Treatment for Lone Star Tick Bite
These ticks can be brought inside your home by you or your pet, though they usually do not survive long indoors. Should you find them latched onto you or your pet, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Do not twist or jerk the lone star tick, as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin but pull upward steadily with even pressure. Make sure to dispose the ticks. Wash the bite wound with warm water and soap; contact a doctor if you have a rash, fever, headache, or pains developing. Avoid lone star ticks with long-sleeved clothes and pants along with wearing tick repellent. Stay clear of lounging to long on or against stumps, logs, or bushy areas and after spending time in such areas.
Lone Star Tick Life Cycle; Nymphal Stage & More
Lone star ticks are a a three host tick, meaning that they need a new host with each stage. They initially contact the host by crawling up on the tips of the low-growing vegetation as they lay in wait for a host to pass by. Lone star ticks cannot survive long exposure to the sun and will seek refuge in shaded areas. The habitat must also contain both small animal hosts for larvae, though adults target bigger animals. A favorite habitat for lone star ticks is woods to lawn or meadow transitional zone and for eggs to hatch, and they require 65% or greater humidity levels until they latch on a host. Common small animals the larvae attach to include gray squirrel, cat, ground nesting birds, gray fox, striped skunk, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, and cotton rat. Nymphs will also select one of these smaller animals as well as larger animals the adults prefer including foxes, dogs, wild turkey, cats, cattle, white-tailed deer and people; and humans can support these ticks in all 3 stages.
Lone Star Tick Diseases
Lone star ticks are known vectors for Heartland virus, tularemia, Bourbon virus and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), putting their host at risk for being infected. You can develop a secondary infection when attempting to remove ticks because of the problematic mouthparts.
Especially along the trails, paths, and yard edges, be sure to keep the grass cut short and the vegetation trimmed back to reduce ideal habitats. Preventative pest control maintenance can help as well, but if you find one on you or your pet, be sure to take care of the removal and medical treatment as needed and call CSI Home and Commercial Services to ensure any ticks and viable eggs are eliminated.
What Attracts Mosquitoes? How to Prevent Mosquito Bites & Keep Them Away in Lorton, VA
Mosquito season is fast approaching and residents all around Virginia are gearing up for another itchy fight with these flying pests. They bother us at our Summer BBQs, on our evening walks and any other time we simply don’t want them around. If you haven’t already begun prepping for mosquito season, there is no better time than now to get a head start before they take up residence in your yard. Deterring mosquitoes from your yard is easier than dealing with an infestation of them. We’re sure you’re tired of dealing with these disease carrying insects, but unfortunately, their presence is inevitable in our state of Virginia. Good news is there are steps you can take to limit their presence around your home, and it all starts with getting ready early.
Mosquitoes are the Deadliest Insects
Did you know that the deadliest creature in the world is in fact the mosquito? Mosquito borne-illnesses claim the lives of more than 2.7 million people every year. That’s more than sharks, lions, wolves, hippos and bears combined! There are more than 3,500 species of mosquito found worldwide.
Mosquito Species & Diseases Such as Zika & West Nile Virus Present in Virginia
The state of Virginia is home to more than 65 different species of mosquitoes. The black-and-white striped Asian tiger mosquito is one of the most common and widespread mosquitoes of concern found in Virginia. Common mosquito borne-illnesses seen here are West Nile virus, Yellow fever, St. Louis encephalitis, Easter equine encephalitis and dog heartworms. However, Zika Virus has been a concern here also in recent years.
Mosquito Lifespan & Life Cycle
A single female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, which is necessary for their survival. The first 10 days of a mosquito’s life are spent in the water, where they feed on the present organic matter and breathe oxygen from the surface. After the course of several days they will emerge from the water as adult flying mosquitoes. The average lifespan of a mosquito is less than two months, that is of course, unless you kill them first. These archaic blood suckers are one of the oldest known species of insects in existence, dating back to the Jurassic period.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Homes & Yards
Ever wonder why mosquitoes are so attracted to us? It seems like they can see us coming from a mile away! Our skin produces more than 300 chemical odors, most of them smell like a good meal to a mosquito. Every time we sweat, we release a chemical known as octenol which attracts a mosquito from hundreds of feet away. The cholesterol, folic acid, lotions, perfumes and bacteria we carry are also very attractive to mosquitoes. Our woes don’t end there, even the CO2 we emit from our breath, dark clothes and our body heat are all too tempting for these buzzing buggers. Mosquitoes require a blood meal in order to mate successfully, making us and our pets prime targets. We aren’t the only things they are interested in, they want our yards and homes too. Any stagnant water wading around is prime territory for a mosquito to lay their eggs.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Making your home a force field against mosquitoes starts with ensuring there is no standing water anywhere near your home. This includes gutters, under and around porches, old tires, trash or any other place where water can be hiding. Mosquitoes only need enough water to fill a milk jug cap to lay their eggs. The Center for Disease Control also highly recommends DEET (10%) to be used before heading outside to protect yourself from mosquitoes as well as wear long sleeve, loose fitting and light-colored clothing to decrease your chances of getting bit.
Next, it is highly recommended for you to work closely with an experienced and licensed pest control company like CSI of Virginia to treat your yard, bushes, shrubs, gutters and other areas for mosquitoes and their larvae. CSI of Virginia is a locally licensed pest control agency with years of experience in mosquito control. Call us today to schedule your home’s pest inspection and treatment before the mosquitoes start biting!
Signs of Termites in Woodbridge, VA? Termite Inspection for Home Purchase or Maintenance
Termites are a real problem in Virginia, and being that Alaska is the only exception for termites that live in any other state in the U.S., most are familiar with the notorious damage these insects cause. Due to termites, there is an estimated $50 billion in damage to buildings and structures a year. These pests are extremely troublesome as extensive damage can be done to your home or business before you ever realize termites have infested it. Termites consume wood from the inside out, and if you do not know what to look for, they can be a challenge to detect. Whether you are looking to buy a new home, suspect termites have invaded, or heard of an infestation close by, a termite inspection by a trusted professional is more than optimal. Bearing this mind, we at CSI Home and Commercial Services would like to cover the general basics of a termite inspection.
Once a colony is well established, reproducing termites will branch out to start new colonies. An established colony, after a few years, will produce winged reproducing king and queen termites. These sexually matured adults will fly off to start new colonies during the spring. Once they select a new area, the wings are shed, and they begin multiplying. Seeing them flying about or finding the discarded wings are a sure sign of termites. The swarmers and/or their wings are commonly found along window sills. However, there are several ant species that match this behavior, but a trained professional can better recognize the intruders.
Wood Termite Damage
Professionals can see any distinguishable evidence on the surface of wood when termites are currently infesting the wood, though many untrained people do not notice. Professionals look for the crusts of dirt from where they packed the galleries with mud, check for hollow wood, or the deep parallel grooves from excavation work, that suggests termite damaged wood.
Termite Mud Tubes
Should you find these mud tubes first, immediately call a professional, as they look for them during the inspection. Typically, the general areas inspected are the crawlspace, along your foundation, in the attic, and any other entry points to your home. The mud tubes are constructed with soil, wood cellulose and other debris. Termites require these protective tubes to get to the wood, avoid potential threats and maintain the humidity levels. To increase their comfort, termites frequently seal small gaps with dirt. Professionals will inspect concrete, sheetrock, mud crammed into construction joints, and even wood to look for any crusted dirt in the small holes or cracks.
Termites in Landscaping
Termites are not just a problem once they get inside your home or business, but they can destroy your landscaping, and easily get to your home. Wood mulch, firewood, wood fencing, fallen dead trees or stumps, as well as wooden structures, like decks, arbors, sheds, and playsets can all be infested with termites. A professional will look for evidence of termites there, but if you stumble across it first, call in the pros.
Termite Inspection & Treatment
Professionals of CSI Home and Commercial Services are very thorough during a termite inspection can be of assistance if you suspect termites or simply want preventative measures. Call us today to schedule your termite inspection.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide in Dale City, VA: How to Check for Signs of Bed Bug Infestations
When people suspect bed bugs, many turn to online searches and read through the common signs of bed bug infestations. The red flags often relate the dried droplets of blood, molten skin, lined bite marks, and other such indicators. The constant pilfering of your blood leaving itchy, red welt marks is more than a nuisance. Though these vampires are not linked to spreading any known diseases, they do leave behind histamines that can cause breathing problems and exacerbate allergies. More often than you may think however, people will second guess what pest is creeping into your bed at night when you search the bed for signs of these nasty blood-lusting criminals. With this in mind, we at CSI Home & Commercial Services would like to help you look for these blood thirsty criminals.
How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day
It is important to know as bed bugs are nocturnal, they look for safe, dark corners to spend the day in. Below are a few steps that can help you find the bed bugs in your home.
1) Look for Bed Bugs. Bed bugs are tiny, no bigger than an apple seed, giving them a major advantage. Have a flashlight handy when you go hunting and even a magnify glass to help you find these hiding masters. Aside from looking reddish and engorged after eating, bed bugs are flat and grayish brown.
2) Start in their last known location. The optimal place to start is starting at the place where they were last seen or suspected of their activities because they are likely still in the area. If they don’t have to, they don’t stray too far away from their meal. Start along the box spring, mattress, and bed frame. Be thorough. Check the crevices and if you do not see any, start looking in the nearby locations and furniture.
3) Check adjacent locations for bed bugs. Expand the search if no bed bugs are spotted to the adjacent furnishings, behind baseboards, frames, outlets and so on. Be sure to look along the curtains, curtain rods and all surrounding areas. Look in unconventional spots as bed bugs will hunker down nearly anywhere.
4) Follow the bed bug’s trail. Trails of evidence is left behind by bed bugs. Look for the clues and follow them; such as blood they were unable to digest and had to secrete, small dark red particles (there fecal matter), the skin, or shells that is their outer skeleton the bed bugs. Ned bugs will shed their skin as they mature into the next cycle. Their shells is commonly left outside their nesting area. A fairly identifiable to bed bugs is the smell they secrete. When they have larger numbers and are in concentrated areas, bed bugs will emit an odor that is obvious, smelling much like a musty, sweet smell.
5) Check cracks and crevices for bed bugs. With a flashlight and magnifying glass, the bed bugs’ minuscule size enables them to hide even in the smallest of spaces. Searching for bed bugs can be a task as you have to sure in every crack and crevice to confirm a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Inspections & Treatment
To ensure the bed bug inspection is done efficiently, and to avoid taxing investigations, call in the professionals of CSI Home & Commercial Services for an inspection and if any are found, our experts can help you eliminate them!
Common Rodents in Stafford, VA; Roof & Norway Rats and House & White Footed Mice
Have you ever watched Stuart Little and wondered if you could ever think of a mouse as a pet? There are some people that will keep mice as pets but not very many. Most homeowners see a mouse or rat on their property and start to freak out. Many times they will become obsessed with how to get rid of them. Today we are going to learn about what types of mice and rats are found most frequently here in Virginia and how you can get rid of them.
There are hundreds of different species of mice and rats that live in the United States. What part of the country you live in will determine what type of mice or rat species you could have in your home. Here in Virginia roof rats, Norway rats, common house mice, and the white-footed mouse are the most common species of rodents that are found.
Black Roof Rats
Roof rats are also called black rats, ship rats, and house rats. They are nocturnal animals which means that they are active at night time. Roof rats are typically more common in the coastal areas of Virginia. They normally live outdoors but if they can find food and shelter indoors they will next in homes as well. If they live indoors they frequently live in attics, ceilings, and walls.
Brown Norway Rats
Norway rats are a larger than other rat species. Norway rats are about 16 inches long from head to the end of their tail. Like roof rats, Norway rats are nocturnal and actually prefer to live outdoors. If the population of Norway rats is large you may notice them during the day as well. They will nest underground, in sewers, in basements, and on the ground level of buildings. Norway rats eat grains, meats, seeds, cockroaches, fruit, and other food wastes. They frequently will dig through garbage to find their food.
As their name indicates house mice prefer to live indoors. They are very likely to infest buildings. House mice like to nest in more populated areas. Since they are smaller than rats it is easier for mice to get inside your home. They only need a small crack to squeeze into your home. They forage food and will eat just about anything they can find. House mice multiply very quickly. Female house mice may produce up to 50 mice in her lifetime.
While house mice prefer to live in highly populated areas the white-footed mouse likes to live in rural and suburban areas. The white-footed mouse is one of the largest carriers of Lyme disease. In 2015 the Center for Disease Control ranked Virginia the 9th highest state in the country for confirmed cases of Lyme disease. The white-footed mouse eats insects, nuts, seeds, and berries. They live in forests where these food items are readily available to them.
If you see signs of mice or rats in your home or on your property you will want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Their short reproductive cycles can make them a large problem in a short period of time. You can try to catch them with traps. Traps work better with mice than with rats because mice tend to be more curious than rats. If you are not able to get rid of the problem on your own give CSI Home & Commercial Services a call. We would be happy to come out and develop a plan to help rid your property of these unwanted rodents.
When Does Mosquito Season End in Fredericksburg, VA? October! Best Way to Control These Pests
The sound of a buzzing mosquito whipping past your ear is annoying. Added to that is the fact they can be dangerous to your health because they can carry the Zika virus along with other mosquito-borne issues. If you discover you have a large mosquito problem, you’re already behind the eight ball because the best way to control mosquitoes is to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place. It’s always important to use repellents to keep mosquitoes away, but there are also ways to make your yard less appealing for them.
Best Ways to Control Mosquitoes on Your Property
1. Remove standing water. This is the best way to control mosquitoes because mosquitoes will use standing water to breed. The still water is very inviting, and they can breed in standing water that is only half an inch deep. These areas need to be removed. Puddles and small ponds are obvious ones but consider old tires, toys, buckets, bird baths, clogged gutters and plant bowls.
2. Mow tall grass and trim shrubbery. These are areas that mosquitoes like to hang out and rest. Your yard may seem like it’s free of mosquitoes until you get to parts that have long grass. Walking in long grass stirs them up, co make sure your grass is cut to 5 inches or shorter to force them to find another yard to hang out in. Get rid of any vegetation that grows quickly, like weeds.
3. Use mosquito repelling plants. There are plants that you can use in your landscaping that will deter mosquitoes. While it won’t eliminate them, it will reduce their numbers and make it harder for them to reproduce. Planting basil can be an excellent way to keep mosquitoes away and is relatively easy to grow. Lemon balm is also effective but invasive and will need to be controlled or you’ll just be creating a place for them to hide. Citronella grass can also be used because citronella has strong mosquito-deterring qualities.
4. Mosquito fog areas of your property. An occasional fogging of yards that are prone to mosquitoes can be effective Fogging areas that are shady or with long grass and shrubs or areas that are 12-15 feet close to human activity can reduce mosquito populations. The chemicals used in fogging need to be used in moderation and in a targeted way. Keep in mind that this only sends mosquito elsewhere. It won’t kill them or prevent them from breeding. These chemicals can be applied with garden sprayer-like equipment. If you’re concerned about doing it yourself, call the professionals.
5. Mosquito repellents. There are devices you can use that will kill mosquitoes on contact. Remember, it’s best to keep them away in the first place but if you need an immediate control then consider using zappers, magnets or mosquito traps. You can always fall back on mosquito-repellent or spray to keep them from biting you because those bites are both annoying and dangerous to your health!
If you’ve taken these steps and still find you have too many mosquitoes hanging out in your yard, contact CSI Home & Commercial Services of Virginia for help!
How to Get Rid of Weeds & Grow Grass in Manassas, VA; Lawn Weed Control Services
There is nothing more beautiful than thick, green turf. Keeping it weed free during the summer can be a battle. Luckily, there are several things that can be done to keep your grass free from the unsightly weeds that tend to grow during the season. CSI Home & Commercial Services is here to share some tips to help you keep your grass weed free this summer.
Garden Weed Prevention
When it comes to the weeds that grow in your lawn, the best time to deal with them is in the early spring and late fall. This allows you to take full advantage of the growing season. Surprisingly, the biggest defense you can have against weeds in your lawn is a thick, healthy turf. If you have a lawn that is full of weeds, it often indicates that there is another issue like nutrient imbalances in the soil. If you are in the process of growing new grass, be sure to purchase high-quality seed that will be free of weeds.
Lawn Weed Control
If you have a little patch here and there where weeds are growing, it can be beneficial to simply dig them out rather than treating your entire lawn. For a heavy infestation, your lawn health should be your first and major concern. For all the weed problems you may face in between, there are several herbicides that can be used to help control the problem.
• Pre-Emergent Herbicides– These herbicides work to prevent weed seeds from germinating. They are great for spot treatment during the winter or summer dormant season.
• Post Emergent Herbicide– If you miss the window for using pre-emergent herbicides, post emergent herbicide is used to kill weeds that are already actively growing. The herbicide is sucked up by the roots of the plant and effectively kills it.
• Selective Herbicides– These are herbicides that are formulated specifically for a certain type of weed. They can be sprayed on other plants that won’t be effected by it because of its formulation.
• Non-Selective Herbicides– Non-selective herbicides will kill any plant they come in contact with. They should only be used when you are doing a spot treatment.
• Total Vegetation Herbicides– These herbicides will not only kill any plant that they come in contact with, but they will sterilize the ground as well. They should be used very carefully because there will not be anything that can grow there for a certain time after it has been treated.
Proper Herbicide Application Methods
Anytime you are treating your lawn with any type of herbicide, you should be doing so with great caution. These chemicals are strong and can be a danger when they aren’t used properly. Always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully and be sure you are using the right product for your need.
Weed Control & Lawn Care Services
Choosing the right herbicide for your lawn can be tricky. If you are having a difficult time getting your lawn healthy, you can count on the experts at CSI Home & Commercial Services for help. Our experience and training make us the leading choice in lawn care. Call us today!
Signs & Damage of Carpenter Ants in Fairfax, VA; How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ant Pests
Ants are a rather common pest that many people experience from time to time. They are a nuisance and some can deliver rather painful pinches when they feel threatened. As ants march throughout home pilfering what food they can, their numbers seem never ending. Carpenter ants are one of the worst ants because of their habits of excavating wood to build their nests. Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood, but are nearly as destructive. We at CSI Home and Commercial Services would like to share the fundamentals concerning carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants in the United States, ranging 1/8 – 33/64 inches long. They are commonly black but some species range in color from jet black, to dark brown and they can also be red, black, yellow, orange, yellowish tan or light brown. The worker carpenter ants feature large mandibles.
Damage Caused By Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are drawn to moist, decaying, or hollow wood, both outside and inside. Carpenter ants prefer to establish their colonies in galleries excavated from damp or damaged wood. To form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest, they cut galleries, or tunnels, into the grain of wood. Carpenter ants keep their nesting site clean, unlike subterranean termites that line their galleries with moist soil; carpenter ant galleries are smooth as if it were sandpapered.
Where Do Carpenter Ants Live & What Do They Eat?
These ants can be found in both dead and living trees, stumps and rotting logs. Carpenter ants will also nest inside homes or buildings where wood is found, especially if it has been exposed to extreme moisture. As mentioned, they do not eat wood; they simply remove it into small piles outside their nests. They typically eat human scraps, having a fondness especially for sweats and meats. Carpenter ants will also feed off other insects.
Signs of Carpenter Ants
You can spot the signs of carpenter ant infestations if you are aware of them. Below you will find some common red flags.
1) The most obvious is seeing carpenter ant swarmers that have wings and workers inside the home. Workers are foraging for food and the swarmers are the reproducers that leave a colony after it matures to begin a new one. Seeing the winged ants indicate a well established colony.
2) Debris is a sign of their activity that is produced as they carve their tunnels in the wood. You will find wood shavings that look like saw dust, parts of dead ants, and so on piled up.
3) Sometimes you can hear the rustling sounds of their day activities in the wood which suggests their presence.
Carpenter Ant Control
If you have carpenter ants in your home, or in close proximity, it is crucial you get them efficiently exterminated. Leaving these ants to flourish can result in heavily damaged structures or ruined furniture and repairs can be very costly. If you suspect carpenter ants, call the experts of CSI Home and Commercial Services and let our trained professionals put a plan in action to efficiently remove these ants from your home or business.