Last updated 2 days 19 hours ago
Ants are the most common household pests the in the nation, but out of the 700 species throughout the U.S., only a couple dozen are recognized as household pests. Ants are some of the most versatile insects in the planet and can be incredibly difficult to get rid of without professional pest control. Read on to learn how to identify these common household ants:
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest hazards you can face since they burrow into wood and can compromise the structural integrity of your home, similar to termites. Unlike termites, they prefer cooler, coastal climates like those found in the Bay Area. They are larger than most other ants, varying in size from 3.4mm up to 33mm large. They are mostly nocturnal, which can make them difficult to identify.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants commonly nest outdoors in mulch and under stones. They are solid black or dark brown in color and are about 3.3mm in length. They do not bite or sting, but they do produce a distinctive licorice-like smell when crushed and often invade homes in large swarms. They prefer sugars, but will consume meats and other proteins as well.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants are common to Orange County and the rest of the southeastern U.S., and they are notable for their aggressive behavior and particularly painful stings. Unlike carpenter ants and odorous house ants, fire ants are opportunistic eaters and will freely feed on meats, plants, and processed sweets. They range in size from 1.6 to 5mm and build nest mounds that can be up to 18mm high.
Once ants invade your home, they can be incredibly difficult to get rid of without professional assistance. We here at Payne Pest Management can provide professional pest control solutions—everything from insects to birds—for homes and businesses in Orange County. Just read some of our satisfied customer reviews online and call (877) 365-5629 today to schedule a free estimate.
Last updated 4 days ago
Since many structures, including homes and commercial properties, are built around wooden frames, termites are a serious problem in the area. Termite damage is frustrating to homeowners and other property owners because correcting it requires expensive, invasive repairs. Many property owners, however, do not fully understand how to prevent termite damage or control a termite infestation. The first step towards eliminating these pests is to understand their diet.
What Do Termites Eat?
There are several species of termite, but the two that affect human dwellings the most are subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites prefer to nest underground, close to the foundations of the structures they devour, but drywood termites can actually live inside the walls or under the floor of your building or home. Both species consume dead plant matter containing cellulose, including wooden beams and paper products.
How Do Termites Digest?
Termites cannot digest cellulose on their own. They depend upon microscopic protozoa that live in their guts to break down the cellulose in wood. These microorganisms have a symbiotic relationship with the termites, and also with even smaller bacteria that contribute to this relationship by releasing digestive enzymes that break down cellulose.
How Do Termites Nest?
Consuming wood does more than provide termites with sustenance—it also allows them to build their nests. Termites construct their dwellings out of a paste made from mud, saliva, chewed wood or cellulite, and feces. The nest helps termites stay hydrated by retaining moisture through condensation, and it also provides protection for nurseries full of termite larvae. The un-removed stumps of felled trees provide ideal places for termites to nest.
To prevent termites from devouring the wood that supports your home, consult Payne Pest Management today. Our pest control solutions help homes and businesses across Orange County eliminate termites, bed bugs, cockroaches, rodents, and many other household vermin. Learn more about our services by calling us today at (877) 365-5629.
Last updated 8 days ago
You may be living with a bed bug infestation in your home and not even be aware of it. These microscopic insects are excellent at hiding themselves during the day, only emerging during the night to bite humans and pets. Female bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs, and if the infestation is not mitigated through pest control measures, they can reproduce several times a year. The signs below will help you recognize a bed bug infestation.
Immature bedbugs must feed in order to reach their next life stage, and after that feeding they molt, or shed, their exoskeletons. To reach adulthood, bed bugs must feed and molt five times, so if you have an infestation, there may be large quantities of shed skins in your home. These appear as empty brownish-red bug shaped shells. Check along the baseboards in your bedroom and behind your bed’s headboard for molted bed bug skins.
Bed bugs do not feed every night—adults will bite a host only once every five to seven days, though of course if there are a large number of bugs you may experience bites every night. Between feedings, bed bugs digest the blood they have consumed and then excrete the waste, which can be identified as small, dark spots on the mattress, bed frame and other areas in your bedroom.
Bed bug Aggregations
Colonies of bed bugs tend to gather together in groups after feeding to rest, digest, and reproduce. The areas where they congregate, called aggregations, can appear at first glance to be simply spots of black mold or mildew. Look closer, however, and you will be able to identify bed bug aggregates by the presence of live and dead insects, excrement spots, molted skins, and eggs.
Bed bug infestations can quickly get out of hand if you don’t contact an experienced pest control professional. If you live in Orange County, call Payne Pest Management today at (877) 365-5629 to learn more about treatments for your home bed bug problem.
Last updated 11 days ago
Subterranean termites prefer to build their nests underground, and thus prefer to settle near homes where exposed wood sits in close proximity to the soil. Drywood termites, however, can live directly inside the wooden frame of your home, nesting in the walls, attic, or basement.
These small, light brown insects can cause significant damage to a structure by consuming the wooden support beams. Check dry areas of the home for infestation by tapping on exposed wood—hollow sounds could indicate the presence of a drywood termite colony. Additionally, this type of termite kicks waste out of the nest, so you may see scattered collections of fecal pellets below wooden doors, beams, or windowsills if you have a drywood termite infestation.
More than just irritating insects, termites are dangerous pests that can destroy large sections of your home, which will require costly remodeling to correct. If you suspect that you have a drywood termite colony somewhere on your Orange County property, call Payne Pest Management today at (877) 365-5629 to learn about termite control solutions.
Last updated 12 days ago
Enter to win a pair of tickets to this year's Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival Ticket Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, 2013. Each winner will receive two tickets to one day of the festival!
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