As we move out of the winter months, pests become a growing concern again here in the Mountain Home area. One of the more common pests Hopper Termite & Pest experiences in the area are ants! These tiny creatures make their way into our homes, and can really drive you insane with their constant presence, especially inside the house, or even in your food!
One thing that’s important to know is that there are many different types of ants, each of which has their own reasons for being in your home, and each of which has different levels of problems attached to them. It’s important to identify what kind of ant you are dealing with so you know how to best get rid of them, but also to know how severe of an issue their presence is. Ant identification is a big part of controlling the issue, and something the experts here at Hopper can help you with!
If you find ants in your home, we recommend staying away from DYI pesticides and contacting Hopper Termite & Pest to help you address your infestation with expert identification and get the knowledge needed to deal with that particular ant species. If you’re looking to prevent an ant infestation knowing that spring is almost here, then you’ve come to the right place!
WHY ARE THEY HERE?
All ants have something in common, and that is they need food. Understandably, ants like to eat the same foods that we do, so they like to be near their food sources-- your kitchen! They also need moisture to survive, so they like warm wet spaces in the home. Some things you can do to prevent ant infestations are to make sure you fix any water leaks and do not leave puddles or pools of water around the kitchen.
Check under sinks, and near plumbing in bathrooms to make sure there are no leaks or moist areas hiding out of sight. After washing dishes, dry up any puddles or pools of water that may be sitting on the counter or left under dishes hung up to dry. If you do find a leak, make sure to have it fixed right away.
Keep your kitchen clean! Crumbs and open food packaging is one of the number one reasons ants come into your home. It’s like a free all you can eat buffet in there when you leave crumbs out under counters, behind appliances, or under the table. Make sure to fully seal and close food packaging in your pantry. Believe us, you will not be happy when you find your favorite cookies swarming with sugar ants!
Seal your home to the best of your ability. Most ants are very small and can fit in through the tiniest of cracks and holes in your home. Always be checking for small cracks or areas that look like small pests could come through and make sure to seal them up as soon as you can.
Make sure to keep brush and landscaping a safe distance from your home so it is not touching your external walls constantly. Pests like to make their homes in bushes and trees and it makes an easy path to your home from this landscaping.
Try to control ant piles and nests in your yard. Attempt to create proper drainage in your lawn, as sitting water attracts ants and other pests as well.
Overall, there are many preventative steps you can take to keep ants from inside your home. Ants are driven by their desire for food and water, much like us humans, so the harder you make these things to access in your home, the easier it is to keep the pests out.
If you do start to notice these little intruders in your home, stealing bits of your snacks, make sure to give us a call and we will help you identify the issues and make sure to get all your ant issues under control! Give us a call at 870-425-4122 or dig a ilttle deeper into our website services and articles for more information.
SQUASHING THE MYTHS
Cockroaches bring out varied reactions in everyone - from screams and disgust, to believe it or not, admiration. Most would agree that they need to go next door, down the street, to the next town, or preferably to a cockroach heaven or hell. The strong emotions regarding this pesky pest have generated myths and rumors over the years. Hopper Termite & Pest wants to help you separate fact from fiction.
COCKROACHES ONLY INVADE DIRTY HOMES
Depending on ease of access to water and food sources, they do prefer dirtier homes, BUT a clean home is fair game as well. Easy access is their modus operandi. This is why it is important to not only keep your home clean, but to also ensure that cracks and points of entry are properly sealed.
THE BIGGER THE BADDER
Despite the rumors, size makes no difference when it comes to roaches being more dangerous or problematic. Fact is, the smallest can carry disease just as easily as the larger ones.
THEY FEAR THE LIGHT
How many times have you gone into a room, turned on the light and they scurry away? Although some species do prefer living in dark, quiet areas, most cockroaches actually enjoy the light. They’ll gather near windows, or even on a television screen at night. When they do run it’s because they fear humans, the larger predator.
A COCKROACH CAN WITHSTAND A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
This is among the most common myths quoted as fact. Although they can withstand ten times more radiation than a person, the truth is they would not survive a nuclear event.
IT WILL DIE WHEN IT LOSES ITS HEAD
A cockroach body CAN survive without a head for UP TO A WEEK! The roach breathes through small holes in its body segments and has an open circulatory system. Therefore, since it doesn’t need its head to breathe, it can continue to live. What eventually kills it is the inability to drink, dying of dehydration.
THEY CAN’T LIVE IN A HUMAN BODY
They can! Doctors in Chennai, India recently found a live cockroach inside a lady’s skull after it entered through her nose. Thankfully, they were able to remove it with the use of forceps and a suction apparatus. Another incident was reported of a man who had a cockroach in his ear for three days. Cockroaches tend to seek warm places for shelter during cold winter, and human ears have turned out to have desirable qualities in which a cockroach can survive.
Cockroaches can cause severe allergies and make people sick.
They have been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Their lifespan ranges from a few months to two years.
Roaches will eat anything. ANYTHING.
They will drink almost anything as well, including beer – because of the sugars found in alcohol, not because roaches like to party!
They cover the globe – with the exception of Antarctica.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Cockroaches, young and old, travel very fast, moving at speeds of more than three miles per hour at times. Some varieties even fly.
They can and do bite – especially the larger ones.
EYE CAN SEE YOU
They have eyes that rest on top of their head. They sport over 2000 lenses, giving them excellent vision to see more than one thing at a time. They also see very well in green light but not so well in red light.
Keeping a clean house is a must. The dirtier the house, the more they are attracted to your crib. Keep your dishes, sinks, counters and cabinets clean. Keep pet food picked up. Remove grease, vacuum often and keep food particles cleaned up. Remove indoor trash - especially ridding your house of cardboard boxes, stored paper bags and empty soda bottles. Keep dumpsters clean and use tight lids on garbage cans.
It’s a good idea to inspect your house using a flashlight to search for popular hiding spots. Look behind the refrigerator, under the sink and in cabinet and closet crevices. Once you determine infested areas, you can try caulking to close gaps, filling every entry point between walls, tiles, crevices and entry holes. The use of weather strips on door and window seals is also recommended. Some success can be found by using glue strips, boric acid powder or gel bait.
Although these methods can provide partial relief, results can lead to dead roaches/pests lying around your house, increasing the risk of contamination. You also chance using the wrong chemical, over or under-applying, risking exposure to children and pets.
The most safe and dependable option is to hire a pest management professional like Hopper Termite & Pest. Some pests are extremely resistant to treatment options. Instead of spending your money on expensive, dangerous chemicals that may do more harm than good, hire a professional who knows the safest, most effective methods to eliminate pests that seem unstoppable. A professional will only use pesticides if necessary; and when used, they will use the correct and precise, safe amounts. You will also benefit from enjoying complete pest control. A professional will discover and remove other pests that you may be unaware of.
Knowing your pest issues are under control will result in less cleaning frequency.
You will rest better knowing the pests are under control and not under your bed.
You or your family could become ill from an insect bite, or by coming in contact with droppings.
LESS ITCHING AND SCRATCHING
Pests can bite. Bed bugs, fleas, spiders, mosquitoes and roaches are among some of the biting pests, leaving you scratching and uncomfortable for days.
MORE “YOU TIME”
Doing it yourself can be frustrating, not to mention time-consuming. Leaving the pest treatment/removal/prevention chores to a pro will give you peace of mind, and more time for you to do the things you enjoy.
The consumer is usually unaware of all the pests they have and how to treat them effectively. Take the guesswork out of the equation and spend exactly what it takes to exactly remove and treat the exact problem/s.
PEACE OF MIND
Lose the worry over creepy critters scampering around your home. Knowing that the pest control professional is using techniques that are tried, true, safe and guaranteed, will ease your mind when it comes to children, pets and other family members.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
The last thing a homeowner desires is decreased property value. Not knowing what is crawling in your home, under the house, in the yard is a bad feeling. The longer you delay, the worse things can get.
If there’s one thing you do not want to put off, it’s contacting a professional to inspect and assess your property for pest infestation and potential damage. From inside to outside, Hopper Termite & Pest are the professionals you need to determine an exact plan of action for you. There is no job too small or too large they can’t handle. In business since 1963, they have a proven track record and impressive reputation. For a list of services they offer, contact them today. They are the professional solution you’ve been looking for!
Suspicious about a little extra scratching and scampering you hear around your home? You could have a rodent problem. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify whether or not you have a rodent living in your home, but once you start to notice the damage and droppings they leave behind you will want them gone!
Often times, rodents will not be in plain sight, and they do not like to stay in frequently occupied areas. Their favorite hiding spots include all the spots you are checking the least, like attics, garages or storage areas, closets, inside of walls, and sometimes the kitchen. It’s easy for small mice, squirrels or rats to find small cracks and crannies to squeeze their tiny bodies through and make a nice home in your attic. Their active hours are during the nighttime, so if you hear crawling and scratching noises coming from above, you can easily identify the issue!
A good practice is to check your walls for small cracks and holes that would be easy for mice and rats to slip into. They take advantage of these holes and make homes inside the walls, crawling around looking for nesting materials and destroying your home. Often times, rodents can get into your walls and pass away, leaving you with a deathly odor, trying to figure out where it is coming from! Inspect baseboards, exterior walls, etc. and make sure to make immediate repairs in order to prevent an infestation.
Garages, storage closets, and sheds are all also common hiding spots for rodents. Many times these areas of a home can be cluttered with storage, boxes, and other forgotten items, and are not being visited frequently. Cardboard boxes are especially inviting for rodents and other unwanted pests, so using sturdy plastic storage bins is a better way to store your belongings long term. Make sure to visit these areas on a regular basis and look for signs of rodents because once they have found a home in your storage, they can become extremely destructive, potentially causing thousands of dollars of damage.
And finally, the kitchen. Rodents want food!! Being near food and water resources when selecting their tiny rodent home is a huge bonus. Many times mice and rats will make homes behind appliances or any tucked away limited access area they can find. Keeping a tidy kitchen can be huge when it comes to discouraging a rodent infestation. A house full of forgotten crumbs and sticky residue is the perfect feeding ground for rodents. Keep it clean and make sure your food is stored properly! You don't want to find mice droppings in your cereal box in the morning.
Of course, rodent infestations can happen to anyone, and Hopper Termite and Pest just so happen to be experts on the issue! If you believe you are seeing signs of rodent activity, it is always a good idea to attack the issue early and give us a call. We will inspect your home, and come up with a solution to rid you of your problem. We can do this safely, quickly and affordably, and we guarantee total elimination of the issue. We also make sanitation recommendations, and other practical treatments to eliminate and prevent any pest control issues in your home.
At Hopper Termite and Pest, we wanted to find an effective Green Pest Control solution for our customers who are more green conscious and are looking for ways to eliminate pest problems without any of the chemicals! Some insecticides are said to cause issues for humans and the wildlife in the area, so using our preventative pest management system is a great option for those looking to avoid the chemical route.
When it comes to our Green First program, preventive steps are required to be able to effectively manage pests BEFORE you have an infestation. We rely on non-chemical methods to manage pests like ants, crickets, mice, rats, roaches, silverfish, spiders, and stored product pests.
Some of the Steps you can expect with this program are listed below:
Inspection to find the true cause of a pest problem
Low-risk, effective tactics to break the cycle of pest habitation
Exclusion (caulking, sealing)
Mechanical control (barriers, traps)
Cultural controls (move woodpiles, eliminate clutter)
Biological controls (enzymes)
Targeted, strategic use of products
Many issues with pests can be prevented with the proper knowledge and training of the household members. Noticing small cracks in the caulking, baseboards, external walls, etc. will help you to identify areas where small pests could potentially be entering. Making sure to blockade any entry points will help to keep pests out. Also, some other good habits to have are things like keeping food stored properly, keeping bushes, trees, and wood piles away from the external walls of your home, and making sure your roofing is properly maintained.
Some of the non-chemical methods we use can include traps or glue boards, rescreening foundation vents, or even the use of enzymes to clear drains of materials that breed fruit flies. If after our inspection, we do find that a treatment is needed, the first choice is an environmentally low impact product, like those including boric acids, diatomaceous earth, and products that use plant and tree oils as the primary active ingredients.
Of course, the need for application of any product will be based on thorough inspections and our professionals have extensive training in pest biology and behavior. We keep our staff trained on the most current methods of both non-chemical and traditional control.
The clue to green pest control is being very conscious and diligent about prevention. That way you do not end up with a problem so out of control that more traditional methods will have to be used. However, if it is determined that the pest problem is beyond repair, we may suggest using traditional products in very small applications in targeted areas in order to regain control of the pest issue.
If you would like to begin your Green First, preventative pest control program, please contact us today or visit our site to learn more!
Hopper Termite & Pest Inc. is a pest management company that started in 1963. We are based in the northern Arkansas region and service homes and businesses in the Twin Lakes region. We can treat your home for any common pests, but termites are one of our specialties!
Not sure what a termite is? Termites are small, soft-bodied insects that live in large colonies and feed on wood. Really, they feed on cellulose-based plant materials, so this incorporates more than just wood, and can affect any type of house or building structure, despite the construction material. Many times termites are mistaken with other pests like carpenter ants, so it’s important to identify the difference and see which one you are actually having problems with!
Termites can completely infest your house and cause severe damage, sometimes without you even knowing about it. Different types of termites cause different types of damage, so it’s important to know the difference!
Subterranean termite colonies can number into the millions. They devour softwood and tend to eat along the grain. This will cause a distinct honeycombed pattern in the wood. Eliminating subterranean termites as soon as the infestation is discovered is vital because of how quickly they can cause large amounts of damage due to their massive numbers.
Drywood termites chew both along and against the grain, so they excavate large sections of wood. The damage is usually less than subterranean termites because their colonies only number into the thousands and can take years to reach that number. It is still imperative that they are eliminated quickly to prevent further structural damage.
Also, make sure you know the difference between a Carpenter Ant and a Termite. We explain this in detail in another article on our site.
Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. can help you identify which types of termites you’re dealing with, assess the damage, and eliminate these pesky insects from your home or business. Contact us today for a FREE PEST EVALUATION!
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A TERMITE PROBLEM
Unfortunately, termite infestations can go on in your home for quite a while before you even become aware of the damage they’re causing. There are several signs to look out for that will help make you aware of a possible termite problem.
Light clinking or banging noises may come from the walls- this is from the termites banging around in there and loudly munching on your wood. If you hear odd noises, press your ear to the wall and see if it sounds like there are small creatures moving around in there!
Seeing flying termites- if you happen to see even just one or two flying termites, this is not a good sign. Sometimes you will just find the discarded wings from these flying termites and that’s probably a good time to start checking to see if you have a real problem.
Another sign is hollow sounding wood. Termites usually eat the wood from the inside out, so if you are knocking on any wood around your house and it gives a hollow sound, you may have a termite problem.
It’s better to catch the infestation early before they cause more damage to your home. Even if you’re not really sure if you have an issue, it is smart to call Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. to come and do a free evaluation for you.
HOW DOES HOPPER GET RID OF TERMITES?
First, we conduct a thorough inspection of your property. Our inspectors are certified by the state. After a thorough evaluation of your property, we will recommend a treatment plan tailored to your situation, your structure’s construction, where it is situated and the degree of infestation.
At Hopper Termite & Pest, our professional technicians are trained in the latest treatment technique, including our Green First Program, and use the most up to date equipment and environmentally responsible materials, such as Termidor®, to solve your problem.
What is Termidor? It is an insecticide that we apply that causes termites that contact it to transfer it to every other termite in their colony. The Termidor is engineered to be slow-acting, so the termites have ample time to spread it throughout their entire termite population. This material eliminates the colony in 3 months or less – 2 to 6 times faster than the best bait systems.
HOW TO PREVENT TERMITES IN YOUR HOME
There are several steps you can take to prevent or repair existing termite or carpenter ant damage.
Rid your yard of dead trees and stumps. Decaying wood is a main food source for termites and can quickly attract a colony. Keep firewood or construction materials as far away from your house as possible, and check for signs of pests before bringing these items into your home.
Take care not to have woody shrubs or spread mulch too close to your home or any other structures. This creates an environment that is ideal for the attraction of termites.
Have your home regularly inspected for termites. It is a good idea to have a yearly termite contract to keep your home termite free and to catch any potential damage before it becomes a problem. HopperTermite & Pest offers this valuable, convenient service. Use our simple contact form to request more information or to set up your appointment.