As the lazy days of summer roll in, you may begin noticing a lot of wasp activity. This is partly because, in spring, queen wasps reemerge from their overwinter nests and begin laying eggs to start a new colony. Queen wasps will continue reproducing and a colony can consist of hundreds to thousands of workers. During the summer months, wasps tend to stay close to their nests, which is bad news if they’ve decided to build one on or around your property.
The first thing you should know is how to identify a wasp as they are often confused with bees. There are a few ways to distinguish between wasps and bees. First, the abdomen of a wasp narrows before connecting to the thorax. Second, wasps have much less hair and third, wasp colonies are typically smaller than the average bee colony.
Wasps are dangerous! Here are some things you can do to deter them from building nests on your property and to keep yourself safe:
1. During the summer, wasps are attracted to protein foods. Do not leave food or open garbage cans on or around your property.
2. Seal vents, repair screens, and close up any cracks around windows and door frames where wasps may build nests or enter your home through.
3. Don’t swat or squash a wasp. Squashed wasps will release pheromones which will attract other wasps.
4. Keep your lawn short and your bushes trimmed
5. Remove sources of excess water
If you believe you have a wasp nest on your property, we do not recommend trying to remove it yourself! Please call a professional to do the job instead. Call Freedom Pest Control today for all your wasp removal needs at 877-PESTS-55!
We recently introduced you to carpenter ant swarmers, the winged version of a carpenter ant that leaves its colony to mate and start its own. Often confused with termites, carpenter ants tunnel through wood to build nests and can be difficult to locate. This tunneling can create a great deal of structural damage so proofing your home against them before they appear is super important.
Read on for tips on how to prevent against carpenter ants:
- Identify any areas in the home where there is moisture and correct the problem immediately. These would include roof, drainage, and plumbing leaks.
- Remove any tree limbs and branches outside your home that may serve as “bridge” to the inside.
- Seal up doors, windows, and cracks in the foundation that may serve as an entry point.
- Be fastidious about cleanliness. Make sure to clean up food crumbs and drink spills immediately. Remember, carpenter ants are attracted to sweet foods.
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Carpenter ants frequently nest in firewood so be sure to stack it outside and away from your home. You may also want to elevate your pile so it does not sit flush against the soil.
If you suspect that you may already have a carpenter ant infestation, or have found carpenter ant swarmers around your home, please contact a professional immediately. The damage that they cause can be quite devastating! We at Freedom Pest Control can help, please call us at 877-PESTS-55 for a free quote!
It’s spring time which means that homeowners should be on the lookout for squirrels that may be nesting in attics. If you’re hearing scampering up above, it is very likely that a female squirrel has built her nest in your attic. Female squirrels will build their nests near openings such as roof vents, roof edges, roof soffit intersections, wall vents, chimneys, and plumbing mats. Female squirrels give birth to a litter sometime in the spring, starting in March and continuing through the month of June.
A squirrel infestation is an issue for many reasons. Squirrels may do damage as gnaw on electrical wires and wooden boards. They also create a mess with droppings and urine, and can produce a great deal of noise, especially if they have gotten trapped in wall cavities.
Below are some steps to take if you have squirrels in your attic:
- Inspect your attic for entry points to identify how they may be getting in. While up there, check for signs of damage such as holes in siding, vents, and roof soffits as well as damaged insulation or chewed wires.
- Try to identify if it is a female squirrel with her young. A telltale sign is a nest made of found materials like cardboard, leaves, and insulation. If a nest is found at this time of year, you can be sure that babies are present as well.
- You may be able to scare the squirrels out with loud noises or bright lights. However, if this doesn’t work (since it is likely they will return, please call your local pest control professional. They will be able to take steps to remove them permanently.
- Once the squirrels are no longer living in your attic, be sure to repair any holes that may offer entry and install metal flashing to keep them from reentering through open access points.
Freedom Pest Control receives calls about termites in many different forms. It may be the house hunter asking questions about a specific area of damage in the basement. It may be from a homeowner who just came home and found thousands of wings in a window on the sunny side of their home. Or, it could be the apartment renter who found hundreds of small bugs in her bathtub.
Termites, more specifically Eastern subterranean termites, cause an estimated $5 billion in damage every year to homes across America. Every spring when the temperature, relative humidity, and dew point reach a specific point in your home, termite swarmers are drawn out of the wood like ants to sugar. This is the time of year when alates, the swarming termites inside of your home, emerge from their colony in search of a mating partner. They are attracted to light, so they normally come out and flutter towards your windows. You might think you have a month infestation or flying ants. But the truth of the matter is they are termites and they’ve most likely been in your home for about five years, the amount of time it t takes for a termite colony to develop before they swarm. This means that termites have secretly been doing damage to your home for all that time.
What to Do about Termites
The first thing you need to do is call your local professional exterminator. Freedom Pest Control is incredibly knowledgeable about termites and our technicians are experienced at exterminating them. Your technician will inspect your home and point out specific conditions that are conducive to the termites and steps you can take to deter them. Some of these steps include reducing moisture and removing bark mulch around your home (this is because any material containing cellulose that has contact with the soil around your home or in your basement is a feeding ground for termites).
If you think you may have a termite infestation, please call Freedom Pest Control today at 1-877-55-PESTS. We’re happy to come out and give you a free in-home estimate!
Carpenter ants aren’t harmful to humans but they can do a considerable amount of damage to your home. Often confused with termites, carpenter ants tunnel through wood to build nests and can be difficult to locate. As they hollow out wood, such as in ceiling beams and wooden doors, the integrity of the wood is compromised and can result in serious structural damage to your home. Therefore, early detection and removal is key!
Identifying Carpenter Ants
It is not uncommon to find a single carpenter ant in your home rather than a colony. Here’s what to look for:
- Carpenter ants are black but can have a dark red color
- Carpenter ants are the largest type of ant. They can be as big as ¾ of an inch long.
- Carpenter ants have elbowed antennae and a thin waist
- Carpenter ants are polymorphic, or not all the same size. This means that size does not necessarily differentiate between adults and juveniles
Carpenter Ant Swarmers
As the spring time begins to roll in, you may begin to notice carpenter ant swarmers crawling on the outside of your windows. Carpenter ant swarmers are winged carpenter ants that leave their colonies to mate and start their own colonies. Spotting carpenter ants in or around your home is a tell-tale sign that there is a mature carpenter ant colony nearby or inside your walls. If this is the case, the carpenter ant swarmers will only increase the population and perpetuate your carpenter ant infestation.
It is important to contact professional as soon as you notice a carpenter ant swarmer in or around your home. Ignoring them can result in a great deal of damage. If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55!
It is officially summer and thoughts of swimming, vacations, and lazy days are on the brain! What you may not be considering is that, as the days are getting longer and hotter, summertime pests are becoming more active. These pests, including ants, flies , wasps, gnats, and rodents, are also looking to escape the sun and heat and often find refuge from it in and around your home. The last thing anybody wants to do during their summer break is deal with a pest infestation. Below are some simple steps you can follow to keep pests from invading this summer.
In the kitchen:
- Keep kitchen counters clean and free from crumbs
- Be sure to store food in airtight containers and on higher shelves
- Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink
- Take trash out on a regular basis
- Don’t leave pet food dishes out all day
- Keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator whenever possible and throw them away when they become overripe
In the basement and/or attic:
- Declutter and eliminate any piles of clothing or other items
- Keep basements and attics ventilated and dry
- Be on the lookout for holes in the walls and for possible hiding places
Outside your home:
- Maintain your lawn with regular mowing and trimming
- Keep firewood far away from your home
- Replace weather stripping around windows
- Repair any cracks, loose mortar, or openings around the foundation of your home
- Divert rainwater, sprinklers, and other sources of moisture away from your home
- Eliminate standing water
Most importantly, call a pest control expert if you suspect that you have an infestation or need guidance and support in preventing one. We at Freedom Pest Control have the knowledge and expertise to help you stay pest free this summer. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 or live-chat on our website with one of our customer service representatives today!
With spring here, and summer right around the corner, it is not unusual to find the occasional fly inside your home. These quick little guys often get into your home through cracks in a screen, open doors or windows, and behind children as they come in from playing outside. However, if you’re finding more than just a few flies in your home during this time of year, you may have a problem with cluster flies.
Cluster flies normally live outdoors but, in the late summer, they begin looking for a place to overwinter. They will gather on a sunny side of a house and, as night falls, they may make their way through cracks in windows or gaps in siding. They overwinter between the inside and outside walls of a home until the days get warmer and longer. This is when they may start to appear inside your home.
Beyond being annoying, cluster flies are generally harmless because they do not bite and aren’t attracted to garbage. However, if these flies are dead or dying inside your walls, they can attract other pests and lead to a much larger pest infestation problem.
Cluster Fly Characteristics
- They are sluggish and are often found clustering around windows and light bulbs because they are attracted to the light.
- Cluster flies are larger than they typical house fly
- Their bodies are a dark, non-metallic gray with a black checkered body
- Cluster flies overlap their wings when at rest
Cluster Fly Prevention
To keep cluster flies at bay, follow some of these simple tips: fill all cracks in and around the home, make sure that your screens don’t have any holes, install special fly lights.
Because a cluster fly infestation can lead to bigger pest problems, it is important to talk with a pest control expert about how to eliminate this problem. We at Freedom Pest Control can help you create and execute a plan of action. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your in-home estimate or live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!
A termite infestation is never good news and should be dealt with immediately upon being discovered. Termites cause billions of dollars of damage to homes and business on an annual basis. Nevertheless, termites and termite swarmers are quite interesting. Read on to learn more about these wood-eating menaces:
Termites, a relation to the cockroach, have been on earth for over 200 milion years
They have a varied palate
Some termites will eat just about anything that is made from plants, in addition to wood. Some have even been known to chew on plastic.
They shed their wings
When they set out to create a new colony, reproductive termites grow wings. Once the new colony is established, they shed their wings.
Workers and soldiers are blind
Because they spend their lives in dark, damp locations, the worker and soldier termites have no need for sight.
Termites never sleep and are constantly eating. This is one major reason why they are so destructive.
Even though they never take a break, a colony only eats about a pound or two of wood per day.
They like to tunnel
Rather than eating large chunks of wood at a time, termites prefer to eat in tunnels. This habit can ruin a structure.
Colonies work together
A structure with extensive termite damage has likely been caused by multiple colonies.
A queen termite lays millions of eggs in one lifetime
They’re head bangers
When a threat is detected, termites will bang their heads against walls to send warning vibrations to the rest of the colony.
We at Freedom Pest Control are experts in termite treatments. Please call us today at 877-55-PESTS to schedule your in-home evaluation today! Or, live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!
Spring weather was slow to arrive in New England this year so it’s likely that you’re still working to get your yard in tip-top shape. Before you dive into your spring clean-up and gardening, take a moment to consider how you can also prevent pests from taking up residence in your yard. Keeping your yard pest free will make it a more enjoyable space for you and your family and will also reduce the risk of pests making their way into your home. Here are some precautions you can take today:
Pest Free Yard
- Treat your yard to prevent against ticks and mosquitos. Our sister company, Mosquito Busters, can help guide you towards a method that is safe and effective.
- When considering your landscape design, keep plants and shrubs at least 18 to 24 inches away from the foundation of your house. Also, trim back trees and plants that might be too close to your home.
- Note damage that has been made to your lawn, deck, patio, or outdoor furniture over the winter. Damage may be a sign that pests have been present over the winter months. Our experts can help you to determine if you have an infestation problem.
- Use pressure treated wood when building raised garden beds, outdoor structures, and playground equipment. Pressure treated wood resists rot and decay, two things which attract pests.
- Make sure your mulch and wood chips are no thicker than three inches.
- Pests are drawn to piles of wet and rotting yard waste. Clearing your yard of leaves, twigs, and standing water will eliminate this problem.
- Remove dead trees, dying trees, and tree stumps before ants and termites find them!
- Finally, be sure to clean your gutters out at least twice a year.
Freedom Pest Control can help you determine if you have a pest infestation in your yard and can eliminate those pests. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your evaluation today!
Spring in New England means warmer temperatures, longer days, and the return of carpenter ants! These ants typically remain dormant during the winter months and begin to become more active as the temperature increases. Carpenter ants like to nest in moist or decayed wood and do not eat wood but, instead, chew it and spit it out. They’re name comes from the fact that they are skilled carpenters and make long tunnels in the wood in which they live. Carpenter ants prefer to eat sweet foods and meat scraps which is why we often find them around dishwashers, sinks, and dog bowls.
Even though an ant infestation can be incredibly frustrating and downright gross, carpenter ants are fascinating little insects:
In fact, they can lift things that are at least seven times their own weight
They’re good at finding their way home!
These ants leave behind a chemical substance as they travel and use their antennae to find their way back home. They can also recognize their fellow ants by the chemicals on their bodies.
Carpenter ants can bite and will inject acid into the skin, making for a very unpleasant experience.
As in, clean! Carpenter ants are very hygienic and keep their nests incredibly tidy.
They have a sweet tooth!
Carpenter ants are attracted to sweet foods like honey, syrup, and jelly.
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest types of ants and range from one sixteenth of an inch to three-fourths of an inch long. Queens can sometimes grow even bigger.
They can live a long time!
The Queens can live up to twenty-five years. Imagine how many millions of babies that an ant with this lifespan can produce!
Nonetheless, an ant infestation can cause damage to your home if it is left untreated. Please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free in-home evaluation!