Carpenter ants feeding on a piece of wood. http://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/3584257063/
We all know that ants are a very common pest in and around households. We also know that termites are the greatly feared, wood-destroying pests that plague homes. However, the carpenter ant is a bit of a hybrid (not biologically) of these two pests. Carpenter ants can be found throughout the United States and, like the termite, can cause significant damage to wooden structures. Though there are many different species of carpenter ants, the black carpenter ant is arguably the most common in this country.
These pests build their nests in wood, creating tunneled galleries through the structure in order to create a living space. While termites consume wood, carpenter ants simply discard it, leaving behind sawdust like material known as frass. Continue reading
For many regions of the country, the worries of drought are what preoccupy our minds during the summer. However, powerful storms are also common occurrences in many areas. To state the obvious, with most storms comes a heavy rain. Unfortunately, rain can intensify many pest problems in and around your home.
Fleas and mosquitoes both thrive in moist environments, because both pests need water, or at least a moist atmosphere, for successful reproduction. A good rain can drastically increase the breeding rate of fleas and mosquitoes. Continue reading
Ok, in the name of full disclosure, that title is a bit sensationalist. There is no fire ant population explosion threatening America’s major metropolitan areas or a lab bred, super, fire ant with ten times the stinging power. But, it is fair to say that the thought of fire ants in or around or home or certainly stumbling into a fire ant mound creates some level of frenzy. In this post we’ll focus on the red imported fire ant (RIFA), which is significantly more aggressive than native fire ant species.
This species of ant is native to South America and arrived in the United States in the 1930s via a ship from Brazil. They made their first appearance in Mobile, Alabama. Continue reading
Burmese python in the Florida everglades http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/6888340967/
Chances are, you’ve heard mention of the growing problem of Burmese pythons in Florida. This massive, exotic species kind of makes the snake problems the rest of us face pale in comparison. Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia but have become a problem in Florida as a result of individuals owning them as pets. When these snakes either escape or are released by their owners, they make their way into the wild where they reproduce and wreak havoc on the local wildlife. There are now estimates that tens of thousands of these invasive reptiles exist in southern Florida. As a result, there have been significant reductions in populations of raccoons, deer, certain species of birds and even some crocodiles in this area. Continue reading
Most of us think of scorpions as foreign, lethal creatures we see in movies. However, anyone living in the southwestern United States will tell you that these creatures are way more common than you might imagine. As with any pest, it’s important to be educated about what to expect to avoid a dangerous or unpleasant encounter with them. Therefore, we’ve created a brief overview of what you need to know about scorpions.
Where are they? Species of scorpions can be found sparsely in many states in the United States, but the majority are in the southwest region in states such as Arizona, California, Utah and Nevada.
What do they look like? There are a vast array of different scorpion species but they all have many of the same anatomical features including eight legs, two, large claw pincers and a stinger that curves up from its back. Continue reading