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Fleas On Pets

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Fleas feed on blood and love to live on the bodies of your pets. The furry exterior of pets makes an ideal living place for the fleas without them being detected. Fleas not only suck blood from the pets which can ultimately lead to anemia but fleas can also transmit diseases that can be very serious or even fatal. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to get rid of fleas from your pets before they infest your home or apartment, and your

lawn.

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Identifying a Bed Bug Infestation

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

So you think you might have Bed Bugs but you aren’t sure? How can you be sure that you have bed bugs and not fleas, mosquitos, or any of the other million bugs that might be plaguing your home? Well, for starters, you can’t just get bed bugs out of the blue. A bed bug infestation can only be started when the bugs are brought into your home on you or a friend’s clothing, luggage, used furniture, etc. In addition, due to the varying reactions people have to bed bug bites (read below), and due to the fact that often reactions to the bites aren’t noticed for up to several days (some people even have no reaction to the bites whatsoever!), waking up with some red marks may not necessarily mean you have an infestation. Because bite marks are a good first indication, but do not necessarily mean you have bed bugs, you must look for several other indicators before reaching this conclusion. Identifying an infestation early, however, is crucial as a large infestation is much more difficult to deal with than a small one.

The first, and most important, thing to know when trying to spot an infestation is what exactly bed bugs look like. The bugs are easy to spot as adults can reach the size of about half a fingernail and are a reddish-brown color. Younger bed bugs are smaller and a clear white-yellow color and baby bed bugs (nymphs) are so small that they are barely visible. Bed bugs are flat if they have not fed for a while but once fed, their bodies blow up like a balloon and they become bright red. Bed Bugs cannot fly, however they can move very rapidly over walls, floors, and other surfaces in the home. In addition, they tend to gather in large groups and live together, however they don’t have nests.

Bed bugs go through several stages in their lifecycle. Between each stage, they take a large meal and then undergo a process of molting their exoskeleton. During this process the bed bug essentially ‘sheds’ its ‘skin,’ leaving behind a molted skin that looks like a clear bed bug ‘shell.’ In a large infestation there may be thousands of these lying around.

If it is able to, a bed bug will feed about once a week. When digesting their meals, the bugs excrete excess liquid and waste. This fecal matter comes out as a black liquid and leaves spots that can be seen easily on mattresses, wooden frames of beds, curtain seems, and wherever else the bugs may have passed through. In a sizeable infestation these spots will be seen in clusters of generally at least a dozen, though single spots are a possibility.

If you have seen molted bed bug skins, spots of excrement, and/or of course, the bed bugs themselves, then it is quite likely you have an infestation and you may be able to find the actual colony of bed bugs. The bugs, their skins, and the spots of waste can be tricky to find, but will generally be found where bed bugs like to gather:

  • Mattresses
  • Beds
    • Behind the headboards and baseboards
    • In drawers built into the bed
    • In holes and cracks in the wood
    • In the bed frame
    • Box Springs
  • Walls
    • In openings between walls and the ceiling or floor
    • Behind chipped paint or wallpaper
  • Closets
    • Interior Frames
    • Near the hinges of the door
    • Where hanger rods connect to the sides
    • On clothing
  • Heaters
  • Curtains
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Head Lice

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Head Lice (Pediculus Humanus Capitis) are a subspecies of the Phthiraptera order. They are wingless parasites that spend their whole lives exclusively on human scalps and feed by biting the skin and sucking blood. Head lice feed only on humans and cannot be transferred to or from animals. The lice are related to body lice and distantly related to pubic lice, but will not generally reproduce with either species. Unlike body lice, which can carry dangerous diseases, head lice, though a nuisance, are generally harmless. A head lice infestation (known as Pediculosis Capitis) causes itching and, if the bites are scratched frequently, can lead to open sores that can become infected. Head lice can be treated and eradicated effectively without too much difficulty.

Head lice are between one to three millimeters long (roughly the size of a sesame seed) and light gray in color. After feeding, they become darker and can take on a reddish tint. Females are larger than males. Head lice are visible to the naked eye but can be difficult to spot on a head full of hair. The insects are flat and are made up of three fused but visibly separate parts, a head, thorax, and abdomen. After feeding, they excrete a small dark red dirt-like spot known as frass. A female head louse can lay around five eggs per day. Head louse eggs, known as nits, at slightly less than a millimeter long and are a light brown color. After the egg hatches, it becomes white. Nits are laid near the base of the hair. In warm temperatures the may be laid as far as a few inches down the length of the hair as the lice will feel more comfortable leaving the heat of the body. The female sticks eggs to the hairs using a sticky substance produced in her reproductive organ.

Head lice in every stage of the lice lifecycle are bloodsuckers and will feed four to five times daily. To feed, a louse pierces the skin, injects an anti-coagulant, which prevents the blood from drying and makes feeding easier, and then sucks in the blood. Though head lice can live on any part of the scalp, they prefer darker areas and avoid light. For this reason they are often found behind ears and on the back of the neck. Lice’s legs are specially adapted to holding onto hairs and they are unable to fly or jump. The most common way in which head lice are transferred between people is with direct head to head contact. It is also possible for lice to travel in hats, combs, towels, etc., but this is much less likely as lice die quickly when not on a host.

Pediculosis Capitis is the scientific term for a head lice infestation. Lice bites cause a very mild reaction and the bites themselves can be seen only with difficulty between hairs. People with longer hair are more likely to have visible bites as they may have bites on the back of their necks where the hair drapes down. When the hair is moved aside, bites are visible. Head lice infestations, unlike body lice infestations, are generally harmless. Excessive scratching can lead to open sores and infection but, especially when the condition is treated, this is rarely a problem. Click here for information on how to diagnose and treat head lice.

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Lice

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

‘Louse’ (in plural, ‘lice’) is the household name for any of over 3,000 different species of wingless parasitical insects in the order ‘phthiraptera.’ Out of those thousands of species, three of them are known to frequently use humans as hosts; Head Lice, Body Lice, and Pubic Lice. Lice are ‘ectoparasites,’ meaning they live externally on their hosts, unlike other parasites, which may live under the skin, in organs, or even inside cells. The vast majority of lice are scavengers, feeding on dead skin, dead hair, or other matter found on their hosts’ bodies. The three forms of lice most likely to infest humans are not such scavengers, but are blood-sucking lice.

Lice vary a great deal in appearance depending on the species. All lice are small wingless insects (having six legs, a head, an thorax, and an abdomen). Lice that infest humans vary in size from under one millimeter in length to just over three millimeters in length. For the most part lice vary from light gray to a pale brown color. If a louse feeds on blood, it may become significantly darker after feeding. Lice are highly specialized animals and different species feed not only on specific hosts, but even on specific body parts of specific hosts. For instance, body lice, pubic lice, and head lice are three separate species and each will inhabit a human host only in its preferred area.

Lice are ‘exopterygotes,’ meaning that they are born looking like adults and simply grow to the size of adults throughout their lifecycle. This is different from insects such as, for instance, butterflies that change from eggs to caterpillars to pupae to adults. Lice molt their skin three times before reaching adulthood. Adult lice lay small white eggs, commonly referred to as ‘nits.’ Once the eggs have hatched they become yellow. Lice inhabiting human hosts attach their eggs to hairs using their saliva. This makes the eggs very difficult to remove. Lice have a lifespan of roughly one month, roughly have of which it takes to mature and the other half of which is spent reproducing.

Lice cannot live long away from their hosts. In addition, lice do not have wings and, unlike fleas, are incapable of jumping far. For this reason, at least in humans, lice are generally transferred by direct physical or sexual contact. In addition, lice can be transferred in items of clothing where they can live for a short time (hats, scarves, towels, etc.). A female adult louse can lay around thirty eggs in her lifetime. For this reason, it only takes one louse to start an infestation.

Head lice, pubic lice, and body lice are all members of the ‘Pediculus‘ genus. The scientific name for the disease of having lice is thus known as ‘Pediculosis.’ Pediculosis in humans is divided into three classifications, Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice Infestation), Pediculosis Corporis (Body Lice Infestation), and Pediculosis Pubis (Pubic Lice Infestation aka ‘Crabs’). Head Lice infestations are the most common type of lice infestation amongst humans. The most common symptom of infestation is severe itching, which is felt both because of louse bites and simply from feeling the lice moving around over the skin and between hairs. Excessive scratching can lead to scabs and infections. In addition, lice can carry a number of diseases that can be transferred to humans and, for this reason, Pediculosis must be treated as soon as it is detected.

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How to Get Rid of Fleas

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

The vast majority of flea infestations come from pets. Dogs or cats pickup fleas outside or from other pets and bring them into the house. Though it is also possible for fleas to hitch a ride into a residence on a human, the majority of infestations come from pests. Thus, the first step in getting rid of fleas in your house is getting rid of dog fleas, cat fleas, or the fleas of whatever other pets you may have. Once you have done this, you must eradicate the infestation from your house.

This section will explain how to find and eradicate fleas in your house and yard. Getting rid of fleas is a relatively easy process compared to other pests and can be accomplished in a few days if you are thorough. As with all other pests, we will recommend an integrated pest management (IPM) solution, which mixes preventative, natural, and pesticide measures together in order to get rid of fleas in your house. One important general note is that, if you have indoor pets, one treatment is likely enough. If you have outdoor pets you may need to treat your yard and will likely need to do periodical retreatments of your home. After treating your pets, the following steps will help get rid of the flea infestation and keep it away in the future:

  • The first step in getting rid of any flea infestation is treating your pets. Check out our pages for getting rid of dog fleas and cat fleas for tips. No matter how much you clean your house, if you haven’t gotten rid of the fleas on your pets, they will just jump off of their backs and re-infest the residence.
  • One of fleas’ favorite areas to hide is in bedding. This applies to your bedding, your pets’ bedding, and also linens and furniture covers. Take all of your bedding and linens as well as all of the bedding and furniture covers your pet hangs out around and put them in the washing machine and then the dryer at the hottest settings. Once everything is clean, seal it in plastic bags (sturdy trash bags work well) and leave the bags aside until you finish the rest of the cleaning process. This is essential as, if there are still fleas in the house, they will get right back into the bedding the moment you put it back. If a particular item is seriously infested (covered in flea dirt and flea eggs), it may be best to throw it out.
  • Once you have cleaned all of the bedding, vacuum the areas around the bedding and furniture thoroughly. Pay particular attention to carpets, rugs, floorboards, wallboards, and areas where your pet sleeps or rests. Vacuuming is a highly effective way to sweep up fleas, flea dirt, and flea eggs. Make sure to vacuum often throughout the extermination process. It has been suggested that fleas respond to vibrations, causing pupae to emerge and making them vulnerable to insecticides (another step in the process). After vacuuming make sure to immediately discard the vacuum bag in a dumpster far from your home or, in the least, seal the bag in a plastic bag. If you have a vacuum bag that you cannot discard, you can spray the inside of the bag with a flea spray or even throw a flea collar inside the bag before starting to vacuum.
  • Sprays are insecticides designed to kill fleas or to stop their ability to grow and, thereby, their life cycle. These sprays can be applied on and around furniture, on pet bedding, in floor cracks, on curtains, and so forth. Some sprays remain effective for up to half a year. Be sure to carefully read the instructions on the label and to not allow pets or people near the areas you have sprayed until the spray has dried. Make sure to read the warnings and the primary ingredients in the spray. Many sprays contain permethrin or pyrethroids, which can be harmful to pets.
  • Powders work in one of two ways to kill fleas. Certain powders contain insecticides similar to those in sprays. Other powders work as ‘desiccants,’ attach to the fleas’ bodies, and suck out the moisture, dehydrating and killing them. In addition, Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) stop young fleas from maturing and thereby end the flea life cycle. Powders are highly effective when sprinkled into carpets and rugs – difficult areas to eradicate fleas otherwise.
  • Foggers, otherwise known as ‘bug bombs’ release toxic fumes that kill fleas into the air. These can be effective when used along with sprays, powders, and thorough cleaning, but are generally not enough on their own. You may need a fogger for each room and the foggers often miss areas. Make sure to read the label carefully as the fumes are flammable, toxic, and can be harmful and you will need to leave the house until they have been aired out.
  • If you have a yard that your pet spends lots of time in, it may be necessary to treat the yard with a special product as well. Flea products for the yard generally come in the form of an attachment for your garden hose. After attaching the product, spray all over the yard but avoid flowers and vegetables. Repeat this treatment as directed. In addition, cedar wood chips and eucalyptus leaves repel fleas. Spreading cedar wood chips around the yard or planting some Eucalyptus bushes are excellent preventative measures in the yard.
  • Once you have gotten rid of the fleas in your house, you will want to put in place measures to prevent them coming back. Treating a flea infestation every time it occurs but not doing the follow-up and prevention steps in between can be harmful as it can promote the development of hypersensitivity (allergy) to fleas in pets. Treat your pets regularly with a product such as FrontLine or Advantage to ensure that they don’t get fleas again.
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Flea Bites

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Fleas feed on the blood of their hosts, which can be any of a vast number of mammals and birds. Flea bites (a condition also known as Pulicosis) can be itchy, swell, and be unsightly. Many people and animals are allergic to flea saliva and In addition, fleas are capable of transmitting various serious diseases and parasites. If you suspect you have fleas in the house, it will be useful to be able to recognize the bites and dangers, and to know how to treat them.

Symptoms of Flea Bites

Due to the small size of fleas, flea bites are generally not painful. They can, however, cause itching which leads to the host scratching the area. This repeated scratching can lead to open sores and infections. People who are allergic to the saliva in flea bites may develop rashes after 48-72 hours. A flea bite generally looks like a small mosquito bite, with a slightly swollen raised red area with a small puncture mark in the center. Bites are often found on the waist, neck, ankles, armpits, and in the insides of elbows and knees. In addition, flea bites are generally found in clusters. In extreme infestations where fleas have been able to draw a serious amount of blood, is it possible for the host to develop anemia.

Flea bites in and of themselves are generally not a serious danger. However, fleas can act as transmitters of diseases and parasites that can lead to more serious situations than the bites on their own. Fleas are able to carry dozens of viral and bacterial diseases as well as parasites, and are though to have helped introduce the bubonic plague to humans by transferring it to them from rodents. For this reason, if you begin to show symptoms beyond a moderate rash, you should seek medical attention.

It had at one point of time been suggested that flea bites can be linked to impotence. Medical evidence for this is largely lacking and most of the origin of this hypothesis can be traced back to a court case in which two men attempted to sue a hotel and a travel website because one of them purportedly became impotent following rashes he contracted from flea bites while staying at said hotel.

Flea Bite Treatment

The most important thing to do when treating flea bites is to get rid of the fleas. Treating bites will help the symptoms, but the fleas will not go away on their own. All of the following techniques will help alleviate flea bites:

  • Do not scratch the bites. Scratching flea bites makes them more itchy, can cause blisters, and can lead to infection.
  • Take an antihistamine (a pill against allergies), which will help stop any allergic reaction you may have to flea saliva. If you are allergic, this will stop hives, rashes, swelling, and some of the itchiness associated with flea bites.
  • Scrub the area where you were bitten with soap and a washcloth. This will help remove excess dirt and bacteria and will help you avoid infection.
  • Apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotion to bites. Hydrocortisone can be found in any local pharmacy and will help to reduce itching.
  • Apply ice to bites to help reduce swelling.
  • If you develop symptoms besides itchiness and mild rashes, you may want to consider seeking medical advice.
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Cat Fleas

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Cat fleas are relatively small reddish-brown fleas that feed primarily on the blood of cats, though they can also feed on dogs and humans. The cat flea is the most widespread flea species in the world. Though cat fleas can feed on other animals, they require cats as hosts in order to sustain an infestation. Cat flea larvae generally feed on the dried blood of cats in the form of fecal waste left behind by adult fleas. Unlike many other fleas, cat fleas remain on their hosts. Though a small number of fleas on a cat will not likely cause much damage (and many cats live with fleas showing almost no signs of infestation), a large number, or any number in a cat that is allergic to flea saliva can cause some health concerns.

When cats clean themselves, they swallow any fleas that may be on their coats. This can make detecting fleas difficult. If you notice your cat continuously itching or biting itself, this should be a warning sign. In addition, if you have found any flea bites on yourself than this is a good indicator that you are dealing with fleas. One method that has been suggested to find out if your cat has fleas is to place it over a white sheet or piece of paper and comb it with a very fine comb. If fleas or little black (flea feces) or white (flea eggs) specks fall onto the paper, then your cat likely has fleas. The little black specks are flea feces, and if crushed together with water they will turn red, as there is dried blood in flea feces. The easiest places to look for fleas on your cat are on its back, tail, and rear. These areas tend to be the ones that itch the most as well.

Cat Flea Bites

As previously mentioned, cat flea bites in small numbers will generally not cause serious issues, but even then they must be treated. Flea infestations can grow easily, seriously affect your cat’s health, and spread to other animals and people. In most cases, biting causes only moderate itching, but in more serious cases, it can lead to dehydration, Anemia, hair loss, and the transfer of tapeworms. Cat fleas can feed on humans as well and it may be possible for cat fleas to transfer diseases as serious as typhus, lime disease, or the plague to humans. Cats who are allergic to flea saliva (hypersensitivity) experience aggravated effects.

Cat Flea Treatment

There are several methods of treatment for cat flea bites. It should be noted though that, no matter the form of treatment for the bites, the most important thing to do is to get rid of the cat fleas. So long as the fleas are there, they will continue to bite the cat. It is important to treat a cat with fleas not only when he has them, but also when they do not have fleas as part of a prevention methodology. Make sure to check with your veterinarian before administering any medication and it is important to note that what works for dogs may not necessarily work for cats and may even be fatal to them. In addition to all of this, if the cat has spent much time in the house or, if you or other members of the household have noticed flea bites, it may well be necessary to get rid of fleas in your house as well. With that being said, the following are methods for treating cat flea bites and getting rid of cat fleas:

  • Topical treatments such as Advantage II, Frontline Plus, or Frontline Top Spot are great ways to get rid of fleas and keep them away from your cat. These treatments can be applied regularly and make your cat’s fur a poisonous place to fleas. Other topical treatments (e.g. bioSpot Spot On) contain Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), which stops larvae from being able to mature and halts the flea infestation’s life cycle. Be careful to read the packaging carefully as topical ointments can be harmful to cats if misused. Topical ointments are largely separated into ‘spot-on’ and spray treatments. Before topical ointments, several different powders were used for cat fleas. These are still available today but are not recommended, as they can be harmful to cats.
  • Oral medications can be obtained from your veterinarian and release chemicals, which can both get rid of any parasites your cat may have gotten from the fleas, and the fleas themselves. These tablets can be tricky to administer as your cat needs to swallow them, and they must be administered repeatedly. They are, however, very effective. The active ingredient in the tablets collects under your cat’s skin, and works when fleas bite your cat. The tablets stop flea eggs from hatching. Such tablets can be acquired through a veterinarian.
  • Special collars with anti-flea chemicals on them are another common method. These can be effective however, they can cause local irritation around the neck, and sometimes the chemicals do not spread well through your cat’s fur.
  • Cats who develop hypersensitivity to flea bites may need to be taken to the veterinarian and prescribed antihistamines or steroids to treat their symptoms. The same goes for cats that have developed infections from open wounds after too much scratching or biting.
  • Keeping a cat’s environment clean and flea-free is important in preventing infestations. If your cat has fleas and spends time inside the house or, if you or other members of the house have fleas, it may well be necessary to get rid of the fleas in your house.
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Bed Bugs

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Bed Bugs are small insects that feed on other animals’ blood. While there are many types of bugs in the Bed Bug family, the most common is the Cimex Lectularius. The Cimex Lectularius is known as the ‘bed bug’ because it prefers to live in houses, especially in beds and other furniture, and generally feeds on human blood. These little critters, which have been around and known about for thousands of years, gave rise to the famous phrase ‘Good Night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!’

Bed Bugs are very small (at the largest about three by five millimeters) nocturnal creatures and can feed on their hosts without being noticed. Bed Bugs are resilient and can survive in many conditions, however they are unable to survive high temperatures (about 113 degrees Fahrenheit and higher) for more than a few minutes, which is important to know if dealing with an infestation. The average bed bug feeds once ever five to ten days, but they can survive up to a year without feeding!

The common Bed Bug likes to live in areas where humans sleep – beds, mattresses, sofas, and so forth. It is attracted to the hosts it feeds on by means of warmth, its ability to detect carbon dioxide, and by certain chemicals it is able to sense. The bug feeds by piercing its host’s skin with a ‘stylet fascicle,’ essentially a small tube it keeps close to its body. It takes a bed bug between three to ten minutes of feeding to become full.

Bed bugs have been around for thousands and years and are thought to have originated in the Middle East, where they would have lived in caves occupied by humans. With the world’s eventual urbanization, the bugs were able to move around the world, possibly in transportations of goods such as wool, and eventually made it to urban centers. It has been hypothesized that the insects became significantly more common after the invention of modern heating, which allowed them to live in homes year-round and not die in the winter. At one point of time, bed bugs were nearly forced to extinction by the introduction of the pesticide DDT. The pesticide has since been banned as it was found to be harmful to humans as well.

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How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Sugar ants, or Camponotus Consobrinus, are a carpenter ant subspecies. Though they will eat savory and greasy foods as well, they prefer sweets. Commonly found in urban areas, woodlands, and other environments, these ants can be found all throughout the US and Australia.

These ants usually build their nests among tree roots, in rocky areas, beneath shrubs, and around foundations, beneath decks and porches, and in landscaping with brushy cover. The nests are easy to identify as the grains of dirt and sand removed from the interior are used to build hills around the entryway. Inside homes, these ants will build nests in the hollow spaces in walls, behind cabinets, around plumbing, inside furniture, and even in stacks of paper.

The first step in eliminating sugar ants is to properly identify them. They measure from one to three fifths of an inch in length, with black heads and jaws, and with brownish-orange bodies. If you see an anthill outside, you can poke it with a stick to encourage the ants to emerge during daylight hours, or you can wait until after dark to see where the ants’ trails lead. This second method may be preferable as it can make eliminating the sugar ants easier.

Although you will need to expend some effort to eliminate sugar ants, these pests are easier to get rid of than some others are. Once you find out where the ants’ trails lead, you can simply drop sweet baits in their pathway. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the nest, where it will be consumed. Within a few days to about two weeks, the ant colony should be killed.

You can either purchase sugar ant baits, or you can make your own by combining borax (boric acid) with a sweet attractant like honey, sugar, peanut butter, or even chocolate syrup. Be sure to place your traps where children and pets cannot get to them.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House

If sugar ants have invaded your home, the first thing you will need to do is to get your kitchen and the rest of your house squeaky clean. If you encounter an ant nest, the fastest way to kill the ants is to spray an indoor insecticide into the nest before vacuuming up the dead ants. You may need to do this several times before the ants are completely eradicated.

Besides knowing how to get rid of sugar ants in the house, it’s important that you learn how to prevent re-infestation. There are a few things these ants absolutely hate: bay leaves, cloves, and peppermint essential oil. You can place cloves and bay leaves in food areas, and you can soak cotton balls with peppermint essential oil, then place these in areas ants travel through to disrupt their pattern.

In addition, get your house into the cleanest state possible, clearing cupboards and cleaning inside with bleach, completely clearing countertops, mopping all floors and vacuuming all carpets, and vacuuming beneath baseboards, inside window sills, and in all the many nooks and crannies the typical home contains. Once your house is spotless, keeping it that way will not only help prevent ants from viewing it as a buffet, it will also make life a bit more enjoyable for you and your family.

As a final measure in controlling sugar ants, you can spray a permethrin-based product around the base of your home. This will act as a barrier to help prevent future infestations of sugar ants, as well as of other invasive insect pests.

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Flying Termites

Last Updated: December 30, 2016

Flying termites are often mistaken for flying ants, and vice versa. Both insects look very much alike, however flying termites have only two body segments; flying ants have three body segments. Flying termites and flying ants are both equipped with two sets of wings, however the termites’ wings are all equally sized, while flying ants have one set of large wings and one set of smaller wings.

Sometimes flying termites, which are also known as swarmers, can be seen flying through the air in search of a site to colonize; sometimes they can be seen feeding in dark, moist areas where they have access to wood. More often though, you’ll realize you’ve got a problem on your hands when you find cast-off wings. Once these destructive insects locate a new home and start to settle in, they mate. Once they have mated, they drop their wings.

The location of the wings will sometimes vary depending on the species; if you’re dealing with drywood termites, you are likely to find wings on windowsills or near baseboards, though it is possible to find wings in other locations. If you’re dealing with subterranean termites or Formosan termites, you are most likely to find wings in dark, damp places; cracks in your home’s foundation, underneath outside siding, and near mud tubs the termites have built to lay their eggs are all places where flying termites tend to shed their wings.

Getting Rid of Flying Termites

If you’re lucky enough to see flying termites before they shed their wings and invade your home, you can kill them easily, just like you can kill any other insect. Flying termites can be attracted with a bug zapper, they can be smacked with a flyswatter, or they can be vacuumed up. If you don’t mind pesticide, you can use a liquid bug spray to eliminate them.

Unfortunately, flying termites are often a sign that there is an active breeding colony nearby. Depending on your location, the presence of swarmers could indicate that you have a larger problem on your hands and the colony is located on your property, or it could mean that someone in your neighborhood has a termite problem. If you believe the main termite colony is located on your property, it’s important that you locate it, evaluate it, and eliminate it before worse damage occurs to your home or other buildings.  There are a number of different methods you can use for termite control, which we cover in another article.

If you see flying termites, don’t ignore them. Instead, use every method possible for eliminating them to ensure you are able to stop a potential infestation before it becomes serious.