March 11th, 2010
Over the past few years, fire ants have migrated to and become a problem in Hampton Roads. Usually they spread relatively slowly by colony mobilization or mating flights (swarms). But a little know mode of transportation may make 2010 the worse year yet. Shockingly, fire ants have the ability to ride flood waters into new territories. They can interlock their legs and create a raft of sorts that floats the eggs, larva, and queen to the new location. This past year’s nor’easter will likely put these dangerous insects into the way of unsuspecting people.
If you come across a fire ant mound here’s a few things to know:
● Don’t touch the mound. Fire ants protect their colony as violently as hornets and bees. They have stingers that create intense pain and can overwhelm a person (esp. children) quickly.
● Remove children and pets from the area. The curiosity of children and pets can get the best of them. These ants are merciless regardless of the victim.
● Don’t apply any pest chemicals. Treating these ants with the wrong type of chemical will likely cause the colony to split, doubling your problem. There are special chemicals that can remove fire ants, mostly professional grade.
● Call a professional pest management company. A professional will have access to the correct chemicals for your fire ant issue. However, this is a newer pest to our area and you will want to be sure get someone that has extensive fire ant experience.
If you encounter fire ants in your yard give HomePro Pest Control call at 757-499-1078. We’ve been removing fire ants since they showed their face in Hampton Roads and have the experience to quickly get the problem under control. We can also offer preventative services to limit the possibility of a fire ant invasion.
HomePro Pest Control Main Page
Here is the fire ant "raft".
Here is what a fire ant mound looks like on a lawn.
March 10th, 2010
If you live in Hampton Road’s you are bound to have noticed that spring has started to show its face. The nice weather is a welcome sight after so much snow and cold this winter. Inevitably, when the weather warms termites will start to come out of the ground and swarm. This is their mating ritual and it’s an indication that there is a large and mature colony close to your home. However, this is not a time to panic.
Many times a homeowner will call the first company they can find in the phone book and get them out the same day. Sometimes these inspections turn into a high pressure sales situation with a salesperson preying on your fears. You might be told you have to act immediately if you want to save your home. Or that the pricing is good for one day only. How many good decisions are made under such pressure? Not many. A mature colony (capable of producing swarming termites) takes 2-4 years to form, so waiting a few days to think and get a second opinion is small amount of time overall. A company that can’t accept this is a company to avoid. Take your time and be happy with your decision.
If you would like a free termite inspection, call HomePro Pest Control at 757-499-1078. Our pledge is to never pressure or manipulate anyone to get their business.
HomePro Pest Control Website
March 9th, 2010
Although we make a business out of removing termites from homes and businesses, we believe that everyone should have information available to them that can limit termite activity around their home before they have to call us. Here are some tips that the LSU AgCenter put together for us.
•Situate gutters and slope your landscape beds so water drains away from your house.
•Keep mulch in beds adjacent to the house about 12 inches from the foundation.
•Do not add fill dirt or garden soil around the foundation or under porches or steps without contacting your termite company for retreatment.
•Do not disturb the chemical barrier at the base of the slab or around pilings by digging into it during bed preparation.
•Promptly remove all scrap wood and wooden debris from the landscape.
•Pine straw appears to be the mulch that is least attractive to termites. Avoid using wood chips to mulch beds adjacent to the house or other structures.
•Use metal edging, decorative bricks or border plants to edge your beds. Avoid landscape timbers, railroad ties or other wooden materials that may serve as food for termites.
•When watering, avoid spraying water against the foundation of your house.
•Leave at least 2 inches of space between your house and a deck or other wooden structure outside. Build decks and other structures on concrete pads and treat around the pads and posts.
•Do not allow clinging vines, such as English ivy or creeping fig, to grow on the wall of your house.