Ant and Spider Control
Custom and Special Needs Plans for Ant and Spider Issues
Ants invading your home start outside where they live on natural food sources including the honey dew of a landscape pest – the aphid.
Combining landscape and structural ant control will greatly help resolve ant problems inside and outside. Landscape pest plans are available for aphids, white fly, snails, scales and other garden pests.
We are one of only a few pest control companies with both a structural and a landscape license!
Ants and Ant Control
Ant identification is critical to solving the ant infestation.
Ants are a valuable resource.
- ants irrigate the soil
- ants removing decaying matter
- ants are a critical part of the food chain
- ants pollinate!
What Do You Need to Know About Ants?
Ants can bite, sting, transmit disease and present a serious nuisance factor.
Because ants can assemble in millions with multiple colonies, we tell our customers honestly that it is not feasible to eliminate all outdoor ants.
|By identifying the ant, you better understand ant nesting sources, the ant colony size and what pesticide and non-pesticide approaches will work most efficiently.
Some species prefer sweets while others crave protein…our technicians understand ant behaviors and how to treat according to ant preferences and time of year.
While it is not always possible to locate the source of the ant colony, the pest inspector can identify sanitary, landscape and structural issues that contribute to the likelihood of the ant infestation.
Home barriers using repellents are effective while the repellency lasts. For environmental preservation, pesticides no longer provide the long residual controls as they once did.
|But our water is cleaner and healthier as a result.Insect barriers today commonly include low-dose “non-repellents” that are undetected by insects.
Non-repellents provide a potent double punch – with a delayed killing factor that allows time for the insect to share and infect other insects in the nest.
Organic plants oils are now available and proven effective, while measured at lethal dosage rates (LD50) that allow the general public to feel better about pest control for their homes.
Not all organic products are the same and interesting new formulations are coming to market. Hearts Pest Management is always reviewing the newest pest control products that we believe will be effective and provide you with peace of mind.
Why is it important to provide year round control of ants?
Ants go through four stages, egg, larva, pupa and adult. All are present at any given time of year, only the focus of colony activity and location may vary. While ant development varies based on climatic conditions, their cyclic activity is well understood. Ants do not go away in the winter.
During high periods of egg-laying during winter and early spring, ants tend more toward food sources high in protein, with strong nitrogen content. By providing active control during the wintering season, the homeowner has a much better chance of avoiding spring and summer infestations.
In the spring and summer, when colonies go through periods of high larval growth, ant populations need higher qualities of carbohydrates to fuel the colony. Ants best ingest nutrients in liquid form. Therefore, water is extremely important and liquefied baits work very well. Ants common in southern California include:
Red Imported Fire Ants
Velvety Tree Ants
Odorous House Ants
False Honey Ants
Large Yellow Ants – Citronella Ants
California Harvester Ants
Crazy Ants – Invasive Tramps
Other Interesting Ant Facts:
There are three ant castes (sterile female workers, male reproductives and queens (1 or more per colony). Males, unfortunately, lead a very short life, getting a chance to mate and shortly thereafter they are disposed. Queen ants are large, can live quite long periods and maintain their power through their pheromones messages.
Some varieties and castes of ants go into a mating flight (swarmers) while others do not. Some ants produce noticeable stings, whereas others produce a noticeable bite.
Ant wings are of uneven length and clear in color, whereas termite wings are of equal length and are white or off-white in color.
Ant antennae have a single or double bend. They serve to communicate by way of chemical messages related to food, shelter, sex, danger, and so on.
Ants not only leave meandering pheromone trails of where they have been in search of food, but these trails also tell other ants not to bother scouting out the same trail. Once ants have found a food source, they scamper back quickly to the nest to announce their great findings, disregarding the pheromone trail they came on.
|Ants often form symbiotic relationships with other species, particularly honeydew producers, such as aphids.
By controlling ants in the garden, it is possible to control aphids and visa versa. Ants are active defenders of aphids, which produce honeydew to fuel energy requirements of the expanding ant colony.
Ants pass on foods and liquids to other ants by a process called trophallaxis. Baits that are able to work slow enough to allow trophallaxis to occur before the ant dies, will have a much better chance of destroying the ant colony.
A few examples of these risks are:
- Ants that could cross a chemical barrier by bridging tree limbs overhanging a house or business.
- Excess moisture creating an environment conducive to ants or the likelihood of forcing them to migrate.
- Excessive mulching and landscape cover resting against the house.
- Placement of trashcans in a close proximity to the house or within the garage.
- Failure to seal and remove trash from the house on a frequent basis.
- Children taking deserts to their bedrooms.
Delved deeper into Ant Control by Hearts Pest Management.
Spiders: visit our new page for Spider Control
|Spiders are classified among the arachnids. Arachnids also include scorpions, ticks and mites.|
Outdoors and away from home, spiders are beneficial insects, preying on other insects, thereby maintaining nature’s balance.Nevertheless, spiders are a major concern to homeowners in southern California.
Fears associated with spiders may be related to a fear of being bitten and poisoned, or it may be based simply on a fear associated with their highly tuned ability to hide until time to attack. Their webs can be very messy and unsightly reminders. Homeowners often want them gone, as they create the appearance of an unclean home.
While all spiders produce venom, the black widow is the only spider common in California that is a serious health threat. The male is not harmful due to the smaller size of their fangs and their smaller venom gland.
|Black widows are not generally found indoors, though they do nest in close proximity, under foundations and stones and shrubbery.
The severity of a black widow bite is not uniform, differing based on such factors as seasonality, the location of the sting and the sensitivity of the victim. The bite of a black widow feels like a sharp injection.
|While the local reaction may be mild, the neurotoxins can result in convulsion and death. A classic symptom is a rigid board like stomach paralysis.
Antidote to black widow venom is commonly available at medical centers.The brown recluse is a common in-door dweller that is necrotic and deadly. But rest assured, the brown recluse spider is not native or active in California.
Of the thousands of folks reporting possible identification of a brown recluse in California, lab results indicate almost all to be false.
On extremely rare occasions in southern California, positive ID of the brown recluse has happened where a family has accidentally transported it from another section of the country.
Often, spiders are misidentified as the brown recluse. Spiders related to the brown recluse, but not a threat to humans, include the desert recluse and the “spitting spider.” (See articles by Rick Vetter of the University of Riverside, stating that the existence of the brown recluse in California is a myth).
|Other spiders can still be a nuisance and produce noticeable bites. This mostly occurs due to accidental contact with spiders that feel trapped or that are in an aggressive mating stage.
Spider bites are not usually enough to determine the type of spider that inflicted the bite. It is therefore valuable to have a spider sample available for identification, if feasible. Also, there is a wide variety of spider venoms.
Daddy long-legs (Opiliones) is a common term for a variety of spiders with this long-legged attribute. There is the daddy long-leg that is not a spider, does not bite or have venom. Some may produce a secretion that is effective against its prey. Daddy long-leg spiders (Pholcidae) are a different breed, so to speak.
This spider and its venom are not a threat to humans. False black widows are common in California. These spiders will never have the distinguishing red diamond underbelly and are not a serious threat.Treatment for spiders involves application of repellents and desicants, as well as web cleaning that removes a critical ability of the spider to trap its prey.
Additionally, it is critical to eliminate the conditions that give rise to increased spider populations, such as other insect infestations, moist environments, tall grasses, and excess hiding places, such as overused storage rooms.
For more specific information on spiders in California, visit: U.C. Davis
For More information within our website regarding the black widow spider spider, click here.
Hearts Pest Management: Green and Organic Solutions for Ants and Spiders:
A typical pest control service visit will include a wide perimeter inspection and treatment of your property. Often, a combination of methods are used during a service visit. You may see us providing a perimeter non-repellent treatment near the foundation, a granular treatment in the various mulch beds and a non-repellent or baiting program within the home.
Within guidelines set by the company, our consulting technicians are given latitude to design and implement a program that has needed variety to keep the insects off guard, while protecting your family from the concerns common with pest control treatments.
Our philosophy toward treatments is that the least amount of chemical exposure that will effectively solve the problem is the best solution. This approach allows us the needed flexibility to utilize the tools and skills we have in pesticide treatment, but only after examining the least intrusive avenues of attack.
Watch for our pest control trucks with the Hearts, and “President Hamilton,” enjoying his job under the sun.
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