Why Do I Suddenly Have Ants?

Why Do I Suddenly Have Ants in my Albuquerque home? Pest Defense Solutions

Out of all pest problems, ants can be one of the most confounding. This is in part due to the fact that an ant infestation can seemingly appear out of nowhere overnight. While this might seem to be the case, an ant problem can always be discovered—and stopped—in its early stages. The key is to know where ant infestations can start and how to make your property less attractive to them in the first place. In doing so, you can avoid the sudden discovery of these pests in your Albuquerque NM home. The ant control experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to share all you need to know about how ant infestations suddenly start—read on to learn more.

Where Are Ants Nesting in My House?

There are certain spots in your house that are more susceptible to ant problems than others. The most common places to find ants include kitchens, bathrooms, and in your garden. Ants will find their way into your home in search of food and water. As soon as they find what they’re looking for, ants will leave a pheromone trail for their colony to follow suit. Before you know it, a small ant problem can turn into a big infestation. An ant colony can nest in the walls of your home, and crawl into your various rooms through cracks and crevices. This makes it even more difficult to find the root of the ant problem.

Ant hotspots in Albuquerque NM homes - Pest Defense Solutions

3 Steps to Avoid Suddenly Having Ants

No one wants to wake up to a random ant problem. To make your property less attractive to the pests, you can take just the three following steps.

  1. Avoid crumbs and food spills. Ants have a sweet tooth. Crumbs on your floor, even pet food, can be a huge draw for ants. To prevent ants, it’s important to regularly clean up spills and vacuum on a regular basis to deny them access to any of your food.
  2. Eliminate excess moisture. Especially in your bathrooms, crawl space, or bathrooms, excess moisture from leaky pipes or plumbing issues can attract ants. Always fix leaks and other moisture problems as quickly as possible.
  3. Seal up cracks and crevices. Ants will make use of the tiniest cracks or holes to get inside, especially at the base of your foundation. Annually, inspect your home for these tiny openings and consider sealing them with caulk.

I Suddenly Have Ants—What Now?

The key to ant control is prevention. So when you have a serious infestation already underway, it’s crucial to get in touch with your local ant exterminators. At Pest Defense Solutions, our ant control specialists will work to determine where the ants are getting inside in the first place. Our goal is to keep your property impenetrable to ants, year-round. Contact us today to get started!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

What is Pest Seasonality?

Ants are a common seasonal pest in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in Albuquerque NM, we deal with pest problems all year long. Of course, spring and summer sees an increase in pest activity, but pests are active in the fall and winter months as well. Pest seasonality is a term used to describe pest activity in fall, winter, spring, and summer. In order to better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to know what pests are most common during different parts of the year. Following information released by the NPMA, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share need-to-know info on pest seasonality in our area.

Pests in the Fall and Winter Months

Our mild and wet summer may mean a longer mosquito and tick season that may last through the fall months. Because we don’t experience the harsh cold winters that many parts of the country do, we can expect to deal with pest infestations through the winter months. One of the biggest pest threats this time of year is rodents, who will seek out shelter indoors this time of year. Ants and cockroaches may also find a way inside to seek out moisture that they may be lacking outside.

Winter pests in the South Central United States map
Rodent
Fly
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Spring & Summer Pests in Albuquerque

Every spring and summer, you can expect pest activity to rise again. Our weather encourages all types of pests to reproduce and thrive throughout most of the year. Here’s the ones to look out for:

  • Flies. While mostly a nuisance, fly populations boom in the summertime and can quickly ruin your outdoor events.
  • Stinging insects. Bees, wasps, and hornets will construct nests near residential properties and can be a threat to families.
  • Termites. Our climate is a haven for termites, who swarm in the spring and are at full force in the summertime.
  • Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay a lot of eggs in standing water during the summer months, which is when they’re most problematic.

Pest Seasonality Prevention and Control

No matter what season it is, you don’t want to deal with a pest problem. The best way to prevent seasonal pests is to work with a professional pest control company that can protect you year-round. At Pest Defense Solutions, our exterminators will work with you to determine a custom pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

6 Tips to Prevent Pests in Your Patio

Tips to stay pest-free in your Albuquerque NM backyard - Pest Defense Solutions

Whether you’ve had mosquitoes near your pond or ants covering your barbecue area, you know how frustrating pests in your backyard can be. This time of year, you’re likely looking to spend as much time outdoors before the weather and time changes. Pests can quickly ruin your time spent outside, which is why it’s so important to learn how to make your property less attractive to pests in the first place. At Pest Defense Solutions, we know that pest problems are common year-round here in Albuquerque. With our commitment to ensuring our customers are pest-free both inside and outside their homes, we’re sharing our top tips to prevent pests in your patio.

Tips & Tricks to Prevent Pests in Your Backyard

Pests can be a nuisance, but they can be dangerous, too. Mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging insects are three of the most common pest problems in backyards this time of year. To help pest-proof your property, implement the following tips:

  • Trim your lawn and shrubs. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  • Learn to identify ant mounds and wasp nests. Even the tiniest nest can contain thousands of stinging insects.
  • Check wood structures. Termites and carpenter bees will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  • Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  • Use an insect repellent. Insect repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.

Pests to Lookout For in Your Outdoor Living Space

If you have an outdoor living space, you can be sure pests are going to explore it! Many pests are a nuisance to deal with, but a few can be more dangerous for you and your family. The pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. Ticks and mosquitoes are especially concerning for their ability to transmit dangerous diseases to humans. For this reason, always be cautious about pests in your backyard and enlist the help of a professional when needed.

How to Get Rid of Pest Infestations in Your Backyard

Whether you have spotted a nest forming on your deck, an ant-hill near your garden, or mosquitoes breeding nearby, it’s best to contact your local exterminator for help with existing pest problems. At Pest Defense Solutions, we are dedicated to providing you with pest-free outdoor living. Contact us today to learn more!

8 Tips for Ant-Proofing Your Home

Sweeping your floor is a top ant-proofing tip for your home in Albuqueque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Every spring in the Albuquerque area, ants start to show up more in homes. But why? After overwintering, warming temperatures encourage worker ants out of their nests in search of food and water. To prevent them from finding your home as a suitable home now is the time for ant-proofing! Once ant infestations start, they can be difficult to get rid of. For that reason, it’s best to do all you can to prevent them in the first place.

The team at Pest Defense Solutions has gathered their top ant-proofing tips to help you keep ants away in the coming months.

What Draws Ants?

Similar to many other types of pests, ants will seek out food and water sources. This makes kitchens particularly vulnerable to infestations. Any crumbs left on countertops and floors will invite ants for a feast. These pests are also attracted to excess moisture. They will be drawn to leaky faucets or pipes that have created a humid environment. For the most part, ants make their way indoors through tiny cracks and crevices. When they find food and water inside a property, they will be compelled to stay and spread.

Best Ant-Proofing Tips

Ants can be unpredictable and difficult to control, but there are a few ways you can possibly lessen the risk of getting an infestation. Implement the following tips into your regular home maintenance routine:

  1. Thoroughly inspect your property for cracks or crevices, and seal any you find with a silicone-based caulk.
  2. Keep pet foods clean and promptly clean up spills. Always pick up pet bowls off the floor after meals.
  3. Ensure downspouts and gutters are all functioning properly so that water is flowing away from the foundation.
  4. Check under sinks for excess moisture problems and repair leaky pipes promptly.
  5. Make sure to trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from the home.
  6. Sweep or vacuum your floors and wipe down surfaces regularly to clean up spills and remove crumbs.
  7. Store food (pet food included) in airtight containers and place ripe fruit in your fridge.
  8. Dispose of garbage on a regular basis and use trash cans with a tight-fitting lid.

What to Do When You Have Ants

If you’ve done everything you can to prevent ants and still are noticing them along with your kitchen counters or baseboards, it’s time to call an ant exterminator. At Pest Defense Solutions, our experts have the experience needed to control your problem quickly and help you keep ants out for good.

How to Prevent These 5 Spring Pests

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Albuquerque NM home! Learn more from Pest Defense Solutions.

It’s finally springtime here in Albuquerque! Most people rejoice the return of warming weather. The return of pests, however, not so much. Unfortunately, spring is only the beginning of the major pest season, which can last throughout the fall. Pest problems are obviously a fact of life all year long in New Mexico. With so many people spring cleaning their property, now is the time to implement some pest prevention measures! Keep reading for expert tips from the team here at Pest Defense Solutions.

What Pests are Common in the Spring?

Although some of these pests are active all throughout the year, now is the time that they come out in full force. So what pests do you need to be on the lookout for? The following are just 5 of the typical pest problems dealt with by property owners this time of year:

How to Keep Springtime Pests Away

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning…and pest prevention, while you’re at it. When thoroughly cleaning your property, there’s a few areas to focus on. Clean your windows and doors, and make sure there are no cracks or crevices. Deep-clean your carpets by vacuuming, shampooing, or steam-cleaning them. Thoroughly sanitize your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids are a goldmine for bugs and other pests.

Outside, clean up debris from your yard, gutters, and overhangs. Make sure to trim back tree limbs and shrubs away from the foundation of your home to keep outdoor pests just that—outdoor pests.

Pest Control in the Springtime

With pest season well underway, it’s important to realize that pests will be in full force for the next few months. To fully protect yourself and your home from an infestation, it’s smart to team up with a professional exterminator. Our team will work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your property.

What’s the Difference Between a Termite and a Flying Ant?

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Albuquerque NM - Learn the difference from Pest Defense Solutions!

Was that a termite you saw, or a flying ant? These two insects are commonly mistaken for one another in the springtime when they swarm. Flying ants, known as carpenter ants, are the most destructive ant species in the nation. However, they don’t hold a torch to the damage caused by termites annually! In the swarmer stages of their lives, these two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other. It’s important to understand these two. Keep reading for expert info on the difference between a termite and a flying ant from the professionals at Pest Defense Solutions.

The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Pests

Although they both have wood destroying capabilities, termites are typically more dangerous than carpenter ants. The main differences in habit between these two include:

  • Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
  • Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
  • Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
  • Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. Carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.

Winged ant vs. termite in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

How do Termite Swarmers and Carpenter Ants Look Alike?

It can be difficult to tell apart termites from carpenter ants. In the swarmer stage, the both appear very similar save for a few key differences:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers.
  2. Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

How to Prevent Termites & Flying Ants

Both termites and carpenter ants can cause a lot of property damage, which is why it’s important to learn how to prevent both! Your best defense against a wood-destroying insect is to sign up for annual inspections from a professional pest control company such as Pest Defense Solutions. Our termite exterminators can conduct thorough property inspections on your Albuquerque NM home or business to look for early signs of termites and carpenter ants.