Mound Ants & Their Mounds

The allegheny mound ant is a common ant found outdoors.   They feed on small insects or arthropods that are found outside so they rarely have a need to make their way into a structure…but that doesn’t mean you will never find them inside.

Identification:

  • 1/4″ long
  • red bodies and black abdomen
  • most often identified by the large mound that they build

The Mound:

The allegheny mound ant is known for the large mounds that they build.  This is the easiest way to identify the species.  Their mounds are made up of built up soil that can go up to 4 feet above soil and extend 3 feet deep into the ground.  A 5 month old mound can be about 2 feet wide and 8 inches tall.  A two year old mound can be up to 3 feet tall.  These large mounds are mostly found in unkept grassy areas, pastures, nurseries, and turf.

Allegheny mound ants produce formic acid that can damage bushes, plants, and gardens.  Formic acid can kill small trees and shrubs within 40-50 feet of a mound and the grass of your lawn that is located around a mound.  Most new mounds are made in late May and early June.  This can cause issues if you spend time in your lawn because the mound ants will bite if they feel like their colony is being disturbed.

Protect yourself and your lawn by hiring a professional exterminator that can eliminate ants around your home and prevent damage and harmful bites.  Call Northwest Exterminating to get rid of your ant problems.

 

 

 

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: How Do I know If I’m Allergic to Mosquitoes and What To Do If I Am?

Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.

How do I know if I, or my child, has an allergy to mosquitoes?

Usually people who ask this question already suspect they have an allergy to mosquito bites.  When they get bitten they get large swollen bumps that are red, itchy and painful.  These bumps tend to last longer than mosquito bites for other people and they cause more discomfort.  The reaction may not be classified as a true “allergy” but the problem is a larger release of histamine and other immunoglobulins that cause inflammation.

These people have a more severe reaction to the proteins that mosquitoes inject into the bite to keep the blood from clotting. The reaction is usually a large red whelp that itches, swells and is very uncomfortable. Although these bites are very irritating, it is rare to have a serious allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. Life threatening reactions would include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fainting or swelling all over.

If you or your child has a more severe reaction to mosquito bites than others, you may have what is known as the “Skeeter Syndrome.”  People that have the “Skeeter Syndrome” have more severe reactions and will have larger, itchier and more painful bumps associated with the bites.  The bites can also cause blisters and be associated with infections if the bites are scratched until they are open and bleeding.  True mosquito allergies can be diagnosed with allergy testing.

What to do if you are allergic?

The first thing to do is to avoid the mosquito bites in the first place. Have Northwest Exterminating, or your local exterminator, provide your home with a mosquito treatment.  Also, cover your body when you go out and use an insect repellent, such as DEET.

If you do get bitten, you can use an anti-histamine like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for the itching.  You can take the anti-histamine by mouth or use preparations that can be placed topically on the bite.  Anti-inflammatory creams like hydrocortisone may also be used. If the bite is scratched open, you will want to wash it daily and apply an antibiotic ointment to keep them from being infected.

If you have severe allergic symptoms like respiratory distress, swelling of the body, face, mouth or throat you will need to go directly to the emergency department.

Thanks,
Dr. Goo

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a question for Dr. Goo?  Click HERE to submit your question.

 

Do it Yourself Pest Control VS. Professional Pest Control

There is a whole market for people who like to do it yourself.  I am one of them.  I enjoy the occasional weekend project around the house like painting, fixing a leaky faucet, or changing out fixtures.  However, there are some do it yourself projects that are just not for me.  I don’t touch wires, I don’t clean high chandeliers, and I don’t clean out gutters (thank goodness Northwest Exterminating does).  Those are the tasks that I leave for the professionals.

In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs.  There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring an exterminator.  If you spot a single bug such as a fly, yellow jacket, or ant, there is usually no need for a professional pest control company to come to your home.  But if you spot a termite, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call an exterminator.

There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or hire a professional:

  • Expense

o   DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.

o   Professional – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem.  Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive.  Not to mention the potential damage to your home that pests can cause.

  • Convenience

o   DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.

o   Professional – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and your exterminator to meet at your home for a treatment.  More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer.  However, a good exterminator will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.

  • Knowledge

o   DIY – The instructions are on the label.  Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect.  Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.

o   Professional – An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.

  • Risk

o   DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk.  Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area.  This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label. 

o   Professionals – By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner.  Be sure to read all contracts and get reviews from past customers before hiring a pest control company.

  • Effectiveness

o   DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective.  For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products.  Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time. 

o   Professionals – A reliable pest control company will have up to date information and products to treat your infestation. 

  • Warranties

o   DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product.  Check your local store return policies before purchasing.

o   Professionals – Always ask about a company’s policies before hiring them to treat your home.  Will they return to your home for no charge if your issue is not solved? Do they offer warranties on their work?  A good exterminating company will.

When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above.  For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive.  For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call a professional exterminator.  As always, the key to pest control is prevention. For pest prevention tips visit this blog.

If you have a pest or termite issue in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating. 

What kind of do-it-yourself projects do you enjoy?

Have you ever tried to do-it-yourself and had to call in the professionals?

 

 

You Asked, We Answered: Winter Edition

Q:Why am I seeing pests like ants in my home in the middle of winter?

A: It has been a strange year. From a personal perspective, no snow and warmer than usual temperatures, have been very nice.  From a pest perspective, I fear we will be seeing some unusual pest movements this year. Recently we have had several wasp and bee complaints, ants are running wild and termite swarms have occurred. Setting us up for a very unusual spring and summer. Ants have been especially problematic because they usually are not around for awhile, but they’re back.

What do you do? First, keep areas clean, spills and dropped food can attract the ants from a distance. Pick up pet food and water, this can also act as an attractant. Watch for leaking hoses and garden or yard tools that are left wet after work, this attracts pests to the structure and could lead them inside. The best way to protect yourself is to have a professional exterminator your structure for entrances and give recommendations to reduce the potential hiding areas around your place.

 

Jerry Hatch
Technical Director
BCE CEHT CP-FS
LEED Green Associate

If you have a question about your pest control, ASK THE MOUSE!