Ghost Ants Invading Georgia Truck

It’s a great feeling when you get a new car.  The new smell, the way it drives, the features, the ants….wait, THE ANTS?!?!  Luckily, ants don’t usually come standard with a car purchase.  But for Josh Wise, that MAY have just been the case.

Josh’s truck, that he uses for his landscaping business, has been taken over by ghost ants. Ghost ants are extremely small ants (1.3-1.5mm long) that reproduce in high numbers.  This species of ant is found in Florida and is the first documented case in Georgia.  Although Josh purchased his truck here in Georgia, the Georgia dealership had originally purchased the truck from a dealership in Florida…hmmm.

Were the ants already in the truck when it came from Florida?  Did the ants invade in Georgia? Did they come from plants that were put in his truck?

Check out the video:

For more information on ghost ants visit University of Florida IFAS

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

Giant African Land Snails

Recent news stories have brought attention to a new pest that has all threat of pests such as rats, including its size! Snails may not seem like the most imposing of pests, but the giant African land snail is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It is starting to invade parts of southern Florida, but has also been seen in parts of Texas and the Great Lake states.

Giant African Land Snail

Giant African Land Snail

These snails live up to nine years and can produce 1200 eggs a year, after reaching adulthood in just one year. If you’re not a fan of math, just be certain that these snails can soon become an astronomical problem. Florida knows this especially after having to spend $1 million on its initial infestation – which evidently did not offer them a permanent solution.

So what’s the bigger issue here? Firstly, these snails eat at least 500 different types of plants, thus serving as a huge threat to agriculture. Not only that, but according to Agriculture Department spokeswoman Denise Feiber, giant African land snails carry a human parasite called rat lungworm, a potentially deadly form of meningitis. Homeowners should beware not only for these issues, but also because their shells are so sharp they might shred a tire!

These pests are thought to be carried in through traveler’s luggage, although other, not so wise citizens, carry them as pets and later release them. This was the cause of the original infestation on the American mainland in 1966. Agriculture officials are working to eliminate the pest problem before it becomes a major issue, but urge homeowners that they are the first line of defense against this pest. If you spot a pest similar to these below, call Northwest Exterminating immediately! There might be a larger problem than the one that already meets the eye.

Snail Diagram

Snail Diagram

If you’re interested in learning more about this pest and pest prevention, view the video here.

Sources:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/gas/index.shtml

http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/animals/africansnail.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/us/florida-giant-snails/index.html?iref=allsearch

http://news92fm.com/350719/giant-african-land-snails-spotted-in-houston/

 

Venomous Snakes Common to GA and Other Parts of the Southeast

Northwest’s Wildlife Services Team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of animal nuisances. Among our specialties are squirrels, rodents, raccoons, opossums, bees, armadillos, and chipmunks. An important wildlife service in the coming warm months is our snake removal! Our Wildlife team uses a Green product that is used to deter snakes.  We also spend a great deal of time educating the customer on snakes.

Georgia is among the states with the highest biodiversity of snakes in the U.S. with 43 different species. They are located anywhere in Georgia from the mountains in the north to the barrier islands along our eastern coast. Below we have pictures and descriptions of the most common venomous snakes. If you spot one of these, call our Wildlife Services Team at 770.436.3362 to get them off your hands, or better yet, remove them very far away from your hands!

Copperhead

copperhead

Copperhead

Copperheads are fairly large – anywhere from 2 to over 3 feet long! They have brown, triangular heads and elliptical pupils. You likely won’t want to get close enough to be sure, but they have two tiny dots at the center of the top of the head. More distinguishing features include yellow tails for juvenile snakes, and the brown bands that run along their body are in a distinct hourglass shape. They are found mostly in the forested areas of Georgia and South Carolina.

Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin

cottonmouth

Cottonmouth

Water Moccasin

Water Moccasin

Just like copperheads, cottonmouths have large, triangular heads with elliptical pupils. They get the name water moccasin from their semi-aquatic nature and are likely to be found by mostly all types of freshwater habitats.  These are more difficult to identify by appearance because they have a wide range of colors but tend to feature colors that will camouflage them into their habitats.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern diamondbacks are among the largest of 32 species of rattlesnakes, ranging anywhere from 2.75 feet to 6 feet long. They have large, broad heads with two light lines on their faces. These are easily recognized by their brown diamonds, surrounded by lighter colored brown, tan or yellowish scales. They can be located anywhere from the southern part of North Carolina, but especially in South Georgia and Florida. They like to be in drier, sandy or low cut grass areas and tend to avoid wetter areas, though they are great swimmers and even travel through saltwater!

Canebrake/Timber Rattlesnake

Canebrake-timber rattlesnake

Canebrake-timber rattlesnake

These snakes tend to range from about 3-5 feet in length and are usually gray with a pink, yellow, orange or brown stripe running along their back. They have solid black tails and black chevrons along the back and sides of their body with the point of the (V) pointing forward. They are found in most of the eastern United States, but are somewhat absent from Florida. They can be found in a wide range of areas, but are least likely to be found in highly urbanized or residential areas.

Pigmy Rattlesnake

Pigmy rattlesnake

Pigmy rattlesnake

This rattlesnake is on the smaller side, usually coming in at under 2 feet in length. This snake has 9 large scales on the top of it’s head and a tiny rattle that can rarely be heard. They have a row of mid-dorsal spots and a bar from the eye to their mouth that ranges from black to brownish. The name is deceptive as they can be gray, tan, lavender, orange, red, or even black. These are mostly located from central Georgia up throughout South Carolina. They also like to be near water sources like creeks, marshes, and swamps.

Eastern Coral Snake

Coral Snake

Coral Snake

“Red on yellow, kills a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.” These snakes are sometimes up to 4 feet in length with smooth heads with a bright body pattern of black rings in which the red and yellow rings touch each other. These are sometimes confused with king snakes, but these snakes only have the red touching the black rings and are not venomous. These snakes are found all the way from Louisiana to Florida, where they are most prevalent. They are rarely spotted because they hide under ground and spend only a limited time crawling above ground. Unfortunately, because of these secretive habits, coral snakes tend to persist in suburban areas.

 

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://georgiawildlife.com/node/497

https://uga.edu/srelherp/snakes/index.htm

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkcon210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkpis210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkpis4.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/croada210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/crohor3.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/sismil210.jpg

http://www.petmd.com/sites/default/files/coral_snake.gif