June month

01/06/2019

Spiders

Just like all spiders, the species that live in our homes have eight legs. Their bodies are divided in two parts: the cephalothorax (the head and thorax together) and the abdomen. They never have wings. Their shapes, sizes, and colours vary.

Development and Behaviours

Female spiders usually lay their eggs in a bag woven with silk threads. They deposit the bag in a sheltered place or keep it with them. They hibernate, no matter what stage they are at in their life cycle. The eggs usually hatch a few weeks after they are laid. The young who hatch already look like adults. They do not undergo metamorphosis but will molt a few times before reaching their adult size. While most spiders come from the outside, a few species have a tendency to make their home inside our homes. They feed on insects that they hunt or that they capture in their webs. They also have silk-producing organs that spin webs used to build nests, capture prey or build cocoons that protect the eggs. Spiders may have up to eight eyes, but, interestingly enough, most of them are myopic. Most spiders are nocturnal and timid, and they prefer fleeing to confrontation.

Prevention

It is recommended that you limit evening exterior lighting a minimum, and that you keep light away from doors and windows, both before and after treatment. Light attracts insects which, in turn, attract spiders.

Recommendations

Using a broom or vacuum cleaner, frequently clean baseboard heaters and corners of rooms to eliminate any food debris.

Outside, yellow electric lights don’t attract as many insects and, consequently, not as many spiders near the house.

 

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants live in colonies with strict hierarchical organization. Thus, there are queens, workers, and males, each with different roles and appearances. The queen is the largest insect of the colony, while the workers have a morphology that varies depending on their role. As a result, it is complicated to identify the species of ant that has infested your home by relying only on size.

Development and Behaviours

Carpenter ants only have one queen per colony. Everything starts with the flight of a huge quantity of sexually mature adults that will mate during flight, called “swarming.” After mating, the female that is now the queen loses her wings and looks for an ideal spot to lay her first eggs: a dying tree, a rotting stump, or sometimes inside a building. It is important to know that carpenter ants are not woodborers, they don’t eat wood. Rather, they hollow out places to create a either a main colony or satellite colony (one without a queen).

It takes at least three years for a colony to reach maturity. At that point, it contains at least 2,000 worker ants. The queen begins to produce, at the end of each summer, sexually mature, winged insects destined to start colonies of their own.

Carpenter ants then dig their nests in places ideal for their expansion, such as an insulating urethane panel or a piece of wood whose density has been affected by humidity, making it easier to hollow out places within the latter.

A house may be infested by carpenter ants in four ways:

A queen can arrive in your house and found a new colony

A colony or part of a colony can migrate as a result of major stress

Material containing ants, such as firewood is taken into the house

A satellite nest is formed, without a queen. That is the most frequent cause in Quebec.

Recommendations

Carefully survey the area to find where the ant nest is.

Modify the conditions that favour proliferation of carpenter ants: eliminate all rotten or infested wood around the building.

Fix, if necessary, any problems caused by water infiltration, because it damages wood structures.

Keep food in sealed containers during infestations.

If ants come from outside to get food in the building, a seasonal outside treatment could solve the problem. When ants are present in your home, a plan that is environmentally friendly and safe for all inhabitants will be established with you by a V Extermination technician. Contact us now for a free estimate!

 

Pavement ants

Pavement ants are small, and as their name states, make their nests under pavement. Their nests may be easily recognized by the small mounds of sand found on the ground in pavement cracks or in the grass. They are very active at the end of the spring and in early summer. Pavement ants range in colour from light brown to black with an appendage that is lighter than the rest of the body. They are 2.5 mm to 3 mm long and are slender with bent antennae. They also have parallel lines on their head and thorax.

Development and Behaviours

Ants are social insects that live in colonies and their favourite food is aphid honeydew. They also feed on live or dead insects, flower nectar and any sweet organic matter within their reach. They make their nest in sandy soil in lawns and other surfaces. The exterior of ant nests are visible as several small mounds with little openings. They get inside buildings through cracks in the building’s foundations, often after heavy rain.

Recommendations

If ants are present near your house, have the visible nests on your property treated. By excavating the sand under paving stones, ants end up creating uneven areas under the stones. They often try to enter buildings looking for water and food, causing problems that can require intervention by a pest management technician. Most of the time, ant colonies can be eradicated by an outside treatment consisting of the safe application of a long-lasting insecticide against these invading visitors. Contact us to obtain a free estimate.

 

Earwigs

Adult earwigs are 1 cm to 2 cm long. Their bodies are covered by a shiny red-brown shell or cuticle. Their abdomen is usually darker than their head and thorax. Earwigs have an elongated shape, two long antennae, and “grinder”-type mouth parts. They have small wings that they barely use, except to glide. The young look like the adults, only their color is lighter and they have no wings.

Development and Behaviours

Earwigs avoid light. In the daytime, they spend most of their time in crevices in the ground, under bark of dead wood, in spaces between flowers or in between petals of large flowers. At night, they come out and search for food.

After mating, which takes place in the summer, the females lay eggs. The larvae turn into adults a few months later. The females seem to care for the young. At the first cold and frost of winter (around October), earwigs burrow into the ground to hibernate. Most of the males die during the winter, while the new females survive. About one month later, they dig a little burrow, isolate themselves there, and lay a few dozen white, round, and translucent eggs (sixty at most). Around mid-May, the earwig larvae hatch. The females take care of their eggs and larvae attentively, until the last of the four moltings that larvae undergo. At this stage, they look like adults, but are smaller and have no wings. Young adults generally emerge in July. They remain active until the first frost.

Earwigs are often considered to be an aid to gardeners, because they consume a great number of insect pests and destructive insects. They also consume plants that are very ripe or beginning to decompose.

Earwigs become a problem when they infest yard and patio furniture, or when they enter building structures by aeration openings in brick walls, which then requires inside and outside treatment.

Recommendations

Do not place mulch in the parts of your garden that are near your house.

Vigorously shake and carefully inspect plants before bringing them into the house.

Eliminate debris and decomposing organic matter.

Stack wood away from your house.

In the spring, work the soil when it is hot and dry outside in order to disturb the adult earwigs and destroy the eggs and larvae by exposing them to the sun.