September month

01/09/2019

CORNFIELD ANTS

These small ants are very common in Quebec. Varying from brown to black, the workers are between 2.2 mm to 3 mm long. They are often called field ants. They form huge colonies with 5,000 to 15,000 individuals. Their queen lives for about 20 years, which explains the proportions that a colony can reach when the conditions are favourable! Since their favourite food is aphid honeydew, they raise aphids in their colonies. They are also attracted to sweet food that they can find in our homes, which sometimes causes impressive ant infestations when conditions are favourable.

Field ants are also attracted to pieces of wood that are rotting or extremely damaged by humidity. The ants are often found under ceramic tiles in bathrooms, and more specifically under the shower or in the kitchen under appliances that leak, such as a dishwasher. Colonies can also establish their nest in a structural void in a house using rotten wood found onsite.


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 ants in four ways:

  1. A queen can arrive in your house and found a new colony
  2. A colony or part of a colony can migrate as a result of major stress
  3. Material containing ants, such as firewood is taken into the house
  4. 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!


WASPS

Wasps are also known as “yellow jackets” or “hornets” and are between 10 mm and 25 mm in length. They are easy to recognize with their black abdomens with yellow or white rings. These are social insects who live in colonies with one or many queens, workers, and males.

Development and Behaviours

When wasps build their nests near homes, or even in the house’s foundations, they can be a danger for both humans and pets. If they are disturbed, they will not hesitate to use their stingers in order to defend their hives. Getting stung by a wasp is quite painful. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 17 % of the population risk having an allergic reaction that can even cause anaphylactic shock.

Recommendations

When a wasp nest is visible, keep people and animals away from it before destroying it. Spray directly into the opening of the nest. It is recommended that this work be done when the sun has set, to prevent the presence of wasps still flying outside the nest. It is not recommended to knock the hive down by spraying water, because this causes the wasps to be more aggressive and to stay nearby. They may even attempt to repair their hive. In certain cases, the nest may not be visible or be inaccessible if it is established within the building structure or up high. In all cases, our technicians have the expertise and know-how to get permanently rid of a wasp infestation.

Contact us for a safe and guaranteed intervention by our qualified exterminators who are trained to manage this type of situation.


HOUSEFLIES

Houseflies are the most common variety, in both urban and rural areas.  They vary in size from 4 mm to 7.5 mm. These flies are a problem since they are knowns to be vectors for the transmission of a multitude of pathogens, such as salmonella, E. coli, certain streptococci, dysentery and several parasite worms.

One housefly can lay from 350 to 900 eggs over its life cycle. These eggs hatch between 8 and 20 hours after they are laid, depending on the temperature. They reach maturity in three to seven days. Larvae can migrate long distances to find a suitable place to transform into pupas. In certain cases, they can cover several dozen metres. As a result, the presence of larvae in a specific location does not necessarily mean it is the location of the main infestation. That is why an in-depth inspection of the building is needed.

Our technicians are trained and capable of giving you answers and solutions if you are experiencing a fly infestation. Contact us now for an estimate!