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Termites in the Winter

Formosan Termites Charleston, SCEven in the winter months Termites can still cause a rather large infestation. This week we encountered termites eating this building in Downtown Charleston. Charleston,SC has the highest infestation of Formosan termites in the US. Sadly, we’re number one. The window and other leaks provided them with moisture sustenance. The brown lines in the photograph are exit areas for termite waste and swarmer launching. There is a fix even with a rather sizable amount of damage. We installed Sentricon AG (above ground) stations to kill the termite queen and colony. After Sentricon does it’s work, we will go back to ensure this old Charleston building is termite free.

Let’s Talk Ants…

Ants are a common household nuisance, both indoors and outdoors.  Contrary to what some people think, ants are often difficult to eliminate and using a household ant killer is not enough.  In order to get rid of an ant colony, you must first find the nest and eliminate the queen.  The easiest way to do that is to follow the trail.  Ants stay pretty true to course coming and going.  Killing an ant trail, while effectively killing the visible ants, will only cause the colony to relocate and create another trail.

Ants can nest in a multitude of places, including soil and producing mounds, in homes behind baseboards, counter-tops and moldings and also in damaged or water logged wood.  Typically ants do not cause too much damage, although carpenter ants can cause structural damage over time and anyone familiar with fire ants knows they will bite.

Speaking of fire ants, how do you know if you have fire ants?

Fire ants tend to be smaller than most people think, reddish-brown in color and will display aggressive behavior.  Disturbing a fire ant mound will result in a swarm of ants coming out of the mound.  Their tunnels can be as far as ten feet underground in certain soil types.  You will see them after a rain “working” on their mounds.

For more helpful information and descriptions of different types of ant species, check out this article: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/what-to-do-about-household-ants/

If you notice an ant trails in or around your home similar to the one pictured below, please call Advanced before treating it yourself!

antinfestation-kitchen

Helpful Hints on Keeping Pests out this Winter…

Reindeer hooves may not be the only tip-tapping you hear this winter.  As the days get shorter, colder and darker, your house becomes a cozy place for animals, mainly rodents, to come in and make themselves at home. The last thing anyone wants is to hear the telltale scurrying of mice or rats above them.

Besides being terrible house guests, in some cases, rodents can bring in diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus.  It’s hard enough staying healthy during flu season without the worry of food contamination too.  In addition, they can be hosts to a multitude of other pests, such as lice, fleas, ticks and mites.

And with the extra miles of cord and wire most people have in and around their homes for the Holidays, the risk of house fires goes up significantly.

It’s not all doom and gloom however.  There are several steps you can take to prevent infestations inside and outside your home…

  • Check all cords, wires and insulation for signs of gnawing or bite marks
  • Keep boxes off the floor in areas not frequented daily (these are places rodents will most likely look to hide-out)
  • Keep door and window screens in good condition and check all weather stripping for signs of wear
  • Seal cracks in the exterior of your home, especially areas where utility wires run
  • Trim and branches or bushes away from home or outbuildings
  • Rake leaves and turn over mulch
  • Stack firewood off the ground and away from your home
  • Cover any outside vents or chimney with screens.

And if that doesn’t work…. Call Us!  If you have normal bi-monthly or quarterly pest services with us, installing and maintaining rodent boxes is included!

West Nile Virus spreads with hot summer weather

With two recent articles published by The Post and Courier, the West Nile Virus just gives another reason as to why you need to protect yourself against mosquitoes.

With most of the nation experiencing a drought this summer, the combination of dry, hot weather in contrast with sudden downpours leaves stagnant water for a mosquito breeding ground. Although most of us in the Lowcountry have become accustomed to those itchy bites, the West Nile virus takes the severity to a whole new level. Originally transferred from bird to mosquito then to human symptoms can range from neck stiffness, disorientation, muscle weakness, and even paralysis. The extreme summer heat only speeds up the mosquito life cycle and infiltration of the virus. Many fear that this summer may be the worst outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 2002.

Although only affecting 1 in 150 who contract the virus, epidemiologists seem to be on high alert. Most striking was the Post and Courier’s quote by Linn Haramis of the Illinois Dept. of Health, “The risk is high and people need to listen. This thing could put you in a wheelchair at age 60 for the rest of your life.”

This summer, at least four cases have been confirmed in South Carolina including Charleston.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Remove any nearby standing water

Keep outdoor activity a minimum during mosquito peak activity (both dusk and dawn)

Call Advanced Termite and Pest Control at 843.795.6767 to take back your yard! Guaranteed!

The Uninvited House Guest….

roachRecently, the Post and Courier published an article about the dreaded Palmetto Bug, or American cockroach. For those of you that missed it, it provided some great insight into these large roaches, and also some humorous reactions of local readers. Most of us have experienced the moment they come scurrying out of the baseboards, or the dishwasher… I personally run for the nearest shoe and hope they stay where I can squash them! The truth is you can do a lot to help reduce the chances of them entering your home. Seeing them out and about in your home is a sign of overcrowding. By starting prevention on the outside of your home, it will greatly reduce the chances of them coming inside. Keep all debris (leaves, sticks, etc…) away from the home; roaches thrive in ground cover like ivy. They can also fly, so many will take cover in trees. Maintain limbs that hang over any roofing to your home and outbuildings. Another good idea is to check all screens for any wear and tear or damage and replace weather stripping to ensure a tight seal on doors and windows. If you have pets that tend to be outside a lot, take in food bowls and clean them of any leftover food daily. Sometimes, no matter what you do, these pesky guys just get in. They are extremely resilient, not to mention fast, so you may think you’ve gotten rid of them, when in truth, they’re still hanging around, waiting for night to fall. They can sense the slightest movement or change in the air around them. Controlling them with preventative pest control is always the best option. That’s where we come in! We offer competitive prices for all things pest. Call us any time and we’ll be glad to help you become pest free!

843-795-6767