Ants follow scent trails laid by scout ants to gather food. By following pheromone trails created by other ants from the colony, foraging ants can gather and store food efficiently. A scout ant first leaves the nest in search of food, and wanders somewhat randomly until it discovers something edible. It will then consume some of the food and return to the nest in a straight, direct line. It seems these scout ants can observe and recall visual cues that enable them to navigate quickly back to the nest. Along the return route, the scout ant leaves a trail of pheromones, special scents that will guide her nestmates to the food. The foraging ants then follow her path, each one adding more scent to the trail to reinforce it for others. The workers will continue walking back and forth along the line until the food source is depleted. Carpenter Ants Although identifying ants which are tiny in size is not an easy task but you can mark them out due to their color and their size. Carpenter ants are red colored body and have black tail portion. They do have antennas, males are winged but females lack wings. An adult carpenter ant measures anything between half to one cm long. Males of this species grow up to 1.8 cm, But queen ants dominate with a length of about 20 cm. Carpenter ants make their colonies in moisture affected wood. It can be a tree near your house or moist wood of bathroom window. Their head-quarters or primary colonies are trees. They travel into your house travelling as a march, looking for food. Their travel time is considerably reduced if there are any shrubs are touching your house or branches of trees hang on the roof. They also build other colonies inside your house also called satellite colonies. Carpenter ants are most active at night. If you see any saw-dust heap, chances are that they have created a colony there. Sugar ants Identity Male sugar ants are black in color and the female of the species are light brownish in color. The size of sugar ants vary from 2 mm of length to 15 mm. Activity area Sugar ants can be found either in their nests or near their food source. They love to inhabit warm and moist places. They also prefer to build their colonies in dark and hidden areas or in decomposed wood. If you are looking for them indoors, they are most likely to be often found near any sweet eatable. They also get attracted to natural sweet stuff like honey or jaggery. http://lifehacker.com/how-to-get-rid-of-ants-507402866 Clean house. Clean up crumbs and spills. Empty trash. pickup dirty dishes. spray vinegar/water around animal food bowls. caulk holes. insecticide around doors/windows trim bushes/trees that touch your home. dont stack firewood next to house. be sure soil slopes away from home thatch, bare areas in grass, maintain healthy yard. wet counters. leaking plumbing. any other cause of dampness. Ants seek water while hunting
http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/how-keep-ants-out-your-house-naturally.html http://pestkill.org/ants/house/ aLso wipe down furniture surfaces. Wash dishes after each meal.
Eliminating food sources is a constant battle in roach control. While this effort involves a great deal of work and vigilance, the results are well worth the effort. Clean Kitchen Appliances. Roaches in your kitchen are probably living off of the months or years worth of grease and food spills under, behind, and alongside your appliances. The greatest problem spots usually include the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, toaster, microwave, and underneath the kitchen sink. Empty Cabinets and Clean them out. Another common food source for Roaches are the crumbs and food spills inside kitchen cabinets. Limit food consumption to one room of the house. Allowing food to be consumed in all areas of the home leads to crumbs and food spills that often go unnoticed and make tasty temptations for Roaches. This practice contributes to the spread of an infestation to other areas of the home other than the kitchen. Vacuum the kitchen floor thoroughly each night before bed. Roaches come out to feed at night. If you will practice your most rigorous cleaning rituals in the kitchen just before bed each night, there will be nothing or very little left for foraging roaches to snack on. Vacuum all other non-food areas of the home every 2 to 3 days. This practice contributes to overall sanitation and also helps to eliminate roach feces, skins, body parts, and egg sacs, all of which contain pheromones that attract other roaches to the same areas. Wipe down kitchen countertops with a disinfectant spray each night Empty pet food containers at night, or place them on the back porch or in a plastic bag. Store Food in Sealed Containers. roaches are small enough to slip into the cardboard packaging that many foods are stored in. Use a trash can with a tight fitting lid, and take out the trash each night before bed. Keep outside trash cans clean and moved away from the structure While it is nearly impossible to eliminate all water sources, even greatly limiting available sources will cause negative stress on a roach population. Fewer water sources to go around means that many roaches will die. Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Repair sweating pipes. Before bed, stop up sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms and dry them completely with a paper towel. Dry out the bathtub and shower completely and stop up the drain before bed. Place wet dish rags and sponges in an airtight plastic storage bag overnight, or place them directly in the washing machine. Pet water dishes should be placed outside overnight or be dried completely and refilled in the morning. Wet toothbrushes should be dried as best they can and sealed in plastic bags. http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/cockroach-prevention-guide-a-459.html With no disrespect to the mosquito, there’s no other pest in the world that is so widely despised as the cockroach. Sure, mosquitoes are a nuisance, and spiders may scare those with phobias, but there aren’t many people that wouldn’t hit the roof at the sight of a cockroach crawling over their bare foot. But if you live on planet Earth, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ve had a confrontation with one. Aside from the grotesque look, cockroaches also carry disease-causing bacteria and have recently been discovered to be a source of allergies in humans. The trick to avoiding a face-to-face meeting with a cockroach is to avoid attracting them to begin with. Once you have a few cockroaches, you could quickly end up having a few thousand, thanks to their speedy reproductive capabilities. There are a few things cockroaches look for when scoping out a potential crash pad: warmth, moisture and food. For this reason, keeping your home clean is the first step in prevention. Empty your garbage on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. It’s also a good idea to not put a lot of stinky food waste into your bin because these smells really attract roaches. Make sure your outdoor garbage can isn’t located right beside your house either. If it’s parked directly by the back door, you could be leading them right into your house. http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/insect-control/preventing-cockroaches.htm Keeping your recycling clean is another key. All those little bits of soda, beer, wine, milk and juice that drip out into your recycling bin are a haven for cockroaches. Make sure you do a thorough rinse of any liquid containers as well as food jars and bottles. Keeping your pantry tidy and making sure all the food is sealed tight is another good tip. Try keeping your cereal and other grains in plastic containers. Also, boric acid has always been an effective cockroach deterrent as long as you use it properly. Its toxicity is low for humans, but deadly to cockroaches. When spreading the boric acid, go light. In fact, the acid should barely be visible to you. A very light line under the stove and refrigerator, behind the trashcan and nears cracks and crevices near doorways will help keep roaches at bay. Long despised by homeowners, the cockroach is more than just a creepy nuisance pest that can survive freezing temperatures and a week without its head. This hearty creature can pose serious health risks to humans if it finds a way indoors. In fact, all types of cockroaches pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter, which may be transferred to humans through food contamination. This can lead to illnesses such as E. coli and Salmonella. In addition, cockroaches are linked to increased asthma and allergy attacks as their droppings, saliva and shed skin contain potent allergens known to trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children. To remain safe and healthy from different types of cockroaches, pest control and management is key. However, with approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, and about 70 species found in the United States, it’s inevitable that some cockroaches will find a way inside homes. As a result, it’s important to pay close attention for signs of an infestation and take action if this pest is found. You http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/cockroaches-101/ Use borax and sugar to kill cockroaches Making a mixture of borax and sugar in a 3:1 ratio (3 parts borax to 1 part sugar) is an incredibly effective way to get rid of cockroaches. The sugar lures the roaches out of hiding and fools them into nibbling at the borax, which is lethal to insects but exponentially less toxic to humans—to the extent that the substance is often marketed as a laundry and dish washing aid. Nevertheless, use caution when setting out the cockroach bait, placing it in areas easily accessible to roaches but unlikely to receive human or pet traffic. (Note: never purposefully ingest borax or other boric acid products!) Mix up this bait trap and set it near nooks and crannies where you have caught roaches entering or escaping your living space, and they will soon be gone. http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/how-to-get-rid-of-roaches-naturally/ How can I snake-proof my home?
Whether you live in a house, condominium, or apartment, there are several things you can do to decrease the potential for snakes to enter your living space. Excluding snakes from buildings depends on closing or eliminating the most minute openings around windows, vents, electrical conduits, and plumbing pipes. Snakes may be inadvertently attracted into human residences by odors that indicate the presence of potential food items. Brown Treesnakes eat a wide variety of prey species (frogs, lizards, eggs, birds, and mammals), but are also known to respond to chemical cues from blood, raw and cooked meats, bird litter/droppings, eggs, and even milk products. Good housekeeping and careful inspection of openings through which animals can enter are equally important to excluding rats and mice, and other odors that might attract snakes. Pet foods should be stored in sealed containers. Containers and wrappings from meat products, and even soiled sanitary products and diapers, should be removed from the home daily, sealed in plastic trash bags, and stored as far as possible from areas occupied by people and pets. Snakes can be excluded from living areas by carefully inspecting and eliminating tiny spaces, holes, and cracks through which snakes might enter. In particular all openings should be eliminated in and around the foundation, walls, and roof where water pipes, sewers, and utility cables enter or leave. Snakes can pass through openings as small as a quarter of an inch (about the diameter of a typical wooden pencil) and hence all openings of this size or larger should be closed, filled, or covered. Small holes can be filled with caulk or a myriad of artificial adhesives or silicone compounds. Larger openings and holes can be screened (window screening or quarter of an inch hardware cloth), filled with aerosol foam products, covered with siding or metal sheeting or merely stuffed with plastics, cloth, or other pliable products. Just make sure that coverings are sufficiently tight to prevent a snake from forcing its head through any wrinkle or opening. Snakes may enter homes through drains and thus it is important to cover sewer vents on the roof with window screening or quarter of an inch hardware cloth and to reduce contact between roofs and any trees or vines that might provide rooftop access to snakes. Particular attention should be paid to openings in walls or roofs where fresh air intakes, exhausts for kitchen fans, clothes driers, or air conditioning may provide openings in flashing, filters, or moldings that are not secure or properly placed. Snakes can climb on any textured walls or substrates with a roughened surface, so it is important to pay attention to openings considerably above the ground and under eaves. By sealing holes encountered on the outside of the house and also all holes in interior walls and especially those largely hidden behind major appliances, under cabinets, and in rooms where there are major plumbing fixtures, the chances of snakes entering can be significantly reduced. Checking and insuring that flashing at the edges of doors is in place and adequately closely fitted to prevent snakes from entering are equally important. If a snake is encountered, it can probably be easily dispatched with a blunt object such as a broom handle or a heavy object. Alternatively, it may be possible to temporarily restrain it under an inverted trash can, or to lift it into a large garbage can and cover with a tight fitting lid. A small snake may be extracted from under a low cabinet or other confined space with the tip of a broom handle wrapped in duct tape, adhesive side exposed. A brown Treesnake may be safely handled once it is grasped closely behind its head, but it may be dangerous to grab or touch unidentified snakes that may be encountered. Grabbing a brown Treesnake by the tail and quickly throwing it to an open area where it can be better controlled is easy as long as the movement is accomplished before the snake can turn and attempt to bite. Even when mortally wounded, a snake may continue to wriggle and writhe for some time. As long at it is incapable of coordinated locomotor movements, it need not be further bashed, hacked, or mutilated in response to random and ineffective reflex movements. Remember, you may want someone to positively identify the snake, and the difficulty in making an identification may be increased if you pound it to an unrecognizable pulp or a multitude of pieces. //www2.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9793/3499
You may never see a mouse or rat unless an infestation is severe. Look for signs of rat or mouse infestation: Rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers or cupboards, and under the sink. Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter. Signs of chewing on food packaging. Holes chewed through walls and floors that create entry points into the home. Stale smells coming from hidden areas. Discourage rats and mice from taking up residence on your property by removing food and water sources, and items that can provide them shelter: Seal holes inside and outside the home to keep rodents out. This may be as simple as plugging small holes with steel wool, or patching holes in inside or outside walls. Remove potential rodent nesting sites from your property, including leaf piles and deep mulch. Clean up food and water sources in and near your house. Keep kitchen garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids. Turn compost piles to cover newly added food scraps. Stop feeding outdoor birds while you are controlling an infestation or feed only huskless items that leave less residue that can be food for rodents. More prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Design your buildings to exclude rodents (PDF) Exit and use rodent-proof construction methods.Exit //www.epa.gov/rodenticides/identify-and-prevent-rodent-infestations Unfortunately, fall and winter are prime time for rodents trying to make their way into warm, cozy homes. Don’t Poison the Mice! The worst decision you can make when trying to deal with a mouse infestation is trying to eradicate them with poison. I would never suggest using poisons inside your house. You risk poisoning your pets and contamination of where you eat and live. Second, mice tend to live in your walls and if you use poison they may will die in your walls and leave a nasty smell in your house for months. It’s the worst idea, so don’t even think about trying poisons as there are much more effective methods. [non-lethal mouse trapNon-lethal Mice Traps] My preferred method of control are non-lethal mice traps. I’m an animal lover, even when it commons to the common house mouse. Non-lethal traps are just as effective as lethal traps so I see no need to use a lethal trap. If you go with a non-lethal method, make sure to release the mice far away from your house. Below are some effective traps. DIY bowl traps are effective for catching mice.Simply take a large metal bowl and place a ramp into the bowl with paper towl tube and some tape. Lightly spread some butter on the inside of the bowl with a paper towel. Put some bait inside the bowl and wait for your dinner guests to arrive. The mice will enter the bowl and jump inside to get their dinner and once inside they won’t be able to climb back out. Catch traps are also another effective non-lethal method. Catch traps lure the mice inside with some bate and snap shut behind them when they enter. They are fairly effective but if you have a large metal bowl at home I wouldn’t spend the extra money on a trap. You can find catch traps at stores like Walmart, Menards or your local hardware store. [lethal mice trapLethal Mice Traps] Although I don’t believe in harming any animal unnecessarily, lethal mice traps do work. Below are some different types of traps. Snap traps are one of the oldest styles of mouse traps. They lure the mouse in with some bait and have a spring loaded metal bar that will snap back when the bait is moved. Although they work well they are messy and sometimes won’t kill the mouse requiring you to finish the job. You can purchase them for around a dollar at your local hardware store. Place them along baseboards and near entrances to your home or where you have found droppings. Glue boards cause mice to get stuck when they walk over them. Although effective they aren’t very popular because they cause the mouse to die by starvation or stress. You can also purchase these at your hardware store but if you have your heart set on a lethal trap I would suggest the snap trap over this method. Zapper traps lure the mice in and kill them with an electrical shock. Zapper traps are very effective but they cost more money. Generally you need to setup more than one trap to effectively get rid of mice so you may want to try a cheaper method first. http://www.schoolofhowto.com/stop-mice-infestation/ Rats present health risks other than direct transmission of diseases. Their urine and fecal pellets can contaminate food and water supplies rendering them inedible and undrinkable. Rats also have mites and fleas that can readily jump to domesticated pets, and in some cases, onto people.Rats are perceived in most of the world as dirty animals that spread disease to humans and domesticated animals. It is true that a number of serious diseases and illnesses are transmissible from rodent to human or pets. Companion animals can fall victim to some of these diseases, other maladies use cats and dogs as vectors to spread to humans. However, the risks of rat infestation are not just to health alone. The tendency of rats (and mice) to chew on electrical wiring is claimed to be a common cause of structural fires. Rats are not inconsiderable sources of structural damage. Rats not only gnaw to wear down their incisors, they will also chew through walls and other impediments to reach food, or to create a more direct route to a water or food source. They may also chew into structures to expand or create nesting sites. Rats can cause substantial damage to walls, baseboards, roof rafters, subflooring, ceilings and support beams, especially when a large colony of rats is responsible for the infestation. Rat poisons are not only considered inhumane due to the length of time it takes rat poison to effect a kill; they present significant risks to the health of pets, wildlife and young children via secondary poisoning.
• Rat proof your house by closing off areas of easy access, including small gaps in foundations, roofs and rafter areas. Cover up ventilation openings with rat proof, high strength mesh. Fix or block other non-essential openings in walls, roofs and foundations.
• Remove or trim back shrubs and plants that hug the sides of buildings. Rats, depending on the species use these as either a ladder to climb up into a structure or camouflage for burrowing near or into a home or business. Keep lawns closely mowed within 18 inches of the outside walls of structures. Remove woodpiles and debris from yards or move them farther from existing buildings.
• Either police your bird feeder and diligently clean up any spillage or locate the feeders away from the house. Seed spillage from feeders is one of the prime attractants for rodents.
• Do not feed pets outside of the house, or if you must, monitor the feedings personally and remove any leftover food from the exterior feeding area. Rats love to pillage pet food dishes and water bowls which can also attract other animals like opossums that are also capable of spreading disease to humans.
• Do not store pet food in sheds or garages unless you are able to do so in containers that a rat cannot chew through. This means metal, glass, ceramic or heavy duty plastic containers with airtight seals only.
• Keep indoor areas clean and free of food and water sources. Clean up food spills immediately and thoroughly. Store food items in chew-proof containers. Keep food preparation areas free of grease; use weak water and bleach solution to sanitize countertops and other areas where food is handled or sits for even small periods of time.
• Repair leaky pipes and faucets immediately, avoid areas of standing water inside and adjacent to the house.
• Keep homes free of clutter, especially of materials attractive to nest building females. Dispose of paper refuse; keep garbage bins/containers clean and tightly closed between trash pick-ups. Eliminating the avenues of access for rats forces them to rely on other sources of sustenance and water. Populations will self-control according to natural food sources in the wild. In lean times, rat populations will not increase but decrease; starvation is a natural population control. Females will not breed readily where the amount of available food is unstable or scarce. //www.ratcontroltricks.com/rat-infestation/ Trap rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population Person baiting a snap trap with peanut butter [Baiting a snap trap with peanut butter]. Choose an appropriate snap trap. Traps for catching mice are different from those for catching rats. Carefully read the instructions before setting the trap. When setting the trap, place a small amount of peanut butter (approximately the size of a pea) on the bait pan of the snap trap. Position the bait end of the trap next to the wall so it forms a “T” with the wall. Rodents prefer to run next to walls or other objects for safety and do not like being out in the open. In attics, basements, and crawlspaces and other areas that do not have regular human traffic, set traps in any area where there is evidence of frequent rodent activity. Some rodents, particularly rats, are very cautious and several days may pass before they approach the traps. Other rodents, such as house mice and deer mice, are less cautious and may be trapped more quickly. [Person positioning a snap trap so it forms a “T” with the wall] Positioning a snap trap so it forms a “T” with the wall. We do not recommend using glue traps or live traps. These traps can scare mice that are caught live and cause them to urinate. Since their urine may contain germs, this may increase your risk of being exposed to diseases. Also place traps in outbuildings and in areas that might likely serve as rodent shelters. Natural rodent predators, such as non-poisonous snakes, owls, and hawks, may also help control and reduce the number of rodents outside the home. If you trap inside your home, but do not seal up rodent entry holes, new rodents will enter the dwelling. http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_infestations/trap_up.html Eliminate possible rodent food sources Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use. Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean. Always put pet food away after use and do not leave pet-food or water bowls out overnight. Keep bird feeders away from the house and utilize squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder by squirrels and other rodents. Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid. Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible (100 feet or more is best). Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. In the evening, uneaten animal feed should be returned to containers with lids. If storing trash and food waste inside the home, do so in rodent-proof containers, and frequently clean the containers with soap and water. Dispose of trash and garbage on a frequent and regular basis, and pick up or eliminate clutter. Eliminate possible nesting sites outside the home. Elevate hay, woodpiles, and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground. Move woodpiles far away from the house (100 feet or more is best). Get rid of old trucks, cars, and old tires that mice and rats could use as homes. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery within 100 feet of the home well trimmed. http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_infestations/clean_up.html
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