Protect Your Business from Carpenter Ant Damage

Left untreated, carpenter ants can cause serious damage to New York and New Jersey businesses. Carpenter ants live in large colonies that can number in the tens of thousands. In May and June, business owners may discover large groups of winged ants milling around foundation landscape plantings  or battering against sunny interior windows. Discovery of winged reproductives means you have a carpenter ant problem on the premises that should be addressed quickly before additional damage is done to the structure.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not ingest wood; but they do tunnel into wood to excavate large galleries where they live and raise their young. Carpenter ants may be hiding in plain site. These ants will frequently hollow out a window frame, baseboard or structural timber with their tunneling, leaving a thin veneer of wood in place. Carpenter ant colonies frequently go undetected until a worker inadvertently punches a hole through hollowed wood trim while performing maintenance or cleaning tasks.

Taking a do-it-yourself approach to pest control of any ant species, including carpenter ants, is typically counterproductive. In fact, non-professional ant control products, while they may kill the few ants that come into direct contact with the poison, will usually force the colony to relocate or split, making it that much more difficult for licensed carpenter ant exterminators to identify and exterminate your commercial carpenter ant problem.

Termites Invade 1 in 5 NY-NJ Buildings Annually

One in five building in New York and New Jersey will be invaded by wood-eating termites this year. Termites cause $5 billion damage to U.S. property every year, according to National Pest Management Association estimates. A small colony of Eastern subterranean termites, the species native to New York and New Jersey, can munch their way through a yard or more of pine 2×4 in a year. The problem is that most termite colonies are not small, but number in the millions, multiplying their destructive power.

Complicating the issue for commercial property owners is the fact that termites typically go unnoticed until colonies reach maturity and produce winged reproductives to expand the colony, a process that takes about 5 years. By the time business owners notice puddles of what look like winged ants milling around foundation plantings, termites may already have caused extensive damage to the wooden studs, joists, subflooring, door frames and trim of the commercial building. Termites will attack any wood they come in contact with, including concrete framework.

Including termite inspections in your annual commercial pest management services is the best way to protect your New York or New Jersey commercial property from termite damage. If you notice signs of termite activity — flyers, mud tubes on concrete walls or floors or piles of scale-like wings on windowsills — call Stern Environmental immediately for expert commercial termite extermination.

How to Tell the Difference between Termites and Carpenter Ants

This is swarming season for termites and carpenter ants in New York and New Jersey. If you see what look like puddles of white or gray-winged flying ants milling around in the garden or lawn of your business, you most likely have a problem on your property. Insects close to the building foundation or discarded wings on window sills or near doorways typically mean insects have actively invaded the structure.

Once the ground warms in the spring, both termites and carpenter ants produce winged reproductives. These specialized insects crawl from their underground nests to the surface where they pair up and fly off to mate and establish new colonies. Poor flyers, the females frequently land on the same or nearby properties. Biting off her wings, the female tunnels into the ground to establish a new nest. It takes about 5 years for a termite colony to reach maturity which means that considerable damage may already have occurred by the time winged reproductives are observed.

In their reproductive phase, both carpenter ants and termites look like winged ants. Both have 4 wings, 2 on each side; however, termite wings are all equal length and longer than their bodies while carpenter ants have longer forewings than hindwings.

If you see winged ants on your property call the termite specialists at Stern Environmental for a positive identification and prompt extermination.

Pinpointing The Weakness In Bed Bugs

With bed bugs plaguing humans since the beginning of time, it is not surprising to hear that scientists are on a mad dash to try to find a way to stop the bloodsucking insects dead in their tracks.  Cries from around the world show that the bed bug blood bath has not slowed in the slightest and instead has increased over the past 15+ years.

According to Scientific American on March 14, 2013, scientists are probing for any weakness that the little vampires could potentially have.  Their recent research has shown that the current arsenal of pesticides that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency is ineffective on many strains of bed bugs.  But researchers are hoping that the new information that they have discovered will help them in developing new pesticides that will destroy the bloodsuckers in the near future.

Scientific American reported that researchers from the University of Kentucky have been studying bed bugs that were collected from infestations.  According to reports, the genes were sequenced in “21 pesticide resistant bed bug populations”.  A comparison was made between the lab-bred’s active genes and those that were found in the field.  What was interesting to find is that the scientists “identified 14 genes in the collected DNA having variants associated with pesticide resistance. Different populations carried different combinations of the gene variants. The team reported on March 14 in Scientific Reports they found as well that each of the bed bug populations tested carried at least two resistance variants.”

The conclusion to their findings is that the resistant genes occur in the outer epidermis, not the digestive tract which occurs with other insect species.  Researchers further believe that bed bugs that are exposed to many types of pesticides are able to detoxify the chemicals before they are able to penetrate their outer shell and reach nerve cells. The findings are considered to be groundbreaking as it can help pesticides that will be created that will work around the bed bugs current ability to detoxify and avoid pesticide exposure.