Cornmeal: The Easiest Way to Get Rid of Ants

If ants are marching two-by-two into your kitchen, you’ve probably tried every trick in the book to make them go away. Killing ants in a non-toxic way is possible, but sometimes it takes a few different tries to find the method that works for you. If cinnamon or cucumber didn’t do much, and ants are still making an appearance in your home, there’s another method:

Cornmeal.

Unlike cucumber, cornmeal doesn’t just scare ants away. Ants are drawn to the cornmeal and bring it back to their colony as food. After ants drink water to wash down their cornmeal dinner, the cornmeal swells inside their digestive organs, killing them. It’s fast, effective and non-toxic! Plus, Cornmeal  is super cheap.

 

Pour a small handful of cornmeal near any suspected entry points and leave the rest to the ants.

What works for you when ants are in the house? Tell us in the comments!

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Spoiler Alert: These 5 Pest Control Myths Don’t Work

 

If you’ve got bugs, critters, or creepy-crawlers, there’s no time to mess around with pest repellents or trap ideas that don’t work. It’s time to put an end to the myths!

Here are five pest solutions that (spoiler alert) will totally not work!

You Only Need Bug Spray at Dawn & Dusk

Most people think you only really need to apply bug spray as the sun is setting. In reality, mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, so it’s best to be prepared! However, what is true is that citronella naturally repels mosquitoes. You can stay clear of mosquitoes by making your own citronella candle.

Mice Can Be Baited with Cheese

In the cartoon world of Tom & Jerry, cheese is considered a practical way to catch mice. But, out here in reality, it’s not the best option when baiting your mousetraps! Instead, mice actually are more attracted to high-sugar foods like cereal, cookies or sugar cubes.

Bug Bombs Can Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs

A bed bug infestation is a nightmare, so it makes sense why in a panic, we would reach for a bed-bug bomb and hope the horror would end. However, research at Ohio State have found that bug bombs do next to nothing to rid your home of bed bugs. This is due to the brief exposure time and the fact that the bomb can’t reach them their deep burrows.

If you suspect a bed bug problem, you should call a pest exterminator immediately.

Ultrasonic Repellents Deter Spiders

Remember the sonic pest repellents that you could plug in to outlets to repel spiders or other bugs? These are completely unfounded and there are no scientific backings to the repellents. So, don’t even bother!

Bug Zappers Keep Mosquitoes Away

Unfortunately, bug zappers attract and kill beneficial insects (like pollinating moths), leaving mosquitoes (and the threat of West Nile virus) to do their worst. Mosquitoes could actually care less about the bright light – they’re much more attracted to you!

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A GUIDE TO STINGING INSECTS IN NW Arkansas

paper wasp on a flower in st louis mo

 

There are many stinging insects that call Arkansas home, and for the most part, these are beneficial insects. Bees are vital for pollination and, while wasps can do some pollination, they are considered more beneficial in the way they help to control plant-damaging pests like caterpillars. But, while stinging insects can be a benefit to us, they have the unfortunate ability to cause us harm as well.

 

 

Here are a few of the stinging insects you may find on your NWA property, and what you need to know most about them.

Paper Wasp

swarming insect

The most common stinging insect you’ll find on your NWA property is the paper wasp. These social wasps have a widespread distribution throughout the entire state. They vary in appearance, depending on the species, and can be yellow and black to brown, black, and yellow. Some species look like skinny yellow jackets.

  • Paper wasps make aerial nests on overhangs, arches, and eaves. This brings them into close proximity of humans.
  • Paper wasps are overwintering pests. For this reason, they will invade homes that have holes in screens, or entry points in siding, eaves, window frames, or soffits.
  • Paper wasps are social insects that defend their nests but are generally not aggressive on their own. When a paper wasp comes near, avoiding erratic movements can help prevent a sting.

Yellow Jacket (social)

aggressive scavenger insect

Of all the stinging insects you can have on your property, yellow jackets are the worst. These are social insects that can swarm and give chase. They have also been observed going around objects to get to their target. But, this behavior is only one of many reasons these insects are a problem.

  • Yellow jackets are fond of meat. While they are not known to kill large animals, they scavenge carcasses and carry balls of meat back to their nest. This desire for meat can make a cookout particularly inviting to these pests.
  • Yellow jackets have a wide range of foods they will eat. This diverse diet will lure them to dumpsters, trash heaps, and trash cans.
  • Yellow jackets often build their nests in the ground and are aggravated by vibrations. This can cause them to swarm a lawn mower or other machinery.

Carpenter Bee

wood-damaging pest

Often mistaken for bumble bees, the carpenter bee has a similar furry yellow and black appearance. But, unlike the bumble bee, a carpenter bee will have an abdomen that is entirely black, and entirely hairless. This visual characteristic helps to easily identify these bees from a distance.

  • Carpenter bees are solitary insects. You don’t have to worry about these bees swarming when you get near to where they are nesting.
  •  Male carpenter bees are not able to sting, but they are known to fly menacingly at any creature they believe is a threat to their nest.
  • While carpenter bees are not a stinging threat, they are able to damage wood. Female carpenter bees bore circular tunnels in wood to make a home for their offspring. If these tunnels are left untreated, they can be used, and expanded on each year.
  • While carpenter bees are not a stinging threat, they are able to damage wood. Female carpenter bees bore circular tunnels in wood to make a home for their offspring. If these tunnels are left untreated, they can be used, and expanded on each year.
  • The damage carpenter bees do to outside steps and railings can pose a danger if these give way.

Sweat Bee

attracted to perspiration

As their name implies, sweat bees are drawn to land on skin that is covered in a film of perspiration. There are around 70 species of sweat bee in the state of NWA. Some species are solitary and some are social. The most notable visual characteristic of sweat bees is the metallic shade of green, blue, or bronze they have. If you have a nest of social sweat bees on your property, they could easily become a problem, especially on a hot day.

  • These bees are not usually aggressive. But they may sting if they feel their nest is being threatened.
  • Sweat bees usually only sing when they are accidentally pressed against the skin.

Mud Dauber

accidental stinging pest

The mud dauber has many names: mud wasps, dirt daubers, organ pipe wasps, potter wasps, and more. There are several species of mud dauber in Missouri, but they all share one trait in common; they build their nests out of mud. The identifying characteristic of a mud dauber is its extremely thin waist.

  • These are nonaggressive wasps that only sting when pressed against the skin.

If you have any issues with stinging pests on your NWA property, reach out to us. NWA Lady Bug Pest Control, serving Bella Vista, Centerton, Bentonville, Rogers, Gravette, Springdale, Fayetteville.

 

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Facts, Identification & Control

Did you know that there are over 100 species of ants.

Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:

Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.

Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source.

Nest locations: They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.

Colony size: Colonies can number up to 300,000 to 500,000, and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.

Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years.

Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches kill only the ants you see. Some truly effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.

Ant Life Cycle

The ant life cycle has four distinct and very different life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. This is known as complete metamorphosis. It generally takes from several weeks to several months to complete the life cycle, depending upon the ant species and environmental factors.

Eggs

A female ant that successfully mates with a male ant will become a queen ant that lays eggs. Fertile queens select a sheltered place to begin a nest (colony) and begin laying eggs. Ant eggs are very small – only about a half of a millimeter in diameter. The eggs are also oval, white and transparent.

Larvae

After about 1-2 weeks in the egg stage, a grub-like, legless ant larvae hatches. This stage has a voracious appetite, and the adult ants spend much of their time feeding the larvae with food and liquids they digest and regurgitate.

Pupae

After the larvae molts and shed their skin, they change into the pupal stage. Pupae appear somewhat like adults except their legs and antennae are folded and pressed against the pupal body. Initially, ant pupae are usually white, but slowly become darker in color as they age. Depending upon the ant species, pupae may be housed in a protective cocoon.

Adult

Once the pupal stage is complete, the adult ant comes on the scene. At the time of emergence, the adult ant is fully grown, but darkens in color as it ages. Adult ants are one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males. Queens are fertile females that lay all the eggs in a colony. Workers are females that do not reproduce, but do gather food; feed the larvae; and maintain and clean the nest. Workers are wingless, and it is the worker stage that is seen foraging around for food or defending the colony from intruders. The male ants are winged, but their only job is to mate with the queens during the swarming process.

Don’t be confused with the winged ants. Both ants and termites have wings. Let a professional at NWA Lady Bug Pest Control identify so you will know the difference.

So Now What Do I Do?

Confused on how to treat? Most consumers are. It is not simply a matter of going to your local hardware store and picking up “ant bait”. At NWA Lady Bug Pest Control, our professionals can identify the species so that the right treatment can be done. And remember, ants come year round. Therefore, year round treatment just makes sense.

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