Ants are year around pests in our Portland homes.
Nature First hears various versions of the following story many times a year.
Typically, a homemaker sees a line of ants in his, or her, kitchen that leads to some spilled food, or a pet dish. At first she cleans up the food, removes the pet dish, and scrubs the counters and floors. This surface cleaning breaks pheromone trails the ants have layed down for other ants to follow. She sees no more ants for a day or so. But all too soon, they’re back and usually in greater numbers.
She hates to use sprays, but the mother-in-law is coming over and she doesn’t want ‘mom in law’ to think she is a bad housekeeper. She goes to the store and gets a can of NUKE’UM insecticide. She sprays every ant she sees and is gratified to see lots of dead ants. There will be no ants seen in the area sprayed for at least several days. They are repelled by the lingering chemical smell. She just got a few days of ant control and made the ant problem a lot worse.
That insecticide was designed to kill on contact, and it is very repellant for a few days. After all, if a homeowner didn’t see instant dead ants when using these harsh products, they would doubt their effectiveness and wouldn’t buy them again.
Some ants were hit by a little of the spray and staggered back to the nest. As they approached the entrance to the nest they act and smell different to the guards and workers in the nest. These contaminated ants are killed by the guard ants, and an alarm pheromone is released into the colony. This puts stress on the colony and the colony reacts by splitting. Because there are multiple queens, the nest can split into several new colonies. When a colony splits or buds, the workers gather up some eggs, pupae, and a queen and move to another location in the house, like the bathrooms, or kid’s rooms.
A couple of weeks after spraying ants with the ant control insecticide purchased from the hardware store, you have ants everywhere. And they still come back to the kitchen. The only thing you know to do is to keep spraying. All this makes the chemical companies and the hardware store happy. Then you get fed up with the toxic spray and try a bait, but you use it wrong by putting it right where you just sprayed. Of course, the ants avoid it because of the chemical smell in the area, and you think the bait is worthless. It may be worthless, many of the baits are, but you didn’t give it a chance.
We Kill The Colony
This is about where you call an exterminator. Most companies tell you to clear out your kitchen and stay out of the house for hours after they spray. And they tell you that they have to spray again every six weeks. Companies that use repellent products must keep respraying on a regular schedule. They have no interest in killing the colony because they want to keep you seeing ants, and stay on the contract.
We Protect The Environment
When you call Nature First Pest Control about ants, we tend to ask a lot of questions. We do the detective work necessary to protect the environment and minimize the amount of control product we use, and where we use it. The first condition we inspect for and ask about is moisture, even small amounts, in the walls, roof or floor. All species of ants will set up their colonies in or very near a moist spot n a structure. Moisture problems can be caused by bad caulking, leaky windows and roofs, trees and brush touching the house as well as the connecting decking and fencing.
Other areas of concern include electric and telephone wires running from the house and into the trees. We look for bark dust that is mounded up on the foundation, dirt touching the siding, and old stumps and railroad ties near the house. It is very important that the homeowner and technician discuss these conditions and remedy them when practical.
Ants are very territorial. They constantly test the borders of other ant colonies and when they find a weak or empty colony in a house, they will try to move in. Some areas can support many more colonies than others. This means that some homeowners have a constant problem, while others nearby don’t. Ants are cold blooded. When the temperature falls, they become inactive. They need the temperature on the ground to be around 55 degrees to forage actively. While it is important to get treatment started as soon as possible, the speed of the colony kill is very much weather related in Portland. We expect you to see ants along the foundation for a few days after we have treated, and this is a good thing. Because the spray is non repellent, ants will freely walk on it and track the active ingredient back into the colony, where it will kill many more ants through the domino effect. The second reason to see ants after the initial treatment, is that there are still ants emerging from pupae or cocoons. It is normal to see these wandering ants for about a week or two after we treat..These emerging ants haven’t had any contact yet with any active ingredients, and will often wander about in places where ants were not seen before, The rest of the colony is dead, and these wanderers soon die also. We want a call if you see organized activity such as a line of ants going directly to a food source after a few days. A new line usually indicates a rival colony has discovered that the colony that had dominated the territory in your home has been destroyed or greatly weakened. Nature hates a vacuum. The treatment that killed the original colony will kill the new invaders as well in a few days.
We have developed our methods based upon Randy’s observations in the field over the last 28 years. Randy found that ants change their food preferences frequently with the changing seasonal needs for the colony. One time a sweet bait would be accepted, but a few days later be totally ignored. The colony of ants would now be in search of protein based foods. These observations have provided us with the tools to give our clients guaranteed small ant extermination.
We Exterminate Carpenter Ants in Portland
A little background on Carpenter ants is in order.
All mature Carpenter Ant colonies produce large winged male and female ants once each year. These reproductive ants usually stay in a staging area away from the main colony. They are waiting to do their mating flight and they sometimes get confused by the warmth of your house and emerge prematurely inside rather than outside. These ants do not eat or forage while waiting for the right flight conditions. Therefore they usually do not come into contact with the products we have treated your home with. The best solution for these winged nuisances is to vacuum them up. There aren’t very many of them and the vacuum kills them very well.
We base our treatments and pricing on which subspecies we are dealing with, and the construction of the house and surrounding yard. We may inject your walls from the outside with a boric acid dust. This is not necessary in most cases. If we do, unlike other companies, we will caulk the small holes and try to get a color match. We will use a non-repellent limited pin spray on your foundation. We do not spray anything inside your home for carpenter ants. We rely more on our knowledge of their biology and environmental conditions, than on chemicals. We give a one year guarantee on carpenter ants.
There Is A Better Safer Way for Ant Control
we are the leaders in natural and organic pest control for Portland Oregon and the surrounding areas. We always try to exterminate naturally.
Green Ant Control Service
Green Eco-friendly Pest Control using Sustainable, Organic, Natural and Green methods. We safely eliminate Ants in and around Portland Homes and Businesses.