Why Do Ants Always Come Back In?

Ants inside a house

Ants are one of the hardest pests to get rid of if you aren’t taking the right pest control measures. Anyone who’s dealt with an ant infestation before knows that getting rid of them is not as simple as taking out their trail. These persistent pests will keep on coming back as long as they can find what they need to survive in your home. This means that in order to protect your home in Central TN from ants all year long, you have to continually ensure that your property is not a hospitable place for them to live. Our ant exterminators at The Bug Man can help you with that—read on for at-home ant control advice for your home!

Why Isn’t My DIY Ant Control Helping?

The problem with the easiest ant pest control strategies is that they don’t take into account how ants work. Many people rush to squash the ants that they find or spray them with a store-bought pest control product to eliminate them. An approach like this will only delay or worsen your problem! This is because ants release a pheromone signal when they die that warns nearby ants of a threatening area. Their other colony members will divert their path to enter your home from a new access point. Ants are so small and stealthy that they can easily sneak into your home in many different ways.

Ant Control Strategies That You Can Trust

If getting rid of the ant trail in your home won’t solve your problem in the long run, how are you supposed to get rid of ants in the house for good? These approaches are geared toward long-term ant control:

  • Locate their entry point: If you can trace the ant trail in your home back to a crack in the wall or small opening by a window, you can fill it with a silicone-based caulk or install a screen to keep the ants out. Check around your home for any possible openings and correct those, too.
  • Block off food and water: Ants are probably in your house because they have access to food and water within. If you’re routinely cleaning up your messes, keeping food sealed in airtight containers, and making sure your kitchen and bathroom are well-ventilated, you will prevent them from finding accessible sources of food and water in your home.
  • Work with a professional: An expert ant exterminator can show you why your ant infestation developed, get rid of all of the ants on your property, and teach you how to prevent ants on your own going forward.

Expert Home Ant Extermination in Central TN

If you’re looking for help dealing with the ants in your home in Central TN, talk to your local ant exterminators. The Bug Man’s technicians are trained to deal with all of the common ant species we find in our region. With industry-leading training protocol and EPA-registered products, we can deliver an efficient, eco-friendly ant control solution and provide you with critical advice for at-home ant prevention based on your unique property. For a free quote, reach out today!

How You Can Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom

Ants in a bathroom in Central TN - The Bug Man

Every year, our technicians at The Bug Man are called to wipe out ant infestations all over Central TN. All kinds of ants are trying to get into our homes in the region, and more often than not, these ants find what they need in our bathrooms. Sneaking out of their colonies and onto our properties after rapid weather shifts, ants on the hunt for food, water, and shelter can quickly become an unignorable nuisance. So, what can you do to get rid of ants in your bathroom? Read on to learn!

Why Are Ants Getting into my Bathroom?

The readily available water and shelter in our bathrooms make them a safe haven for ants. Water pooling up in your shower, in your sink, or on your floor can provide ants with a place to hydrate on their search for food. Carpenter ants in particular are well-known to infest bathrooms by tunneling through water-damaged wood, but all sorts of ants can end up in your bathroom. They usually make it inside in one of these ways:

  • Ventilation system openings
  • Cracks in your home’s walls and foundation
  • Holes in and around plumbing fixtures
  • Windows and doors that don’t close all the way

Ants can also sneak into your bathroom from other rooms in your home, so make sure to follow their trail and try to trace it back to where it’s coming from.

Getting Rid of Ant Trails in Your Bathroom

Many people end up stumped trying to figure out where their ants are coming from. Being such tiny insects, it’s easy for ants to travel through little cracks and gaps in your walls that you’ve never even noticed. To make matters worse, once they’re out of sight, it’s very difficult to figure out where the rest of their colony is. This is why we recommend getting ahead of possible infestations by taking preventative measures. We recommend these ant prevention strategies:

  • Replace any water-damaged wood in your home
  • Find and seal cracks along your home’s exterior with a silicone-based caulk
  • Check your doors and windows to make sure they close properly
  • Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated
  • Move mulch away from your foundation and keep plants trimmed away from your walls

Central TN Ant Exterminators

If you can’t figure out why ants are in your bathroom or where they’re coming from, you can trust your local ant exterminators to figure it out. The Bug Man’s technicians are trained to find the source of ant trails and eliminate colonies using industry-leading techniques and tools. We will make sure no opportunities for ant infestations remain and show you how to maintain an ant-free home going forward. For a free quote or to learn more about our ant control services, contact us today!

What Just Bit Me? How to Identify Common Bug Bites

What mosquitoes look like in Central TN - The Bug Man

Having bug bites is never a good feeling, especially when you never catch the critter that did it to you. Lots of anxiety can stem from not knowing what kind of biting pest is living in your home. It is also easy to wake up from a night of sleep with bug bites and misidentify them, leading to a longer process of pest removal. If you are trying to find out which kind of pest in Central TN is biting you, keep reading for top insight from The Bug Man, LLC.

Pests that Bite to Draw Blood

Some pests that draw blood might not look as frightening as other bugs, but are able to pass on dangerous diseases through their bites. This makes it crucial to be able to identify the bug bites on your skin. Some pests that draw blood in Central TN are:

  1. Mosquitoes: After a mosquito bites you, a raised, white welt will form right away. The bite will then spread out into a larger, red, itchy lump. Most mosquitoes in our area do not carry diseases, but in tropical and some subtropical regions, mosquitoes can carry malaria and Zika virus, along with many other serious diseases.
  2. Ticks: Tick bites can look nearly indistinguishable from a mosquito bite, or like much smaller, darker prick marks. If you notice a tick bite shortly after they find you, you will still see it digging into your skin. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, so if you find a tick on your skin, remove it right away to decrease your chances of contracting it.
  3. Fleas: While they prefer to pester our pets, fleas bite humans, too. You might not even be able to notice a tick bite upon impact, but it will be itchy afterward. Ticks do not spread diseases to humans, but their bites can become infected if excessively scratched.
  4. Bed bugs: Bed bug bites appear overnight. If you wake up with zigzag patterns of tiny red bumps on exposed skin, you are in the middle of a bed bug infestation. Although their bites don’t pass on diseases, they can sometimes transfer diseases to humans that they carry on their bodies through their travels.

Other Bug Bites in Central TN

There are plenty of other pests that bite in our area, but the four mentioned earlier are the most likely offenders. Some bugs in Central TN either seldom bite or their bites yield negligible results. Cockroaches, centipedes, and ants fall into this category. These insects rarely bite, and the effects of their bites don’t often extend beyond an annoyance.

Some spiders in the region can dish out painful bites, but again, they are rarely provoked enough to bite. These spiders include wolf spiders, brown recluses, and black widows. The black widow has the most dangerous bite of the three—if you sustain a black widow bite, seek medical attention right away.

How to Stay Safe from Bug Bites

If you are looking to stay safe from bug bites this summer, ask your local pest control company about what they can do to help. Our pest experts at The Bug Man, LLC can perform a holistic inspection of your property to locate any biting pests and promptly remove them. We will also follow up as needed with pest prevention advice and return treatments to ensure that any infestations never return. Contact us today for a free quote!

How to Keep Ants Away from Your Hummingbird Feeder

A hummingbird taking nectar from a flower in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

You don’t have to be a bird enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of the hummingbird. People all over the country set up special feeders to catch closer glimpses of our flitting friends. Unfortunately, a common problem with hummingbird feeders is that they attract ants as well. The same features that draw hummingbirds in create an ample food source for hungry pests.

Read on to learn more about why ants are attracted to hummingbird feeders and what you can do to make them leave your feeder alone.

Why Are Ants in My Hummingbird Feeder?

A hummingbird feeder works by enticing the hummingbird with sugar water. The problem with this is that sugar also happens to be an ant’s meal of choice. Ants tend to target sugary foods in general, so finding a container full of sugar is like hitting the jackpot for an ant colony.

One problem with having ants in your hummingbird feeder is that they don’t mind if they have to share. On the other hand, if a hummingbird finds a trail of ants stealing their sugar water, they will be much less likely to come back. To keep a steady stream of hummingbird visitors at your feeder, you have to find a way to keep ants out.

How to Avoid Ants in Your Bird Feeder

So, what is the best way to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder? In truth, there are a variety of strategies you can use to keep your feeder protected. Paying attention to the path the ants are taking to reach the feeder will help you determine the best answer for your yard. Here are a few preemptive measures you can try:

  1. Keep it in the shade: If your feeder overheats in the sun, it can expand and allow the sugar water to drip down the sides, giving the ants a signal to find it.
  2. Check for spills: Any cracks or leaks in the feeder will allow ants to pick up on the scent of the sugar water. If you have an ant problem, there could be a tiny crack in your hummingbird feeder that you haven’t noticed.
  3. Use an ant trap: You can actually purchase ant traps specifically designed for hummingbird feeders. They allow the ants to discover the feeder but block them from accessing the sugar water.
  4. Hang it well: Try to find a place to hang your feeder that is outside of ant access. Hanging it on a fishing line will support the weight of the feeder while giving ants a difficult surface to crawl on.

Professional Ant Control in Central TN

An ant problem in your hummingbird feeder can quickly turn into an ant problem inside your house. If you can’t seem to avoid ants on your property in Central TN, reach out to your local pest control company to see how they can help. Our expert ant control specialists at The Bug Man can use efficient and exhaustive techniques to locate the sources of your infestation and ensure that it is put to a stop. For more information or a free quote on ant control, contact us today!

The Ants are Marching in Murfreesboro

A budding ant colony found in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

Everyone has found an unexpected ant trail in their home at one point or another. Ants seem to move in staggering numbers everywhere they go, and even when you find hundreds of them, it can be hard to tell where they’re coming from. It leaves many wondering, “how exactly do ants get into our homes, and what can I do to keep them out?” Keep reading to learn The Bug Man’s expert tips to help you avoid ant infestations this summer.

Why Are There So Many Ants In My House?

Ant colonies produce worker ants that are designed to seek out food and resources for the colony. When they discover a food source, they send out a pheromone signal to other worker ants to alert them of their findings. Ants will make use of just about any food source, but they do have their preferences. You can commonly find ants around these foods:

  • Grains
  • Meats
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Sweet foods made of simple sugars

Keep in mind, though, that ants will eat almost anything that has been left out or improperly sealed.

How To Control Ants On Your Own

Once an ant colony has established itself in your house, it can be very tricky to get rid of. The only way to reliably control ants on your property is to put proper preventative measures in place. You can decrease the likelihood of an ant infestation in your home by following these steps:

  1. Clean up spills promptly and wash dishes right away
  2. Seal and put away your food after you eat
  3. Routinely check for gaps by doors and windows and cracks in walls
  4. Make a spray of diluted essential oils like lemon juice or peppermint oil. Spray it in problem areas.

Preventing Little Black Ants in Murfreesboro TN

If you’re experiencing ant issues in your house today, you might want to try using an EPA-approved insecticide to combat active ants. However, this will only work as a temporary solution—long-term ant control requires consistent attention to ant prevention. If you need help dealing with a large infestation in Murfreesboro TN, you can trust The Bug Man to help you put a stop to it. Our expert ant exterminators can use industry-leading equipment and strategies to quickly and safely remove ants from your home. For a free quote, contact us today!

Fire Ants found in middle Tennessee

Fire ants in Central TN

Are there fire ants in middle Tennessee and Murfreesboro?

I am asked frequently if fire ants are found in middle Tennessee.  The short answer to that question is Yes!  The first documented case of imported fire ants in Tennessee was back in 1987 in Hardin County.  Since then, the fire ants have been spreading across the state at a rapid pace.  Each year since 2001 when we started The Bug Man, we have seen increased activity and had increased customer calls requesting fire ant control.

Fire ants have been found in the Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Christiana this past week and they are active!  We have sited them at local parks and sports complexes, in the median strips in parking lots, and even while out camping this past weekend in Oliver Spings, Tn.  The imported fire ants are taking over at a rapid pace.

Fire ants are easy to locate, look for the mounds

Imported fire ant nests are easy to locate once they are built.  The ants build large mounds in the soil that can be over a foot tall and two feet wide.  The nests can extend into the ground up to 3 feet and spread out a few feet past the width of the visible nest.  Please, Do NOT disturb these nests.  A typical nest can have between 80,000 and 250,000 stinging ants in the colony!  Keep children and pets away, as the fire ants are dangerous when defending their nest.  When a fire ant nest is disturbed, all of the ants surface and begin to attack and sting any intruder.  They will climb up a stick or other device that was used to disturb the nest and sting the one holding it.  They will also swarm your feet and climb your legs, and sting!  The resulting stings will cause puss-filled blisters and will last few days to weeks.  This is not fun.  Growing up in Florida, I know personally what it feels like to be stung repetitively by fire ants.

If you find imported fire ant mounds when out around town, please leave them be.  If you locate them on you property, it is best to have them eliminated for the safety of your children and pets.  This can be done professionally by The Bug Man or you can visit a local store and purchase products to do-it-yourself.  If you choose the do-it-yourself option, please be sure to read and follow all label directions and be sure to wear your personal protective equipment.  Be safe!  I am including a link here to the University of Georgia that discusses in more detail the fire ants and the how to control them.

The video below shows what a typical fire ant nest looks like and how active they become once the nest is disturbed.  We do not recommend disturbing a fire ant nest.

Experimenting with Ants

Experimenting with Ants

Reasons why DIY Pest Control May Not Work

Experimenting with ants is interesting! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a 22-minute-long video is worth about eleven million words. 🙂 To spread the wealth, we split the video up into two separate segments.

One of our technicians put together an impromptu experiment to show what happens to ants when different pesticides are used. He experimented with water, a repellent, a non-repellent, granular bait, and gel bait.

If you’ve ever gone to the store to buy your own spray and wondered why that spray didn’t work, this video will answer that for you. If you’ve tried a bunch of different things and the ants are still there, this will show you why.

Without further adieu, we give you Ant Experiment, Part 1:

And Ant Experiment, Part 2:

Feedback in the comments is always appreciated. Or, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter at @TheBugManTN.

Ants on a Potted Plant in Murfreesboro, TN

Ants on a Potted Plant

It’s the first day of spring! And with our warm weather comes lots of ants. Lots and lots and lots and lots of ants. And then more ants.

‘Ant’yways, one of our Quarterly Pest Control customers recently called us to see what we could do to get rid of an ant invasion at her home. Dan Cassidy, owner of The Bug Man, captured a video of the pesky ants.

If you continue to find ants indoors, there is a good chance that they may be nesting inside the house.  Many times the ant nest is relocated indoors with a potted plant.  They will nest inside the soil and when you move the plant inside, the nest of ants will move with the plant.  Always check between the potted plant before bringing them inside.  This will help deter this problem.

Ants will also be attracted to potted plants on patios, sunrooms, porches, and even indoors.  The ants like the frequent watering the plant requires, many of the plants also have aphids that the ants are attracted to.

Why do I still see bugs after The Bug Man treats my home?

Why do I still see bugs

Pest control is a sophisticated science. Using fun examples from Nintendo’s Mario Kart, learn about the reason we’re able to offer a warranty on our services.

Attention Homeowners Hosting for the Holidays:
If you’re noticing the beginning of an ant invasion, please call us as soon as possible so our products have time to take full effect. Because of the biology of ants, it may take a few days for their invasive colony to be wiped out. Please, read on for more…

 

King BooBugs are bootastic! You don’t want them in your house, but they show up anyway. You call The Bug Man, but sometimes the bugs still remain after a few days, even after a treatment is done. What gives?

Biology. It’s all about biology.

Believe it or not, pest control is a sophisticated science. Products are created to fulfill different purposes. Some products kill things immediately but don’t last very long. Other products take longer to eliminate the bugs, yet last a long time. And, still others use a combination.

Toad

To illustrate–and have some fun–let’s think of this in terms of Mario Kart.   Yes, Mario Kart.

Some products work like Toad. They take off almost instantly. Others work like Donkey Kong. It takes a bit to get that fella going, but once he’s moving, it’s hard to stop him.

When it comes to killing ants and termites, we use products that have a high residual and a transfer effect. Translation: We use products that are going to last a while, and will kill the pests over time. The ants and termites walk through the products or eat the bait, and then they transfer the poison to their colonies. Then they will die off gradually. That’s how we’re able to offer you a warranty.

This high residual and transfer effect explains why you may still see ants in your kitchen up to 10 days after we came out to your house. It’s not that what we did in treating your house failed. It’s just that the product is rollin’ around your house like Donkey Kong, bustin’ upon those pests!

If you still see a lot of pest activity 10 days after we’ve treated your home, please give us a call at 615.217.7284. We’re pleased as Punch Brothers to come back and scope out the situation. Our One-Time Pest Control comes with a 45-day re-treatment guarantee. And our Quarterly Pest Control service is guaranteed in-between visits.

Ants Move Indoors to Flee from Wintering Weather and the Rain

Ants Move Indoors to Flee from Wintering Weather

The forecast for the next two weeks includes the perfect ingredients for a big stew of issues with ants. To find out how to stop Middle Tennessee is about to weather a perfect (ant) storm.

The forecast for the next two weeks includes the perfect ingredients for a big stew of issues with ants.

Ant Ingredients 

    • Colder weather
    • Rain
    • Sugary Halloween candy
    • Empty candy wrappers

Ant Stew

The resulting stew produces a slew of issues for homeowners. As the rain floods out ant habitats, they will head inward to your home. And, if the ants discover a fresh batch of Halloween candy, it’ll be their treat and your trick.

Many homeowners choose not to use pest control services when it gets colder outside because they don’t see as much pest activity. While the pests seem to disappear, they actually don’t. This concept is called overwintering–when pests migrate, hibernate, or take up residence inside your home for the season. Check out our blog on overwintering, originally posted February of last year. It includes a link to a great article about overwintering by the Smithsonian Institution.

To make pests unwelcome this Halloween (and always)…

    • Clean up any candy wrappers or spilled beverages.
    • Don’t allow your kids, your siblings, your husband, your wife, or your sweet grandma to store stashes of candy in a secret hiding spot — chances are the ants will find the secret spot. Instead, follow our next tip…
    • Store candy in a sealed container, rather than out in the open.

If you do find yourself surrounded by ants, we’re standing by. We’re ready and willing to brew up our own batch of anti-ant stew. Call us at 615-217-7284.