The Most Dangerous Ants in the US

Red imported fire ant crawling

Don’t be surprised if you see ants in or around your home. Ants are one of the most prolific insects on earth. There are more than 12,000 species of ants and they live almost everywhere on the planet except for arctic locations like Greenland, Iceland, and a few other islands.

Because ants live almost everywhere that people do, it’s inevitable that we’re going to encounter each other sometimes. And that’s okay. Ants might be a nuisance but most of them aren’t a hazard to humans. However, there are a few species that are dangerous to people because they’re aggressive or their venom is extremely powerful. If you know which types of ants have these traits then you can reduce your risk of getting an ant bite or sting. The experts at Garrie Pest Control show you which types of ants to avoid.

The Most Dangerous Ants in the US

The field ant is a common ant species in the eastern two-thirds of the country. They typically build their nests underground but sometimes they’ll build them within rotting wood. While they’re not venomous or aggressive, they made the cut because 1) They’re so common in so many of the populous parts of the US and 2) They’ll bite you if you disturb their nest.

We’re cheating a bit here. The velvet ant is actually a type of wasp, but the females of the species are often mistaken for ants because they don’t have wings. They have an extremely painful and venomous sting, which has given this insect the nickname “cow-killer” in the eastern US where it lives. 

In the US, there are numerous species of harvester ants. Most of these aren’t a threat to humans. However, two species, the Maricopa harvester ant and Florida harvester ant are very dangerous. The Maricopa harvester ant is one of the most common ant species in Arizona. It lives throughout the US southwest and Mexico. It has the most toxic known insect venom on earth. The Florida harvester ant, which is common between Florida and North Carolina, has venom that’s more toxic than a cobra’s!

The red imported fire ant is an invasive non-native species in the US. It originated in South America but was accidentally brought to the US in the 1930s. It is, without question, the most dangerous ant species in America. Its venom is particularly powerful. It doesn’t just cause swelling and burning. It also causes itchy pus-filled blisters that can last for up to ten days. Worse, some people have an allergic reaction to the venom and go into anaphylactic shock after being stung. Texas A&M University estimates that 14 million people per year are stung by these insects, most of them in the southeast. Red imported fire ant stings have caused more than 80 deaths in the US.

How Ant Bites Work

Ants use their mandibles (jaws) to bite the skin of their target. They then release formic acid – an irritating chemical – on the target’s skin. Ant bites usually cause redness, swelling and irritation. Some people are allergic to formic acid and they may experience more serious symptoms, like those that accompany an ant sting. 

How Ant Stings Work

While almost all ants have mandibles to bite with, only some can sting. Even fewer have venom potent enough to pose a threat to humans.

Ant stings start like ant bites. The ant locks their mandibles in the skin of their target and releases formic acid. Then they’ll rotate the rear of their body and inject venom into the target through their stinger. The longer it takes to remove them, the more times the target can be stung, the more venom will be injected and the more painful it will be. Ant venom, especially fire ant venom, can also cause an allergic reaction which may include: itchiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hives, and tightness in the chest, or difficulty breathing.

Experienced Ant Exterminators in Peekskill NY

Garrie Pest Control has been eliminating ants from homes and businesses in the Peekskill NY area since 1972. If you have ants in or around your property, contact us today for a free quote!

How to Prepare for Spring Bugs

A technician performing pest control services in Peekskill NY - Garrie Pest Control

The beginning of spring comes with a sense of relief for many. The rains will help your plants recover from the blistering cold and you can enjoy outdoor activities again. However, spring is also the time when bugs come out of hibernation to nest, mate, and reproduce. So what can you do as a homeowner in Peekskill NY to prevent them from doing all of this in your home? Read on for expert advice on the best ways to prepare for pests in the spring with Garrie Pest Control!

What Spring Bugs Should We Be Expecting?

If there’s any season where we should be worried about pest infestations, it’s spring. While we’re on our way out of the winter where rodents run rampant, all kinds of tiny critters will soon be taking advantage of newfound sun and moisture to proliferate and thrive. Here are some of the most common bugs that we see in spring in Peekskill NY:

As you can see, there is a wide range of pests that dominate the spring. This means that we have to keep an arsenal of pest prevention strategies in our back pockets for when the season rolls around again.

How to Prevent Spring Bugs Before They Arrive

There are a number of strategies that you can take before spring or implement into your cleaning routine to protect your home from pest infestation during the spring. Here are our recommended methods of preparing for spring bugs:

  1. Declutter: Organize your home and consolidate loose items to prevent unnecessary hiding places.
  2. Seal cracks and gaps: Openings in your walls, windows, foundation, siding, and more can allow pests in. Inspect your phone to find these spots and seal them with a silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or otherwise as the surface calls for.
  3. Check plumbing fixtures: Beyond cracks in plumbing fixtures that allow pests in, leaky pipes can create moisture problems that attract pests. Make sure your plumbing fixtures are in working order.
  4. Store food properly: Make sure that your refrigerator and pantry are clean and your food is stored in air-tight containers.

Professional Help Preventing Spring Pest Infestations

If you have experienced pest infestations in spring year after year around Peekskill NY or just want an extra eye on your home before spring sets in, reach out to your local pest control company for an inspection. The experts at Garrie Pest Control are closely familiar with pest seasonality and habits in our region and can set up a plan to protect your home from its unique vulnerabilities. For a free quote, contact us today!

Your Leaky Pipes May Be Attracting Pests

Cockroaches are attracted to plumbing fixtures in Peekskill NY - Garrie Pest Control

Having leaky pipes or plumbing issues in your home is bad enough without the added bonus of a pest infestation. Unfortunately, pests love excess moisture and will readily infest a home that is experiencing a plumbing problem. This is why it’s crucial to stay on top of plumbing repairs in your home. When you don’t, you run the risk of potentially leaving yourself vulnerable to pest infestations. The experts at Garrie Pest Control are here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about preventing pests and leaky pipes in your Peekskill NY home!

Moisture-Loving Pests

Pests are drawn toward areas that provide them with their main sources of survival: food and water! This is why pests are commonly found in bathrooms, crawl spaces, laundry rooms, and more. The most common pests that are going to be attracted to areas with excess moisture are as follows.

  1. Termites: If a broken pipe has caused water damage in the very structure of your home, you can be sure termites are to follow. Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moist wood and soil. When there are unattended-to leaky pipes or plumbing issues, you could be leaving your home vulnerable to termites.
  2. Ants: These tiny pests will appear seemingly out of nowhere when excess moisture is abundant. Leaky faucets or spilled water from a pet’s bowl can bring ants out in the hundreds. In addition to your typical house ant, water can be a main attractant to the wood-destroying carpenter ant as well.
  3. Cockroaches. Roaches may be known for their resiliency, but they aren’t as strong as you’d think. Without water for a week, a roach will not survive. Cockroaches also love to linger inside of pipes and plumbing fixtures. An issue can quickly introduce roaches into other parts of the house.
  4. Rodents: Rats and mice alike are always looking for a water supply. Leaky pipes or broken faucets in your crawl space or laundry room can provide a haven for rodents. The last thing you want is rodents scurrying around when you have a plumbing issue, making it important to prevent them.

How to Prevent Pest Infestations From Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes or plumbing issues can quickly bring a plethora of problems into your home. This is because almost all pests are attracted to water. In fact, some will die without a source of water within a few days. If you want to help prevent pests in your home, the best thing to do is keep an eye out for leaks and address any issues right away. Regularly inspect to ensure your faucets aren’t dripping, your drains aren’t clogging, and there are no leaks from your fridge, washing machine, or dishwasher.

Dealing With Pest Problems in Your Kitchen or Bathroom?

If you’re already noticing the signs of pests from a plumbing issue or leaky pipe, it’s important to contact your local exterminator for assistance. At Garrie Pest Control, we will work hard to get rid of any pest problems and provide you with tips to prevent future ones.

How an Ant Infestation Starts in Your Home

An ant infestation starting in Peekskill NY - Garrie Pest Control

Ants are much more cunning than we give them credit for. We receive many calls every year from frustrated clients who just can’t seem to figure out how ants are getting indoors. It’s safe to assume that most people in Peekskill NY have dealt with an unexpected trail of ants in their home at one point or another.

This might be you right now. You may be a super tidy and organized person with a huge ant infestation, wondering, “how could this happen in my house?” Garrie Pest Control has the answers for you, and can teach you how to better prevent this unsightly occurrence from happening again.

How Do Ant Infestations Get Started?

When ants work their way into your home, they are usually on the hunt for a new food source. Once an ant finds some accessible food, they will release a pheromone signal to their fellow colony members to follow them to the source. As long as the food supply is ample, the ant trail will continue to build. Ants aren’t picky eaters, but they prefer these foods:

  • Bread and grains
  • Meat
  • Fruit
  • Sweet things like candy and soda

Even if you store your food away properly, you still might be liable to an ant problem. If ants are still entering your home when it is clean as can be, the problem might be with the exterior of the building. In addition to food, ants often seek out warmth and shelter. They will take advantage of even the tiniest slit in the wall to sneak inside. Some of their most common entry points include:

  • Holes in foundation
  • Gaps in brickwork and wood paneling
  • Cracked plumbing pipes
  • Ventilation systems, and more

How ant infestations start in Peekskill NY - Garrie Pest Control

What Can You Do to Stop Ants?

To make your house ant-free, keep your kitchen and bathroom clean. In the kitchen, all food should be sealed and stored away, dishes should be cleaned right after you eat, and spills should be mopped up right away. Regularly use a lemon-scented or vinegar-based cleaning agent for an extra preventative touch. As for your bathroom, reduce excess moisture buildup from your shower and sink by having it properly ventilated.

Next, turn your attention to your home’s exterior. To keep ants from accessing your indoor spaces in the first place, you can:

  1. Seal any cracks in your plumbing fixtures
  2. Inspect your foundation and siding for holes and fill them
  3. Install screens on windows and doors or fix existing ones
  4. Keep your trash bins far away from your house

Expert Ant Prevention Services in Peekskill NY

We get plenty of calls every year from people who can’t figure out how to get rid of the ants in their house. As a result, we’ve built up years of experience dealing with the specific ant problems that Peekskill NY residents face. If you need help removing ants from your home and ensuring that they don’t come back, trust in your local pest control team at Garrie Pest Control. To learn more about our services or for a free estimate on ant control, contact our team today!

What Pests Are More Active in the Summer Months?

A trail of ants in Peekskill NY - Garrie Pest Control

Here in New York, we get to enjoy the waves of seasonal changes, but many of us are always looking forward to when summer comes around again. Unfortunately, along with warm weather and sunshine comes a host of pest problems. Residents of Peekskill NY and neighboring areas should be on the lookout for increasing numbers of pests. Keep reading for knowledge and advice from the expert exterminators at Garrie Pest Control.

Why are Pests More Common in Summer?

The conditions leading up to summer allow for a boom of pest populations in Peekskill NY. Rainfall and increasing amounts of daylight in the spring make for ample plant growth, attracting all sorts of insect. Whether they are tiny insects like aphids nibbling on leaves or large predatory pests, all sorts of creatures start to emerge in the spring under the perfect conditions to thrive. This leads to reproductive cycles starting up again, making for pest-filled summers.

Summer Pests in New York

Here are the pests that you can count on to reappear in high numbers this summer in Peekskill NY:

  • Ants: When the weather warms up, ants return from beneath the surface to build nests closer to the abundance of new food. Leaving food out or unsealed in your home or forgetting to clean up your spills could lead to an ant infestation.
  • Mosquitoes: Spring rainfall results in sources of standing water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. As summer days get longer and warmer, mosquitoes’ populations will have more opportunities to find hosts to feed on. Their numbers won’t drop off again until the temperatures drop below 50 degrees consistently.
  • Bees, wasps, and hornets: In the early summer when flowers are in full bloom, wasps, hornets, and bees see huge surges in their populations. Each of these species of stinging insects build their nests in different areas. Additionally, each stinging insect species exhibits different patterns of behavior. Ask your local pest control experts for help identifying stinging insects on your property.

Pest Control this Summer in Peekskill NY

Summer comes with many different recurring pest problems. Each individual pest infestation requires due attention and specialized treatments to deal with properly. Our extermination specialists at Garrie Pest Control are well-versed in the particular problems that Peekskill NY residents face and will work hard to solve them for you. Our holistic pest control process includes helping you prevent future infestations with progressive treatments and advice. If you need help preparing for this summer’s imminent pests, contact us today for a free quote!