Tag Archives: United States

Invasive Ants of America

Ants are some of those bugs we know we can’t get rid of. They always find a way to survive in our backyards. Most ants tend to keep to themselves. They’ll set up camp and go about their daily business. However some ants intrude into unwanted territory and wreak havoc for all of the surrounding bug life. The following ants have established their dominance and continue to invade throughout new locations.

1. Fire Ants

Red Imported Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ants were introduced into the U.S. in the 1930’s through Alabama cargo shipments. They’re originally from Brazil and nearby South American countries. They’re found all throughout the southern United States from California to Florida. These are the ants that you will most likely encounter in your backyard.
Fire ants are a huge problem in the United States. They’re actually much more prevalent and successful in the U.S. than in their native Brazil. When the fire ants were first imported to America, their natural predators were not, thus allowing them to dominate in the U.S. In comparison to other ant species, fire ants are dominant. However, some of the other invasive ant species on this list have been known to put up a strong resistance.

These ants also cause millions in electrical damage. They infiltrate electrical products and chew at the wires causing things like appliances, street lights, power lines, etc to malfunction; creating quite the headache for prey and people alike.

2. Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are also not American natives, but were accidentally introduced from their native Argentina through the port of New Orleans around 1891. These invaders can be found in southeastern states of the U.S. along with California. Not only did these ants invade the states, but Argentine ants can also be found in South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Easter Island, Austria, and Europe.

Argentine ants are a phenomenon to scientists for their colonial behavior. Most ants establish small colonies with one queen and many workers, but the Argentine ant establishes what is called a super colony. This super colony has many queens with thousands of workers. A supercolony in Europe is 3,700 miles in length.

Towards other species of ants the Argentine ant is extremely aggressive. It has been known to tussle with the Red Imported Fire Ant and come out victorious. However for every victory, comes a defeat. The Asian Needle ant, which is next on our list of invasive ants, has been known to displace the Argentine ant.

3. Asian Needle Ants

needle ant

The Asian Needle ant is a native of China, Japan and Korea, but can now be found on the Atlantic coast of the United States; from Connecticut to Florida. This ant has been around for quite some years, since about the early 1900’s, but has emerged dominant in the recent decade.

The Asian Needle ant is quite powerful. Studies have recently shown it outmatching the super aggressive Argentine ant. The Asian Needle ant seems to have a few advantages on the Argentine ant. While most species of ants hibernate through the winter, Asian Needle ants wake up much sooner than Argentine Ants. This gives them a head start on building up their colony.

4. Crazy Ants

Ants on raspberries

Crazy Ants have a few different names; from Tawny Crazy Ants to Raspberry Crazy Ants, the common factor is definitely that they’re crazy. These ants are also from South America, more specifically Brazil and Argentina. They have made their presence known in the United States especially in southeast Texas. Crazy ants have been able to displace fire ants, especially in Texas. Unlike other ants, these ants don’t organize single-file, but are much more spread out and run around in a “crazy” manner. These ants will literally invade anything; from boxes to pots and anything with moisture.

Author Bio: Heydi Ruelas is a journalism student and blogger for Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality ant control service. When I’m not playing with my two adorable nieces, I’m on the tennis court chasing that little green ball around.

Tips For Identifying Dangerous Bugs

English: Adult male brown recluse spider (Loxo...

English: Adult male brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nobody likes to find a bug in their house. There’s nothing worse than waking up to the feeling of a bug crawling in your bed. Just thinking about it is making my skin itch. No natter where you live, every homeowner should learn the steps for identifying dangerous bugs around your home and yard.

“Dangerous bug” is a broad term. It’s not just about the potentially deadly bugs, but the ones that are damaging to your health and your belongings as well. Know the difference, and how to get rid of them.

Harmful To You

Nobody wants to come face to face with a deadly bug, especially in their own home. Little critters can be crawling all around our homes every day. One of the most common bugs to find in the home is a spider.

Most spiders aren’t actually deadly; they are just creepy and crawly. You may not want them as roommates, but at least they won’t hurt you. Then there are the few, the dangerously deadly spiders that every person should be able to identify.

When first bitten by a black widow, it may not be immediately clear unless we actually see the bug, some people don’t feel a thing. More likely though, the pain of the bite is a small annoyance compared to the nausea, chills, and body pains that come with. They hide out in piles of wood or tree stumps. With a signature hourglass shape on their belly in orange, red, or yellow contrasted against a dark black body, the black widow is easy to pick out when you get close enough to it.

The brown recluse often finds its best home in attics and closets. It is identified by its color ranging from yellowish-tan to a dark brown. Its legs are always darker than the body. It is important to identify this spider, but it is possibly even more important to be able to identify their bite. You may not feel it when it first hits, but you will eventually feel as it becomes more painful every minute. Immediate medical care is imperative.

Spiders aren’t the only dangerous bugs that can be found in your home, but it’s one of the big ones. Identifying what they are can keep you safe.

Termite damage to wood

Termite damage to wood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harmful To Your Belongings

Some bugs may not pose any threat to you, but can cause detrimental destruction to your belongings. This can make things not only inconvenient, but costly as well. Moths are one of those bugs that when let inside, can cause a whole lot of damage. They can easily flutter in an open window and make themselves at home. Once they lay their eggs in somewhere you don’t know about, it’s all over. Those eggs will quickly hatch into larvae and start feeding on every fabric they come in contact with. Dirty clothing is very attractive to moths. If you are storing clothes or other fabrics for a long period of time, keep them sealed in plastic bags to avoid damage.

One of the absolute worst bugs that invade your home is the termite. They consume every piece of wood they can find. Nothing inside your house is safe from the structurally necessary to your book collection; the termites will find and destroy it all. Here’s the best way to tell if you need a termite extermination:

  • Look for damage from the walls to the furniture
  • If you are missing a complete anthology of encyclopedias, or have large chunks missing out of books, you may have a termite problem
  • During the spring you will find piles of wings or even dead termite bodies
  • Any small tunnel on an exposed section of wood should be a suspicious sign of termites

Termites can be detrimental to your home, be aware of the signs and how to avoid them. Every section of wood is in danger around termites.

Bugs can be good, but they can also be dangerous, not only to you and your health, but to your home as well. Learn how to identify the worst bugs, and then quickly avoid them.

By Cassie Costner

Cassie has been learning the techniques for identifying dangerous bugs for years. She has written on the best ways to execute termite extermination. She also writes on pests in the animal world, and how to avoid them.

3 Tips For First-Time Homebuyers In Atlanta

Atlanta Real Estate

Buying your first home should be an exciting time in your life. What better place to settle down than Atlanta? With the hustle and bustle of the city, a plethora of jobs, and all kinds of entertainment just around the corner; Atlanta is a great place to start a life and buy a home. With the excitement of buying your first home comes the stress and unknown. You may feel nervous and unsure of what the future holds, but by hiring the right real estate agent, exploring your options, and getting to know the area, you can make your experience a great one. Whether you are buying brand-new or a fixer-upper; get to know plumbers in the Atlanta area, contractors, and others who can help you fix up your home for the best price out there.

Take Your Time To Look Around

Atlanta is a huge city so there are a ton of options out there for first-time home buyers.  As long as you’re not in a huge rush for a job or if your rent contract is ending, be sure to take your time to explore all your options. Figure out what you can afford financially in Atlanta and consider what type of home will work best for you. If you have children (or plan to in the future), you will obviously want a house that will be able to accommodate everyone. If you are enjoying the single life, a townhouse or condo might be your best bet.

Find A Reputable Real Estate Agent

As mentioned above, Atlanta is a huge city so your chances of finding a great real estate agent who will work hard to get the most for your money shouldn’t be too hard. Let them know exactly what you’re looking for and be clear about setting a strict budget. Let them know the general idea of what you’re looking for and your agent will take it from there!

Do Your Research

Chances are, you might need to do a bit of fixing up on your new home as a first-time home buyer. Do a little bit of exploring and ask around to find out who the best contractors, electricians, and plumbers in Atlanta are just in case your new home needs a bit of fixing up. Do your research by talking to others in the area and see who they recommend. Try researching online reviews of specific companies as well.

Atlanta is a great place for a first-time home buyer and buying your first home can be a rewarding and memorable experience. Be sure to take your time and try not to become overwhelmed… find a reputable real estate agent and do your research to ensure a successful search.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=home+buyer&ex=1#ai:MP900442362|

Samantha Wideman is part of a team of writers and specializes in writing about current news events.