Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Fire Ants Spread Around The Globe Via Spanish Galleons Over Four Hundred Years Ago

The transport of insects to regions where they are not native is a serious problem in today’s world. Not surprisingly, this problem has existed ever since mankind took to the seas. When Columbus, and early European settlers in America first traveled across the Atlantic, they probably did not anticipate upsetting the balance of the world’s ecosystems, but this is exactly what has occurred as a result of maritime travel. Although customs officials and other authorities do their best to prevent the accidental transport of insects into non-native regions today, the fact is that invasive insects are increasing. Fire ants happen to be one of the earliest known insects to be transported to regions all over the globe via maritime travel. There may have been numerous other insect species that had been transported to non-native regions before fire ants, but fire ants were the first insect species to establish a global habitat as a result of careless sea travel. Many insects likely die as a result of being ill suited to new environments, but the durable fire ant has endured in just about every non-native habitat where they have been introduced.

During the sixteenth century, Spanish ships accidentally transported fire ants from the Americas to other regions across the sea. Fire ants had always been native to the Americas, but thanks to early colonial travel, fire ants have established habitats in every location that is either tropical or subtropical. The early transport of fire ants allowed people from all over the world to experience their extremely painful bites for themselves. Researchers recently published a study in the Journal of Molecular Entomology that describes how fire ants established their invasive habitat hundreds of years ago.

The manner in which fire ants spread in the sixteenth century will amaze you, as early maritime travelers seemed to be trying to spread as many insects across the globe as they could. Back then, when a ship would dock at a port, the crew would fill the ship’s ballast with soil only to later transfer and dump the soil at another port in a foreign country. Once the soil was dumped, its weight would be replaced with cargo. Of course, early sea travelers were simply ignorant of the consequences of transporting soil to different parts of the world. However, if they had known that they were moving enormous amounts of insects within the soil, they may not have stopped, as the negative environmental consequences of this insect transport were not known to most people at the time.

Do you think that enough precautions are taken today to prevent the global spread of insects by means of maritime travel?

 

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Dodge Ant Infestations this Summer

Dodge Ant Infestations this Summer

Magic Pest Control offers prevention tips for homeowners to avoid ant problems

Spotting a line for food at a summer barbeque can be exciting, but not when it’s accompanied with a line of ants. Magic Pest Control says prevention of these picnic-crashing pests is key because they can be difficult to control once they infiltrate a property in large numbers.

Summer cookouts, and the crumbs they leave behind, are the perfect targets for ants in need of food and water. There are, however, quick tips and tricks that homeowners can use to sidestep ant infestations. These simple efforts can go a long way, as ants can contaminate food and colony sizes can be quite large depending on the species.

  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water; repair leaky pipes or faucets.
  • Quickly clean up crumbs and spills as soon as possible.
  • Do the dishes, wipe down counters, tabletops, sweep up floors and remove trash regularly.
  • Don’t leave leftover dog and cat food dishes sitting out all day; pick up dishes once the animals are done eating.
  • Check under appliances and behind garbage cans where crumbs and residue can accumulate.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
  • Seal any cracks or small openings around the foundation of the home and repair ripped screens as these can serve as entry points.

For more information visit www.magicpest.com

Gilbert Ant Control, Tempe Ant Control, Mesa Ant Control, Chandler Ant Control, Arizona Ant Control

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Endless War Between Ants And Termites

The Endless War Between Ants And Termites | Phoenix Pest Control

Termites are prey animals that have evolved to avoid confrontations with predators, as opposed to fighting predators. Of course, termites do possess features that allow them to violently defend their territory, but these defensive measures often claim the lives of termites themselves. For example, when termites are being bombarded by insect invasions within their nests, some termite species can self-destruct in order to kill all nearby insect invaders. It is rare to see a termite crawl away from a violent conflict with a predator. Ants are easily one of the most threatening termite predators, and large battles between these two insects are common. It has long been known that Matabele ants are constantly on the lookout for termite prey, but a recent study has revealed that these ants make use of a clever predatory tactic that no other termite predator has ever demonstrated.

Termites and ants are constantly indulging in warfare at the Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire. Erik Frank, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland has recently conducted a study on the warfare tactics used by Matabele ants during their predatory hunts for term

ites. Matabele ant colonies contain scout-ants that search for termite nests. Once these scout-ants locate a termite nest, they promptly report back to their colonies. At this point Matabele ants plan their invasion.

Matabele ants are significantly larger than termites, but they do not owe their predatory success to their size, but to their speed. As it turns out, termites can successfully escape Matabele ant attacks most of the time. Once the ants attack a termite nest, the termites are quick to flee to another location where food is available. When it comes to traveling to a food source, ants always take the shortest route, but due to rough terrain, the shortest route is not always the fastest. Matabele ants are the first ants to demonstrate a different traveling method; instead of taking the shortest route to termites, these ants have learned to take the fastest route. According to data, this method saves traveling time by thirty five percent. Matabele ants developed this method of hunting solely to catch speedy termites.

Do you know of any other insect species that have developed more advanced methods of foraging?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Dodge Ant Infestations this Summer | Gilbert Ant Control

Dodge Ant Infestations this SummerSummer DIY Pest Control Tips

Magic Pest Control offers prevention tips for homeowners to avoid ant problems

Spotting a line for food at a summer barbeque can be exciting, but not when it’s accompanied with a line of ants. Magic Pest Control says prevention of these picnic-crashing pests is key because they can be difficult to control once they infiltrate a property in large numbers.

Summer cookouts, and the crumbs they leave behind, are the perfect targets for ants in need of food and water. There are, however, quick tips and tricks that homeowners can use to sidestep ant infestations. These simple efforts can go a long way, as ants can contaminate food and colony sizes can be quite large depending on the species.”

Homeowners can implement the following ant prevention:

  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water; repair leaky pipes or faucets.
  • Quickly clean up crumbs and spills as soon as possible.
  • Do the dishes, wipe down counters, tabletops, sweep up floors and remove trash regularly.
  • Don’t leave leftover dog and cat food dishes sitting out all day; pick up dishes once the animals are done eating.
  • Check under appliances and behind garbage cans where crumbs and residue can accumulate.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
  • Seal any cracks or small openings around the foundation of the home and repair ripped screens as these can serve as entry points.

For more information visit www.magicpestcontrol.com

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Thanksgiving Ants

Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, football and maybe a little alcohol. Thanksgiving is not when you want ants invading your home. Unfortunately, ants are the most common unwelcomed guest this time of year.

All that sticky, sweet, sugary food ends up on the floor, left on tables and counters, even on the patio and in the grass. And all that sticky, sweet, Thanksgiving food attracts hordes of hungry ants.

What can you do to keep ants from invading your property and home?

Follow these steps:

Clean: No one actually enjoys cleaning, but if you want to keep pests out of your home, particularly ants and cockroaches, which ultimately lead to spider and scorpions invading your home, you need to keep things clean. No crumbs on the floor, no crumbs on the counter, no dirty dishes in the sink. A clean home means a pest free home…most of the time.

Pantries: We often shut the door of the pantry, or close the door of the cabinet, and thing the food is secure. In reality, that is the biggest mistake most homeowners make in terms of pest control. Food is never safe from ants. If your cereal is not in a container, if your chips and crackers are not sealed properly, ants will sniff those things out and will find them.

Sugar: If you have kids, and you send them outside with a tasty treat in the heat of summer, that tasty treat can very easily end up all over the patio…which will absolutely attract ants and all kinds of pests. Sugar is the ultimate calling for ants, so be sure to keep not only the floors and countertops clean inside, but spray off the patio and keep food and sugar and soda spills off the concrete.

Home Sealing: Ants and other pests can come through cracks in your caulking smaller than you probably realize. Sure, you can DIY seal your home, but it’s best to call in the Magic Pest Control experts and have them seal up every nook and cranny of your home.

Ultimately, you do have control over whether pests are going to find their way into your home…

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Fire Ants in Arizona?

Fire Ants in Arizona?

With all the flooding and devastation in Houston and all over Eastern Texas, you’ve probably seen a story or two about fire ants and their amazing ability to survive nearly anything. But fire ants are no joke. They attack with ferocious strength and teamwork.

Don’t let their size fool you. Fire ants can be incredibly dangerous….

Here at Magic Pest Control, our main priority is to keep your home free from termites. Termites easily cause the most damage to home and family, leaving you financially burdened after the cleanup. Termites are our number one priority.

Scorpions, black widows, bees…all of these pests do more than bother you, they can be dangerous.

Fire ants are just as devastating.

Fire Ant Prevention: Fire ants love dry, bare and had soil. That’s why you tend to see more ant, including fire ant, activity when it’s over 100-degrees outside. Not so much in monsoon season, but when the air is dry and the ground becomes cracked and compacted, fire ants flourish. Inside your home, it’s also very important to keep things clean. Leaving crumbs lying around makes for happy fire ants.

Fire Ants vs Regular Ants: Telling the difference between fire ants and regular ants is simple; just look for the red. In Arizona, we have the Red Imported Fire Ants and the Southern Fire Ant. In most situations, when you’re seeing fire ants they are the Southern Fire Ant. While still aggressive and dangerous, Southern Fire Ants aren’t nearly as dangerous as the Red Imported Fire Ant.

Fire Ant Sting: If you notice blistering occurring after being stung or after stepping on an ant mound, seek out medical advice. Some people experience an allergic reaction to a fire ant sting. Symptoms may include sweating, slurred speech, chest pain, shortness of breath, hives, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and/or shock.

As with any pest, you’ll want to call in the pest control professionals.