5 Facts About the Life Cycle of an Ant

5 Facts About the Life Cycle of an Ant

What are some facts about the ant’s life cycle?

  1. Some eggs hatch, some get eaten
  2. Larvae feeding is crucial
  3. Ants metamorphose
  4. Colonies have castes
  5. Timelines differ per species

 

Where do ants come from? Have you ever wondered what goes on underneath those ant mounds you see outside? Their tunnels are filled with thousands of ants for one queen, and yet we almost never see what happens to their growth. The ant life cycle might be mostly hidden from our eyes, but it’s no longer a secret.

Ants go through four stages in their lives: as eggs, as larvae, as pupae, and as adults. Keep on reading to learn some more facts about the lives of ants!

 

Some eggs hatch, some get eaten

All ants start as eggs. They are white, oval, and roughly 1 mm in length each. I’m sure you could imagine just how small the eggs of insects as small as ants must be. But ant eggs are more than just amazingly small.

Queen ants can lay up to 800 eggs on average each day. When an egg is fertilized, it will hatch into a female. Unfertilized eggs produce males. You could understand how ant colonies grow so populous, but not all eggs become adults.

Some eggs get eaten before they even hatch. While the colony is just starting, the queen may eat some of the eggs for sustenance. Workers would also feed some eggs to the larvae. Tough luck for them!

 

Larvae feeding is crucial

Larvae feeding is crucial

Ant larvae emerge from the eggs after about 3-4 weeks. These larvae look like worms with no eyes. During this stage, the larvae do nothing but eat and grow. They get fed by the workers and they rapidly molt and grow. These larvae would shed their skin again and again during this 1-2-week stage of their lives.

How is this crucial? Larvae that get fed more grow bigger. And eventually, they grow into queens. The other less-fed larvae grow into simple workers. Future queens are determined by the amount that larvae eat.

 

Ants metamorphose

Metamorphosis isn’t exclusive to butterflies. When larvae get big enough, they pupate or become pupa. This is the transition period when they metamorphose (transform) into full-fledged adults.

They start to look more like adults in this stage, except with legs and antennae tucked close to their bodies. Some species of ants even form a silk cocoon and attach themselves to walls as they pupate. After 9-30 days, the transformation will be complete.

 

Colonies have castes

Colonies have castes

Adult ants arise from pupae, and then the direction of the life cycle branches out. As fully formed mature ants, they stay the same size for the entirety of their lives. However, adults are separated into different castes and play different roles for the colony.

Adult ants can become queens, workers, or males. The biggest of them are the queens. These ants have wings that let them fly off, mate, and start their own colonies, completing the ant life cycle. The queens tear off their wings before burrowing into the ground and laying the first eggs of the colony.

Workers are smaller females than queens, and they are the backbone of the colony. Workers do everything; they gather food, take care of the young, build and maintain the colony, and everything in between! Larger workers are the ones that defend the colony, sometimes called soldiers.

Males, or drones, are winged and fertile. They can fly and they can mate with queens. Other than that, they don’t really do anything. They don’t help with any of the chores of the colony, and they die after a few weeks.

 

Timelines differ per species

The life cycle lasts around 6-10 weeks on average, from egg to adult. The timeline becomes a lot different when they become adults in their own castes, and it’s also different for each species.

Drones only last for a few weeks. They’re the quickest to die in a colony, and since they don’t help anyway, that’s one less mouth to feed.

Workers can live for a few months at a time, but they have high mortality rates. After all, they’re the ones who venture out of the nest. Good thing the queen can produce hundreds in a day!

Ant queens are tough. In the right conditions, they can live for over a decade. They keep the colony alive, so if you wanted to get rid of them, the queen should be a prime target.

The lives of ants differ largely on the species and conditions that they are in, so it is difficult to give a single estimation for all ants.

 

Key Takeaway

Ants live life very differently from us. Understanding how they live and how they develop gives us more insight into how they function. This deeper understanding can help us study them better, or learn how to counter them.

Ant problems are very common, and we know that very well. If you have an invasive ant problem, then you’re in the right place to be! Just send us a message here and we can talk about shortening the lifespan of the ants in your home!

6 Things That Attract Mosquitoes

6 Things That Attract Mosquitoes

What are some things that attract mosquitoes?

  1. Blood and breath
  2. Body odor
  3. Dark colors
  4. Floral scents
  5. Stagnant water
  6. Cool, dark places

 

For a long time now, mosquitoes have been a problem in the Philippines. These insects are deadly because of their ability to rapidly spread disease. A good example is how the dengue fever outbreak was notoriously caused by mosquitoes. Malaria is also widespread. In fact, mosquitoes kill around 725,000 humans every year, being named as the world’s deadliest animal.

This means we need to find out the things that attract mosquitoes to understand them better and learn how to control these outbreaks. Mosquito attraction has been heavily researched through the years, and we’ve compiled in a short list the most attractive things to a mosquito. Read on to find out!

 

Blood and breath

Mosquitoes are insects that naturally feed on blood and nectar. It is the female mosquitoes who primarily need blood, and humans are definitely on the menu. Because of this, mosquitoes have a special liking for some substances and chemicals that our bodies produce. This dictates their instinct on where to get the blood that they need.

Do you know what your blood type is? We’ve never known mosquitoes to be picky eaters. But believe it or not, mosquitoes are more attracted to some blood types than others. People with type O blood are apparently more appetizing to mosquitoes than others!

These insects are also attracted to the carbon dioxide that we all exhale. Some speculate that the heat of our breath is a factor too. Recent studies add that lactic acid also attracts mosquitoes to us. Since our breath is a mix of chemicals such as both carbon dioxide and lactic acid, it becomes an appetizer for the mosquitoes.

 

Body odor

Body odor

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This time, one man’s body odor is another mosquito’s next meal. The body odor we have that comes from our sweat and other secretions could cause a mouthwatering reaction to mosquitoes (if they had mouths!)

This means that if you’re exercising, with the combination of sweat, body odor, and increased breathing rate and body heat, you start to look like the juiciest dinner for mosquitoes around!

The stuff we eat and drink also affects the secretions we produce, like lactic acid. This means that downing a beer after that workout will make you even more attractive to mosquitoes!

Quickly dry yourself, cool down with a drink of water, and cover yourself with repellant to avoid getting bitten.

 

Dark colors

Mosquitoes are not known for their eyesight. For whatever reason, they seem to be more attracted to darker colors. They can’t tell colors apart as well as we do, so maybe the strength of the color you are wearing will make you more detectable. It will serve as a signal to mosquitoes that something is nearby.

Wearing dark clothes outside will make you a bigger target for mosquitoes, so make sure you wear lighter coloring outside!

 

Floral Scents

Floral Scents

Male mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers. While female mosquitoes are the ones who like blood, the scent of flowers still contributes to what they find attractive. What scents do your skin products use?

If your lotion, perfume, or other products smell like flowers, then it might be attracting more mosquitoes for you. Consider using different scents to avoid more mosquitoes. Or if you want, there are some floral-scented mosquito repellants out there too!

 

Stagnant water

When the dengue outbreak was at its peak, we were always reminded to avoid stagnant water. We should spill the water collecting in old tires, washing basins, and other places where water could collect. This is because stagnant water can attract mosquitoes as well.

Mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in stagnant water. Not only would spilling water avoid attracting mosquitoes, but it could also possibly eliminate eggs in the water. The fewer mosquitoes there are, the fewer vectors for disease are active.

 

Cool, dark places

Cool, dark places

Humans are not the only animals who try to steer clear of the heat. Mosquitoes also like to rest in cool, dark places, away from the heat of the sun. Tall plants often provide good shade for mosquitoes, and they can collect stagnant water from the rain. In other words, mosquitoes love vegetation too!

Keeping your plants properly trimmed and free of standing water should help.

 

Key takeaway

If your home has all these things that attract mosquitoes, then it might be a breeding ground for disease. Mosquitoes are deadly animals, and it should be our priority to protect our families from the diseases that they carry, especially in the summer.

Do you often notice mosquitoes hovering around in your home? Do you always get bites despite using repellants? Then you might need professional help. Well, you’re in the right place! We offer mosquito prevention and control, along with other pest control services! Just send us a message here and we’ll set things up!

4 Benefits of Nematodes: A Remedy Against Termites

4 Benefits of Nematodes A Remedy Against Termites

How are nematodes a remedy against termites?

  1. Effective at killing termites
  2. Beneficial for the environment
  3. Safe for humans and pets
  4. Easy to apply

 

A termite infestation is a common problem among many households. Any wood parts are vulnerable, and some houses are made entirely of wood. The traditional solution nowadays is the use of chemical pesticides. But what if there’s a better, cleaner, and safer alternative?

Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented roundworms that can prey on insects we consider pests. Beneficial nematodes are some species of nematodes that kill our pests and are not harmful to us. The following benefits prove that the use of nematodes is a remedy against termites.

 

Effective at killing termites

Termites are part of what beneficial nematodes consider prey. These roundworms are known to effectively kill termites after application. They are parasites who enter the termite’s body and kill them from the inside. They lay eggs inside the termite’s body to reproduce.

Their effectiveness on pest killing is so well-known, that you can find bags of beneficial nematodes in various gardening and home shops. These pack enough nematodes to take care of the pest problem of a single household.

But why would you want to use parasites instead of pesticides?

In fact, at least one study has claimed that beneficial nematodes can be alternatives to chemical pesticides. These pesticides can kill all termites exposed to them immediately. Meanwhile, nematodes prey on termites from the inside. They’ll bring the nematodes to the colony and soon enough, they will be wiped out. The nematodes will spread across the members of the colony, even the queen.

While termites can develop resistance against chemicals, they can’t develop anything against nematodes. Repeated exposure to chemical pesticides will make the termites naturally stronger against the chemicals. The more you use it, the less effective it will be. Beneficial nematodes do not have this problem.

 

Beneficial to the environment

Beneficial to the environment

Most pesticides have negative effects on the environment. The chemicals can easily spread from where you spray to nearby habitats and ecosystems. The air can carry the chemicals you spray in your home to water sources or the soil. It can affect the local wildlife population and even get into our drinking water.

Nematodes exist naturally in the soil. When you use beneficial nematodes as pesticides, you would only be promoting biodiversity to the soil.

Nematode sprays don’t contain harmful chemicals, which means they’re also not destructive to the soil, wood, or other plants in the vicinity. Because of their targeted attacks, everything else besides their prey will remain untouched.

 

Safe for humans and pets

As opposed to chemical pesticides, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people and pets. Pesticides spread dangerous chemicals in the air when sprayed at an area. Nearby people, even children and pets, inhale these chemicals. There are many different kinds of chemicals in a pesticide, but they’ve been proven to have negative effects on a person’s health. They have been linked to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and ADHD.

On the other hand, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people. They only attack pests such as termites when sprayed. They are not a health risk to people because they have no interest in causing harm to us. They would most likely focus on what they consider prey, and then they usually die out once the termites are gone.

Also, they are sprayed straight on the wood or soil, lowering the chances of getting inhaled.

 

Easy to apply

Easy to apply

In addition to being effective, environmentally friendly, and safe, nematodes are also easy to apply. You can buy bags of these parasites in your local gardening store. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should prepare enough.

You simply need to mix the nematodes in a gallon of water then stir. After a while, let the mixture sit for a few more minutes. Then transfer the water into the spray bottles and apply to affected surfaces. Spraying them at least once a day should keep the nematode infestation in the termite colony going.

You may also apply it to surfaces that you want termites to avoid.  This can be done to keep important, load-bearing or foundational lumber from getting damaged. This simple procedure can be done by any homeowner.

 

Key takeaway

Beneficial nematodes have the effectiveness of chemical pesticides but without all the health and environmental risks. The use of nematodes as a remedy against termites instead of commercial pesticides should be done more often. As homeowners or gardeners, it is our duty to both prevent pest infestations and keep the environment safe as well.

These natural pesticides termite killers can definitely handle an infestation well. But sometimes, the spread of the termites is too severe for even nematodes to exterminate. A pest control professional should be contacted in these cases. In the Philippines, the best pest control service is only a call and a click away. Send us a message here to get help for your infestations!

Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back?

Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back

Why do ants keep coming back?

  1. Presence of an ant colony nearby
  2. Access to their survival needs
  3. Remaining ant pheromones
  4. Accessible entry points
  5. Ineffective home remedies

 

It might be tempting to squish ants and be done with it, but their family and friends will keep coming back. If this occurs to you often, there might be some things that you’re overlooking or doing wrong. If that’s the case, you might need pest control services soon. If you’re wondering why ants keep coming back, keep on reading!

 

Presence of an Ant Colony Nearby

Although some species of ants typically travel, others prefer to build a nest. That’s why killing a few ants won’t be enough if there is an ant colony nearby. This could be built in trees, underground, or inside ant plants. Some colonies have even survived for hundreds of years, so as long as it’s there, the ants will keep coming back. Aside from nesting outdoors, they can also live inside your home or establishment. You could find them inside walls or behind the baseboard.

Although some ant colonies have only a few dozen ants, the average nest has thousands of ants. This is why a pest control professional is needed if the colony is still alive. They can help find the roots of an infestation and prevent it from causing further problems.

 

Access to Their Survival Needs

Access to Their Survival Needs

Just like other pests, ants need food, water, and shelter to survive. If you have a messy kitchen, then that’s another reason why they keep coming back. Store food in airtight containers, clean up the mess as soon as possible and take the trash out regularly. Check the pet bowl for leftovers too, as this can attract them.

Other than that, ants also need moisture. Check your pipes for leaks and drips to keep them away. Keeping your place clean and hygienic can help stop them from coming back. It will also keep other pests away.

 

Remaining Ant Pheromones

They might look small and unintelligent, but ants use special navigational methods to find their way back to your home. As ants move, they produce a special pheromone and deposits it along a route. This acts as a guide to the other ants on how to find specific food sources in your home. That’s why you will see a line of ants going through the same trail.

If you only kill the ants and forget to clean the area where they have gone through, you can’t get rid of the pheromone trail that they made. This might be the reason why other ants keep coming back. One way to solve the problem is to use a mixture of vinegar-water spray. The strong scent will mask the scent and pheromones on the trail.

 

Accessible Entry Points

 

Accessible Entry Points

If you provide ants an entry point into your home or establishment, they will keep coming back. And this just doesn’t mean closing doors and windows. Any cracks and crevices in the wall, door frame, or ground are a means of entry.

To stop ants from coming back, it’s a good idea to perform some repairs and renovations. Patch up holes, fix the caulking around doors, and replace the screens on the window. Inspect the foundation for entry points too because there might be some loose mortar in there. Other than that, be mindful of trees and shrubs as these can acts as bridges into your home.

 

Ineffective Home Remedies

If you ignore an ant problem with the hope that it will resolve eventually, the problem will worsen. Queen ants can produce multiple eggs per day, so an infestation could grow in no time. But it’s also important to do your research if you’re trying home remedies.

For example, spraying your entire home with ant repellent might not be the wisest choice. Instead of getting rid of the problem for good, you’re contaminating your living space with harsh chemicals. Often, this is only a short-term solution and you’ll see ants again soon. If you have a severe infestation, the best option is to hire a pest control professional.

 

Key Takeaway

Ants are a persistent problem for many homes and business owners. Unfortunately, they will keep coming back as long as the colony survives, they can access their necessities, detect pheromones from other ants, and find holes they can enter through. Spraying them with an ant repellant might not be the best solution too.

If you’re wondering why ants keep coming back, Topbest can help you! As a professional pest control company, we have methods to detect and treat an ant problem in your home or establishment. It comes with a free inspection too. To get started, you can contact us here.

Where Do Cockroaches Live?

Where Do Cockroaches Live

Where do cockroaches live?

  1. Garbage cans
  2. Under sinks
  3. In appliances and furniture
  4. Closets and cabinets
  5. Basements
  6. Clutter

 

Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and resourceful pests that you can have in your home. Due to their size and their ability to squeeze in through tiny gaps, they can live almost anywhere—as long as there is access to food and water. According to https://www.midamericapest.com/where-we-service/tulsa-ok-pest-control, that means these pests can live in your home without you knowing. If you’re finding their eggs everywhere, you might be confused about where they’re hiding. If you want to answer where do cockroaches live, keep on reading! If you need pest control in Salt Lake City, click here to get the best services.

Under Sinks

Cockroaches thrive in dark and hidden places. They can live for long periods without food but they need to drink water to survive. This is why they’re attracted to places that can give them a steady supply of water. One of these is found under your sink area—especially if you have leaky pipes. Aside from moisture, this place also allows them to hide undisturbed. Some species of cockroaches can also hold their breath for more than half an hour when submerged in water.

If you have broken pipes, have them fixed as soon as possible as they can attract cockroaches into your home. Remove water sources such as dishwashing sponges, brushes, and more.

 

Garbage Cans

Garbage Cans

Garbage cans are one of the places where cockroaches like to explore because it gives them direct access to food and water. As these pests like humidity and darkness, they might also live in these containers.

If you don’t want to attract cockroaches into your home, make sure to seal your garbage bins with a lid. Empty it often and clean any leftover spills and food scraps on the container. This is also applicable to trash cans outside your home.

 

In Appliances and Furniture

Because cockroaches like dark places, it’s also no surprise that they’re willing to live inside your appliances and furniture. As they can squeeze in tight gaps with no problem, you might find them underneath your couch or in crevices on your refrigerator.

Try to include your appliances in your cleaning regime. Vacuum your furniture to suck in any eggs that cockroaches might have laid. Be careful when purchasing pre-owned couches because these might also bring in pests to your home.

 

Closets and Cabinets

Closets and Cabinets

There’s a reason why your mother used to put mothballs into your clothing cabinets. Other than moths, these round objects contain scents that cockroaches don’t like. It is also often placed under the sink to keep off different types of bugs.

Cockroaches like to explore cabinets and closets, especially you don’t use them often. This is why you might find the remains of a cockroach egg if you decided to rummage through your storage for seasonal clothing. Clean your closets from time to time to prevent pests from making it their home. Or better yet, you could declutter clothes that you haven’t used in years.

 

Basements

If you’re like most people, then you probably don’t check your basement often. Instead, it’s left alone for a long time unless you need something. This is why it’s one of the top places where a cockroach infestation might develop. Other than being a dark place, basements are warm and cozy places for these pests too.

The best way to prevent cockroaches and other pests from invading your basement is to seal openings. If you can, lower the humidity in the area to deter these bugs. Make sure to keep it clean as these pests also love clutter.

 

Clutter

Clutter

Clutter serves as a place where cockroaches can hide. If you have a stack of cardboard, magazines, and papers, these pests can squeeze in and make these their breeding place. You might not notice it until you see their eggs while you’re browsing an old magazine.

It’s not their main source of food, but a cockroach can also feed on the glue used or the material of the cardboard itself. If it’s wet, it also provides them a source of hydration.

 

Key Takeaway

Due to their size, cockroaches can live hidden from your view. They can be found in dark, damp, and undisturbed places where they’re left to breed and cause an infestation.

If you’re still wondering where do cockroaches live in your home, you can call a pest control expert such as Topbest! We can help you find the root cause of an infestation and provide short and long-term solutions to fix the problem.

Similarities and Differences of Rats Vs Mice Pest Control

Similarities and Differences of Rats Vs Mice Pest Control

What should you know about rats vs mice pest control?

  1. Size
  2. Living area
  3. Diet
  4. Behavior
  5. Damage

 

Plenty of people won’t be able to differentiate between rats and mice. They look similar and most homeowners confuse them to be one and the same. But knowing their differences is vital as it can affect your pest control activities. A professional pest control team can adjust their tactics and strategy depending on what type of rodent they’re dealing with. To help you, here are some things you should know about rats vs mice pest control.

 

Size

The most obvious difference between the two rodents is their size. Mice are typically smaller than rats. They also have thin tails covered in hair, smaller heads, and tiny feet. Their nose is pointed and their ears are large.

Compared to that, rats are larger and heavier. Almost everything is the opposite—such as smaller ears, large feet, and thick hairless tails. To give you a reference, mice can weigh between 10 to 50 grams while rats can be as heavy as 300 grams.

This means that mice can fit in smaller crevices leading into your home. By knowing what type of rodent you’re dealing with, you can improve your pest control activities—such as searching for their habitat.

 

Living Area

Living Area

Rats and mice will clash if they find each other in the same area. Because of that, there’s a high chance that you’re only dealing with one pest problem. For instance, if you notice a rodent infestation near food sources and in indoor areas—such as your kitchen—you probably have a mouse population in your home. These creatures like to be cozy and will use soft fibrous materials such as strips of clothing or paper in their nest.

Compared to that, rats are creatures who like to dig. They will find homes under buildings, plants, and debris. Other types of rats also like to live in high places such as roofs and on top of trees.

 

Diet

Both mice and rats will feed on almost anything—both fresh or dried food. But mice prefer cereal grains and plants while rats might also feed on animal carcasses. Unlike rats who require a water source to survive, mice don’t need that much water to live. Both creatures are omnivorous and will eat grains, meat, and vegetables.

If you don’t want to attract rodents into your home, remove all food sources indoors and outdoors. Clean up the food debris left on the kitchen counter, cover trash cans, and store your food in airtight containers. Gardens can also attract both rats and mice, so make sure to remove dropped fruits regularly.

 

Behavior

Behavior

Although smaller, mice are bolder rodents compared to rats. They like to investigate new things and live closer to humans. Because of this, they’re more likely to be baited by a trap. Compared to that, rats fear new things. You have to place unset traps in their paths so that they get used to it first.

Both rats and mice are great climbers. A mouse can stand on its hind legs and can jump high. Because of their small size, they’re also fast runners. As nocturnal creatures, they don’t like bright lights and move throughout the night. Although mice are good swimmers, a rat will also live in sewers or go through broken drains in buildings.

 

Damage

Both rats and mice can cause serious damage to you and your home. They can help spread rodent-borne diseases such as rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and more. These creatures can also cause structural damage because of their habit of gnawing. For instance, mice will chew on materials that they can use for their homes—such as clothes, wood, or paper.

These rodents also reproduce quickly, which can make the infestation problem more concerning if neglected. They will have between 6 to 10 liters per year depending on the species.

 

Key Takeaway

Rats and mice have different appearances, living preferences, and behavior. But both of them can cause serious damage to your home. By knowing their specific characteristics, you would have a better understanding of how to control and eliminate an infestation.

If you’re having trouble understanding rats vs mice pest control, our professional pest control team can help you! We can provide a free inspection and implement tested and proven solutions to solve your infestation for good.

5 Rat Bait Tips to Try When You Have an Infestation

5 Rat Bait Tips to Try When You Have an Infestation

What are the rat bait tips to try when you have an infestation?

  1. Eliminate their food and water source
  2. Choose your bait wisely
  3. Provide food sampling before baiting
  4. Disguise your rat bait
  5. Place the rat baits in key locations

 

Rats are problematic because they have a keen sense of smell and hearing. That’s why they move fast when they detect humans. To capture them, one of the most effective ways is to use bait—that’s why even pest control services use it. But rats are also smart creatures. They avoid strange objects, prefer familiar undercover pathways, and use the shortest route to move from place to place. That’s why they approach most homemade baits with caution. Keep on reading for some rat bait tips!

 

Eliminate Their Food and Water Source

One of the main reasons why rats are not going for your baits is if there’s an abundant source of food and water in your home. By nature, rats are neophobic—which means that they’re very wary of new and strange things. If possible, they will stick with their current food and water sources, such as the pet food bowl, garbage can, or leaky pipes.

If you want to make the rat bait effective, eliminate these sources. Clean up the pet food bowl, cover the garbage can with a lid, or fix pipes. Keep your home clean and hygienic, so they can’t find any source of food. Without other sources, they are more likely to go for your bait.

 

Choose Your Bait Wisely

Choose Your Bait Wisely

The right bait will attract rats in no time. That’s why the food you put in the trap must be similar to the usual food they eat. Indoor and outdoor rats might have a different diet too.  In the wild, rats might eat plants, fruits, and seeds. But in the city, you see rats eating meat, pet food, and most types of human food found in the trash.

Some people find that smelly baits usually attract rats. This might be because they have a strong sense of smell and like to live in damp and moldy places. For some ideas, you can use cheese, peanut butter, and the like. Another tip is to make the rat bait small. They are more likely to go for the food if it is easy to handle with their paws.

 

Provide Food Sampling Before Baiting

As rats are neophobic creatures, they are also wary when trying a new food for the first time. They will only eat small amounts at the beginning so they can check for any signs of sickness. That’s why it’s very important to precondition them before they feel safe enough to consume the bait.

To do this, you can leave small pieces of food around your trap to attract the rats. By doing this, they will feel more comfortable going near the trap and overcoming their fear of strange things. Put bait around the entryway and the walls of the trap too. This encourages the rats to step into the device so they can get more food.

 

Disguise Your Rat Bait

Disguise Your Rat Bait

Another tip on acclimating rats to the trap is by disguising it. To do this, get an empty cardboard box. Place the trap inside the container without setting it. Cover it with sawdust or other similar materials. Make a trail of food going inside the box, with the final piece above the unset trap. Once the rats are used to eating the food, you can set the trap.

This method can prevent rats from being “trap-shy”. Make sure that you don’t set the triggers at first, because most of them will get spooked if they accidentally set it off while sniffing around. When this happens, they will not return to the trap.

 

Place The Rat Bait in Key Locations

Other than the rat bait itself, the location where you put it can also make a huge difference. Choose high-activity areas where rats live and go through often. You will know this when you see rat droppings. You have a few options such as:

  • Dark corners
  • Under kitchen counters
  • Near sinks
  • Behind appliances
  • Along walls

Depending on the population of rats in your building, you might need to use more bait traps to control an infestation. Other than that, you might also have to wait a few days because they’re naturally cautious creatures.

 

Key Takeaway

Rats are smart creatures, so you need to follow these rat bait tips if you want your traps to be successful. Get rid of other food sources, slowly acclimate them to the rat trap, choose a bait that is part of their diet, and put your trap in high activity locations.

If you have a severe problem that can’t be fixed with homemade rat baits, you can contact Topbest, a professional pest control team in the Philippines. We can help you control an infestation and get to the root cause of the problem.

6 Things That Attract Flies to Your Home

6 Things That Attract Flies to Your Home

What are the things that attract flies to your home?

  1. Animal carcasses and manure
  2. Rotting fruits and vegetables
  3. Sweet and fermented liquids
  4. Exposed garbage cans
  5. Dirty drains
  6. Other flies

 

Flies are a big problem for most homeowners. Other than the buzzing sounds they produce, they can also cause the spread of viruses and bacteria in your residence. This could cause food poisoning, diarrhea, typhoid fever, and more. To prevent these problems, you should know the things that attract flies to your home. Keep on reading!

 

Animal Carcasses and Manure

Flies love animals—their carcasses and waste specifically. If you have dead rats and mice in your walls, they might attract a horde of blowflies into your home. These pests love to lay eggs in decomposing animals and rotten meat. If you see them in one area, it might be a sign that it’s time to clean up a dead animal’s body.

If you have pets such as cats and dogs, be sure to clean after them. Neglected animal feces left for long periods can attract flies. Aside from this, droppings from critters, rodents, and birds could also add to the problem.

 

Rotting Fruits and Vegetables

Rotting Fruits and Vegetables

Most flies are attracted to moist and organic matter—such as rotting fruits and vegetables! If you accidentally left produce out in the open for some time, it could trigger fruit fly infestation into your home. After preparing your dishes, make sure to clean up and refrigerate any leftovers. Cover any gap in your doors and windows where flies could enter or else you can also contact experts to avail window services. Denver window installation can also help you out in preventing flies that could enter home. If you have compost, make sure that all your ingredients are covered with a top layer of soil to prevent flies from getting to the decaying materials.

Aside from rotting produce, fruit flies are also attracted to ripened fruit. So if you’re waiting for your mangoes to reach the ripe stage, it’s better to keep them in the fridge. Fruit flies can puncture the skin of overripe fruit to feed and lay their eggs.

 

Sweet and Fermented Liquids

Aside from rotting fruits and vegetables, fruit flies are attracted to sweet and fermented liquids. If you have spilled liquids from cola, syrup, liquor, vinegar, and more—you might see these pests in the area. They favor almost anything that goes through the process of fermentation.

As always, clean up any spills after you consume and prepare foods and drinks with fermented liquids on them.

 

Exposed Garbage Cans

Exposed Garbage Cans

One of the most common causes of flies in your home is garbage. They can easily access all of their favorite foods in one place—such as animal carcasses, manure, rotting fruits, vegetables, and more! Most flies lay eggs in moist and decaying organic material so they can propagate. For houseflies, eggs can hatch between eight to 20 hours.

To prevent flies from infesting your home, make sure that all garbage cans are tightly covered. Empty these frequently to prevent the trash from piling—which creates gaps in the lid for flies to penetrate.

 

Dirty Drains

Now that you know that flies are attracted to organic matter, you might understand why they still frequent your home even if you have a clean kitchen. This is because some flies like the bacteria and organic material in dirty drains. This problem can occur if you have a leaky pipe.

To solve this issue, have a professional plumber fix the leak on your drains. Clean these pipes properly to prevent a recurring infestation in the future.

 

Other Flies

Other Flies

Other than the food that attracts flies, you also need to get rid of the infestation immediately to prevent more of them from coming into your home. Flies rest on walls, floors, and ceilings near their sources of food. Sometimes, you might also see flyspecks on these places—which are the stains from their excrement. Flies and their waste attract nearby flies into your home.

If you want to remove flyspecks on your walls, you can combine borax and a water solution to wash the stains off.

 

Key Takeaway

A clean and hygienic home is key to preventing a fly infestation. Cover all the garbage cans, get rid of pet feces immediately, remove traces of food and drinks from surfaces, and clean up the drains regularly.

Now that you know the things that attract flies to your home, you can address an infestation by targeting the root causes! If you have a persistent pest problem, you can contact Topbest—a professional pest control team in the Philippines. You can schedule a free consultation with us by clicking here!

5 Termite Queen Facts You Need to Know

5 Termite Queen Facts You Need to Know

What are the termite queen facts you need to know?

  1. The appearance of the queen is distinct
  2. The queen is tasked with reproduction
  3. The queen emits a special pheromone
  4. The other termites work for the queen
  5. The lifespan of the queen can span decades

 

Just like how ant colonies have a queen, the termite queen leads the wood munching pests in a caste system. As the most important component of the colony, all the other termites assist her. She hides deep into the nest, so you need to contact pest control services to locate her if you have a termite infestation. If you’re interested in more termite queen facts, keep on reading!

 

The Appearance of the Queen Is Distinct

One of the things that separate the termite queen from the rest of the colony is her appearance. As the largest member, she looks more like a worm or caterpillar than a termite. A termite queen can grow up to 6 inches when carrying a high number of eggs, so it’s easy to differentiate her from the workers.

Before a termite becomes a queen, she will look like any of the termites in the caste. But as she fulfills her role as the founder and main reproducer of the colony, her appearance will start to change. When this happens, the abdomen part of the termite queen’s body will stretch out and elongate. This makes it hard for her to move around freely.

 

The Queen Is Tasked with Reproduction

The Queen Is Tasked with Reproduction

To understand more about the role of the queen in the colony, it is important to know more about how an ordinary termite turns into one. First, winged male and female termites, which are also known as alates, leave the main colony to mate and find a new nest. Once they find shelter, the female termite lays the eggs from which a new colony will emerge. She is the “founder” but also the main reproducer.

What makes a termite infestation problematic is the fact that termite queens can lay eggs every day. This will gradually increase every year so more termite workers and soldiers are produced. A small colony can turn into a huge problem in months.

 

The Queen Emits a Special Pheromone

Speaking of termite reproduction, aside from the termite queen, secondary queens can also produce eggs away from the main nest—which makes an infestation more problematic. These termites are typically located in satellite nests.

But before this happens, the main queen must permit them to reproduce first. This is done through a special pheromone she releases from her body. With these chemicals, she can block the reproductive development of the other members. Through this, the queen can control the size of the colony.

 

The Other Termites Work for The Queen

The Other Termites Work for The Queen

Apart from the termite queen and king who are tasked with reproduction, the other members also have a distinct role. Because the queen is too big to move freely, the worker termites fetch the food, build the nest, and tend to her needs. The soldiers are the ones who defend the colony from intruders.

These roles are not fixed, because the termites can adapt to fill in the current need. For example, a soldier can take on the role of the worker or become reproductive.

 

The Lifespan of the Queen Can Span Decades

In addition to the high capacity of the termite queen to lay eggs, she can also live for decades. Without disturbance from external forces such as a pest control team, her lifespan will last between 25 to 50 years. What this means is that she can produce a countless amount of termites in her lifetime. The peak egg production can last as long as 10 years.

When the termite queen dies naturally, the chemicals she releases will also disappear. A new queen will replace her and the colony will continue to live. This means that other methods are needed to completely get rid of a termite infestation.

 

Key Takeaway

A termite queen is the founder, main reproducer, and the cause of a growing termite colony. She’s responsible for how big the nest will reach, so it’s vital to stop her before the problem worsens.

Now that you know these termite queen facts, you can understand how dangerous and problematic an infestation can be. A pest control team like Topbest can provide effective methods to get rid of this problem, so you can live pest-free. If you’re interested in a free consultation, just send a message on this page today!

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats in the Philippines

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats in the Philippines

What are ways to get rid of roof rats?

  1. Sanitation
  2. Exclusion
  3. Baiting and Trapping
  4. Inspection

 

As much as we might try, it can be difficult to keep your home pest-free. When prevention is not possible, removing the problem becomes your next option. Out of all the pests out there, having rats in your home is one of the worst possible cases you might be experiencing right now. The noise they can make when they invade your roof and the mess they leave in your rooms is something that we’d all like to get rid of. Listed below are some of the best ways to get rid of roof rats in the Philippines.

 

Sanitation

Sanitation

The best way to keep rats away from your property and out of your roof is to control your infestation before it gets worse. This means that you have to take sanitary procedures to protect your home.

The reason sanitation measures are important in getting rid of roof rats is that pests need a steady supply of food and water to live, and if they can receive that from your home then they will be able to thrive and breed in your house, making your infestation worse.

To reduce the number of roof rats, consider the possible food and water sources they may be getting from inside your property. Storing food in metal or plastic containers, replacing those with ill-fitting lids, and making sure the material is something that can’t be gnawed through (such as glass or hard plastic) is a good first step.

Another thing to consider is that rats can eat pretty much anything, including scraps and pet food. Remember to keep your pet supplies sealed in tight containers as well, and avoid leaving their food out in their bowls for long periods. Dispose of scraps and keep them wrapped up properly in garbage bags to make it harder for rats to access them in your bins.

Gardening is also a key step in this process. Keeping your plants and bushes trimmed and their branches away from your residence allows you to see into their plant beds and underneath easily. Removing these hiding spots and entry points to the structure of your house will make it harder for rats to invade.

Rats also use items around your house for making their nests, and removing these sources will reduce the possibility of this from happening. Recycle or properly dispose of paper and cardboard as well as yard debris from your property.

 

Exclusion

Exclusion is the next step of this process, and this means closing off any possible openings for more rats to come into your home. You can reduce the ease of entry for these pests and subsequently reduce the size of their population by following these tips.

Rodents can enter your home and burrow inside your structure through small openings — they can enter in spaces that are smaller than an inch! They can also fit through holes in your doors, vents, windows, or screens. This is easily done if these fixtures are ill-fitting or damaged.

So take the time to properly inspect your home. Seal any openings that fit the description above. You can seal these with any number of options, such as fine mesh, caulk, sealant, or whatever works for you. Just make sure that the material you’re using can withstand the claws and teeth of a determined rat.

You should also inspect any fixtures that might be outside your home. Flood drains and pipes can also be used by rats to enter inside, but they can be closed off using the same materials. When this is done, double-check if your doors and window screens fit properly. If not, consider getting them repaired or replaced.

 

Baiting and Trapping

Baiting and Trapping

Once you have identified where the rats are coming from and where they’re getting their food and nests from, you can begin to tackle how you want to get rid of them. Roof rats are dangerous and should be removed as soon as you know they are a problem for your household. They can carry diseases, bring in garbage and debris, and even damage your wires and pipes. If left unaddressed, your roof rats can cause additional problems for you and your family.

You could decide to bait them or trap them, both are good options for getting rid of your infestation. Baiting uses rodenticides to attract and kill these rodents. This is a good choice if you have enough outdoor space to set up your bait. This is because rats will sniff out this bait and return periodically to feed in the same spots until the poison kills them. It reduces the chances of them dying inside your home (which can pose the additional problem of finding them in your roof or walls and having to carry them out).

Bait is placed in plastic containers called ‘stations’ which helps prevent other wildlife from eating it. It also prevents rain and moisture from affecting the bait and molding it. Make sure to check them regularly and that these stations have fresh bait until the infestation is dealt with.

Trapping is another option that is used indoors. Trapping does not need rodenticides to work and helps you know when and where the rat is killed. This also reduces the chances of the rat dying elsewhere, where it may be harder to remove.

Rat traps are placed where rats normally travel and usually flush against walls and pathways in your roof. The opening of these traps should be placed perpendicular to the wall for greater efficiency. You can use multiple traps in the same spot as well.

Once these traps are triggered, the rats can be carried out of your home and disposed of outdoors. Traps can be reused as long as the trigger mechanism and doors are still functional, and they tend to be durable as most traps are made of metal.

 

Inspection

After removing several rats from your home, you may be surprised that your baits or traps are still finding more to get rid of. The fact is that your property might have more rats than you initially thought, which makes the inspection stage important for preventing another infestation.

Inspect the foundation of your home all the way around. Any hole or gap that is even a quarter of an inch wide should be covered or repaired. Make sure to replace any broken or cracked seals around your fixtures, and check if all your doors and windows fit properly in their frames.

Also keep an eye out for gnawing damage, which is a good sign that more rats are trying to access your residence. If this type of damage is left alone, they could wear a new entryway for themselves and their friends.

 

Key Takeaway

These four ways can help you try and tackle your roof rat problem on your own. By addressing the source of the problem, you can eliminate any possible additional pests and begin to reduce the number of rats in your home. However, if you still feel the need for professional help, Topbest has some of the best solutions in the Philippines to get rid of roof rats. Contact us now to avail of their services!