Why this winter will stimulate pest problems

The recent winter has been one of the stormiest on record in New England with record snow falls. The moisture from snow, melting snow, and rain can get into cracks and crevices in your home or business and create places for pests to nest – or where you might already have pests, stimulate reproduction and growth. Most pests need moisture to survive and if it enters your home, so will the pests.

Prevention: Inspection and Repair of your home or commercial building

Most pest will gain access to your home through small, often barely visible, openings in the homes exterior. You should do a seasonal check of your home, particularly in the Spring, to detect these openings. It’s advised that you follow the following recommendations to repair or avoid problems:

Repair and rotted wood including siding, trim, and fascias

Seal all cracks and holes where pipes or utilities enter the home with caulking

Repair and re-point any masonry with loose mortar or cracks in bricks and blocks

Establish a “contact free” zone or space between them and your home or business. Trim shrubbery, bushes, foundation plantings, and trees so that they do not contact the building.

Check your roof for leaks by inspecting in your attic if possible.

Use dehumidifiers and ventilation to keep your home dry

Keep your trash and garbage in tightly sealed containers and empty them regularly

By following these simple steps on a periodic basis, you can avoid many pest problems. Of course, if you find pests as part of your inspection, contact us. We can stop small problems before they become large ones – or take care or the large ones you didn’t detect early enough.


Ant Characteristics

Ants are considered the most common pest in the USA. Sooner or later, every home and business owner will need to deal with ants. Moist conditions (see above) create ideal conditions for ants to nest.

There are many different species of ants. Ants have been around for 110 million years and there are believed to be over 12,000 different species. They inhabit every continent except Antarctica. About 25 species are known to infect homes and commercial businesses in the USA.

Ants live in social colonies, with large colonies that literally contain millions of individuals. Colonies in your house or yard often consist of thousands of members. Nearly all ant colonies have a queen accompanied by a large force of workers. Ants are known to eat many different types of food with sweets being a favorite.

Identifying Ants, Termites, and Treatment

Ants have a three part body. They have six legs. Ants have two antennae on the head. The color of most ants you will see in the New England area will be black, brown, or red. The ant queen has wings in the early part of her life but loses them later after nesting. Ants that you see with wings are typically workers. Ants in homes and businesses in this area vary greatly in size, from small pavement ants that might be an eighth to a quarter inch in length to carpenter ants that range from a quarter inch to over an inch long.

Ants are sometimes confused with termites. In fact, in Austrailia, termites are known as "white ant". However, they are unrelated to ants except in one aspect of behavior: both can be equally destructive to a home or commercial business, particularly those constructed with any wood.

If you are seeing what you believe to be ants or termites regularly in your home, it is best to contact us promptly for an inspection. By the time ants start exploring your living areas, there is likely a large nest nearby.

Common Types of Ants


Acrobat Ant

Light Brown to Black

1/16 – 1/8”

(more info)


Argentine Ant

Dark brown to black; shiny 

1/16" - 1/4"

(more info)


Carpenter Ant


1/4 to 1"

(more info)


Crazy Ants

Dark brown to black with gray sheen

 1/16 – 1/8”

(more info)


Leafcutter Ant

Rust brown to dull dark brown


(more info)


Odorous House Ant

Brown or black Legs

1/16" - 1/8"

(more info)



Pavement Ant

Dark brown to blackish 

1/8" to 3/16"

(more info)



Pharaoh Ant

Usually pale, varying from yellowish to reddish with abdomen often darker to black

1/16” to 3/32"

(more info)



Red imported fire ant

Dark reddish brown


(more info)



Thief Ants

Pale yellowish to light or dark brown

1/16" to 3/32"

(more info)



 Above individual ant species photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


copyright © 2014  Pirelli Pest Management, Clinton, MA

Providing Pest Management and Pest Control Services in the Metro West and Central Massachusetts areas.