Slacker Ants

Think colony ants are the last word in insect industriousness? A recent study published by the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Journal and reported on in PC Mag and Science Magazine states that colony ants are lazy slackers.

Over 70% of Colony Ants are Inactive

While colony ants have always enjoyed a solid reputation for efficiency and dedication, it turns out many ants that live in colonies may not do much of anything at all. A group of researchers studied five separate colonies, marking all of the members with spots of colored paint, each with a specific color code. Then, the research team set up a camera to record the ants in five minute segments, six times a day over the next two weeks, and sat back to watch what happened. The researchers learned that so-called worker ants were actually inactive over 70% of the time! Additionally, just about a quarter of all the ants were not recorded working at all. In fact, only about 3% of the ants were consistently active at all during the recorded segments. But what does this mean in the bigger picture? Since the ants aren’t watching Netflix or playing on tiny smart phones, why are they so inactive?

Lazy…or Labor Distribution?

Ant inactivity isn’t news to researchers. While previous studies have shown that the lethargy of the ants might be temporary and due to the influence of circadian rhythms, this new information seems to imply that time of day has nothing to do with the laziness of the ants. However, the scientists suggest that the inactivity of the ants may have something to do with the way a colony distributes labor, possibly allowing the ants that are either too young or too old to stay inactive, while the healthier ants do the brunt of the work.

In a recent interview, one of the lead researchers on the project confirmed this theory of labor distribution, stating that it may be a critical part of the colony’s organization, potentially having something to do with an overabundance of ants, not all of which need to be working at once.

Dealing with Ants

No one wants to share a home with ants – industrious or otherwise. If you think you’ve got an infestation of either active or inactive ants, give us a shout.

Fall is Here: Lookout for Common Pests This Season

If you’re already noticing a chill in the air and have an intense craving for everything pumpkin, then it’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to the fall season. Though you’ll be glad to be rid of pesky summer pests, the cooler months promise pest problems of their own. Here, Truly Nolen outlines the common types of pests found in the fall months, tell tale signs of what to look out for and pest hot spots in and around your home.


House MouseAs the temperature drops outdoors, you won’t be the only ones happy for the warmth your home provides. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons will also look to find a warm, safe haven for the fall and winter months. Since rodents are one of the bigger pests prone to invading your home this fall, keeping a keen eye out for signs can help you identify a rodent problem before it gets out of hand:

  1. Rodent droppings- black in color and capsule shaped, you may notice these around food and water sources in your home or in attic or basement corners.
  2. Rodents will gnaw on wiring, PVC pipes, ducts, plumbing, and through insulation because they need to constantly wear their teeth down. Rodents will often chew through electrical wiring which can lead to electrical fires. Wires are covered with insulation in order to protect objects nearby from getting overheated. Rodents gnaw through the protective coating often leaving the hot metal exposed. With wires left exposed they often end up shorting out causing a spark, causing nearby objects to ignite.
  3. You may hear a “scratching” sound coming from your roof or attic. This is in fact the chewing noise that rodents make as they are having a field day with that insulation in your attic!
  4. Plumbing or wiring inspections may reveal a rodent problem. If it is brought to your attention that wires have been chewed through, address the wiring and rodent issue immediately.


cockroachAs one of the main perpetrators of the spread of bacteria, pathogens and allergies, roaches are also likely to seek out protection from the cooler weather. Your home is the perfect environment. With access to water, food and shelter inside your home roaches are all too glad to stay close by. Here are some of the typical hot spots for roaches:

  • Cockroach droppings or dark spots may be near small cracks or openings or in corners of rooms. Droppings can also resemble ground pepper on countertops and may give off a “musty” smell.
  • Empty egg cases from female roaches may be left behind.
  • Roaches gravitate to places that are more prone to moisture, such as pipes and faucets found under your sink. Roaches live in groups, so even if you only see one or two, chances are there are many more hiding behind the scenes.


SpiderAlthough intimidating, most spiders that enter your home (such as the common household spider) are not dangerous. Even though the majority of spiders are not dangerous they can be a sign that other pests are present in the home. Here are some of the typical places you might find spiders in your home:

  • Spiders are likely to make their homes in garages and attics, as well as near windows, eaves and doorways.
  • Certain spiders, such as the retreat spider, may also venture through cracks in wood flooring or shelving and in between furniture.
  • Where there are spider webs, there are spiders. Some webs represent the abandoned home from a previous set that may have exhausted its food supply in that particular area.
  • Keeping a close eye out in dark, moist areas such as garages, basements, window wells, and crawl spaces is also a way for homeowners to be aware of any spider activity that may be taking place.

Truly Nolen Treatment Approach

During the winter months, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled and comfortable environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior and life cycle, Truly Nolen protocols adapt to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will prevent and eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling fall and winter pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. Your Truly Nolen professional will work with you to identify ways pests and rodents may get in your home in the first place. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Truly Nolen’s Fall Treatment Approach Includes:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to keep your home pest free this fall and winter, allowing you and your family to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your home without the worrying about pests. Call Truly Nolen today to schedule your free inspection!

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Brown to Quality Assurance Manager of South Florida District

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Maurice Brown to Quality Assurance Manager of the company’s South Florida District. He will be based in West Park, FL at the company’s South Florida District Headquarters.

Brown joined the company in 1987 as a Pest Control Technician. During his nearly three decades with the company, he has managed a branch, been a service supervisor, a trainer, and a mentor to many of the company’s technicians, salespeople and managers.

Prior to joining Truly Nolen, Brown worked in banking for three years. Brown is looking forward to the challenges in his new position which both stimulate and provoke him to inspire and enable excellence.

“Maurice has a meticulous attention to detail and one of the highest levels of professionalism you could have,” said Justin Bellet, Truly Nolen Vice President, Operations. “Throughout his career with our company, Maurice has shown our purpose to all of our customers internal and external of ‘Adding Value to the Lives he has Touched’ and we look forward to his continued success.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Home Invasions on the Rise in Atlanta: Pantry Pests Making Their Way Indoors for Thanksgiving

Fruit fliesThis season, before you gear up for Thanksgiving preparations, think about safeguarding your home from pantry pests that could potentially turn your Thanksgiving feast into a Thanksgiving fiasco. Certain types of moths, and beetles, along with other food insects, can often be found in grains, cereal, nuts, dried fruits and other holiday pantry items. So before you start on your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, take a few minutes to see where your pantry stands on your pest prevention program.

Out of Date, Don’t Remember the Last Time you Used It, Out of Here

Stored foods items, especially those you don’t use a lot, tend to be invitations to pantry pests, who like dark, undisturbed places to breed. So, if you don’t break out the baking skills except to make holiday musts, then chances are you’ve got flour, as well as other grains and possibly nuts from last year’s holiday season in your pantry. To be on the safe side, toss anything not stored properly in metal, glass or heavy plastic. Because insect infestations are more likely to occur in dried food products that have been open for long periods of time, check dried good expiration dates. If you find yourself on the fence about how long you’ve had an item, it’s better to toss it.

Clean Up Your Act

To help safeguard your home against pantry pests, consider pulling everything out of your pantry and vacuum the area, especially cracks and crevices where crumbs can attract insects. Then, as an added precaution, caulk cleaned crevices and cracks, then empty or discard the vacuum cleaner bag. If you suspect you have a pantry pest infestation, do something about it as soon as possible.

What If I Suspect I’ve Been Pantry Hacked?

For starters, what kind of insects am I dealing with, and how did these pesky pests get in my pantry?

The most reported pantry pest is the Indian meal moth, with the saw-toothed grain beetle following close behind. Grain moths, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, ants, stinkbugs and weevils can also be found.

Indian Meal Moths and Saw-toothed Grain Beetles

Indian Meal MothsAn adult Indian meal moth measures a mere 1/2”, with distinctive beige and copper wings. Cereals, grains and dried dog food make excellent places for the adult female moth to lay her eggs.

Sawtoothed Grain BeetlesThe saw-toothed grain beetle, a flat 1/8” long insect, with a row of teeth just behind its head, is almost as common as the Indian meal moth. They can also be found in the same food sources as Indian meal moths, with the addition of birdseed, chocolate, dried fruits and nuts.

All of these flying and creepy-crawling household pests may be hard to detect as they also hide out in other dried goods including corn and pasta. Some also like dried herbs and spices. Some dried food insects even thrive on plant décor, like dried flowers, gourds and ornamental corn. Equally as attractive to pantry pests are dried garden seeds, birdseed, and potpourri, not to mention rodent baits.

The Bottom Line

While these miniscule food foes are not known to transmit diseases or cause structural damage to your home, according to The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), “Stored product pests can introduce bacteria into foods, and their presence and wastes can spoil the taste of food.” This is not good for your Thanksgiving meal.

Generally, pantry pest infestations occur from dried food products, infected in retail outlets and in homes. Inspect any boxes, bags and plastic containers before purchasing them. Bulk bins should be inspected before purchasing grains, cereals, nuts, spices and dried fruit. Indian meal moths produce silky webbing in food items, and you can detect beetles with a magnifying glass.

Signs of a pantry infestation can include Indian meal moths flying around your house and/or finding small beetles in cabinets and on counters or collecting on windowsills. These are the adult stages of pantry pests.

The good news: You can fight back. Take these steps:

  • Eliminate all open or suspect food products.
  • If you suspect a recently purchased, unopened food item of an infestation, put it in the freezer for at least four days, or until you can return it. Pantry pests don’t do well in extreme cold or heat.
  • Thoroughly clean food storage areas.
  • Vacuum crumbs and wipe loose flour, paying special attention to any cracks or crevices.
  • As an added precaution, caulk any cleaned cracks or crevices.
  • Empty or discard vacuum bag to avoid re-infestation.

Take these additional steps when purchasing and storing food products, in the effort to eliminate pantry pest infestations:

  • Check freshness and expiration dates.
  • Inspect all packages for holes or tears in packaging.
  • Inspect bulk bin items before purchasing.
  • Store all items in metal, glass or heavy plastic containers.
  • Label items with purchase or expiration dates.

Contact a Professional

If a pantry pest issue proves persistent, or if you are not sure your visitors are in fact, pantry pests, consult a professional. Truly Nolen of Atlanta takes care to address all of Atlanta homeowners’ pest problems, season to season. Call 678-561-2847 for a free inspection.

With the Thanksgiving holiday drawing near, the only home invasions Atlanta residents need to be thinking about are those with family and friends, and not those of the pantry pest variety. A proactive approach and a few practical precautions will go a long way towards a happy, healthy Thanksgiving meal, Atlanta style. Enjoy!

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Four Employees from Within for Southwest U.S. Commercial Division

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of four employees in the company’s Southwest United States Commercial Division. Andrew Farrer has been promoted to District Sales Manager, Bill Wilcox and Heath Johnston will be transitioning into District Sales Trainer roles, and Bruce Richardson will be moving into the Western Commercial Account Manager role. The Division encompasses all of Arizona, Las Vegas, NV, and San Marcos, CA.

Farrer joined the company last February and was most recently a Commercial Business Development Specialist. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he spent 12 years working in the hotel industry and has been a paid on-call firefighter/paramedic for the last 11 years in Arizona and Alaska. He is excited about the opportunity to build his division while focusing on the company’s core values.

Wilcox joined the company in 2014 and was also most recently a Commercial Business Development Specialist. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he was a Territory Manager for National Fleet Management of Charlotte, NC, where he introduced and sold maintenance and repair services for trucking fleets. In his new role, he is looking forward to watching his ‘students’ develop and become successful.

Johnston joined the company in 2012 and was most recently a Service Consultant. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he was a Business Account Executive for Verizon Wireless. He loves the pest control industry and he is looking forward to learning all that it takes to run a branch and being a leader of a team.

Richardson joined the company in 2013 and was most recently a Commercial Inspector. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he spent 26 years as a director of sales and marketing in the hotel industry. He is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to learn and grow while impact even more customers, partners and colleagues.

“Andrew, Bill, Heath and Bruce are all very passionate about our brand and culture and have shown the ability to excel in their previous roles,” said Mike Tanner, Truly Nolen Southwest U.S. Commercial District Manager. “We’re excited to have them as part of our team and look forward to their future triumphs.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Four EmployeesTruly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Four EmployeesTruly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Four EmployeesTruly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Four Employees

Tenacious Technicians Thankful to Eliminate Terrible Infestations as Thanksgiving Approaches

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, family and friends will be over to visit and enjoy delicious food and camaraderie. The last thing people want to deal with when entertaining guests is unexpectedly seeing unwelcome ones. Our Truly Nolen technicians recently shared some of their most terrible infestations to illustrate how to properly keep pests from ruining the end of November.

Service Coordinator Jeremy Hardman said he first received a lead around Halloween that stated three other companies refused service because the home was haunted. The home had been vacant for three years so Hardman got the key code to the realtors’ box and opened the door. Once inside, he and a second team member were astonished at what actually saw.

“Pack rats had chewed through a plumber’s access panel and completely destroyed the home,” Hardman said. “Every room we went through had rats running in all directions because the entire house had turned into a giant pack rat nest. They had eaten the framing off every door and most windows, rooms that had carpet had the carpet ripped apart and completely ruined.”

Hardman’s team ended up excluding rats out of the home and removing over 50 nests on the property. “Regular rodent monitoring of pressure and entry points could have helped the homeowner avoid the damage,” said Hardman. “Proper landscaping practices and knowing the wildlife around your home would have also helped.”

Service Coordinator Tom Larrabee recently had an older couple call him to handle a bed bug problem as they had been trying to take care of it for over a year. What they had been doing failed to help the problem, which caused a truly scary infestation when he visited the home.

“All of the beds in the home were completely infested to the point that the bed frames had a V-shaped metal support across the bottom that were just filled with live bed bugs,” said Larrabee. “The customers were at their wits end and needed professional help to deal with the problem.

Larrabee’s team was able to eliminate the bed bugs over the course of a one-month treatment program. “Bed bugs are an equal-opportunity pest and can easily be transported from place to place as people travel,” said Larrabee. “For prevention purposes, it’s important to watch where you put your suitcase and inspect the mattress, pillows and headboard wherever you stay on vacation. You never know who may look to travel home with you if you’re not careful.”

Don’t let the bed bugs bite this Thanksgiving! For more information about rats, bed bugs and other insects and rodents, visit our pest identifier page at  or call one of our local branches to schedule a visit.


Rodent Awareness Week

Be Aware: Rodents want to winter where it’s warm

RatTemperatures are dropping and before Atlanta settles into a chilly winter, pest control professionals suggest that Atlanta residents take some necessary precautions to exclude rats and mice from wintering in their walls, attics and basements. Rodent infestations are on the rise and Atlanta ranks among the top five cities in the US in rodent population problems.

Atlanta: Growing by squeaks and bounds

According to the city’s website, Atlanta continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the US, with a metropolitan population of 5.45 million. It seems that the city of Atlanta’s culture, art and nightlife appeal to college educated young adults, while young at heart baby boomers are moving to Atlanta for the scaled down convenience of art and culture in the city. While rodents aren’t known to be art lovers, they do love the large-scale waste Atlanta generates, as well as the availability of human living spaces to invade in the city and in Atlanta’s far-reaching suburbs.

Contributing to Atlanta’s rising number of rodent infestations are homes abandoned by foreclosure during the Great Recession, plus a succession of relatively mild winters in the past few years. Getting ahead of the rat and mice curve, proactive homeowners will want to know what to do to prevent a rodent infestation, and what to do when they suspect they have one.

The Rub about Rodents: A Few Things to Know

  • Norway rats, house mice and roof rats make up the majority of rodent problems in Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
  • Rodents can squeeze into incredibly small spaces. Mere nickel and quarter-sized spaces are all it takes to allow rats and mice entry into your home.
  • Rats and mice attract disease-carrying insects. Vectors—fleas and tick that feed on rodents’ blood and cockroaches that feast on rodent droppings can spread diseases to humans and pets.
  • Rodents need to gnaw to keep their front teeth in check. They can chew through electrical wiring, causing electrical fires, in addition to causing structural and other property damage.
  • Rats have been known to bite humans when threatened, exposing humans to diseases transferred from insects to rodents.

Put Out the No Vacancy Sign

Excluding rats and mice from your home can be a daunting task. New homes require less attention than older homes. Sealing or caulking entries includes filling in cracks, crevices and holes that are more than a 1/4” in size. Often, the foundations of older homes need to be completely re-sealed to exclude rodents. It is also important to take a look at the items stored outside your house.

  • Clean up any woodpiles around your home and store wood at least 20 feet from your house.
  • Clear your property of any overgrown grass and weedy areas. Rats and mice like to nest in woodpiles and enjoy the camouflage of tall grass and weeds.
  • Trim trees away from your house so branches don’t create convenient bridges for rodents to enter your home

Keep it clean

Mouse In Basement
Not needing a lot to eat, rats and mice enjoy the crumbs you leave on the counters and in your pantry. Although rodents prefer grains, fruits and vegetables, they will easily adapt to dog food if it’s convenient and readily available to them. But not only do rats and mice go for leftovers and spills, they can contaminate food with disease-carrying insects and bacteria from their own droppings.

Remember to keep all food, including pet food and birdseed in tightly sealed metal, glass or heavy plastic containers. True sanitation means not leaving snacks for rodents in your kitchen or pantry, wiping down food prep and dining areas, as well as washing all dirty dishes and sweeping and vacuuming often.

Rats and mice like presents as much as you do. Rodents especially like cardboard and other paper products that you store in a closet or the attic for building and cushioning their nests. Try to resist the temptation to save a lot of cardboard and left-over packing materials. If possible unpack boxes outside to avoid unknowingly escorting critters into your home.

Uh-oh! Do you hear what I hear?

If you hear scratching in your walls, scurrying in your attic or squeaking sounds in your home, it is very likely you have a rodent infestation. Check for tell-tale pellet-shaped droppings in or near food areas and any signs of chewing. A word of caution: Be quick about it. Rodent populations grow at alarming rates.

Seeking Professional Help

Contact a pest control professional as soon as you detect a rat or mice problem. You’ll want to nip it in the bud before it becomes a full-blown infestation. Rodent infestations take anywhere from days to weeks to conquer and eradicate. Get in touch with Truly Nolen Atlanta at 678-561-2847 for a free inspection immediately.

Truly Nolen’s highly trained technicians will determine whether or not you have a rodent issue. After identifying the culprits, skilled pest control professionals will devise a plan of action tailored to your particular home, keeping your individual needs in mind.

Keeping Mice out of Your Charlotte Home

Mouse In KitchenOver the last few weeks there has been a noticeable change in the weather in Charlotte. Fall has arrived and with that means shorter days, pumpkin flavored desserts, and preparing our homes for winter. Rodents have noticed the change in the weather as well. During the cooler months, field mice will search for warm locations that can provide access to food and water. Unfortunately, this usually means your home and once they arrive, they make themselves comfortable. They eat food left on the counter, chew the trim on the walls, tear up insulation, and possibly cause electrical damage.

There are many steps you can take to prevent mice and the snakes that chase after them from finding their way into your home. Here are some tips to keep your home rodent free this fall.

Stop Feeding Them

Your home is full of food sources for rodents. Leftovers, dirty dishes in the sink, loosely sealed items in the pantry, and even your pet’s food bowl are all scrumptious meals for mice. Before you go to bed, spend some time wiping down the counters, putting away leftovers, and cleaning up the dishes.

Seal Them Out

mouseWhile small cracks in your homes foundation might appear too small for a mouse to crawl through, anything larger than a quarter is the right size for a mouse to squeeze through. Take a walk around your home and check for cracks in the foundation, gaps in doors or window frames, or missing screens on crawl spaces or vents. Fill holes with caulk or cover them with wire mesh to remove an access point.

Check your basement, attics, and crawl spaces to make sure they are sealed and dry. Also, make sure any blankets, rugs, or coats that are stored in these areas are in bags or plastic bins.

Keep It Clean

Secure the trash cans both in your home and outside with a lid. Mice are scavengers who will seek out any food source possible. If possible, keep your garbage cans in your garage rather than outside. Having them inside provides one more obstacle between the mice and the food source.

During the holiday months, our homes are a location to enjoy our families and loved ones. Don’t let pesky field mice invade your space. If you notice mice in your home this winter, contact Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for an inspection. Our certified technicians will work with you to evict the mice and return your home to the tranquil place you know and love.