Pest Advice Blog

Franchisee Satisfaction Leads to Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame for Truly Nolen

As a company that strives for excellent customer satisfaction as well as franchisee satisfaction, Truly Nolen Pest Control is excited to have recently been inducted into Franchise Business Review’s Hall of Fame for making the publication’s “Best of the Best” list 10 separate times. Truly Nolen’s 10th time was part of the “Best of the Best” Top 200 List for 2016.

Franchise Business Review is the leading national franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction and franchise buyer experiences. All six of Franchise Business Review’s annual reports can be found at www.FranchiseBusinessReview.com. Truly Nolen has made multiple appearances in the Guide to Today’s Top Franchises and Top Franchises for Veterans.

“I decided to invest in a Truly Nolen franchise in order to grow quicker by utilizing its corporate assets including its marketing department, fleet management, and corporate buying power,” said Chris Ashley, Canton, Ga. franchisee. Ashley is one of many Truly Nolen domestic franchise owners located in the United States and Canada.

“We have a great franchising team that really supports all franchisees,” said Ashley. “If we need help, need a logo, need new contract designed, etc. all we have to do is ask and they always lend a hand.”

Ron DeSear, Truly Nolen Vice President, Domestic Franchising, said he was excited about the company’s Hall of Fame induction. “We always strive to help our franchisees any way we can, and this honor recognizing a full decade of franchisee satisfaction is something we will cherish,” said DeSear.

For more information about Truly Nolen Domestic Franchising, call (855) 534-9139 or visit www.trulynolenfranchising.com.

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Six Truly Nolen Pest Control Service Offices Recognized as 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award Winners

Truly Nolen Pest Control was pleased to recently announce that six of its service offices have been recognized as 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award winners. The winners include Fort Worth, Tex., Chandler, Ariz., Cooper City, Fla., South Miami, Fla., Naples, Fla., and New Holland, Penn.

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

“All of our service offices strive for excellence each and every day,” said Mark Ringlstetter, Director of Training/Technical Services and Customer Care. “We’re extremely excited that nearly 10 percent of our service offices were recognized with this honor and we could not be prouder of the teams at each of the winning locations.”

Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

10-Year-Old Boy Truly Understands the Meaning of the Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, paying it forward and giving back to those who are less fortunate than you are two common themes. On Sunday, December 13, 10-year-old Nathaniel Sandoval and his father Jorge distributed blankets to homeless people in the Santa Ana courthouse area as part of the younger Sandoval’s vision to help others in need.

Most youngsters who attend elementary school are thinking about what toys they will be getting for the holidays or which relatives they will be seeing. Jorge, the Branch Manager for Truly Nolen’s San Diego location, said his son was motivated by something he sees every day on his way to school in Santa Ana.

“One day, we were driving home from his grandparents’ house and he asked me if I could help him with something he had been thinking about,” said Jorge Sandoval. “He said he wanted to make the homeless people he sees on his way to school a little more comfortable and he wanted to provide them with blankets because they probably do not have friends and family that can help them.”

For his part, Nathaniel said he was reading a social studies book at his school in which he saw people giving blankets to the homeless. He wanted to help the people he sees everyday like the people in the book. “Once my father agreed to assist me, my father’s boss allowed me to talk to the other managers in his area by video conference and I asked them for help donating blankets as well,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “My mother, godmother, aunts, and grandparents are also helping me collect blankets.”

Nathaniel named his project “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, and with the help of his family, friends, and other Truly Nolen branches in Southern California, they will be riding around delivering blankets to those who need them. “I want to bring warmth and I want to give them hope, and I’m happy so many people have agreed to help,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “I feel really good when I help people.”

“My son is a special kid and I could not be prouder of him,” said Jorge Sandoval. “I’m also happy so many of my co-workers as well as Nathaniel’s family members are donating blankets to help with this project.”

For those interested in donating blankets for future distribution, please call Jorge Sandoval at (714) 326-5848.

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Woodward to Assistant Manager, Sarasota Branch

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Steve Woodward to Assistant Manager of the company’s Sarasota, Fla. Service office at 2525 Whitfield Industrial Way.

Woodward joined the company in 2010 and was most recently in the dual role of Service Manager and Coordinator. He has over 20 years of experience in the pest control industry.

Prior to joining Truly Nolen, Woodward owned a landscaping company in the Philadelphia area for over a decade. As part of the services he offered, Woodward treated trees up to 150 feet tall for insects. In addition, he served for three years in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer and worked for the Chester (Penn.) County Sheriff’s Department for four years before launching his landscaping business.

“Steve’s wide array of field experience combined with his terrific customer service skills and his innate ability to help train and develop his fellow employees make him a wonderful asset to his branch,” said Tim Phillips, Truly Nolen District Manager, District 604. “We know he will be a fantastic assistant manager, and we are excited to follow his continued growth within our company.”

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

“Toys in the Attic” Ended up Delivered by Mouse Cars in December

Long known for its iconic mouse cars, Truly Nolen Pest Control also enjoys giving back to its local communities. The company’s Las Vegas service office participated in their annual “Toys for Hope” Toy Drive which raised approximately $26,000 in toys for children in need to take home with them for the holidays.

“Over 100 families benefited from this toy drive with over 300 children,” said Lee Schroeder, Truly Nolen Manager, Las Vegas. “Our team also served over 350 hot dogs during the drive and we never tired of seeing the smile on the kids’ faces when they went to the area to pick up their new toy!”

Other service offices got into the community holiday spirit as well, including:

  • Parent Aid’s “Adopt a Family” for the Holidays, Corporate Office in Tucson, Ariz.
  • Toy Drive for Ronald McDonald House and FREE pest control service, Tucson (Ariz.)
  • 28th Annual South Florida President’s Council Toys in the Sun Run, South Florida District
  • Peoria Police Department’s Shop with a Cop Event, Sun City (Ariz.)
  • Toy Drive for Salvation Army, Sierra Vista (Ariz.)
  • Drew Saves Christmas’ Secret Santa, Pinellas Park (Fla.)
  • El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank Assistance, El Paso (Tex.)
  • “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, San Diego (Calif.)

“One of our 12 core values as a company is to embrace and drive change for the better,” said Michelle Nolen Senner, Truly Nolen Director of Marketing & Philanthropy. “We’re proud that all of our branches across the country helped add value to the lives they touched this holiday season by embracing / this core value in a way that is meaningful to them and their community.”

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

2015: Strong El Niño Leads to The Year of the Pack Rat

When someone says the term pack rat, people likely think of a friend or relative who has trouble letting go of old souvenirs and clothes. Most people likely do not realize 2015 was the year of the rodent known as the pack rat! In fact, Truly Nolen website research shows “How to get rid of pack rats” was the eighth-most visited page for the company’s website in 2015 and the most visited one overall for any insect or rodent.

Pack rats, also referred to as woodrats or trade rats, are typically gray rat-sized mammals with large ears, large dark eyes and a relatively long tail. Although absent from most of the New England area, eight species of pack rats are widely distributed through much of the rest of North America. They are usually found entering homes in the winter to have their offspring, which means this is the exact time of year to be mindful.

“With El Niño on track to be one of the three strongest ever over the last 70 years according to NOAA, it should come as no surprise that pack rats became more common this year in terms of our service calls as well as people wanting to find information about them online,” said Scott Nolen, Truly Nolen Pest Control CEO/President.

In houses, pack rats are active at night, searching for food and nest material. Pack rats are known for their characteristic searching of materials to bring back to their nests creating an ever-expanding collection. As the name “pack rat” implies, they have a tendency to pack away small objects such as jewelry, utensils, can tabs, and other items.

 A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying and “trade” it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.

Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring, spoil food, and leave behind fecal pellets. They may also shred upholstered furniture and mattresses for lining nests.

In terms of getting rid of pack rats, there are three standard things people can do. “The most effective rat control begins with prevention by disposing of trash properly and maintaining sanitary conditions in a home,” said Nolen. “When pack rats become a problem in and around structures, making sure any openings in the structure foundation and pipes should be sealed as well as checking for openings in attic vents.”

The majority of pack rat populations in structures can be controlled by using traps. “Pack rats show little fear of new objects in their environment,” said Nolen.

For more information about pack rats, visit our pest identifier page at http://www.trulynolen.com/pest-identifier/, or to take care of your pack rat problem, call one of our local branches to schedule an inspection.

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

A Family Affair: Stepfather and Stepson Open Newest Truly Nolen Pest Control New Jersey Location in Ocean County

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently opened its first Ocean County, NJ location at 990 Cedarbridge Avenue, Suite B7 #320 in the township of Brick. The franchise, which is the fourth New Jersey location for Truly Nolen, is co-owned by Jose Machota and his stepson Steve Mora. Machota will handle day-to-day operations for the branch.

Machota, 45, most recently spent two years working for Terminix as a sales inspector when the Truly Nolen opportunity came along. With 22 years of business experience and a college education from Madrid, Spain, Machota decided the time was right to open his own franchise.

“I enjoy working in the pest control industry and I felt Truly Nolen was the best fit in terms of opening my own company,” said Machota. “I am looking forward to gaining new relationships and helping people with their pest control needs.”

Machota approached his stepson Mora, who already owns Truly Nolen’s franchise in Holmdel, NJ, to see if he wanted to be a partner in Machota’s franchise. Mora, 32 and a Skidmore College graduate, was happy to partner with his stepfather because he had similar feelings when he opened his location.

“My stepfather knows how much I have enjoyed working in the pest control industry the last 10 years,’ said Mora. “I am excited to be working with family while continuing to grow the Truly Nolen brand.”

Ron DeSear, Truly Nolen Vice President, Domestic Franchising, said Machota went through training recently and is pleased to have him as part of the company’s family. 

“We are excited to have someone as passionate as Jose is about our industry as one of our franchisees,” said DeSear. “The fact that Jose gets to work with his stepson Steve on this venture is an added bonus.”

Truly Nolen Pest Control of Ocean County can be reached at (732) 888-8276. For more information about Truly Nolen Domestic Franchising, call (855) 534-9139 or visit www.trulynolenfranchising.com.

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Ridgway to Service Supervisor

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Frank Ridgway to Service Supervisor of the company’s Orlando, Fla. branch at 2082 33rd Street.

Ridgway joined the company in 2013 and was most recently in the role of Pest Control Service Technician. He has over 20 years of experience in the pest control industry.

Some of Ridgway’s new responsibilities will include supervising the service office’s other technicians, handling ride-along evaluations, tracking inspections, and overseeing chemical inventory and distribution. Ridgway, who has always been interested in science and nature, believes in leading by example. “I’m looking forward to helping my people achieve their goals and grow within our company like I have,” said Ridgway.

“Frank’s high standards for quality customer service are always evident, and he has accepted every challenge thrown his way,” said Tim Phillips, Truly Nolen District Manager, District 604. “We know he will continue to surpass expectations in the months and years to come, and we are fortunate to have him as a member of our Orlando team.”

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 www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte’s Triatomine Bug: A Kiss to Die For

As the North Carolina Panthers ‘keep pounding’ all the way to Super Bowl 50 and we get ready for Valentine’s Day, we also need to pay attention to other news that may not be as exciting but definitely very important.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported finding a deadly insect known as the “kissing bug” in North Carolina. Actually, kissing bugs have been discovered in 28 states, and as far north as New Jersey. The CDC reported there are 300,000 cases of Chagas Disease in the U.S. so far but most were infected in Latin America where it is most often found. The CDC maintains that the likelihood of contracting the disease in the U.S. is still relatively low but it is important to be aware as sometimes symptoms do not show up for years.

Triatomine, aka kissing bugs

kissing bug
Triatomine include conenose bugs, assassin bugs and kissing bugs. Typically found in Latin America where, in 1909, Brazilian doctor Carlos Chagas discovered that kissing bugs were responsible for the transmission of a parasite, trypanosoma cruzi, to his patients.

Chagas Disease, caused by the trypanosoma cruzi parasite entering the bloodstream, in chronic cases can cause intestinal issues and heart failure. While some victims experience no symptoms, some suffer flu-like symptoms, with vomiting, swollen lymph glands and high fevers. Typically, Romaña’s sign, which refers to the swelling of an eyelid, occurs in early stages of the disease.

If left undetected or untreated for years, the trypanosoma cruzi parasite can cause chronic disorders in the intestines and break down the heart and the digestive system.

How do triatomine infect humans?

Like bed bugs, ticks and mosquitoes, kissing bugs are little bloodsuckers that feed on human blood. And while bed bugs don’t pose serious health threats to humans, kissing bugs carry a parasite in their excrement that can be deadly if left untreated.

However, according to epidemiologists, a kissing bug would have to feed, relieve itself and have its feces be rubbed into the bite wound or an open sore, in order to infect a human being with Chagas. Other ways trypanosoma cruzi can be transmitted include:

  • Ingesting infected kissing bug feces in uncooked food
  • Blood transfusions
  • Mothers can pass the parasite to newborns during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Infected donor organ transplants
  • Laboratory accidents

The good news: One case out of 900-4,000 contacts with infected kissing bugs in the US results in a case of Chagas Disease. Also, the disease is not transmitted like the cold or flu through casual contact with infected individuals.

What to know about kissing bugs:

Known in Latin America as barbeiros, vinchucas, pitos and chinches, kissing bugs measure about an inch long, with pear-shaped bodies, brown, red or yellow stripes and a pair of transparent wings. Some say they resemble a cockroach.

Adult kissing bugs do fly and during warmer months are attracted to light coming from your home. Like bed bugs, kissing bugs are nocturnal, hiding during the day and coming out at night to feast on humans and pets, attracted by exhaled carbon dioxide, skin odors and body heat. Their bites are relatively painless, usually not waking victims. Kissing bugs feed near the mouth and eyes of their human hosts, hence their name. Their hiding places include:
outdoors-indoorsOutside: Piles of wood objects on the exterior of your home, such as firewood, lumber, tiles, stones, bags of food and animal habitats, like chicken coops and goat corrals.

Indoors: Cracks in walls, crevices in beds, behind pictures, in furniture crevices, cardboard boxes and hanging clothing near their food sources.

Kissing Bug Control

No vaccination exists for Chagas Disease, but in the initial stages of the disease, benznidazole and also nifurtimox have shown to be highly effective, but the effects of these anti-parasitic drugs diminish the longer a person is infected. The drugs are also not FDA approved in the U.S. and are only available from the CDC and both drugs have some fairly common side effects.

The best prevention plan for kissing bugs is exclusion, guarding your home against entry. Truly Nolen Charlotte suggests a few guidelines to follow in excluding kissing bugs and other pests from your home.

  • Seal all cracks, gaps and holes around foundations, crawlspaces, windows, walls, roofs and doors.
  • Eliminate clutter outside and indoors, especially in bedrooms.
  • Eliminate wood and rock piles near your house.
  • Stack firewood at least 20 ft. from your home.
  • Install screens on doors and windows. Repair existing screen holes or tears.
  • Seal gaps and holes leading to your attic.
  • Keep pets indoors overnight.
  • Clean your home regularly, vacuuming and sweeping often.
  • Sanitize outdoor pet areas and indoor pet beds and periodically check areas for bugs.
  • Practice safe and sanitary food preparation, consumption and storage measures.

Contact a professional

Because commercial pesticides do not eradicate kissing bugs, should you find a kissing bug, do not squash it or touch it with your bare hands. The CDC recommends placing a plastic bag over your hand to pick the bug up. Deposit kissing bug in a container, then drown it with rubbing alcohol or freeze the bug in water. Anything the kissing bug has come into contact with should be thoroughly cleaned with a bleach solution.

With so many new pests emerging, it is best to contact a professional pest control company, like Truly Nolen Charlotte, to inspect your property for kissing bugs and all pests and devise an effective exclusion, reduction and prevention plan of action. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection.

An Overview: Ants, Ants and More Ants

Possibly the most social networking insects on Earth, ants have evolved to include 10,000 different species that fill various, unique niches. Some types are named for the work they do, some for their actions, like thief ants that rob from other ants’ nests. Ant colonies consist of one or more queens who lay thousands of eggs, female workers who gather food, care for the young and perform other essential colony tasks and male ants. It seems male ants have only one purpose in some ant societies— to mate with the queen after which, the male dies. Close relatives to wasps and bees, ant bodies consist of three distinctive sections, a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Also, ants love Atlanta.

With her peach trees, pecan trees and temperate weather, who could blame ants for wanting to live in Atlanta? Some of the most common ants in Atlanta include Argentine Ants, Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants and Fire ants.

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants
Well adapted to urban environments, dark brown to black in color and no bigger than 1/8,” Argentine ants nest in moist soil near buildings or under them, looking for a way to get inside. Marching up and down buildings and trees along driveways and sidewalks, Argentine ants forage in neat little lines, guided by pheromone trails set out by scout ants. Because they can form super colonies with multiple queens, Argentine ants can be difficult to control and eradicate on your own.

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants
Balancing on their tiny front legs, acrobat ants can raise their heart-shaped abdomens over their heads when disturbed. No larger than 1/8” long, acrobat ants, who are yellowish brown to dark brown, with darker abdomens also put off an odor and have been known to bite when disturbed as well. Indoors, acrobat ants can cause damage to electrical wiring, as they infest damp places, often the foam sheathing behind siding. Because acrobat ants excavate former termite nests and other pest nests, homeowners may think they have a termite infestation, due to the debris acrobat ants leave in their wakes.

Carpenter Ants

Florida Carpenter Ants
The black carpenter ant and Florida carpenter ant are some of the largest pest ants found in Georgia. Black, red or light to dark brown in color and typically 5/8” in size, Florida carpenter ants, like neglected moisture and can enter Atlanta homes through damp and decaying wood. Black carpenter ants are dull black in color with yellowish hairs covering their abdomen and typically between 1/4 to 1/2”. Once in your attics, ceilings, carpets and flooring, carpenter ants bore through wood, causing as much, if not more structural damage than termites. Carpenter ants forage for food in loosely defined trails or as aimlessly, wandering individuals, drawn to insects, sweets, meats and nectars.

Fire Ants

Fire Ants
Anyone in Atlanta who has ever disturbed a Fire Ant mound knows that their sting is no joke and burns like fire. Relatively small, measuring between 1/8” and 3/8” in length, reddish brown to reddish black, with copper colored heads, Fire Ants prefer the loose soil in landscape areas and around structural foundations to build their mounds. Also preferring dry, sunny, flat spaces, Fire Ant mounds can measure two feet in diameter. Mounds regulate the temperature of colony tunnels, allowing Fire Ants to survive significant drops in temperatures. If left undisturbed, Fire Ant colonies can grow to 250,000 members with multiple queens. As a result, Fire Ants have been known to sting with enough force to kill cattle and other large animals. Coming indoors through tiny cracks and crevices, Fire Ants are drawn to sweets and your pets’ food bowls.

Crazy Ants

Crazy Ants
Making inroads on the Atlanta pest scene, crazy ants aren’t called that just because of their erratic movements. These 1/8” black ants, covered with reddish brown hairs, are attracted to electrical wiring and components in peculiar ways. Sometimes crazy ants destroy electrical products and sometimes their carcasses wreak just as much havoc on electrical components. For example, one crazy ant may find its way into a transformer and is electrocuted. As the insect waves its abdomen in the air, it releases pheromones that attract more and more crazy ants who come into contact with the first ant or a hot spot and are electrocuted as well. As their carcasses begin to pile up, dead crazy ants can actually clog electrical switches, causing system malfunctions.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh Ants
Also known as “sugar ants,” Pharaoh Ants, tiny 1/16” sized, light yellow insects with red and black markings may get their name from mistaken information about these busybodies causing one of ancient Egypt’s historical plagues. A worldwide pest, Pharaoh Ants are one of the world’s most common ants and are known to be difficult to control and also for their ability to “get into things” like sweet foods.

Citronella Ants

Citronella Ants
Giving off a lemon scent when crushed, these 4 mm to 5 mm long yellow ants’ eclectic diet consists of the “honeydew” secreted by aphids and other small bugs. Citronella ants pose no threat as home invaders, but can occasionally be seen flying around indoors while swarming.

Field Ants

Field Ants
One of the most diverse types of ants in the world, with over 150 species, at only 1/8” in length, field ants vary widely in color from yellow, red, black and bi-colored red and black combinations. Nicknames include mound ants, wood ants and thatching ants. Like citronella ants, these insects dine on the “honeydew,” secreted by mealy bugs and aphids, and pose no threat of indoor infestations. Field ants do, however, build unsightly nests on walking paths and can secrete painful formic acid when provoked.

Pavement Ants

Pavement Ants
Fond of building nests in cracks of sidewalks, driveways and slab foundations, pavement ants, who are dark brown or black and a mere 1/8” long, aggressively build nests of up to 30,000 individuals. Although pavement ants feed on seeds, grease and insects and don’t typically move into homes in Atlanta, they do forage up to 30 feet from their nests in search of sweets and fruit found in your kitchen, leaving convenient pheromone trails for worker ants to follow.

Big-Headed Ants

Big-Headed Ants
Big-headed ants are reddish and brown in color. Their name refers to the larger than life heads of the major workers, who are larger than the minor workers, 1/8” in length, as compared to the 1/16” length of minor workers in a colony. Major workers acting as soldiers, defend the colony’s nest, usually found in disturbed soils, lawns, flowerbeds, under bricks, cement slabs, walkways, rocks, logs and flower pots. Not given to moving indoors, big-headed ants will forage into your home for food.

Odorous Ants

Odorous Ants
As their name implies, odorous ants, who are dark brown or black in color and 1/8” long emit an odor similar to rotten coconuts when crushed. A frequent nuisance in Atlanta homes, odorous ants tend to infest indoor spaces near heat sources or insulation, in wall voids and beneath floors. Following long foraging trails, odorous ants contaminate sweets, meats, fats and grease found in your home.

Ghost Ants

Ghost Ants
With pale abdomens and legs, sporting dark heads and thoraxes, ghost ants are tiny – less than 1/16” long, making these tropical interlopers difficult to see. Like odorous ants, ghost ants give off a coconut-like odor when they are crushed. Seen in Atlanta kitchens and bathrooms on sinks, counters, and floors, these Florida natives easily hitchhike in boxes, crates, potted plants and shipped household goods and spread several strains of bacteria in your home.

Rover Ants

Rover Ants
On the rise in recent years, rover ants, 1/16” long and dark brown to pale blonde in color, adapt well to many habitats from kitchens and bathrooms to cinder blocks and wall voids, to light sockets and electrical sockets. Outdoors, rover ants nest under mulch and heavy vegetation and shingles, in potted plants and under stones, entering your home through openings around pipes, cracks, windows and tree branches that are too close to your home.

How to Prevent Ants in your Atlanta home

Following good sanitation habits will go a long way in deterring ants from your home.

  • Trim trees so branches don’t touch your house.
  • Secure outside trash receptacles and clean area around trashcans.
  • Clean up all vegetation and old woodpiles near your home.

Inside your home:

  • Clean all dishes and wipe down all food prep, dining and food storage areas.
  • Keep all food and cooking ingredients in airtight containers.
  • Sweep and vacuum floors on a regular basis.

Most importantly, contact Truly Nolen Atlanta to initiate an ant prevention program or to eradicate an existing ant infestation. Call us today to schedule a free inspection at (678) 561-2847.


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