How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

The ants go marching one by one, by one, and another one… As the weather heats up, more and more of these intrusive insects start appearing in your home, including your kitchen and, unfortunately, in your food. Resourceful sugar ants can even appear in your car! Talk about driving you crazy.
What are these pesky little critters? More importantly, how do you get rid of sugar ants in your kitchen and home? Let’s find out!

What Are Sugar Ants?

The “real” sugar ant actually doesn’t live in the United States. This banded sugar ant enjoys a warm home in Australia.

However, in the US, we use the term “sugar ant” to refer to any sweet sustenance-seeking type of ant. In other words, these species are attracted to sugar and sweets as opposed to grease or protein like other types of ants.

Thus, there are a number of other names for sugar ants, which are actually the real names of these ants. Some of these include:

Pharaoh ants

●      Pavement ants

●      Rover ants

●      Little black ants

●      Cornfield ants

●      False honey ants

●      Carpenter ants

●      Odorous house ants

The most common sugar ants in Texas are the Pharaoh ants. Unfortunately, they can bring pathogens and bacteria with them, making them very unwelcome invaders in homes and kitchens.

What Do Sugar Ants Look Like?

Since sugar ants in the US refer to several different species, they don’t all look the same. However, they are generally tiny (less than ⅛ of an inch) and range from light yellow-brown or red-brown to black.

What Do Sugar Ants Eat?

As the name suggests, these types of ants love sugar, and anything containing it . This includes:

 All types of sugar including powdered, white, and brown varieties

●      Honey

●      Maple syrup (and other syrups)

●      Jams, jellies, etc.

●      Cake, cookies, pastries

●      Soft drinks

●      Juice

To avoid attracting these ants, it is imperative to keep your food sealed up snugger than a bug in a rug. Don’t leave food sitting out on the counters and immediately clean up spills and crumbs from the table, counters, and floors.

Do Sugar Ants Bite?

Sugar ants are generally not aggressive. However, they will bite if they feel threatened. Sugar ant bites are usually not a big deal. Some people may experience a little itching around the site but that’s about it.

If the person is bitten multiple times, there may be more of an issue. Also, those who are allergic may experience more significant symptoms.

How Do Sugar Ants Get Into Your Home?

Because they are no bigger than moles on a chigger, sugar ants have no trouble sneaking into your home. Whatever crack or cranny they can find to crawl through will do.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Naturally?

Now let’s get down to brass tacks and address the issue you’re really wondering about — how to get rid of sugar ants.

Sugar Ant Repellants

There are a variety of natural substances/ingredients that will repel sugar ants. Sprinkling these or using them around your home and kitchen can be an effective way to keep the critters from coming inside in the first place.

  • Vinegar: Mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray liberally in areas where you see ant activity. This will kill ants on contact as well as erase the scent trails that ants use to navigate.
  • Whole cloves, bay leaves, garlic: The strong smell from these spices can interfere with the ants’ scent trails, disrupting their ability to navigate and communicate.
  • Used coffee grounds: Sprinkle around the areas where you know that ants are entering your home or to protect certain areas like your food pantry or pet bowls from future ants. Ants strongly dislike the smell of coffee and the acidity burns them.
  • Essential oils: Lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, neem, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils seem to be effective at repelling insects in general.

Sugar Ant Traps

If you’ve been struggling with sugar ants for a while, repellants might not be strong enough for you. What you really want to know is how to kill sugar ants and keep them from coming back for good.

Here are a few of the best sugar ant traps or other methods for killing ants you can try at home:

  • Boiling water: scald and kill the little critters by pouring boiling water into the sugar ant holes around your home. This must be done several times to be effective.
  • Boric acid: This compound is toxic for ants and will kill them over time. Mix boric acid with sugar and water. Set the solution up as ant traps around the house or pour it into ant holes. Note: can be toxic to pets as well so use this method with care.
  • Ant bait: Commercial sugar ant bait is another option. The point is so that the roving ants will take it back to their ant colony where even more ants will eat and die.

Tired of Sugar Ants?

Getting rid of sugar ants isn’t always easy, especially if you have large established colonies nearby. If you’re feeling defeated after trying everything to no avail, the best option is to call for professional help.

Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, our number one priority is keeping you and your family safe. That means performing thorough inspections first to know what we’re dealing with. Then we treat the exact problem using pest control products that won’t cause harm.

Ready to get rid of your sugar ants? Give us a call or schedule a Buckaroo service today!

Cricket Season in Texas: How to Stop the Invasion

Crickets become abundant with warm spring and summer weather. They are nocturnal insects and most active on warm summer nights when males attract mates by rubbing their wings together and chirping. What do we do when there are hundreds of these pests at our front doors and in our commercial building lobbies?

The most important step is to make sure that your home is sealed from the constant swarms of these noisy insects. We’ll explain what attracts crickets and how to get rid of them. If you need help identifying where they’re getting in, one of our technicians can help. When you need cricket pest control for your problem, call the pros at Buckaroo. We’ll assess and diagnose your pest problem quicker than you can say “Jiminy Crickets!”

The Value of Crickets

Crickets are useful insects that help balance the ecosystem. They are omnivores that eat a variety of plants, flowers, fruits and other insects. They break down plant material to help enrich our soils.

 Crickets are also a food source for pets and in some countries they’re a food source for humans. In Cambodia and Vietnam, crickets are considered a delicacy. In other cultures, they are a sign of good luck.

The Cricket Life Cycle

Why do we see so many crickets when the weather turns warm? A female cricket can lay over 200 eggs at a time. Once she mates, she spends most of her life laying up to 2,000 eggs. Two weeks later, those eggs will hatch into cricket nymphs.

Nymphs, or baby crickets, go through several phases of molting (shedding their skin) before they become adults capable of reproducing. This process can take 2-3 months. Once they become adults, crickets live an additional 2-4 moths. How long crickets live can vary depending on weather and food.

Cricket eggs that are laid in late fall become dormant until the spring and hatch when the weather turns warm. This restarts the entire life cycle and causes seasonal infestations.

What Attracts Crickets?

So, what attracts these crickets to your house? Crickets are primarily attracted to light, food, and shelter. Light is the biggest attraction. Crickets will swarm where there are bright lights such as car lots, parks, homes and commercial buildings.

They love to venture indoors at nighttime when the temperatures drop in the fall. In your home, crickets favor warm, moist environments like the kitchen. They will be attracted to fruits, vegetables and pet food. Sometimes crickets also eat natural fabrics like wool, silk and cotton.

How to Get Rid of Crickets

If you want to eliminate crickets in your home, you must seal the entry points where they are getting in. Crickets can fly and easily travel through windows, vents and gaps along your foundation. Use caulk to seal these gaps and repair and screens with holes.

Inside, keep your home clean, especially where you see crickets collecting. Store food in pest safe containers, including pet food once your pets are done eating. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. If necessary – spray with the proper chemicals to eliminate the infestation. This is an area where hiring a professional can help.

Pest Control for Crickets in Texas

If you have more questions or would like an inspection by one of our trained techs, give us a call at 972-362-4026. You can also use our handy online schedule form. Our team can identify where crickets are getting in and implement a program to eliminate them. Don’t let chirping crickets drive you crazy another day!

How to Keep Wasps Away

June 30, 2022

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

The wasps are closing in on your backyard barbecue! Unfortunately, a wasp invasion will kill your party faster than a prairie fire with a tailwind. People don’t take their chances hanging around with a troupe of stinging insects.

Is this becoming a major problem for you? Then it’s time to learn how to keep wasps away with a few wasp control tricks for dealing with these highly undesirable insects.

1. Eliminate Food Sources

Many types of wasps, including the Great Black Wasp, eat protein-based foods. While the adult wasps are looking for flower nectar to drink, they are also keeping an eye out for other insects like katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. They then paralyze the poor insect and bring it back for young wasp larvae to snack on — while it is still alive.

So, if you have a tantalizing slab of meat on your picnic table or an abundance of grill drippings, the wasps will be coming around to say hello.

Keep your food covered during outdoor gatherings and maintain a clean grill. Also make sure that your garbage cans are covered tightly and nothing else that could become a wasp buffet is left lying around.

2. DIY Wasp Spray

What if it seems impossible to keep the critters from stopping by during an outdoor gathering? Or perhaps you find a small wasp nest and are wondering what to do with it?

DIY wasp spray is an easy and effective solution. Simply mix together a couple of tablespoons of dish soap with water in a spray bottle. Spritz the critters when you spot them or douse a small wasp nest with the solution.

Did you know that wasps such as the red wasp actually breathe through their bodies? The soap clogs their breathing pores, making it impossible for them to breathe, causing them to die in a few seconds.

3. DIY Wasp Traps

A less hands-on option is to create a DIY wasp trap (or several) and leave them hanging near where the wasps like to gather, such as the wasp nest.

This is easy to do with an empty 2-liter bottle. First, add a couple of inches of sugar water to about a cup of apple cider vinegar and toss in a delectable banana peel for extra attraction. Next, cut a small hole in the top of the bottle. The idea is that the wasps will be attracted to the tempting concoction, then get stuck inside and drown.

If you have a lot of wasps, the traps can fill quickly so keep an eye out and change them regularly.

This method is effective for reducing the number of wasps that are trying to party with you. However, it only kills the wasps that get stuck in the trap. It won’t kill the queen wasp, which is important for eliminating a wasp infestation altogether.

4. DIY Wasp Repellent

There are a couple of natural ways to deter wasps from hanging out in your yard. First, choose plants like eucalyptus, lemongrass, and citronella to plant in your yard. Wasps don’t like these plant varieties so they will provide a natural level of prevention. Be sure to place them close to where you plan to spend time outside, such as the pool or patio area. 

Second, mix up a DIY wasp repellent spray with essential oils. Start with a cup of warm water and add a couple of drops of liquid soap. Then add two drops of each of the following essential oils:

  • Clove
  • Geranium
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass

Swirl the bottle to mix it well then spray this solution generously around your sitting area. Wasps hate every ingredient in this concoction and will be less likely to rain on your parade.

How to Get Rid of Wasps the Safe Way

Does your stomach get queasy at the thought of handling wasp nest removal yourself? We don’t blame you. Nobody likes the idea of disrupting an angry horde of aggressive, stinging insects that fly to boot.

A safer way to handle your wasp infestation is to call for professional wasp removal. Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we’re committed to protecting your home (and you!) from the dangers of all sorts of pests. Let us help you remove your active wasp nest as well as safeguard your home against future wasp problems. We’ve found that the best form of wasp control is trying to keep them from showing up in the first place.

Schedule a service with Buckaroo today!

 

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BUCKAROO PEST PROTECTION

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WHO WE ARE:

  • Since 2005, we have been providing unparalleled Commercial Plumbing, HVAC-R and Electrical services, while maintaining the highest trade standards, ensuring projects are completed to specification and on-time.

  • We offer a full-range of Commercial Plumbing services, including preventive and maintenance contract options.

  • We ensure all our clients’ HVAC and Refrigeration requirements are taken into context of their unique needs. Proper attention is paid to building ventilation, including: air pressure, air quality and temperature. We ensure all aspects are at the optimal levels for comfort and safety.

  • We handle all of the Electrical needs of our client’s. From code upgrades and remodels, to basic troubleshooting and repair, we cover all service cases.

  • We work within the scope of our clients’ normal operating hours to efficiently minimize downtime, while maximizing productivity.

  • Our team of seasoned technicians are all trained, insured, back-ground checked and drug tested. Our employees are held to only the highest standards in the Trades.

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      • Mosquito Control
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Termite Warranties: Retreat vs. Repair. What’s the Difference, and Why Should I Care?

Brent Vann, our Vice President of Operations here at Buckaroo wants you to be educated on what you’re buying when it comes to termite prevention warranties.

Termites are found in more than 5 million homes on average each year in the United States, and it is estimated that termite damage costs U.S. homeowners $5 billion each year. Not insurance agencies, but homeowners, like you. What’s even worse is termites can be living in your home even without visible signs of damage.

Termite swarm season is upon us, and here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we want to make sure our community is educated and prepared when it comes to protecting their homes and properties from termites. One of the best ways to ensure your home is rid of termites is with a termite bond. We’ll explain the two types of bonds and why Buckaroo offers your family the best protection.

When is Termite Season?

During March through mid-summer, termites “swarm” which means that they become much more active, and more visible to the average homeowner. Scarily, termites don’t sleep. They will eat 24 hours a day seven days a week, year around. Even outside of swarm season.

This is why it is crucial to protect your home and property before it’s too late. If you start seeing termites within your home, it most likely means your house has already been under attack.

When it comes to protection though, homeowners have hundreds of providers who offer seemingly the same service, and the same warranties… Right?

Wrong.

What is a Termite Bond?

There are several different types of products and treatments available to pest control companies for eradicating termites. However, knowing the difference between a Retreat Warranty vs. a Repair Warranty could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Even though they may both cost the same at the time of the initial inspection, over 90% of pest control companies will only offer Retreat Warranties. Here’s why:

  • Termite retreatment warranties only guarantee that if termites are found after initial treatment that
    your pest control company will come back out and re-treat your home once again. This means that all damage to your home is your responsibility. The pest control company has no obligation to do anything other than come back and treat the home again – probably with the same product that didn’t do its job in the first place.
  • Termite repair warranties hold your pest control company responsible for the quality of their work. In the event termites are found in your home after the initial treatment, not only does the provider return and re-treat your home for termites, they also are accountable for the any and all damage caused by the termites.

Buckaroo is part of the small minority offering higher quality service and protection by offering Repair Warranties.

The Best Termite Warranty in Texas

Buckaroo is 100% willing to stand behind our work and our products. 90% of our competitors aren’t. Ensure your investment is in good hands with a termite protection warranty from Buckaroo. Our technicians guarantee their work and the integrity of your home afterward. Contact us today for the best termite control available in Northern Texas. We put our money where your termite mouths are.

8 DIY Ant Control Treatments

The ants go marching one by one…hurrah!

No, not hurrah. Ants can be anywhere, marching through your pantry or burrowing through your garden. Though most types of ants in Texas are harmless to human health (other than being potential carriers of bacteria and disease), that doesn’t mean you want them around.

In fact, ants are about as welcome as a porcupine in a nudist colony — especially the fire ants we often see here in North Texas.

The good news is there are plenty of effective DIY ant removal strategies you can easily implement at home. Let’s look at a few!

A spray bottle containing an anti ant home remedy.

Safe and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ants

Below we outline eight surefire ways to eliminate ants in your home or business using household items you can find at a supermarket or hardware store. You don’t need any specialized ant control products to stop Texas ants from infesting your space.

1. White Vinegar

White vinegar both kills and repels ants. It also works great as a natural cleaning agent. Try slipping it into your cleaning routine for any control that doesn’t require any extra work.

Wipe down countertops, floors, and other surfaces with a diluted vinegar solution mixed in a spray bottle. Spraying ants with vinegar will kill them and though the sharp smell dissipates quickly for humans, ants can smell it and will stay away from it for a while.

Note: because vinegar is acidic, you should not use it to clean certain surfaces. For example, it can damage granite countertops. Check to make sure it can be used on the surfaces in your home or try using it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

2. Boiling Water

Removing ants from your yard doesn’t need to be complicated. If you notice a lot of ant holes in the ground, you have a perfect opportunity to take out a few hundred of them with a simple pot of boiling water.

Pour the water down as many ant holes as you can find. This method is unlikely to finish off the whole colony or make it to the queen, but it can cut down drastically on the number of foraging ants roaming about your space.

If you find the ant mound, try dousing it with a couple of gallons of boiling water and you have a good shot at eliminating it altogether.

3. Glass Cleaner/Dish Soap Solution

As the ants go marching one by one, they leave a trail of scented pheromones behind. That’s how they navigate and communicate to other ants where to go. Disrupt the pheromone scent trails leading into your home or business and the ants are less likely to find their way back.

You can do this with a simple solution of glass cleaner mixed with dish soap. Spray the mixture anywhere you see ants congregating or milling about. Wipe with a cloth, but make sure to leave a slight residue behind. This will clean away and disrupt the pheromone trail.

Don’t have glass cleaner on hand? You can try it with soapy water as well. Pretty much any type of soap should be strong enough to wash away the pheromones.

4. Boric Acid/Powdered Sugar Mix

Boric acid is not technically a pesticide, but it will kill ants if they ingest it. Plus it’s inexpensive and readily available.

To get the ants to eat it, mix three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid. Adult ants prefer a liquid diet so add a little water and mix it all up. Place it near the area where you see ants traipsing around.

Note: boric acid can also be dangerous to humans or animals if ingested. Be careful where you leave it sitting if you have children or pets in your home.

5. Baking Soda/Powdered Sugar Mix

If you don’t like the idea of leaving boric acid lying around, try making the same mix with baking soda instead. It won’t be as effective as the boric acid, but you don’t have to worry about kids or pets accidentally harming themselves with it.

6. Black or Red Pepper

Have you ever taken a big breath after shaking pepper over your salad? It probably burned a little and you started sneezing up a storm.

Whether black or red, breathing in ground pepper can really tickle or even hurt your nasal passages. And that happens at the size you are, imagine what it does to a tiny little ant.

Sprinkle a bit of pepper near ant entrances or areas where you notice ants congregating. This method won’t kill them, but the irritating scent of pepper will help to drive ants away.

7. Peppermint Oil

A more pleasant-smelling option is to use a few drops of peppermint oil. Mix 10-20 drops with 2 cups of water and mix in a spray bottle.

Spritz the mixture around the baseboards, windows, or any other entry points where ants might be entering your home or business.

8. Cinnamon Leaf Oil

Another more pleasant option (at least for humans) is to use cinnamon leaf oil. This type of essential oil is effective both for repelling and killing ants.

To use it, simply wet a few cotton balls with undiluted oil. Leave them in areas where you see ants entering or congregating. Replace the cotton ball once a week with a new one freshly saturated in oil.

The Best Way to Exterminate Ants

A swarm of ants enters a home beneath a door.

All the ant removal home remedies that we’ve talked about here are effective. Whatever method you choose, it will either repel ants or kill them on contact.

However, all these methods have one major flaw — they don’t go to the source. You can keep killing ants all you like but until you take out the queen, the colony will survive, and your ant infestation will recur. Unfortunately, the queen stays tucked away safely deep within the ant colony so finding her is a challenge.

The cool thing about this societal structure is that by killing the queen ant, the rest of the colony will start dying off. Within a few months, the colony will be wiped out.

What’s the best way to kill a queen ant? To be honest, professional pest control services.

Schedule Your Ant Removal Today

Contact Buckaroo today for fast and dependable removal of sugar ants, carpenter ants and fire ants in Texas. Not to toot our own horn, but the methods we use here at Buckaroo Pest Protection come with a 9-month guarantee. Say goodbye to those marching ants for good with regular treatments that address your whole ant problem.