How Long Do Bees Live, and Why Are They Troublesome Pests?

bee on yellow flower

Bees are insects that are fascinating, terrifying, beneficial, and harmful all at the same time. This is because there are numerous types of bees that each have their own habits and patterns. To help you learn more about bees, this article will answer the question of “how long do bees live?” and discuss a bee’s life cycle and why they can be pests.

How Long Do Bees Live?

As you might expect, different types of bees live for different amounts of time. Also, the length of time a bee lives also depends on the season.

For example, worker honey bees live for about five to six weeks during the active season but up to four to six months during the inactive winter season. Drone bees die within hours of mating with the queen bee and rarely survive through a winter. There are more than 500 species of stingless bees, and some of these bees can live for three years or longer. Queen bees have the longest life cycles and average two to five years of life. However, some queen bees have lived up to seven years.

What Affects Bees’ Life Spans?

Many bees die of natural causes but are sometimes eaten by other bees. Bees’ life spans are also impacted by diseases and infections that can impact the entire colony. Pesticides and habitat loss can make bees die sooner than they would naturally as well. Human interference affects the lives of bees and is a leading cause for habitat loss.

Life Cycles of a Bee

Bees develop through four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This process is shortest for queens and a few days longer for worker bees and drones – overall between about 16 to 24 days to reach maturity. Honey bees lay eggs in wax honeycombs, and new bees hatch about three days after a bee lays eggs. The larval stage lasts about five days for eating and growing before bees enter the pupal stage, which is when bees form their eyes, wings, and legs. When bees become adults, they instinctively know their role in the hive and how to function in their society.

Why Bees Are Problematic

Bees are most troublesome for humans when they sting because bee stings are painful and can cause allergic reactions in some people. Certain types of bees can carry diseases that affect humans as well. Honey is a desirable product that comes from bees; however, it can also attract other insects and stain or damage structures on your property.

How to Get Rid of Bees on Your Property

Bee control should always be handled by an extermination professional because of the dangers bees can cause. Precise Termite & Pest Control specializes in safe and humane bee removal, and we’ve been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over 30 years.

We’ll find and take care of bee nests around your home and property so you can go outdoors without fear of being stung. Call us at the first sign of a bee problem and we’ll come out for a free inspection.

How to get Rid of Ants in the House: Tips and Tricks from the Pros

ants in bedDiscovering any type of pest in the house is unsettling and frustrating, but ants can be particularly tricky to deal with. Ants often invade a home in search of food, but knowing the type of ants you have can be valuable information for getting rid of them.

From the extermination experts at Precise Termite & Pest Control, here are some tips for how to get rid of ants in the house.

Deep Clean Your House

Even the tiniest scraps of food can be big feasts for ants, so one way to get rid of ants is to destroy all potential sources of food in your home. Vacuum the floors daily, take out trash right away, and clean surfaces of any crumbs that remain after meals.

Secure Your Pantry

Ants love discovering open sources of food in kitchens, so another way to get them out of your house is to make sure everything is stored away in airtight containers. It’s also a good idea to wipe down the outside of containers after you use them so that there’s no sticky residue to attract ants.

Commercial Ant Spray

You can purchase ant sprays over-the-counter from local home improvement and hardware stores to kill existing ants in a house. However, these products are not deterrents for new ants entering the home, which means that more ants could easily come in and replace the ones you have sprayed and killed. These chemical-based sprays can also be harmful to kids or pets living in the house.

Powdered Chalk

Some homeowners swear by chalk that contains calcium carbonate to keep ants away as a DIY home remedy. Powdered chalk can be sprayed at ant entry points.

Lemons and Lemon Peels

Some ants are also deterred by lemons, so you can try putting lemon peels or squeezing lemon juice at ant entry points in your home. Cleaning your floors with a mixture of water and lemon juice can have the same effect.

Red or Black Pepper

Ants despise the smell and taste of pepper, so you can sprinkle some red or black pepper in the places where ants are coming in. This won’t kill existing ants in your house, but it may deter new ones from coming in.

Peppermint

Another natural DIY remedy that you can try is peppermint, which is a natural insect repellant for ants and other insects. A dozen or so drops of peppermint essential oil mixed with a couple cups of water can be sprayed around windows and baseboards of a home to deter ants.

Call Precise Terminate & Pest Control

If you have tried one or more of these strategies and been unsuccessful, it’s likely time to call in a professional to look at your ant problem and get rid of them for good. Precise Termite & Pest Control specializes in ant control and removal in Northern New Jersey, and we’re here to get rid of ants in your home now and to also help prevent future infestations. Call us at 866-971-2847 for a free ant inspection today.

When Do Termites Swarm and How to Prepare for Swarming Season

termites swarming a fallen treeIt’s bad enough to have termites around your home and property, but it can be even more unsettling when termites begin to swarm. This article will explore why termites swarm and how you can be prepared and control a termite swarming situation.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

When a colony of termites reaches its capacity and needs to expand, swarming is likely to occur. This is usually an annual occurrence that involves hundreds or thousands of termites trying to reproduce and grow their colony. The biggest swarming activity typically takes place over the course of a day and then is followed by subsequent days of less activity.

When Do Termites Swarm?

Subterranean termites usually swarm in the spring, dampwood termites in the summer, and drywood termites in the late summer and early fall. This is why it’s a good idea to consult a termite specialist to help you identify termites and understand the types of termites that are most common in your area. During all of these seasons, termite swarms are more likely after it rains and when it is humid, overcast, and not windy.

Damage Caused by Swarming Termites

Swarming termites tend to build nests near the surface of the soil and live there until the conditions are optimal for reproduction and becoming airborne. While it is never a good time of year to have termites in your home, the swarming season is actually not an overly destructive time for them to be around. This is because termites have one main goal during a swarm: to reproduce and grow their colony. Many of these termites will not survive very long and do not even have the ability to bite yet to destroy wood structures of your home.

Termite Swarm Preparation Tips

Whether it’s swarming season or not, there are certain things you can do to deter termites from nesting around your house. The best thing to do is keep wood and paper far from your house, including firewood, spare lumber, and newspaper. Also, don’t put plants too close to the foundation of your home because termites love moist soil. Other ways to reduce moisture and your risks for a termite swarm are to fix leaky faucets right away, point yard sprinklers away from your home, and clean out gutters and downspouts so they are working properly.

How to Get Rid of Swarming Termites

To control and eradicate termite swarms, professional exterminators use liquid treatments that create a barrier to prevent termites from moving from soil to buildings. Exterminators also use baits for termites that are placed below the surface of the soil.

Since these applications are quite challenging for DIY enthusiasts during swarming season, we recommend contacting Precise Termite & Pest Control to take care of the extermination quickly and effectively. We have been keeping Bergen and Passaic counties termite-free for over 30 years and know the best ways to prevent and eliminate swarming insects from your property.

The Various Types of Bees and Wasps in New Jersey

swarm of bees on wood houseMost people spend their lives trying to avoid bees and wasps as much as possible due to the threat of stings. But if you’re a homeowner, it makes sense to learn about the different species so that you can identify them on your property can call for professional help when needed.

Here’s an overview of the most common varieties of wasps and types of bees in NJ.

Carpenter Bees

As the name suggests, carpenter bees have a habit of boring into wood to make their nests. This is problematic because of the damage they can cause to your home and other wooden structures that you have built. These types of bees in NJ can be territorial and sting if a person comes to close to their nests. However, the real threat of these bees is with the structural damage they cause.

Honeybees

Honeybees are a beneficial species of insect that spread pollen and help flowers, fruits, and vegetables to grow. These types of bees in NJ typically only react to humans when they feel threatened. But their stings can be severe and cause pain, burning, redness, and even life-threatening symptoms if you have an allergy.

Bumble Bees

Bumblebees are common in our area, and these bees usually build nests close to the ground. Therefore, it is easy to stumble upon bumble bee habitats and put yourself in danger. Bumble bees also have a role in the pollination of wildflowers. They are not as defensive as other types of bees but can sting multiple times in a row, which is risky to people with bee allergies.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps live in small colonies and are not very aggressive. However, they can sting multiple times to protect themselves from threats and have venom that cause allergic reactions. These wasps get their name because they build nests from paper materials and often live in the eaves, rafters, and porch ceilings of homes.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets also live on New Jersey properties and are often found buzzing around flowers. These wasps can be aggressive and sting if they are provoked, which is very painful.

Mud Dauber Wasps

Mud dauber wasps are generally calm insects that build nets and rarely attack people. But although stings are rare, they are possible and can cause redness and swelling of the skin. These are solitary wasps that build nests in mud around homes and other property structures.

Get Help with All Types of Bees and Wasps in New Jersey

No matter which type of bee or wasp you’re dealing with, Precise Termite & Pest Control is here to help. We specialize in New Jersey bee and wasp removal and provide free inspections to help you safely control pests. Contact us at the first signs of a bee or wasp problem to protect yourself and your property!

All About Ants: Common Ant Habitats, Lifespan, and Control Tips

ants on a tree stumpIt has been estimated that there are around one quadrillion ants living on our planet today, and there are over 12,000 different ant species here as well. Ants live in diverse habitats all over the world, and Northern New Jersey is certainly no exception.

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about ants to help you better understand these insects and what to do if they start invading your home or yard.

Where Do Ants Live?

Ants are a resilient type of insect and can live nearly anywhere – both outside and inside. Ants are often found living in trees, cracks in the sidewalks, and in kitchens with open containers of food. Kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, behind baseboards, and inside walls are all common ant habitats inside a home. Ants can eat a wide variety of foods and thrive on food scraps left behind, dead animals or insects, and trash.

One particularly troublesome type of ant that we encounter in our area is the fire ant. These ants build large mounds near rotting logs and tree stumps. You’ll often find these ants underneath your home, shed, and other structures on your property.

How Long Do Ants Live?

Different ant species live for different lengths of time. An ant’s location, access to food and shelter, and role in the ant colony also impact how long an ant lives. This is pretty fascinating because it means that ants can live anywhere from a few days to even a few decades!

Male ants generally have the shortest lifespans and only live a few days after mating. Worker ants are nonreproductive female ants that maintain the ant colony and typically live up to a few months. Queen ants can live for several years or even longer under the right conditions.

Those fire ants we mentioned earlier often live for a little over a month. If an ant of any kind has access to food and water, it will live longer and thrive in the environment. Ants that live in warm climates remain active throughout the year, while cool-weather ants can become dormant during the winter to survive the harsh conditions.

Ant Control in New Jersey

We hope this helps satisfy your curiosity about the common questions of “Where do ants live?” and “How long do ants live?” Ants are certainly interesting to learn about, but they aren’t something that you want to deal with on your property or especially inside your home. Precise Termite & Pest Control offers the best ant control and removal services in Northern New Jersey to help you identify, address, and exterminate an ant problem right away.

Ant removal is very tricky, and a DIY approach rarely gets the job done right or for the long-term. Call our team of ant control specialists at the first signs of ant activity or unexplained insect damage and we’ll be happy to come out for a free inspection. Fortunately, ant issues are easily controllable with the right tools and expertise, so don’t delay getting in touch with us online or by phone at 866-971-2847.

Do Termites Bite or Pose Other Dangers to Humans?

dozens of termites on woodTermites outnumber humans at a ten-to-one ratio and affect homeowners all around the world. Yet people still have many questions about these troublesome pests, such as “Do termites bite?” and “Are termites dangerous?”

In this article, we’ll answer these common questions about termites and also address the most effective ways to prevent and eliminate them from your property.

Do Termites Bite?  

Although termites are notorious for biting through wood, they very rarely ever bite humans. Certain types of termites, such as soldier termites, are able to bite, but even these termites have very small jaws and wouldn’t likely leave a mark on your skin. But to avoid potential bites, never touch termites with your bare hands. However, termites are known to bite other insects in addition to wood.

Are Termites Dangerous to Humans?

Termites are not a direct threat to humans because unlike some pests, they do not commonly transmit diseases, bite, or sting. However, it is still very concerning to have termites on your property because of the damage they cause.

Termites cause a unique type of damage compared to carpenter ants because they consume wood and leave behind destroyed floors, walls, and ceilings. With weakened wood, homes are more susceptible to collapsing and potentially harming humans in this way.

How to Prevent Termites

To reduce your home’s chances of attracting termites, create a barrier to stand between the wood around your foundation and soil on the ground. Only concrete should touch the soil, if possible. Ensure that plants aren’t growing too close to your foundation, and also make sure that storm drains empty out away from the foundation and not right next to it.

Termites love damp areas, so you can also help prevent them by fixing leaks in outside faucets that are attached to the house. It’s also a smart idea to schedule a yearly termite inspection with your local pest control company to make sure that termites aren’t hiding where you can’t see them.

Other Things to Know About Termites

There are different types of termites, and each one affects your home in a unique way. For example, subterranean termites live in colonies ad leave dark-colored blisters in wood flooring. Drywood termites often damage walls, poles, and furniture in a home. Dampwood termites love moist environments, as their name suggests. Meanwhile, Formosan termites target structural components of homes and are often found when doing renovations.

How to Get Rid of Termites

No matter what type of termites you have and even though they don’t pose direct risks to human health, it is important to rid your home of termites at the first signs of these pests. Your best bet in New Jersey is to call Precise Termite & Pest Control for a free inspection as soon as you notice damage in wooden structures.

Call us today at 866-972-2847 for our professional extermination services and prevention assistance to keep them away from your home for good.

Where Carpenter Bees Nest and How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees Nests

carpenter bee hole nest in wood

There are thousands of species that exist in our world, including carpenter bees that are common in New Jersey. Carpenter bees have unique nesting habits and can cause significant damage to your home if an infestation is not promptly addressed.

Here is some information about carpenter bees’ nests and what you can do to prevent and get rid of them around your yard.

Common Places for Carpenter Bees’ Nests

As their name suggests, carpenter bees nest in wood to store pollen and survive the winter season. House frames and eaves are common places for carpenter bee nests, especially if these areas have bare wood rather than stained wood. Outdoor patio furniture made of wood, rafters, decks, and siding are also common places for carpenter bees to nest.

Nesting and Mating Habits of Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are unique in that they are solitary insects and do not live in colonies like other types of bees. These bees find mates when they emerge into the spring season and then burrow into wooden structures to create nests for females to lay their eggs. Meanwhile, the male carpenter bees guard the nests to protect the females and offspring from predators. Once the offspring is born, the parent carpenter bees will often die naturally in in these nests.

Damage Caused by Carpenter Bees Nest in Wood

Carpenter bees cause damage similar to termites because of their wood-boring nature. This is problematic because wood that has been compromised by a carpenter bee nest is prone to moisture damage and decay over time. This can make the structure of your home less secure and result in costly home repairs in the future. Holes in wood caused by carpenter bees can also attract woodpeckers and fungi growth.

How to Prevent and Get Rid of a Carpenter Bees Nest

To prevent carpenter bee infestations, inspect your home on a regular basis for holes and cracks. Seal up any gaps you find, and also make a point to repair screens on windows and doors that have tears in them.

When it comes to carpenter bee removal, it is best to trust trained professionals who know how to handle these troublesome pests. Precise Termite and Pest Control has been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over 30 years and is offering 10 percent off new annual contracts for pest control services.

At the first sign of unusual bee activity or wood damage around your home, call us at 866-971-2847 and we’ll send an expert exterminator out for a free inspection.

Why Gutter Cleaning is Important and How to Do It Right

dirt and weeds in a gutter

As part of routine house maintenance, it is recommended that you clean out the gutters of your house every spring and fall. Yet often out of sight and out of mind, many homeowners neglect gutter cleaning or simply don’t think about it each year.

Here is an overview of why gutter cleaning is important and where to get professional help for your gutter cleaning needs.

The Importance of Gutter Cleaning

Clean gutters do much more than just give your home a greater aesthetic appeal. In fact, there are many reasons to keep your gutters clean, including preventing water damage, protecting your roof, and keeping pests away that can cause infestations and damage. When discussing the importance of gutter cleaning, it is also worth mentioning that clean gutters reduce the risk of a cracked foundation and save you money by avoiding costly repairs in the future.

Damage Caused by Unclean Gutters

If you do not clean out your gutters at least once or twice per year, you run the risk of damaging your roof, foundation, and other parts of your home. You might have a leaky roof due to sticks and other types of debris in the gutters or accidently create perfect nesting habitats for rodents, bees, and other pests. This could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair if the gutters aren’t cleaned out in a timely way.

Precise Termite and Pest Control for Your Gutter Cleaning Needs

Although you can certainly clean your home’s gutters yourself as a DIY project throughout the year, it is best to have them professionally cleaned at least annually. An expert cleaner can access those hard-to-reach spots and focus on often-missed areas, such as downspouts that make it difficult for rainwater to pass through.

If you live in an area with many trees that shed leaves and twigs, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently than a homeowner with a barer yard. Amateur gutter cleaning can be dangerous and result in falls off of ladders and hospital emergency room visits, so make sure to weigh the pros and cons of doing this tedious task yourself versus calling for help.

At Precise Pest Control, we do much more than just exterminate pests and provide preventative pest services. Our versatile team of professionals also offer gutter cleaning services to help you preserve the value of your home and keep its structural integrity in top condition. We have all the tools and professional equipment required for a thorough gutter cleaning, as well as the expertise to advise you about where potential gutter problems could arise in the future.

For a free gutter inspection, call us at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online contact form.

What Do Termites Look Like and How to Identify Termite Damage

Termite Damage To Wood Panel HouseHere in New Jersey, we have many types of insects that find their way into our backyards and homes. However, one of the most destructive insects is the termite, which is our professional specialty at Precise Termite & Pest Control.

Here’s what termites look like and how to get help when you suspect a termite problem.

Understanding What Termites Look Like

There are actually dozens of different types of termite species, but they all have similarities in their appearance. Termites are usually between a quarter-inch and a half-inch long in size. They have straight antennae, white or light brown coloring, and soft bodies. Termites have a straight waist and vary in appearance based on if they are in the role of soldier, worker, or swarmer.

Other Bugs That Look Like Termites

Ants are commonly mistaken for termites because of their size, especially carpenter ants, flying ants, and fire ants. However, ants have bent antennae, pinched waists, and wings of different lengths. These are all characteristics that set them apart from termites. With regard to noticeable damage caused, homeowners may believe they have a termite problem when the insects are really powderpost beetles or carpenter bees.

Property Damage Caused by Termites

Termites are very destructive pest insects that chew through the wood of your home, including support beams and ceiling joists. When they get inside your home, they can chew through favorite pieces of furniture that you love. Termite damage also goes beyond just wood because these insects feast upon insulation, metal siding, and other parts of your home that ensure its structural integrity.

Identifying Termite Damage

Termite damage often looks like water damage because it causes swollen floors and buckling wood. You may notice cracks due to termite tunnels under the surface or mud tubes that look like clumpy lines in the soil. If you notice strange damage around your home and aren’t sure what caused it, it’s always best to call in a professional to take a look for you and best assess the situation.

Local Help with Your Termite Problem

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we know what it takes to tackle a termite problem because we’ve been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over three decades. By the time you notice damage, a termite infestation is often more widespread than you think, so it’s important to do a full inspection of your home to address all problem areas.

If think termites could be to blame for damage you’ve noticed around the house, don’t wait another day to call us at 866-971-2847 or contact us online. We are proud to serve Bergen and Passaic counties with fast responses, emergency treatments, simple call-backs, and preventative advice to keep your home free of pests.

How Bird Nest Removal Works and Why It’s Important

bird nest resting in a wooden houseBirds can be beautiful and beneficial creatures with soothing songs, colorful features, and fascinating habits. You might be initially pleased to see a bird nest in your backyard because it means birds will continue coming back to your area day after day. But bird nests also create damage and disease concerns, ultimately requiring removal.

That’s why we at Precise Termite and Pest Control offer bird control services to help you manage nuisance birds and enjoy every part of your home’s backyard.

Birds That Create Backyard Nests

There are many different birds that create nests in the Eastern U.S., including the American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, Barn Swallow, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Bluebird. Birds make nests to provide safe places for their eggs and to raise their young. Nests provide habitats to lay, incubate, and care for eggs. These nests are commonly made of leaves, grass, and mud. However, plastics and paper that you leave out in your backyard can also be used as bird nesting materials.

Other Common Nest Locations

In addition to backyards, birds also build nests on balconies, awnings, and building overhangs. Nooks of houses are popular bird nesting spots because they provide shelter from the elements of nature. Depending on the type of bird, you might find nests high up in trees, along steep cliffs, in shallow water, or even in underground burrows.

Dangers of Bird Nests

Certain birds are classified as pests because of the damage and diseases they cause, such as starlings, sparrows, swallows, and pigeons. If pest birds build nests in your backyard, chances are that you will have an even bigger pest problem soon when the eggs in those nests hatch and become fully grown birds.

Nests can clog the pipes and gutters of your home, which interferes with drainage and can cause structural damage over time. Bird nests can also be harboring places for diseases, such as E. coli and salmonellosis. If you are not sure what type of bird has built a nest on your property, it is recommended to have it checked by a professional to see if bird nest removal is your best option.

How to Remove a Birds Nest

Because birds are unpredictable and can carry diseases, it is best to leave bird nest removal to the professionals. At Precise Termite and Pest Control, we offer free consultations to come out and check your nest situation and give you our recommendations about how to proceed. We will safely and humanely remove your nuisance bird nest to help you prevent damage to your home and the spread of disease.

If you are located in Bergen County or Passaic County and have a bird nest concern, please call us at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online contact form.