Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why Do Termites Swarm?

So, A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Is the BarTender here?

In the insect world, the word “swarm” has different meanings that conjure up different images. Killer bee “swarms” that rush out of their hive to attack are acting aggressively and defensively to protect their hive. In contrast, a honey bee “swarm” looking for a new nest site for their queen is very docile and not likely to sting. They also stay tightly grouped together. Termites “swarms,” on the other hand, are neither aggressive nor tightly grouped. A termite swarm is an event in which certain environmental conditions trigger a great number of winged termites to simultaneously fly from their nest (about 600-900 feet) to mate and locate new nest sites and food sources. Once matched, a “royal couple” burrows into the ground where the queen begins to lay eggs.
Behavior and survival:
 When a swarm occurs, winged termite swarmers called alates emerge in large numbers from cracks in buildings or holes in the soil through swarm tubes made by worker termites. Only a small percentage survives to form new colonies. Many are eaten by predators like birds, bats, and other insects. Or they die from natural causes and environmental conditions before they can locate a mate and nest site. Researchers generally agree that it takes years before a newly established colony will produce termite swarmers. With favorable conditions, it may take 4 years before a colony produces swarmers; with less favorable conditions, it will take longer.
Other factors that trigger a swarm:
Aside from natural swarm cycles, other environmental conditions can trigger a termite swarm. A swarm can be triggered by a diminishing food supply, lack of water to support a colony and, in some cases, application of regular pesticides. Synthetic pyrethroid-type termiticides work by repelling termites from a structure and can cut off termite movement from a structure to required moisture sources in the soil. Under these circumstances, the termites–whether located in the soil or within the structure–would be stressed from either a lack of food or water and swarming may be the response to ensure survival.
When and where swarms occur:
Swarms occur at different times of year–and day–for different termite species. Most of the native subterranean species swarm in the spring and to a lesser degree in the fall, usually after a rain. In San Diego, peak swarm season for the subterranean termite occurs from February through April. Drywood termites tend to swarm September through November.  Remember that all swarmers cause NO structural damage to buildings, they are an indicator that there is a termite colony nearby.

Inspecting for swarms:
Swarmers that appear within a home after a termiticide treatment do not pose a threat for a new infestation. Homeowners may contact their Pest Management professional (PMP) to control the swarmers so they’re not a nuisance, but in most cases, vacuuming the dead swarmers is all that’s needed. If a swarm occurs before a termiticide treatment, a PMP should perform a thorough inspection of the structure to recommend the best method of control.
Assessing infestation:
The presence of many swarmers (hundreds) in an untreated structure indicates a termite infestation. In some cases, though, the presence of a few swarmers, or only their wings around windows and doors, etc., may not necessarily mean that the structure is infested. It may simply indicate the presence of an outdoor colony near the structure; swarmers are attracted to a structure’s lights. What’s more, even heavy swarms outside and near a building may not indicate an infestation at all. But in all of these cases, it’s prudent to have a PMP thoroughly inspect the structure.
Termidor and swarms:
Termidor termiticide is a non-repellent chemical. Termites can’t smell it, see it, or feel it. Since they don’t know it’s there, they forage freely in a treated area. Its toxic effect to termites is slow compared to many other termiticides, so no immediate threat is realized by the colony and swarming is not triggered by a Termidor treatment.
Termidor control:
Termidor kills termites through ingestion, contact, and through “The Transfer Effect™.” The active ingredient in Termidor–fipronil–is slow acting and allows the termite to continue its normal routine. But the termite remains active long enough to transfer the termiticide to a large number of other termites in the colony before dying itself. This combination of ingestion, contact, and “Transfer Effect” (which is unique, puts Termidor in a category by itself) routinely provides 100% termite control in 3 months or less (Subterranean Termite Control)
Swarms after treatment:
Occasionally, homeowners report swarms after a Termidor treatment. These are probably coincidental and have less to do with the treatment and more to do with the time of year, environmental conditions, and the termite colony’s size and health. The colony may have been in a “biological mode” to swarm at that time, which happened simultaneously with the Termidor application. Swarms occurring soon after a termiticide treatment may or may not be linked to the treatment, but in either case the swarm would not indicate a failed treatment. Importantly, a responsible termite control program demands periodic inspections by a licensed PMP.

For more info on handling your termite situation, contact Antac Pest Control at 877-AntacMan, or visit our website at


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

...And Now, a Word from the Honey Bee. Take Notes!

...And Now, a Word from the Honey Bee. Take Notes!

Have you ever wondered how bees communicate with each other? They are so well organized. How do they do it?? Honey Bees have a very interesting "language," a means of communicating with one another. When a worker goes out and discovers a flower with good nectar flow, she returns to the hive and "tells" the other workers about it- the type of flower, its direction from the hive, and how far away it is. The type of flower involved is communicated by means of its odor, either on the body hairs of the returning bee or in the nectar it brings back from the flower. The distance and direction of the flower from the hive are "told" by means of a dance put on by the returning worker. Many social insects have a "language" or a means of communication, but its exact nature is known in relatively few species.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Kill Termites Using Orange Oil...Let's see

There has been a lot of hype lately about using Orange Oil to kill termites. You have probably heard the ads on the radio or seen the commercials on television. "No need to move out!" "All natural!" "Smells like oranges after we are done!" Well, I'd like to show some very important research that has been done regarding orange oil that will make you think twice about using the method that many inspectors call "The Snake Oil Treatment".

Firstly, we can start off with the claim that orange oil companies make, stating they can completely eradicate your home of termites using orange oil. This is a false and misleading statement. If any company makes this claim to you, send them out of your home immediately. Take a look at this report done by ABC News regarding various treatment options and the interview with a member of the Structural Pest Control Board of California: 

"Companies that perform treatments and advertise them as whole-house treatments with orange oil would be in violation of rules and regulations of the state and they would be subject to disciplinary action," said Dennis Patzer, Structural Pest Control Board.

In an effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of orange oil, Dow Agro Sciences conducted a study comparing orage oil to Vikane gas. The conclusion of the study demonstrated that using XT-2000 orange oil eliminates only 81% of a termite colony.

After the discovery was made, Dow Agro Science published a pamphlet to help distinguish the differences between choosing Vikane gas treatment (tenting) and using Orange Oil (spot). Click the link below to see the pamphlet: 

To make things simple, the Structural Pest Control Board released a fact sheet regarding exterminating termites. Click the link below to read the fact sheet.

Stay away from the "Snake Oil"... I mean Orange Oil salesmen. When you really want 100% control of the termites eating away at your home, business, or any other wooden structure, CONTACT ANTAC PEST CONTROL today! Call 877-ANTACMAN or 858-505-8080.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

This Just in: Bees Caught in a Sting Operation!

We could all learn a lot from bees: Organization, productivity, community service, stinging people who annoy us... Well, bees will be in full force soon. Remember not to annoy them on your own. Call a professional.

Remember that old saying, "April showers brings May flowers?" One thing that saying failed to mention is that the flowers bring bees. Sometimes those bees end up setting up a hive in your walls, roofs, sheds, irrigation boxes, etc. Unless you are a beekeeper, you don't want bees setting up shop in your home. The honeycomb in your wall will attract moths, rats, and many other insects. If you notice bee activity on your home, call Antac's BEE REMOVAL DEPARTMENT as soon as possible.

Many people wonder what the difference is between normal honey bees and Africanized honey bees.
Honey Bees can be recognized by their golden brown coloration and characteristic shape, the form of the marginal and submarginal cells in the front wing, and the absence of spurs on the hind tibiae. These bees are common and well-known insects, and they are the most important bees in plant pollination. They are extremely valuable, as they produce some $300 million worth of honey and beeswax annually, and their pollinating activities are worth 130 to 140 times this amount.

Only a single species of honey bee occurs in North America, Apis mellifera L. This is an introduced species, and most of its colonies are in human-made hives. Escaped swarms usually nest in a hollow tree. The cells in the nest are vertical combs, two cell layers thick. Honey bee colonies are perennial, with the queen and workers overwintering in the hive. A queen may live several years. Unlike the bumble bee queen, a honey bee queen cannon start a colony by herself. As in most Hymenoptera, the sex of a bee is in large part controlled by the fertilization of the egg: Fertilized eggs develop into females, and unfertilized eggs develop into males. Whether a larval honey be destined to become a female becomes a worker or queen depends on the sort of food it is fed. There is normally only one queen in a honey bee colony. When a new one is produced, it may be killed by the old queen, or one if the queens (usually the old queen) may leave the hive in a swarm, along with a group of workers, and build a nest elsewhere. The new queen mates during a mating flight and never leaves the nest except to swarm. The males serve only to fertilize the queen and die in the act of mating. They do not remain in the colony long, as they are eventually killed by the workers.

North American honey bees, which have been introduced into this continent from Europe, are not particularly aggressive and are easy to manage. In 1956 an African strain of the honey bee was brought into southern Brazil with the intention of interbreeding them with the European strain. Mated queens and workers accidentally escaped and established wild colonies. This strain of the bee has become known as the "killer bee." Since its introduction this strain has spread over a large part of South and Central America and into the southern United States. These bees produce more honey than the European strain, but they are very aggressive. At the slightest disturbance, they attack people and animals with great ferocity, often chasing them 100 to 200 meters (sometimes as far as a kilometer). Both livestock and people have been killed by these bees. Beekeeping practices in South America have changed somewhat as a result of the introduction  of this strain: Colonies are now generally removed from settlements and livestock. Attempts are being made to reduce aggressiveness of the bees by crossbreeding and selection.

Please contact Antac Pest Control, The Bee Removal Company for a free estimate on getting rid of the bees on your structure. Call 858-505-8080 or Toll-Free at 877-AntacMan (268-2262).

Contact The Bee Removal Company for my Free Estimate

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Watch Out For Those Spiders!

A female spider of the genus Amaurobius protecting her young.

Around the second year of life, Amaurobiidae spiders lay an average of 40 eggs in a breeding chamber spun of silk, where the mother will protect the eggs until hatching. When the young are born, they will consume their egg yolk, and then devour their mother before emerging from the chamber.

As the saying goes, " If you see one, there are many more hiding behind your walls".

Be sure to contact Antac Pest Control to help with any of your termite and pest control needs. Servicing all of San Diego.

Call 858-505-8080
Toll free: 877- ANTACMAN

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Aerial Photos of Costco Fumigation

The project of fumigating Costco was a gigantic project. Pictures from the ground just didn't give this the justice it deserved, so we hired a helicopter pilot to take aerial photos. Click on the link to take a look:


If you are in need of pest control, termite control, bee removal, rodent control, or termite inspections, feel free to call Antac Pest Control at 858-505-8080 or 877-ANTACMAN


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Antac Pest Control Fumigates Costco for Termites

On December 22, 2012, Antac Pest Control fumigated Costco's Optical Lab, which may be considered one of the the largest fumigations in San Diego County history.

The size of the job was 4,770,000 cubic feet. To put this into perspective, imagine an average 2500 square foot home. This job would equate to putting around 160 of those homes under a single tent.

The crew began on December 21, preparing the site. The next morning, over 30 employees arrived to begin placing tarps over the gigantic structure. All monitoring devices and monitoring lines were placed meticulously to allow for a proper extermination of the termite infestation. At around 4:00pm, the entire structure was covered and Vikane Gas had been released into the structure.

All of the employees were pretty excited to be treated to Phil's BBQ after the job was complete. "If you have to work on a Saturday, you might as well make the event a fun-filled team event with a reward at the end.", said Bill Lawson, manager of the fumigation crew.

The next day, December 23, 2012, gas-level monitors showed that everything was perfect. There was no leaking that occurred over night, so ventilation systems were opened so the structure could begin ventilating itself.

Finally, on December 24, 2012 (Christmas Eve), our crew came back out late in the afternoon to test gas levels. After the readings on our monitoring devices showed that the gas had dissipated from the structure, the nearly 400 employees were ready to get back to work. Tarps were removed and Costco was on its way back to providing eyeglasses and lenses for half of the United States.

"This job could not have gone more perfectly.", said Josh Long, Owner at Antac Pest Control.

If you are in need of a termite treatment on your home or business, don't hesitate to call Antac Pest Control at 858-505-8080 or 877-ANTACMAN. No job is too big or too small.

Schedule a FREE Termite Inspection