Category Archives: Wood Destroying Insects

How Do You Know If You Have Termites in Your NJ Home?

Termite Control

Unlike other types of insects, such as carpenter bees, that leave behind very obvious signs of wood infestation and damage, termites are adept at hiding their presence in homes and outbuildings.

Evidence of a Termite Colony

Since a colony can eat and destroy large portions of wood structures in less than a half year, it’s important to keep an eye out for the following in and around your New Jersey home:

  • Mud tubes built underground in soil and mud and/or across lower walls, patios, fences, sheds, flower boxes, steps, basements and other dark places. Typically, these mud “tunnels” are thin as a pencil and branching, but you might find some built up ones in dark crawl spaces, for example, that are a lot wider.
  • Any type of weakness in what should be solid wood can indicate that termites have been eating through it, such as sudden unexplained sagging and cracking; as well as wood that pushes in when you press on it or sounds hollow when you tap its surfaces.
  • A pile of what looks like dirt or sawdust is an obvious indicator.
  • Termites are known to make these piles in room corners near wooden baseboards and on wooden windowsills.

Allison Pest Control offers a free inspections as part of our Ocean County and Monmouth County pest control services. If you find signs of a termite colony infestation, or you’re still uncertain, contact us today!

How to Identify a Carpenter Bee Nest

NJ Carpenter Bees
NJ Carpenter Bees

Wood-boring or carpenter bees are one of the greatest insect threats to outdoor wooden structures. Their tunnels are not tiny and run deep into the wood. Additionally, they extend old tunnels every year and make new ones.

At Allison Pest Control, we care about protecting the environment. Carpenter bees harm properties, but they are also pollinators. Yet, the best way to prevent new damage is with an insecticide. For this reason, the goal should always be to stop infestations and prevent new ones as soon as possible.

Identifying Bees

Carpenter bees are one of the easiest pests to identify:

  • Abdomens — They look like bumblebees except their abdomens are shiny black with less hair.
  • Hovering — Carpenter bees hover around wood.
  • Density — They prefer female/male pairings rather than swarms.

Identifying Nests

Carpenter bee nests are even easier to identify than carpenter bees! Look for:

  • Sawdust near unfinished, untreated and/or soft or old previously-treated wood.
  • Holes against the grain that are approximately 1/2-inch in diameter.
  • Tunnels 1 to 2 inches deep that then turn and run along the grain approximately 6 inches or more.

Whether you need a Wall Township pest control expert, or pest control in other areas of Monmouth and Ocean counties, Allison Pest Control knows which insecticides are permitted for use in your area and the right methods to stop future infestations. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free pest inspection!

How to Identify Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites
Subterranean Termites

We believe at Allison Pest Control that the best way to offer Monmouth and Tom’s River pest control services is by first teaching home and business owners how to identify harmful insects that live in New Jersey.

Subterranean termites are nearly invisible to the untrained eye and they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage and lengthy repairs.

You can identify subterranean termites two ways:

Property Damage

Wood damage such as holes and tunnels often indicates termite infestation, but different insects leave different markings. Additionally, wood damage isn’t the only indicator. Look for:

  • Damage along the wood grain instead of across it.
  • Holes and tunnels in the soil or mud in plant boxes or near trees, shrubs, foundations, walls, decks, steps and fences.

Physical Appearance

Termites live in colonies that have a queen, other reproductives, workers and soldiers. Most termites are about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. Look for:

  • Specific castes – Reproductives have thin, uniform-shaped white, cream, pale yellow/brown or black bodies with or without gray wings. Workers have wider, wingless white or cream bodies. Soldiers have larger heads and mandibles than workers.
  • Ant comparisons – Termites look similar but have wider waists, straight antennae and little wing variation.

If you suspect you have a subterranean termite infestation, never attempt D-I-Y eradication. Contact us through any of our region-specific numbers today. Allison Pest Control has been helping New Jersey residents for almost a hundred years!

Do Carpenter Bees Damage Your House?

Carpenter Bees
Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are often confused with the other large species – the bumblebee. While similar in appearance, they are two different types of bees. Carpenter bees are formidable aerialists and not the most social. They are known to hover around people and dive bomb them when agitated.

The male carpenter bee does not sting. His is more a show of bravado. The female can sting but not as a general rule. She must be provoked to go on the attack.

Carpenter bees make their nests during the winter where they’ll hibernate until warmer weather. The female drills into wood which can be fences, decks, window frames, or any other wood structure. She may use the same nest from year to year which can result in damage to areas of your home over time.

In the spring, mating season begins and this is when you’ll see bees out and about. The female bee is busy digging new tunnels or refurbishing an old one. She’ll store food in the tunnel and lay an egg. In late summer, a new batch of carpenter bees emerge and make visits to the flower garden before the winter sets in.The cycle is repeated with hibernation during the winter and mating during the spring.

If carpenter bees are buzzing around your house, give us a call at Allison Pest Control. We have the knowledge and know-how to rid your home of unwanted guests.

Three Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees
Carpenter Bees

As if it wasn’t bad enough dealing with carpenter ants and termites, carpenter bees are also a source of aggravation for NJ homeowners. These pests have a nasty habit of tunneling into wooden structures like decks and porches. Males can also be aggressive during spring mating season, hovering annoyingly as you try to relax outside.

While it’s visually difficult to distinguish carpenter bees from bumblebees, they do have some significant differences. Here are some facts you may not know about these insects.

  • Unlike bumblebees that nest in the ground in social communities, carpenter bees live alone, burrowing into wooden structures. Another telltale sign is on the upper side of the abdomen, which is shiny and hairless on a carpenter bee.
  • While male carpenter bees may put up a macho front, sometimes even flying directly into you, they cannot sting. On the other hand, female carpenter bees can sting but rarely do so unless provoked to the point of feeling threatened.
  • Carpenter bees do not eat wood like termites do. Problems arise when they are left to tunnel into the same structure year after year, which can result in serious structural damage.

Have you noticed bees lurking around the deck of your NJ home? Don’t try to solve the problem on your own. Contact us for safe and effective extermination of carpenter bees or any other insect or animal pests.

Carpenter Ants: a Hidden Pest

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants

We see them all the time. The tiny bug with antenna busily working away making tunnels, gathering food, and just all around staying organized and on top of the situation. These tiny creatures are ants and  can carry the title of “busy bees” easily.

The opposite in size of the tiny ants are the super-sized carpenter ants. These large black ants are the largest in North America. These super ants can grown to nearly an inch long. They have a sweet tooth which is provided by aphids in your garden. The ants protect, tend, and feed the aphid colonies so they have an endless supply of the sweet juice produced by aphids.

They’re also clean bugs removing unhealthy items from their colony. They also collect plant resins to use to clean the nests.

Strength is a virtue and carpenter ants have extremely powerful jaws that allow them to lift items that are up to 7 times their weight. Carpenter ants use their powerful jaws to chew and the favorite item is wood.

Decaying logs are a prime location for carpenter ants to retain their colonies. When decaying trees aren’t readily available, the wood foundation of your home is the next best place causing costly repairs.

Contact our office and let our expert staff help you with your pest problems. Like we say on our website, give us a call and “Never worry about bugs again”.