Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking sweet or greasy substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas. They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations. And their colonies can range in size from 300,000 to 500,000 ants.

Ants are a consistent problem all over the country, and they can be very difficult to control. That´s because most do-it-yourself approaches only kill the ants you see, whereas a truly effective treatment will control the entire local ant population. Also, there are several different types of ants that can be classified as pests, including pavement ants, pharaoh ants, carpenter ants, odorous ants and fire ants. Home remedies don’t always account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.

Crickets are easily recognizable to most people, both by their look and their distinct "chirping" mating call. They´re typically ¾ inch long with enlarged back legs designed for jumping. They generally live and breed outdoors, but will invade buildings searching for food, moisture, or shelter. The adults are attracted to bright lights on buildings and may fly to homes and other buildings in mid- to late summer. Once near the building, crickets will crawl through any crack or hole that allows them access inside. Crickets have been known to feed on and damage clothing mainly, but they are omnivorous, and can damage paper, fruits, and vegetables as well.

There are several types of roaches, such as the American Cockroach-- the largest structure-infesting species, the German Cockroach-- smaller, but the most widely dispersed in the U.S., and the Asian Cockroach - almost identical to the German Cockroach, but capable of flight. There are many common elements among roaches, however. They are primarily nocturnal, they breed very quickly, and they are scavengers who will eat almost anything. Their preferred habitats range from warm, damp environments, such as sewers, steam tunnels, basements, crawl spaces, and boiler rooms, and they will frequent kitchens and bathrooms for sources of food and moisture.

Often, the key to control is to find and treat these sources directly. In many cases, the services of a professional company are required to achieve long-term relief. In southern states where this roach lives outdoors, successful control involves treating the attic, crawl space, and exterior cracks in the home and finding and treating likely roach harborages over the entire property.

Spiders are easily distinguished from other insects by their eight legs and their lack of wings or antennae. While there are countless varieties that you may encounter both inside and outside of your home, only two species of spider are considered harmful to humans in the United States--the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Some spiders like moisture and are found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of buildings. Others like dry, warm areas such as subfloor air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics. Either way, they usually prefer to hide in dark areas. To avoid contact with spiders, keep an eye out for telltale webs, and if you suspect an infestation, shake out shoes, clothing, and bedding before use.Fleas
Fleas are ectoparasites of animals, meaning they live on the outside of the body and need to feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals in order to produce eggs. They are tiny, reddish-brown insects measuring about 1/6 inch in length. The most common species is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans. Many pets acquire fleas outside in the yard, where fleas infest both other household pets and wild animals. Once inside, large populations can build up quickly. A female flea can lay about 18 eggs a day and just 20 fleas on a dog can produce over 2000 eggs in a week. Fleas usually remain on their warm-blooded hosts at all times, although they can also be found on shoes, pant legs, or blankets, which can transfer the fleas to new environments. They’ve been known to transmit several bacteria and diseases, and their debris can spark allergic reactions. It’s important to remember that after your building is treated for fleas, it may take up to two weeks or more before fleas are no longer seen. That’s because the treatment controls the adult flea population, but the eggs will remain unaffected until they hatch. Clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and prevent the laying of eggs.

Most everyone recognizes the honeybee common to any flowering garden. They’re usually about ½ inch long and golden-yellow in color with darker bands of brown. Honeybees are the only type of social bee that establish perennial colonies that may survive a decade or longer. In the wild, honeybees will often nest inside cavities within trees, caves, or cracks in rock formations. But occasionally, a colony will nest inside an attic, crawl space, or a chimney in a building. Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the sting. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction. Colonies can grow to be very large, and removal of a honeybee nest and the honey product can be very messy, and therefore honeybees should be addressed by a professional. Once the colony has been eliminated, it may be necessary to open the wall and remove all the honey and honeycomb. If not removed, the honey will rot, produce strong odors and stains, as well as attract other insect pests.Rodents
Rodents can be rather destructive pests, spreading disease, contaminating food and destroying property. They vary in color and size by species. The most common rodents that live in close proximity to humans are Norway rats, roof rats, house mice and deer mice.

  • Norway rats are grayish-brown, roughly 13 to 17 inches long from nose to end of tail.
  • Roof rats are black or brown and smaller and sleeker than Norway rats, with tails longer than their bodies.
  • House mice, usually light gray, are small and slender, five to seven inches long from nose to end of tail.
  • Deer mice are small, tan or brown on top with white feet and underbellies.

Rodents are difficult to keep out of buildings regardless of their size. Rats can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter, and mice can squeeze through holes the size of a dime. Also, during severe weather conditions like hurricanes, rodents often relocate to new areas in search of food, water and shelter. If you suspect a rodent infestation, you should take steps to eliminate suspected infestations by removing rodent food sources and nesting sites with the advice of Hathorn's licensed pest management professionals.