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ACROBAT ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/16-1/8 inch; light brown to black


UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 2-node ant. Hold abdomen over thorax & head. Pedicel attached to upper surface of abdomen. Abdomen heart shaped when viewed from top.

HARBORAGE

  • INDOORS: Nest in moist wood. Follow utility lines & wires.

  • OUTDOORS: Moist wood softened by decay or fungi.

FOOD

  • Acrobat Ants enjoy honeydew from aphids on ornamental plants. They also eat dead insects, sweets, & high-protein foods such as meat.

  • INDOORS: Sweets and high-protein foods (meats).

  • OUTDOORS: Honeydew from aphids, mealybugs, and live or dead insects.

WATER
  • Wall voids, baseboards, or door and window framing particularly if it has been damaged by moisture or previously infested with other insects. They may even enlarge cavities formed by other insects such as old galleries of termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-infesting insects.


HOW TO INSPECT

  • When found indoors, look first at the structure's exterior. Look for trailing ants on the foundation & utility lines. Inside look for piles of debris, especially Styrofoam insulation.

    IPM

  • Homeowner should correct the moisture problem in house. Seal cracks and crevices to stop entry into house. Trim back tree branches that touch house. Treat ornamental plants to eliminate aphids.

TREATMENT METHOD

  • The professional may inject pesticide into the wall void, spot treat at point of entry and use baits.

ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/16-1/8 inch. Brown to black in color. This ant is the most common any in Delaware homes and the most difficult to control.


UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 1-node ant. The node is hidden beneath the abdomen. When crushed, this any gives off a "rotten coconut" like odor.

HARBORAGE

  • These ants usually construct their nests in wall voids around hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks and cupboards.

FOOD

  • Odorous House Ants prefer sweets, but will also eat high-protein foods and grease. In other words, they eat anything!

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Look for tiny dark ants in the kitchen. They often come out of electrical sockets and forage on the kitchen counter.

    IPM

  • Sanitation will not stop the ants. Pesticides may eliminate the occasional forager in the living quarters of the house, but will not eliminate the colony.

TREATMENT METHOD

The professional will apply a barrier insecticide treatment and baits. Often two applications about 2 weeks apart are required for control. The homeowner must be patient and wait 2 weeks after the last application before asking for additional applications.

ARGENTINE ANTS

CHARACTERISTICS

Size and color

  • About 1/16 inch. Light to dark brown in color.


Unique characteristic

  • One-segmented petiole. The petiole is the segment between the thorax and the abdomen, from the side, the thorax of this any is uneven.

HARBORAGE

  • INDOORS: Argentine ants crawl on or in every imaginable place such as stoves, refrigerators, shelves, beds and clothing.
  • Often looking for moisture, Argentine ants may be found on water pipes, dish washers or other wet locations.
  • OUTDOORS: Argentine ants can be found nesting in moist areas under debris (logs, concrete slabs, trash, and mulch) and in debris (rotten wood, faulty places in trees, refuse piles, bird nests, bee hives, and other places).
  • They can form nests in exposed or covered soil. Argentine ants can form nests under homes and even within the home especially if their outdoor habitat is disrupted.

FOOD

  • They prefer sweets and often tend honeydew producing insects. Their diet changes throughout the year. They are reported to feed on sweets, meats, fruits, dairy products, eggs, animal fats and waste, and vegetable oils.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Argentine ants form very large colonies of a few hundred to several hundred thousand workers. Argentine ants are one of the trailing ants and may travel 200 feet or more with thousands of ants following each other from the nest to a food source.

    IPM

  • Eliminate ground clutter such as piles of construction materials, boards, sheets of tin or plywood and even decaying plant material from the yard that could serve as protection. Limit their access into the home by sealing cracks and crevices. Minimize watering of lawns and flowerbeds which create moist conditions that are favorable for the ants.
  • Keep vegetation around the home to a minimum and trimmed away from the structure. Trim tree limbs in contact with the structure and electrical wires to remove an easy path for Argentine ants. Do not leave food, especially sweets, sitting on counter tops uncovered.

Insecticides sprays or granules can be applied directly to the nests or around the structure. Make sure all nests are treated. To find ant nests, follow trails from the food source back to the nest. Indoors, baiting is the preferred treatment for Argentine ants. Place baits at the closest point where ants are entering the structure. Make sure the ants are feeding on the bait. Do not disturb or spray the ants in the bait stations.

PAVEMENT ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/8 inch. Dark brown.


UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 2-node ant. 12-segmented antenna with 3-segmented club. One pair of spines on thorax. Head and thorax have visible grooves.

HARBORAGE

  • These ants nest beside and under sidewalks, driveways and building foundations. During the winter, the ants often nest inside the home in the vicinity of a heat source.

FOOD

  • Pavement ants will eat a wide variety of foods, such as dead insects, grease, seeds and sweets. Honeydew produced by homopterous insects is a favored food.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Look for these ants around trash containers and on kitchen counters.

    IPM

  • Pesticides can eliminate Pavement Ant colonies in the driveway and near the House foundation. Kitchen sanitation will help reduce the infestation, but not eliminate it.

TREATMENT METHOD

The professional will apply a barrier insecticide treatment and baits. Often two applications about 2 weeks apart are required for control. The homeowner must be patient and wait 2 weeks after the last application before asking for additional applications.

CRAZY ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/16-1/8 inch; dark brown to black


UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 1-node ant. Antenna and legs very long.

HARBORAGE

  • These ants usually construct their nests underneath floors and in wall voids especially near hot water pipes and heaters.

FOOD

  • While Crazy Ants prefer to eat other insects and sweets, they will feed on almost any household food.

WATER

  • Wall voids, baseboards, or door and window framing particularly if it has been damaged by moisture or previously infested with other insects. They may even enlarge cavities formed by other insects such as old galleries of termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-infesting insects.


HOW TO INSPECT

  • Look for small dark ants in the kitchen that seem to run haphazardly about in search of food.


IPM

  • Sanitation will not stop the ants. Pesticides only may eliminate the occasional forager in the living quarters of the house, but will not eliminate the colony.

TREATMENT METHOD

The professional can apply a barrier insecticide treatment and baits

PHARAOH ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/16-1/8 inch. Brown to black in color. This ant is the most common ant in Delaware homes and the most difficult to control.


UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 2-node ant. Antenna 12 segmented with 3-segmented club. Easily confused with Thief Any which has 10-segmented antenna and 2-segmented club.

HARBORAGE

  • Pharaoh Ants nest in inaccessible warm, humid places near food/water sources. They use utility lines to move about the house.

FOOD

  • Pharaoh Ants have a range of food: syrup, fruit, meat, dead insects. They need carbs for maintaining the colony. They also need protein for reproduction and development of the young. The colony may shift food preferences as their needs change.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Look for small light colored ants in the kitchen and around pet dishes

    IPM

  • NEVER use an insecticide spray. Pharaoh Ant colonies have several hundreds of reproductive females. Insecticide spray causes the main colony to bud into 2, then 4, then 8, then 16...

TREATMENT METHOD

The professional must use a bait for control of Pharaoh Ants. Pre-baiting with non-toxic bait to locate the ants is recommended. The professional needs to know whether the colony is looking for carbs or protein and switch baits as the colony food needs change.

HARVESTER ANTS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • Moderately large (5-7 mm) reddish-brown ants.

UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • Two nodes, rows of hairs on the underside of the head.

HARBORAGE

  • Nests appear as flat, bare circular patches of soil averaging 12 feet in diameter.

FOOD

  • Primarily seed feeders although they will sometimes collect dead insects.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • The ants are usually observed near their very characteristic mounds, which are broad and flat with an extensive area around them cleared of vegetation.

    IPM

  • Maintaining thick, healthy turf can reduce the number of ant mounds present on school and neighboring property. Seal all suspected ant entry points into buildings. Fix or repair door sweeps.

TREATMENT METHOD

The granular ant baits labeled for lawn use around the nest opening.

CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS

RED IMPORTED FIRE ANT

SIZE AND COLOR

  • 1/16-1/4 inch. Body yellowish red and abdomen black.

UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • 2-node ant. No spines on thorax. Antenna 10-segmented with 2-segmented club. When the Fire Ant mound is disturbed, the mound will "boil over."

HARBORAGE

  • These ants almost always nest outdoors, but have been known to nest behind baseboards in the home.

FOOD

  • Fire Ants feed on any plant and animal material.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Look for an ant mount in the yard and it "boils over" when disturbed.

ESTABLISH EXPECTATIONS

  • It might take.....

IPM

  • Maintaining thick, healthy turf can reduce the number of southern fire ant mounds present on school and neighboring property. Seal all suspected any entry points into buildings. Fix or repair door sweeps.

TREATMENT METHOD

Individual mound treatments may take the form of a drench, where the mount is flooded with a large volume of liquid insecticide labeled for this purpose. Individual mounds may also be treated with a surface application of dust or granular formulation insecticide. While baits are generally much slower than direct mound treatments, they are safer and typically more effective if properly applied. When broadcasting fire ant bait, it is important to remember that the product should be applied very sparingly.

APHIDS

SIZE AND COLOR

  • Aphids come in many different colors ranging from clear to black. Aphids are mostly under 1/4 inch.

UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

  • Aphids have soft pear-shaped bodies with long legs and antennae. A few species appear waxy or woolly due to the secretion of a waxy white or gray substance over their body surface. Most species have a pair of tubelike structures called cornicles projecting backward out of the hind end of their body. The presence of cornicles distinguishes aphids from all other insects.

HARBORAGE

  • Almost every plant has one or more aphid species that occasionally feed on it. Aphids tend to be most prevalent along the upwind edge of the garden and close to the other infested plants of the same species. Many aphid species prefer the underside of leaves.

FOOD

  • Aphids use their long slender mouthparts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out fluids.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Check plants regularly for aphids–at least twice a week when plants are growing rapidly–in order to catch infestations early, so you can knock or hose them off or prune them out. Aphids tend to be most prevalent along the upwind edge of the garden and close to other infested plants of the same species, so make a special effort to check these areas. Many aphid species prefer the underside of leaves, so turn leaves over when checking for aphids.

ESTABLISH EXPECTATIONS

  • It might take.....

IPM

  • In some situations ants tend aphids and feed on the honeydew aphids excrete. At the same time, ants protect the aphids from natural enemies. If you see ants crawling up aphid-infested trees or woody plants, control the ants and it will help control the aphids. Where aphid populations are localized on a few curled leaves or new shoots, the best control may be to prune out these areas and dispose of them. In large trees, some aphids thrive in the dense inner canopy; pruning out these areas can make the habitat less suitable. Another way to reduce aphid populations on sturdy plants is to knock off the insects with a strong spray of water. Most dislodged aphids won't be able to return to the plant, and their honeydew will be washed off as well. Using water sprays early in the day allows plants to dry off rapidly in the sun and be less susceptible to fungal diseases.

TREATMENT METHOD

Individual mound treatments may take the form of a drench, where the mount is flooded with a large volume of liquid insecticide labeled for this purpose. Individual mounds may also be treated with a surface application of dust or granular formulation insecticide. While baits are generally much slower than direct mound treatments, they are safer and typically more effective if properly applied. When broadcasting fire ant bait, it is important to remember that the product should be applied very sparingly.

CENTIPEDES

SIZE AND COLOR

  • Centipedes (sometimes called hundred-leggers) are elongated, flattened animals bearing one pair of legs per body segment.

UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC

Millipede Centipede
Pairs of Legs 2 or 4 1
Last legs extend No Yes
Moves rapidly No Yes
Prone to biting No Yes

HARBORAGE

  • Centipedes are usually found in damp, dark places such as under stones, leaf mulch, or logs.INDOORS: Centipedes may occur in damp areas of basements, closets, or bathrooms, or anywhere in the home where insects occur. During the day they hide in dark cracks and crevices, coming out at night to search for insects to eat.

FOOD

  • House centipedes are predators and capture and eat other insects. They never damage plants or household items.

HOW TO INSPECT

  • Inspect underneath objects, particularly in and around areas of high moisture and organic material.

ESTABLISH EXPECTATIONS

  • It might take.....

IPM

  • Sealing cracks and other openings to the outside helps prevent millipedes from entering. Usually invasions are over within a few days. Eliminating moist hiding places around the home will kill or discourage millipedes. Outdoors, this includes removing rotting wood and decaying grass and leaves from around the house's foundation. This also eliminates millipede food sources. If there is excessive moisture in sub floor crawl spaces or basements, take measures to dry out these areas. To discourage millipedes in garden areas, reduce mulch and other organic matter and avoid excessive moisture.

TREATMENT METHOD

Crack, crevice, and spot treatment. Focus treatments in areas of high moisture and areas heavy in decaying organic matter and mulch.

IPM

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)

Integrated pest management or IPM so solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM is used to manage all kinds of pests at any location. IPM is an integral part to Aptive's treatment program strive to utilize the principles of IPM as often as possible own treatment methods and in our recommendations to customers regarding what they can do for their home to minimize pest activity. There will be certain elements of IPM that are not part of Aptive's treatment program it is important to be armed with this knowledge in order to provide customers with the most professional feedback possible about how they can utilize these principles to create a pest-free property. This a process we use and we both in our however

HOW DOES IT WORK?
  • With IPM to keep pests from becoming a problem, such as recommending to customers to caulk cracks to keep insects or rodents from entering a building. Caulking and other exclusion methods may not always be part of Aptive's treatment program. Service Pros should always make recommendations to customers about how customers can implement IPM principles to reduce their pest problems. Rather than simply eliminating the pests you see right now, using IPM means you'll look at environmental factors you take actions however that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. Armed with this information you can create conditions that are unfavorable for the pest long term.

MONITORING & CORRECT PEST IDENTIFICATION HELP YOU DECIDE WHETHER MANAGEMENT IS NEEDED
  • Monitoring means checking your field, landscape or building to identify which pests are present, how many there are, or what damage they've caused. Correctly identifying the pest is key to knowing whether a pest is likely to become a problem and determining the best management strategy. After monitoring and considering information about the pest, its biology, and environmental factors, you can decide whether the pest can be tolerated or whether it is a problem that warrants control. If control is needed, this information also helps you select the most effective management methods and the best time to use them.

IPM PROGRAMS COMBINE MANAGEMENT APPROACHES FOR GREATER EFFECTIVENESS
  • The most effective, long-term way to manage pests is by using a combination of methods that work better together than separately. Approaches for managing pests are often groups in the following categories.

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL:

The use of natural enemies:
  • Predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors-to control pests and their damage. Invertebrates, plant pathogens, nematodes, weeds and vertebrates have many natural enemies.

CULTURAL CONTROLS:
  • Practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. For example, changing irrigation practices can reduce pest problems, since too much water can increase disease and weeds.

MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL CONTROLS:
  • Kill a pest directly, block pests out or make the environment unsuitable for it. Traps for rodents are examples of mechanical control. Physical controls include mulches for weed management or barriers such as screens to keep insects out.

CHEMICAL CONTROL:
  • Inspection: The use of pesticides. In IPM, pesticides are used only when needed and in combination with other approaches for more effective, long-term control. Pesticides are selected and applied in a way that minimizes their possible harm to people, non-target organisms and the environment. With IPM you'll use the most selective pesticide that will do the job and be the safest for other organisms and for air, soil and water quality.

IPM PROGRAMS

These IPM principles are practices are combined to create IPM programs. While each situation is different six major components are common to all IPM programs:

1. Pest identification.

2. Monitoring and assessing pest numbers and damage.

3. Guidelines for when management action is needed.

4. Preventing pest problems.

5. Using a combination of biological physical/mechanical and chemical management tools.

6. After action is taken, assessing the effect of pest management.

MINIMUM VIABLE SERVICE EXPECTATIONS

  1. Consulting my customer's Pest Routes Notes prior to every service to ensure that their needs are met
  2. Contributing at least 2 images and a brief, customized explanation to my customer's Pest Routes Notes after every appointment
  3. Creating a relationship of trust and accountability via polite and kind communication

  1. Taking ownership of the service and being proud of my work.
  2. Carrying out decisions and making suggestions that enable my customer's pest management service to be more effective and long-lasting
  3. Seeking opportunities to exceed expectations

Proudly providing a consistent, high-quality interaction with all my customers:
  1. I introduce myself.
  2. I ask where the customer has pest activity.
  3. I explain the service in detail.
  4. I complete the ser ice thoroughly.
  5. I seek opportunities to exceed expectations.

Being unwavering in my execution of the service:
  • Introduction
  • Inspection
  • Explanation
  • Eaves
  • Foundation
  • Hot Spots
  • Follow-up
  • Exceed Expectations

  1. Communicating my arrival and expected service time to every customer prior to leaving for their appointment.
  2. Being confident in my pest knowledge.
  3. Clearly explaining the "why" of particular treatment methods when my customer asks.