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What Can We Learn About Aging From Ants?

Aging is still an area of research that is not very well understood. A group of researchers at the University of Regensburg set out to study ants, in order to find out how much of an impact does lifestyle have on aging, when all other factors are identical across individuals. However, they did not use any kind of ant for this experiment. Instead, they chose a species from Central America that can reproduce through unfertilized eggs. What you get is an entire colony that is the same genetically, but is still divided up into castes.

What the researches found was that the longevity of the ants changed with their caste. For example, the members of the working caste, who take care of the brood, defend the nest, build, and hunt for food had a lifespan of about 7 months, while ants tasked with reproduction lived up to 16 months. So what you see in this nest is that, when all other factors are accounted for, it is the caste of the insect that determines its lifespan.

However, the answer to the question of aging is not so straightforward. Reproduction is usually much more taxing than routine activities in most species, and it leads to faster aging. So what sets these ants apart?

The research involved other social insects such as bees and termites as well, and in all cases, scientists observed similar patterns. Furthermore, scientists have also been able to speed up, slow down, and even reverse aging in ants by changing their tasks or having them mate. Understanding the processes between these strange reactions could offer invaluable insight into our own aging mechanisms, and how they can be slowed down.

The answer may be found (unsurprisingly) within our genetic composition. Most animals and insects have a gene that helps an organism reach reproductive age and produce offspring quickly. Past that point, the organism begins to age rapidly and the odds of survival drop. This gene may seem detrimental, but it also greatly improves the odds of reproduction early on within an organism. The gene may be a result of selection within dangerous environments. Needless to say that a queen in the middle of an ants nest is not in a very dangerous environment.

Not only that, but ants do not live as long if they do not reproduce. The more they reproduce the longer they live, and if you take a worker, and assign it to a reproductive role, the effects of aging are actually reversed. Research into the field is slow at the moment, but advances in genetic research are opening new avenues for scientists.

How to Deal With Little Black Ants?

An ant infestation is not the worst pest problem since most ant species are commonly found in the home, causing no real damage. According to the experts, out of one thousand, only a few ant species are likely to take shelter, and very few stings.

The vast species of ants are garden dwellers that help in aerating soil or control damaging pests. But, ants roaming around the house or property can be annoying and spread unwanted bacterias. One of them is carpenter ants. These ants are black and cause damage by burrowing the wooden furniture.

Let’s dive in to know more about black ants.

Black Ants

All ants are on an endless voyage to hunt for food and Black Ants are no different. These Black Ants are typically small and ordinarily measure 1.5 mm in length, the Queen however can measure up to 4 mm. Famous for being identified in wooden structures and indoors, these little creatures invade your house due to improper storage of food. Black Ants readily feed on oils, meat products, sweets, etc making your house an easy target if you don’t store your food appropriately.

Another reason why Black Ants have paid you a visit could be the need for heat. When the external environment in terms of temperature becomes unfavorable, the ants actively rummage for heat or moisture and indeed find indoors as the solution.

Signs of an infestation by these creatures are visibly evident. An infested household may regularly witness ants crawling on the bathroom and kitchen floors in search of food and water.

Threats that Black Ants bring along

These ants may not necessarily hold any major health risks because the stinger that these creatures possess is often too little to hurt and may not be threatening. However, the materialistic damage potential they hold can easily create havoc. The primary reasons these ants infest a household is to first seek food and second, to create nests and colonies. Both these reasons are quite daunting. Black Ants will pool around food items in your kitchen making it a complete nightmare. Secondly, in the process of nesting and building colonies, these ants begin excavating tunnels in wooden structures as well as in wall voids and masonry. Making these structures eventually weak and possessing majors risk the foundation of your property.

How to get rid of them?

Don’t give them a reason to be your guest! You can easily do this by keeping your house neat and tidy.

  • Clean all your kitchen appliances and especially the flooring with a surface disinfectant.
  • Ensure there are no crumbs left on the dining table or on the counter. Seal your meals at all times!
  • Seal leaky taps as well. Ants are actively in search of water and moisture. Schedule regular plumber visits right away.
  • Spray an insecticide or a strong-smelling oil to keep ants at bay. Natural oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint work miracles.
  • Hunt for the colonies! Eradicate the root cause of the problem by destroying their colonies.

Final Words

Signs of ant infestation include visibility of ants crawling on the kitchen floor or bathroom searching for food. Your pest management professional will inspect your home and provide recommendations to deal with the ant infestation.

Do Ants Transmit Diseases?

Whether you are dealing with tiny sugary ants or aggressive carpenter ants, having ants in your home is never a good time.

Have you ever wondered how these creatures could impact your health?

While it is true that ants do not spread diseases like other pests, but they can transport some food-borne illnesses.

Ants and Cross Contamination

Ants are creepy crawlers that live in filth, and as they crawl and live in areas infested with germs and bacteria, it isn’t a shocker that these creatures can easily contaminate other surfaces. For instance, an ant rummaging for food might crawl through dirt in the sewage lines and might then land on your dining table, thereby carrying a ton of bacteria. A species of ants known as Pharaoh ants hold the reputation of transmitting pathogens such as clostridium, salmonella. streptococcus, etc. Therefore, it is vital to constantly examine your house for ants, and keep your surroundings clean. 

Ants and Food-Borne Illnesses go hand in hand

Let’s put it this way, where the are ants, cross-contamination thrives, and therefore, food-borne illnesses should be no surprise. That’s right, as ants rummage through filthy areas in search of food and water, they can bring about an indefinite number of bacteria and fungi in your household. These bacteria when coming in contact with your food or around your dining area can easily cause food-borne diseases. To name a few, E. coli, Shigella, Clostridium, salmonella are common.

The Risks of Bites

Typically, ant bites and stings aren’t very harmful and many merely get away with a reddish-pink nip. However, things may take a scary turn when these bites and stings are associated with allergic reactions and hypersensitivity to ant venoms. Such incidents may trigger some serious life-threatening conditions such as chest pain, difficulty in breathing, swelling, shock, and anaphylaxis. Fire Ants are one of the most notorious ones when it comes to stinging humans.

Tips to make your home less hospitable to ants:

  • Seal the Meal: Don’t leave any food items open, unattended. If you have a pet, ensure their food bowl is washed regularly.
  • Avoid leaving dishes in the sink overnight.
  • Clean the house and the yard religiously, leaving no stone unturned (literally), since ants can build colonies under stones as well.
  • Treat leaky taps without any delays.
  • Seal cracks and crevices with Caulking.
  • Spray insecticide at the perimeters of your house.
  • Use strong-smelling essential oils such as eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil to chase them away.

Wrapping Up

While the risk of getting health issues from ants is overall low, it is vital to protect your home from these pests. Eliminate the ants inside your home through pest control services. You can get rid of ants by discouraging them from coming to your home.

How to keep your home flea-free

Fleas are the most annoying pests to deal with. They are not just pesky and monstrous nuisances but a carrier of diseases and parasites. Flea infestations are difficult to control and can take months to tackle. So, prevention is the best way to prevent the entry of fleas into your home.

So, if you want to prevent these annoying fleas from invading your home, then you are on the right page.

This blog explores the top 5 preventive measures you can take to keep your home flea-free all year round.

So, without much ado, let’s dive in.

Tips to keep your home flea-free

1.     Take Care of Your Yard

Don’t let fleas and ticks set up their shops in your yard. Trim and move the trees, grass, and shrubs regularly to make them less appealing to fleas. Trimming ensures that there is no space for fleas to hide. This also prevents the entry of wild animals in your yard who maybe already infested with fleas. You can go the extra mile by using yard spray for lawns, trees, shrubs, or flowers to eliminate pests and repel fleas along with mosquitoes, ants, ticks, and many other insects.

2.     Maintain Cleanliness

A clean house can also attract fleas. Yes! That is right. We often bring fleas with us after a walk from the park as your shoes might catch some fleas which move to carpet and rugs. Therefore, you should practice cleaning and vacuuming your home regularly and clean your cushions, rugs, carpet, and furniture. Change your bedding frequently, and clean the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas periodically. Also, consider changing your vacuum bags regularly as fleas can live inside your vacuum cleaner.

3.     Home Inspection

Check for any existing infestation in and around your home. If you spot a flea, get rid of it immediately. Check for fleas in indoor places like the bathroom, on ceilings and walls, around windows and doors, in and around trash bins, and around light sources like a lamp, etc. In the outdoors, you can look for fleas on bushes and plants, in and around trash bins and dumpsters, on fences, and in other places. Inspect open septic tanks for fly larvae and get rid of them immediately.

4.     Pet Care

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that latch onto animals. So, if you have a pet, visit a vet and insect for the presence of fleas in your pets. If fleas are found, treat them immediately. Even if no fleas are detected, don’t sit back and relax. Instead, follow all precautionary measures to ensure that flea infestation risk is at zero. Wash your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water to kill any potential flea eggs or larvae. You can also use a flea comb twice a week to check for fleas in your pets. Besides, use tick and flea prevention to keep your pets flea-free all year round.

5.     Regular Pest Control Services

Fleas never take a day off therefore, flea prevention should also be a regular task. Your first line of defense is to prevent fleas with yearly pest control services. They offer regular inspection and pesticide treatment to protect your home from fleas and other pests. Pest control professionals are well-trained in flea control as they have access to a wide range of professional insecticides. Professional treatment regularly throughout the year will keep your home flea-free and prevent any further infestation.

Wrapping Up

Detecting a flea infestation can be upsetting, and depending upon the level of infestation, getting rid of them may be a costly affair. The battle against flea infestation isn’t a one-and-done battle. It may take months, and with DIY methods, it may take a year and still no results. Therefore, hire a professional pest control team to inspect and remove any existing flea infestation from your home and win your peace back.

What Attracts Spiders to my House?

Are spiders your roommates? Well! You are not the only one. 

These 8-leged creepy-crawlies are found in abundance across the globe. With 3000 different species of spiders in the United States alone, every second house has spiders as their roomies. 

Sounds scary?

But, did you know that the natural habitat of spiders is outdoors? Yes, let the truth be told.

Spiders mostly thrive in lawns and backyards. They do not sneak into your home on purpose. They get in accidentally through the open gaps or tiny cracks in your home. Now that we know the how, it is time to understand the why.

Why do they get in? What attracts them to your house?

Let’s find out.

What Attracts Spiders?

Spiders seek shelter in your home for some specific reasons. If you see spiders in your home, you must figure out the reason too. Let’s take a look at the main reasons that draw spiders to your property:

  1. Easy access: Even the minute gap or crack in the wall is an invitation to spiders and other pests as it gives them easy access to invade your property. Sometimes, spiders also crawl in through the holes created by other pests. 
  2. Warmth: Spiders are fragile. They cannot stand extreme weather conditions and always search for humid places. The smallest change in the weather can bring them to your warm home, where they seek refuge. 
  3. Privacy: Spiders are loners. They love the privacy and therefore prefer hard-to-reach and dark places like the attic, room corners, and under the furniture. Moreover, these spots are an ideal setting for spiders to creating their hunting web
  4. Garden: The most common reason that attracts pests, including spiders, is the garden in your yard. Spiders love the outdoors and feed on insects. Even though they will remove other harmful insects, which is good, but a garden can often invite some poisonous species of spiders like the brown recluse or the black widow.
  5. Nourishment: Spiders always hunt for food. They feed on any and every type of insect, such as mosquitoes, moths, flies, etc. They are attracted to a home that provides the right food source. So, if there are various insect pests in your house, a spider invasion is guaranteed. 

Prevention Tips

Now that you know what encourages spiders to enter your home, let’s learn some tips to spider-proof your home and keep them away.

  • Trim the bushes, trees, and shrubs in your garden
  • Sweep, vacuum, and clean all corners, ceilings, and undisturbed places of your home regularly.
  • Seal up holes, cracks, and gaps in and around your home.
  • Use stripping around doors and windows to prevent the entry of spiders.
  • Remove the clutter from basements and garages where spiders usually hide.
  • Stack firewood off-ground and at a distance of least 20 feet away from your home.

Wrapping Up

Eradicating spiders from your home can become a difficult task, as they can hide away in places beyond human reach and visibility. To avoid this hassle, hire a professional spider exterminator to detect all the entry points, hiding spots and eliminate them before the spider infestations get out of control. 

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