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Termites in your New Jersey Home… How’d they get in???

In a previous blog, we discussed a bit of basic termite biology, namely what the colony is composed of and the particular species of termite that is found in New Jersey.  Since we’ve addressed the question of “Why New Jersey”, let me answer the next question: Why your home?

            Termites have evolved over millions of years into their present ecological niche and fill it very effectively.  In nature, termites consume and digest wood for nutrition and have adapted to our environment by attacking and breaking down dead trees and plants, allowing their component nutrients to be returned to the environment.   All well and good when it’s a log in the woods, or root structures from a dead plant, it’s a completely different story when the wood the termites are attacking is your house!!  Unfortunately our modern building practices, specifically using wood framing over a concrete or stone foundation, mimics a termite’s natural environment very effectively.  Think of how a tree root will grow over and around a rock, now compare that with structural lumber sitting on a foundation, very similar.

            Termites tend to attack our homes through areas that mimic their ideal feeding conditions in nature. We humans tend to unknowingly set the table for termites and are surprised when they come to dinner. 

wood to soil contact invites termite activity, especially when the area is moist

Simply put: a termite’s 3 favorite things are soil, wood and moisture.  When these three things are in the same place, termites are sure to appear.  As a matter of fact, these conducive conditions can be so inciting to termites that only 2 of the 3 elements might be necessary.  High moisture levels due to a leaky downspout can saturate the ground immediately next to the foundation of your home.  This high moisture environment is an ideal foraging and harborage are for termites.  Even if the wood is not immediately present, over time foraging termites will encounter a viable source of food.  

Wood to soil contact is another huge issue that we as homeowners need to contend with.  It could be something as simple as tomato stakes in a garden or stored lumber in a crawlspace.  Many times, homeowners may not be aware about stored lumber or leftovers from an old project.  When wood begins to decompose it emits vapors that are detected by a termite forager from almost a foot away through the soil.  So make sure your crawlspace is empty of scrap lumber and ventilated.  Any gardening you may be doing should be in a garden plot not immediately adjacent to your home, a minimum distance of 10 feet would be ideal.  Not only do termites eat wood in structures, but they will attack root systems from dead plants and bushes, always good to keep in mind when picking out your gardening site. 

some good mulching guidelines from Purdue University

One of the biggest problems we see with modern landscaping practices is over-mulching of yards and plants.  Mulch should be removed annually and mulch beds should be maintained with no more than 6 inches of depth, most experts recommend 3-4 inches.  Higher, deeper layers of mulch create a build-up of wood decay byproducts as well as heat and moisture.  Taken in combination, termites would be more than happy to infest mulch beds, especially when they are adjacent to our homes.  

If you have any concerns, take a good look around the house when you have an opportunity.  Use a flashlight so you can focus and have good visibility.  Look for any sources of moisture, like leaks or damaged pipes.  Also, investigate any staining or color changes you might see on wood that might be the first sign of a leak.  Make sure scrap lumber is stored properly and any outside building projects that require wood to soil contact utilize pressure treated lumber. 

Don’t be shy to get professional help.  Considering the amount of damage termites can do, you’re right to seek help.  A qualified professional will be able to locate any termite activity as well as any conducive conditions that might attract termites in the future.  An inspector will also be able to deduce if there has ever been a termite treatment done in the past.  There’s a good chance that if there was a treatment done in the past, you may expect to have termite activity in the future. 

Click here to download a copy of our free eBook, “The North Jersey Resident’s Guide to Termite Extermination”

Would you like to schedule a free estimate and have a Certified Wood Destroying Insect Inspector assess your home? click here!

Termite Colony Biology in Northern New Jersey

Termites are amazing insects that have evolved over time to occupy a rather unique niche in almost all environments on earth.  Termites have made two unique adaptations that plainly set them apart from the majority of other insects, one being the ability to digest wood (cellulose) for nutrition and their complex colony structure.  Let’s take a look at these amazing and adaptable insects.

Worker Termite

            The foremost adaptation that sets termites apart from most insects and in fact, most organisms on earth, is the ability to digest wood and wood particles called cellulose, for nutrition.  There are several thousand species of Termite around the world, from the tree nesting termites of Central America to the mound building termites of Australia and Africa and they all consume some form of cellulose for nutrition.  In effort to keep the discussion specific and not over-broad, we will discuss the Termites native to New Jersey, the Eastern Subterranean Termite.

            The Eastern Subterranean Termite is native to the northeast region of the US and are densely populated through New Jersey.  Their main adaptation has been to attack and consume underground wood and root systems from dead plants.  The wood alone is not enough to sustain them however.  In order to fully digest cellulose, termites utilize a type of microbe in their gut, called a protozoa.  These simple, single celled protozoa are passed from one termite to another after they hatch by exchanging food with one another (called trophallaxis) or by mutual grooming.  It’s important to note that termites are not “born” with these protozoa, but have to acquire them from their nest mates. 

Termite workers in natural wood

            Once Termite workers have begun to feed on a source of wood, they will consume as much as they can hold and return to the nest.  Upon reaching the nest, the returning workers will share the cellulose with other termites there, including the King, Queen and other reproductives, as well as any soldiers or nymphs that might be present. It is interesting to note that although the overwhelming majority of a termite’s diet is made up of wood, they are not exclusively wood feeders.  Termites have been known to feed on types of fungus growing within their nests as well as scavenging decaying animal carcasses, although infrequently.  Termites are notorious for consuming the dead bodies of their fallen nest mates, a process known as necrophagy. While humans might consider this a type of cannibalism, it is quite common in nature and especially in other colonies of insects like ants.  It would seem the highly efficient nature of colony insects require that nothing go to waste.   

            Colony insects are among the hardiest of insects on the planet and cover most of the available surface of the earth in one way or another.  Honeybees, wasps, all species of ants and termites are all examples of social insects but termites are unique in that they are not related to any other kind of social insects.  Bees, ants and wasps are all closely related being from the Insect order known as the Hymenoptera, a large and highly evolved group of insects.  Conversely, Termites are in the sub-order Isoptera, a sub grouping of the Order Blattodea and are closer relatives of roaches, a group of insects not known for social insect behavior. The Termite’s development into a complex social structure truly sets them apart from their roach-like cousins.

Termite Lifecycle

            The Termite Colony has several distinct groups within and are highly adaptable based on environmental conditions around the colony. Most important are the King and Queen, the primary reproductive termites that begin colony development. Once the King and Queen mate, they will burrow underground and begin construction of the larval chamber. Once the queen has laid her first brood of eggs, the first insects to hatch will develop into worker termites.

Termite colonies are mainly composed of worker termites, the backbone of the colony.  As the name implies, the worker termites are responsible for the construction and maintenance of the nest, foraging for food, grooming and feeding other types of termites.  In smaller colonies that may number only a few dozen or hundred termites, only workers will be found.  As colonies grow in size, other types of termites will be produced.  Once the colony numbers several hundred, soldier termites will begin to develop.

  Soldiers are much like workers with one notable exception, the heads and jaws of the soldiers are significantly enlarged and hardened for defense of the colony.  Soldier termites will respond to any invasion of the colony by other insects, like ants, or to any damage to the nest.  Soldier termites are known to “sound an alarm” to attract other soldiers to a point of attack or damage in the nest structure.   Unlike most other communication that occurs in the colony that occurs through chemicals called pheromones, the soldier termites attract other soldiers by banging their heads on the ground, using vibrations to carry the alarm message. 

Secondary Reproductives, note the longer abdomen and slightly darker head

As colony size increases into the thousands and beyond, supplementary reproductives will eventually develop.  These supplementary reproductives assist in reproduction within the colony as well as attempt to start a new colony.  Female supplementary reproductives have been known to assist the Queen in egg laying and quite often will lay more eggs than the queen.  If the queen were ever to die from illness or old age, a female supplementary reproductive would become the new Queen and will begin sending out control chemicals to the colony.   

When reproductive are generated by the colony en masse, they will develop wings and are known as “alates” or “swarmers”.  These winged termites will have an annual reproductive flight in the early spring, releasing hundreds of swarmers at a time.   Since termite colonies base their swarm on environmental factors, all the colonies within a geographical region will swarm around the same time, if not the same day.  Once a male and female swarmer meet during this flight, they will mate and begin the whole cycle anew. 

For more information on termites found in our area of New Jersey, click here.

For a more in depth look about termite colonies, click here for some good science.

If you think you may have termites and would like a free estimate and consultation, please click here.

North New Jersey Residents – Do you have winged ants or termites?

image courtesy of our friends at Northwest Pest Control in Atlanta GA. www.callnorthwest.com

Ants are highly evolved social insects, health not unlike wasps and hornets, that feed on a variety of food sources.  Pest ants are known to invade homes and kitchens in the spring and summer months, but in nature most ants are extremely beneficial.   Outdoors, ants will feed on plant pollen or fruits, some ants are predators of other insects and still other species of ants will herd and tend honeydew producing insects called aphids like cattle. 

Termites, on the other hand, are a fairly primitive insect that is closely related to cockroaches.  Termites are one of a handful of creatures on the earth that can digest cellulose (wood) as a food source.  Like ants, termites are a social insect, living in large colonies beneath the soil.  Like ants, Termites are a hugely beneficial insect in nature, but can come into contact with man when they infest buildings causing damage. 

subterranean termite worker

It is very important for homeowners to know the difference between these two insects.  Ants can be an occasional invader and a sometime pest, termites can cause significant damage to your home.  The biggest difference in appearance is between a simple ant worker and a termite worker.  Ant workers are dark brown to black, have elbowed antennae and a pinched waist.  Termites on the other hand, are small white insects with a thick waist, and short straight antennae (see photo).  You’ll easily find ant workers foraging on the surface but termite workers will usually be found inside wood or mulch they are actively feeding on. 

The workers look different in between these two types of insects but there is a life stage that look very similar and can be easily confused.  Both Ants and Termites will spawn winged reproductives, or “swarmers”, that tend to look very similar.  They will both be dark brown or black and both species will have two pairs of wings.  The best way to tell the difference will be the differences already mentioned in the thickness of the waist and the shape of the antennae.  (see above photo)   Termite swarmers also tend to lose their wings very easily so finding a pile of cast wings and only a few insects is entirely possible.

termite reproductive flight or “swarm” occurring at a joint in an exterior door frame.

Curious about termites? take a look at the wiki file for the Eastern Subterranean Termite here.

Here’s a wiki file about ants in general, wiki

If you think you have reason to suspect either Ant or Termite activity in our home, please fill out the form here to request a free estimate!

Choosing the Best Pest Control Company For You

case ‘sans-serif’; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;”>Nobody likes a pest problem. Whether it’s bugs or rodents that have been bothering you, if you’ve tried your hand at home remedies and none of them seem to be giving you the results you’re hoping for, it may be time to call in a professional. But choosing a pest control company isn’t an easy task. There are several factors to consider when selecting a company and with a little dedication and the right questions to ask you’ll find yourself pest free in no time at all.

 Products

Many companies now use what the industry calls Integrated Pest Management, or simply IPM, which is one of the most effective forms of pest management. It’s a series of tactics and services that are designed to reduce the risk to the environment and people around them. When looking for a pest control company, ask what kind of reduced risk pest control products they have that might benefit you. Also make sure that they have products with low impact applications, meaning that their use won’t detrimentally alter the environment that surrounds them. Don’t settle for a company that uses highly toxic methods or products to eliminate pests.

Integrated Pest Management is worth it!

 Methods

 Also question the companies you speak to about whether or not they use non-toxic pest control methods. This is especially important if you’re looking for pest control in your home where you may have children or animals. They should offer suggestions when it comes to sanitation and exclusion, meaning your house will be rid of any unwanted pest and barriers will be put up to prevent other unwanted pests from entering the premises. This will make sure your house is free of those pesky menaces now and in the future. Preventative measures will make a big difference in whether your pest control problem becomes a recurring one.

 Customer Service

 Of course, as with any business, customer service is always important. Are they able to get to your house or business in a timely manner? The longer you leave a pest problem, the more likely it is to get worse. What kind of warranty can they offer you? While pest control companies that specialize in integrated pest management may charge a bit more an effective warranty turns a “service” into a Pest Control Program. And most importantly, how do they treat you? As a firm believer that customer service is the most important aspect of any business, there’s no reason they can’t have good customer cooperation skills. See what Bayonne Exterminating offers our residential customers…

 The products, methods and service a company offers will be the biggest factors to consider when deciding which pest control company is best for your problem. Check out reviews online if you’re unsure about a company as its previous customers are a good indication of how the company will handle business with you as well. Don’t settle for the first pest control company you come upon. Compare reviews, service offerings and warranty structure when investigating companies, there’s a huge difference between “Price” and “Value”.

Our clients have learned about our value, see our reviews and testimonials here.

Heat Treatments for Bed Bug Infestations In New Jersey

In Northern New Jersey and Hudson County, bed bug infestations are becoming a real problem, both in commercial premises and residential homes. Apartments, condos, houses, motels, hospitals and other commercial residences can all be prone to bed bug infestations. Not only that, but when a place has a problem with bed bugs, it can result in a lot of stress and worry for home owners, as well as financial losses for companies that rely on having a squeaky clean reputation, in order to attract new customers.

Our heat equipment can generate between 400,000 and 850,000 BTUs of heat

Heat Treatment versus Traditional Bed Bug Eradication Techniques

There are many traditional methods for eliminating bed bugs, including fumigation and pesticide application. However, there is a more eco-friendly way to rid your home or business premises of these nasty biting insects, and that is the method of heat treatment. Heat treatment of bed bugs is not only more eco-friendly than using pesticides, it is also much more effective in immediately killing all kinds of bed bugs and other insects that may otherwise be resistant to conventional pest control methods. Here’s what happens to Bed Bugs when exposed to our heating system.

All stages of Bed Bug development are immediately affected by a proper application of heat!

Discovering the Extent of the Infestation

Before a treatment begins, it is important to understand the full extent of the bed bug infestation in your home or business premises. This is something that can be very difficult to achieve without tearing up carpets and lifting up floors and looking inside walls and all the other places these bugs can hide. In order to prevent this, more companies are providing a canine inspection of properties in New Jersey, as these specialist dogs have a much better success rate (about 98%!) than humans at detecting bed bug infestations.(for more on Bed Bug sniffing Dogs, click here!)

Why Heat Treatment of Bed Bugs is Effective and how it Works

A lot of pest control companies use a number of bug foggers and spray bombs, however, they can often have little to no effect. This is not the case with bed bug heat treatments, which are much more effective in eliminating bed bugs without the need of harmful pesticides. The heat treatment works by heating a home or commercial property to a temperature that has proven to be effective in killing bed bugs from eggs to fully grown adults. The heat also penetrates all of the nooks and crannies where bed bugs can linger, such as floors, walls, mattresses etc. Not only are heat treatments of bed bugs environmentally friendly, they are safe for humans, pets, personal belongings and the building itself. Here’s a quick video of how heat treatments work.

In Summary

Heat treatments for dealing with bed bug infestations are much more effective than home remedy pesticides, or some of the solutions that are provided by the majority of pest control companies, which will not be effective in eradicating bugs from bed linen and mattresses for example. Not all pest control companies offer heat treatment for bed bugs, so it is important to find a company that offers this method, as well as having the staff and technicians that are capable of doing the job.

Click here to find out which type of treatment is best for you.

There’s no Pest Control without the Customer’s Co-operation!

We just can’t do it without you and that’s a fact!!

We’ve been trained for hours and hours, drugstore passed one test after another to become certified, viagra the company has been in operation for years, pharmacy even decades and we STILL need your help! Do you know why? Because YOU, our customer, are the most important person in the loop.

Teamwork is essential for great results!

First of all, without our customers, we wouldn’t even exist, that simple, but your involvement doesn’t end at making the phone call.  Once you’ve made the decision to involve a professional for your pest control needs your job is just getting started.

First of all, remember this: The pests got here before we did. We didn’t bring them with us, or chase them over to you from the neighbor’s house.  We are trying to be part of the solution, we want to solve your problem as much as you do.  We understand you can be upset, scared or angry, but please please please, don’t take it out on the technician, he’s trying to help you get what you want.

Secondly, we need you!! We may plan to spend a few hours at your house a day or two a month, or maybe even once a week but don’t forget, you’re there more than we are! Its your house, your home, no one knows all the nooks and crannies like you. No one knows where you had the water leak two years ago that had to be repaired.  Only you knows you went shopping at a new store for the first time and things were maybe a little TOO cheap.  Only you know that your Aunt Bessie brought her chihuahua over last weekend, (important information when diagnosing the bites on everybody’s ankles that started showing up a few days ago).

Third, there may be things to do that go beyond the scope of our work.  Infested food items may need to be sought out and discarded to finally get rid of those pesky moths.  A leaking gutter may need to be repaired so we can treat for carpenter ants.  Part of a flea treatment is seeing to your pets, or doing a few loads of laundry.  Now our technicians are trained thoroughly and extensively, but only in the field of pest control.  Deciding what to keep and not keep in your pantry, home repair and remodeling, veterinary work and laundry duty all fall beyond the scope of what our technicians can accomplish for you, and yet some of these actions are required for pest elimination to become a reality.  So what does the mean to you? and to your technician?

It means you two are a Team!!!  A problem solving, pest eliminating team with enough experience, training and know how to deal with the issues you’re seeing and hopefully make sure it doesn’t happen again.  A team that knows the pest and knows the place, a team that brings the right equipment and stays behind to watch. A team that truly is more than the sum of its parts.

Always remember that we can’t do it without you!  Teamwork is what makes successful pest control programs work. Thank you for all of your help!

 

Confidentiality is Key in Pest Control

Just a brief note regarding professional ethics, view this subject touches me deeply.

It has come to our attention that a local pest control company has decided to expose its customer’s names and addresses in advertisements that are posted publicly.  I’ve posted a photo below (after removing any identifying information, recipe both company and client):

In my opinion, viagra sale actions like this are unprofessional at best,  if not outright reprehensible.  And the type of pest being treated? Bed Bugs! Considering how the public at large views Bed Bugs and Bed Bug infested properties, not only is this irresponsible it is almost certainly illegal as a betrayal of client confidentiality and trust.

Bayonne Exterminating Company has long held its customers information and specifics under strict confidentiality.  As a matter of fact, when I revealed the event above to my technical staff they were shocked that this kind of thing could even happen.  Honestly, it boggles my mind as well.

As our customer, you can be sure that your information will not be made public without a court order or a directive from the local Board of Health, and at that time the information would ONLY be released to the specific authorities requesting it.

Never, ever, ever, will ANY of our clients information be utilized in part of advertising without a prior written consent.  And if your problems are with a pest like Bed Bugs, you can rest assured we will never ask.  It’s bad enough that someone is dealing with problems like this, making their private struggle a public one is completely unthinkable.

Cicadas in Hudson County and North New Jersey

They’re back!!! The annual emergence of cicadas is on the horizon and this year will be a big year!  Cicadas are an annually occurring insect and most people are familiar with their mid- to late-summer mating songs. There’s been a bit of hype this year about the size of the emerging brood, no rx that the “East Coast will be snowed under with Cicadas”, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Like most insects, Cicadas spend the overwhelming majority of their lives in an immature stage, some cicada broods will remain as larvae for 13 to 17 years and only live as adults for a few weeks.  Different types of cicadas will have different maturation ages and researchers have noticed that the longer cycle cicadas (more than a few years) tend to emerge years later and the length is often a prime number.  (A prime number is a number that can only be divided by one and itself, like 3, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 17)  Entomologists feel that this “prime number year” emergence is an evolutionary tactic to thwart predators and thus far has been effective.

This year, we have some of our longest cycle cicadas emerging, the 17 Year Cicadas, or “Brood 11″. We can expect a little louder than usual buzzing at night, but that’s about it.  Cicadas haven’t attained pest status due to their extremely long life-cycle, relatively low reproductive rate and limited damage they incur.  Cicadas feed on the root systems of trees and when populations get very high, some trees might be affected, but as they do not infest structures or attack human food sources, they’ve been off the radar.  So don’t sweat it!

If anyone is looking forward to a big cicada year, its local bird populations.

Enjoy your summer, and don’t be concerned about your insect neighbors making some love music, they may be big and scary looking but that’s about it.  Interested in learning more about cicadas? Find some very cool facts here!

Termites and Ants in Northern New Jersey

As my screaming allergies can tell me, prostate Spring certainly has Sprung, despite this recent bout of chilly weather we’ve been experiencing over the last week or so.  We have had several reports of termite flights (or swarms) in the last few days as well as a significant increase in Ant activity in and around homes.  The commonality of these pests in our local ecology makes everyone likely to come in contact with one type or the other (maybe both) within the next month or so.  Knowing the difference is extremely important from a  treatment perspective and may save you thousands in treatment costs and damage repair.  So, get out your pens and notebooks, its time for a little bit of Bug School!

First things first: Ants versus Termites:

Pictured left is a worker Ant.  Note the pinched waist, darkened color and elbowed antennae.  More
subtle differences include more devolved compound eyes and longer stronger legs, adaptations for life on the surface.

 

 

 

 

Pictured here is a worker termite.  Note the lighter body coloration, almost total lack of eyes and shorter, beaded antennae, all adaptations for life underground or within infested wood.

 

These worker insects (both ants and termites) comprise about 95% of total membership of the colony and perform all the tasks the colony requires: rearing young, gathering food, disposal of wastes and dead insects, etc.  Ant workers are familiar to most of us as there aren’t many spring and summer days where we might be outside without seeing them.  Termite workers, on the other hand, live exclusively underground or inside infested wood.  Termite workers cannot be exposed to fresh air as the reduced humidity on the surface alone will kill them.  Most people might literally live their whole lives without ever seeing a worker termite in the flesh.

Both Ants and Termites are truly social (Eusocial is the exact entomological term) insects and live in colonies numbering easily in the thousands, up to a million or more depending on the exact species.  In our particular area (Northern New Jersey, Hudson County in particular) we host many different species of ants and not all are pest species.  The northeastern United States, conversely, is home to only one native species of termite, Reticulitermes flavipies, or the Eastern Subterranean Termite (EST).

Spring is a busy time for both types of insects as now is the time for a reproductive flight.  Reproductive flights occur when strong, healthy colonies release sexually mature insects (called swarmers or alates) to mate and begin a new colony somewhere else.  The differences are somewhat more subtle than between workers so I’ve included a picture below.

You’ll see that the Termite reproductives have a darkened exoskeleton like ants, but aside from that change, they retain the same basic body structure as the termite worker.  Below is a picture of a termite swarm in progress, in full living color.

I hope we’ve helped alleviate any confusion you may (or may not have) had.  Feel free to do a bit more research on your own if you’d like, as the information presented here is brief at best and presented for reading ease, not depth of scope.

As always, feel free to contact our office with any questions you might have and if you have any mystery insects please keep a specimen for our review and exact identification.

Have a great (and pest free) Spring!

Invasive Ant Species in the US

As you read this, sales armies prepare for war.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers on each side are gearing up and preparing to take the field.  Troops have come from as far as South America and Asia for the ensuing battle as the Argentine Ant squares off against it’s (new) enemy, and the Asian Needle Ant! 

The Argentine Ant is considered by many to be the most invasive ant on earth, having insinuated itself into every available ecosystem once global travel carried the founders of future colonies to their respective continents.  Argentine Ants also boast one of the largest ant Super-colonies in the world, covering some 6000 kilometers in the Mediterranean region of Europe.  Truly a global traveler, Argentine ants have set the standard for invasive insects.

But now the Argentine Ant’s hegemony is being challenged by a smaller, less numerous competitor from half a world away, the a fore mentioned Asian Needle Ant.  The “Asian Needler” has chosen North Carolina as the first battle ground to put its enemy to the test.  Being the most recent import in the “Ant Invader” game, the Needlers certainly have their work cut out for them, especially considering the Argentine Ants long held dominance.  According to researchers in North Carolina State University, the Asian Needle Ants seem to be winning. Several biological advantages make the Needle Ants more efficient in this environment (tolerance to cold, shorter winter dormancy, etc). These adaptations are definitely an advantage but coupled with a nasty (to insects) sting, the Needle Ants have been establishing footholds and pushing back the previous invaders.

Take a look at the Scientific American Article here

So what does this mean to us in the North East, New Jersey in particular? Not much really, almost nothing…. for now.

This is just another chronicle of invasive species battling it out over control of what may as well be a foreign land (North Carolina isn’t exactly next door, after all).  But this chronicle will loose its academic objectivity as these new species of invasive Ant make their way north. As a matter of fact, some researchers have shown specimens are already in our back yard.    The School of Ants is an online collaboration of citizen scientists in an effort to quantify the taxa that lives under our very feet.  These very researchers have shown Needle Ant specimens as far north as Washington State and even New York City…. Close enough for you now?

Invasive species of any kind wreak havoc on the environment they move in to, often times the results of which are not noticed until years after spread and long enough after initial introduction that nothing can be done.  Case in point: deliberately and accidentally introduced species of invertebrates and mammals have decimated Australia’s fragile ecosystem with no chance to ever return to a “primeval” state.

Introduction and its impacts are usually irreversible and profound, potentially an ecological calamity in this case considering how integral local ant species are to their respective environments.

In the meantime, you can help keep tabs on invasive species.  Become a Citizen-Scientist attached to the Ant School and begin tracking the movements of these six legged interlopers by clicking here!