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Individual Ants Are Dumb, Ant Colonies Are Ingenious | Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:30 pm October 17, 2017

As far as insects are concerned ants are clearly intelligent. Ants are capable of building complicated nests, and they can navigate their way through long stretches of terrain while still being able to find the quickest route back to their nests. Ants are known for being some of the most clever architects, engineers and warriors of all insect species. So there is no doubting that ants are intelligent, right? Well, actually no, ants are complete idiots, but only as individuals. Ant colonies can be considered as one single thinking mind, but an individual ant does not possess much intelligence at all. According to Deborah M. Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University, ants cannot accomplish many tasks as individuals because they are too inept. Without the colony, an individual ant has no idea what to do with itself. But if that is true, then how is it that over twelve thousand species of ants have thrived on earth for one hundred and forty million years? There is no doubt about the fact that ants have enjoyed success on earth for a long while, and they have learned to collectively form strict caste systems. Researchers refer to this sort of collective intelligence as “swarm intelligence”.Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Researchers are not exactly sure how swarm intelligence came into existence. After all, sometimes individual ants must disagree on what should be done. However, ants all make split second decisions that are critical to a colonies survival all of the time. In the ant world, there is no need for arguments or politics. Ants are self organizing insects, as they do not have a boss or a general of any kind. Of course all ant colonies have a queen, but the queen is only tasked with laying eggs, the queen does not take time to issue orders to the entire colony. Some researchers have theories concerning how ants communicate important information.

One theory is that ants communicate by sniffing out information from other ants within their colony. All ants can use touch and smell in order to sense which other ants are fellow colony members and which are strangers. For example, when ants forage for food, they will wait until ant patrollers arrive at the nest early in the morning. Once the patrollers arrive, they will rub their antennas against the antennas of the foragers. This antenna contact transmits smells that alert the foragers to leave in order to locate food. However, the foragers must make contact several times with separate patrol ants, and within a particular amount of time before the foragers leave. As you can tell, ant communication is complicated, but the evolutionary success of ants is certainly due to their ability to communicate by sensing the information conveyed in each others odors.

Do you believe that ants could use any other forms of sensory information in order to communicate?

Common Ant Invaders

Filed under: New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 11:16 am June 16, 2017

Some of the most common home invaders include:Ant Control

  • Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed, often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
  • Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
  • Carpenter Ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
  • Fire Ants: Fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in addition to structural damage caused by chewing through the insulation around electrical wiring.


Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:44 pm May 30, 2017

Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Ants are everywhere, but when they are not crawling on us they don’t seem so deserving of hate. There are many articles in existence describing various insects, but ants seem to be covered more often than other insects. This could be because ants are actually pretty fascinating creatures with advanced abilities. For example, ants are able to calculate the shortest distance back to their colony while out foraging. Many of you probably heard about this particular study since it was published in a popular science magazine, and the topic has also appeared often enough on the Internet. But just because a distance is the shortest, does not mean it is the fastest. How can ants tell which route will be faster?

Ants are small creatures, so if the surface that they walk on changes, it can have a big impact on their ability to travel on that surface. Researchers recently conducted a study that had ants walking on surfaces that were composed of different materials. Using fire ants, researchers recorded the amount of time that it took for several ants to crawl on different surfaces. It was found that ants will always travel in the direction that takes the least amount of time, no matter what the ants are crawling on.


The ants in the study travelled in a way that was similar to how light travels according to Fermat’s Principle of Least Time. Fermat’s principle of least-time states that light will always travel on the path that allows it to travel the fastest. The researchers had the ants travel on smooth polyester, rough polyester and polyethylene glass. The ants could achieve the fastest speeds on surfaces that were smooth. So just as light can refract better on a smooth surface as opposed to a rough one, ants can instinctively crawl in the direction that is the fastest, even though the ant cannot see anything ahead of it.

Which insects do you think are the most intelligent of all insects?

Some Ants Are Chronically Lazy | New Jersey Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:07 pm January 26, 2017

Your perception of ants probably involves notions of cooperation, mutual advantage, incessant work and sacrifice. However, not all ants take their duties seriously. Just like humans, some ants can be total sloths. Maybe every animal species has their slackers, who knows? What I do know is that a majority of the work duties that exist within an ant colony are carried out by a minority of determined and enterprising ants, while lazier ants sit around watching.New Jersey Ant control

Anna Dornhaus, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona has been an ant expert for most of her life. Dornhaus claims that while a minority of ants work diligently to serve the queen, most ants stand on the sidelines motionless. However, these ants may not be lazy at all, it may just look that way to humans.

Dornhaus believes that it is possible for the motionless ants to serve a purpose to the group solely by successfully staying still. Perhaps some ants would slow down the process of tackling a particular challenge, so they would be better off not participating, but they could participate in other activities where they are not slowing down the process. This way of thinking about the eusocial behavior of ants is certainly new, and there is still much to be explored on the topic.

Have you ever witnessed several motionless ants sitting by while other ants from its colony are actively working together?

Thousands Of Ants Ruin A Family’s Vacation | New Jersey Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 12:04 pm January 18, 2017

Thousands Of Ants Ruin A Family’s Vacation | New Jersey Ant ControlNew Jersey Ant control

Family vacations can be stressful, especially when you hear creepy sounds coming from behind the walls of your hotel. This scenario turned into a reality for family of five, only they were lodging in a cabin, and not a hotel. After the father of three heard his son’s concerns about ghostly noises coming from within the cabin, the father decided to investigate the matter. Luckily, the noises were not coming from a ghost, but unluckily the noises were coming from thousands of ants that were behind the walls of the cabin.

The family did not become aware of the ant infestation until after five days of staying in the cabin. After the family complained to the staff at the tourist retreat, they were told to sweep up the ants themselves, and that ants just have to be tolerated. Sadly, the family did not receive a refund or an apology.

Have you ever discovered an infestation of insects or spiders at a hotel while vacationing?

How Did These Ants Get Into Your Home?

Filed under: Ant Control,Pest Control — admin @ 9:21 am June 10, 2016

fire ants, carpenter ants
Ants may be tiny, but they are certainly pesky, and getting rid of them can be a challenging and frustrating process if you attempt to do it on your own. Before you begin the ant removal process, it is important to understand just how the ants got there in the first place.

One Ant Can Lead to Thousands

Ants operate with a hive mentality. What that means for you is that if one ant finds an entry into your home and a food source inside it, she will report the information back to the rest of the colony. So long as a viable food source is present, more and more ants will eventually find their way into your home, making it important to stop them before it becomes a full-scale infestation. The sooner you contact a pest control specialist, the more manageable the situation will be.

Stopping Ants From Entering Your Homefire ants

Ants are resilient creatures. Their tiny size coupled with their massive numbers make them a formidable pest to to deal with.  Even if you are able to find their entry point and seal it up, the odds are high that they will soon find another one. Keeping your home clean of any food lying around helps, but even the smallest crumbs are worthwhile to an ant colony and will keep them coming back for more. In order to stop an ant infestation, you have to attack them at their source–the nest. Thankfully, pest control experts are trained at finding the nest of the ants invading your home and eliminating it quickly and efficiently, saving you the trouble of having to painstakingly hunt the nest down and remove it yourself.

Get Rid of the Ants in your Home Today

Ants may not pose the same threat to your house as termites, or the same threat to you and your family as poisonous spiders, but they are a terrible annoyance that are not easily eradicated. If you have noticed one or more ants in your home, put a stop to the invasion before it ever begins by contacting the pest control specialists at Horizon Pest Control. Our knowledgeable pest control experts have the tools and training necessary to eliminate your ant problem for good, ensuring that you never have to deal with these pesky little insects ever again.

How to Keep Pests Away After Ridding of Them

Filed under: Ant Control,Cockroach Control,Stink Bugs — admin @ 7:00 pm May 19, 2016

Removing pests from your home may solve the immediate problem you were facing. However, if you do not take the proper precautions, the pests can re-enter and re-infest your home, putting your right back in the same situation you thought you got rid of. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent these problems from reoccurring. Here are three common pests in New Jersey and a few tips for keeping these pests away after you rid your home of them.


Food ContainerOne of the best ways to keep ants out of your home is to eliminate any food sources for them. This includes placing food in plastic bins rather than leaving it in the boxes, cleaning up crumbs, and taking out the trash every night. If ants find food in your home, they will continue to come in looking for more food. Another way to keep ants out is to find out how they are getting in and seal that off. If they are entering from small cracks in your home’s exterior, seal off the cracks. If they are finding gaps under your door, install new weatherstripping. Finding out how ants are entering and then shutting off that source helps to keep them out.


PlumbingIf you have recently gotten rid of a cockroach infestation in your home, you will want to work diligently to prevent another one from happening. Just like ants, cockroaches look for food, so ensure there is no food for them to find. Additionally, cockroaches enjoy dark, damp places. Repairing plumbing leaks will help eliminate these damp places, which can help to keep these pests away. Lastly, cockroaches will die if they come into contact with diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle some of this powder in areas where cockroaches may have infested your home before, such as in the crawl space. You can also sprinkle this around door ways or windows to keep these pests from entering.

Stink Bugs

VacuumStink bugs leave behind a pungent smell. After you remove them from your home, you don’t want to have to smell this smell again. As such, you will want to vacuum regularly to keep these bugs at bay. They can hide in your carpet and quickly multiply. Regular vacuuming helps prevent this from happening. Secondly, combine a squirt of dish soap with water in a spray bottle. Regularly spray any cracks or openings that these pests may enter through. The soap sticks to their skin and kills the bugs, helping to prevent an infestation. Lastly, consider placing cat nip or garlic in your garden or outdoor space. Stink bugs hate the scent and will stay away, which deters them from your home.

After you have gotten rid of pests in your home, the last thing you want is to have another infestation. Taking the correct precautions can prevent that from happening, allowing you to live a bug-free life.

If you need help with pests, call Horizon Pest Control for effective pest control in NJ.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Carpenter Ant and a Termite

Filed under: Ant Control,Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 7:00 pm May 16, 2016

What are Carpenter Ants and Termites?

Carpenter ants, also known as sugar ants, reside in damp and decaying wood. They are mostly found in forested areas. They build their nests in woods, however, don’t consume them.

Termites, on the other hand, eat wood. The drywood kind are found in furniture and hardwood flooring. They thrive in warm humid climates and can cause moderate to severe destruction of property.

How to Spot the Difference between Carpenter Ants and Termites

Carpenter Ants vs Termites

Physical distinction between carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants are mostly black in color. There are some species that are red/orange and black in color as well. The wings on the front are larger than the hind ones and they measure anywhere between 1/2″ and 5’8″. The antenna is elbowed in the case of carpenter ants.

Termites have straight antenna and are either dark brown or black in color. They measure 3/8″ in length. The wings of termites are of the same size and easily breakable. The wings are longer than the body.

Where can you find carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants can be found on porch floors, columns and pillars. They can also be found in gardens where the wood is in contact with soil and branches of trees. They are easily found in firewood piles, stumps, window sills and sometimes even in appliances and electrical equipment.

Termites can be found on wooden floors, mud tubes and furniture. Termites can also be found in dark places of the house, for example, a dingy basement without windows, doorways, sills, porches and any surface in contact with soil. If you spot discarded wings or hollow wood around the house, it is likely that it is infested by termites.

Damage caused by carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants looks for decayed wood and then make their way to sound wood in homes and businesses. They chew but do not eat the wood. Once they are done chewing, the texture appears almost sandy. Damage is hard to spot, however, if you spot ants regularly around a structure you should seek professional help.

Termites cause more permanent damage to property than carpenter ants.  Homes primarily constructed of wood are not the only ones that are threatened by termites. Other materials can cause termite infestation as well since they are capable of cutting through plaster and can be found feeding on floors, ceilings, walls, cabinets and wooden furniture. It is sometimes difficult to spot the damage as it can be internal and until severe damage is done, it can go undetectable. In that case, a professional pest control company’s help should be taken to assess the situation otherwise it can lead to severe damage.

If you find a swarm of either of these insects in your house or business place, you should immediately seek professional help before the situation worsens. For effective New Jersey termite control and New Jersey carpenter ant control, trust Horizon!

Carpenter Ants vs Termites: How to Tell the Difference

Filed under: Ant Control,Termite Control,Termites — admin @ 12:42 pm March 22, 2016

People often confuse carpenter ants and termites, and for good reason: both are tiny, black wood-eating insects that swarm inside of homes. However, termites can cause significantly worse problems for your home than carpenter ants. This is because carpenter ants usually isolate their activity to their nesting area, and mainly search for already damaged wood. In contrast, termites can eat through any kind of wood in any part of your house. For this reason, it is important to know the difference between carpenter ants vs termites.

How to Tell the Difference

TermiteThe main difference between the two insects is in their appearance: the insects’ wings, antennae, and bodies are distinct and therefore discernable. Both termites and carpenter ants have four wings each. However, the front set of termite wings are noticeably longer than the pair in the back, and will always be the same size on any termite you come across. The wings on carpenter ants, in contrast, come in all sizes and are evenly matched in front and back.

Another, slightly more detailed, way to dell the difference between carpenter ants vs termites is in the antennae. While carpenter ants’ antennae are crooked in the middle, termites have straight antennae that appear to be beaded. Finally, the two insects’ bodies are distinct and allow identification. Carpenter ants look similar to any other ant: they appear to have segments because of the thin waist in their middle. In contrast, termites are not narrow at all, and can be identified by their straight bodies.

Carpenter AntIf you are not able to find any of the insects, another great way to tell if you have an ant problem or a termite problem is to look at the clues around your house. Since carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood they burrow in, you should be able to find wood shavings or sawdust near their nesting area. In contrast, termites will leave trails of mud and other debris as they work to eat away the wood in their nest. If you find remains of other kinds of bugs, this is a good sign that your house is host to carpenter ants vs termites, since termites do not eat other bugs.

While the above tips are a great start to identifying carpenter ants vs termites, it is important to take care of the infestation problem regardless of which insect your house is host to. For effective NJ termite control and NJ ant control, you can rely on Horizon Pest Control. Call us today!


How to Identify Different Types of Ants

Filed under: Ant Control — admin @ 9:00 pm February 2, 2016

There are many different types of ants in New Jersey, most of which are harmless apart from the Pharaoh ant. Many New Jersey residents notice more ants in winter or fall, when the weather starts getting colder and ants are looking for a warmer habitat. Being able to identify the different types of ants you might see in the winter can help you better plan for their eradication.

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat ants are small and yellow-brown or black, and are able to bend their abdomen up and place it over their body and head, hence the name “acrobat.” These ants prefer to make their colonies outdoors, usually in the damp wood of rotting trees or wooden railings and fences.

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are dark brown in color and appear quite slender compared to other ants. They build very large colonies by driving out other ants and taking over their nests, usually in loose leaves on the ground or mulch. These ants are rarer than others in the area, but are moving North and have already established themselves in states just south of New Jersey.

Citronella Ants

Citronella ants are much lighter in color compared to other ants and have a “citronella-like” scent that is emitted when they are crushed. Although these ants typically live outdoors in underground nests. They are often seen heading indoors in the later winter months and even in the early spring.

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

These dark brown ants nest outdoors, also under loose leaves and mulch, but can set up their colonies in houses either under the carpeting or inside walls, especially near pipes that transport heated water. They have large nests and even have many satellite nests in the same building with multiple queens.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are the most feared ants in New Jersey and are quite harmful to humans. Not only do they carry serious bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus, but they can also contaminate food supplies and burrow into wounds to feed on blood plasma. They are tiny and red or yellow in color. They are sensitive to cold and are found only indoors in New Jersey.

Harmful or not, no one wants ants around their home or business. At Horizon Pest Control, we can help you protect your health and property by offering effective ant control solutions. Call today at 1-888-612-2847.


Acrobat Ant Photo by Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE (Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster sp.)) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Odorous House Ant Photo by Brian Gratwicke, used under CC BY 2.0/ resized from original

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