Established in 1746, Merrimack, New Hampshire is a New England township of 25,000, located in the southern part of the state. Merrimack has a unique location between the mountains and ocean, giving it a climate in which pests of all kinds thrive during different parts of the year.
• Bees, ants, and termites begin to cause problems to homes and other structures during the spring.
• Over the summer, bats, rodents, and other night creatures take over and build their homes inside yours.
• And during the fall, raccoons and other woodland creatures come down from the mountains to find a warmer place to settle in for the winter, often inside structures on your property.
Pest infestations need to be stopped before it’s too late, so it’s best to practice pest prevention in New England homes whenever possible.
Controlling Pests in New England Homes for Nearly 30 Years
Controlling pests is an ongoing problem in most New England areas. It’s not enough to do a one-time extermination. Prevention is the most important part of pest control in New England and surrounding areas. If preventative measures aren’t taken in your home and around your property, pests can create permanent or expensive-to-repair damage to your home before you even realize there’s a problem.
Let’s focus on some damage-causing six-legged creatures today.
Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are the biggest wood destroyer in New England, causing even more damage than termites. While there are several species that cause problems around New England and in Merrimack, the black carpenter ant is the most problematic.
Carpenter ants are most active at night and prefer damp, decaying wood to burrow inside to build their nests. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood like termites, but they do build a complex nest and network of tunnels leading to and from it, sometimes inside your New England home’s siding.
In spring, carpenter ants send out “swarmers”—reproducing, winged carpenter ants that go off in search of a place to colonize and build a new nest. To prevent carpenter ant infestations in Merrimack, New Hampshire homes, there are a few measures you can take:
• Keep all woodwork and siding on your home’s exterior in good condition. Treat any raw, exposed wood each spring and regularly protect problem areas like south facing decks, siding, or front porch areas. Do the same to any other structures (sheds, gazebos, etc.) around your property to keep carpenter ants at bay.
• Be on the lookout for winged or flying ants that look very similar to termites. Follow any flying ants back to the nest to see where they’re taking up new residence, and treat the problem at the source.
• Check around your home for “frass,” the byproduct of carpenter ants’ burrowing to create a network of tunnels leading to their nest. Frass is a sure sign that carpenter ants are building a nest in your home’s exterior. Look for small piles of a material that looks like sawdust underneath inhabited areas.
Bees, Wasps, and Hornets: Many species of bees can infest your New England home. Carpenter bees are a big problem in Merrimack because they are easily confused with carpenter ants, bumble bees, and termites.
Like carpenter ants, carpenter bees build their nests in wood by creating a complex network of tunnels that lead back to the nest. While they appear to be eating the wood, they are simply burrowing through it, so piles of frass around the nest are the byproduct of carpenter bees and ants. A homeowner must observe the nest to see which creatures are coming and going from it in order to determine the inhabitants.
Carpenter bees will often build new nests in old, decaying logs and tree stumps around your property. Decaying wood is easy to burrow into, so the bees can build a new nest in just a matter of hours. Once they begin to inhabit the wood around your property, carpenter bees will move into the wood attached to your home next. One way to prevent them from taking over is to keep your property free of old, decaying wood and keep dry firewood stacked neatly in once place away from your home’s immediate exterior.
Distinguishing carpenter bees from bumble bees can be fairly easy if you know what to look for, and it’s an important distinction to make because bumble bees are harmless and may in fact be welcomed around the home to help promote pollination in flower and vegetable gardens. The main differences are that carpenter bees are not fuzzy like bumble bees, and they nest in pairs instead of in colonies.