General Pest Control

Tried and True provides a complete set of general pest control solutions for residential and commercial clients in the Greater Hunstville, Alabama area. The pests listed on the page represent only some of the more common ones in our area; please contact us for information about any pest problem you have.

You can click on the name of each pest listed below for more information, or click on their pictures for larger photos.

Argentine Ants
Argentine Ant Linepithema humile
Size: Workers are about 1/8" in length.
Color: Dark brown to black

Argentine ants are primarily an outdoor specie, but they commonly enter homes to forage for food.

Argentine ants are among the most difficult of all ant species to control.

Primarily an outdoor specie, Argentine ants establish shallow nests under stones, boards, debris, or other items that prvide protection. Their nests can grow quite quite large, often numbering in the thousands. They also establish subcolonies in suitable voids, under mulch, in walls, behind brick veneer, and in other suitable areas close to food and water

Argentine ants commonly invade interior areas when foraging for food. Primarily sugar feeders, they wil quickly establish trails to any drop of spilled juice or other sugary liquids.

 

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ant Camponotus spp.
Size: Variable, 3/8" to one inch.
Color: Dark brown to black, variations possible.

Carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that can cause significant damage to wooden structures over time.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants don't actually eat wood. But they still can cause significant damage leading to costly repairs.

Carpenter ants escavate galleries in wood in which they lay their eggs and raise their young. They prefer wood that has already been damaged by moisture and commonly infest moisture-prone areas like kitchens, bathrooms, sill plates, roof soffits, and attics.

Carpenter ant control can be difficult and may include structural repairs to correct damaged wood or moisture problems, as well as chemical treatment. Depending upon the situation, dusts, sprays, baits, or some combination of these methods may be used for control.

 

Fire Ants
Fire Ants Solenopsis invicta
Size: Variable, 1/8" to 3/8"
Color: Yellowish or reddish brown

Fire ants are important public health pests because of their ability to deliver painful stings.

Fire ants live in mounds in the soil by nature, although they'll also infest man-made voids such as electrical boxes and utility chases.

Fire ants are very aggressive and will readily attack anyone who accidentally stumbles across their nests, delivering dozens, or even hundreds of painful stings that can be fatal to individuals who are allergic to them, and may require hospitlization even of those who aren't.

Control may be accomplished using baits, sprays, or granular products, depending on the exact situation. Because of the hazard involved in working near fire ant colonies, it's recommended that fire ant control be performed by pest management professionals.

 

Crazy Ants
Crazy Ant Paratrechina longicornis
Size: About 1/8" with extremely long legs.
Color: Dark brown to bluish black.

Crazy ants are named for their rapid, erratic, seeming random movements, which make them appear "crazy."

Crazy ants build shallow nests in the ground under rocks, mulch, and debris. They are omniverous, surviving on other insects, carrion, fruit juices, nectar, carrion, and food stored or spilled by humans.

Their nests may grow quite large and often include scattered subcolonies that will continue to survive even if the main colony is treated. This makes them particularly difficult to control.

Treatment is difficult and may involve finding and directly treating all colonies and subcolonies, as well as applying residual insecticides around the perimeters of buildings.

 

Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh Ant Monomorium pharaonis
Size: Very small, 1/16" to 1/8"
Color: Yellow to reddish yellow

Pharaoh ants are among the most difficult ants to control. Improper control methods usually just make the problem worse.

Pharaoh ants typically build their nests in wall voids, electrical boxes, behind insulation, and in almost any other protected void of a building. They typically travel through the building's electrical system and plumbing.

Attempts to treat pharaoh ant infestations with localized residual insecticides or dusts are usually disastrous, resulting in the colony "fracturing" into multiple colonies and spread throughout the building.

Treatment is usually accomplished through precision application of baits and non-repellent insecicides — a tedious and time-consuming process.

 

American Cockroach
American Cockroach Periplaneta americana
Size: Up to 2 inches in length
Color: Reddish brown

American cockroaches are often incorrectly called "waterbugs" or "Palmetto bugs."

These large roaches tend to prefer dark, warm, somewhat damp environments such as unfinished basements, utility chases, sump rooms, boiler rooms, trash rooms, etc. When the lights are turned on, they quickly scatter.

American cockroaches may be controlled with baits, sprays, or dusts, depending on the environment. Glue traps are sometimes used to quickly reduce populations.

Long-term control sometimes includes exclusion (sealing), improved sanitation practices, and correction of conducive conditions.

 

German Cockroach
German Cockroach Blatella germanica
Size: 1/2" to 5/8" in length
Color: Reddish brown

The German cockroach is one of the most common cockroaches infesting homes and businesses.

The German Cockroach can be recognized by the two longitudinal stripes in the pronotum (the shield on the dorsal side of the head).

Of all cockroaches, German cockroaches are the most prolific breeders, reaching maturity in as little as 45 days and producing as many as 40 eggs per brood. Eggs are carried in an ootheca, or egg sac, which is dropped near s source of food, water, and harborage. Beyond this one act, adult roaches do not participate in raising their young.

German cockroaches require high levels of warmth and moisture. They also exhibit a behavior known as thigmotaxis, meaning that they like to have a surface touching their feet and their backs or sides. They commonly nest in cracks and crevices in kitchens and bathrooms.

Control may involve the use of baits, dusts, sprays, and insect growth regulators (IGRs), as well as improved sanitation, exclusion, and trapping.

 

Smoky Brown Cockroach
Smoky Brown Cockroach Periplaneta filiginosa
Size: About 1/2" in length.
Color: Dark, smokey brown

The smoky brown cockroach is a strong flier and frequently enters homes from the outside.

In nature, smoky brown cockroaches usually inhabit hollow trees; and when they enter homes, they usually nest in attics and crawl spaces. As their population grows, they may enter into the living area of the home.

Control of existing smoky brown cockroache infestations usually involves sanitation improvement, as well as direct treatment of nesting areas with baits, sprays, dusts, or IGRs. Glue traps are sometimes used for rapid population reduction. Sealing of exterior cracks and crevices and/or periodic exterior insecticide treatments helps prevent reinfestation by roaches living outdoors.

 

Fleas
Flea Ctenocephalides spp.
Size: Tiny, barely visible to the naked eye.
Color: Reddish-brown

Fleas are tiny, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of their hosts.

There are many species of fleas, usually names after their preferred hosts (dog fleas, cat fleas, human fleas, etc.). But most fleas species are very picky: In a pinch, they'll feed upon any warm-blooded animal.

Despite their tiny size, fleas are among the most notorious disease vectors. They're involved in the tranmission of plague, tyhpus, and tapeworms. Their bites can also cause a painful rash, especially in sensitive individuals.

Flea control is challenging, even for professionals. Treatment usually involves thorough vacuuming and (if possible) shampooing of all carpets, followed by insecticide and IGR sprays on all carpeting, flooring, pet bedding, and sometimes upholstered furniture. Pets should also be treated at the same time by a veterinarian or animal groomer.