How to Identify Carpenter Ants: Signs and Damage in Wisconsin

A carpenter ant seen in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

It’s easy to mix up carpenter ants with other kinds of ants, or even termites! With their wood-tunneling habits and their many physical similarities to common ant species, it’s no wonder that people don’t often catch carpenter ants until they’ve done significant damage. Here in Wisconsin, we have seen carpenter ants cause some seriously expensive damage before ever being discovered. So, how can you tell apart carpenter ants and other pests?

What Does a Carpenter Ant Look Like?

Carpenter ants look a lot like other types of ants in Wisconsin, but they do have a few characteristics that you can distinguish them from others by. These are:

  1. Their size: Carpenter ants are larger than most ant species in the United States. They reach up to 1.5cm in length in some cases.
  2. Their color: Some kinds of carpenter ants are plain black all the way through like other ants in the area, but some subspecies have a unique yellow-red tint that becomes more prominent toward the back of their bodies.
  3. Other features: Some distinguishing features of carpenter ants are their swarmers’ long wings and their workers’ large mandibles. If you see winged carpenter ants in your home, it is a bad sign that there is already an active outbreak of them causing damage to your home.

How to Tell if You Have Carpenter Ants

If you aren’t sure that the ants in your home are carpenter ants based on how they look, there are a few more indicators to look for. Carpenter ants tunnel through the wooden structures in homes just like termites do, but the difference between them is that termites eat the wood that they chew and carpenter ants don’t. This means you’ll often find trails of wood shavings where they’ve been present.

Other signs of carpenter ants are:

  • Swarmer wings that have broken off
  • Wood damage
  • Ant activity in crawl spaces and attics

It’s a good idea to check your vulnerable spaces for ant activity routinely. When you do find ants in the house, try to find out whether or not they are carpenter ants. When it comes to carpenter ants, it is crucial to act quickly to get rid of them.

Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Wisconsin

If you’ve found carpenter ants in your house in Wisconsin, don’t worry about them biting you or causing disease. What you should be worried about is the amount of damage they could cause or may have already caused. The safest way to stop carpenter ants is to tell your local pest control company about them. The ant control experts at Batzner Pest Control can eliminate active infestations and set up preventative measures to stop future infestations. For a free ant control quote, contact us today!

5 Reasons Why You Need Winter Pest Control [2021 Update]

Spiders are common winter pests in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

It’s a common misconception that with the cold weather rolling in, pests will pack up and leave until next year. The truth is in the colder months, crawling insects and other pests that don’t go dormant in the winter can make their way into our homes and draw in mice and other rodents, looking for warmth. Additionally, winter in Wisconsin brings its own set of insects and other pests to stay on the lookout for. The team at Batzner Pest Control is here to share all you need to know about winter pest control.

What Pests Are Common in the Winter?

Pests are common in Wisconsin year-round. In the winter, home and business owners must frequently deal with the following pests:

  1. Mice and rats. Mice and rats require only a tiny opening or crack to gain entry into your home. They can enter through your attic and gnaw on the wires, wood beams, electrical wires and insulation.
  2. Wood destroying insects. Carpenter ants and mosquitoes destroy the home from the inside out, so you really never see the damage until it is too late. If you find carpenter ants indoors during the winter, it is an indication that they are nesting inside walls, floors, or decaying wood.
  3. Sealing your home. The early winter is the best time for Batzner’s pest control team to seal up all openings before mice seek shelter in your home or business. They will check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  4. Dormant insects. Many insects will hide in the attic or basement in late fall and early winter to escape the frigid winter temperatures. Spiders, cluster flies, Asian lady bugs, and boxelder bugs will remain dormant until spring. Then as the weather warms, they can easily find their way into your living spaces.
  5. Spider webs and nests. Removing webs, nests and egg cases may help prevent pests from reemerging in your home when the weather becomes warmer. Some creatures are hardwired to return to certain places, but if you get rid of all the reasons for them to return, you increase the probability that you’ll finally be saying a permanent “goodbye” to them.

How to Prevent Winter Pests in Wisconsin

Before the wintertime, it’s important to learn how to guard your home against pest problems. Some of the best winter-proofing tips for homeowners include the following.

  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
  • Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

How Does Batzner Prevent Winter Pest Problems?

Winter pest control service in Wisconsin by Batzner Pest Control

Our fall and winter pest control services are targeted at your home’s interior. One of the first things that our team looks for is anything that has changed since their last visit. It’s extremely common for Batzner specialists to find new openings that didn’t exist at their most recent visit. They’ll also check out any rodent protection equipment that they’ve put in place.

Batzner’s residential services are tailored to the homeowner’s individual needs, and in winter, our trained service experts focus primarily on the interior of the house, searching for any openings where pests could enter. Our winter pest control specialists. will notify the homeowner if any such openings are located, and seal those openings to ensure pests remain outside. In the meantime, spider webs will also be knocked down and cleaned out in the home’s interior. Your pest control expert will also target your home’s basement for a preventative pesticide treatment for crawling insects.

Annual Winter Pest Control Services

Don’t mistake winter as a time to lay off on the pest control services—it allows you preparation time for the warm seasons ahead! Batzner is your trusted pest control expert. Contact the residential pest control pros at Batzner today to learn how we can prevent pests this winter and all year long.

Prevent an Ant Infestation This Summer in 5 Steps

Prevent an ant infestation in Wisconsin this summer with tips from Batzner Pest Control

If you’ve had an ant problem before, you know what a pain they can be. During Wisconsin summers, ant infestations spike in numbers. There’s a reason why ants are considered to be the number 1 nuisance pest in the nation: not only are they annoying, they are infamously difficult to get rid of without the help of a professional! To avoid the frustration of ants to begin with, it’s important to learn how to prevent an ant infestation in the first place. The experts at Batzner Pest Control have years of experience controlling ants and are sharing their expert tips for keeping ants out.

Common Summertime Ants

Ants are a pest problem all year long. There are more than 700 types of ants in the nation, but thankfully, you’ll likely only encounter a few in your area. It’s important to know what type of ant you’re dealing with–different types of ants pose different dangers. Some of the most common types of ants you’ll likely encounter include:

6 Steps to Prevent an Ant Infestation

Once ants get indoors, they can spread easily. One ant colony can quickly turn into multiple! To avoid dealing with the distress of an ant problem, there are several things you can do to keep them out in the first place. Our expert tips for preventing ant infestations include:

  1. Keeping a clean home. Sweep your floors regularly to get rid of crumbs. Ants are attracted to sugary food sources and a few crumbs will keep them coming back for more.
  2. Storing food properly. Avoid leaving food out uncovered. Keep food in airtight containers or store them safely in cupboards and fridges.
  3. Sealing entry points. Ants can crawl through the tiniest of cracks. Inspect your property and use caulk to seal any gaps, holes, or potential entry ways.
  4. Avoiding excess moisture. Areas with standing water or leaks will attract ants quickly. Attend to broken pipes and clean up spills quickly.
  5. Trimming back trees and vegetation. Plants close to your home can encourage ants to come in. Make sure tree branches, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed away from the perimeter!
  6. Picking up your pet’s food. Crumbs and spills from your cat or dog’s food and water bowls can be a huge attractant for ants. Always clean up and store bowls between mealtimes.

Summer Ant Problems in Wisconsin

Preventing ants can seem difficult. Ants are pesky and will gladly enter your property to seek out food and shelter. If you’ve done everything you can to keep ants out and still are noticing the signs of an infestation, it’s time to call the Batzner ant exterminators. We are committed to providing you with ant-free living not just in the summer but all year long!

Do DIY Pest Control Methods Work?

Sprays are a common DIY pest control method in New Berlin WI. Learn more from Batzner Pest Control.

You see a trail of ants near your windowsill, and head to the store to buy ant baits and traps. We’ve all been there and have had success to varying degrees of success. But does DIY pest control really work? While store-bought products may work to control small pest problems, they are never a solution for larger infestations. Here at Batzner Pest Control, we want our customers to make well-informed decisions when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control and professional pest control.

DIY Pest Control: How Effective is It?

For small pest problems, store-bought or DIY methods may work to get rid of them. However, DIY pest control does not work to control bigger infestations or prevent future ones. There are a number of disadvantages of DIY methods. First of all, do-it-yourself methods simply won’t work to control more dangerous pests such as mosquitoes, bed bugs, rodents, carpenter ants, and more.

In addition, a lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for your family if applied incorrectly. These products also rarely come with a guarantee or warranty on their effectiveness. Bottom line, it’s always a gamble when it comes to DIY pest control.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

Let’s face it: no one wants to deal with pests on their own. That’s where a professional exterminator can help! Although professional pest control is a bigger commitment of your time and money, it will pay off tenfold. Some of the benefits of teaming up with a professional exterminator include:

  1. A pest control company has the knowledge and experience to tackle any current infestation you have. Exterminators are experts in the behaviors and habits of pests, making it easier to control any problems quickly and efficiently.
  2. With a focus on IPM practices, exterminators can also work to prevent future problems.
  3. Whenever possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively.
  4. If you choose to get regular pest control services, your exterminator will work with you to develop a customized pest control program suited to the unique needs of your property.

Choosing Between DIY and Professional Pest Control

As soon as you discover a pest problem, you want them gone as soon as possible. To achieve this, it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional pest control company instead of using DIY methods. At Batzner, our goal is to provide our customers with pest-free living all year round in Wisconsin. To learn more about how we can help, contact our team today!

Do You Have Mosquitoes or Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites. The Batzner Pest Control experts share how to tell them apart.

If you think you’ve seen mosquitoes in or near your property, how can you be sure they aren’t carpenter ants? Both of these pests are wood-destroying insects that, in the swarmer stage, are commonly mistaken for one another. Termite and carpenter ant swarmers are active around the same time of the year and, from afar, look quite similar. Although they are both destructive, these wood-boring insects are quite different. To learn whether you may be dealing with mosquitoes or carpenter ants, read on for tips from the experts at Batzner Pest Control.

The Main Difference Between Wood-Destroying Insects

When it comes to these two wood-destroying insects, one is much more feared than the other.

  1. Carpenter Ants
    • Typically establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids.
    • Their damage is not usually visible. When it is, you can notice that the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded.
    • For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage mosquitoes do.
  2. Mosquitoes
    • Usually make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
    • Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
    • Mosquitoes are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.

Winged ant vs. termite in Oshkosh WI - Learn more from Batzner Pest Control

What do Mosquitoes and Carpenter Ants Look Like?

In the swarmer stage, mosquitoes and carpenter ants look very alike. Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color with slightly red coloring at times. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue. The biggest difference is that carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle.

Termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

What to Do When You Have Mosquitoes or Carpenter Ants

If you think you’ve spotted the signs of either mosquitoes or flying ants, it’s time to call the termite exterminators at Batzner Pest Control. Mosquitoes and carpenter ants alike are difficult to control without the expertise of a pest control expert. Our team can thoroughly inspect your Wisconsin home or business for wood-destroying insects and help protect you from them year-round!