Carpenter Bees or Bumble Bees… Which is It?

Are Bumble Bees Hovering Around Your Home?

Probably not, they are more likely carpenter bees looking for some nice soft wood to burrow into. This bee “drills” a hole, usually about ½” in diameter, in places like fascia boards. After she enters the wood she turns at a right angle and chews with the grain sometimes for great distances. When she finally locates the spot she desires, she lays her eggs and stuffs a dead insect in for the prodigy to feed on as it grows old enough to drill its own hole.

If you are having a problem with carpenter bees or any other type of bee feel free to contact us for more information.

Request a Free Quote!

For more information or a free estimate contact American Pest Control at:

Call today to take advantage of our early season discounts!

Organic Lawn Care – Lawn Services Are Changing!

Organic Lawn Care’s Future

Let’s face it, the professional lawn care companies have never really embraced the concept because in spite of earlier claims from suppliers, customers complained about not being as green or beautiful as their neighbors.

Things are changing!

This year Rutgers offered a class on organic options for turf managers as a result of increasing numbers of New Jersey towns passing pesticide free zones. New York State is limiting more and more pesticide labels for lawns. The state of Florida has already restricted the use of phosphorous fertilizers, will pesticides be next?

Organic Treatments Now Less Expensive

Our organic lawn clients love us because of their healthy green lawns. New less expensive organic products are making organic lawn care more competitive.

Request a Free Quote!

If you haven’t considered organic lawn care lately maybe you should take a look. For more information or a free estimate contact American Lawn and Tree Arborists at:

Call today to take advantage of our early season discounts on our lawn service programs!


You Should Either Have Pests or a Pest Control Firm… Not Both!

We Provide Complete Elimination or Your Money Back – IN WRITING!!!

    American’s “ORGANIC” program is designed to efficiently eliminate any existing problems without costly “clean outs” as well as protect the premises from new infestations as they occur.
    Our materials are the same as those used in eye wash compounds and hypo allergenic cosmetics. One of our organic products is made from chrysanthemum flowers.
    Unlike conventional pesticides, organic materials do not smell.
    Organic materials do not leave unsightly residues on surfaces like conventional pesticides.
    American’s organic material can be applied any time with no inconvenience to the establishment or it’s employees. There is no preparation necessary!
    There is little or no exposure to you, your staff or your customers. Organic materials are applied inside wall voids and in cracks and crevices where insects hide.
    Costs compare favorably with conventional treatment programs.

Organic Integrated Pest Management Program

Even if you don’t have a problem presently, you will benefit from our Organic Integrated Pest Management Program. Let our state certified technician design a custom program for you now. There is no obligation.

You Know What to Do…

Contact American Pest Control at: or 1-800-404-3033

Lawn & Turf Fertilization Services in Michigan – Feed the Soil

Healthy Soil is the Key to Great Lawn!

Our fertilization programs vary from conventional programs in one major way. Harmony concentrates on improving the turf and the soil. Our soil based programs were designed to accomplish two significant goals.

  • To maintain quality turf from season to season and year to year.
  • To decrease the amount of fertilizer and pesticide required.

As the recommended programs demonstrate, reaching these goals is a process that requires time, yet doesn’t sacrifice results. At first the change may be subtle, but as the soil and turf are bridged from conventional to high organic maintenance, the change becomes more profound.

Healthy soil is the key to good turf with fewer chemical inputs. Harmony works by feeding the millions of micro and macro organisms that are essential to well functioning soil. Good soil promotes healthy turf by providing air, moisture and nutrients to the plant roots, even when weather conditions are not favorable. Fewer problems develop and there is less need for pesticides that can harm soil life.

Harmony and Earthgro Professional Turf Foods

While there are times when pesticides are needed to obtain acceptable turf (especially when soil conditions are extremely poor), the goal should always be to reduce these inputs over time by improving soil conditions. The complete line of Harmony and Earthgro Professional Turf Foods is designed with this goal in mind.

Request a Free Quote!

Need a healthy lawn program in 2011? For a free estimate and to take advantage of our early season discounts on our lawn service programs, contact Doc Pickhardt of American Lawn and Tree Arborists at:


Black-Winged Carpenter Ants (Order Hymenoptera)

General Pest Information:

Black swarming carpenter ants are usually seen in small numbers, that is, less than 100, and usually appear in the cooler part of a hot humid day. They are attracted to light and are usually found swarming around electric light bulbs or other light sources. The adult winged female is usually larger than the winged male. Placing a low pan of water, such as a pie pan, under the light source will attract the ants that are flying under the light source. The presence of winged carpenter ants is an indication that a colony has established itself in the nearby area. The carpenter ant colony is usually associated with damp, wet wood. In hunting for sources of infestation, pay particular attention to fireplace logs, hollow wood porch supports, or other wood members where moisture may have collected. Most infestations are difficult to find unless the source of moisture is rather evident. Metal flashing around chimneys, vents, roof valleys, and adjoining porches should be checked for leaks. Driving rain can sometimes cause moisture to be absorbed into hollow wood posts of porches, behind loose fitting boards, or un-caulked areas under and around windows, doors and other openings. The nesting area for these ants must be kept damp. Carpenter ants are often difficult to locate, since the point of entry may be quite a distance from the place where the galleries and nesting areas in the wood are located. Carpenter ant infestation is usually established in new locations, either by a fertile queen or through migration of all or part of an existing colony. Houses in wooded areas or in damp, humid locations are most likely to become infested, although they can at times infest dwellings in thickly populated areas of the city. Where an infestation has been established for a long time and the colony has grown to be a large one, usually numbering several thousand ants, structural damage may be extensive enough to require major repairs to the infested areas.

Carpenter Ant Life Cycle:

Carpenter ants prefer temperatures in the normal range of 70 to 90 degrees fahrenheit. A normal period from egg to adult is from 60 to 75 days. This growth rate may be slowed during the winter months. The winged adults are usually observed from the middle of May through summer and fall up to the first freezing temperatures. There may be more than one queen in a colony, especially in large colonies numbering two to three thousand worker ants. These ants may vary in length from 6mm to 15mm long. The colony is usually started by one queen who begins to pick her nest in damp decaying wood, in a hole dug in a tree, in the soil or under a rock. The wood damaged by carpenter ants has a tunneling effect, without the soil or mud placement as with subterranean termites. The tunnels or galleries of carpenter ants are irregular in shape, much like our caverns and caves in the earth, whereas the subterranean termite galleries follow the grain of the wood with a characteristic placement of soil. Branches of trees overhanging at the roof of a building are one common source of infestation. Most of the work in the carpenter ant colony is done by the small sexless workers. Carpenter ants do not feed on the wood that they infest. They only use the wood as a nesting place, from which they scavenge for food. Therefore sawdust will usually be found in the area immediately beneath the infestation. They will eat almost anything preferring liquids or fluids. Other insects, sugar, jelly, fruits, meats, grease, fats, plant juices, are all part of their diet.

How to Control Black-Winged Carpenter Ants:

One of the first things to be considered in carpenter ant control is to find the source of moisture and eliminate it. Carpenter ants have been known to nest in hollow core doors, around warm chimneys, and in the soil adjoining the building. Structural defects allowing moisture to get into the wood should be corrected immediately. Control of carpenter ants can be a very difficult problem if the infestation is enclosed in plastered or finished walls. Dusting powders into cracks and crevices of the walls, plus the use of liquid pesticides are very important. Where the location of the infestation permits, drilling into the infested area and applying a residual pesticide is very effective. Surface application of residual pesticide along baseboards, toe strips, around doorways and ant runways to the outside is very effective. An occasional ant may be observed after this treatment. Unless the source or colony can be found and destroyed, the customer should always be warned that application of residual pesticide is not an immediate instantaneous cure all for carpenter ant infestation. Stray insects from overhanging trees can continue to be an annoyance to the home owner, even though the infestation and colony have been eliminated. In sections where large wooded areas surround the dwelling, the owner should be warned that surface infestations may reappear. For this reason, regular periodic inspections and possible re-treatments are recommended.

Need Additional Help?

If you have any questions or would like further information on this subject, contact Doc Pickhardt of American Pest Control at:

Consulting Certified Arborist Expert Witness Services (Michigan, Florida)

A Visit from a Certified Arborist Could Save You Big Money!

So far this month I have been asked by various law firms to appear as their expert witness in three separate instances. One case involves a tree that broke and fell through the roof of a house and permanently disfiguring a man who was asleep in his bed. Another case involves a power company who was forced to over prune the owners trees so as to clear the easement space around their wires. The most recent case involves an accidental death caused by a fallen tree limb across a primary road.

So what? All of these cases will cost considerable money and distress to the tree owners and could have been prevented. The care of trees is seldom considered because they are perceived as large trouble free plants growing in concert with lawns and gardens that require constant care- until one comes crashing down. A visit from a certified arborist at least once per year is inexpensive, get to know one.

Doc Pickhardt
Consulting Arborist

Need Additional Help?

If you have any questions or would like further information on Doc’s expert witness services or a free tree estimate, contact American Lawn and Tree Arborists at:

Moles and Voles – Which is it?

Control these Unwanted Pests in Michigan & Florida!

Moles damage our beautiful (and expensive) lawns by burrowing under and in the root systems of lawns and gardens. They eat mostly worms and sometimes grubs but rarely feed on grass. However, their burrowing kills the grass leaving ugly scars and mounds.

Voles also burrow under ground mostly in gardens where they feed on roots and other vegetation.

Moles become semi dormant in winter but voles do not. Because voles are active year round, they must continue to feed often damaging expensive plants in our gardens by chewing on tender bark especially after snow and other winter elements deprive them of their regular food supplies

Control of Moles:

Recently Bell Labs, a manufacturer which services the pest control industry, did a much needed study concerning mole control. The result of their extensive research was the development of a worm like product that works. The product replaced lawn sprays and repellents that were questionable at best.

Control of Voles:

Expensive shrubs and trees can be protected with hardware clothe wrapped around the trunks at ground level to approximately 1 inches. American Pest Control Company can help by placing protected bait stations in gardens which are serviced regularly.

Need Help Getting Rid of Moles or Voles?

If you have any questions or would like further information or a free estimate on moles or voles, contact American Pest Control at:

Lyctidae and Anobiidrae Powder Post Beetles

The Wooden Hole Mystery

Are you finding tiny round holes in your wooden furniture or in your hardwood floors? Chances are you have an infestation of Lyctidae or Anobiidrae powder post beetles. If you find sawdust (frass) that is light in color chances are the infestation is active. If the sawdust is a darker color it may be an old infestation. Either way if you notice these tiny holes in your wood floors or furniture it is a good idea to check with a pest management professional to be sure.

If you have any questions or would like further information on Powder Post Beetles contact Doc Pickhardt at:

Asian Needle Ant – Another Exotic Ant in the US

Pest Status Obtained

Another new (exotic) ant is with us! Well he’s not really that new. The Asian needle ant was first discovered in Georgia in 1932 but the ant’s distinction was patchy for a long time. It only attained pest status about 6 years ago when it was found in South Carolina. Since then it has also been found in Alabama and Tennessee in relatively large numbers.

What Makes the Asian Needle Ant Important?

The ant is important for two reasons. The Asian needle ant sting is similar to a fire ant and it replaces native ant species where it becomes established. The Asian needle ant sting results in mild to intense pain with temporary to prolonged itching, sometimes for several hours. Anaphylaxis shock (extreme allergic reaction) has been documented in some cases.

The Asian needle ant nests are usually small but numerous and found under leaf mulch and nearly all man made objects in yards making control difficult. Research by the National Pest Management Association is currently underway to determine new control strategies including baits to assist in the control of this serious pest ant.

If you have any questions or would like further information on Asian needle ants contact Doc Pickhardt at: