Tree Stump Grinding and Removal Due to Insect Nests
Why Do Insects Build Nests?
The vast majority of insects live solitary lives; however, some species are social and live in communal groups known as colonies or nests. Common examples of insects that build nests and live in colonies include ants, wasps, termites, and bees. In most cases, an insect nest is a physical dwelling that houses millions of insects at various stages of the insect life cycle, i.e., eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. These dwellings take multiple forms, from extensive networks of underground tunnels to elaborate six-sided cellulose-based structures. Because insect nests often inhabit tree stumps, owners of residential and commercial properties often require the use of stump grinding and stump removal services.
As a physical dwelling, a nest avails several practical benefits to the insects within the colony. These benefits include:
- Nests act as communal nurseries whereby the worker class of the species looks after eggs and larvae till they mature and attain adulthood. As a consequence, insect workers need to continuously forage for the food required to sustain the undeveloped young within the nest.
- The physical structure protects members of the colony from adverse weather and physical threats. Ants, termites, and other non-stinging social insects will retreat to the safety of their nests when under threat. Threats range from insecticidal sprays and dusting to physical attacks upon the insects.
- A nest also provides a place where insects can store food for consumption when foraging is impossible. This stored food allows an insect colony to endure the harsh months of winter until the arrival of spring safely. However, these food reserves are the primary reason why insect pest colonies are often able to thwart chemical control efforts.
While nests offer notable advantages to the insects within a colony, these structures make it harder to eradicate insect pests from your property completely. As a consequence, homeowners need to incorporate stump grinding and stump removal in pest control efforts.
How Insect Nests Counter Insect Pest Control
Common nest-building insect pests, such as the Argentine Ant, Carpenter Ant, Southern Fire Wasps, Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle, and termites, are often able to evade standard pest control initiatives. This uncanny ability is a consequence of the various ways in which nests ensure the longevity of an insect colony. Some of the ways in which insect nests counter pest control include:
1. Standing Army of Nannies
At all times, an insect nest shelters an army of adult nannies tasked with caring for the larvae, pupae, eggs, and egg-laying queen or queens within it.
The duties of these insect nannies are confined to nest chambers housing the queen and the hatchery in most eusocial insect pest species. Furthermore, other worker classes, i.e., soldiers, foragers, and scouts, seldom have access to nursery and queen chambers.
As a consequence of their confinement, nanny classes in ant and termite colonies are relatively safe from standard chemical pest control methods. These insect colonies are, thus, able to quickly reestablish themselves after a round of fumigation, spraying and dusting with mainstream insecticides. The outcome is the same regardless of whether you are using systemic or contact pesticides as part of your insect pest control efforts. Fortunately, Affordable Tree Services offers professional stump grinding and removal services that ensure the complete elimination of insect nests from residential and commercial properties.
2. Exceptional Fertility and Long-life of Egg-Laying Queens
The queens of some eusocial insect pests are known for their incredible egg-laying ability. Termite queens, for example, can lay as many as 30,000 eggs in a single day.
Furthermore, the nests of some insect pest species, such as the Argentine, Carpenter, and Southern Fire Ant, have queens capable of laying up to 120,000 eggs over a period ranging between 25 and 36 days.
As a result of their high reproductive rate, termite, Southern Fire Ant, Argentine Ant, and Carpenter Ant nests are able to repopulate within a fortnight of measures to eradicate these insect pest colonies. It is, therefore, highly advisable that you locate and destroy termite and ant nests to rid yourself of these common insect pests completely. Luckily, stump grinding and removal offers a way to eradicate insect nests from your property.
3. Ample Food Reserves within Insect Nests
Wasps, which are predatory, typically encase the paralyzed bodies of bees, spiders, and other insects within cells containing growing larvae and unhatched eggs. The larvae, thus, always have enough food to sustain them for a period lasting up to 14 days.
In this manner, wasp larvae remain alive even after the death of all the adult wasps in a colony. However, homeowners can rely on stump grinding and removal tree service to eliminate wasp nests from their property.
Southern Fire Ants and Argentine Ants, on the other hand, store their food within underground nests, which are often located on or near tree stumps. Carpenter Ants, in particular, store their food in nests excavated within timber columns, floor joists, girders, and other wooden features of a house. This ant species also build nests within old tree stumps.
Ant pests store all manner of carbohydrate and protein-laden matter obtained from foraging within houses. These food items include flour, bread, raw dough, grains of cereal, cake mix, chocolate, meats, powdered milk, and so forth. These common ant species also augment their food reserves with edible matter obtained outdoors, such as roots, seeds, honeydew, and insect prey. As a consequence of this stored food, ants within a nest can weather out insecticidal spraying, fumigation, and dusting as long as their dwelling remains intact.
Furthermore, some non-social insect pests do not need to store food to survive extermination. The reason being, insect pests such as Hardwood Stump Borer Beetles feed on the wood that makes up their nests. The larvae of the Hardwood Stump Borer burrow into wooden structures such as tree stumps, wooden decks, and wooden fence posts. The grubs then feed upon the wood and emerge 3 to 4 years later as adult beetles. While housed within a thick tree stump, tree borer beetle larvae are safe from insecticidal drenching because the chemicals used can’t penetrate deep into the wood.
Residents in Weston and other South Florida cities can rely on Affordable Tree services for professional and comprehensive tree removal and stump grinding services at customer-friendly rates.
Adverse Effects of Insect Pests on Your Property
Insect pests cause a wide array of adverse effects when present on a commercial or residential property. Furthermore, the extent of the resulting damage depends on how many different insect species cohabit the property. Some of the adverse effects that homeowners can encounter include:
1. Physical Damage to Structures, Trees, Gardens, and Lawns
Termites are infamous for their uncanny ability to cause extensive property damage. In the US, termites are responsible for over $5 billion worth of property damage every year. To make matters worse, basic homeowner insurance policies do not cover loss or damage to personal property resulting from termite infestations. The reason being, insurance companies do not view termite infestations as sudden phenomena.
Termites can seriously compromise the structural integrity of your home when they attack support pillars and beams, floor joists, ceiling joists, wooden decks, and wall studs.
Furthermore, termites also readily consume a wide array of wood-derivatives, including plywood, chipboard, fibreboard, hardboard, blockboard, and paper. This insect pest can, therefore, destroy internal paneling, doors, shelves, partition walls, chairs, window frames, and any other wood-containing items. Luckily, stump grinding and stump removal offer homeowners a way to safeguard their properties from termite damage.
In addition to causing extensive property damage, termites also attack the bark of some tree species, including Oak, Ash, and Fir, resulting in the stunted growth of young trees. Subterranean termite species are also known for attacking various palm species, including Alexander Palm, Coconut Palm, Canary Island Date Palm, Foxtail Palm, and Fishtail Palm. Additionally, termites will attack any tree stumps and wood logs they find in a yard irrespective of tree species to which they belong. This is why you should use stump grinding and stump removal tree services to eliminate termites on your property completely.
Furthermore, old tree stumps in your yard can attract termite swarmers onto your property, which can establish a fledgling colony within two weeks of their arrival.
While not as infamous as termites, Carpenter Ants, and Hardwood Stump Borer Beetles, can also cause notable damage to various items and structures on your property. The reason being, these two species have the abnormal ability to leave the surface of infested wooden items untouched, making detection difficult to the untrained eye.
Carpenter ants, for one, can excavate large nests of interconnecting chambers within floorboards, support beams, doors, and various furniture items, virtually undetected.
Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle larvae, on the other hand, burrow into the stems of living trees to consume the wood therein as food while they develop into adult beetles. Depending on the size of the tree, crown dieback of ornamental and citrus trees begins to manifest within a year of an insect borer infestation. Luckily, stump removal and stump grinding offer a way to obliterate Hardwood Stump Borer larvae.
2. Insect Pests Spread Disease
Insect pest species, such as the Southern Fire Ant and Argentine Ant, can transmit pathogens and toxic fungal spores onto food and the various surfaces found within a home. This occurs for two reasons. First, ants travel on the ground and can, therefore, pick up harmful bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens. Second, insects nests are conducive breeding grounds for pathogens, particularly chambers within which ants store their food. The decomposition of stored food favors the occurrence of several bacterial and fungi varieties, some of which can cause mild to severe illnesses in human beings.
Furthermore, these ant pests can spread fungal and bacterial diseases from one tree to another within a tree lot. The transmission of plant diseases also occurs amongst plants growing in a kitchen garden, amongst shrubs in hedges and flower beds on a property. Furthermore, these ant pests also aid the relocation of harmful sap-sucking insects, such as aphids and scales, from wilting plants onto healthy ones.
3. Insect Pests Bite and Sting
Ant pests, such as the Southern Fire Ant, Argentine Ant, and Carpenter Ant, often inflict painful bites on a person when the individual disturbs their foraging activities. The intensity of the pain depends on how much formic acid an ant injects into the bite wound.
While ant bites are painful, wasps stings are excruciatingly painful. Furthermore, female wasps can repeatedly sting, which can lead to fatal allergic reactions.
How to Correctly Identify Insect Pests and Their Nests
It is worth noting that several insect species closely resemble insect pest species commonly found in Florida. As a consequence of this similarity in appearance, many homeowners end up wasting both time and money eradicating harmless insect species from residential and commercial properties. This outcome is highly undesirable because the vast majority of insect species play an integral role within their habitats.
It is, therefore, advisable that a homeowner learns how to identify insect pests correctly and use stump grinding and removal to destroy insect pest nests. Furthermore, a homeowner should also possess the skill of identifying the nests that unwanted insect pests construct. Below are brief descriptions of the appearance of common insect pests and their nests.
1. Argentine Ant
Identifying Argentine Ants
The Argentine Ant’s scientific name is Linepithema humile. The workers of this ant species are all the same size and feature a uniform dull brown color over the head, thorax, and abdomen.
The thorax of the Argentine Ant is distinguishable from other insect species in its uneven profile. When viewed from the side, the thorax is not cylindrical but tapers toward the abdomen.
Identifying Argentine Ant Nests
Argentine Ant nests are located in the outdoors and take the form of shallow interconnecting underground chambers, which are 1 to 2 inches below ground. You can also find these nests under wooden slabs, decking, and tree cavities. You can identify these nests from the piles of dead ant copses on the periphery of entry points into the dwelling.
2. Carpenter Ant
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants are among the largest ants in the US, ranging in size between ¼ to ½ inches. These ants have one bulge on their narrow waists and are uniformly black with dark red legs.
Identifying Carpenter Ant Nests
A Carpenter Ant colony can be hard to identify because these insect pests burrow into wood without leaving noticeable traces on the surface. However, fine sawdust is often visible at a close inspection of infested items. Furthermore, tapping infested structures produces a hollow sound.
3. Southern Fire Ant
Identifying Southern Fire Ants
Southern Fire Ants, or Solenopsis xyloni, feature a red head and thorax with a red/black abdomen. The long bristly hairs that are present on the thorax and abdomen are absent on the head.
Furthermore, you should be able to spot a short spike before the two nodes that comprise the ant’s thin waist.
Identifying Southern Fire Ant Nests
Southern Fire Ant nests are typically found at the bottom of tree trunks and are easy to identify from the loose mound of soil located at the entrance.
Termites are easy to identify because no other insect species builds long and often branching mud tunnels. Breaking open these earthen tunnels reveals wingless workers with large orange heads and a white body. The thorax is virtually indistinguishable from the abdomen and appears to be absent. The reproductive males and females of this insect species are considerably larger than the worker class, with either gender featuring two pairs of equally sized wings.
Identifying Termite Nests
Stand-alone vertical mud tubes rising from the ground are the best indicators of termite nests or mounds located below open land, such as a yard.
The bodies of many wasp species exhibit dark brown to black coloring with distinct yellow markings. All wasps are winged and feature a very narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen
Identifying Wasp Nests
Wasp nests are papery structures featuring vertical hexagonal chambers with an opening at the bottom. These nests typically hang from the eaves of buildings but can also be found below tree branches.
6. Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle
Identifying the Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle
As with all beetles, the first pair of wings of the Hardwood Stump Borer Beetles are hardened to form a thick carapace that conceals a pair of transparent wings.
However, these borer beetles have a distinguishing feature in the form of small spikes on the flattened edges of the thorax.
Identifying Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle Nests
These beetle species do not build nests. However, a D-shaped hole with a fine power around it indicates the presence of Borer Beetle larvae within tree trunks and stumps.
Stump Grinding and Removal as an Effective Insect Pest Control Method
Stump grinding and removal augments other insect pest control measures in the following ways:
- Removal of insect nests existing on the tree stump from residential and commercial properties
- Exposure and destruction of insect nests below tree stumps in a yard
- Elimination of potential attractors of insect pests onto a property
- Elimination of potential habits for insect pests
Using professional stump grinding and removal services from Affordable Tree services alongside other insect pest control protocols results in a comprehensive pest control strategy.
What happens to roots after stump grinding?
Once a tree stump is ground to surface level, no further grinding is necessary. Chemical drenching of the remaining roots ensures that such roots do not attract insect pest infestation, such as termites.
How do I clean up after stump grinding?
You need not concern yourself with cleaning up after stump grinding service from Affordable Tree Services. The reason being, our expert crew will clean up your yard as part of a comprehensive service package.
What is the best way to rot a stump for easy removal?
To accelerate rot in tree stumps, Affordable Tree Service personnel spray such stumps with unique bacterial and fungal cultures that rapidly decompose the wood in the tree stump.
What is the difference between stump removal and stump grinding?
Stump removal involves digging up a tree stump from the ground and removing it entirely. Stump grinding, on the other hand, consists of using a motorized grinding tool to cut a tree stump to ground level.
Where do carpenter ants live?
Carpenter Ants live in excavated nests within wooden structures and furnishings such as support pillars, doors, chairs, wood decks, and so forth.
What is the best way to get rid of carpenter ants in trees?
Getting rid of Carpenter Ants in trees involves spraying the trunks and branches of infested trees with an appropriate contact or systemic insecticide.
What is the best way to get rid of a wasp nest in a tree stump?
Getting rid of wasp nests on a tree stump involves spraying the stump with an insecticidal aerosol to chase away or kill adult wasps. Once this is done, the physical removal of the papery wasp nest follows.
Resources and References:
- Identifying the Southern Fire Ant
- Hardwood Stump Borer Beetle
- Identifying the Argentine Ant
- Insect Colonies
- Stump Borer
- Insect Borer of Trees and Shrubs
- Termite Control
- Insect Colonies
- Insect Colonies
- The Four Classes of Nests that Build Nests
- Fire ant Scatter Insect Corpses at Nest Periphery
- Systemic Pesticides: Chemicals you can’t wash off
- Contact Pesticides
- How to Identify termites
- How to Identify and Control Termites