When ants invade your home, what methods do you use to eliminate them? Do you get the vacuum out and fill a bucket with some soapy water? Most people do this. They suck the ants up, wash the area down, and call it a day. Is this the best way to get rid of ants? Not really. Those ants will keep appearing. Ant control is more than cleaning up ants. You have to use a multi-pronged strategy to prevent ants from continuing to enter your home. Join us as we look at common ant pests, the problems they cause, and how to get rid of an ant infestation. If you're currently dealing with an ant problem and you've had enough, we're here if you need us. You can jump to our contact page for immediate assistance, or if you'd like to learn more about ant pest control and prevention, you can just read on and enjoy.

The Types Of Ants That Commonly Invade Homes

Knowing what kinds of ants can get into your home is essential when considering the best way to get rid of them. All ants are not the same. Let's break them down into a few categories.

Nuisance Ants

All ants have the potential to annoy. Their ability to annoy people is so great that ants are the number one pest that pest professionals are called on to eliminate. In our service area, little black ants are one of the worst. They create large colonies and can get into homes in surprising numbers. These ants are strongly attracted to the properties with plant-damaging insects. You may identify them by looking for these traits:

  • 1/16 of an inch long
  • Workers are all the same size (monomorphic)
  • Black
  • Prefer sweet foods

These ants can nest indoors in structural voids and are highly adaptive. Control is often difficult. Little black ants also pose a health risk as they climb into trash receptacles and other dirty places, pick up germs and spread them around.

Stinky Ants

A few species of ants smell bad when you crush them underfoot. The worst is likely the odorous house ant. It is a species that has more than earned its name. The ability to create an unpleasant odor makes these ants even more annoying. You may identify them by looking for these traits:

  • 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length
  • Workers are all the same size (monomorphic)
  • Dark brown or black
  • Prefer sweet foods

These ants are attracted to moisture and establish nests in humid or damp environments. They are a health risk if they find these conditions in your home and create a nest, as they may climb around on moist rotting organic matter. 

Stinging Ants

When fire ants move into your yard, they will quickly wear out their welcome. While we often refer to fire ant wounds as fire ant bites, these are actually stinging insects. They have little stingers in the tips of their abdomens and are not afraid to use them. You may identify these ants by looking for these traits:

  • 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long
  • Workers are of different sizes (polymorphic)
  • Dark reddish brown with abdomen darker than thorax and head
  • Prefer protein sources, such as dead insects

You'll find these ants creating mounds in sunny areas of your property. You may find a mound of dirt with several entries. While an outdoor ant pest that requires outdoor ant control, they are known to get inside structures and present a problem. 

Wood-Destroying Ants

Carpenter ants are the ants that destroy properties. The worst of all carpenter ants is the black carpenter ant. It is not good to find black carpenter ants in your home. These ants can secretly damage your home for years. Seeing even one of these ants is cause for concern. You may identify these ants by looking for these traits:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch in length
  • Workers are of different sizes (polymorphic)
  • Entirely black
  • Prefer sweet food sources, particularly honeydew

You may notice a black carpenter's ant infestation. These ants create a material called frass: sawdust, insect parts, and ant droppings. You might also see winged ants in your home. A winged carpenter ant is twice the size of the workers. 

Now that you know what kinds of ants may get in your home let's discuss the problems in more detail. It is very important to understand the threat so that you can choose the appropriate response. 

The Many Problems Ants Can Create In Your Home

We discussed how ants impact your health and damage your property, but you should know to what extent. Effective ant control can be challenging and costly. You need to know why it is essential to expend the energy or spend the money necessary to stop ants from getting inside.

  • Ongoing stomach illness is associated with ant infestations. The symptoms of ant-related diseases are often mistaken for the common cold or influenza.
  • Ants are food for other pests. When ants continually enter your home or create a nest, they invite other pests.
  • A sting from a fire ant is irritating. The wound burns and will itch for several hours, sometimes more than a day. But one bite can cause an allergic reaction with life-threatening symptoms. We can't stress enough how rare this is, but you should know the risk and that you can develop a stinging insect allergy later in life and not know it. We recommend seeing an allergist if you've detected fire ants in your yard.
  • Carpenter ants damage properties, but how bad are they really? Your home won't get wrecked in a month or a year. It takes years for damage to accumulate. The risk these ants present is not something you'll deal with right now. You'll deal with it when you're ready to sell your home or in retirement when you're looking to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  • Carpenter ant holes allow moisture into your home. Moisture problems can lead to wood rot, mold, and fungus. Black mold is particularly troublesome as it can lead to respiratory illness.
  • Carpenter ant holes invite rodents to chew on the wood of your home and make small holes larger. They also invite rodents to get into your home. Mice and rats damage property, present a health risk, and spread ticks and fleas around.

Ongoing ant problems have many implications. It is wise to take care of ants appropriately.

The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Ant Infestation In Your Home

Ant control is more about the process and less about the products. You can use products known to stop ants and fail to get results. When your ant control fails, you may not know it, exposing you to ongoing health risks and property damage. It is best to have a licensed pest management professional handle ant control. Contact Adams Exterminating Company for assistance. We can guide you toward the ant control solutions that will work best for you, your family, and your property. 

Five Easy Tips To Prevent Future Ant Infestations

Once your ant infestation is corrected, what is the next step? You'll want to turn your attention to ant prevention. Here are five of our best tips for preventing ant infestations.

  1. Manage your trash. The scent of a dirty trash receptacle can attract ants from a distance. Put garbage out weekly for pick up, and keep your containers clean.
  2. Address lawn weeds. You may not realize it, but a weed problem in your yard can lead to a big ant problem. Ants eat nectar. If you have flowering weeds throughout your yard, you can expect to start seeing ant mounds and ant activity.
  3. Address plant-damaging insects. The honeydew produced by aphids, white flies, and scale insects will bring ants near your home. You may use colored sticky traps in your landscaping to attract and capture these pests. Ongoing residential pest control can also deal with plant-damaging insects.
  4. Stay on top of yard work. Leaf litter, dead branches, and other organic debris picked up during yard work are ideal habitats for ants. A home free of organic matter next to exterior walls and foundations is resistant to ant infestations.
  5. Seal potential entry points. When ants explore your exterior, they get inside because they can. Use expanding foam or a caulking gun to seal holes, cracks, and gaps. Make sure all exterior doors have a proper seal all the way around and make sure all door and window screens are in good repair.

When you take these steps in conjunction with keeping the interior of your home clean and the exterior of your home free of moisture problems, you can keep ants out. You may never see another ant inside when you add (on top of this) ongoing residential ant control. Contact Adams Exterminating Company for a free quote or to request assistance. We can help you stop a current infestation and implement ongoing pest control around your home to prevent future infestations. There is no better way to keep ants out of your home. 

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