Most ant species are highly developed social insects that live in permanent nests, which depending on the species, may be in the soil, in timber, under pavers, in wall cavities or roof voids.
Ants may travel large distances in search of food. Even the cleanest of homes can provide a ready food source for ants, which once found can invade in large numbers, such that professional help is required.
Some inflict severe bites but most are a nuisance pest when they infest kitchens and BBQ areas in large numbers.
Ant Identification & Control Methods
Identification of the particular species of ant is vital to implementing a pest control program.
Some do-it-yourself products may provide short term relief, but may in fact, make a problem worse. Ants are easily repelled by some common residual remedies and, without finding the colony, their repeated use can often cause a colony to move or even split into multiple colonies. And simply killing foraging ants will not eliminate the colony since the queen remains in the colony and her sole purpose is to lay more eggs to ensure the survivability of the colony.
Pest Management Professionals (PMP’s) have at their access a variety of baits, insect growth regulators, and non-repellant materials, which can be used together in an integrated approach to solving any ant infestation.
Ants are now the number one pest problem for which homeowners rely on professional advice and remediation. Since an interior infestation is likely to have resulted from outdoor populations, you should expect your pest management professional to perform a thorough inspection of the surrounding environment and develop a strategy to prevent reinfestation of the building.
Common Types of Ants
White-footed house ant
Identification: the worker of the White-footed house ant is around 2.7mm in length, and black in color with yellow feet.
Biology: Colonies of white-footed house ants often contain many satellite nesting sites spread over a wide area. The entire brood may contain several million workers and numerous reproductive queens. White-footed house ants have a preference for sweet tasting food, such as sugar, soft drinks and the like.
Nesting sites: their nests are commonly found outdoors, in the ground or above ground in trees, in buildings, such as, in wall cavities, roof voids, architraves and fireplaces. They are known to get into and short-circuit air conditioners.
Odorous house ant
Identification: the Odorous house ant is about 2 to 3 mm in length; of uniform black to brown in color and if crushed, has a distinct rotten odor, like rancid butter.
Biology: Odorous house ant colonies can contain around 10,000 ants and contain numerous reproductive females, that can establish subsidiary colonies. Ants from different colonies are not aggressive toward each other.
Nesting sites: their nests are commonly found outdoors in the soil, under the base of trees, and indoors. Nests in the soil are usually shallow, situated under a stone, pavers or other flat objects. They commonly nest under buildings and inside wall cavities, particularly if there is a regular moisture source available, say from leaking plumbing, shower recess, broken guttering and roof tiles.
Identification: The workers are all the same size about 1/16 inch long. They are yellow or honey-colored. They have 12-segmented antennae with 3-segmented club.
Nesting sites: They build their nests in wall and cabinet voids, behind baseboards, inside hollow curtain rods and in folds of sheets, clothes or paper.
Identification: Carpenter ants vary in color from black to dark brown to a brownish orange. The workers are 6 to 12 mm in length.
Biology: Carpenter ants often enter buildings to nest and forage. They excavate their nests in wood (hence the name “carpenter” ants), creating smooth tunnels and galleries. The colonies of some species of Carpenter ants, may exceed 100,000 workers, with multiple queens and satellite nesting sites. Most species are smaller and require many years to reach maturity. They can travel long distances in search of food.
Nesting sites: they most often build their nests outside, in moist wood, soil, wigs and branches, but some species will readily infest timbers in buildings.
Identification: They are uniformly dull brown colored. Workers are all the same size, about 1/8-inch long. Thorax uneven in shape when viewed from side. They emit musty odor when crushed.
Nesting sites: Outdoors in soil, under wood, slabs, debris, mulch or in cavities of trees and shrubs. Shallow, 1-2 inch deep mounds in open, often distributed habitats, either moist or dry.
Fire ant bites are not only painful but can pose a serious health risk to you, your family, and pets. Our Fire Ant Control Program can reduce fire ant colonies within 24 to 72 hours. Once the entire yard is treated, all of the fire ant colonies begin to diminish…even those underground! Our Fire Ant Control Program has had great success in eliminating colonies on recreational ball fields, playgrounds, school yards, parks, and residential yards.
Fire Ant Control is a great addition to our Green Pest Control Service. Call us today at (423) 877-0111 or contact us to get a free estimate.