Odorous House Ants are one of our most notorious ant pests. Together with Argentine Ants, Odorous House Ants account for the majority of service calls in the Atlanta area. At one time, Fire Ants were also a significant ant pest, but a number of products are now available that control fire ants very effectively. Odorous House Ants, like Argentine Ants, can have hundreds of small colonies throughout the landscape and can infest structures throughout the year. These ants become active in March and April and remain active through the summer months. Colonies may contain thousands of workers and dozens of queens. Reproduction occurs in the nest, and colonies spread to new locations by budding off workers and queens.
Odorous House Ants are a particularly pernicious pest because they can infest block foundations and areas under garage slabs. In such protected locations, control efforts become extremely difficult. It is not unusual to drill slabs or block foundations in an effort to rid a home of these pests. Drilling is a last resort, after baits and nonrepellent products have already failed to control the problem.
Homeowners can significantly reduce their ant problems by ensuring that vegetation is not in contact with the structure. Any ground cover such as ivy or wild strawberries, should be cut back at least 5 feet from the foundation. Ants may still enter the home, but removing the vegetation will allow a treatment zone to be created around the home that will be more effective at preventing pest entry. Ants will also be more easily seen trailing on the exterior, if the vegetation has been pruned back from the structure.
Baits in the form of gels, granules, and liquids can help in the long term control of ant pests, and newer nonrepellent products can offer quick knockdown and control of existing populations. Unfortunately, populations usually rebound quickly during the summer and multiple visits are necessary throughout the year to keep ants from reinfesting the structure. Visit our website to find out how Northwest Exterminating can assist you with our Fire Ant Management Program.
Apartments residents can do a number of things to help prevent pest problems. First and foremost is to eliminate sources of food and moisture. Contact the management if there are any leaks inside your unit. Moisture can attract and create a hospitable environment for a number of insect pests. Springtails are especially attracted to moisture and can reproduce in large numbers when there is a leak.
Secondly, sources of food must be eliminated. Remove garbage daily or every other day. Keep spills and crumbs cleaned up. If you are recycling cans or plastic bottles, make sure that these items are rinsed well and remove them as frequently as you remove garbage. Kitchen counters and stoves should be wiped down after use. Cleaning these areas and removing garbage eliminates food sources that will attract ants and cockroaches to the area.
Third, closets, pantries, and cabinets should be kept clean and orderly. Pests like cardboard, plastic sacks, and clutter as nesting and harborage sites. Clutter is difficult to treat and offers pests many small niches in which to hide and reproduce. Keep clothing in baskets and wash on a regular basis to prevent piles of clothing from building up. Other items that can serve as harborage and nesting sites include magazines, newspapers, boxes, and stacks or sheets of paper, clothing, or wood. Clutter should be kept to a minimum to prevent pests from establishing a foothold inside the building.
Finally, residents should frequently check around doors and windows to ensure that weather proofing and seals are in good repair. Small holes around doors and windows are frequently the entry point for ants and other pest insects. Residents may also check around plumbing fixtures to ensure that these are properly sealed. Cockroaches will frequently follow plumbing and electrical lines, as will ants. These areas should be sealed with foam or caulk to prevent pests from entering the living space.
And as always, feel free to contact Northwest Exterminating at any time for all of your pest control and termite needs.