Ants Are Back!

AntAnts have been making their presence known in homes as of late.  Ants are one of the most common pests that homeowner’s and pest professionals find in and around homes.  Common ant species are fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.

Ants have a wide range of habits.  Some ants build mounds in the ground, others are found in homes near cracks and crevices, on counters, in kitchen sinks, pantries, and even bathrooms.  Knowing the different species of ants and their habits and preferences is key in controlling an ant problem.

Most ants are simply a nuisance pest.  They cause little damage but will invade and ruin food and some ants bite.  Generally speaking, there are no diseases associated with ants.

A licensed pest professional can identify the type of ant that you are experiencing and develop a customized plan to get rid of ants.  With this process, you are using the least amount of chemical possible (if any) while also coming up with a plan that will deter ants from returning.  If you are one of the many homeowner’s experiencing ants right now, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit www.callnorthwest.com

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Common Ants

Properly identifying pests is such an important part of pest control prevention and management.  Professionals and homeowners both need to be aware of what pest they are dealing with so they know what actions need to be taken to properly get rid of and prevent the pest from returning.

Ants are a common concern in both residential and commercial dwellings.  Knowing what kind of ants you have will help in knowing the best course of action to treat the property.  Our Pest ID page gives 5 common ants that can be found in properties in the southeast: fire ants, carpenter ants, argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.  To find out more information about any of these types of ants, visit our Pest ID page or click on a picture below.

Acrobat Ant

Acrobat Ant

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

 

Ants, Ants Everywhere…In the Winter?

Ants in the kitchen, ants in the bathroom…that wouldn’t be unusual except it is in the middle of winter!!! Aren’t ants supposed to hibernate during the cold months?

Most likely the ants that are seen during winter are Argentine ants. These ants don’t have to live in the ground; they can make themselves right at home under structures or in the walls of homes protected from the elements. And just a few feet away is everything they need to survive:  water, food and shelter. But just think, if the ants are this bad now, imagine how bad they will be in the summer!

Argentine Ant

Argentine Ant

Argentine ants can quickly populate into multiple colonies containing many queens and thousands of workers. The ants can travel freely between and within these colonies.  Due to their fast growth it makes it difficult to control these ants once they have made their way into a structure. People often panic when they see ants inside their home and spray them with the closest can of bug spray that they can find. This might fix the problem temporarily, however, it is best to have a professional who can properly identify the ants and understand their habits in order to devise a treatment plan that will be most effective.

Argentine ants are constantly looking for food. They love sugary foods like soft drinks and syrups. Once an ant finds a food source, it alerts the other ants to “come and get it.” Before you know it the trashcans, counter tops and cabinets are taken over by ants! But don’t worry; there are ways to combat these guys once they have invaded.

  • Keep counter tops clean of food and drink residue.
  • Frequently wipe out cabinets to remove food debris.
  • Thoroughly rinse out soft drink cans and bottles before throwing them in the trash and take the trash out often.
  • Don’t leave unclean dishes in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Keep sugary foods like cereal in sealed containers.
  • Some household plants attract small insects, like aphids, that produce honey dew. Argentine ants will feed on honey dew. Controlling the insects on plants or selecting plants that are not susceptible to them will help to deter ants.

While all these methods can be effective, the best way to battle Argentine ants is to keep them from entering homes in the first place. Homeowners can cut limbs and other vegetation away from homes to prevent easy access. Rake fallen leaves and pine straw away from the home. Seal all cracks and entry points around the home (this will help with energy bills as well). Don’t forget about potted plants; ants can even nest under pots!

Many times, the materials we use to make our landscaping aesthetically pleasing are the very materials that will harbor pests.  Mulch is not only a favorite material for homeowners to use, but it is also the preferred nesting material for ants – providing moisture and shelter from the elements. If mulch is used next to a house it should be pulled away from the outside walls. Refrain from over-watering mulched areas and limit the depth of the mulch to just a couple of inches to help keep it more dry. The drier the mulch, the less inviting it is for ants and other insects.

Garbage cans are often stored next to houses and buildings for convenience. It also makes the area more attractive to ants and brings them closer to your home. Garbage should be kept in sealed cans that are stored as far away from the home as possible.

Controlling Argentine ants is a difficult, year-round task, but with proper prevention and the help of your pest control provider, it is possible.

Teresa Womack
twomack@callnorthwest.com