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.