Ft. Myers Pest Control: Signs of an Ant Infestation
Ants are small, annoying, and can sometimes lead to health risks. Finding them infested in your home is always alarming! There are several ant species found in the Fort Myers area, including ghost ants, white-footed ants, and carpenter ants. Once these pests infest your home, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them. Check out our top 3 signs you need ant control for your home.
Noticing Sawdust Trails
Carpenter ants are known to nest in damaged wood, especially wood that is damp from water. Their damage includes excavating wood to create their nests and creating holes. If you notice small trails of sawdust around, inside, or outside the home, it’s likely that you have ants.
Look for piles of sawdust near wooden beams, window ledges, skirting boards, and wood flooring. If you find sawdust or even the holes they create, it’s a sign that carpenter ants have infested.
Did you know that some ant types have wings for a short time? These ‘flying ants’ will usually swarm during the summer when a younger queen leaves the nest to start their own colony. If you notice discarded wings on the floors, windowsills, or doorsills, an ant colony could be inside the home.
Wooden Structures are Damaged
One of the more serious signs of an ant infestation is noticing that your home’s wood structures are crumbling when touched. This is a sign that the home structure is weakened, sometimes caused by ants. Often, the wood can look normal from just looking at it, but a tell-tale sign if ants have infested is finding hollow-sounding wood that is weak under pressure.
To prevent ants, utilize these preventative measures throughout your home,
- Seal any gaps or holes leading into the home.
- Trim back tree branches and shrubs away from the home to eliminate access points.
- Reach out to your local Ft. Myers pest control company to provide you with the best prevention and treatment options for ants.
Having an ant infestation is a nuisance to any homeowner, as it can be difficult to control them once they’ve found their way inside. These pests tend to infest areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, searching for a place to nest and a food source. Ants are sneaky pests, often finding their way inside our homes without us even knowing. Check out the top 3 ways you attract ants inside and how you can prevent them in the future.
Gaps & Holes
Ants are very small, making it easy for these pests to get through the smallest hole or gap. Your home’s doors, foundation, windows, and even utility lines can have holes or gaps, creating a way inside for ants. Foundation gaps that aren’t solid concrete blocks can lead to spaces for ants to enter. Likewise, ants will enter through doors or windows that aren’t sealed properly. Take some time and inspect the home’s interior and exterior for these openings.
Inside the Floor
Did you know ants can travel inside your floors? These pests often establish routes underneath carpets, tiles, and hardwood, making it difficult to spot them entering! Ants will often utilize subfloors, which are made up of pieces of plywood that provide enough space for ants to get inside. Often, these pests will enter through the floors when they’ve spotted a food source, such as leftover crumbs on the floor.
Toys & Houseplants
Many times we can bring these pests inside our homes by mistake! Ants can gain access inside by homeowners bringing in a toy or yard item that was left outside long enough for an ant colony to establish inside it. Plants can also carry ants inside when we bring them into our homes for the winter. Other items ants have hitchhiked on include used furniture or appliances, storage boxes, hoses, and even groceries!
There are many opportunities for ants to get inside the home, but with some DIY preventative measures in place, you can help prevent a major infestation. Here are some easy tips on preventing ants:
- Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your house
- If you have holes or gaps, utilize weatherstripping or caulk to seal them
- Thoroughly clean countertops, pantries, cabinets, and other kitchen surfaces
- After a meal, wipe up any crumbs or spills immediately
If you notice an ant problem bigger than you can handle, contact your local pest control company, where they can identify entry points and recommend a treatment and prevention plan.
Ants are known for being annoying and persistent, especially when taking over your yard. It’s important to know what type of ant you’re dealing with to determine how to get rid of them outside your home. Removing them from your yard will lessen the chances of seeing them inside your home. We have broken down the most common ants found in the South and how to remove them from your yard.
These bright or dark red ants love the warm climates of the South. They’re one of the smallest ants around but can be found in very large groups. Since they love the warmth so much, you’ll see fire ants building large underground nests in the sunniest parts of your yard.
They typically don’t become household pests, but because of their sting and the large groups they are found in, they deter families from enjoying time outside. They are known to attack in groups and their sting can become very uncomfortable.
Get Rid of Fire Ants:
- Douse the fire ant mound with boiling water. This old-school approach works about 60% of the time, but it won’t hurt to try.
- Bait worker ants in order to kill the fire ant queen. Ideally, the worker ants will pick up bait that is placed around the mound and bring it to the queen.
- Hire professional help. If you have tried everything and it didn’t work, be sure to reach out to a local pest control company to provide the best fire ant control and prevention method.
These types of ants can be red or black and can often be mistaken for carpenter ants, although they are much smaller. They only have two parts to their body instead of the usual three. Often found in driveways, along sidewalks, or in other concrete structures, pavement ants can eventually become house pests.
They become house pests due to their continuous search for food and shelter. If they end up inside your home, that usually means there is a nest nearby. They aren’t as aggressive as the fire ant, but they can bite.
Get Rid of Pavement Ants:
- Keep tree branches and shrubs cut away from the home. This allows them to access your home.
- A store-bought pesticide should be enough. Spray the perimeter of your yard and home to get rid of these types of ants.
If the problem of ants has become more than you can handle, be sure to reach out to your local pest control company and they’ll be able to come up with the best plan of action to rid your yard of ants.
Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) have been around for decades, originally coming from South America and first arriving in the U.S. somewhere between 1933 and 1945. They are commonly found in the southern states ranging from Texas to Florida. These pests can be aggravating and quite painful if they bite. It helps to know when they are most active and how to deal with them.
What Do They Look Like?
Red imported fire ants are similar in appearance to regular black ants but give off a dark reddish-brown color. They measure 1.6mm to 5mm in length.
When Are They Most Active?
Fire ants are known to search for food in warmer temperatures, especially in the range between 72°F and 96°F. They are mostly active during the summer and fall months but can emerge as early as March. Their mounds can be found in yards, stumps, rotting logs, and even around playgrounds. Fire ant mounds can house up to 200,000 individuals and can be up to two feet high and three feet across.
Are They a Threat?
Due to their habitat, they can be a threat to people who enjoy being outside. Although commonly referred to as a bite, they actually sting. Red ants are known to sting humans who disturb a mound. The sting of a red imported fire ant is painful, and the results of the sting are raised welts that can become a white pustule. Often a person will find that they have been stung multiple times by different ants. The biggest threat is if the person has an allergy to insect stings.
If you end up finding these nests or RIFAs roaming in your home, contact a professional local pest control company who can help set up a treatment and control plan for your home. Since RIFAs are known to have a very painful bite, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible.
Ant season peaks in the spring and summertime, with these pests oftentimes finding their way inside your home. But did you know that carpenter ants remain active throughout the year? In return, they can cause damage to your home and infest.
Carpenter ants will nest in damaged wood, usually softwood damaged from water. Carpenter ant damage includes excavating wood to expand their nests, often making holes throughout exposed wood. If these ants are found inside, it is also an indication that there is a water issue, such as a leak.
While these ants are most active in the spring and summer, they are also known to infest homes during the winter months, as well. They will forage for food and water, looking for proteins, fats, and sugars. Once inside, these ants will look for a moist environment to help them survive. They can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens, pipes, and roof vents.
While carpenter ants do not die off in the winter months, they will instead become dormant when the temperatures drop. This usually depends on where they have built their nests and how much the temperature has dropped. If they have already found themselves inside, they will remain active or revive from their dormant state once the heat from the house has risen.
To prevent ants from entering your home this fall and winter, consider placing these preventative measures throughout your house,
- Eliminate moisture using a dehumidifier in crawl spaces, basements, and attics to help with dampness.
- Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your home to eliminate access points.
- Check around your property and seal any gaps or holes with caulk.
- Reach out to your local pest control company to provide you with the best prevention and treatment options.