Ants are a common pest that can invade your kitchen and other areas of your home or yard. Not only are they annoying, but they can also get into your food and be difficult to remove from your home. Let’s explore different types of ants and provide tips on how to prevent them from entering your home or yard.
There are many different types of ants, but some of the most common ones found in kitchens include: Argentine ants, carpenter ants, and odorous house ants. Argentine ants are small and brown, while carpenter ants are larger and can cause damage to wood structures. Odorous house ants are small and black and emit a strong odor when crushed.
To prevent ants in your kitchen:
- Keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs or spills
- Keep your counters and floors clean
- Store food in airtight containers
- Keep your trash cans sealed tightly
- Use ant baits or sprays to eliminate any ants that may be present
To prevent ants from entering other areas of your home or yard:
- Seal any cracks or crevices where they can enter
- Keep your yard clean and free of debris
- Remove any sources of standing water
- Avoid leaving food or sugary drinks outside
If you have a specific type of ant that is causing problems in your home or yard, there may be specific prevention methods that are more effective. For example, if you have carpenter ants, it’s important to remove any rotting wood or other sources of moisture that may be attracting them.
Our team of experts are ready to help you identify what type of invading ant you have in your home. Give your local pest control company a call for a free inspection today!
Tennessee Pest Control: Ant Control
There are several types of ants that can infiltrate your Tennessee home. Some of the most common are carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants, and odorous house ants. If you aren’t sure what kind you’re dealing with, here’s a quick breakdown of these three:
- Pharaoh Ants: About 1/8 inch long, these light brown or yellow colored pests are often found near water sources. If you see them in your home, check for leaks or standing water. They are known to carry diseases, such as salmonella or staphylococcus, so be sure to rid them from your home immediately.
- Carpenter Ants: They are larger than the pharaoh ant, measuring up to ½ inch long. If you see them in your home, there’s likely a nest nearby. They are known to damage wood in homes, so it’s important to prevent an infestation.
- Odorous Ants: Black in color and measuring up to 1/8 inch long, these pests got their name from the odor they emit when crushed. They are often found near food sources, so discovering them in your kitchen or pantry isn’t uncommon.
How to Prevent Ants:
- Seal cracks and crevices around windows, doors, foundation, or exterior walls
- Keep your plants and shrubbery trimmed back and away from your home
- Store firewood and other yard debris at least 20 feet away from your home’s exterior
- Consider utilizing a routine pest control service to help identify entry points, treat infestations, and prevent future infestations.
Give your local pest control company a call today for a FREE inspection!
As the weather starts to warm up, many of us look forward to spring and all that it brings. Unfortunately, one of the things that it brings is ants. In the springtime, these household pests become more active and start to look for sources of food and water. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself dealing with an infestation. Let’s discuss the different types of ants you’ll encounter in the springtime and how to prevent them from returning.
Different Types of Ants
- Pavement Ants: These pests are typically found in cracks and crevices in concrete or pavement. They are small, black, or brown, and can form large colonies.
- Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are larger than other species and are typically black or red. They can cause significant damage to wood structures, as they excavate tunnels to build their nests.
- Argentine (Sugar) Ants: Argentine ants are light to dark brown and are known for forming massive colonies. They are attracted to sweet foods and can quickly become a nuisance.
- Odorous House Ants: Odorous house ants are dark brown or black and emit a foul odor when crushed. They are attracted to sweets and can quickly infest your kitchen.
How to Prevent Ants:
- Keep your home clean: They are attracted to food, so keeping your home clean and free of crumbs is essential. Wipe down countertops, sweep and mop floors, and make sure all food is stored in airtight containers.
- Seal cracks and crevices: These tiny pests can enter your home through the tiniest of cracks and crevices. Seal any openings around windows, doors, and baseboards with caulk.
- Remove sources of water: They also need water to survive, so fixing leaky pipes, and keeping pet bowls and sink dishes dry is essential.
- Use natural remedies: These creatures dislike certain scents, including peppermint, vinegar, and citrus. You can use these scents to deter them from entering your home by placing cotton balls soaked in the scent around the perimeter of your home.
- Call a professional: If you have a severe infestation, it’s best to call a professional pest control service. They have the tools and knowledge to eliminate them and prevent them from returning.
If an ant problem has become more than you can handle, be sure to give your local pest control company a call for a free inspection today!
The kitchen is one of the most common rooms in your home to have ants, closely followed by the bathroom. The most common ants found indoors are odorous house ants, also known as nuisance ants. While these ants don’t cause structural damage and aren’t considered dangerous to humans or pets, they can contaminate your food and become quite a nuisance to deal with. Carpenter ants are larger black ants that can also get into your home. These ants do cause structural damage by boring through the wood components of your house.
The ants you find in your home don’t actually live there; they build colonies outdoors and come in looking for food and water to take back. These elements are necessary for the colony to live and grow. Scout ants who find these sources leave a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony to follow which is why you will often see ants traveling in a single line. Because they can scale walls and travel between stories in your home, they can spread quickly and be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Ants are attracted by a number of things found in your home. They use crumbs, spills, loosely sealed food packages, dirty dishes, and even pet food bowls to find food. They use leaky pipes, pet water bowls, and standing water for hydration.
What can you do to keep ants from taking over your kitchen? Prevent ants by:
- Sweeping and mopping floors regularly.
- Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Wiping down counters and stovetops daily.
- Not leaving dirty dishes out overnight.
- Emptying trash regularly.
- Using trashcans with lids.
- Throwing away uneaten pet food or putting it in a sealed container overnight.
- Storing pet food in sealed containers versus non-sealing bags.
- Cleaning around your pet’s food and water bowls often.
- Dumping and replacing pet water frequently from their bowls.
- Storing pantry food in sealed containers versus boxes and bags when possible (e.g. cereal, grains, sweets). This also helps prevent other common pantry pests.
- Getting rid of overripe food stored on counters.
- Repairing leaky pipes.
- Eliminating standing water.
- Repairing cracks and gaps in foundations.
- Not storing firewood next to your home.
Killing just the ants you find in your home won’t eliminate the entire infestation. You must eradicate them at the source – at their colonies. These ants can be difficult to eliminate because individual colonies can number in the thousands and they can be spread out all over your property. For assistance in dealing with ants or any other pests you may find in your home, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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Ants are the #1 nuisance pest in America. They are one of the most challenging pests to control, along with bed bugs, because their colonies can number in the 1000s. Ants are considered commercial pests because they like to live close to people and eat the same things that we do. Ants can be seasonal pests or a year-round problem depending on the species. They will often enter our homes in the warmer months of the year in search of water and food. Most species, including fire ants and odorous house ants, will build their nests outdoors and come inside in search of food that they will collect and take back to their colonies. Other species like carpenter ants will actually make their way into your home and build their nests indoors. Ants are often found near food sources, moisture, and in hidden areas where they have protection and concealment such as wall voids, under floors, behind window frames, and under appliances. Ants in the bathroom and ants in the kitchen are the two most common scenarios when these pests make their way into your home, although they can be found in other rooms, as well.
Regardless of the species, when ants become a problem in your home it is often necessary to use a professional pest control company to help get them under control. Here are some important aspects to any successful ant control program:
1. Proper Identification
One of the most important components to any ant control program is to properly identify the species of ant you are dealing with. Different species have different behaviors, prefer different environments, and have different diets so treatment will vary greatly between them. It is important to know where to find them and how to treat them to ensure success in eliminating and controlling them.
2. Eliminate Food Sources
One of the main reasons ants come into your home is in search of food to take back to their colony. Eliminating things that attract them can help keep them from taking over your home. Clean up any food crumbs from kitchen floors and countertops and wipe them down frequently. Clean your appliances regularly. Empty your trash routinely and wipe the cans down. Clean outdoor grills and remove crumbs from tables, decks, and patios after each use. Keep foods, including pet food, in sealed containers. Place a bay leaf in canisters of dry food (such as flour) as the scent repels ants and other pantry pests. Rinse any empty containers before placing them in recycling bins. Get rid of any overripe fruit as this will attract ants, as well.
3. Eliminate Moisture
Ants need moisture to survive. Eliminating or reducing the moisture in your home can help prevent ants from coming inside. Repair any leaks around pipes and in your roof. Check gutters to make sure they are not clogged and ensure downspouts are directing rainwater away from foundations. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Thoroughly clean bathrooms with disinfectant cleaners and make sure shampoo, conditioner, and soap bottles are closed tightly and don’t have any leaks.
4. Eliminate Points of Entry
In order to get into your home, ants have to have a way inside. It is important to identify where they are gaining entry into your home to successfully control and eliminate them. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home and seal any holes, gaps, and cracks especially around areas where pipes and wires enter your home. Trim back shrubs and tree branches so they are not touching the sides or roof of your home. Keep mulch and timber at least 2 feet from your foundation. Move debris such as firewood, rock piles, boards, etc away from your home. Remove any tree stumps, fallen tree branches and logs from your yard. Repair any holes in window and door screens and replace weatherstripping.
As always, if you suspect you have an ant problem, contact a professional ant control company who can help you properly identify the species of ant you have and set you up with a thorough and comprehensive treatment and control plan.