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.
You’re lounging outside enjoying the peaceful outdoors when a flying pest zooms past you. You then realize it’s actually a flying ant! Don’t worry! Flying ants are actually very common, especially during seasons of high humidity. While flying ants are not a huge threat to humans, they can be a major nuisance, especially if they enter your home.
Flying ants swarm for the same reasons that termites swarm which is to reproduce and expand their colonies. These pests will swarm in late spring and the early summer when there’s bright sunlight and warm temperatures. Flying ants also prefer to swarm 3 to 5 days after a rainstorm.
While flying ants won’t cause damage to your home, they can make their way inside. It’s important to know what prevention steps to take when dealing with these pests.
- During peak swarm season, try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible.
- If pests have already entered your home, just vacuum them up. You will most likely find them near bright lights, light fixtures or windows.
- If you suspect these pests are inside your walls, don’t tear away any woodwork, trim, baseboards, or wall coverings; simply use your thumb to press against the wood to feel for defects.
- Don’t spray the swarms with insecticide; instead, mark areas where they are getting into your home and notify your pest control professional.
Remember, if you see them flying by outside, don’t be too alarmed. If they end up inside your home, however, it’s always best to call your local pest control company who can determine the best plan of action.
Ants are the most commonly reported pest in the country. While ants can be found just about anywhere in your home, the kitchen and bathroom are the most common rooms they are spotted in. Tiny black ants, also known as “nuisance ants,” or “odorous house ants,” invade your kitchen in search of food and water. While these nuisance pests are quite common, you may not know much about them. Here are 6 things you should know about these ants in your kitchen.
1. They Don’t Cause Damage
Ants don’t typically live indoors but instead establish colonies around your property. They will then make their way indoors in search of food and water. While odorous house ants can be quite a nuisance when they invade your kitchen, they don’t pose any significant risk to humans or their homes. These ants will feed on food and drink, especially sugary, sweet items and are attracted to crumbs and spills usually found in your kitchen. They don’t, however, bore through wood or cause structural damage to your home.
2. You Can Usually Follow The Source
Ants in the kitchen are usually coming from somewhere and traveling to somewhere. If you follow their trail in both directions you can usually identify the food source that is attracting them. Cleaning up the spill or eliminating the food source will typically eliminate the ant problem. Ants can squeeze through openings the size of a pinhole, however, so while sealing up any entry points you find is a good idea, don’t be surprised if they make their way in again in the future.
3. Ants Are Seasonal
Like most pests, ants are seasonal and incidences typically ebb and flow. Ants most commonly spike in the spring and summer when the weather warms up. This increase in temperature also increases their activity, driving them indoors in droves. They are also much more common following unseasonably warm winters. This is also swarming ant season which also increases their activity.
4. Ants Can Communicate
Ants are very social and have developed communication methods between each other. Ants can communicate through touch and through shared food. This communication helps them to avoid repellent remedies. Repellents like chalk that are placed in a line are often avoided by ants who just go around them. Spraying them with repellents will kill a few on contact but will typically just repel the rest, causing them to scatter but not die. A professional can treat ants with non-repellent products that they will take back to their colonies and disseminate among the entire population.
5. Identification Is Key
Different species of ants are attracted to different things and are treated in different ways. Proper identification is key to complete elimination. If you have an ant problem, try not to kill them all yourself because then your pest control company cannot identify them accurately. Best practice is to either leave them alone or try to collect samples by using tape to pick up a few and placing them in a Ziploc bag.
6. Ants Can Be Difficult To Control
Ant control is difficult as they can get into your home through the tiniest of openings. Most ants are just a nuisance and can be gotten rid of by sealing your food and keeping spills and crumbs cleaned up. This does not, however, get rid of the colonies lurking outside your home waiting to get back in in search of food. If you suspect you have an ant problem or are having difficulty getting rid of an existing ant problem, contact a professional pest control company who can help properly identify the species of ant and provide the appropriate ant control techniques.
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The change of season from winter to spring brings warm weather, sunshine, and … bugs! This is the time of year when many pests emerge from overwintering and begin the mating process. Spring is also known as swarm season – because this is the time when termites and flying ants emerge in droves, sometimes in swarms of thousands! While flying ants can cause problems in and around your home, termites are much more common – and much more costly! How can you tell if those swarming insects are terrible termites or flying ants? Check out our handy reference below for the key differences between the two, as well as what to do if you have these pests swarming in or near your home.
- 4 wings of uniform size
- Straight antennae
- Wings are twice as long as their body
- Broad waist with uniform body width
Termites usually swarm once a year for reproduction and expansion of their colonies. Swarms mark the official beginning of termite season. Subterranean termites swarm in spring and during the daytime. Drywood termites swarm in late summer and early fall. Dampwood termites swarm in the summer.
Termites swarm after their colony reaches a certain size and the weather conditions are optimal. The termites are attracted to light and are often found near windows and light fixtures. Swarming termites will try to squeeze through racks and crevices in your walls and foundations to try and reach open air. If you see swarming termites then there is a good chance there is a well-established termite colony in or near your home.
- Also have 4 wings, with larger front wings than back wings
- Elbowed antennae
- Shorter wings that are more proportionate to their bodies
- Segmented bodies with thin waists
Flying ants will swarm in late spring and early summer. They have to have bright sunlight, low winds, high humidity, and warm temperatures to swarm. They prefer to swarm after there has been 3 to 5 days of rain.
Flying ants swarm for the same reasons as termites – to reproduce and expand their colonies. Flying ants don’t represent any greater threat to humans than their wingless counterparts. Flying ants aren’t as significant a threat to your home as termites but they can still cause damage. If you have flying ant swarms in your home there is a good chance you have an established ant colony in your walls.
So now that you can identify exactly what kind of pest is swarming around your home, what should you do next?
- Contact a professional pest control company to come out and evaluate the swarm, as well as provide you with a treatment plan and prevention strategy.
- Don’t spray the swarms yourself with insecticide. Mark the areas where they are getting into your home and notify your pest control professional. Make sure to inspect the entire exterior of your home for possible entry points.
- Vacuum up any pests that get into your home. Both species are attracted to light so you may see them congregate around light fixtures or windows.
- Don’t tear away any woodwork, trim, baseboards, wall coverings, or floorboards. Instead, inspect them for termite damage by pressing your thumb against the wood and feeling for defects.
- Try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible during swarm season.