There’s approximately 10,000 different types of ants worldwide. Only 25 different types of ants will infest a home or business. If you have ants, you’ll need to figure out which species you have and how to treat them.
Ants are very social insects. An ant can be a wall nesting ant or a ground nesting ant. Ants live in colonies that can contain up to half a million ants. An ant colony can survive more then twenty years. Ants living in colonies are usually either a reproductive ant or a worker ant. Ants usually feed on almost anything for food. Ants that enter homes are looking for sweets and protein type substances. When an ant finds a food source, an ant will leave a chemical trail for the rest of the colony to follow.
The most common types of household ants are Argentine Ants, Pavement Ants, Fire Ants, Odorous House Ants, Thief Ants, Pharaoh Ants and Carpenter Ants.
The most common ground nesting ants found in homes are:
The Argentine Ants. The Argentine Ants eat almost anything with a preference to sweets. Argentine Ants usually create nests in moist soil around buildings and sidewalks.
The Pavement Ants. Pavement ants prefer greasy and sweet foods. Pavement ants are a slow moving ant. Pavement ants are usually found near homes with a cement foundation.
The Fire Ants. Fire ants are very aggressive and will sting animals. Fire ants usually nest in mounds of dirt. Fire ants have the ability to nest in walls.
The most common wall nesting ants found in homes are:
The Odorous House Ants. The Odorous House Ant love sweets. Odorous House Ants usually enter homes during rainy weather. When an Odorous ant is crushed, it leaves an unpleasant smell.
The Thief Ants. Thief ants are very small and difficult to see. Thief ants prefer protein type foods. A thief ant usually enters a home during very hot weather. They nest in small crevices and cupboards.
The Pharaoh Ants. Pharaoh ants prefer to eat sweets. They like to survive in homes or businesses with artificial heat or steady temperature. Pharaoh ants will nest in hidden and well protected areas. Pharaoh ants exist in extremely large colonies.
The Carpenter Ants. Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ants. Carpenter ants nest in wood and can do great damage inside a home. Despite their name, a Carpenter ant does not eat wood, they prefer to eat sweets.
Before you confuse a Carpenter ant for a termite or vice versa, look closely. A termite will have both wings the same size and have many veins. Also, the antennae won’t be elbowed. A termite has a broad waist too. A Carpenter ant has smaller wings near their rear with larger in the fron and few veins. The antennae will be elbowed. A Carpenter ant has a thin pinched waist.
Here are some tips to help discourage ant activity at your home or business:
Look at all possible entry points for insects, this includes windows and doors. Make sure they have proper screens, calking and other such items to make entry not possible for any insect.
Be sure to correct any moisture issues you may have. Think about your foundation as well as leaky roof or blocked gutters.
Be sure to properly ventilate any attics and crawl spaces.
Keep food in sealed containers.
Keep cupboards clean.
Keep garbage cans in dry places. Be sure to take out the trash, as needed, and that the garbage can is clean.
Keep trees trimmed and not touching your home or business.
Replace any rotted or water damaged wood.
Store all firewood off the ground and away from your home.
Inspect plants before bringing those in your home.
If an ant invasion is more then you can handle or nothing you try will work, it’s time to look at chemically treating for ants. You can treat for ants yourself or call in a professional pest control company.