Ant Information, Pest Solutions, and Prevention Tips
There are many species of ants. Let’s take a look at a few of the types that you may see and what an ant issue may present to you.
The most common type of ant in the United States is the Carpenter Ant. These are large and black. The swarming ants will have wings and can look pretty intimidating – they shouldn’t be. Swarming ants or ‘flying ants’ are just regular old ants that are going out to mate.
Another type of ant common to this area is the Pavement Ant. As its name suggests, it is found outdoors, mostly under stones, slabs and sidewalks. They are small with dark colored bodies and light colored legs.
Then we have the Odorous House Ant. Doesn’t sound good, does it? Well, it’s not quite as bad as you may be thinking. These ants are small and dark brown and luckily, despite the name, are only occasionally found in the home. You will find these little guys throughout the U.S. The name comes from the smell that is emitted when they are crushed. (Some people say it smells like rotten coconuts.)
Here are some tips to keep your home free of ants during this deluge.
KEEP IT CLEAN – Ants might be coming in to find a dry place but they will also need to find food. Take away their food source! Depending on the type of ant they may like sweet, sugary things or they may prefer meats, fat, and oils. Safest bet? Keep food in the refrigerator or if in the cabinet make sure it is in well sealed containers. Wipe off the counters and keep the floor swept and mopped.
REMOVE THE MAP – You might see ants traveling in a line. This is because they leave a chemical trail along their path. This is so they can find their way back to the food. It also acts as a map for other ants to follow. To help keep them out, disable their GPS, so to speak. Be sure to clean up those trails. Warm water and an everyday detergent like Pine-Sol or Mr. Clean should do the trick.
CLOSE THE GAP – Ants can find their way into your home through small gaps and openings. The best bet to keep them out is to seal up these areas. Use caulk on windows, doors and noticeable cracks. They can get in through the tiniest of spots, so keep that in mind when caulking.
RAISE THE BARRIER – Another great way to keep ants out is to have an exterior perimeter treatment done on your home. This will create a barrier against ants and other ground crawling insects, helping to keep them out no matter what the weather.
ANTS – Ants live in colonies, so while there is a chance that a stray ant could wander into your home, it is more likely that you have a nest nearby. If an ant finds a food source in your house you can be assured they are going to bring all their friends to the party. Also, if you see swarmer ants, the flying ones, look out! Swarming ants only go out once a colony has reached its full size, which happens to be in the thousands! Seeing that flying ant most likely means that you have a full-size colony somewhere on your property or in your home.