What are ants?
Ants are foraging insects that live in social colonies. By nature, ants are adept at working together for a common purpose, such as feeding or defending their colony. This is evident in their uniform scavenging lines to and from a source of food, and their ability to team lift and carry objects several hundred times their body weight.
Here in California, there are three major types of ants that can be found invading homes and businesses:
Argentine ants - these ants range in size from 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch in length and are shiny dark brown or black in color.
Acrobat ants - these ants grow to be about 1/8 of an inch long and typically range in color from light yellowish-brown to black, though some are multi-colored.
Carpenter ants - these large ants typically grow to be about 5/8 to 1/2 of an inch in length and range in color from black to red, and even yellow!
Are ants dangerous?
Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and carpenter ants pose no major threats to humans or animals. While acrobat ants can bite, they will only do so when threatened. These bites can cause minor discomfort and may lead to itchiness and swelling, but won't result in any serious health complications. Of the three ant species listed above, carpenter ants are by far the biggest threat, but not in the traditional sense. As their name suggests, carpenter ants build their homes in wood. Given enough time, a large number of carpenter ants can lead to extensive structural damages throughout the wood of your home with their destructive tunneling behaviors.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants are drawn to homes by two major attractants, food and moisture. For ants, food usually consists of anything with high sugar content. However, for certain species, their food can consist of proteins and fats as well, meaning they search for anything from fruits, meats, eggs, oils, sugary beverages and more to feed themselves and their colonies.
If you're dealing with an ant infestation in your home, chances are that a scouting ant found a food or water source nearby and relayed the location back to its colony. Once an ant colony has been alerted to the presence of a food source, they won't stop scavenging until that food source is completely gone.
Where are ants commonly found?
Argentine ants build their nests in damp environments that are located near a food source. Most commonly, these colonies are found outdoors under boards or stones, in moist soil or mulch, beneath plant growth, or along sidewalks; these ants are also commonly found around the foundations of buildings.
Acrobat ants also nest in damp, dark areas like under rocks, mulch, fallen trees, or woodpiles and have also been known to build their nests inside existing structural damages caused by wood-destroying pests such as termites or carpenter ants; inside, these ants typically nest in high-moisture areas like basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.
Carpenter ants prefer to build their nests inside damp and water-damaged wood. In nature, this could be a rotting tree stump or a fallen tree. In homes, they will target any area of wood that has been softened by high moisture levels or affected a steady plumbing leak to establish their colonies in.
How do I get rid of ants?
Ants are a complex problem that requires a thought-out solution. Here at Accurate Termite & Pest Solutions, we provide just that. If you are looking for a fast and reliable way to get ants out of your home or off your property, we would be happy to provide assistance. For more information, or to schedule your free inspection, reach out to us!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
The best way to keep ants away from your home is to reduce food and moisture attractants. The fewer food sources that scouting ants find when they wander inside, the better!
To reduce food sources, consider storing all leftover food inside airtight container and make sure that to thoroughly clean your food preparation areas after use.
To reduce moisture problems in your home that may attract these ants, check in and around your home for leaks, water build-up, or water-damaged wood and have these areas addressed. In addition, consider running dehumidifiers in the particularly humid areas of your home.
For a surefire way to get and keep ants out of your home, turn to the professionals here at Accurate. We can provide a quality pest protection plan that is right for you!
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