The most common home invader of all structural pests are ants. Most pest control companies around the nation would agree that ants are the number one retreat/call back from customers. Throughout the year different species of ants have specific needs which encourage them to explore and ultimately enter our homes. These little invaders are a nuisance to us all and can even cause harm to those that may be allergic to them. The following is just a brief snapshot of ants that we have come to experience inside our homes.
Different Ant Species
Get to know the Ant species that enter structures in Central Texas:
- Rover Ants– Small brown ants that enter homes and usually find themselves around kitchens and bathroom sinks. Known as “sugar ants” Big nuisance and primarily found entering the home around the foundation. Close inspection and patience is needed when looking for spaced trails.
- Carpenter Ants– These ants tend to be more active early morning and evenings. Scouts have been seen in and around the home throughout the day. They create satellite colonies in high reach areas such as trees, attics and above windows. They hollow out wood to create their colony, but do not eat the wood. Instead they eject it out from an entry point leaving wooden frass right below. Imagine a fire ants on steroids!
- Fire Ants- The 2 most important species of fire ants are Red Imported Fire Ant and the Southern fire ants. Both species pack a strong sting and bite. In 2006, RIFA exceeded $6 billion in damages and control costs. Can cause anaphylactic shock if allergic to a sting.
- Acrobat Ants- They are given this name because of their way of raising its abdomen over their thorax and head when disturbed. These ants are all monomorphic. They readily enter structures through tree limbs, utility lines and/or any item in contact with the structure. They can easily be recognized by their heart shaped abdomen.
*Information gained from https://texasinsects.tamu.edu, National Pest Management and Reliant Pest Management
Some Quick Tips For Ant Control
- Sanitation is always key. Ants feed on many different food sources so eliminating a possible meal is a great start.
- Empty pet food bowls
- Maintain clean in and around stovetop
- Placing trash receptacles away from the home when possible.
- Minimizing crumbs around the home.
- Keep moisture at bay
- Empty pet water bowl
- Repair any moisture problems or water drips.
- Manicured lawn around the the home
- Clean gutters
- Seal entry points
- Make sure there are no large entry points around windows
- Silicone or Caulk around exterior trim and windows
- Make sure door and garage doors weather strips are in good shape