What are ants?
Ants are some of the most common pests found living in and around homes. They have a complex social structure and live together in large colonies, working together for the greater good of their own colony. Ants are identified by their three distinct body regions: their head, thorax, and abdomen. The reproductive ants are the only members of the colony that are winged. When a colony is mature, reproductive ants emerge to find mates and create new colonies.
Some common species of ants found in North Carolina are pavement ants, Argentine ants, and acrobat ants.
Pavement ants are most often found nesting in the cracks of pavement or cement. Pavement ants are a common species of nuisance, house-invading ant. Adults are brown to black in color, and their head and thorax are covered in grooved parallel lines.
Argentine ants live together in enormous colonies. Argentine ants are attracted to areas of high moisture, and their presence inside homes can indicate that there is an underlying moisture issue present. These small ants are shiny and dark brown to black in color. They can also be identified by a musty odor that they give off when crushed.
Acrobat ants get their name from their unique ability to raise their heart-shaped abdomen over their heads when disturbed. Acrobat ants can also be identified by the foul-smelling odor they emit when bothered. Acrobat ants are a small species of ant, and are black to yellowish brown in color, though some can be multi-colored.
Are ants dangerous?
Most ant species that live throughout the United States that you may encounter are nuisance pests, and they pose no significant danger to people, pets, or property. However, some species of ants are considered to be dangerous. They can cause structural damage, may transmit serious diseases like salmonella and streptococcus to people, and a few species are aggressive, biting and stinging people and pets. If ants are living on your property or in your home, a professional should be contacted to provide accurate identification and appropriate treatment.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants live on properties that allow them to thrive. Easy access to food, water, and nesting sites are their main attractants to a property. Clogged gutters, leaky fixtures, unsecured garbage, gardens, wood piles, pet food, cracks in driveways and sidewalks, compost piles, and outdoor eating areas initially draw ants onto a property.
Once on your property, ants will more than likely find their way inside your home through cracks and crevices in its foundation, underneath doors, through spaces around windows and doors, or through torn screens, while foraging for new food sources. They may also move indoors if the weather outside becomes too harsh (hot, dry, wet) for them to live comfortably.
Where will I find ants?
Ants, depending on their exact species, nest in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations. They are typically seen wandering around decks, porches, sidewalks, walkways, kitchens, pantries, and basements.
Inside homes, ants choose to create their nests near food sources underneath floors, behind walls, behind large appliances, inside insulation, in crawl spaces, and near heating or plumbing systems. Outdoor ant nesting spots include underneath soil, in wood piles, underneath fallen trees or rocks, in tree stumps, along fence lines, or in the cracks of pavement or sidewalks.
How do I get rid of ants?
To eliminate invasive ants, partner with an experienced pest control professional. At Pest & Termite Consultants, we offer the modern services needed to solve your property’s ant problem. Our qualified professionals provide accurate identification, cost estimates, and perform effective ant treatments. To learn more about our ant control services and how they can protect your Raleigh-area home from these pests, reach out to us!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
To discourage ants from choosing your home to live in, we suggest doing the following:
Seal any openings in the exterior of your home.
Repair leaky outdoor or indoor faucets, fixtures, and pipes.
Make sure outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.
Regularly clean out and sanitize trash cans.
Place garden areas a distance away from the outside of your home.
Trim trees, bushes, and other landscaping away from the outside of your home.
Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and the foundation of your home.
Keep outdoor eating and grill areas as clean as possible.