What are ants?
Ants are some of the most frequent visitors to our homes. They just can't resist the amenities (food, water, and shelter) they find there. Ants are social insects, meaning they live together in groups. You won't just have a single ant visiting your home; you will have hundreds or thousands!
Ants are easy for most people to identify because we come into contact with them so frequently. Some of their most prominent features are their three distinct body parts, short antennae, and six legs.
Below are three of the most common ant species in our region:
- Carpenter ants are the largest ant to invade structures throughout the U.S.
- Fire ants are small red ants that are notoriously problematic in our North Carolina yards.
- Odorous house ants are common household invaders that make their presence known through the foul odor they produce when squished.
Are ants dangerous?
Most of the ants homeowners find living in and around their homes are not huge threats. However, that doesn't mean they should be allowed to move in and out of your house as they please. Ants cause problems like contaminating food and spreading bacteria to the surfaces in a home. They are also difficult to control and eliminate from the properties they decide to infiltrate.
Ants in our area that are a threat are carpenter ants and fire ants.
Fire ants pose direct dangers to people; they are super-aggressive ants that fiercely protect their nests. Having a fire ant nest in your yard puts you, your kids, and your pets in harm's way every day.
Carpenter ants pose a direct danger to the structure of our North Carolina homes. Carpenter ants nest within pieces of wood. When they nest in our homes, the tunnels and nesting galleries they create within structural wood cause damage that is expensive to repair.
At first sight of ants moving around your property in large numbers, always reach out to a local professional for help.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants are a common problem in our yards and homes because both regularly provide these pests with many places to find food. Ants are omnivores and feed on many of the same foods we do, making our trash cans, outdoor eating areas, gardens, and kitchens places they can't stay away from.
Every day worker ants leave the nest to forage for food, and if your property provides them with a place to reliably find food, they will keep returning.
Where will I find ants?
Ants primarily live and forage for food outside but regularly find their way to our homes. As ants roam around the exterior of homes, they move inside through any gap, holes, or open window or door they come across.
To alert the other ants in their colony that they have found food, water, or shelter, they lay down pheromone trails. Their ability to communicate and work together as a team is why it is so challenging to control ants and keep them out of our homes.
How do I get rid of ants?
Ants are persistent pests that are difficult to keep away from our properties. The best way to get rid of a current problem with ants and prevent future problems with these pests is to partner with a professional. At Otho's Pest Management, we are a local pest control company with over 44 years of experience. We know the ants in our region and how to keep them away from homes and businesses. Reach out to us today to learn more about eliminating ants and other common household pests through our home pest management and commercial pest control plans.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Use the following strategies to prevent ants from taking over your property.
- Make sure food in your kitchen is stored correctly to keep it out of the reach of ants.
- Limit food odors that will attract ants to your property by keeping lids on trash cans, picking up uneaten pet food, maintaining gardens, and washing dirty dishes regularly. If you find ants trailing across a counter or floor in your house, thoroughly clean those areas to eliminate their pheromone trails.
- Take a good look at your home's exterior, sealing any cracks or other openings you discover.
- Don't prop windows or doors open for long periods.
To learn more about ant control services in North Carolina, reach out today!
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