Ants are a fact of life in any home or apartment. No matter how clean a person keeps the property, somehow these persistent insects eventually find their way inside. With most new homes, ant hives already exist and builders place the structure on top or nearby. Until the new hive is completely eliminated, however, new homeowners simply become a new food source to take advantage of by the colony.
With the summer heat, ants become far more active as well. In fact, many people can go all winter long without an ant problem. However, once the temperatures warm up, ant invasions become persistent. While many homeowners use spray pesticides, they don’t realize how unsafe these chemicals can be for small children and pets.
When dealing with an ant invasion, the first step is to identify the ant culprit. Carpenter ants, also known as small black ants, are the most common. These insects frequently work their way into homes through cracks, holes, and even electrical wiring and plugs. Carpenter ants are best stopped by using a bait poison that they take back to their colony. It will ultimately be shared internally and then the colony dies off. However, bait poison can be found by kids and pets and can be harmful to ingest. Natural alternatives can at least stop black ants to make an invasion too challenging for them, diverting the ants elsewhere. Such remedies include vinegar and citrus fruits which are toxic to ants or their food. Powdered pepper also drives them away.
Red Fire Ants or Army Ants
Red fire ants are a serious problem. Not only do their bites leave painful welts, they swam quickly, making containment quite difficult. A fire ant colony can get established inside electrical panels, the ground, foundations, and even under bushes. Most community insect vector controls are aware of their damage and will come out immediately to stop a colony. Homeowners should avoid irritating the colony and call a vector control to have the colony professionally eliminated.
Large ants tend to rove as solitary insects; however, they’re also know for moving in trails. This type of ant is found in wooded areas and can be eliminated with one or two specimens being terminated quickly. However, where homes have fire wood stacked nearby, such ants can begin to make a colony in the wood, possibly spreading to a home. Movement of the wood stack generally stops the problem and the traffic.
Termites are not ants, but these pests are prevalent in the summer. These blind critters appear as whitish ant-like insects when exposed to light. Where termites are involved, a professional pest control should be called out. Termites eat wood and wood products, which generally destroys the structure of a house. They can cause damage to wood framing and furniture very quickly, and colonies tend to move en masse into wood sources.
Ants generally end up being pests and need to be removed before they cause food damage and discomfort in a home. Many methods include house remedies, which work well in avoiding accidental poisoning of children and pets. However, some ant species can be very aggressive and need to be dealt with professionally. Knowing the difference can stop a colony before it does serious damage to your home.
Paul is a professional exterminator and has been for the past 8 years. North Carolina pest control has many challenges as the southern heat brings out many different types of pest. Sharing tips and tricks for handling these little problems is just one of the many ways Paul helps his local community.