Getting Rid of Ants Can Be Tough; Learn How to With This Guide
Though ants are a small-sized pest, they can be quite a nuisance.
Luckily, there are steps and precautions that can be taken to stop an ant infestation in your home once and for all.
There are upwards of 12,000 different ant species and, depending on your area, the type of ant infesting your home could vary. Florida, for example, is home to a great number of species, including Argentine ants, ghost ants, pharaoh ants, and white-footed ants.
This is typically where putting a stop to ant problems becomes difficult.
It’s vital to know what type of ant you’re dealing with so that you can properly stop the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Florida Ants Identification
Ants are a social insect and are typically found living and working in large colonies.
Keeping this in mind, if you have seen one making its way through your kitchen, it’s likely that you have a colony living somewhere in your home.
Ants usually travel in patterns that follow the structural lines of your home like window sills, countertops, and baseboards.
Pharaoh ants enter Florida homes through poorly sealed doors, windows, even through cracks in walls and foundations.
These points of entry are not an issue for these ants because they are so small. Pharaoh ants are approximately 2 mm in length.
Eliminating pharaoh ants from your home can be a difficult task to take on yourself, but precautions can be taken on a DIY-level.
Keep counters and floors crumb-free, store food in airtight containers, and dispose of garbage in sealed containers.
Eliminating standing water found outside of the home and trimming branches and/or shrubbery can help to deter the pest as well.
Argentine ants are one of the most invasive and troublesome home-infesting pests.
Argentine ants prefer moist areas like mulch and foundations, but they are also attracted to garbage and decay. Because of this, the Argentine ant spreads bacteria throughout its travels.
This ant has been known to kill other insects, invade homes, and then connect their network of colonies.
Removing Argentine ant infestations is best left to trained professionals. They will have the knowledge and proper tools for an efficient removal.
While they primarily live outside in shady or damp areas, white-footed ants can sneak into your home from bushes and tree branches that are too close.
Ensuring trees and bushes are trimmed back away from the house, as well as sealing up sealing cracks and gaps, can help prevent the white-footed ant from gaining entry.
Once they have made their way inside, these ants will create a nest in wall voids, or move between their outdoor nest and their source of food – your home.
While they don’t typically bite or sting, white-footed ants are an issue because of how large their colonies can become. The pests’ colony can contain as many as 3 million ants. They will also create numerous nests that are close to the parent colony.
Ghost ants are difficult to spot, not only because they are so small but because of their coloring – or lack of color.
They have a translucent abdomen and legs, which virtually disappear when they travel across lighter surfaces. Once they are inside your home, ghost ants can typically be found foraging through food, and building nests in kitchen cabinets and wall voids.
Biting is a rare occurrence for a ghost ant; the primary cause for concern among homeowners is the amount of food that goes to waste because it becomes contaminated while the ghost ants are foraging.
Ghost ants prefers sugary substances in their diets; particularly the honeydew secretion produced by aphids. They will also search out protein sources, such as other dead insects and pests. Thorough housekeeping and sealing food in airtight containers can help deter a ghost ant infestation.
Why Are Ants in My Home?
There are many reasons why ants could be in your home: lack of proper cleaning, cracks in the foundation, even preferring the vegetation found on your property can be enough of a reason for ants to infest your home.
Ants also prefer damp spaces, so if there is a damp pile of wood near your home, it could be encouraging ants to enter through cracks in the foundation.
Overgrown tree branches hanging over your roof can also provide easy access for ants. A gentle breeze is all they will need to make their way from the branch to your roof.
Preventing Ant Infestations
To prevent ants from taking over your Florida home, there are precautions you can take in addition to contacting a local pest professional.
Ants follow crumbs and food, so you can avoid them by wiping down countertops, tables, and sweeping floors after meals. Another good practice is storing your food in sealed containers.
Spraying a mixture of vinegar and water around crevices in the home and pet bowls can also help prevent ants from taking over.
Once the ant infestation has been removed, sealing entry points such as crevices in walls, doors, or windows, can help defend your home against a future invasion.
Professional Pest Control for Ants
If household remedies aren’t doing the trick, contact ant control professional for your free home inspection.
They have the knowledge and expertise to identify the source of the issue and eliminate the pests from the inside out.
In many situations, ant colonies are in difficult to reach places — like inside the walls of your home. Over-the-counter sprays and home remedies unfortunately won’t solve the infestation or remove the colony. Instead, it will most likely cause the colony to move to another location and seek other food sources.
Catseye will locate and treat ant colonies in and around your property. We use strategically placed granular and gel baits that recruit ants into treating their own colony.
We also offer a bi-monthly pest prevention program, where our pest management professionals proactively treat your Florida home to prevent or eliminate ant infestations, in addition to an array of other preventative services.