Ant Identification & Prevention

What are ants?

Ants are opportunistic insects that find their way onto our properties and into our homes and businesses regularly. Ants are one of the easiest species of invading insects to identify because we see them so often. All ants have three body segments, six legs, a constricted waist, bent antennae, and only the reproductive members have wings. Their food preferences, behavior, and exact appearance will vary by species.

a colony of ants crawling on food inside of a home

Below is a list of ants that commonly invade our properties:

Argentine ants
Argentine ants are small brown ants that live and travel together in large, wide trails. These ants live in massive colonies and have a fondness for sweet foods; when invading homes, they can become a considerable nuisance and hard to eliminate.

Fire ants
Fire ants are small and reddish-brown They are easy to agitate, attacking any person or animal they view as a threat. They deliver painful stings, and the venom they inject is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions in some people. In the case of a large-scale attack, anaphylaxis can occur.

Sugar ants
Sugar ants, also called odorous house ants, are a small black or dark brown colored ant. These ants emit a foul-smelling odor when crushed, which helps to identify them. Sugar ants feed on a wide variety of foods but, as their name suggests, they also have a particular fondness for sweets.
 

Are ants dangerous?

Ants live and work together in large colonies, making them tough to prevent and control. Most species of ants are in the category of nuisance pests. Nuisance ants, while annoying to deal with, do not pose any significant threats to people or our structures. Others, however, can bite, sting, transmit diseases, and cause structural damage – making them dangerous pests. In our area, sugar ants and Argentine ants are examples of nuisance ants, while fire ants are a type of a dangerous ant.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants flock to properties that offer easy access to food and shelter sources. Gardens, compost, pet food, and outdoor eating areas provide ants with the food they need to feed their colony. Our yards also offer ample space for them to create their central nest, and our garages, sheds, homes, and businesses provide them with safe, secluded shelter in which to build satellite nests and expand their colony.

Where will I find ants?

Outdoor nests are created by ants in damp soil under woodpiles, lawns, mulch, landscaping ties, tree stumps, along fence lines, in the cracks of pavement, and next to foundations. Fire ants build their nests in open sunny areas, and lawns make great nesting spots for these ants. Ants move indoors through cracks in the foundation and exterior walls; they also move inside through holes along the roofline. They place their nests under floors, behind walls, inside insulation, in crawlspaces, and near heating systems.

How do I get rid of ants?

Eliminating ants is a difficult task and a job that is best left up to trained and experienced professionals. For home and business owners looking to eliminate ants, Hawx Pest Control offers comprehensive pest control services. Our industry-leading services use the latest techniques and best products to provide our customers with peace of mind and pest-free properties. To learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services, please reach out to Hawx Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In conjunction with our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to keep ants off of your property and out of your structure:

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors, and door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Cut tree branches and overgrown vegetation away from the exterior of your house.

  • Repair any openings in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your property.

  • Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris.

  • Rinse out jars and cans before placing them in recycle bins.

  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.

  • Store your food in the refrigerator or inside plastic or glass containers with airtight lids.

  • Leave a 12-18 inch stone or rock barrier between your foundation and any mulch, soil, or grass.

 

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