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Ants are a common household pest with whom most people would prefer not to share living space. There are nearly 1,000 species in the United States, many of whom have discovered that living with humans is in their best interest. You may be able to handle minor ant control in your home yourself, but to handle infestations, you’ll need to work with a professional pest control company.
The odorous house ant has lived with humans in the United States for centuries. The odorous house ant, or sugar ant, is on the hunt for food in your home. Once a few scouts find a source, they notify their hundreds of friends who then invade your home. The odorous house ant gets his name because he gives off a bad odor when he’s crushed.
The carpenter ant damages the wood in your home. It doesn’t eat it, but rather excavates a nest prior to searching for food. The resulting damage to the wood in your home can be extensive.
An Argentine ant colony sets up housing outside your home but often searches for food inside. The Argentine ant is the most difficult ant to control in the US, primarily due to its proclivity for taking over an entire yard with hundreds of colony offshoots.
The fire ant is best-known for its aggressiveness, a characteristic not usually seen in other ant species. The fire ant delivers a painful sting to which some people are allergic, resulting in serious medical issues. Fire ants live outdoors and only rarely enter a dwelling.
Every ant species has the same basic anatomy that includes compound eyes, two antennae and strong jaws. The six legs are attached to the ant’s body, known as the thorax. This type of insect, found most often in the US, ranges in size from under an eighth of an inch to about half an inch.
Ants exhibit colony behavior similar to that of bees. A nest consists of at least one queen who lays the eggs for the future generations, males who fertilize the queen’s eggs, fertile females who establish new colonies and non-fertile females who do the excavating, building and food-finding for the colony.
The insects communicate primarily by establishing chemical pheromone trails to indicate pathways between the nest and a food source. The ant is a social insect that works to ensure the health and expansion of the colony as well as the establishment of new colonies. Infestations occur when several colonies of a species invade your home and property.
The ant is classified as a pest primarily because it is a nuisance in the home. Some can introduce disease into your home as they move in, but they generally don’t harbor disease themselves. The carpenter ant is the most damaging species because it destroys wood in your home as it tunnels and excavates during the nest-building process. Fire ants, due to their aggressive nature and their tendency to establish infestations of super colonies, are the species most dangerous to humans.
You may be tempted to try ant control methods in your home yourself. If you have just a few annoying ants to remove, a bait trap–one that can be purchased at a supermarket or hardware store–may solve the problem for you. Sealing or removing the food source the insects are seeking is the easiest step you can take. If they are still invading, you’ll want to use a bait trap to eliminate them. Many bait products contain borax, a substance that is fatal to the insects.
Often, a simple bait trap isn’t enough. Don’t hesitate to contact a pest control company like Alpha Ecological to eradicate these pests. Working with a professional pest control company is often the best choice you can make. Alpha Ecological offers green solutions to pest control that include regular inspections and ongoing ant control.
We are experts when it comes to eradicating your home of ants, bed bugs, bees, beetles, box elders, cockroaches, carpet beetles, silverfish, fleas, flies, mice, rats, scorpions, spiders, springtails, wasps, yellow jackets and more!
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