Guide to Ant Control
When you’re busy cooking in the kitchen and happen to notice little creepy ants marching along your sink or countertops, or you’re getting ready to shower after a long day and see a slew of ants exploring the inside of your tub, you just might have an ant problem in your home. Ants aren’t just unsightly pests—they can also be trouble for your pantry, too. You’re most likely to find ants in the kitchen, but they can find their way in through drains and windowsills as well.
For ant control and ant prevention in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, Frontline is the expert pest control team to call.
Common Types of Ants
Have you ever spotted a trail of tiny ants marching across your kitchen counter? It's a common sight in many households, but do you know what kind of ants they are? There are actually several different types of ants that can invade your home, and each one has its own unique characteristics. Knowing the different types of ants that can infest your home can help you identify the problem and take appropriate measures to get rid of them.
Acrobat ants get their name from the unique behavior they display when threatened, where they raise their abdomen above their head and thorax much like a scorpion’s tail. These ants are brown or black in color and are only one-eighth of an inch in length on average. While small, the workers of this species will bite aggressively and release a foul odor when alarmed. Colonies are known to nest in structural woodwork and foam insulation.
Harvester ants are one of the larger species of ants, averaging between a quarter and half an inch long. This is another species of ant with stingers that will cause you pain, similar to fire ants. These ants, however, are known more for their habits of seed collection and dispersal, which gives them their name.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they emit when they are crushed, which is often described as a rotten coconut smell. They are attracted to sweet and greasy foods, and will often invade homes in search of these types of food sources.
Argentine ants are tiny at only one-tenth of an inch long and are usually light brown to dark brown in color. They’re considered an invasive species in the United States and will build their nests in the ground, in the cracks of walls, in between wooden boards, and even in loose-leaf litter. These ants are common household pests, and like many ant species, they’ll journey inside in search of food, water, and a place to escape flooded nests.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants are uniquely shiny and are certainly little, roughly only a one-sixteenth of an inch long. They are highly adaptive, typically building their nests primarily in dark, protected areas, such as underneath rocks and logs, but will also find their way indoors to make their homes in woodwork and in the walls. This species is not widely considered to be dangerous, but they are a nuisance.
Fire ants are red and black in color, but what makes these pests distinct is their stingers. Fire ants are known for their aggression. They’ll latch on with their strong mandibles and then use their stringer to inject venom into their victim. Unlike many other ants with bites that you don’t even feel, you’ll know the moment you’re stung by a fire ant because of the sudden painful, burning sensation. Their stings may leave itchy, red welts on your skin as well.
With the infamous reputation of being the most difficult species of ant to control, pharaoh ants are distinctly yellow, light brown, or red in color. Roughly a tenth of an inch in length, these ants have huge colonies with thousands of ants or even more in each, making their infestations very difficult to control.
What Attracts Ants to My Home?
Even the cleanest of homes can end up with an ant problem, as food spills and trash are not the only reasons ants can journey indoors. Many do, however, come inside searching for food and will stay if they find it. But ants are also drawn to water sources, which is why you may find them near drains or inside your dishwasher. Leaks in your pipes can attract ants as well. Your home also provides shelter from the outdoors and is especially attractive to ants during the dry season.
Signs of an Ant Infestation
The most common sign of an ant infestation is simply seeing the ants themselves. If you’re finding them inside or outside your home, there’s likely a nest close by, whether that’s in the garden, in the walls, or elsewhere. Take note especially if you’re seeing the ants marching in a line, as they’re likely following a set pheromone trail leading to a discovered food source.
Prevent Ants in Your Home
If it’s just a few stray ants you’re seeing, kill the ones you can, as they could possibly be scout ants that are searching your home for food or water. Seal your home and make repairs to fill in cracks or crevices that ants could sneak through. As a good rule of thumb, give them as few reasons to stick around as possible. Clean up food spills and crumbs, don’t leave dirty dishes out, dust, sweep, and vacuum regularly, and take out the trash often.
A well-maintained yard is also less likely to attract pests in the first place. However, there are factors you may be unable to control, such as your neighbor’s lawn or the area surrounding your property. That’s why regular pest control treatments with Frontline can help prevent ant infestations and other pests in the first place.
Schedule Ant Control Services With Frontline Pest Today
If the ants have come marching into your home, we offer both continuous services and one-time services, depending on your Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, or Tennessee home’s unique needs. Regardless of the service you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll get quality service at the right price. Give us a call to get started or contact us online to receive your free quote today!