What Are the Signs of an Ant Infestation?
There are around 8800 species of ants in the world, almost as many as there are birds. And, just like most wild birds, ants don’t make good house guests.
Unfortunately, your house makes an ideal home for an ant colony. There are plenty of dark quiet places from them to establish their nest and ants aren’t picky eaters, they will happily live on the scraps of food and refuse found in any home.
If you are worried that ants might have moved into your home, here are some indicators that you might have an infestation on your hands:
- Live Ants: One or two live ants in your house isn’t something to worry about. Some species, such as carpenter ants, will roam as far as 100 yards from their nest when looking for food.
Regualrly seeing large numbers of ants, especially in food preparation or refuse storage areas, like your kitchen, is normally a sign of an infestation that you will need professional assistance in removing.
- Ant Trials: When worker ants find a promising source of food, they leave pheromone trails that other ants are drawn to, guiding them back to this new resource. Trails of ants leading into and out of your property is a good sign that your house has become infested with ants.
- Winged Ants: Seeing large numbers of winged ants inside your property or emerging from crevices is a bad sign. Winged ants are part of the breed cycle of most colonies and are a good indication that you have a large established nest on your property.
Any one of these signs could indicate that you have a nactive ant colony on your property. The best way to remove a nest completely, and prevent reinfestation, is to hire an experienced pest controller, like Midwest Pest and Wildlife Control, who will have the tools and experience to solve your ant problems.
Why You Might Have Ants
Food is the most common reason to find ants in your home. All ant species are omnivorous, they’ll eat just about anything, and pretty much the whole purpose of worker ants is to forage for food.
Once those worker ants identify your home as an easily accessible source of food, they will leave a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. Leftover food, unwashed dishes, unsealed refuse and even just a scattering of crumbs are enough to draw ants into your house.
Certain types of ants prefer certain conditions for their nests, conditions that can be found within your home. Unfortunately, these types of ants tend to be the ones most likely to damage your home and belongings.
Carpenter ants prefer to nest in dead wood. They can be drawn into your home by areas of damp wood and are even found nesting in foam insulation. Carpenter ants burrow tunnels through these materials and can be a real danger to your property.
After propagating during the spring, female flying ants will be looking for a quiet, secluded place to lay their eggs and start a new colony. Lofts, drywall, basements, crawl spaces, and a myriad of other places in your home are an excellent place for these new queens to start up their nest.
Reasons To Treat Your Ant Problem Immediately
Unlike some pests, ants aren’t a direct threat to humans. They are, however, very difficult to remove from your home without professional help.
While most ants don’t really represent a danger to people, they can cause some significant damage to your property and become a real nuisance for you.
Ant infestations can quickly take over your kitchen, spoiling food and getting into the smallest cracks to get at your stored food. Ants will also chew holes in damp towels or clothes in order to get at the moisture in them.
Carpenter ants are a genuine concern for most homeowners, as they cause millions of dollars of property damage each year by chewing tunnels through the wooden supports of your home.
Pharaoh ants can carry and transmit diseases such as salmonella, staphylococcus, and clostridium, which may cause botulism.
Ant Pest Control – How can I get rid of Ants?
The best way to get rid of ants in to contact a professional pest controller like Midwest Pest and Wildlife Control. Ant colonies are hard to find and remove and the ants themselves reproduce very quickly.
If not dealt with correctly, ant colonies can splinter, spreading out into many smaller colonies and making removing them from your home that much harder.
Midwest Pest and Wildlife Control has a service package that will fit your needs. We offer a variety of options including monthly, every other month, and seasonal treatment options.
We stand by the quality of our services, which is why we guarantee our work, allowing you to call and request additional treatments between scheduled visits if you’re not 100% satisfied.
If you do have an ant infestation in your home and you are waiting for Midwest Pest and Wildlife Control to come and take care of it for you, here are some Do’s and Dont’s to help you manage in the meantime.
What to do v.s. What not to do
Do – seal away all easily accessible food in airtight containers, make sure spills and crumbs are cleared up quickly, and that dirty dishes are not left out overnight.
Do – deny ants access to your property as much as is possible. Use a caulking gun to seal up any cracks in areas like window sills and around door frames. Check your walls for cracks and seal them up too.
Do – keep your kitchen as clean as possible. Kitchens are a major hotspot of any infestations because they have everything ants want, food, moisture and lots of places to hide. Regularly sweeping and mopping the floor and cleaning the surfaces gets rid of the small particles of food that the ants are looking for.
Don’t – forget to take the trash out. The best way to store your trash is in a bin with an airtight lid and then to make sure you are taking it out regularly. Remember ants aren’t the only pests that are drawn to uncovered refuse.
Don’t – leave pet food out. Most people remember to clean up their own leftovers and loose food without realizing that ants are just as happy going after your pet’s food.
Don’t – use ant killing sprays without doing your research first. Ant sprays can stress an ant colony, cause it to fracture, scattering into smaller colonies and making them harder to remove in the long run. If you are going to use a spray, look for one that is labeled as “non-stressing”.