Ants jump at any opportunity to come into your home, especially when leftover food is around. They are especially likely to invade during the summertime and are extremely hard to control once they begin their trek indoors.
It is essential to know how to identify common household ants and to take preventative measures to keep a colony from establishing itself in your home. This step-by-step guide to ant control is a great place to start.
Common Household Ants
Recognizing some ant species can help you figure out the best way to get rid of them. Common household ants can cause structural damage and even attract other pests, including spiders and termites.
Some common household ant species include the following:
- Carpenter ants are black or multicolored and are about ½ of an inch long. The area behind their head is round, and they have one node behind their waist. Carpenter ants feed on wood, causing expensive structural damage.
- Thief ants are yellow or light brown with an average body length of only 1/32 of an inch. They consume various household foods but are otherwise just a nuisance.
- Odorous house ants are dark brown or black with an uneven thorax and hidden node. Odorous house ants are only about 1/8 of an inch long. They emit a strong odor when crushed. These ants look for sweets or feed on other insects.
- Pavement ants range from light brown to black and are among the most common ants in the United States. Pavement ants are 3/16 of an inch long on average, with two lines on their heads and two nodes. They establish several nesting areas, making them hard to remove.
- Pharaoh ants, also known as “sugar ants,” are often confused with thief ants because of their size. They are reddish-brown or yellow and prefer sweet or fatty foods. The body of the pharaoh ant has two segments and a stinger that is not usually visible or harmful to humans.
- Acrobat ants typically range from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch in length. The acrobat ant has a color range from black to light, yellowish-brown. They feed on the honeydew that aphids produce, as well as household sweets and proteins. Acrobat ant colonies are often found in rotted wood, but they do not damage wood the same way carpenter ants do.
3-Step Ant Prevention & Control Tips
Once ants enter your home, it can be hard to get rid of them. Follow this step-by-step guide to help remove the pests and keep them from returning.
Step One: Deep Cleaning
Regularly wipe down surfaces where food is prepared or eaten and keep kitchen cupboards clean to keep ants from finding crumb trails that attract them and their colonies.
It is also vital to keep an eye on areas where pets eat and drink, as the remnants from their food can attract these pests. Clean areas in and around kitchen appliances where food remnants can accumulate and secure outdoor trash in covered bins.
Step Two: Get Rid of Potential Food and Water Sources
Use airtight containers to store opened food and put food away as soon as possible. Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher or soapy water immediately instead of next to the sink.
Fix leaky pipes, broken faucets, faulty drains, and gutters to keep stagnant water from collecting and attracting ants. If your home has humid areas or areas with poor ventilation that can cause moisture build-up, use a dehumidifier to dry out the air.
Step Three: Seal Up Entry Points to Keep Ants Out
Sealing any entry points for ants is the best way to keep them out. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with putty or caulk and replace ripped door and window screens quickly. Be sure to stop up openings near pipes and other small spaces.
Guaranteed Ant Prevention & Control
Even after closely following these pest prevention measures, ants can still find their way into your home. The easiest way to stop ants in their tracks is to contact a certified pest control expert to remove them from your home before they become a major issue.
For a prompt and dependable inspection, contact Phenom Pest Protection today!