Like humans, ants must eat in order to survive — and your home has plenty of food for such a tiny pest. It can also offer them shelter for their colony, a place to protect the queen and the young. While this pest is common in the St. Louis area, you’ll want to do your best to ensure that your home doesn’t have an ant problem.
What’s So Bad About Ants?
As with so many other pests that homeowners encounter, there’s never just one ant. If you see a straggler, rest assured that there are hundreds of his buddies close by. The truth is that ants (aside from being a nuisance) can also be dangerous to your home and your health. Depending on the type of ant in your home, they can destroy wood and spread bacteria that could lead to serious problems.
Carpenter: Similar to termites, these ants eat wood, but unlike termites they’re only chewing through it to create a home. These nests are usually in damp, rotting trees on your property close to your building, but they can also be inside your home’s walls. If your home has lumber that’s exposed to the elements, ants will be happy to stick around for a while.
Pavement: If you’ve ever looked down at a crack in the sidewalk and noted ants moving in and out, you’ve seen pavement ants. They dig a nest in areas with little or no vegetation, like under your driveway or the foundation of your home. Colonies range from 3,000 to 10,000 and these ants will eat just about anything. They’re especially problematic in the spring and early summer when queens leave the nest looking for a mate.
Pharaoh: These common ants are frequently found in commercial buildings that handle high volumes of food handling — think hotels, food distribution centers and warehouses, and restaurants. Pharaoh ants are infamous for terrorizing hospitals and can spread salmonella and Streptococcus pyogenes among already-vulnerable patients.
Odorous: True to their name, odorous house ants smell like a rotting coconut when they’re crushed and killed. They can enter your home and head straight to your kitchen, where they’ll find sugary food and even meat. Nests are set up in the walls where there’s space or outdoors near an easy-access entrance for them to march into your home when they’re hungry.
How Do I Prevent An Ant Infestation?
Before the infestation is the nesting, which can happen in your home or nearby, so take some time to seal up any cracks or crevices that head straight inside. Once they come in, ants will first find the kitchen, and if it’s full of crumbs or open food containers, they’ll never leave. Make sure you’re making a habit of cleaning off counters and sweeping floors and keeping food (pet and human) closed and sealed.
Ants leave scent trails for others in their colonies to follow, and once you start seeing those trails you know there’s an infestation. Follow these trails; they’ll lead directly to colonies in and around your home. Do some searching and take note of these colonies; you’ll need to get rid of them eventually. You can also find DIY baits, traps, and sprays that will keep ants away temporarily, but they’re not a permanent solution.
To get rid of ants once and for all, the best return on your investment is calling in professional pest control pros. Different ants require different treatments, and it takes a true expert to identify which kind of pest is infesting your house in the first place. Trails will be tracked, activity will be noted, and colonies will be marked, and pest control pros will then develop a strategy to get rid of ants once and for all.
Don’t waste time! They move fast, and when you spot an ant problem, you have to move even faster. Putting off extermination will create an even bigger, more serious ant problem — the sooner you get in touch with our team, the sooner you’ll have peace of mind. Our PestShield experts will come to your home or business and study their trails. First, we will observe the ants and determine which breeds they are. We’ll then figure out whether the ants are most active when you’re away during the day or at night when you’re asleep. Finally, we’ll locate their nests and observe their activity. Let our PestShield team take it from here!