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Learn about Ants

If you're alarmed by an army of ants marching across your kitchen, there is no need to panic. However, while no one wants ants in their food, the good news is, ants are not known to carry disease.

Getting rid of an ant problem is relatively easy, when you call in a professional pest control service.

Three Common Household Ants

Pharaoh Ants

These are tiny, yellow, semi-transparent ants that are 1/16” in length. Pharoah ants love to eat sweets, fats, and proteins, which means they’ll get into everything in your pantry.

While Pharaoh ants can build nests anywhere in your home, they prefer warm places. You can find Pharaoh ant nests behind a baseboard or a wall, inside an electrical outlet, or under your kitchen cabinets.

Odorous House Ants

If you squish these ants, they’ll emit a distinctive odor, often described as smelling like coconut or licorice. Odorous house ants are small, dark brown, and 1/16 to 1/8” in length.

Inside your home, Odorous House Ants build nests inside a wall or under a baseboard, or under your kitchen cabinets or appliances. These ants prefer eating sweets and proteins.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are usually black, and 1/4 to 1/2" in length. However, they can also be brown, red, or tan. Carpenter ants can be identified by their huge jaws.

Carpenter ants like to eat proteins and sweets, and will often swarm over pet food. More importantly, they’ll destroy the wood in your home. They build their nests inside the wood, chewing out tunnels with their powerful jaws. However, unlike termites, these ants don’t eat the wood, but toss it aside as sawdust. A long-term carpenter ant infestation can result in serious structural damage to your home.

Getting Rid of Ants

First of all, it’s helpful if your pest control technician can identify the types of ants infesting your home. This will help them choose the right type of treatment and traps that will solve your ant problem.

Killing the ants you see with bug spray won’t solve the problem; ants live in large colonies, and unless this is addressed, the ants will simply continue to breed. An effective ant control treatment will eventually kill the entire colony.

A trained, pest control technician understands the behavior of ants, and can help you with the right ant control procedures.

What You Can Do to Control Ants

Ants are inside your home because there is an ample supply of food and water for the colony to survive. What you can do is keep your kitchen clean to cut off the food supply; don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and keep the countertops, stove, and oven free of crumbs and grease. Sweep the floor, and don’t leave pet food out overnight.

Also, keep your food sealed in plastic, glass, or metal containers. Keep jars of honey and syrup free of sticky drips; sweet-eating ants love these. Finally, make sure the pipes under the sink are not leaking.

You also need to keep ants from getting inside your home from outdoors. Look for the places ants are gaining access to the inside of your home, such as under a door or a crack in a window sill. Remove any pet food that’s left outside, and consider feeding your cat or dog inside. Finally, make sure that your trash cans are not attracting colonies of ants. Ants feasting on an outside food source will eventually find their way inside to your kitchen.

Follow these steps to cut off the ant’s food supply, then call a pest control company. A professional can identify the specific type of ant and use the right methods to get rid of your ant problem for good.

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