Saturday, April 10, 2021

5 Types of Ants (And How to Get Rid of Them)

*Ants are everywhere. These six-legged creatures are one of the most successful species on the planet. Around 15 to 20% of all life on earth by weight is nothing but ants.
Ants may be small, but they can be a big problem. They can contaminate food and damage plants. Some species can even damage your home.
Here are a few of the most common ants you might find — and how to get rid of them.

Identify the ant species:

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Found throughout the US, Carpenter ants are one of the most serious pests out there. They get their name from their habit of damaging wood. They use their powerful jaws to carve holes in wood to nest in. They can do this even to good, undamaged wood, and can affect the structural stability of your home. These ants cause billions of dollars in damage every year.

How to get rid of them

Carpenter ants are tricky to get rid of. You’ll need to find their nests. Carpenter ants have multiple nests that can be hundreds of feet apart. If you find a nest inside, it’s probably linked to a nest somewhere outside where the queen lives.

Foraging Carpenter ants can lead you back to the nest if you watch carefully. If you see ants going into holes in the wall, under baseboards, or into wooden beams, you may have found a nest. Also, look for sawdust that the ants eject as they carve their galleries.

Once you’ve found the nest, treat it with a pesticide. Foam and dust-based pesticides are effective because they fill the void the ants create. It’s also a good idea to spray the exterior perimeter of your home to keep the ants away.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous House Ants

This small species is extremely common in the US. They like to nest near sources of moisture. Inside the house, this often means around water pipes and in water-damaged wood. From there, they will forage through the house. They eat almost anything but are particularly attracted to sweets.

These ants get their unusual name from their smell. When crushed, the ants produce a chemical that smells like rotten coconuts.

How to get rid of them

Look for areas the ants may be nesting. If you find a nest, treat it directly with pesticide. If you can’t find the nest, bait also works. An attractive bait ensures that the ants will carry the poison back to the nest by themselves. A good baiting program takes time but provides excellent long-term control.

Pavement Ants

Usually, you’ll find these common ants nesting in cracks in the pavement. They like to nest in soil and usually stay outside. However, they can enter homes through cracks in the foundation and can nest in walls and insulation, and underneath the floor.

Pavement ants aren’t dangerous but can become a nuisance when they go foraging inside your house.

How to get rid of them

Inspect your property thoroughly and look for nests. You may see lots of ants or small piles of soil that they build around the entrances. Once you’ve found a nest, treat it with an appropriately labelled pesticide. Use a liquid pesticide to saturate the soil so that it penetrates deeply into the nest.

Pharaoh Ants

This tiny tropical species is one of the most troublesome. In most climates, they can only live indoors, but are found in homes throughout the world. They will feed on almost anything, and their foraging activity can lead to food contamination.

How to get rid of them

Pharaoh ants have multiple queens in each nest. If the nest is stressed, it will split, and the queens will create more nests. For this reason, you must never spray any pesticide at Pharaoh ants. It will make the problem worse.

Instead, use a poison bait that will kill the ants without them realizing it. These ants are omnivorous and are attracted to both sweets and proteins, but sweet baits usually give the best results.

Fire Ants

Found throughout southern and western states and into Canada, these notorious ants get their name from their sting, which causes a burning sensation. These ants will aggressively defend their nests and often hurt people that get too close. This makes them one of the most important ant species in the country.

How to get rid of them

Fire ants typically live outside, and the best way to get rid of them is to target their nests. These can be identified by the large mounds of soil the ants build. Apply a liquid or granular pesticide to the mounds, making sure it penetrates deeply to where the ants live. Wear protective clothing, including boots and gloves when you do this; the ants will fight back.

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