What are ants?
Ants are insects and have become one of the most common pests that find a way into our homes and businesses. Like all insects, ants have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. A hard waterproof exoskeleton covers and protects their body. They also have short antennae and strong mouthparts for chewing, grasping, carrying, and biting.
Ants range in color and size depending on the species, but most are black, red, brown, or yellow and grow to between one eighth and half an inch in length. These social creatures live and work together in large groups, with a single colony having hundreds to hundreds of thousands. A Boise, ID pest professional can help you identify and control ants near your home.
There are many different types of ants living across the country; the following are most problematic for Idaho home and business owners:
- Carpenter ants
- Pharaoh ants
- Little black ants
- Raspberry crazy ants
- Odorous house ants
- Argentine ants
- Pavement ants
Are ants dangerous?
You wouldn’t think something that can be squished by the bottom of your shoe could be dangerous to you, but ants can be dangerous to both people and our properties.
The carpenter ant is dangerous to our structures. When they move inside our homes to nest, they invade structural wood. If not eliminated, the damage they cause can become widespread and costly.
Pharaoh ants are another species considered dangerous. They prefer to nest inside to benefit from our temperature-controlled buildings. Healthcare facilities and any structure that stores or prepares food are especially vulnerable to Pharaoh ants. These ants are especially problematic because they spread dangerous pathogens like streptococcus.
Fortunately, most ants that invade our homes don’t pose huge threats and are mostly unwanted annoyances. However, no ants belong inside our homes because they can spread bacteria and contaminate our food sources.
Why do I have an ant problem?
An ant problem can begin with just a few ants finding their way into your yard, lured by an open trash can or another source of food. Once ants discover a place to forage for food, they will alert other colony members by emitting pheromones and providing a scent trail. Any property that offers sources of food, water, and shelter is fair game.
Where will I find ants?
A single ant colony will typically have multiple nesting sites. All nesting sites need to be found and treated to eliminate ants from your property. Ants will nest both inside and outside our homes.
Where an ant prefers to nest outside can vary by species, but most will choose to nest in damp soil found under things like trees, mulch, leaf piles, landscaping ties, and woodpiles. Carpenter ants differ because they create their nests inside wood, preferring decaying or water-damaged wood.
When ants are nesting in our homes, they usually are found near sources of moisture. Walls voids near heating units and water pipes are some favorite nesting spots. They will also create nests under floors, behind cabinets, and in attics.
How do I get rid of ants?
Ants are a trying pest for even the most seasoned homeowner to manage. When ants invade your property, don’t get frustrated; get help from an experienced professional! At Owyhee Environmental, our Four Season Protection Plan will protect your home from ants and other pests throughout the entire year.
Using a low-impact approach and high-quality products, we provide long-lasting solutions you can trust. We are dedicated to offering families affordable pest solutions and peace of mind. If you are experiencing problems with ants in your Boise or Meridian area home or business, call Owyhee Environmental today!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
At Owyhee Environmental, we want to help you prevent problems with ants by providing a list of prevention tips that will make your property less attractive to these pests:
- Remove woodpiles, tree stumps, fallen trees, and old wooden fencing from your yard that could attract carpenter ants and other ants to your property.
- Take away an ant’s entry points by sealing any cracks or openings you discover in the foundation. Place covers over vents, seal spaces around utilities entering your home, and install door sweeps on exterior doors.
- Move woodpiles and other debris away from the exterior of your home.
- You should always keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
- At any sign of a leaky pipe or fixture in your home, make immediate repairs.
- Keep your kitchen as free of food debris as possible; regularly wash dishes, remove trash daily, sweep floors, and wipe down counters.
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