• Jon Stoddard

All You Need To Know About Florida Ants

Ants are a worthy opponent when they attack your home, yard, car, or company. Ants have incredible talents often overlooked while dealing with an ant infestation. Whether you use bait or a trap to get rid of ants quickly and thoroughly, you need to have some background knowledge about their behaviors, biology, and skills. Because there are over 12,000 species globally, proper ant identification is critical for ant control.

Except for Antarctica, ants can be found on every continent. Ants are social insects, which means they live in colonies with other ants. Workers and reproductive castes, both male and female, are segregated into two castes in colonies. As depicted in Aesop's Fable, The Ants, and the Grasshopper, Ants are productive and hardworking creatures. The sterile female worker ants have a lot of obligations. They must build, repair, and defend the nest, feed and nurse the colony's young and other adult ants, seek food and water, and remove the waste. The Bible praises the female worker ant's work ethic and encourages us to follow her self-motivation and work ethic. "Go to the ant, you sluggard!" says Proverbs 6:6-8. Consider her methods and be intelligent, for she provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest, even though she has no captain, overseer, or ruler." Queens are female reproductive ants whose primary duty is reproduction. Some queens live for years and give birth to millions of children. The queen of some ant species may assist by caring for and feeding the initial worker brood. Depending on the specific ant species, a colony may have one queen ant or dozens of queens. The primary purpose of male ants is to mate with the queen. They die after they mate.

Consider the incredible physical feats that ants are capable of once more. Ants can lift ten to fifty times their body weight. A 200-pound man could quickly move a car if humans had such weight-lifting ability. Ants don't have lungs; hence they can't breathe. Oxygen enters ants' bodies through tiny pores, similar to stomata on plant leaves, and carbon dioxide escapes through the same holes.

Ants use pheromone trails to communicate with one another. You might be perplexed about how hundreds of ants ended up in your bathroom or kitchen. The solution is that the foraging ant who discovered the food source left a smell trail for the other ants to follow! Scent communication is complicated but effective for ants. Ants use pheromones to alert the colony of danger, remove sick or dying ants from the nest, and tell others where to obtain food.

Some ants have developed complex "farming" methods. Some ant species nurture aphids in the same way that humans raise, care for, and protect sheep, goats, cows, and chicks. Ants vigorously defend their aphid "herds" against predators and parasites and ensure that they have enough food to eat. In exchange, aphids offer ants a consistent supply of sweet honeydew, a sugary, delicious food. Because of the strength of this symbiotic relationship, certain aphids rely on the ants to "milk" them. To induce the release of honeydew, ants will stroke the aphids.

The leafcutter ant is another example of an ant farming technology. Leafcutter ants are primarily found in Central and South America, spreading to Texas, Arizona, southern California, and western Louisiana. Leaf Cutter Ants cut leaves and bring the fragments back to their underground nests. The fungus that grows in the gardens of Leaf Cutter Ants requires rotting plant debris to thrive. The Leaf Cutter Ant's sole source of nutrition is a fungus that grows inside their nests.

Ants have a strong sense of survival. Some ant species can swim and float. Fire ants are the best example of this behavior. When a fire ant-infested field floods, the fire ants flee their nest and form a pancake-shaped cluster. Fire ants may float for weeks in this configuration without drowning. Fire ant flotillas are common in the aftermath of hurricanes in the southern United States.

We've only scratched the surface of some of the ants' most astonishing talents; each species has its dietary preferences, behavioral features, and biochemical drives. It is vital to identify the ants infesting your home, company, or vehicle to eliminate ants permanently. Once you've confirmed the ant's identity, you'll know what they like to eat, how and when they forage, and how to get rid of them.

What Are Some Of The Best Ways to Get Rid of Ants In Your House?

The most common cause for contacting a professional pest control business is ant infestations. It's challenging to get rid of ants in your home! No matter how many ants you kill, another army of ants appears to take their place. Ants occur in a variety of sizes, colors, and diet preferences. The most crucial step in getting rid of ants is thoroughly inspecting your home and yard. A thorough pest control examination should disclose the type of ant you're dealing with and the locations of the ants' nests. Kitchens and bathrooms are usually the ideal pest areas to start an ant examination, but you'll probably end up outside.

Inspection for ants

Look behind and under appliances such as the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, beneath the sink, and within cupboards with a flashlight.

You might be able to follow the ant trails from the kitchen or bathroom to the nest if the ant infestation is severe. A nighttime check may produce more conclusive data because foraging activity is likely higher at night.

If a foraging track isn't apparent, it can help entice ants by placing food options in front of them. Ants prefer sweet, sugary foods or diets that are high in protein. In the locations where you've spotted ants, put a pea-sized drop of honey or simple syrup and a pea-sized dab of peanut butter. You'll have ants swarming your buffet in a shockingly short time. At most, this test will provide you with enough ants to return to the nest; at worst, it will reveal if they prefer sweets or proteins to consume.

You'll almost certainly end yourself outside if you follow the ant track. Ants are hardy creatures who can build nests in various environments and hide them well. Look behind firewood piles, yard garbage, your home's siding, decaying tree stumps, and any vegetation on or near the ground near the ant track.

Without the help of an entomologist, a specimen sample, and a microscope, a more precise identification of many ants described as little, black sugar ants may be difficult. If you need assistance identifying an ant specimen, most county extension offices have the personnel to assist you. We have an entomologist on staff at Imperial Pest Prevention who can recognize the less frequent ants.

Remove Ant Food Sources

Another critical aspect of controlling ants in your home is hygiene. A problem with ants does not imply that your home is filthy. In pest control words, sanitation simply means ensuring that bugs do not have access to food or water (ants, roaches, rats, or mice). If the dripping honey container in the back of the pantry is not cleaned up, ant control efforts will be unsuccessful. Food spills or crumbs left on the floor will attract ants and hamper your efforts to kill them. Remember to wipe the caked-on food from your small equipment, such as your blender or stand mixer, completely. These gadgets frequently contain delicious delicacies that ants will take advantage of. Additionally, confine food consumption to one room of the house. A Halloween candy bucket full of Jolly Rancher wrappers will undoubtedly attract ants to your child's hiding spot.

Ant Entry Points Must Be Stopped

When dealing with more significant ants, such as carpenter ants, you may close the entryway and eliminate the ant pest control problem much more quickly and easily if you can find out where the ants are getting in. If you follow the ant trail, you might find a window with a cracked or damaged seal. You can help assist in the prevention of ants from entering your home by caulking around the cable line or closing that window or door. Ants are incredibly resourceful and will take advantage of even the tiniest cracks.

Bait vs. Sprays for Ants

The purpose of murdering ants is to eliminate the entire colony, including the queen. Even if you can't find and treat the nest, you may destroy the whole territory with today's highly technical and specialized insecticides. Insecticides had come a significant way since the 1970s when they left a nasty white residue along the baseboards. Modern Pest Control Operators prefer ant baiting over-spraying a chemical treatment inside your home since it is more effective. Baiting is a safer, more environmentally friendly solution for homeowners, and it is also the most effective way of ant control.

Ant baits are available in several forms, including gels, liquids, granules, and solids. All ant baits include an attractant, or a combination of attractants, such as sugar, carbohydrate, or protein, and an active pesticide component. The active element is intended to be slow-acting and not cause death right away. Because of their social structure, ants respond effectively to baits. Worker ants search and forage for food and bring it back to the nest to feed the queen and male ants. Because these baits take a long time to operate, the foraging ants have plenty of time to tell their friends about the plentiful "meal" and make several excursions from the nest to the bait.

Ant baits contain a variety of active chemicals. Boric acid, sometimes known as borax, is a popular and powerful disinfectant found in laundry detergent. Other ant baits include the active chemicals fipronil, avermectin, and indoxacarb, also used in flea and tick treatments for your dog or cat. The active substances in baits are usually at such low levels that human intake is unlikely to cause poisoning.

The disadvantage of ant baiting is that ants can be picky eaters. To persuade ants to "take the bait," you must first understand their feeding habits. Within the same ant species, they seek or prefer protein and carbs at other times. If the bait does not include the necessary attractant, the pest ants may entirely disregard the bait. Many professional pest control companies use a chemical spray on the outside of the house with their edible bait. However, the proper pest control spray class must be utilized.

Ant Repellent vs. Non-Repellent Sprays

Have you ever reached for the insect spray container under the kitchen sink and sprayed the ants marching across your kitchen counter? What exactly did they do? They most likely came to a complete stop, did a series of right and left turns, and proceeded to walk directly around the spray. That is the distinguishing feature of a repellent spray. While there are some applications for repellent sprays, ant control is not one of them. You're essentially chasing ants throughout your kitchen and bathroom if you use an ant deterrent spray.

You can try to clean a surface that has been sprayed with repellant and that you now need or want to utilize for bait placement. Ants have a highly developed sense of smell. To remove any insecticide residue from the repellent spray, wipe the surface with warm soapy water and a paper towel, then rinse with water.

In the fight against ants, non-repellent sprays are incredibly efficient. Because ants cannot detect non-repellent insecticide sprays, they do not avoid them like the ants in the preceding example did. These non-repellent sprays work similarly to baits; you don't have to persuade the ants to eat what you're presenting. Instead, they return to the nest by walking through the invisible insecticide. They distribute the active component from one ant to the next, and the colony is eventually wiped out.

Indoor spraying should only be used as a last option. Indoors, most ant problems can be managed without using the spray. Non-repellent sprays designated for ant control should be used only outside your home. The law is the label on the product's bottle. Using a product to contradict the label is against the law in the United States. Always follow and read the instructions on the product's label, but you can generally spray around the foundation of your property and at entrance points such as doors and windows. You may also use the spray to cover the holes where cable and power wires enter the structure.

How To Rid Yourself Of Those Pesky Ants In The Kitchen

Like all pest species we deal with, Ants are attracted to your home because it provides them with plenty of food, water, and shelter. The industrious ant can locate a meal even in the cleanest of kitchens. A few extra measures should be addressed when killing ants in the kitchen.

Remember how we discussed how important it is to follow the ant track earlier? This is when it becomes crucial! Baiting for ants attracts more of them to the table (bait tray). Placing a tray of bait on your kitchen counter will result in more ants than before you treated, which is never the goal of pest management! If the ants marching across your kitchen counter are frightening you, offer them the bait earlier in their march. You can intercept the ants and feed them the bait before they get to the kitchen by following the ant track to a windowsill or door frame. The number of ants in your kitchen will decrease almost immediately.

You'll have a chance to see if the ants are eating the bait if you halt them before they get to your kitchen. If you put out a bait tray full of tasty bait and they ignore it totally and head for your kitchen, they're looking for something different. Ant baits are designed to satiate ants' diverse needs for sugars, proteins, carbs, and lipids, among other things. You may need to experiment with different baits until you find one the ants like.

Keeping the kitchen ant-free is very important for ants. Spills and Drippings should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Never leave food on the counter that hasn't been covered. Make a habit of cleaning spills in cabinets, pantries, and other hard-to-reach spaces regularly. Inspect and repair any leaking faucets or plumbing pipes as soon as possible; excess moisture attracts a variety of pests to your kitchen.

Ridding Yourself Of Pesky Ants In The Bathroom

With a few exceptions, ant infestations in your bathroom can be treated using the same procedures as other house sections. If ants are congregating in your bathroom, it's most likely because they're acquiring something they need to survive from there. The most evident life-sustaining element ants get from your toilet is water.

Carpenter ants are known as the most common ant species found in bathrooms. Carpenter ants and how to get rid of them are covered further below, although they frequently make nests behind the tiles or on your bathroom walls. Not all carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they can excavate and remove damaged wood from your structure to construct their nests. Carpenter ants are the most difficult insects to eradicate, mainly if they have built a nest within your bathroom.

Argentine ants are another ant species that might be found in the toilet daily. Outside, Argentine ants construct nests in damp regions near food. Indoors, this could imply behind the bathroom, inside the toilet tank, or under the bathroom sink. Supercolony ants include Argentine ants. They are incredibly versatile and may survive in environments where most other ants perish. If you locate an Argentine ant colony in your bathroom, you should make every effort to destroy it.

Carpenter Ants and How to Get Rid of Them

closeup image of a carpenter ant

One of the most frequent interior pests is carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are easily identified by their vast size and black and red color pattern; adult carpenter ant workers range in length from 12 to 5/8 inches. Carpenter ants can be one of the most difficult ant species to eradicate because they reside in enormous colonies. It's critical to find the carpenter ants' nest to eliminate them from your property. Carpenter ants can construct their nest either indoors or outside. Carpenter ant extermination necessitates specific knowledge and, in many cases, extensive detective work.

Carpenter ant treatment regimens are comparable to those used by other ant species in many aspects, but they differ in others. We talked about luring ants with edible ant baits before. The ants will readily take the bait back to the colony and give it to the other ants if it is consumed. Carpenter ants are particularly problematic since they prefer to devour both living and dead insects rather than baits left out for them. Although the most popular and effective carpenter ant bait has been removed from the market, other baits labeled for carpenter ants are available. Carpenter ants will only consume various things at different year periods, making baiting more challenging. To properly control carpenter ants, you may need to alternate between or supply a combination of sweet, protein, and carbohydrate-based baits. If the nest is indoors and inaccessible, you may have to experiment with different baits.

In addition to culinary baits, a non-repellent chemical spray can be quite effective against carpenter ants. You can almost always accomplish 100 percent control by using low-toxicity baits indoors and a non-repellent chemical spray outdoors. Spraying for ants indoors should only be used as a last resort. It is vital, as previously said, to follow the ant trails. Carpenter ants are typically active at night, making it difficult to track them. You're in the realm of utilizing a non-repellent chemical spray if your carpenter ant path leads you out a window, entry door, or sliding glass door. This is not the moment to dig under the sink for the bug spray you can buy at the supermarket. Carpenter ants have little sense of smell and are unable to detect a high-quality non-repellent insecticide. Live insects are the primary diet of carpenter ants. They must go outside to acquire their live insect food, even if they are nesting indoors. The ants will be subject to the insecticide sprayed around your home when they trail outside. The insecticide coating the ants' feet and bodies are then spread throughout the nest as they interact with the other ants. The slow-acting insecticide eventually kills the carpenter ant colony. These sprays can be used to treat the perimeter of your property, as well as the areas surrounding your doors and windows, as well, like any cable or power lines that the ants may be using to gain access to your home. If you uncover a carpenter ant nest, read the product label to determine if you can use the insecticide to treat the nest as well as neighboring bushes or trees.

Treatment with non-repellent foam is another effective weapon against carpenter ants. A pesticide foam may be acceptable if a carpenter ant nest is located inside a wall void or another inaccessible region. You can get pesticide close enough to the nest to be transported inside by foraging ants, killing the colony, drilling a small hole in the wall, and injecting foam.

Carpenter ants can be one of the most difficult pest control challenges because they have so many distinct traits. The main goal is to eliminate the entire ant colony using edible baits (liquid or granular), chemical sprays, or on-repellent foams. When both satellite nests and the surrounding parent nest are removed, complete carpenter ant control is achieved.

Carpenter Ants Habits of Feeding, Shelter, Foraging, and Characteristics.

Carpenter ants graze at night, and they do it in small groups. Carpenter worker ants forage up to one hundred yards from the colony in search of food and water; that's a football field's worth of distance! Carpenter ants are unusual in that they eat sweet nectars and honeydew like other ants, but they also eat live and dead smaller creatures. Pet food might help them meet their protein demands at home. A foraging carpenter ant will utilize trees that touch the rooftop or a cable or power line to gain entry into your home if the carpenter ant nest is outside.

Carpenter ants are sometimes known as indicator species because they require water to exist. Carpenter ants may indicate the presence of a water leak, decaying wood, or other moisture issues in your property.

Carpenter ants look for breeding sites in addition to hunting for food and water. 9–12 satellite nests can be established by a big, mature carpenter ant colony. Even if you kill just one satellite nest, the problem will continue to grow on your property. Indoor satellite nesting sites, which require less moisture than the parent nest, can be found beneath attic insulation, wall voids, and other hollow places. When a carpenter ant nest is found indoors, it is usually a satellite nest rather than the parent nest. Satellite nests are usually between 20 and 100 feet away from the primary nest. Workers, adult brood, and typically flying reproductives make up satellite nests. Although satellite nests cannot breed without a queen, if left undisturbed, they can remain a hive of carpenter ant activity for years.

Do Carpenter Ants Damage Wood?

Carpenter ants, as their name implies, will hack and chew away at the sturdy wood that holds your house together. Carpenter ants love to construct their nests in wood that has been damaged by rot, rotting, mold, or termites, although the black carpenter ant may gnaw through sound wood as well. Carpenter ants tunnel and remove wood from your home to build a nest. They don't eat wood for the same reasons as termites do, but they can chew through it and cause structural damage. They excavate wood for tunnels and passageways when building their nests. The wood they chew up into fine powdery sawdust, which is subsequently discharged from the tunnels. Carpenter ant damage differs from termite-damaged wood in appearance. An experienced Pest Management Professional or Entomologist can determine which bug is responsible for the existing damage to the wood.

Do I Have Ants, or is it Termites?

Carpenter ants go through a complete metamorphosis, with the phases of life being egg, larva, pupa, adult worker, adult alate, and adult reproductive. Carpenter ants start new colonies when the reproductives, the winged males and females, leave the nest for mating or nuptial flight. The male dies after they mate, and the female tries to bury herself in order to start a new colony with her fertilized eggs. Dead ant male winged carpenter ants fall on windowsills and door frames during the swarm season, which runs from April to June. Due to their rarity, these winged ants are frequently mistaken for termites. Carpenter ants or termites swarming in or around your home can be determined by a Pest Management Professional's skilled and experienced eye. The main differences between carpenter ants and termite alates are summarized below.

Identification of Antennae of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant Alate – The antennae are elbowed, meaning they turn at nearly a right angle.

Termite Alate – antennae are beaded, meaning short, and positioned together like that of necklace beads.

Wing Identification of Carpenter Ants.

Carpenter Ant Alate – the carpenter ants' swarmer wings that are closer to the head, called Fore Wings, is considerably larger than the hind wings of the rear.

Termite Alate – Termite swarmer wings of the front and back wings are the exact same in size.

Waist Identification Of Termites and Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant Alate – A Carpenter ant's waist is constricted or pinched in appearance and looks slender in comparison to a termite.

Termite Alate – A Termite swarmer waist is broad and thick in appearance.

Similar to a coke bottle.

Suppose you find either winged carpenter ants or winged termites near or in your home. In that case, we recommend you contact Imperial Pest Prevention for a professional pest control inspection, insect/pest identification, and pest control treatment plan to exterminate the pest swarming near your business or house.

Carpenter Ant Nest Identification

Carpenter ant nests start when the newly fertilized queen returns to her nest after mating. She buries herself under loose bark, wood debris, or a fallen tree stump, where she raises her first brood. Carpenter ants take about 50-70 days to mature from egg to adult. The colony expands swiftly since the queen can live up to 25 years and give birth to thousands of children during her lifespan. Carpenter ants have between 4,000 and 10,000 worker ants in a colony.

As spoke about earlier, a mature carpenter ant colony will establish satellite nests. These satellite nests are usually between 20-and 100 feet away from the parent nest and do not have a queen. These nests require less moisture and tolerate higher temperatures than the parent ant nest. These are the ant nests that are more likely to be found indoors. Indoors, carpenter nests are typically found in areas with some moisture seepage, such as bathrooms and kitchens, although they are also commonly found in attics. Additional common indoor carpenter ants can be found in wall voids, beneath eaves, under bathtubs, near rain- or sprinkler-prone doors and windows, behind or under appliances (particularly the dishwasher), on flat roofs, and behind wall panels. Excavating carpenter ants do damage that is considerably more slowly than termite damage, but it does happen. If these nests are permitted to remain in your home, they may cause structural damage.

To get rid of carpenter ants, you need to find the nest and treat it. Finding and treating the satellite and parent nests is an important part of a full carpenter ant treatment. The problem is only partially alleviated if a satellite nest is treated, but foraging workers from the primary nest continue to enter your home. Assume that the conditions that led to the initial carpenter ant infestation remain unaddressed, such as a moisture problem or overgrown branches that create a highway to your attic eaves. The colony as a whole is not destroyed. Carpenter ants will thrive and continue to forage into your home if this is the case.

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Have you ever seen tiny black ants swarm the one drop of maple syrup on your breakfast table before it was even cleared? If that's the case, you've probably cursed sugar ants. How did they get there in such a short time? Ants have five times as many odor sensors as other insects. Sugar ants are a type of common pest ant that appears to have an insatiable sweet craving. The banded sugar ant is a unique ant species that can only be found in Australia. Sugar ants, also known as ghost ants, pharaoh ants, or odorous house ants in the United States, commonly ghost ants, pharaoh ants, or odorous house ants.

Sugar ants are drawn to sweets such as jelly drops from your child's sandwich, syrup, or honey. Sugar ants will be attracted to a box of sweet cereal left open at the back of the cabinet. These ants eat honeydew made by aphids and nectar from flowers when they are outside. Sugar ants are usually lured to a spill in the pantry or a cabinet when they invade your house or business breakroom.

How to Get Rid of Ghost Ants

Ghost ants clustering together image

Ghost ants are the most common reason people call a pest control business in Florida. Ghost ants are a tropical ant that is most common in Florida south of Orlando, while isolated colonies have been discovered as far north as Jacksonville. Ghost ants are restricted to greenhouses and other environmentally controlled locations north of Florida. Many people who encounter ghost ants want to know how to kill ghost ants quickly

Ghost Ants -Tapinoma melanocephalum

Workers of ghost ants are quite little, measuring between 1.3 and 1.5 mm in length. The head and thorax of ghost ants are dark brown, but the abdomen is milky-white to opaque. They are small and difficult to observe, but their opaque abdomen distinguishes them from other ants. When crushed, ghost ants, like odorous house ants, emit a musty coconut-like odor.

If you have ghost ants in your kitchen, your kids will enjoy this simple feeding experiment. You can witness the abdomens of ghost ants change red, green, or yellow by combining sugar water with food coloring and placing it near their track. Insects captivate children, and while ghost ants aren't welcome in your kitchen, it's always interesting to discover something new and fun!

Ghost ants nearly always build their nests outside and then follow the route inside. Ghost ants are small, but they leave a trail that stretches for hundreds of feet. Although the nest is in your neighbor's yard, they will plunder your kitchen rather than your neighbor's house. There might be more than one queen in a ghost ant colony. Ghost ants frequently pick modest nesting sites since they are unable to support a large colony. They make "transient nests" that can be moved about. Budding is the process of dividing a ghost ant colony into subunits or subnests. When the colony runs out of nearby food or space, they build a subnest. A queen, ant workers, and ant brood (young ghost ants) are all moved to a new nest where there is more food and space. These subunits or subnests can reproduce because they have a queen. Within the colony, worker ghost ants can trade workers between the parent nest and the subnests. With ghost ants, the adage "the brood is relocated to the food" is true. If ghost ants believe there is plenty of food, water, and shelter in your house or workplace breakroom, they will build a subnest and often bring their young with them. Consider this stage as if you were opening a franchise rather than beginning a new firm.

Sanitation is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent and control ghost ants. Make it a conscious habit to clean up spills and put food away quickly. Make a schedule for emptying and cleaning the cupboards and pantries on a regular basis. Remove any plants that attract aphids or other honeydew-producing insects. Fix any moisture problems, such as leaking faucets.

If adequate cleanliness isn't enough, or if ghost ants have established a subnest in your home, a bait treatment should eliminate the ghost ants who are using that nest. To find out where the ants are entering from, follow the ghost ant path. You may assure those ghost ants will return the food/insecticide ant bait back to the ant nest where it will be shared with the reproductives and the young by luring them with a sugary bait or carbohydrate or protein-rich bait. Continue putting out bait until ghost ants are no longer visible.

Pharaoh Ants: How to Get Rid of Pesky Pharaoh Ants

Group of pharaoh ants roaming around for food

Pharaoh ants are African ants that gained their name from the popular belief that they were one of the 10 plagues that struck Egypt. Pharaoh ants have spread across the United States and are infamous for being tough to eradicate. Pharaoh ants are about a sixteenth of an inch long, with a yellowish to reddish body and a darker abdomen. Pharaoh ants cannot survive outside all year in northern areas of the country, but they can in South Florida.

Pharaoh ants eat a variety of foods and build nests in odd places, including within electrical switches, wall voids, and light bulb sockets, between sheets, and even in rubbish piles. When a Pharaoh ant worker leaves the nest in search of food, she leaves a pheromone trail for others to follow. Pharaoh ants have been seen following wiring and hot water pipes within walls. Pharaoh ant colonies tend to fracture or quit their nest if managed incorrectly at first, spreading around the facility and increasing the problem.

Baits are the most effective way to manage Pharaoh ants, but enticing them to consume the bait in a food-rich environment like a hospital or food processing factory is difficult. Sprays aren't usually advised or labeled for use in delicate areas like nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Pharaoh ants are notoriously difficult to control, necessitating the use of a variety of baits and bait sites. In Florida, where Pharaoh ants wander outside, outdoor sprays provide some control. Pharaoh ants, like carpenter ants, devour insects in the landscape when they're hungry. The Pharaoh ants will come into contact with the perimeter spray when they leave their indoor nest and venture outside in quest of food. To assist remove the current infestation and prevent additional Pharaoh ants from establishing residence within your walls, keep an active chemical barrier around the perimeter of your home. When Pharaoh ants infest apartment buildings or other multi-unit structures, the entire structure should be treated. Pharaoh ants will return again and time again unless every colony on and around the property is destroyed.

Indoor Pharaoh Ant Nests

Pharaoh ants have evolved to be able to nest and reproduce indoors. Pharaoh ants build nests in hard-to-reach places like wall cavities, under baseboards, beneath floors, and even inside furniture. Pharaoh ants, like the ghost ants mentioned before, use the budding process to produce new nests. Pharaoh ant colonies vary in size depending on available space, food, and water. Pharaoh ant colonies typically have a few thousand workers, with the largest colony having a few hundred thousand. Within a colony, there are usually many queens or females capable of reproducing. Male pharaoh ants die after mating within a few days.

The pharaoh's ant nest splits through the process of budding when space in the nest becomes scarce, or a more plentiful supply of food is discovered. A queen, workers, and some immature young pharaoh ants will leave the main nest to form a subnest. Pharaoh ant nests are typically located indoors in regions with plenty of food, water, and warmth. Light bulb sockets, potted plants, and gaps and crevices in walls have all been found with them. Grocery businesses, warehouses, commercial bakeries, industries, office buildings, food distribution facilities, and medical facilities are all particularly vulnerable to Pharaoh ants. Pharaoh ant nests can be found in abundance in these types of facilities due to their design.

Pharaoh Ants in Medical Facilities

Pharaoh ants infest houses, businesses, and medical facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes can provide enormous colonies. Many items used in a hospital or assisted care facility attract Pharaoh ants. Pharaoh ant infestations are common in hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities due to food being brought into almost every room in the medical institution and consumed in bed; Pharaoh ants have been observed to pierce the gauze that covers burn victims, feeds on their wounds, and seeks moisture/saliva from the mouths of sleeping patients. In the hospital context, pharaoh ants have been shown to behave as vectors for some infections. Pharaoh ants are small and mobile, crawling through trash and waste, then into IV tubes and infant incubators, contaminating sterile regions and increasing the risk of healthcare-associated diseases. Large and small medical offices and facilities should engage with qualified and experienced Pest Management Professionals and have a robust policy in place to combat pharaoh ants.

How to Get Rid of Stink-Inducing House Ants

Cluster of ants entering a home

Odorous House Ants, commonly known as Stink Ants or Coconut Ants, are a widespread household pest that can be found across the United States. When crushed, odorous house ants create a distinct rotting coconut odor. Odorous House Ants are little, about 1/8-1/16 of an inch in length, and dark brown or black in color. Odorous House Ants do not bite until provoked, and we've reviewed how they feed on sweet and protein-rich items, just like other ants.

Tramp Ants are a type of odorous house ant. Tramp Ants are home to many of the most difficult-to-control ant species. Tramp Ants are ants that have evolved to live in close proximity to humans, and they are more common in locations where human development has reduced the natural landscape. Tramp Ants are difficult to control because of the following characteristics:

There are several queens in a colony, as well as several sub-colonies.

Colonies that are related are not antagonistic toward one another.

Inhabit close quarters with humans.

Various Diets

There are a variety of nesting habits among birds.

Odorous House Ants relocate their breeding places on a regular basis, but they prefer damp, shady areas near a food source. Odorous House Ants build nests behind rocks, firewood stacks, mulch, and leaf litter in the outdoors. Odorous House Ants will build their nests near moisture leaks or dampness on the inside. When it's raining a lot outside, they normally go inside to find shelter. A nest of Odorous House Ants can be found under rugs, bathtubs, and toilets. They may also build nests in attics near roof leaks, windows, and door frames. Odorous House Ants are rare in that they frequently return to abandoned nests and utilize them when conditions improve.

Colonies of odorous house ants reproduce through both mating flights and budding. Male and female ant winged reproductives fly from the ant nest and mate during mating flights. The female drops after the flight and tries to create a nest in the environment with her fertilized eggs, while the male dies. This is uncommon, but it does happen once in a while in an Odorous House Ant colony. The presence of many queens in Odorous House Ant colonies allows for a process known as budding. Odorous House Ants will depart a spot if space becomes limited or the nest conditions change, whether due to weather or human action such as pesticide application. Immature ants will be transported to a new location by a queen and workers, who will establish a subcolony.

When it comes to killing Odorous House Ants, the relationship between the original nest and subnests or subcolonies is crucial. In an urban setting with many queens, a well-established Odorous House Ant colony could have tens of thousands of workers. When you factor in the subnests, you could be looking at hundreds of thousands of workers. An ant supercolony is one in which numerous subcolonies share foraging paths and even exchange workers and brood. Supercolonies of odious house ants have been reported to have as many as 6 million workers.

The complex structure of the nest, as well as the sharing of subnest resources, make it difficult to eliminate all odorous house ants. As many foraging pathways as possible must be located and baited by a Pest Management Professional or a homeowner. The nest is frequently not even on your property because these colonies are so huge. Because these ants have a tendency to reinfest previously used nesting areas, long-term eradication is difficult if your neighbor are not aggressively baiting for odorous house ants. When dealing with a supercolony of odorous house ants, the baiting process differs from baiting for a single sugar ant. Liquid bait stations, which may carry anywhere from 16 to 32 fluid oz of bait, can be strategically placed across your property. These bait stations must be kept in good working order, refilled when necessary, and checked for freshness on a regular basis. Liquid baits and granular baits can be utilized together. Check your product's label, but granule insecticides can normally be strewn around the lawn and near the foundation.

To get rid of odorous house ants, you'll need to employ several strategies. At the first sign of ant disturbance or pesticide application, odorous house ant nests would shatter and relocate. The use of insecticides incorrectly, including baits and solutions, makes it even more difficult to eliminate the entire odorous house ant colony. Baits that are aggressive and plentiful, along with a non-repellent spray around the perimeter of the structure, are typically useful in getting rid of odorous house ants. The non-repellent chemical will adhere to the ants' bodies and spread throughout the nest. Non-repellent chemicals do not scatter ants, fracture colonies, or cause foraging routes to be disrupted. The ants usually continue to work until they die.

Follow the ant trails to find odorous house ant nests. If you uncover an odorous house ant nest outside, you can apply a residual insecticide to treat it.

Check your product's label to be sure it may be used to kill odorous house ants in the place and way you intend to treat them.

Mix the chemical according to the instructions on the label.

House ant nests are usually small and smelly. If the nest is hidden beneath mulch or leaf litter, gently remove it. Apply the insecticide and then re-cover the area. Work swiftly to avoid causing the nest to split once you start disturbing it.

Odorous house ants fascinate entomologists since their colonies are small outside of the forests, away from human structures and food. When introduced to cities, their populations increase, resulting in supercolonies of millions of ants. When colonies are close to people, they are larger than when they are in the wild. To get rid of these pesky little ants, multiple treatment procedures are frequently required, and neighbors must work together to tackle their odorous ant problem.

How to Get Rid of Ants with Big Heads

Big headed ants foraging

The big-headed ant is another tramp ant that is a significant problem in Florida. The big-headed ant is endemic to the Indian Ocean islands, but it has established itself in southern and central Florida. Thankfully, big-headed ants do not attack or sting people; yet, they are considered aggressive in the insect world. There are 2 types of workers in the worker caste: majors and minors. The minor workers are little brown ants with a "normal" appearance. The species' namesake is the principal workers. They are roughly twice the size of minor laborers, and their heads are disproportionately enormous in comparison to their bodies. Big-headed ants can defend their nest against fire ants and other invading insects because of the strong jaws of the principal worker.

Supercolonies can form from large-headed ants. Different pest management strategies and consumer expectations are required for super colony ants. These colonies can grow to the point that they extend beyond your property limits. Inadequate treatment can exacerbate the condition. To completely control a large colony of big-headed ants, a communal or neighborhood effort is frequently required. Big-headed ant colonies can have many queens, and if they are disturbed or the environment changes, they can readily take their brood and relocate to a new area. Food, brood, and workers will be exchanged between these sub-colonies or sub-nests via interlocking pathways. With their large footprint and activities, eradicating big-headed ants is a major task.

Ants with large heads build their nests in the dirt. As they excavate their underground tunnels, they move a lot of soil. They frequently build nests under bricks and flower pots, as well as along the foot of structures and sidewalks. Big-headed ants generate a variety of "ant mounds" that are distinct. They can dig beneath foundations and enter your property through foundation or slab fractures. Dirt and debris are frequently left around baseboards, windows, bathrooms, and kitchens by foraging big-headed ants.

Big-headed ants eat a wide variety of foods and have an omnivorous diet. They eat sweet honeydew and nectar, as well as dead insects and rubbish for lipids and proteins. They can eat larger chunks of food than most other ant species because their workers are larger-headed and more solid. Big-headed ants can enlist the help of the colony's majors to disassemble and transport large creatures like beetles back to the nest for meals.

To get rid of big-headed ants, you'll probably need to use treatment procedures. The majority of big-headed ant colonies are controllable, but if they reach super colony status, removal becomes more difficult. Follow the foraging tracks of the big-headed ants and look for ant mounds in sandy regions of your yard. Pay special attention to any spots where sand has built up. Examine the foundation, the area beneath or around the bricks and stepping stones, and the area where the sidewalk meets the pavement, grass or sand. This pest control inspection should give you a good sense of the ant colony's size. You will not see traces of big-headed ants in the middle of your yard if it is properly maintained and has lush green grass.

A big-headed ant pest control treatment should include enough ant bait both indoors and outdoors to guarantee that the entire colony consumes enough ant bait to kill it. If you simply use one sub-nest to kill the ants, you'll only get temporary big-headed ants. If the ant colony is still active in and around your yard and neighborhood, big-headed ants could become a long-term problem. As a result, we advise a full-yard treatment. Big-headed ants cannot be eradicated once they have reached super colony size since you are the only one treating your home. In an ant-infested sea, however, you can turn your yard and home into an ant-free haven. Rather than fighting the battle in your doorway, fight it on your property line. If this is the case, contact Nextgen Pest Solutions right away. We have the technical know-how to permanently eliminate big-headed ants.

White-footed Ants: How to Get Rid of Them

White footed ant closeup
Photo from Wikipedia

Many calls to pest control firms are due to white-footed ants. They form large colonies despite the fact that they do not bite or sting. White-footed ants are small and dark brown or black in color. They get their name from their white or yellowish feet. White-footed ant colonies can grow anything from 8,000 to 3 million members at maturity. Because up to thirty percent of the ants in a colony are capable of reproducing, their colonies can grow rather large. White-footed ants, like the big-headed ants mentioned above, are a supercolony ant species. They construct large nests and share resources and food in a cooperative manner. A white-footed ant supercolony can cover many square miles.

Sweet nectar and honeydew are very appealing to white-footed ants. White-footed ants are known to "farm" honeydew / waste production producers such as aphids, mealybugs, and scales in various areas, despite the fact that this is not an agricultural concern in the United States. These honeydew producers will be protected and defended by white-footed ants. Aphids, mealybugs, and scales have all caused major crop losses as a result of this.

They are most commonly a concern in the United States because they are aggressive foragers who frequently end up in kitchens and restrooms. They may nest in abandoned termite galleries, despite the fact that they do not cause structural damage. White-footed ants prefer damp environments like loose bark or rocks, decaying tree limbs, leaf litter, trees and plants, and occasionally wall cavities and attics.

To destroy white-footed ants, as with all ants, we must first study their feeding and reproductive habits. As previously indicated, over half of all female white-footed ants can reproduce. White-footed ant colonies grow through two processes: nuptial flight and budding. A male and female swarmer ant fly from the nest, mate, and the female attempts to start a new colony with her fertilized eggs during the nuptial flight. When female reproductive workers transfer juvenile ants to a new area and begin to reproduce, this is known as budding. Foraging routes frequently connect this new nest to other nests. To eliminate the colony, you must eliminate all white-footed ant nests.

Trophallaxis is the process by which most ant colonies get their food. Trophallaxis is when foraging ants regurgitate some of their food into the mouths of non-foraging ants. When baiting ants, this procedure is used. Baiting may be useless since white-footed ants do not feed by trophallaxis, according to an early study. This was a mistake in identification; bait is a powerful weapon against white-footed ants. Their numbers are enormous, yet the amount of bait necessary to have an influence on their population is enormous. If you know a tree contains a white-footed ant nest, for example, lay a jar of delicious bait near the base of the tree. If you get rid of the majority of the foragers, you can have a big impact on the colony's health. Bait is required for killing white-footed ants; however, be aware that you will be using a lot of it!

White-footed ant management necessitates a large supply of fresh bait as well as the use of a non-repellent spray. White-footed ants are common near walls and rough edges, where they forage. You must follow the ant trails during your inspection. The non-repellent spray should be used according to the instructions on the label. Ants are unable to detect this spray and hence do not avoid it. This spray spreads to other ants in the nest, finally resulting in the colony's extinction. You don't have to rely on the ants eating the bait if you carefully pick and apply a non-repellent spray.

Once white-footed ants have multiplied into the millions, they can be difficult to eradicate. Limiting white-footed ants' access to your home is important for managing them. Trim all tree branches and bushes away from your home, so they don't come into contact with it. White-footed ants use any foliage around your home as a highway. White-footed ants prefer the vegetation found in south Florida. Almost all palm trees, fruit trees, and trees with large flowers and sweet nectar should be checked for white-footed ant nests and treated if necessary.

Argentine Ants: How to Get Rid of Them

Argentine ants feeding on the remains of a liquid

Argentine ants are an invasive ant species native to Argentina and the adjacent South American regions. Argentina's ants have spread to many parts of the globe. They can be found all over the southern United States and in California and Hawaii. During the hot, dry summers, they are extremely common. Although Argentine ants are little, they form vast colonies. An Argentine ant colony with a million or more workers and hundreds of queens is considered mature. It's no surprise that the colonies grow so large when they have such a high reproductive potential!

Another reason for the prominence of Argentine ant colonies is that they do not fight between themselves; instead, they "team up" with the nearby territory. On the other hand, Argentine ants are extremely hostile towards other native insect and animal species. Argentine ants have been reported to attack other ant species, wasp nests, carpenter bees, and even bird nests due to their large numbers. The reduction in the number of endangered coast horned lizards is partly due to Argentine ants. Native harvester ants are the main food source for this reptile. On the other hand, Harvester ants are in decline, partly owing to the Argentine ant's aggressive behavior. The coast horned lizard has also been observed to be attacked by a swarm of Argentine ants.

Argentine ants are a source of terror in some insect groups and a source of relief in others. Like many other ants, Argentine ants feed on the delicious honeydew generated by aphids and other insects. Argentine ants will "farm" or cater to these crop-destroying insects, ensuring that their food supply is protected. Aphids are carried by Argentine ants right up to the fragile buds on plants. Argentine ants have a substantial agricultural and economic impact because they destroy pollinators and bring and protect pests to crops.

Argentine ant invasions are cyclical, according to many pest management professionals. When the weather outside is dry or chilly, Argentine ants will come within and nest near a moisture source. Ant populations rise during the summer heat. At the same time, dry circumstances encourage ants to seek moisture indoors. Argentine ants are more prone to come indoors during the winter in search of warmth and shelter. Argentine ants like to nest outside, so as the weather warms up in the spring, they return to the nest and forage among shrubs, mulch, and pine straw, beneath rocks, and along sidewalks. It's super easy to trick yourself into thinking that you've taken control of an Argentine ant colony merely because they've moved their nest outside. When the Argentine ants are not attacking your home, control activities in the yard should be conducted in the spring and fall.

The colony of Argentine ants is polygyne, which means there are several queens. Argentine ant colonies frequently have hundreds of queens capable of producing eggs. After mating once, Argentine ant queens can deposit eggs for up to 10 years and can lay up to 60 eggs every day. Ant colonies in Argentina grow by budding. A queen and a few worker ants will abandon the nest and establish a new one. These new subcolonies, or nests, are linked and share resources. These colonies frequently spread beyond your property's bounds, engulfing entire city blocks. When it comes to killing these Argentine ant supercolonies, their communal traits make them strong opponents.

The best strategy to eliminate an Argentine ant supercolony is to use a combination of products and control tactics. After a comprehensive inspection, getting rid of Argentine ants necessitates a multi-treatment approach. Trophallaxis is how Argentine ant foragers feed others in their colonies; they distribute food by mouth-to-mouth transfer. If a forager eats a sweet bait that she thinks is honeydew, she will immediately share it with the other ants in her colony. Because Argentine ants are so numerous and in abundance and their nests are so vast, multiple bait deployments with significant amounts of new bait, both indoors and outside if necessary, are required to affect the Argentine ant population. Argentine ants should be targeted using a non-repellent spray in addition to baits. Because these sprays are unseen by ants, they walk right through the insecticide instead of avoiding it. When they return to the nest, the active substance is passed on to other ants in the nest, killing the ants within. If you come across an Argentine ant nest or sub-nest during your inspection, directly soaking the nest is quite effective. Granular pesticides put in your yard may act as a "buffer," preventing Argentine ants from entering your yard and home as the population grows in the area.

Argentine ant management entails more than insecticide sprays, according to IPM techniques. Because Argentine ants are so small, any openings surrounding windows, doors, the foundation, or any other spot where they could be able to enter the structure should be sealed. Branches, bushes, and shrubs should all be clipped, and they should never touch the roof, gutters, or any other portion of the structure. When vegetation comes into direct contact with your property, Argentine ants have a clear route inside your home. When dealing with a large colony of Argentine ants, every tool in the exterminator's professional Pest Control Operator's arsenal will be used, as they provide various problems. Call Nextgen Pest Solutions immediately if you need help getting rid of Argentine ants in your Georgia or Florida home or business.

Tawny Crazy Ants: How to Get Rid of Them

closeup of dead crazy ants
photo from Wikipedia

In the United States, tawny crazy ants are a relatively recent pest species. There were substantial identification questions when they were first introduced from South America in the early 2000s. Tawny crazy ants look almost identical to their Caribbean crazy ant relatives, which are also found in Florida. It was dubbed the Rasberry ant in Texas after the Pest Control Operator, who first brought it to the attention of resear