How Do Ants Get Into The House?
Ormond beach pest control companies deal with hundreds of ant infestations all year-round. Like cockroaches, ants are the most common insect problems and tough to control. Ant infestations are annoying, but these pesky insects can contaminate food, and damage the structural elements of your home. Plus, no one wants to have ants, crawling, and doing whatever they like around their house. Therefore, as a homeowner, you must learn how to identify diverse kinds of ants, where they hide, their feeding patterns, and conditions that attract them. With this knowledge, you can take measures to prevent infestations.
However, these infestations might occur, regardless of what you do. Therefore, when you find infesting ants around your home, call a professional pest control company to help you get rid of the infestation as quickly as possible.
Common Ants Infestations Around Ormond Beach Florida
There are over 10,000 ant species across the world and an estimated 700 species in the U.S alone. Still, just a few of them can cause plenty of problems for homeowners across Florida. You can find ants like Argentine ants, crazy ants, sugar ants, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, red imported ants, causing woes to homes around the region. Regardless, we will focus on the four most common ants that infest homes around Florida, including:
· Ghost Ants
· Carpenter Ants
· White Footed Ants
· Big Headed Ants
Each of these ants have different physical attributes, foraging behaviors, nesting activities, and food preferences. When you learn to identify these key attributes, you have solved half the battle to control or prevent them from entering your home.
Ghosts ants are only about 1.3 – 2 mm in length, with pale legs, abdomen, and antennae. However, they are dark-colored around their heads and thoraxes, making them almost invisible and is the reason for their name because they seem to disappear quickly from sight.
Ghost ants don’t bite or smell to humans, unless crushed which then will emit an almost foul coconut smell. However, their small sizes equally mean their infestation would be challenging to detect until there are too many of them. Their tiny sizes make it easy to access your home through all sorts of cracks and corners.
Usually, you may find them around the exterior of your home. They can also come into the house in search of sugary food remnants (sweet cakes, raw sugar, syrup) and grease/protein sources depending upon the season the infestation occurs. If you find these tiny ants all over then place, then you may have a Ghost ant infestation.
What to Do to Get Rid of Ghost Ants
Inspect your home
Look out for their presence around sugary food substances, or in sinks, cabinets, and counters. Also, search around shower stalls, pipes, and sinks in bathrooms or areas with moisture because they prefer moist spots. Outdoors, you can find them in plant pots, under grass tufts, and bark of treas. Their colonies are usually relatively large because they have multiple queens and are always looking for more nests.
Ghost Ants are particularly frustrating because any kind of sugary food debris that isn’t cleaned correctly can attract them into your home. Once they enter, they can build trails and further attract other ants into your home to feed on their newfound food source. Before long, the entire house can be infested as they quickly nest around, making it difficult to eliminate. To prevent Ghost ant infestations, make sure you clean up food debris as early as possible.
Always ensure you clean out food stores by vacuuming regularly. Scrub all surfaces with high-quality cleaning products to avoid having food debris sticking in corners. You should also caulk all possible entry points such as cracks or gaps around windows, doors, or baseboards.
Get rid of the infestation.
Bear in mind that these tiny ants can quickly find the most hidden places in your home to hide. When you find a few lurking around, there’s a considerable chance, more of them are elsewhere, which makes them challenging to eliminate.
Therefore, you should contact a pest control company to help you deal with the infestation. They know the best steps to take to identify Ghost ants, locate all nests in and outside the home, and treat accordingly.
Big Headed Ants
Big Headed Ants are also stubborn to eliminate because one colony can have as many queens as possible and are in large numbers, regardless of the time of the year. They are called Big-headed ants because their primary workers have heads that are much larger than the rest of the body. These workers usually serve as soldiers defending their nests against invaders. They can also forage for food using large jaws that can crack through seeds.
However, they also have minor workers, which means they have workers of two different sizes and are dimorphic. These minor workers are just half the size of the major workers and responsible for building nests, feeding, and caring for the young.
Big-headed ants do not sting and only bite when anyone disturbs their nests. However, their infestation is a serious cause for concern. They serve as tapeworm hosts, which means they can contaminate food stores with tapeworm eggs. However, they are soil-nesting ants with a mixed diet. Like Ghost ants, they prefer honeydew when outdoors but will feed on sugary substances, grease, seeds, and proteins inside the home. Big-headed ants don’t usually damage houses but can damage packaged meats, foods, fruits, and even houseplants. Even more, their infestations multiply rapidly and may take over the landscape causing damage to well-manicured lawns.
How To Get Rid Of Big-Headed Ants?
Identify the ants in your home.
You can find big-headed ants around bathrooms, basements, attics, and kitchens. Look for them wherever you see moisture in door frames, counter-tops around and underneath sink, etc. You can also find them in cracks and crevices. One way to identify their infestation is the piles and foraging tubes of debris and sands they form around baseboards, as they burrow their way into the house. However, this attribute is also the reason some people misidentify them as subterranean termites. Outdoors, you can look for them under logs, bricks, near trees, patios, and even cracks in the driveways.
The best way to deal with Big-headed ants on your own is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Big-headed ants don’t usually nest within the house, but will build accessible spots on your property. Therefore, you need to take care of your immediate surroundings to avert infestations. Ensure you remove all ground covering debris like grass clippings, litters, logs, and firewood from around your home. If you keep mulch, ensure it is at least one foot away from your home foundations. Also, use lawn treatments particularly formulated to reduce ants nesting threats. Big-headed ants are also attracted to other arthropods and some insects as they usually feed on them too. Therefore, you must take measures to reduce the number of insects on your property.
Get rid of the infestation.
If you have a very severe Big-headed ant infestation, you may find all kinds of foods (including packaged products) in the pantry destroyed. Therefore, you must deal with infestations as quickly as possible. Once you find any big-headed ant around your home, don’t hesitate to contact your Ormond beach pest control company. Dealing with them on your own can be challenging because big-headed ants usually build multiple colonies around a given location. Once they have settled in, they spend more time spreading their home into a significant number of areas. Therefore, handing that burden over to your professional bug exterminator is the way to go. They know how to find and treat your home to get rid of the bid headed ants from your home in the shortest possible time.
White Footed Ants
The white-footed ant is also one of the most common ant infestations in Central and South Florida. Like the Ghost ants and Big-headed ants, they do not sting or bite, but they also have very large colony sizes. A single colony can have up to 3 million of them, which is a significant cause for concern. These ants are usually black or brown, with pale whitish or yellowish feet, which is why we call them white-footed ants. They preferably live outdoors but will sneak into the house through cracks and crevices in baths and kitchens. Once they enter the house, they will use wall-voids or soffit vent for moving in and out of your home. White Footed Ants prefer damp, and warm environments outside the home for nesting. So, you can find them leaf litter, mulch beds, moist areas in trees and bushes. Because of their fondness for trees, they can invade the home through tree branches into second-story homes or attics.
How to get rid of white-footed ants
Inspect your home
One of the most obvious ways to know if you have a white-ant infestation is finding an enormous number of ants trailing your home exteriors or around sugary debris or moist environments. You can also look for them on all walls in the home, especially walls in damp, warm spots. They can also be found on counter-tops, roof shingles, and baseboards.
Prevent the infestation
Take preventive measures to decrease and avert White-footed ant infestation from your home. Cleaning off course is the first step. Always thoroughly clean your kitchen and get rid of sugary substances so that you don’t attract them. You should trim your trees and bushes so that they don’t touch your home exteriors, to prevent creating bridges for ants into your home. Avoid having lawn debris, woodpiles or leaf litters close to your home or even on your lawn. This will deter them from forming nests around your home and further prevent infestation.
Get rid of the infestation.
White-footed ants may not leave in your home, but their ability to move quickly in and out using wall voids and vents is daunting. Even so, they usually nest in hard-to-reach places, all of which makes getting rid of white-footed ant infestations challenging. Always contact your preferred pest control in Ormond beach as soon as you realize that you have a white-footed ant infestation. Early detection and action are the best way to ensure a successful treatment without issues.
Florida Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are also very problematic to homeowners across Florida. The ants get their name from their ability to create nests in new, fresh, or damp woodpiles. They don’t eat wood but will usually chew through while building their nets.
These ants are enormous and can grow up to 2.5 mm in length. They usually have a black abdomen with red or orange-brown bodies. Carpenter ants do not sting or bite but will bite if someone attacks their nests. They also prefer living in trees but can nest and forage within homes, if they find the right environments.
You can find Carpenter Ants around moist environments within homes, especially bathrooms, window leaks, or roof leaks. They can equally nest in wall voids, utility boxes, meter boxes, plant beds, wooden decks, windowsills, and compromised structural wood. It is possible to identify carpenter ants on your own because of their considerable size. You can find them foraging at night, wandering around in search of sugary food substances.
How to get rid of carpenter ants
Inspect your home
Besides identifying them by their large size, you can also find their numerous “swarms” around the home. Another way to identify carpenter ants is by checking the debris collections around compromised woods, as they don’t consume woods. Therefore, the best places to find them would be damp or compromised woods around the house. If you see debris collections around nests within woods, then you may have a Carpenter ant infestation. Even without confirmation, make sure to contact your pest control in Ormond beach to help you figure out if you have an infestation and treat accordingly.
To prevent carpenter ants from coming into your home or reduce the pressures of their infestation, ensure to deal with compromised woods. Seal all visible cracks and crevices in your home’s exteriors and interiors to avoid creating access routes: store building materials, firewood, or piles of litters away from your home. Ensure to trim plants and tree branches away from your home. Finally, make sure you keep a clean house and kitchen by wiping all corners free of sugary residues.
Deal with infesting carpenter ants
Carpenter ants are challenging to deal with because they can create “Satellite Nests” around the home or landscape. Some of these nests may be found in the most hidden spots and difficult to see if you are no expert. Even more, Carpenter Ants usually enter the home using all sorts of cracks and crevices alongside wall voids, which further makes them difficult to eradicate. Call the experts today and get rid of these pesky bugs early enough to get back control of your home.
Takeaway: How to Prevent Ants from Coming into Your Home
There are various types of ants in Florida that can infest the home and cause many problems for you. So, you need to use multiple preventive measures to keep them out at all costs, especially after having a professional but treatment. Here are some general tips of things you can do on your own to keep them out:
· Use properly sealed containers to store sugary foods
· Ensure you wipe all counters with soap and water after meals
· Use the right cleaning product that keeps your shelves and corners free of substances and debris.
· Mop all spills immediately
· Get rid of moisture spots as much as possible
· Replace water-damaged woods around your home as ants like to nest in such spots
· Trim your lawn regularly and avoid having tree branches or bushes too close to your home; ants use them as bridges to get inside.
· Use proper lawn treatments that can deter ants and other insects from your property
Get Help from the Bug Pros
Ants infestations are very frustrating and one of the most common insect problems around homes in Florida. Everyone has fought that hard and long battle with these tiny invaders at one time or another. Besides using the preventive tips outlined above, there is also one way to ensure that all sorts of future infestations are done well.
We recommend that you hire an Ormond Beach Pest Control Service to run regular maintenance on your home. With scheduled maintenance, these ant experts will spot infestations early enough and deal with them before they damage your home.
With the right Ant Experts at your beck and call, you don’t have to deal with the heartache of having ants all over your food and home. This professional service will help keep your food, shelter, and landscape protected from all kinds of pests and bugs.