Ants are a common sight and are found on every continent on earth except Antarctica. With over 10,000 ant species, most homeowners will encounter an ant of some variety. Ants are found in our yards and garages and sometimes in our kitchens, bathrooms, and living space. Some are just a nuisance that can be treated easily; others can cause structural damage and require clean-up and construction services post eradication.
We want to share some facts about ants and the most common types of ants found in and around your home.
Fun facts about ants
Ok, truth be told, ants are not fun, but there are some interesting things you may not know about ants. Special thanks to Pest World for Kids for creating a fun list of facts:
- An ant can lift 20 times its body weight. If a second-grader were as strong as an ant, she would be able to pick up a car!
- Some queen ants can live for many years and have millions of babies!
- Ants don’t have ears. Ants “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground through their feet.
- When ants fight, it is usually to the death!
- When foraging, ants leave a pheromone trail so that they know where they’ve been.
- Queen ants have wings, which they shed when they start a new nest.
- Ants don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over the body, and carbon dioxide leaves through the same holes.
- When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced, and the workers are not able to reproduce.
Ants and are so interesting and highly sufficient. They have two stomachs, one for themselves and one to feed the colony ants who remain with the queen hard at work.
Carpenter ants are destructive and dangerous to your home or commercial structures. They got their name because they build tunnels by drilling through the wood, creating a place for their nests. Often, people see these ants outside or even inside their homes or businesses and think they’re “just ants.”
Carpenter Ant Swarmers
Carpenter ant swarmers are the winged relatives of carpenter ants larger and more mobile than the regular carpenter ant. These ants come alive in early spring, sometime in March or April. They remain active until early September to mid-October. The colony releases the reproductive swarmers in the springtime. In winter, most are dormant, yet some indoor colonies may show some activity.
The citronella ants get their name from the lemon verbena or citronella odor they emit when threatened. It is most noticeable when the ants are crushed. Citronella ants virtually go undetected until the swarmers gain access to homes and commercial structures through poorly sealed doorways, garage doors, and cracks in the foundation. They gravitate to moist areas or locations of decaying wood, perhaps in a space frequented by termites.
Pavement ants are nuisance ants, and you might see their nests in cracks in the pavement, foundations, or dirt crawl spaces. They feed on human food with an affinity for sweets, fruits, and dead insects. Untreated, pavement ants can quickly turn into infestations.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants get its name from the strong, unpleasant coconut-like smell it gives off when killed or crushed. They have a sweet tooth and especially love honeydew. These ants nest near damp or moist areas, such as beneath leaky sinks and fixtures and inside wood damaged by termites. Outside, they are found under stacks of firewood which is why you should never store wood inside your garage or too close to your home.
What can I do to prevent ants from living in my home?
Ants are probably the most common complaint we get as a pest control service. Finding ants in your kitchen and throughout your home do not mean your home is not clean. Ants are very industrious and diligently look for access to food. Keeping your home free from pests begins with some simple tips:
- Sanitize and clean as you go. Wipe up spills, especially sticky spills!
- Clean up dog/pet food bowls. Do not leave spilled food on the floor.
- Check for crumbs or other discarded food near your toaster, under the fridge, or inside your pantry.
- Take out the trash, clean out the garbage disposal, and not leave food-crusted dishes on or in the sink.
- Check your kitchen windows, doors, and other outside access points for cracks or damage, offering a clear entry point.
Ants will cause damage if left untreated. An ant infestation creates an unsanitary environment for you and your family. A Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDI) Report is often a requirement when you buy, refinance, or sell a home. Usually, the WDI Report is part of a home inspection and documents the home’s condition regarding wood-destroying insects, including ants.
How do I get rid of pests in my house?
Contact us to schedule an inspection. One of our trained technicians will inspect your property inside and outside to uncover their nest(s). The nest can be removed or treated. It is critical once the ants have been removed that the damp places, damaged wood, and other losses caused by the colony are replaced, and a dry environment is in place.
Should structural damages or the presence of mold need to be removed, repaired, or replaced, our reconstruction team can rebuild areas caused by damage from ants. A quote can be provided at the time of eradication.
Did you know we offer organic pesticides? Find out more!
About Accurate Pest Control
Established in 2004, Accurate Pest Control is a fully licensed and insured family-owned and operated business. Our New York State licenses include mold remediation, pest control, and nuisance wildlife services. Our team of service technicians and office staff are NYS certified. We know each other and trust each other and, in turn, trust our technicians with you, your home or business, family, and even pets. We service the capital district and surrounding areas but are not limited to Albany County, Columbia County, Fulton County, Green County, Montgomery County, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Warren County, Washington County
Resources: Pestworld.org, University of Kentucky Entomology.