They May Be Small But Ants Can Cause Many Problems In Our Homes
When ants get into a home, they can cause many problems. The problems they cause depend on the type of ant that is invading. Today, we're going to take a look at three common ant pests we see in our extensive service area of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, and discuss the specific threats they can pose when they get inside.
All ants can become a nuisance, but pavement ants are particularly good at it. They are numerous in and around man-made structures. They get into our trash cans, they get into our garages, and they get into the common areas of our homes. They crawl on our counters and our food. And when they get inside, they can make homeowners feel overwhelmed due to their sheer numbers. But, to be fair to pavement ants, they aren't as much of a nuisance as odorous house ants. When odorous house ants grow populations near a home or, worse, inside a home, they can excrete a nasty odor when crushed or threatened. Pavement ants do not. But we had to give these ants a category, and "nuisance pest" fits them best.
Odorous House Ants
Most ants can contaminate food when they get into a home, but odorous house ants are especially known for getting into food sources and contaminating it, not because they are drawn to food any more than other ants and not because they are filthier than other ants, but because of their opportunistic nesting habits. These ants will nest almost anywhere. They have no trouble nesting right inside your pantry or in a wall near a food cabinet. And they won’t think twice about walking around in your kitchen garbage can before getting into your food packages and contaminating them.
Like many other ants, odorous house ants are mechanical vectors for harmful bacteria. They are linked to the spread of E. coli, streptococcus, Shigella, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and other bacterial organisms.
While carpenter ants and pavement ants can cause food contamination, their behavior patterns make it much less likely. These ants have many reasons to prefer being outside. Pavement ants are drawn to nesting in the ground, especially under rocks, stepping stones, walkways, foundation slabs, and in the cracks of pavement and sidewalks; this will make them occasional invaders, not permanent guests. And while carpenter ants can nest inside, they can find a lot more food opportunities outside, so they don't generally raid pantries and kitchens for food, though it does happen.
Most ants that get into a home aren't going to cause any damages to your home. Typically, ants are more of a nuisance or health risk than a threat to our homes. However, that is not the case when it comes to carpenter ants. These ants establish their nests inside wood by tunneling into it and establishing their colonies inside and if they find wood in your home suitable for their needs, they won't hesitate to take advantage of it. Carpenter ants don't know what home equity is and they certainly don't value yours. They’ll damage your home without thinking twice!
Carpenter ants are drawn to the cool, moist areas inside our homes such as in our bathrooms, under our kitchen sinks, in crawl spaces, and other damp areas. If your home has any moisture issues or damage caused by water, these ants will take advantage of it. And they target decaying wood first.
The damage caused by carpenter ants doesn't happen overnight. It can take years for significant damages to be done. And the kind of damage they cause is difficult to fix. When these ants appear in your home, it is a good idea to deal with the problem quickly and hire a trusted professional to get the job done right!
It is extremely difficult to control ants with DIY ant control, and secondary problems often crop up from DIY ant control methods such as pest control chemicals being introduced to stored foods or direct contact with control agents. And even more commonly, DIY ant control results in wasted time and wasted money.
If you use the wrong ant control product for the species of ant you're trying to control, it can be completely ineffective. Conversely, if you use a product that is extremely successful at killing ants on contact, you could make your ant problem worse. Using these products can lead to nest budding which is a process by which a colony splits into more than one colony in response to a perceived threat.
Need help solving ant problems? Turn to the professionals for help! At Action Pest Control, our highly-trained and experienced technicians understand the habits and habitats of the pests we deal with in our area, including ants, as well as the most advanced and trusted methods for locating and eliminating ant colonies. If you need assistance with ant control in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, here's the best place to start!
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