Your Indianapolis pest control plan can't be complete without a robust ant control component. Ants are some of the most likely pests to invade homes across the U.S., including right here in Indiana. Part of this is the fact that ants eat basically the same things we do. These omnivorous insects enjoy sugar, protein, carbohydrates, and just about anything else that humans eat. Another issue that drives ants into our homes is the fact that they are so numerous. Ants are some of the most common insects on Earth, and this means their sheer numbers drive up the likelihood that you will encounter them in your home.
However, you don't have to take ant infestations lying down. There is plenty you can do to help keep these annoying and occasionally harmful pests out of your home. Some ant prevention measures are things you can do yourself, but for total ant prevention, you will need professional help from the pest control experts here at Action Pest Control.
Identifying Common Ant Species
Here in Indianapolis, we have a wide variety of different ant species that you could possibly find in your home. Most of these types of ants are harmless, but some of them can be more damaging. This is why you'll need to take ant control seriously, especially during the warmer months when ants are more active in seeking food.
Some of the most common ant species you may encounter in your home include:
- Carpenter ants: These ants are larger than just about any other ant species in our state. They are typically black or dark brown, and they have oversized mandibles made for cutting wood. Carpenter ants in Indiana are one of the more serious ant infestations you can get. This is because carpenter ants carve through wood just like termites do, which can cause expensive damage to your home.
- Odorous house ants: Odorous house ants are small, dark brown ants that get their name from the foul rotten coconut odor they produce when frightened, harassed, or crushed. These ants are typically little more than a nuisance. They stink, but they don't do much else.
- Pavement ants: Pavement ants are small and dark brown, and they look very similar to odorous house ants. However, pavement ants can sting. They are not aggressive and do not sting often, but they do have the ability to do so when backed into a corner.
- Pharaoh ants: Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown and very tiny. This type of ant is a serious indoor pest because it can carry a number of dangerous bacteria, such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, and salmonella.
- Thief ants: Thief ants are tiny and yellowish-brown, making them similar-looking to pharaoh ants. These ants are not as likely to spread disease as pharaoh ants, but they are quite a nuisance if they get into your home because they earn their name from their ability to get into everything.
This is not by any means a comprehensive list of all of the ant species that you could run into in your Indianapolis home. These are just some of the most common ants you might have to deal with on your property.
One of the things it may surprise you to learn about ants in our area is that you can have an infestation of them without really knowing it. A lot of the time, ants will set up shop in your house and fly under the radar for months or even years. Likely, you will see some of the ants that are living with you and think nothing of it, as it is common for ants to come in from outside. However, you should be looking for signs that you have an ant problem.
Of course, seeing ants is one of the biggest signs that you have an infestation. If you have an ant colony living in your home, you will likely have multiple sightings of the same ant species on regular occasions. This is why it's important to learn to identify ants so that you can tell the difference between the occasional straggler wandering in from outside and an infestation. When it comes to carpenter ants specifically, you may start noticing damage similar to what you would see in the early stages of a termite infestation. If you start seeing signs of ants, you will need to act right away, as these pests can cause issues in your home.
Ants In The Home Can Create Many Problems
Since most ant species are little more than a nuisance, it can be tempting to let ant control fall by the wayside, especially in light of other, more obnoxious or dangerous pest infestations. However, keeping these pesky pests out of your home is about more than just saving yourself from annoying headaches. Certain ant species can be a lot more than a nuisance.
Carpenter ants are one such species. These large ants tunnel through wood just like other ant species tunnel through the ground. As you can imagine, this can cause major issues if carpenter ants get into your home. They can do serious damage, up to and including structural damage. This makes them one of the most problematic ant species in our area.
Another major ant infestation you don't want to get is an infestation of pharaoh ants. These disgusting bugs carry dangerous bacteria that they spread practically everywhere they go. They contaminate everything they touch, including any food stores they get into or food preparation surfaces they happen to crawl across. They can leave you with bacterial food poisoning, and they even have earned themselves a reputation for crawling into open wounds.
Pavement ants are another species that certain people may have to worry about. Most of the time, pavement ants don't sting at all. Even if they do sting, most people are not likely to experience worse symptoms than a little pain and swelling at the site of the sting. However, if you are allergic to bee stings, you may be allergic to ant stings as well, so you will want to avoid pavement ants.
Prevention Is Critical To Successful Ant Control
One of the worst things about any ant infestation is just how hard it is to get rid of ants once you have them. Ant colonies are massive and complex entities that are not easy to eradicate. This is because most of the time, you have to eliminate the queen, and the queen is protected by thousands or even millions of individuals and safely ensconced deep within the colony. What's even worse is that many ants can stand up a new queen if the old one dies. This means a lot of your ant control efforts may do little more than cause ants to relocate or spread out.
This is why ant prevention is such an important part of ant control. Keeping ants off your property is a whole lot easier than getting rid of them after the fact. The good news is that you can make your home much less attractive to ants by following these ant prevention tips:
- Keep all indoor and outdoor trash on your property covered at all times
- Store pantry foods in airtight containers to mask smells.
- Repair moisture problems such as condensation, leaky pipes, and poor drainage.
- Fix any wood damage or rot around your home to deter carpenter ants.
- Seal cracks and holes in your home's exterior to prevent ants from entering.
- Install weatherstripping under doors and in any gaps around windows.
- Make sure window screens are free from rips and tears.
As you can see, most of these ant prevention tips are pretty easy to accomplish. You don't have to purchase expensive equipment or waste hours on ant prevention. You just have to make your home hostile enough to encourage these pests to move on to easier pickings.
The Key To Total Ant Control For Your Home
Unfortunately, effective ant control is not as easy as ant prevention. This means if you do wind up with an ant infestation, you will likely need professional help. The good news is that we have plenty of ant professionals waiting in the wings to help you with your nasty ant infestation here at Action Pest Control. We at Action Pest Control have one goal and one goal only: total customer satisfaction.
We want to offer you effective solutions at great prices from professionals you can trust. When we come out to handle your property's ant infestation, we want you to rest assured that your home is ant-free when we leave, and it'll stay that way. That's why we won't rest until we have eliminated ant infestations from your property.
So if you have ants in your house or in your yard, don't waste your time with ineffective and expensive over-the-counter ant control solutions. These might temporarily reduce your home's ant load, but they will not eliminate the infestation. If you want to get rid of whole infestations, give our experts a call or visit our contact page to get started with your ant inspection today.
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