The best solution for ant control is to first identify which type of ant is presenting the problem. With more than 30 species of ants in the US, different ants require different methods of treatment. Other determining factors include the season, surrounding environment, and the type of problem. Some ants may require additional service visits due to the fact that ants typically establish multiple colonies.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants, also known as sugar ants, are a common household pest that range from 1/12″-1/8″ long. Typically, these food seeking pests nest along walkways, under stones, window sills, subfloors, inside walls, basements, along water pipes, and even in attics. Often these ants can be found in kitchens and bathrooms, and give off a foul odor when squashed.
Pharaoh ants commonly invade larger buildings, such as grocery stores, apartments and hospitals, but can also be found in homes. Their small stature, about 1/16″ in length, enables them entrance to a multitude of places. They feed on human food and unsanitary waste found in healthcare facilities. Due to their ability to consolidate larger colonies into smaller ones, these pests present a greater challenge to control.
Crazy ants are characterized by their long antennae and legs. About 1/10″ in length, the crazy ant earns its name from erratic movement when disturbed. Routinely nesting in wall, voids, and crevices, these pests are commonly found in Arizona residential homes.
Pavement ants are known to nest under pavement and stones. At about 1/8” long these brownish black ants are slow moving and can periodically be found in walls, under floors and in insulation. Attracted to greasy and sugary foods, these pests have dubbed the name, grease ants.
Carpenter Ants are destructive in nature, and will cause significant damage to wood. These Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) are attracted to moist wood, and can be found in attics, doors, subfloors, windows, and voids beneath kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They have been known to contaminate food. These pests can enter your home through convenient openings, such as cable TV, electric, and telephone lines. At about 1/2″ in length, their blackish bodies tend to be larger than other ants and are often confused with termites. If disturbed, these ants will bite. Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial to eliminate these stubborn pests.
Moisture ants are wood destroying ants that are also potentially destructive. They like to nest behind bathtub walls, within crawlspaces, under slabs, in and around windows, and exposed wood roofs. Moisture ants seek out areas where moist rotting wood is present. Their nests, called cartons, are brown and filled with holes which fill the voids within the space in which they nest. Often confused with carpenter ants, these ants are smaller at about 1/8″, are lighter in color, and have telltale bumpy backs with a larger dip between the abdomen and thorax.
Q. We have seen what looks to be carpenter ants around our property. If we see carpenter ants outside our house should we be worried?
A. Yes! Carpenter ants will be looking for a place to harbor such as inside the wall voids of your home. We recommend that you at least get the outside of your home treated. We do this by treating the foundation of the property to prevent and/or control the carpenter ants. If you know that you have an existing infestation it may take more than one treatment or a possible void treatment.