For many young people turning 15 years old is an exciting year because they can do something they've been longing to do; learn to drive a car. Learning to operate a vehicle demands more than the desire; it requires study and practice. In other words, before you can safely enjoy navigating the family car to your favorite hang-out, there are things you must know about the rules of the road and how the vehicle functions.
There are some things you must understand if you want to navigate life successfully. As a homeowner, you need to have a general comprehension of ants if you want to keep them out of your house. The good news is that you do not need to be an entomologist to control the ant population around your home. All you need is to understand the habits and behaviors of these tiny insects so you can implement ant control solutions.
Of course, the first step to removing ants from your house is to partner with the Lake Worth pest control experts from Above and Beyond Pest Control. We have removed ants from Lake Worth area homes since 1999. Since our humble beginnings over two decades ago, our family-owned and operated company has become an industry leader in the area. Our service technicians are experts in pest identification and highly trained in advanced treatment procedures.
We wrote this article because there are things every homeowner must know if they are going to keep ants out of the house. Please keep reading to learn about the ants that infest many Lake Worth homes, why an infestation is problematic, and how to deter ants from re-infesting your house after we remove them.
Common Species Of Home-Invading Ants In Lake Worth
Although most people would say they know an ant when they see one, they can be confused with termites, aphids, spiders, and even wasps. So, let's make sure we have a good understanding of ants.
Unlike spiders, which are arachnids, ants are insects. In general, insects have six jointed legs, two antennae, a pair of compound eyes, wings or wing pads, and a body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. On the other hand, spiders have no wings, no antennae or stingers, only two body parts, and six or eight eyes.
Termites, wasps, and aphids are insects but are not the same as ants. Winged, reproductive termites (swarmers or alates) are confused with winged, reproducing ants. However, ants have a narrow waist, and their two front wings are longer than their two rear wings; termites have a straight body, and both sets of wings are the same length. Wasps can be mistaken for winged ants because they both have narrow waists; flying ants have two upright lobes on their midsection, but wasps do not. Aphids have a symbiotic relationship with ants, but you can distinguish between the two species by the "tailpipes" that jut from the rear of the aphid's abdomen.
These are the types of ants that you are likely to find in your house:
- Black ants
- Carpenter ants
- Crazy ants
- Fire ants
- Ghost ants
- Sugar ants
So that we know where to find these ants, we will examine each one to learn about its habits and behaviors.
Black ants have a dark brown or black 1/16-inch body. These ants produce winged reproductives ants (swarmers) that swarm from June to August. Outside, you find them underneath stones, logs, and wood piles; inside the house, they hide inside walls, behind wood facades, masonry, and woodwork. Interestingly, these ants have a stinger but cannot penetrate human skin.
Carpenter ants are black or red or a combination of black and red bodies. These 1/2 to 5/8-inch ants do not eat wood but create smooth tunnels deep inside damp wood for their nests. Shortly after dusk, if carpenter ants are in your Lake Worth house, they emerge from their wood-based nests and forage for food in pantries, the kitchen, etc.
When you observe crazy ants traveling, you understand the name due to their erratic, jerky patterns. These 1/16 to 1/8-inch ants have a grey sheen and coarse, scatters hairs covering their dark brownish-to-black bodies. Crazy ants often invade Lake Worth homes when cooler winter temperatures arrive. Most ants prefer to nest in moist areas of the house near water pipes, drains, or humid areas, but crazy ants are not choosey and will create homes in dry and damp environments.
Fire ants create large, irregular nests with flat tops in yards and fields next to trees, foundations, and landscaping. These reddish-brown ants range in size from 1/16 to 3/16 inches. Unlike the ineffective stinger of black ants, fire ants unleash a painful, venom-filled sting on perceived threats. Occasionally, these ants enter homes through HVAC and AC systems.
Ghost ants will not scare you, but they are different due to their pale abdomen and legs, dark brown head, and thorax. Although all ants like sweets, ghost ants love confectionary delights in the kitchen. If you see a trail of ants along the edge of the carpet walking to a nearby water source (potted plants, sinks, shower stall, etc.), you probably have ghost ants living in the walls, behind cabinets, and behind baseboards.
Sugar ants are a catch-all term often encompassing pavement and odorous house ants. Odorouse house ants are so-named because these 1/16 to 1/8-inch brown or black ants release a rotten coconut odor when crushed. Like most ants, they live near water sources (water heaters, pipes, and leaky fixtures). You will notice pavement ants along the sidewalk, cracks in the concrete, or vertically scaling a masonry wall. These dark brown or black 1/8-inch ants create nests in walls, under floors, and inside insulation.
Above and Beyond Pest Control is up to the challenge whatever the ant species. When you call us for ant control in your house, we send a certified service technician to inspect your home so we can identify the ant species invading your house. Once we determine the species of ants in your Lake Worth house, we craft a strategy targeting the problematic pest.
An Ant Infestation Can Be More Than Just A Nuisance
All ants are a nuisance when they enter Lake Worth homes. No one wants the embarrassment of ants traveling across countertops or crawling on a guest seated on the couch. Whether justified or not, ants make you feel like a bad housekeeper or dirty. Aside from creating embarrassment, ants contaminate surfaces.
Ants will travel over animal feces, rotting food, garbage, around drains, and other unsanitary areas. As they walk on tainted surfaces, bacteria stick to their feet. Later, the bacteria transfer and contaminates items as the ants crawl over them.
Although ants are a problem and taint objects, one ant does physical harm. Carpenter ants create smooth tunnels into damp wood for nests. Although the speed of damage is not as swift as with termites, a long-term infestation can result in sagging floors and collapsing structures. Most ants will bite if threatened, but most cannot break human skin, or the wound is unnoticeable. However, a bite from a carpenter ant stings due to the formic acid they inject into the wound. Fortunately, a carpenter's ant bite does not create a physical threat. Clean the wound with soapy water, and apply an antibiotic ointment.
A wound from fire ants is a different story. Fire ant soldiers immediately swarm onto the perceived attacker, bite to anchor themselves, and repeatedly sting to inject venom. A sting from fire ants creates painful fluid-filled blisters that itch for many days. The temptation to continually scratch the sores can cause infections. Individuals sensitive to venom may require medical attention.
Crazy ants often infest electrical equipment. Due to the sheer number of ants, the moisture they bring into their nesting areas, and their desire to chew on the protective coating around wires, these ants cause short circuits and destroy appliances and other electronic equipment.
Protect your home and family members by partnering with the company that offers the best pest control for ants, Above and Beyond Pest Control.
Simple And Effective Ant Prevention Tips
Once our service technicians from Above and Beyond Pest Control remove invading ants from your Lake Worth home, you don't want them to make a return visit. Here are a few ant prevention tips that will deter a future infestation:
- Keep outdoor and indoor garbage containers closed
- Elevate firewood piles and move them 20 feet from the house
- Prune away branches and shrubs from the structure
- Remove or provide drainage for items that collect water
- Eliminate rotting fruit, outdoor pet food, and animal feces from the lawn
- Seal foundation and roofline cracks with caulk
- Repair screens for the window and doors.
- Install door sweeps
- Sweep the house regularly
- Wipe down cooking and eating surfaces after each meal
These simple suggestions will provide ant control in your yard and house.
Professional Assistance Is Key To Total Ant Control
The best way to stop an ant infestation is to use the company that provides ant control in Lake Worth, Above and Beyond Pest Control. We will send a certified service technician to inspect the interior and exterior of your property. We will investigate to determine attractants, entry points, and hot spots.
Using data from the inspection, we create a strategic plan using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions. This holistic approach emphasizes using only minimal product application to achieve the desired result while safeguarding people and the environment. IPM focuses on eradicating the current pest problem and stopping future invasions. Contact us today to learn about our pest control programs and to request a free inspection.
I would definitely recommend Above and Beyond Pest Control. They were responsive, quick to come out, and honest. Corey came to inspect a possible bed bug issue. Turns out he did not detect any signs of bed bugs which was a huge relief. He was very knowledgeable and gave us possible explanations for the issues we were having and recommendations on what to do. I would call them again in the future.