ants on dirt

What are ants?

Ants are a common pests in the Northeast that come from the family Formicidae. Ants are frequently red, black, yellow, or rusty red. Most ants are no more than five-eighths of an inch long, but regardless of their size, all ant species have six legs, a set of clubbed antennae, and three segmented body parts. These insects are eusocial and build a network of underground tunnels to create a safe 'hilled' colony.

a brown ant

The most frequently identified species around Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. homes may include: 

  • Carpenter Ants

  • Pharaoh Ants

  • Odorous House Ants

Are ants dangerous?

Most species of ants around the Northeast are considered nuisance pests by professional etymologists. The term 'nuisance' simply means that the creatures are not known to damage people, pets, or properties. However, there is always a chance that ants found in our area can significantly impact your safety and quality of life.

Each ant species focuses on a different type of destruction in residential or commercial properties. Carpenter ants strip away wood when building colonies, which can potentially degrade structural support. Pharaoh ants spread serious strains of bacteria such as staphylococcus and E. coli from place to place, threatening medical facilities and private properties. Finally, odorous house ants create foul odors in homes and contaminate food items while feeding their colonies.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ant problems often arise due to an up-growth of weeds, grasses, and plants in the yard. With this additional coverage afforded to them, ants can begin spreading their reach and growing their colonies. 

Ant infestations may also come up more frequently in the late spring to early summer seasons. The advent of wet, humid weather will prompt the 'budding' or separation of various colonies, which increases the number of ants in a certain area. Some species, including carpenter ants, may raise a swarmer caste to create new colonies and infest new areas.

Where will I find ants?

You will often find ants inside an underground colony, searching the home for food, or crawling across surfaces to scout for new territory. Carpenter ants prefer to build their nests along wooden beams and walls and are usually uncovered by hollow-sounding wood or frass spots. Pharaoh ants and odorous house ants may decide to build their nests around driveways, near sidewalks, or around the foundations of your building.

How do I get rid of ants?

Getting rid of an established ant colony will take quite a bit more than DIY techniques to remove it entirely. Over-the-counter sprays, boiling water, or vinegar traps will be unable to remove pests once deeply embedded. 

That's why the best and most effective measure of ant removal lies with the knowledgeable team at Destroy Pest Control. We'll help you stop swarms in their tracks by implementing a treatment system built to last for weeks on end. Contact us now for a customized pest control plan today.

 

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Keep ants from returning to your property by investing in some additional prevention steps: 

  • Keep all food and trash items sealed up in their properly stored containers. These should be glass, plastic, or metal and have an airtight seal. 

  • Deep clean the home regularly. Remove food underneath heavy appliances, crumbs from within cupboards, and excess grime inside of drawers. 

  • Keep the lawn well maintained and cut short. Cut or prune tree branches that could be providing shady areas for ants to thrive. 

  • If possible, remove any standing water sources that may be attracting ant colonies to your location.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions.

 

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