How to Identify Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants range from 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 mm long and from brown to black in color and is a common home invader. The colonies contain numerous queens and can range in size from 100 to 10,000 ants. They are very likely to enter homes in the rainy season when their natural food source, honeydew is washed from the vegetation. Most interior infestations of odorous house ants come from invasions of workers from the exterior of the home. Once a scout ant finds food it will lay down a chemical scent trail so the other ants in the colony can locate the new food source.
How We Treat a Odorous House Ant Infestation
Extermination of odorous house ants starts with a thorough inspection in and around the home to locate the colony. Treatment would include use of gel baits inside where ants are trailing and granular baits around the exterior of the home. An exterior treatment utilizing non-repellant contact residuals along the foundation and exterior soil are also effective.
How to Identify Pavement Ants
Pavement ants are major structure infesting ants in the Midwest. The ant derives its name from its nesting habits along and under sidewalks, driveways, and building foundations. Displaced soil along cracks in sidewalks, edges of landscaping, and small craters in the lawn are likely to be caused by pavement ants. Activity on counters and around trash bins are very common and any spilled food can become black with ants in a small amount of time. These ants will send swarmers or flying ants out in spring to start new colonies. Swarming can occur from behind baseboards, expansion joints, and window frames. Pavement Ants can also be a major problem in commercial buildings.
Pavement Ant Extermination
Treatment is similar to that of odorous house ants with baiting and targeted treatments directly to the nest sites being most effective.
How to Identify Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants get their name from the damage they cause to wood. These long legged, swift moving ants are among the largest ants to invade homes. As they damage the wood they expel wood shavings called ‘frass’. A mature carpenter ant colony can have up to 2000 members. Carpenter ants prefer soft wood resulting from moisture or other insect damage but can also infest sound wood and are known to construct shallow nests in soil under landscape timbers, stones, and patio blocks. Main colonies of carpenter ants are located in trees surrounding the structure while satellite colonies can be found in wall voids, porch columns, doors, under insulation, ceiling voids, behind window frames and by skylights and chimneys.
Carpenter Ant Control
Control of carpenter ants must include correcting environmental conditions around the structure. Trimming trees back from the home, removal of dead limbs and stumps, repairing leaks, cleaning gutters, and removal of moist or damaged wood is the first step. Locating the colony when possible and treatment of their galleries and voids in the structure with aerosols and dusts will help eliminate the problem. If the colony cannot be located than control measures will take longer and baiting and residual applications will be required.
How to Identify Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are among the smallest structure infesting ants measuring about 1/16 to 1/12 of an inch in length. They range in color from golden yellow to red. These tiny ants can nest and occupy nearly any crack or crevice with a suitable climate. Pharaoh ants form new nests by “budding” which is where groups of workers carry eggs, larva, and pupae, to another nest site where a new colony is established.
How We Treat a Pharaoh Ant Infestation
Application of liquid residuals can actually trigger colony “budding” which can cause the pharaoh ant infestation to spread quickly to other rooms and make control more difficult. They were once considered one of the most difficult ant species to control but with newer, highly effective commercial baits they have become much easier to control.