There are more than 700 species of ants in the United States. Some of the most common include argentine, carpenter, odorous house, pavement and red imported fire ants.
All ants are social insects that live in colonies. Ants are identified by their three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. To understand the differences in the biology and habits of each specific ant species is necessary to effectively control an infestation.
Where are you going to find ants?
Well, it depends on the species of ant, but they are most commonly attracted to the food in a kitchen. Sweets and protein-containing substances are the most likely attractions for them. Ants are most often found on floors, countertops and sometimes in food items. Some types of ants nest in the soil in your yard or in cracks in your driveway or walkway. Carpenter ants build nests in wood. In the spring and summer, ants are typically found indoors when they are looking for food.
Ants are the number one nuisance pests in the United States. This means that most do not pose a significant threat to anyone’s health or your property. They are just a big annoyance when found in your home.
However, there are some species of ants that can pose a threat to your health and property. Carpenter Ants looking to build their nests in the wood frame of your home can cause some extensive damage to the house. Fire ants can pose a health threat for anyone who happens to get stung by one. When a fire ant feels they are in danger, they will sting and this sting will result in a painful welt, which could be harmful to someone who may be allergic. Both of these types of ants should be treated and handled by a professional.
Small infestations can grow quickly, so any sign of an infestation should be dealt with promptly.
There are many ways to control ants. However, there are just as many species of ants! All ants eat different things. This makes it virtually impossible to use a single remedy to control ants. The best strategy homeowners can use when attempting to control ants inside your home is to keep everything clean. Wipe down counters, remove garbage on a regular basis, clean up grease (or any) spills right away, rinse and remove empty soda cans and mop/sweep the floors. Keeping food in sealed containers and keep pet food/water dishes clean is also a good idea. For outside the home, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water such as birdbaths or kiddie pools. Finally, seal cracks and holes around the home to close entry points.