Ants

Appearance

Ants, like all insects, have three main body regions: gaster (rear end), thorax (the middle), and head (the front). Most ants have antennae with a bend, or elbow, in the middle. Some ants have wings; the reproductive ants. While most ants, workers ants, do not have wings. Ants typically live in controlled nest communities, located underground, in trees, or in ground-level mounds. Ant communities are ruled by a queen (often more than one), whose sole function is to reproduce. 

The queen lays eggs to ensure the survival of the colony. The queen is also the largest ant and can live up to 30 years. There are also female ants, known as the worker ant, the soldier ant, and they care for the eggs, build and repair nests, and forage for food. The male ant, typically smaller than the female, emerges from the colony once to mate and then dies 1-2 weeks later.

Diet

antsDifferent species of ants prefer different kinds of food. For example, the Argentine ant prefers sweet substances but will eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats. The diet of carpenter ants includes living and dead insects, meat, fats and sugary foods of all kinds, including honeydew and nectar from plants. When it comes down to it, ants will eat just about anything; especially if left on the kitchen counters or floors.

Effect / Impact

antsAnts are covered in bacteria and can contaminate food by leaving their bodily waste behind. There are not many species of ants known to carry and transmit diseases, but there are some, carpenter ants, that can cause damage to the home. Carpenter ants are able to chew their way into wood beams, creating tunnels inside. Additionally, some ants can cause injuries ranging from the painful reminder of a sting to an allergic reaction. 

Even though ants may have a negative effect on human lives, their existence is hugely important to our environment and ecosystem. The total ant population is estimated at one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000). One insect out of a thousand is an ant. Ants act as decomposers by feeding on organic waste, insects, and dead animals. The keep the environment clean. Carpenter ants, for example, accelerate the decomposition process of timber. And all of the digging they do actually tills the soil, bringing particles and nutrients to the top.

Ants of Fredericksburg

There are over 10,000 species of ants, but the most common ants found in our backyards, and homes, are: 

  • Acrobat
  • Argentine
  • Carpenter
  • Odorous
  • Little Black
  • Pavement
  • Pharaoh

Infestation

ants on handThe main cause of an ant infestation is uncleanliness. Sweet food, pet food, and crumbs are only a few foods that are enticing to ants. When they are lying around your home, they are a great target for ants. They enter your home through crevices, cracks, and openings found on your walls, floors, doors, and windows. 

It is very important to always keep food in tightly closed containers and seal all cracks and openings that could serve as entryways for ants.. Ants may also choose to nest in your home if you have a lot of accessible food. In fact, homeowners who don’t clean food spills or messes will likely attract ants. If you want to deter ants from your home, clean your kitchen regularly and thoroughly.

Prevention

Ants are extremely skilled at locating cracks and crevices in walls, windows and foundations to enter your home. Prevent this entry by sealing points with caulk and other appropriate materials.

After sealing the entry points, it’s important to clean around them. Ants leave an invisible trail containing pheromones so other ants can follow it to the resource they’ve discovered. Scrub around ant entrances with soap and water to wash away these trails. In addition, clean up messes you make in the kitchen to prevent attracting them again.

ants

Sugar, grease and other foods attract ants and are one of the main reasons ants enter your home. Remove potential lures by keeping food in sealed containers. Pet food should also be sealed and not left out where ants can easily access it. Also, take out trash regularly to prevent the smell from drawing ants in as the garbage breaks down.

Treatment

Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service (QPCS) covers antsspidersroaches, wasps, fleas, centipedes, crickets, mice, rats, and much more. Once we solved any issues on the inside of your home, we will focus our efforts on the outside to keep your home pest free. Exterior services will occur once every three months, and will include a foundation treatment, removal of wasp nests and spider webs using a telescopic tool that reaches up to 30 feet, a perimeter band around the home. And crack and crevice service. However, if the bugs don’t listen, we will come back and take care of it at no additional charge to you.

Hire a professional!

Ants are elusive and sometimes hard to see. Just because you can see them doesn’t mean that’s where the next colony is. Remember, ants forage for food and bring the food back to the nest. If you think you have ants, call a pest management professional. Ant infestations can be a real nuisance to deal with. 

To take care of an infestation, it’s important to know what the ant looks like, how to identify that type of ant, and the potential risks that are associated with them. Thankfully, getting rid of ants is as easy as calling a Sigma Pest Control technician. If you find that you have an ant infestation, be sure to call a Sigma Pest Control technician for efficient, professional, and effective pest control services.

CALL US! (540) 94-SIGMA Sigma Pest Control LLC