Ants are the most common household pests in the United States. And when it comes to ants their main character trait is annoying, not dangerous. However, would you be surprised if we told you that finding ants in your yard could pose more of a threat to you and your family than you realize?
The Dangers Ants In Your Yard Pose
Much to the surprise of many homeowners having ants in your yard and in your home can cause serious damage and, can even threaten your health.
Most people have a strong distaste for ants scurrying around, and it is for good reason! When there are ants in your yard, there is only a matter of time before they make their way inside to cause chaos in your home. Some examples of this chaos include:
You may be surprised to learn that every species of ant is capable of biting. They use their mouth along with mandibles (a pair of appendages near their mouth that function to grasp, cut, or crush their food or defend them against predators) to pinch skin when they feel threatened.
These bites can cause a bit of discomfort but are typically not extremely dangerous. However, it is important for you to clean and care for the bite because the skin can become extremely irritated and even infected if not properly treated.
Damage to Your Home
When people think of pests that cause damage to home’s the first insect that comes to mind is a termite, however there are some types of ants that cause similar damage to the structure of your home. The carpenter ant species is the main culprit behind this damage to wood structures making preventing ants in your yard even more important.
This type of ant is known as a carpenter ant. These ants create nests in hollow areas and in wood that is moist and starting to decay. Unlike termites that eat the wood, carpenter ants will tunnel through wood. Because of this the majority of damage that they cause is hidden throughout walls, the frames of windows and doors, decks, porches and other wooden structures. This is why it can be extremely difficult to determine if you have a carpenter ant infestation.
If you see piles of wood shavings around wood surfaces you may be experiencing a carpenter ant infestation. Another sign is an unexplained rustling in the walls of your home as the ants tunnel through more wood.
These ants are typically black in color and are about a fourth of an inch to a half of an inch in length. Because of their size and color similarities these ants are often mistaken for the standard picnic ant which is why stopping the spread of ants in your yard is extremely important. This helps to stop ants before they even have a chance to enter your home and cause serious structural damage.
That’s right, having ants in your yard works to attract other pests. Ants tend to be a viable food source for other insects and pests meaning that eventually these pests will find a way into your home as well.
Many spiders, including the brown recluse spider and black widow spiders, will eat ants, and so will some bat species. Ants may be small but they can make a huge impact on your home’s structural integrity and your family’s health.
DIY Treatments That Just Won't Do The Job
When you are working to remove ants in your yard it is important to remember that in order for a treatment to be effective it has to kill the queen. If the queen survives the mound will just return and you will continue this vicious cycle. It is because of this that you shouldn’t waste your time with the following DIY remedies.
While safe for pets, this DIY treatment to get rid of ants in your yard isn’t the most effective. For this treatment to work, it has to be used consistently and repeatedly and if we are being honest, you probably don’t have the time to repeatedly spray these ants with this solution.
Using vinegar will not kill ants but rather cause them to evacuate the safety of their mound. This DIY treatment relies on you laying in wait to kill the ants as they leave their mound making it difficult for you to truly rid the area of them.
Cayenne pepper is a treatment that works a little better than the others however, it is still not a permanent solution for getting rid of ants in your yard. This treatment makes the ant hill inhabitable for a new colony while also working to kill as many ants as possible.
Bucketing is an okay treatment if you just have one or two mounds around your home (spoiler alert this is never the case). This process involves digging up the ant’s nest and tossing the dirt and ants into a large bucket. You have to dig about a foot under the colony and even then the likelihood of you digging out the entire colony is slim.
Dish soap works to kill ants by breaking down the ants’ exoskeleton which will then lead to death by dehydration. However, much like these other treatments, it does not rid the colony of the queen.
When it comes to getting rid of ants in your yard with boiling water, the process may take up to four different tries to stick. This process can be effective when killing the colony however it will not kill the queen making it easy for the colony to relocate and continuing to disturb your home.
Preventing Ants In Your Yard For Good With Pest Control
Having ants in your yard works as a gateway for ants to make their way into your home. While some of these DIY treatments may help to assuage your ant problem they will not solve it fully. This is why we recommend giving our team of trained pest control experts a call. We know exactly the right steps to prevent ant infestation throughout your yard and inside of your home too. Give us a call today for more information about how we can help you get rid of ants in your home and in your yard for good!