When ants invade, it can make you want to move out of your home. Often, ants enter homes by the thousands. It can feel like you're in a horror movie when this happens. They may be all over the floors, counters, walls, ceilings, and clumped in an organic mass. If you've stepped into an ant nightmare like this, you can immediately reach out to ProCare Pest Services for Marietta pest control by jumping to our contact page. But, whether you need urgent assistance or not, you'll find some helpful tips in this article. Join us as we look at ant pests in Marietta, common ant problems, six effective ant-prevention tips, and how to keep ants away for good. How does that sound? Great! Let's get into it.
Types Of Ants That Commonly Invade Marietta Homes
There are several common pest ants in Marietta, Georgia. Each has its own food and habitat preferences. It is helpful to understand how ants behave.
- Argentine Ants create supercolonies. When these are the pest ants you're dealing with, you have to be cautious with your ant control. An Argentine ant colony has multiple queens and budding may occur. Budding is when one colony turns into two or more. Worker ants of this species are about 1/8 of an inch long and light or dark brown.
- Crazy ant colonies tend to be small with lots of queens, but you can have many colonies enter your yard simultaneously. The workers are about 1/8 of an inch in length and often swarm together for protection. If you see a mass that looks like it came from outer space, you're probably dealing with crazy ants. They can also be so numerous that they cover your entire yard like a blanket. When they find their way into your home, they can cause outlets to trip or the power to go out. They're attracted to outlets and power boxes and can get into electronics, appliances, and automobiles.
- Thief Ants are tiny and numerous, just like crazy ants, but workers are much smaller at only 1/32 of an inch long. They are yellowish or brown and look like tiny, little specks. They're attracted to oily foods. When you notice these ants, clean the sides of your oven and your countertops and see what happens. You might not have an ant problem the next day.
- Pavement ants are mostly outdoor ants, but they can get inside and be a nuisance. They bring dirt in with them and use it to establish a habitat for their nests. These ants are 3/16 of an inch long and are typically black.
- Odorous house ants are dark brown or black. When you crush them, they will emit a rotten coconut small. While not the only ants that smell bad when you crush them, they have earned the name.
- Pharaoh ants are dirty ants. When it comes to making you sick, no other ant can compete. These ants get into the open wounds of dogs, cats, livestock, and wildlife. They are considered a disease risk.
- Fire ants sting. In most cases, fire ant stings will only result in itchy wounds with blisters at the centers, but some individuals are allergic to fire ants and may have an allergic reaction. A severe reaction can be life-threatening.
- Black carpenter ants are large black ants. Workers are between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch in length. Some carpenter ant species have workers as large as 5/8 of an inch. It is not good to find black carpenter ants in your home. These ants tunnel in wood and can damage your home. They are the only ants on our list that do this.
We've touched on what ant pests are common in Marietta and a few of the ways they can present problems, but there is more you should know. Let's take a moment to discuss how concerned you should be when you see ants all over the place.
The Many Problems Ant Infestations Can Create In A Home
There are only a handful of ways ants present problems in your Marrietta home. As you consider what to do about the ants you've found, it helps to understand the risks.
- All ants have the potential to pick up harmful bacteria in dirty places and spread them around your home. Keeping your home clean will help drive ants out and protect you from a stomach illness.
- Pharoah ants spread harmful bacteria and can transmit pathogens such as staphylococcus and clostridium.
- Carpenter ants create tunnels in wood. They'll start with rotting wood or get into the voids within your home. Once inside, they have the potential to damage sound timbers.
- While a few ants sting, fire ants are the worst. We mentioned the risk of an allergic reaction, but there are other reasons for concern. Babies stung by fire ants can't articulate their distress and their cries might go unheeded. Some seniors and the infirm may not be able to get away from fire ants that find their way inside. Be mindful of this.
- In most cases, ants are just a nuisance. It is essential to understand that this nuisance may only result from outdoor nests sending workers into your home, even when you find thousands of ants. Cleaning and sealing entry points may arrest your ant infestation. When more control is needed, contact a licensed pest management professional.
Now that you know some of the dangers and how you can deal with ants, let's look at prevention. It is far better to address ants before they become a problem in your home.
Six No-Nonsense Ant-Prevention Tips For Around The House
If you want to live a stress-free life, it pays to learn how to keep ants out of your house.
- Manage ants in your yard. Before ants get into your home, you'll see them in your yard. Lawn ant control in Marrietta will help keep ants out of your home. If you don't have a residential pest control plan, you can take steps to manage ants in your yard with natural control methods. One we highly recommend is to address weed problems. When weeds in your lawn begin to flower, they provide ample food for ants. Almost always, weed problems and ant infestations go hand in hand.
- Manage ants in your landscaping. There are many reasons ants may want to explore your landscaping. If you address attractants, you can reduce activity. Fewer ants means fewer unwanted problems with ants inside your home. Remove leaves and other organic debris under which bugs hide. Ants eat bugs, both alive and dead. Clean your gutters and repair your gutter system to prevent perimeter dampness, which inspires pest activity. Ants will come to eat those pests. Address aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects quickly. They produce honeydew. Most ants are attracted to honeydew as a food source. Consider replacing exterior white lights with yellow lights. Insects are attracted to white light. Your lights will attract ants as well as the insects that ants eat.
- Manage your exterior trash. Many ants are attracted to the scent of human food and rotting organic matter. If you have stinky trash receptacles, you could have a stinky ant infestation. The best way to prevent the unpleasant aroma that attracts ants is to get your receptacles to the curb each week. Wash and deodorize your receptacles if you don't get them to the curb on time and trash sits for longer than a week.
- Seal potential entry points. Ants use gaps and cracks to get into your home—even carpenter ants. A caulking gun or some spray foam can seal entry points ants use. These tools are great for gaps around pipes, wires, conduits, and other foundation penetrations. They can also fill in wood holes and gaps between timbers. Along with sealing gaps, replace weatherstripping, door sweeps, screens, and other protective building materials. Filling gaps and replacing protective materials creates physical barriers and makes it harder for ants to get inside—though not impossible.
- Remove routes. Some ant problems get out of control quickly because ants are using a route to get inside, such as a tree branch or vine outside the home. Trim branches and vegetation away from your exterior walls to prevent ants from using them as bridges.
In most cases, these steps are all that are needed to keep ants out. Ants are strongly motivated by food and habitat availability. Yard work and home maintenance stop ants in their tracks. If you have higher-than-normal ant pressures or conducive conditions around your home that are hard to correct, you may need targeted ant control. We recommend having a licensed professional handle this.
The Secret Weapon To Total Ant Control For Marietta Homes
At ProCare Pest Services, we offer industry-leading ant control for homeowners. We offer one-time service or ongoing residential pest control that includes coverage for ants. We use environmentally friendly products. You can expect kid, cat, and dog friendly ant control. If you want to learn about our services or you'd like to schedule your first service visit, reach out to us.