The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In And Around Your Marietta Home
Ants are the most frustrating of all pests because they can mobilize an army. You can walk into a room and enter a nightmare scene with ants crawling on every wall, surface, and floor. Even worse, you can see a mass of ants grouped into a shape that looks alien. That can be frightening if you don't realize you're looking at ants! If you're thinking, "No, thanks!" we're with you. Join us as we discuss how to identify ants and the problems they create, how professional ant pest control in Marietta stops ants in their tracks, and what you can do to prevent future ant infestations.
How To Identify An Ant Infestation In Your Home
We have quite a variety of ant pests in Marietta, Georgia. It is helpful to know a little bit about each because it will help you keep them out or take appropriate measures to deal with them when they get in. It is particularly important to understand how to identify carpenter ants as these ants can damage your property.
- Black carpenter ants are destructive pests that damage wood in homes. They are entirely black and range in size from 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. There are major and minor workers in a colony, so you may notice a variance in size. You'll find these ants in logs, stumps, and dying trees. They also establish ground nests in hard soil. When this happens, the ground will have holes and look like swiss cheese.
- Fire ants are "biting" pests. While referred to as bites, fire ants actually use a stinger to cause painful, itchy wounds. Depending on the species, they may be entirely red or red with black abdomens. These ants will create mounds of excavated soil in your yard.
- Pavement ants are annoying ants that create nests next to or underneath hard objects. A worker ant of this species is 3/16 of an inch in length, making it difficult to distinguish them from other tiny ants. You may be able to identify pavement ants by their black coloration, tiny size, and creation of tiny mounds near hard materials.
- Odorous house ants are stinky pests. When crushed, they create an odor that resembles a rotting coconut. Yuck. Along with the smell, you may be able to distinguish these ants by their dark brown or black coloration and their small size. Odorous house ant workers are about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long and all the workers are the same size.
- Crazy ants are aptly named. They run in a crazy pattern and when they enter your yard by the millions, you're likely to say, "Crazy..." These ants can swarm together into biomass blobs like nothing you've ever seen in your life. Each ant is about 1/8 of an inch long.
- Argentine ants play well together and are known for making supercolonies. Workers are about 1/8 of an inch long and light or dark brown.
- Thief ants are super tiny. Workers are a mere 1/32 of an inch long. If you see little specks that are yellowish or brown, you're probably looking at thief ants. These ants come into your home looking for oily foods and grease. Clean and degrease your oven and countertops and you might make these ants disappear.
- Pharaoh ants are dirty ants that are known to spread diseases. They are small, light yellow to red-colored ants. Each worker is about 1/12 of an inch in length.
How is that for a round-up? Now that you know a little bit about each of these types of ants, let's discuss what they may do when they get into your home.
The Many Problems Ants Can Create In Your Home
When you see ants in your home, it is good to know a little bit about them. While ants are primarily just annoying pests, a few problems can arise. We've touched on a few of these problems already.
- Carpenter ants damage wood. While not predisposed to tunnel in healthy timbers, carpenter ants can spread into structural wood that is not rotting or moist. The greatest threat they pose is that they will make wood rot issues far worse. Moisture soaks wood, fungus and carpenter ants damage the wood, floors begin to sink, and doors begin to stick.
- Fire ants sting. A fire ant wound is an irritating, itchy bump with a blister at the center. Most of the time, bites are minor, but in rare cases, certain individuals may have an allergic reaction to the venom of fire ants. These reactions can be severe and even life-threatening.
- Pharaoh ants spread diseases such as staphylococcus and clostridium. They're attracted to rotting organic matter and find a feeding habitat in the wounds of wildlife, livestock, and domesticated pets. They'll also get into wounds on humans and are a plague in hospitals and clinics.
- Ants generally cause stomach sickness. While not considered a medical threat, most ants spread germs around homes.
- Ants can cause electrical problems. Crazy ants are the worst on our list, but several ant species can cause outlets to short, automobiles to clog, and electronics to stop working.
When ant problems begin, what should you do? Before you purchase over-the-counter ant control products, consider the ways a professional can help.
Why You Should Call The Pros About Ants In Your House
DIY ant control often fails because products are incorrectly selected or inappropriately applied. For example, ants that prefer protein are not likely to go for sweet gel bait. It is easy to use the right products on the wrong ants. It is also easy to be outsmarted by ants. They have behavior patterns that protect them from danger. When they work to avoid danger, they can act in surprising ways.
A licensed professional will identify the ants you're dealing with and select appropriate products and methods to arrest your infestation. We've seen it all. When ants do something strange, which is common, we know how to unravel the mystery.
Along with targeted ant control solutions to arrest ant infestations, we offer ongoing pest control that provides layers of protection from ants and other pests.
- We apply liquid barrier treatments that make it hard for ants to live near your home.
- We apply granular treatments to your property to reduce ant activity.
- We apply baits to target ant colonies and eliminate them.
- If needed, we can come inside and apply products to arrest activity and repel ants.
It pays to have ProCare Pest Services address your ant control problem. Our technicians use a multi-pronged approach that provides the highest level of control.
Once the ants are gone, what's next? Let's look at some easy and effective ant control tips to prevent future infestations.
Six Easy And Effective Tips To Prevent Future Ant Infestations
While our residential pest control plans offer layers of protection from ants, every Marrietta resident can benefit from knowing how to keep ants away and how to keep ants out of the house. Here are our six best tips.
- Remove ant habits and feeding grounds. Ants eat bugs, both alive and dead. When you rake leaves, nuts, fruits, and other organic material up, you reduce the number of many kinds of pests and the ants that eat them.
- Address moisture. You'll attract pests to your home if you have a damp perimeter, and ants will take notice of those pests and come to feed on them. Keep your gutters clean and in good repair to reduce perimeter moisture.
- Keep your trash receptacles free of odors. Many ant species are attracted to the sweet smell of garbage—well, that's how they think of garbage. It is essential to get your trash receptacles to the curb each week. When you miss a week and trash sits, deodorize your receptacles to remove smells that lure ants to your home.
- Address the routes that ants take to get inside. While ants can climb right up the side of your home, they typically enter homes in large numbers when there is a branch that touches an exterior wall. Ants love trees and bushes. They're not particularly fond of vinyl siding. Trim branches and vegetation away from your exterior to guard against large numbers of ants entering your home quickly.
- Seal gaps and cracks. Ants get in through moisture points. Use a caulking gun to seal pipes in your exterior and pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Use your caulking gun to fill in rotted wood holes and gaps in wood—a can of expanding foam works well too.
- Keep the interior of your home clean. When scout ants come into your home, they can go right back out and invite all their family members to come in. One by one, they'll follow pheromone trails to get to food sources in your home. Remove food ants have found and clean surfaces to remove the pheromone scent.
If ants find their way into your Marietta home, keep us in mind. The technicians at ProCare Pest Services are always standing by to assist you with your ant and pest control needs. Reach out to us anytime. We can help.