If you've lived in Marietta for any amount of time, you know just how frustrating local ant infestations can be. These little pests can have a big impact on our yards and leave us with painful stings, property damage, and even negative health effects.
Unfortunately, ant populations are only growing in Marietta backyards. Scientists believe there are 2.5 million ants for every one person on Earth, which means there are potentially hundreds of millions of ants in our city– and we can't afford to let them run amok.
You've likely tried many types of ant control on your own, including less-than-effective internet myths like boiling water, essential oil, or baking soda poured over ant hills. However, you've probably noticed these solutions do next to nothing when it comes to actual prevention or removal. The ants keep marching two by two, and your home remains at risk for serious effects.
Contrary to what over-the-counter products would tell you, ant control is more than just applying products, traps, or baits. It's actually about understanding pest biology and their preferred methods of nesting, eating, and seeking new habitats. By carefully assessing the nature of ants and understanding their true intentions, it's easier to build a successful control strategy and prevent them from returning in the future.
This guide explores the science of ant control in Marietta so you can make informed decisions about management in your yard. It also uncovers the secrets of ant behavior and how you can use strategic prevention steps to safeguard your home. Curious about how professional ant control uses science to control infestations? We walk through our process at ProCare Pest Services so you can get a better idea of what to expect.
Let's start with the most foundational aspect of understanding ants.
Types Of Ants: Understanding Common Ant Species
Marietta is home to different types of ants, many of which pose little threat to humans. However, this article focuses on the species that cause problems for human homes, including pharaoh ants, fire ants, argentine ants, crazy ants, and thief ants.
Let's take a closer look:
Pharaoh ants: Sometimes referred to as sugar ants, pharaoh ants are some of the most dangerous ants you can find in your home. Not only do they contaminate food by freely feeding on your leftovers, but they can also spread 12 medically significant illnesses such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Many people believe pharaoh ants to be the toughest ant invaders in the world, requiring professional assistance and support from a company like ProCare Pest Services to remove them.
Fire ants: Even if you couldn't identify a fire ant by sight, you would certainly recognize the pain of their stings! These dull-red insects carry a potent venom and may sting unlucky passersby walking too close to their nests. Some people may also have allergic reactions to their stings, which may require an epinephrine injection or immediate medical attention.
Argentine ants: Argentine ants are mostly considered nuisance pests, which means they don't usually cause extreme amounts of damage to your home. They do, however, build large supercolonies and make it difficult for native ant species to continue living in your yard. They may also transport diseases like dysentery to food prep surfaces, which puts the health of you and your loved ones at risk.
Crazy ants: Small and dark brown to black. These ants are known (and named) for their erratic movements. They are a nuisance species who have the potential to contaminate food prep surfaces.
Thief Ants: Another pale yellow to brown ant, thief ants are very small and often nest near or within other ants' nests. They steal food, larvae, and pupae. Like crazy ants, they are a nuisance species that can spread contamination when they nest inside your home.
Now, with a better understanding of the types of ants in Marietta, let's dig a little deeper into the science of ant behavior.
Ant Behavior: How They Find Their Way Inside
Every ant species has its own special habits for building colonies, seeking habitat, and raising young. However, all ants in Marietta require the same basic elements – food, water, and shelter – to survive. Most ants scout your home for food in similar ways, and understanding how can help you avoid an ant infestation.
It all begins with the humble scout ant. The scout ant's purpose is to find new resources for its colony, including food like grease, spilled soda, or dinner crumbs. If they think there's something to be found inside your home, they may crawl through vulnerable gaps in doors, windows, and walls.
How small of a gap do ants need to get inside? Just enough to squeeze their bodies through. Considering some ants in Marietta are just a tenth of an inch long, a hairline fracture or space big enough for a fingernail is more than enough for a hungry scout.
Once a scout ant identifies a possible food source, it grabs a chunk and returns to its colony. It also leaves behind a strong scent trail so other ants can find the food source. It doesn't take long for other ants to pick up the scent and make the trek out to your home. From here, they make what's known as a 'train' of ants grabbing food from your home and returning to their colony.
As you can imagine, getting rid of ants requires getting rid of entry points that allow hungry ants to get inside. However, you also need to consider other conducive conditions, including the attractant factors that may be present in your yard.
Let's take a closer look.
Effective Ant Prevention Strategies: Safeguarding Your Home
Equipped with new knowledge about ant habits and behaviors, you're ready to apply some prevention steps around your Marietta lawn. You don't need expensive over-the-counter treatments – just a little elbow grease and a keen eye for detail.
Here are some ant prevention tips you can use to safeguard your home:
Identify possible water sources both inside and outside your home. You may need to seal up leaky pipes, get rid of standing water, and unclog blocked drains. Plus, any areas in the yard with tall vegetation should receive a mowing or trimming. Since tall greenery often traps moisture between leaves, a short 'haircut' can greatly reduce the prevalence of ants near your home.
Clean up any trash or food leftovers that are present around your home. Sweep up after barbecues, keep garbage bags sealed, and wash the insides of bins whenever possible. Remember: even the tiniest of crumbs look like a smorgasbord to ants, so reducing unnecessary food exposure can make a major difference in attracting ant populations.
Make it harder for ants to get inside by caulking and sealing your entry points. You may want to use waterproof products to increase the lifespan of your work. You can also look for cracks, gaps, or crevices along the foundation of your home. Sealing these little cracks can provide huge peace of mind, knowing your family is safe from ants.
Keep in mind the tips above only apply to ant-free homes. If you're currently struggling with an ant infestation, you need science-based ant control to remove the invaders effectively.
Here's how the team at ProCare Pest Services can help you build a defense around your home.
Professional Ant Control: Eliminate An Ant Infestation
Ant control is a scientific process requiring careful planning and strategic applications. The team behind ProCare Pest Services knows exactly how this works, serving dozens of households in Marietta since our start in 2014.
Our approach to evidence-based ant control begins with a full evaluation of your property. We painstakingly inspect every inch of your yard to identify the species threatening your home. We also scout for potential entry points that ants may use to get inside.
Next, we apply a unique set of treatments to reduce the prevalence of ants around your home. This is more than your typical OTC – we rely on special liquid products, baiting solutions, and granular treatments to remove specific species.
We're extremely familiar with various ant species and their behaviors, which means we know exactly which treatment makes the most sense for your ant problem. While some ant species prefer sweet-tasting baits, for example, others require protein-heavy options.
We also follow up with you and your family to ensure our treatment(s) work as intended. Since we always back our ant control treatments with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust our team of professionals to have your needs in mind.
At the end of the day, professional ant removal treatments should make you feel safe. That's why we supplement our traditional treatments with eco-friendly pest control products. Our team makes it easy to get a pest control treatment that's tough on ants and yet gentle on your family, pets, and environment.
Ready to schedule a visit from ProCare Pest Services? Our science-based ant control program is available today. Give us a call or submit an online contact form to chat with an expert about same-day or emergency ant control services in Marietta.