PEST CONTROL FOR ANTS
There are all kinds of insects in this world. The good, the bad, and the uninterested. But in life, as always, someone has to be the villain. Life is like the movies. The villain starts as a nuisance to everyone until he kills hundreds of people. But where there are villains there are heroes, and always, the heroes win in the end, whether in the first movie or after a couple of sequels. No matter what, the resolution always falls in favor of the hero and of all mankind, for that matter.
The struggle of good versus evil extends to the household, albeit in a less dramatic fashion. In Gastonia, thousands of families are struggling with household villains, also known as pests. Pests are not only a nuisance, but they also cause huge economic and health damages.
Ants are one such villain. Now, ants do not have as bad a reputation as some other pests, like roaches, bed bugs, rodents, and mosquitoes. People tend to see ants as these hardworking, team-first kinds of insects that they sometimes get a pass.
But do ants deserve to get a pass? Should we tolerate their presence, even as ants come marching in our house?
What are ants?
Formicidae is their scientific name. Ants are among the most plentiful creatures on earth. Currently, there are around 10,000 identified species of ants that can be found throughout the world save for Antarctica. Belonging to the insect order Hymenoptera, they are close relatives of the bees and wasps but are confused with termites in terms of appearance. Their size ranges from .08 to 1 inch and is omnivores. Ants make up around half of the insect population in the tropical forests, where most of their species are found.
Ants go through 4 stages and go through a complete metamorphosis throughout their lives. Adult female ants pass through the egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. Only the queen can lay eggs. The rest of the female members of the colony are sterile. After the eggs hatch, they become larvae, which do not look like their adult counterparts at all. Larvae are not mobile and they look like worms.
Ants are highly social insects. They communicate well with each other. They form colonies and each colony is composed of the queen, worker ants, and male ants. Each colony is led by a queen. This queen ant is the largest in the colony. Her sole purpose in life is to lay the eggs to ensure the survival of the colony. She participates in the caring and grooming of her young sometimes. At one point in her life, she has wings but sheds it whenever she starts a new colony. When the queen dies, the colony will survive for only a few months. The rest of the female ants in the colony are sterile and are therefore not capable of laying eggs. There would be no more new ants to replace the older ants who would eventually die too. In some colonies, there is more than one queen.
The worker ants are sterile female ants. They look like the queen only smaller. They do all the heavy work for the colony, including protecting it from enemies, foraging for food, feeding the colony, keeping the nest clean, caring for the newly hatched ants, protecting the nest, and even invading other colonies to get food and even the eggs of the other ant colonies. These eggs will be kept until they hatch, and once they become adults themselves they would become slaves of the colony.
The male ants mate with the queen; it is their sole purpose in life. After doing this, they die.
Ants as pests
As a whole, ants are considered beneficial insects since they help the earth in so many ways. They till the earth, thus preventing compaction. Some species are predators and help in reducing the population of insects. They also help speed up the decomposition process of dead animals.
Problems with ants only start to show whenever they get near human dwellings. Their abundance becomes a problem for many, and their ability to sting, usually without provocation, plus their penchant for stealing food and damaging plants, means we have to get rid of them fast.
Carpenter ants grow up to ¼ to ½ inches in length, and they are black. These ants are capable of destroying structures by boring holes through wood. This type of ants is the most destructive among the house ants; they can cause more structural damage to structure more than termites. They build their nests inside a home’s structural wood by chewing on it to dig tunnels. This is in stark comparison with termites, who eat the wood. Carpenter ants prefer wood that is damp and had been previously damaged by water.
Carpenter ants typically come from the outside and get in your house to look for food. They prefer sweet foods and drinks. Once inside, they then look for the wood they can convert into their nests.
European fire ants
European fire ants are one of the most intrusive ants in the world. They can grow up to about 2.2 to 2.8 mm in length and are light to dark brown. They can be found in the gardens, lawns, under the rock, or wood debris. During the cold months, they look for the warmth of houses. Their favorite places are the bathrooms, under the bathtub, or in the heaters. They also sting, and their stings are very painful. European fire ants have multiple queens in their colony.
There are certain conditions wherein European fire ants react aggressively to ground disturbance and deliver painful stings comparable to that of wasps’. Victims are then swarmed and bitten before they realize they have disturbed a European fire ants’ nest. Victims usually develop welts and swelling. In extreme cases, they develop allergic reactions. They also drive away from natural ants in gardens and agriculture, causing additional damage.
Crazy ants – These ants, when disturbed, move around like crazy and with no direction, hence the name. Crazy ants build their nests both indoors and outdoors. They can travel long distances to forage for food for their colony. They build their nests either on dry sites or damp sites and can be found in hollow trees, rotten wood, under stones, under logs, among the rubbish, and in debris. Crazy ants are considered nuisance pests, though the good news is they do not bite.
Ways to Control Ant Infestation
By nature, ants are helpful insects. But when they invade our own spaces, they become a huge problem. Maybe you are now thinking, “What is the
Before thinking about that, try some DIY pest control first. Here are some tips on how to control ants in your home.
- Good housekeeping is a very good deterrent. For sure, you always do this anyway. Sweep and mop the floors, vacuum carpets, furniture, and cracks and crevices. Eating should be done in the dining area as much as possible so that food crumbs and drink spills will be confined to this area.
- Put your food inside sealed containers.
- Mix some dishwashing soap and water and put the mix in a spray bottle. Spray the ants with this combination. Dish soap sticks to their bodies because it dehydrates them enough to kill them.
- Seal off cracks and crevices.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on areas frequented by ants. Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. They are like little shards of glass which can cause several cuts on the ants’ body whenever they crawl on it, causing them to bleed and dehydrate to death. Choose food grade diatomaceous earth so that it will be safe around kids and pets. You can purchase this from a local gardening store near you.
- Identify the species of ants that are in your home. Try to trace where they might be nesting.
If you already have ant infestation problems and are overwhelmed by their presence, there is no need to fret. Why not call the best pest control near me in Gastonia, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Pest Services with Great Reviews in Ant Extermination
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned commercial service solutions provider of modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer, and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments throughout North and South Carolina, including Gastonia.
Some Gastonia pest exterminators leave you not fully satisfied with their services. They just do not have enough experience in handling all kinds of pests. WIth Go-Forth Pest Control, what you get is 61 years of excellent experience in handling ants, roaches, mosquitoes, termites, bed bugs, poisonous spiders, rats, mice, and many others. They use family-friendly and pet-friendly methods so you are assured of your family’s safety.
Try Go-Forth Pest Control for your pest problems now! Our friendly operators are standing by ready to assist you.