Ants

All About Ants

 
It’s important to consider that while an ant may become a pest when it shows up in your kitchen, hollows out structural beams in your house, or bites the crap out of you (as Asian needle ants and fire ants will sometimes do), most ants (I’m excluding invasive species because they don’t need any encouragement) serve key roles in our environment. 


So we urge you to reflect on their value before we tell you how to manage them. You don’t have to paint portraits of them or make them individual graves, but maybe just a little decorum. 
 

How do I get rid of ants?

 

Know the bug! Not all bugs are created equal and ants are no exception.  And due to the climate in the Charlotte, Raleigh, and Triangle areas of North Carolina, we tend to have to deal with them for more months of the year.

Why are the ants in the house? 

 

This is a question that doesn’t necessarily have an easy answer. There might be a food source they found and they’re partying down on it. It might be for harborage (which is a somewhat fancy term for where they live). Did you find a few ants in your kitchen or do you have an infestation of ants that you need to battle? Did an ant colony pack their bags and decide to move in?

It could be because of something personal you’ve done to them. Some affront that you might not even be aware of or some umbrage you didn’t know they’d taken. So…you know…you might want to do a little soul searching. 

If you find the ants have found a food source, then cleaning it up would be a good first step. You should also look for any cracks under doors and along windows as these are easy entry points for most insects. 

If you found you indeed have offended them in some way then I would recommend a simple and heartfelt apology. My wife told me they go a long way. 

What are the different types of ants? 

 

There are a lot of different types of ants that can get into structures. So I don’t bore you, let’s suffice it to say that carpenter ants are the biggest ants around SIZE. The carpenter ant queens are massive. They’re so big that they sometimes prompt our pest control people to say “DAYUM, GIRLLLLL!”

The other ants (and there are a bloody lot of them: house ants, red ants, pavement ants, black ants, acrobat ants, the list goes on) can infest homes but don’t do any structural damage. 

If you call us we’ll ask how large the ants are – so let’s consider them large (carpenter ants) and small (roughly the rest of them). 

Solving the issue 

 

If the ants are finding a food source in a room, sometimes the problem can be solved by cleaning it up – unless you have kids, since your kitchen will never be clean.  If that’s the case,  you might as well call us now. Remember, ants are small so they don’t necessarily need a lot of food. A crumb on the ground is basically a cheeseburger the size of your head compared to them.  Your toddler’s snack crumbs can provide a picnic to feed a whole colony of ants.

An additional option is to try to figure out where they’re getting in. With a creature as small as an ant it can sometimes be tricky if not impossible, but sometimes you’ll go outside and see them going into a hole under the siding or in another area easily sealed by a little expandable foam (like Great Stuf) or by stuffing some steel wool into the hole. Steel wool (if it’s secure) will also prevent mice from using it as well! 

Carpenter ants can be tricky because you won’t necessarily see them in your house. They’re most active at night, and will climb down your exterior walls and foundation in search of food and water. Sometimes you can see them during the day walking around the exterior walls or you may see evidence of sawdust in areas (because carpenter ants don’t eat the wood, they hollow it out for nesting purposes). 

Actually, just check out my blog on carpenter ants here: Coming soon!

Next Steps

Hopefully, this information will help you solve your ant problem on your own. But if not, then give us a holler so you can get the best in the business to solve it for you (with a warranty)! If you call us we’ll do a thorough inspection of your home, identify the ant and potential entry points as well as offer eco-sensitive solutions to solve the problem.

Sustainable Pest Owner

Jermemiah Smith, Owner

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