Ants are a wonderful part of nature, but once they get to close to the home, they can become a problem faster than they can be eradicated. Thousands of ants can be bred from just a single colony in the space of a month, meaning a problem not addressed today can become a major issue in a few weeks.
Different ants pose different dangers. Here are three to watch out for:
- Carpenter Ants are also known as sugar ants. They’re large, black ants that create hollow spaces in trees and wooden structures. They don’t eat the wood, like termites do, but they will make their home in it. Areas exposed to moisture, such as window frames, decks, and porches, are most likely to succumb to carpenter ant infestations. Carpenter ants eat other insects, but they can pose a secondary infestation threat – if there are aphids nearby, carpenter ants may collect and herd them. The ants consume the honeydew that the aphids release as they eat. This herding can even include transporting aphid eggs to their colony for safekeeping, delivery of newborn aphids to fresh plants, and protection of aphids from predators. Aphids will tear through a garden, and the pairing of an aphid colony and carpenter ant colony can bring down gardens and hollow out trees in a season.
- Pharaoh Ants are a little creepier, and their small size and semi-translucent body makes them very difficult to see. They tend to be a problem in health care environments and food service areas. This is because they are known carriers of diseases. They tend to favor multiple small nests rather than one large one, and seem to have a preference for the things we’d rather not think about – toilets, drains, and people’s wounds. While they are not aggressive or dangerous themselves, the diseases they carry and their pervasiveness in getting into every nook and corner available to them make them unacceptable in environments where someone has a compromised immune system.
- Finally, be aware of Pavement Ants. These are reddish-brown ants that tend to make their nests where other ants can’t – in cracks of pavement. They’re very aggressive to other ants. If you ever come across a battle between two ant colonies, Pavement Ants may be the aggressor. They will sting and bite, getting into your food and drinks every chance they get. If that means infesting a house, they’ll take up that challenge.
Each of these ant types must be dealt with in a different way. Chemical sprays can often disperse carpenter ants, making them a wider problem than they started. The insecticides aimed at pharoah ants must be precise and targeted with their queens in mind. Their tendency to fracture into multiple smaller nests means a plan of action against them must be thorough. Pavement ants can be a little simpler, but finding each and every area they’ve chosen to infest can be a chore. Call Ransford Environmental Solutions so we can identify your potential infestation and come up with a customized plan aimed at eradicating your ant problems once and for all.