What are ants?
Ants are well-known as annoying household invaders, but they play an intricate part in the ecosystem when living out in nature. They act as a source of food for many other animals, rid the ground of dead insects and vegetation, aerate the soil, and move seeds to new locations.
Many species of ants live outside and far away from our yards and homes, but others have learned to adapt, using our properties as a place to forage for food, water, and nesting sites. In Idaho, some of the more common species of ants to invade our homes are pavement ants, odorous house ants, and harvester ants.
Are ants dangerous?
There are species of ants that are considered dangerous, but for the most part, the ants that invade our Idaho homes and business are not dangerous. Pavement ants, odorous house ants, and harvester ants are all known as nuisance ants. While these ants don’t spread diseases or cause structural damage, they shouldn’t be welcome to live with us.
As ants travel over the ground, they come into contact with decaying materials and pick up various strains of bacteria on their bodies. After finding a way into your home, they spread bacteria over surfaces and contaminate food sources. Another reason not to want to see ants in your home is that if ants find a way inside, so will other pests!
Why do I have an ant problem?
Like their close relatives bees and wasps, ants become a problem on any property that offers them their favorite food sources. Ants eat many of the same sweets and meats we do, and our yards often offer a veritable never-ending buffet for ants. We often see ants traveling together in long trails through gardens and flower beds, on decks near grills and eating areas, around trash cans, and near bowls of pet food.
Once ants have discovered food on your property, they will likely one day exploit an opening in your home’s exterior. Once inside, they will usually forage for more food or create an indoor nest.
An ant colony often has many multiple nests, the main nest, and many satellite nests. Their many nesting sites make these pests difficult to control. Every nesting site must be found and treated so that a re-infestation doesn’t occur!
Where will I find ants?
Most ants that find their way into a home or other structure to nest choose a location near moist areas. Wall voids near water pipes, windows, or doors are favorite nesting locations. Other places where we often discover ant nests include attics, behind cabinets or appliances, under rugs, and in crawl spaces.
Pavement ants received their name due to their preference for nesting outside in damp soil next to or in the cracks of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, foundations, and masonry walls. The piles of dirt they create at the entrance and exit holes are unsightly.
You can easily identify odorous house ants by the foul, rotten coconut-like odor they emit when crushed. These ants like to create their nests in the damp soil under landscaping ties, mulch, fallen trees, and woodpiles.
Harvester ants prefer to nest in open areas with little shade, making many of our yards the perfect location for these ants to nest. These ants create large mounds of dirt in areas where they are nesting. Their nests, coupled with their ability to sting, make these ants never welcome in our yards.
How do I get rid of ants?
Let Falls Pest Services help you rid your Idaho property of ants. Using our customized pest control services, we will meet all your pest control needs, and ants and other common household invaders will be a thing of the past. Our local company dedicates itself to providing our customers with affordable, all-season treatments performed by knowledgeable and friendly professionals.
Whether you are a home or business owner, we can help you maintain an ant-free property. Call us today to discover more about our effective pest control options in Idaho Falls!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
The best way to prevent problems with ants is to partner with a professional. In conjunction with professional home pest control and commercial pest control services, the following tips can help you avoid attracting ants to your yard and home.
- Many ants are attracted to moisture; address moisture issues inside and outside your home by repairing leaky pipes, broken gutters, and dripping hoses.
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels in damp basements; keep attics and crawlspaces well ventilated.
- Regularly clean your home by vacuuming, cleaning counters, and putting leftover food away.
- Place weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep both ants and moisture out of your home.
- Clear leaves, lumber, and mulch that ants like to live under, away from the outside perimeter of your home.
- Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris and keep lids on trash cans to limit places where ants can forage for food on your property.
- Reseed bare spots in your lawn.
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