What are ants?
Ants are opportunistic insects that won't hesitate to take advantage of any property that offers them a safe place to nest and gather food. One of the most recognized household invaders, the ant, has three distinct body parts, six legs, and elbow-shaped antennae. Ants come in a variety of colors, the most common being black, brown, or red. The reproductive members of an ant colony have wings. In the abdomen, are two stomachs—one for food the ant itself consumes, and one to store food they carry back to the colony.
There are many different species of ants found across the country; in our area, the most common species that home and business owners run into are:
- Little black ants
- Argentine ants
- Fire ants
- Acrobat ants
Are ants dangerous?
No species of ant should be allowed to live in or around your Alabama home for an extended period of time. Before moving into your house, they were wandering outside in dirt and decaying matter. Ants contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria and other pathogens they have on their legs and bodies after coming indoors.
Some ant species also cause structural damage, and others, like fire ants, deliver painful bites and stings to people. Fire ants are aggressive, tiny ants that take their anger out on any living creature that dares to walk too close to them or the nest. The venom they inject is strong enough to cause allergic reactions (sometimes life-threatening) in people or pets that are severely allergic or when a group attack occurs. Fire ants often attack as a group to protect their nest.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants live outside in various environments such as wooded areas, fields, yards, sandy areas, and any other suitable nesting spot. As the foraging worker ants wander around trying to locate food sources for the colony, they are often attracted to the outdoor spaces around homes and businesses. Things like open containers of trash, pet food, gardens, compost, and moist areas are attractive to ants. Once they are returning to your property regularly to gather food for the colony, it is only a matter of time before they move into your home.
Ants are social creatures. When you see one wandering around your house, many more are lurking in the corner, just waiting to enter your home to forage for food and possibly build an indoor nest!
Where will I find ants?
Like most insects, ants are most active during periods of warmer weather. During the spring, summer, and early fall when food is plentiful, ants are out and about in large numbers. Gardens, mulch, trash cans and compost bins, pet food bowls, and outdoor eating areas are some of the ant's favorite places to forage for food.
Where ants nest depends on their species. For example, fire ants prefer to nest outside in wide-open sunny areas, while Argentine ants and little black ants like to nest in moist areas, including damp soil or inside near pipes or sinks. Acrobat ants live outside under rocks, in dead trees, and around woodpiles. Inside they nest in areas of high moisture or fungal growth. They love to take advantage of the abandoned nests of carpenter ants.
How do I get rid of ants?
If you are looking to eliminate ants from your property, reach out to the professionals at Prewett Pest Control. Through advanced technology and convenient and modern services, we offer our East Alabama customers exceptional pest control solutions. Get rid of ants and keep them from returning to your residential or commercial property by reaching out to Prewett Pest Control. Contact us today to learn more about our local and effective ant control services!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
To help you stop ants from taking over your East Alabama yard and home, we want to offer some easy-to-execute pest prevention tips:
Remove the number one attractant of ants from your yard or home: food. Keep tight-fitting lids on trash cans and recycling bins. Clean-up outdoor eating areas of leftover food, pick up uneaten pet food, and maintain garden areas.
Remove possible nesting sites from your yard like fallen trees, tree stumps, woodpiles, and leaf piles.
Stop wandering ants from being able to move inside of your home. Use caulk to seal cracks in the foundation, install door sweeps, and place covers over vents.
Wires often act as a highway system for ants. Seal any spaces around wires and pipes that are entering your house.
Get rid of water sources by fixing leaky pipes and clogged gutters.
Reduce humidity levels in your home with the help of dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
Repair any wood in or on your home that becomes damaged by water.
Rake back soil and mulch from your home's foundation.