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Ant Identification & Prevention


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What are ants?

Ants are one of the easiest pests for homeowners to identify, because they are such a common problem in and around our homes. These little insects have three defined body parts, with a distinct waist. They also have two clubbed antennae, chewing mouthparts, and – in reproductive members – wings. Ants are tricky pests to control; they live almost anywhere and are masters at discovering a property’s weaknesses and taking advantage of them.

Ants invade in the thousands, and are not shy about turning any yard or home into an expansion of their colony. The most common species of ants invading properties in Winston-Salem are include odorous house ants, and carpenter ants.

ants on a log

Are ants dangerous?

Depending on their species, yes; ants can be dangerous to either people or property. Most ant species, including the odorous house ant, are nuisance pests, and besides their ability to annoy us and contaminate our food, pose no significant threats. However, some species are more problematic because they bite, sting, or spread diseases that make people ill.

Other ant species, like the carpenter ant, are destructive and cause damage to our property. Carpenter ants, after moving inside of a home foraging for food, often stay and create satellite nests within its structural wood. Over time, they cause structural damage that is expensive to repair.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants become a problem on a property or in a home for a variety of reasons. But, the biggest reason is that they are opportunistic and will take advantage of any access to food they come across. While any property can fall victim to ants, those properties that provide them with multiple food sources are most attractive.

Ants will gather food for their colony from a variety of areas, including the following:

  • Pet food bowls
  • Trash cans and recycling bins
  • Gardens
  • Compost piles
  • Crumbs we drop around our patio tables
  • Grease spilled from the bottom of the grill

Where will I find ants?

The better question would be, "Where won’t I find ants?" The answer is easy: Antarctica. Ants live successfully on every other continent! Ants create homes for themselves in a variety of outdoor habitats, including our yards. They generally nest and forage for food outside, but often find their way into our homes. In addition to searching for food, ants also move inside homes and other buildings to escape harsh weather conditions.

An ant invasion usually becomes apparent inside our homes when we see them marching through our kitchens, pantries, basements, and other indoor areas searching for food. They place their indoor nests in secluded areas like behind walls voids, behind appliances, in crawlspaces, below floors, or above ceilings.

How do I get rid of ants?

For a long-term solution to ridding your North Carolina property of ants, it is best to partner with a professional. At Ray’s Pest Control & Wildlife Removal, we work closely with our customers to learn about the specific pest problems they have been experiencing. Our pest experts provide our customers with the highest quality service to solve their current pest problem and keep them from returning. Since 1972 our family has been helping the families in the Winston-Salem, and surrounding areas maintain pest-free properties!

If you are experiencing problems with ants, reach out to Ray’s Pest Control and learn about our effective ant control solutions. For more information about our residential or commercial pest control programs, call us today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Don’t leave whether or not ants invade your property up to chance; partner with Ray’s Pest Control, and implement the following ant prevention tips:

  • Prevent ants from getting in. Ants are good at finding any small crack or crevice to move through and continue their search for food. Keep ants out of your home by repairing or sealing any cracks or gaps in the foundation and exterior walls. Make sure exterior doors have door sweeps and intact weatherstripping. Use an expandable foam or other material to fill in spaces around wires, cables, or pipes leading into your home.
  • Get rid of their easy access to food. Stop them from foraging in trash cans and recycling bins by keeping tight-fitting lids on them. Pick up your pet’s uneaten food, ants love pet food! If you have outdoor eating areas, make sure they are free of food debris and leftover drink containers. Inside your home, empty the trash, wash dishes, and vacuum floors daily. Clean out behind large appliances on a routine basis to get rid of grease and crumbs. Limit eating meals to the kitchen or dining room areas and do not store food on kitchen tables or counters.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible from your property. Many ant species have high moisture needs. Fix leaky pipes inside and outside your home. Make sure gutters are working to prevent water from pooling around your foundation. Don’t overwater lawn or garden areas. Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, and ventilate crawl spaces to keep humidity levels low in your home and replace any water-damaged wood. Also, get rid of fallen trees, tree stumps, or logs on your property.

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