What are ants?
Ants are regular visitors inside our Utah homes, but why? The biggest reason is that they are searching for food to gather and bring back to their nests. No matter how diligently we clean, the crumbs that are in all our homes are what ants are looking for. If you see ants moving around your home, the most likely culprits are carpenter ants, sugar ants, pavement ants, or Argentine ants. Carpenter ants are the biggest cause for concern. If these large ants decide to nest within our home's structural wood, over time, they can cause significant structural damage.
Ants in the Ogden area include sugar ants, carpenter ants, pavement ants, and Argentine ants.
Sugar ants are minuscule brown ants typically about 1/4 inch in size. They are named for their preference for sugar-based foods. These ants are a common household invader for homeowners that fail to clean up after meals or seal the garbage cans.
Pavement ants are small black ants typically about 1/10 of an inch in length. As their name suggests, they are most commonly found on sidewalks and other paved areas around homes and businesses. However, should they get inside, the ants getting into your food are now bringing in germs from the streets and garbage.
Argentine ants are small brown ants roughly ⅛ inch in size but distinguished by their behavior. They are an aggressive species that is very invasive to urban and agricultural areas. These ants love to get into potted plants or the cracks and crevices within your home, and from there make their way indoors.
Carpenter ants are commonly black in color but may also be red, yellowish, or a combination of colors. They are large ants. Adult workers may grow up to ½ of an inch in length and queens can reach up to one inch in length. Carpenter ants have oval-shaped, segmented bodies, six legs, and elbowed antennae. Carpenter ant workers have large, strong mandibles that help them to excavate wood. These mandibles are also strong enough to cause a painful pinch.
In the ant world, carpenter ants are in a category of their own. Technically they’re ants, but the way they damage your home is more similar to termites, albeit not for the same purpose. Carpenter ants use their extremely strong mandibles to hollow out channels in wood to build their nesting areas while termites feed directly on the wood. However, the result is practically the same—tunnels running through and destroying the wood within your home.
When found outdoors, carpenter ants are not a serious threat to your property. However, once a colony finds its way inside, you'll want to consider carpenter ant treatment and extermination as these ants can cause costly damage and weaken the structural integrity of your home.
Are ants dangerous?
The danger ants pose varies based on the ant species you’re dealing with and the person being stung or bitten by them. Most ant bites are painful but non-threatening so long as it’s only one or two, but aggravating an entire colony of ants could be incredibly painful.
Beyond bites and stings, ants can bring bacteria into your home. Before ants were in your food, they traveled over the ground, through your trash, and over other unsettling places. After getting into your home, they will contaminate its surfaces and your family's food with the bacteria they are carrying on their legs and bodies.
Many times, ant problems can be an early warning indicator of other pest problems. If ants are finding a way into your home, so can other insects and pests. An ant infestation could be only the tip of your home's pest problems. Furthermore, the presence of carpenter ants may be an indicator of rot or moisture which can lead to significant structural damage over time.
Why do I have an ant problem?
The type of ant you’re facing will be indicative of what’s attracting them. For most foraging ants, they have come inside your home in search of sources of food and water that they can bring back to their colonies. For carpenter ants, it means that either the wood in your trees or the wood in your yard has become a host to their tunneling.
Where will I find ants?
Ants live in nests, usually built underground. However, as mentioned above, they sometimes build their nests in wall voids, usually near a water source. Once inside your house, ants may be observed crawling across your counters or inside your cabinets on their way to a food source. Outside your home, you’re likely to find ants under rocks or woodpiles, or simply walking across the ground.
How do I get rid of ants?
To eliminate carpenter ants and other ant species from your Ogden property, professional pest management is always the way to go. The professionals at Peak Pest Control provide expert ant control for your Ogden, UT home. Beginning with a thorough inspection of the property to develop a treatment plan, we’ll work with you to completely eradicate any ants you might be facing. Contact us today and eliminate ants from your property for good.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
In addition to our professional ant control services, use the following tips to help stop ants from taking over your property.
- Use a vinegar solution to wipe down counters and mop floors in your home.
- Keep ants out of your home by sealing gaps under doors by installing doors sweeps.
- Caulk cracks that develop in your home's foundation.
- Prevent food odors in trashcans from attracting ants to your property by keeping lids on the trashcans.
- Sweep and vacuum your home often.
- Regularly pull out large appliances and clean underneath them.
Unfortunately, due to their small size and the sheer numbers, they generate within their colonies, sometimes even these preventive ant control measures are not enough to stop them all from getting into your home.
When that happens, the best solution is to call a professional ant control specialist in Cache County immediately. Only professional treatment can ensure that all the ants present within the home have been dealt with adequately and completely. A professional pest control service is the only way to stop a carpenter ant infestation and prevent the damage they can cause.