Spring is here…and that means that it’s ant season! Discovering ants in your home can be frustrating and annoying. Worse, once you see one ant, more are likely to follow, thanks to their ability to lay pheromone trails for their colonies.
Complicating things even more, different species of ants can be attracted to different conditions. That means you have to stay on guard and look for signs of ant infestation all around your home to keep these tiny invaders out.
Ant prevention tips
Ants typically enter your home looking for food or moisture; some species may move in during cold weather months looking for warmth, as well. Knowing this, there are several steps you can take right now to help deter ants from your home this season.
- Seal cracks and crevices. Don’t forget about gaps around pipes.
- Clean up food and beverage spills immediately.
- Store highly-attractive foods in sealed containers: cereals, sugars, dried fruits, etc.
- Clean up and put away pet food after pets are done eating.
- Correct leaks or moisture problems immediately.
- Replace any moisture-damaged wood.
- Clean out gutters so that they are free-flowing.
- Do not overwater indoor plants.
- Ensure that automatic sprinkler systems are not causing ponding or puddling, especially in beds close to the house.
While you likely won’t be able to identify an ant’s species just by looking at it, your Ehrlich Pest Specialist is an expert and will identify the species they are dealing with before taking any action.
Most common ant species found in homes
Use our chart below to learn more about the top 7 species of ants you may encounter this year, and areas where you’re likely to spot them in your home: odorous house ants, pavement ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, crazy ants, ghost ants, and fire ants.
Most destructive and dangerous ant species
Some ants are more than just a nuisance – they can cause serious harm or damage. These species may require special or immediate attention:
- Carpenter ants, covered under Ehrlich’s pestfree365 plan, seek out softened wood; in homes, this is often wood that has suffered moisture damage. Carpenter ants, like termites, hollow out wood, which can impact the structural integrity of your home, decks and patios, or other wooden structures.
- Fire ants have a painful bite and a sting that can cause a serious allergic reaction in some people; they can also swarm en masse, inflicting dozens or even hundreds of stings at one time. These can be serious, even fatal, for those who are allergic, children, the elderly, and even small pets. You may know you have a problem with fire ants when you see their identifiable ant mounds in their yard; they are significantly larger than normal ant hills.
- For reasons not completely understood by scientists, crazy ants are attracted to electronics. This may be because they make safe spaces for nesting areas that often go undisturbed. However, the ants can short out electronic equipment, perhaps damaging expensive equipment such as computers, TVs, and electrical boxes (both outside and inside).
Ants in your home?
If you spot ants in your home, don’t panic! Use a warm, soapy sponge to wipe the area where you see them trailing. This will eliminate the pheromone trail momentarily. Then contact Ehrlich. We are here to help you with any type of ant problem you encounter this spring.