Ant Pest Control Service
Whether battling odorous house ants and pavement ants or seeking to prevent carpenter ant damage, ant control in the house is often attempted as a DIY project. However, effective ant control often requires the knowledge of the target ant’s activities, habits and habitats. Many ant species come and go in predictable cycles, and homeowner efforts to fend them off can often be ineffective and time consuming. In fact, used at the wrong time and in the wrong situations, ant traps can attract the very ants they’re designed to prevent, in the worst cases encouraging nesting inside the home.
Ant Control in Your House…and Outside, Too
Household ant problems often start outdoors where landscaping, cracks, and gaps attract these pests and then provide entry inside. Western’s Home Protection Plan safeguards your home through a combination of three seasonal visits and free emergency-response visits should issues ever arise. That means you’re protected from ant problems all throughout the year.
Carpenter Ant Control that Prevents Damage
Carpenter ants can cause extensive damage to your home, which makes fast action essential upon detection. Found in moist or decaying wood, carpenter ants cut galleries into wood to create passageways and nesting sites, and they can ultimately impact the stability of wooden structures if left untreated. At their largest, carpenter ants can be up to an inch long, and at the first sighting it’s wise to take action.
To help you combat potentially expensive repairs, Western adds guaranteed carpenter ant control as part of our Home Protection Plus (HPP+) program.
Ants are hardy bugs, having been around for millions of years and existing in various forms all over the world. Given their longevity and adaptability, is it any wonder that they are so persistent and difficult to get rid of? Try some of our tips to keep ants at bay.
- Sweep and mop: Keep floors swept and clean. It takes very little in the way of food particles to attract a veritable army of ants.
- Lock it up: Store food kept on counters or open shelves in air-tight containers or you’ll soon find ants in your sugar bowl.
- Clean up after yourself: Don’t leave dirty dishes unwashed – if you leave them out overnight, expect to find visitors in the morning.
- Get Fido on board: Ensure your pets’ food bowls are kept clean and that food does not sit out once your pet is done eating.
- Spic and span: Clean up spills quickly and with a bit of dish soap to naturally deter ants.
- Sanitize your trash: Keep garbage cans and outdoor refuse areas clean of crumbs and spills.
- Clean up spills immediately
- Reduce moisture in your home
- Keep bushes and plants trimmed away from your home/roof
- Replace any mulch against your home with pea gravel
- Re-caulk windows and doors as needed
- Find moisture sources: Conditions conducive to water build-up can attract ants…and many other pests as well. Check for standing water outside, and for leaks indoors.
- Move winter wood piles: Wood or wood-based products should be stored at least a foot away from the home. An infestation in a wood pile can quickly become an infestation in a home.
- Mind your mulch: “Mulch looks great, but it’s a harborage for many insects.”
Problems with DIY Solutions for Ants
Unbeknownst to many homeowners, the ant traps you’re using could very well be attracting the very pest you are trying to avoid. Many people find an ant on their kitchen counter and immediately think to use DIY-solutions throughout their indoor property. Something to keep in mind before doing so is the fact that many ant populations begin outdoors and can end up nesting indoors.
Felicia Gogol, Western’s Branch Manager of Monmouth County and Princeton, NJ office reveals, “Homeowners buy what they think is a solution from the store, try it themselves, and end up calling us afterward. You want to bait more outside and professionals are the best suited in discovering where exactly to do the work.”
Unfortunately, they’re a common summertime pest that many homeowners must deal with. Spotting them marching along your kitchen counter or near your sink is unsettling, both from a sanitary and aesthetic standpoint. As the summer continues, ant populations will continue to grow with it, meaning that homeowners should be on the lookout now, before populations become too large to handle.
“We tend to see more ants in the summer because all of the food and water they’re taking from us, they’re putting into their brood. This allows populations to grow bigger and bigger as the summer goes on.” Hope Bowman, Technical Specialist,
Summertime Ant Species
- Pavement Ants
- You may notice this summertime nuisance when venturing outdoors for BBQs and outdoor parties.
- What can you do?
- Just like mosquitoes, these ants are attracted to standing water. Eliminate moisture throughout the house and outdoor area, and your property will work harder to prevent pavement ants.
- Odorous House Ants
- This is the ant you’re bound to discover along your kitchen counter or bathroom sink.
- What can you do?
- Check for holes or gaps in screens throughout the house. This will allow these small critters to get indoors.
- WARNING! Try to avoid crushing these ants. A rotten, coconut-like scent is emitted when they’re killed.
Different Ants Require Different Forms of Ant Control
“No one should treat for ants before positively identifying the species,” says Paul Filardo, Residential Sales Manager. “Ant control is really about locating the nest and then focusing on exclusion…but sometimes ants look very similar, so it can be hard to tell for sure.”
Filardo points to carpenter ants and pavement ants as an example. Both are ants, but have different behaviors. While pavement ants are a nuisance, carpenter ants can cause serious damage to homes as they bore galleys into wood structures. Often, they nest in tree stumps near the home…or even in your walls. Other common ants in the area include odorous house ants – sometimes mistaken for sugar ants – and acrobat ants. The latter are common to South Jersey and nest in wood much like carpenter ants. Want to identify one? When you touch them they raise their abdomen up.
Not interested in getting that close to your ant infestation? An expert in ant control can help positively identify them, locate ant nests, and devise a solution that actually works. Misguided attempts at DIY ant control can sometimes attract the very pests they’re designed to prevent.