The Top Reasons Why You Have Ants
Although there are many kinds of bugs that can easily infest a home, ants are consistently ranked as the most irritating and it’s not terribly difficult to see why. Ant colonies not only number in the tens of thousands, but some varieties of ant can bite or cause extensive damage to property. Many people are also confused as to how they wound up dealing with an ant problem in the first place. Let’s take a closer look at the top reasons why ants may have decided to make your home their home as well.
There is Plenty of Food
Ants most often infest a property because it contains plenty of food with which they can sustain their colony. Ants are especially attracted to sweet foods. However, most ants are opportunists that can and will feed on almost anything. Make sure you keep all possible food sources out of the reach of ants. Store your food in refrigerators and containers with tight seals. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or let trash stay in the house for too long. You will also want to take care to keep floors and counters clear of crumbs and other tasty morsels.
Ants Love a Moist Environment
Just as ants need food in order to survive, they also need moisture just as all living things do. That said, they can be especially attracted to properties that feature moist, damp areas. Moist or decaying wood or papers are appealing to some ants, as are areas where there are leaky pipes or air that’s moist as a rule. (Bathrooms and basements are often very attractive to ants for that reason.) Make your home less attractive to ants by making sure leaky pipes, window seals, or roofs are taken care of. Also, take measures to keep areas like the bathroom and the kitchen as dry as possible.
Your Home is an Inviting Property
Last but definitely not least, it’s important to make sure your home doesn\\\’t contain any open invitations to ants. Make sure all cracks are repaired and sealed properly to make it more difficult for them to enter in the first place. Keep outdoor vegetation well-manicured and prevent trees, shrubs, or flowers from making physical contact with your actual home. Plants are natural food and moisture sources for ants, so the closer they are to your home, the more likely an ant may eventually enter in search of food or shelter.
Saying that an ant problem is frustrating to deal with is the understatement of the century. Ants are notorious for being easy to attract, but hard to get rid of. However, knowing what kind of ant you’re actually dealing with before seeking extermination solutions can help a great deal. Let’s take a closer look at the most common house ants in Northern Virginia.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants a relatively small, measuring at about 2.5-3.5 mm in length. Their color ranges from dark brown all the way to black. Their name comes from the way they release an odor similar to that of rotting coconut when crushed. This type of ant most often builds its nests under floors or within walls. They are most likely to enter a property in search of shelter during wet weather, traveling in trails during all times of the day and night. They’re most attracted to sweet foods, but will also eat grease or meat if need be.
There are several kinds of carpenter ants out there, but generally speaking they are small and range in color from reddish brown to black. Some varieties of carpenter ants have dual-toned bodies. They are called carpenter ants because they cause sometimes extensive damage to wood when they hollow it out for nesting purposes. Carpenter ants prefer a moist, damp environment, but they will happily nest in dry wood as well. Areas near windows, roof leaks, bathrooms, pipes, and other such areas are incredibly attractive to them. They can also often be found nesting in dead wood outdoors. Carpenter ant infestations are best controlled by baiting, as many sprays can encourage colony splitting, making the problem worse.
Sugar ant infestations are considered to be among the most difficult ant infestations to deal with. They are also the most common ants to be found in the entire United States. Although they do prefer sweet foods to eat, they can and do eat anything that’s available. They prefer dark areas and often nest within the walls of a home. Sugar ants are very small and usually black in color. They can be found scurrying around quickly in small groups on kitchen counters or other places where they might be able to find food. Sugar ant colonies are best combatted through the use of sweet baits. Make sure trash is taken out regularly and all food is kept tightly sealed to prevent attracting them.
Why Homeowners Should Hire a Trained Professional
There are some situations in life that are much better handled by trained, qualified professionals and getting on top of an ant infestation is definitely one of them. Ant infestations are not only among the most common pest problems today, but they’re some of the most difficult to handle as well. It takes knowledge, training, and access to the right solutions to make ants a thing of the past.
They Use Professional Ant Baits
Although the right extermination solution can vary according to the type of ant you’re dealing with, ant bait is considered to be among the best ways to eradicate a given colony. Qualified exterminators are not only going to have access to all of the most advanced ant bait solutions out there, but they’re going to know exactly how to use them to maximize the chances of success. The ant baits that are widely available at drug stores or hardware shops are generally not as effective or advanced as the ones professionals use. Plus, they can easily harm your pets or your children if they aren’t used properly.
They Have Access To Effective Non-Repellant Products
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make when attempting to get control of an ant infestation is to assume that ant repellants are the best way to go. In actuality, not only are repellants unlikely to help with your problem, but they’re very likely to make it worse, as they can encourage colony splitting. Plus, they’re not good for your family or for the environment. Trained professionals use technologically advanced non-repellant products that are truly effective at getting rid of ants. These products are guaranteed not to harm the environment or be toxic to you, your children, or your pets.
They Understand Real Pest Control
Professional exterminators do much more than simply take care of your issues with ants and other pests. They actually help you keep pest populations under control into the future as well. Trained professionals can take measures to keep ants from coming back and give you solid advice on how to make your property less attractive to pests in the future. You also get a solid guarantee on work down when you leave it to the professionals. They will come back multiple times until the job is done and many will provide frequent future follow-ups as part of the deal to boot. In other words, hiring a trained professional gives you access to a full-service permanent solution to your ant problem.