What is that crawling across the counter? Looks like an ant....but what kind? Will it bite me? Are there more? These are the questions we ask ourselves when we see creepy crawlers in our homes, and usually, we follow it up with a "how do I make them go away!" This time of year we see a lot of ants, outside and sometimes inside.
The top three ants found on Long Island are:
- Pavement ant
- Odorous House ant
- Carpenter ant
What are Pavement Ants?
Called the pavement ant because they often nest in the pavement, these ants can be quite invasive. They are small and brown and will forage up to 30 feet away from their nests to find food. This is usually how they end up inside your home, creating nests in walls and under floors. Their colonies can be moderately large, so it's important to stop the infestation before it grows. They are most easily noticed at night and use plumbing piping or electrical wires to create their trails.
How do you get rid of an Odorous House ant infestation?
Their name comes from the smell that emits when you crush them, and these ants are one of the most troublesome pests to combat. The reason is, the colonies are HUGE, with more than 10,000 ants and multiple queens. These ants are pretty smart too, the usual pesticide you grab at your local DIY store won't cut it. Those are repellents, and these ants will literally move a few feet away to avoid it and find another way in. As Chad Diller points out, "It is virtually impossible to remedy an infestation from this variety of ants without professional help. In fact, we’ve noticed that the more a property owner has done to get rid of Odorous House Ants, the more difficult it is for us to get rid of them." So if you catch one, and squish it between your fingers and smell something nasty, like rotten coconut, don't spray! Call your local friendly pest control professional, it's worth it.
What do Carpenter ants do?
One of the largest ants found in this area, the carpenter ant often makes tunnels in rotting trees or wood, but they will nest in any hollow area that is close to food or water. And they will forage up to 300 feet for food! That's crazy far for an ant! And once they get inside through small cracks or crevices, carpenter ants can infest wood, insulation, or hollow spaces/cavities. Common misconception: carpenter ants eat wood. This is not true! They hollow out wood to make nests for their young, but they prefer to eat honey-dew like most ants. This is a sweet solution produced by aphids.
How do you prevent ants from nesting in your home?
Here are a few tips our ant exterminators have provided to prevent ants from entering your home in the first place.
- Install ant baits throughout your home. Our ant exterminators can help identify where the colony is located and the best place to set up the bait traps.
- Keep your kitchen counters clean from sugar, grease, or crumbs.
- Maintain a clean floor by regularly sweeping and mopping.
- Seal cracks or crevices near doors, windows, and the foundation of your home.
- Fix leaky plumbing.
How do you get rid of ants?
So now that you know what kind of ants you have, how do you get rid of them? Unfortunately, most DIY solutions won't work for long, if at all. It's imperative to treat the nest to get rid of all of them. Also, you have to be licensed and certified to buy and apply the good stuff. So if ants are bothersome, reach out to an ant control exterminator. The exterminators at A&C Pest Control are licensed, insured, and properly trained. Our treatments come with a warranty, ensuring that you are happy with our service.