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. So here are the top 3 ants found on Long Island, in no specific order:
1. Pavement Ants:
Called the pavement ant because they often nest in pavement pavement ant long island cracks, 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, creating nests in walls and under floors.
2. Odorous House Ants:
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 being, 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.
3. Carpenter Ants:
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 long islandthey 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.
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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 professional. Preferably one that's licensed, insured, and properly trained. Also, make sure they offer a warranty on their treatment.