What are ants?
Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera, which classifies every social insect except for termites, which belong to the order Blattodea. Ants, bees, and wasps all belong to the same order. Ants live in structured colonies that consist of three castes: workers, queens, and reproductive males. Depending on the species, ant colonies can be found living underground, in wood, or within ant mounds at ground level. Here in Texas, there are three species of ant that often invade properties: carpenter ants, fire ants, and sugar ants.
Are ants dangerous?
Ant colonies are pesky problems to deal with, especially when they’re inside your home or business, but most ants aren’t directly harmful to humans. Most of the ants we deal with here in Texas, such as sugar ants, are considered more of a nuisance than a danger. However, fire ants often inflict painful bites, and carpenter ants are capable of creating extensive damage as they tunnel throughout the structural wood of your home or commercial property. Therefore, if you detect an ant problem inside of your home or business, its best to contact a professional to remedy it as soon as possible.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants are attracted to properties that provide easily accessible food sources and shelter from extreme heat or floods. If your property has several places where ants can find food, they are more likely to invade your property. Sugar ants, fire ants, and even carpenter ants can often be found crawling across kitchen counters and floors as they scout for food. A few food sources that could attract ants to your Texas home or business include open garbage cans, crumbs, and pet food.
Where will I find ants?
Ants are found in many different areas inside or around your property, depending on their species.
Carpenter ants build nests inside of moist decaying wood, fallen trees, and tree stumps. They can also be found living behind wooden shingles, in fences, or woodpiles. Inside, carpenter ants nest between structural beams or inside of structural wood located behind walls, above ceilings, or below flooring- they are especially attracted to water-damaged wood. Carpenter ants also create massive networks of tunnels and nesting galleries in the wood of your home. However, they don’t eat the wood they tunnel through, which means they often venture into kitchens and living areas while foraging for food.
Fire ants are typically lawn pests and create large dirt mounds outside in open, sunny areas like fields, golf courses, parks, and yards. Fire ants avoid shady wooded areas or in areas of heavy vegetation. Fire ants don’t like to nest indoors but will sometimes find there way inside around air-conditioning units or HVAC units, where they may create nests behind walls or under floors. They may also travel indoors for food or feed on food items left in your yard.
Little sugar ants create nests outside in the soil in garden areas, under fallen trees, under mulch, or in woodpiles. Sugar ants commonly invade homes and place their nests in a variety of warm locations near water sources such as in crawlspaces, in kitchen areas, in wall voids, and inside of potted plants.
When are ants most active?
Ants living throughout Spring, Texas have the potential to remain active year-round. Carpenter ants are seen wandering around homes and yards throughout most of the year and tend to be most active in the late winter and spring when the winged reproductive are searching for mates and starting new colonies. Fire ants prefer temperatures between 70 and 95 degrees. Little sugar ants often nest inside and the temperature-controlled environment allows them to remain active throughout the year.
Interesting Facts About Ants
While you may be under the impression that an ant is an ant, they really are all unique and interesting in their own way. To learn a little more about the most common ants in our region, we want to provide you with three interesting ant facts.
1. Carpenter ants have strong mandibles and can lift over 7 times their body weight. They have a type “A” personality, meaning they are very organized and keep their tunnels and nesting sites free of debris.
2. Fire ants have bodies that are covered in waterproof wax. This allows them to survive flooding events by joining together and floating to safety.
3. Little sugar ants can be very difficult to control because they react to the presence of pesticides and other dangers by “budding”: a queen and a few workers leave with some of the young to set up a colony in a new, safe location.
How do I get rid of ants?
Ant infestations should always be left to the professionals here at Kingston Pest Control! DIY or over-the-counter treatment methods are often ineffective and may leave you with more of a problem than you started with. Some ants split their colonies if they detect a threat, which could mean you have to deal with two separate colonies instead of one.
Kingston Pest Control provides long-term solutions to ant infestations to ensure we handle your existing problem and protect your residential or commercial property against future invasions. Our experts are always ready to find a solution for all your pest control problems. For more information more about our professional ant control and treatment methods, contact Kingston Pest Control today!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
To avoid attracting ants to your eastern Texas home or business, consider implementing a few of these ant prevention tips around your home or business.
Put food items in plastic containers instead of boxes or bags.
Store pet food in airtight containers when not in use.
Seal your garbage cans to avoid providing ants with an easy meal.
Install door sweeps on all your exterior doors.
Clean up crumbs and food spills to prevent attracting ants.
Seal gaps found in your foundation and exterior walls.
Remove clutter from your lawn and the interior of your home or business.
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