Ants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

April 19, 2019

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Introduction

 

What attracts ants to your house?

Ants are attracted by food, nesting sites, and moisture.

  • Food: spills, crumbs, leftover pet foods, etc.
  • Moisture:  rain damage, pipe leaks, condensations
  • Nesting sites: moisture damaged wood, crack and crevice exposed dirt, wall voids or subflooring

 

How do I get rid of ants in the house?

Ants are social insects with large colonies besting the best of ant control. Bait-spraying can kill some of the visible population but will not control the colony. Some species, such as black carpenter ants, will need professional control.

 

How do I stop ants getting in the house?

Eliminate potential food, moisture, and nesting sources – clean up food spills promptly, store away food in air-tight containers, clean-up pet dishes and food promptly,  caulk up cracks, crevices, voids, and fix water leaks. Make sure to trim back vegetation and tree branches touching building structures

 

How do I get rid of an ants nest?

If you find the nest, you can spray or treat directly with appropriately labeled insecticide; this will kill the queen/s, larvae, pupae and workers all at once. If you cannot locate the nest, bait the foraging ants with an appropriately labeled ant bait. The workers will take the bait back to the colony and feed it to the rest of the colony, hence, killing them all.  For this to be effective, use the correct type of bait consistently until all of the colony is eliminated.

 

Can ants build nests in walls?

Yes, especially if there are voids and cracks.

 

What are the most common types of ants?

Pavement Ants

  • About  3 to 4 mm long, light brown to black
  • Head and thorax grooved, can be seen with the naked eye
  • Nest in soil but can adapt indoors by nesting in walls, under the floor, and near heat sources, entering indoors through cracks
  • Build large colonies, averaging 4000, with many queens
  • Opportunist feeders – pavement ants will take advantage of all food sources and feed on anything

Black Carpenter Ants

  • Workers are about 7 to 14 mm long
  • Dark brown to black in colour
  • May have golden or yellow hairs  on top of the abdomen
  • Thorax profile is smooth
  • One queen, with large colonies to up to 3,000  or more
  • Often with one mother nest and smaller satellite colonies
  • Nest mainly located in moist, decaying wood or voids
  • Feed mainly on other insects and sweet foods (honeydew, and juices)
  • Enter into building structures through eaves, along plumbing and utility lines, and tree branches touching your home

Odorous House Ants

  • Workers are about 3.5 to 4 mm long
  • Dark brown to black in colour
  • Uneven thorax profile
  • Node not visible, hidden under the abdomen
  • Colonies are large with many queens, can be up to 100,000 workers
  • Nest in walls around heat sources, in cracks and crevices near a moisture source
  • Outdoor, they occur in soil and under objects
  • Omnivores but  prefers food high in problem and grease

Acrobat Ants

  • Workers are about 3.5 to 4 mm long
  • Reddish,  black to black in colour
  • Uneven thorax profile, with a thin spine
  • Distinctive heart-shaped abdomen, with two nodes
  • Stinger present – visible at the tip of the abdomen
  • Nests in decayed wood, water damaged wood, inside insulations and wall voids
  • Colonies are smaller with single queens
  • Enter indoors via cracks, window sills, along utility lines, soffits and tree branches/limbs touching walls
  • Omnivorous

Pharaoh Ants

  • Tiny, 2- 2.5 mm long
  • Pale yellow in colour with dark abdomens
  • Uneven thorax, two nodes
  • Colony various from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands, multiple queens, breaks up easily to form new colonies (budding)
  • Can nest anywhere as long as there is warmth, moisture, and food
  • Prefer to trail along the utility line
  • Omnivorous, but high preference for water

 

Have more questions about ants? Contact us today for more information.

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