Currently, there are more than 22,000 species of classified ants. Ants typically live in large colonies that can range from a few individuals to more than a million individuals. Ants invade homes to look for food left out by us and they prefer to nest in damp areas. In North America, the most common ant is the carpenter ant, which is commonly referred to as the household ant.
Ant removal can vary depending on the type of ant in the home, and knowing which kind of ant you have is important in determining how best to remove them. There are, however, a few things you can do to try to eliminate ants on your own.
Common Ant Species
Appearance -Carpenter ants are colored red, black, or a combination of both. However, the two most common species are black. Carpenter ants range in size from ¼” to ¾”.
Biology – During swarm season, carpenter ants can fly. The ants usually build their nests inside of dead wood, fallen logs, timber poles or houses with a lot of humidity.
Prevention – Because carpenter ants tend to like water, get rid of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed away from the house. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the bottom of your house. Do not store firewood or building materials next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.
Appearance – Pavement ants are dark brown or blackish. They are about 1/8” in length. Worker ants are more common than ants with wings. The swarmers or reproductive ants have wings and are about twice the size of the worker ants.
Biology- This kind of ant usually builds their nests in soil, and can be found under pavement and buildings. They eat many different things such as seeds, grease, animal food, etc.
Prevention – Eliminate standing water. Many pests, including ants, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed away from the house. Make sure there are no cracks or small openings around your home.
Odorous House Ants
Appearance –This ant is very small. They are a brown or black color. If you squish the ants, they give off a very strong odor.
Biology – They build nests just about anywhere: sand, pastures, grass fields, forests, bogs, and houses, a lot of times under stones and logs, under stumps and the bark of dead trees, in bird and animal nests, plants, and debris. These ants move around a lot, so their nests are temporary, and usually they have no specific shape and aren’t very deep.
Prevention –Odorous house ants eat many different foods, such as nectar, honeydew, and waste from other critters, meat, cooked vegetables, dairy products, fruit juices, and pastries. To keep them from coming inside, keep things clean and sanitary. Keep ants off of trees or bushes near buildings. Also, eliminate standing water because they are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed away from the house. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the bottom of your house. Do not store firewood and building materials next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.
Appearance – Worker ants are large and are brown, black, or red and black. They are usually confused with carpenter ants.
Biology -Field ants make their nests in the soil or under rocks and wood. In open fields, they build noticeable mounds. They don’t usually invade homes.
Prevention – Get rid of standing water. Pests, such as ants, are attracted to moisture. Keep rocks and piles of wood away from the house. Make sure there are no cracks or small openings around your home.
Ant Removal Tips
1. Keep Things Clean and Dry – Ants are scavengers, and they come into our homes searching for food and water so keeping countertops, kitchen floors and trash containers clean and sanitary can help prevent an infestation.
2. Try Vinegar – Vinegar repellants can be an effective way to fight off ants. Mix vinegar with water at a 50-50 ratio and spray the mixture onto ant trails.
3. Baby Powder – Ants hate scented talcum powder, so use it wherever you see ants.
If natural remedies don’t work, and the ants infestation persists, call in the experts at Griffin Pest Solutions. We can quickly identify the species of ant you have and create a custom ant removal plan to get your home pest free in no time!