Ants seem to be everywhere this time of year. The National Pest Management Association reports they are the no. 1 nuisance pest in the world. We get calls for carpenter, pavement and pharaoh ants most often.
Carpenter ants build their nests with wood, hence the name “carpenter.” They primarily attack wet and damaged wood, but they will build paths through dry wood to find food. They usually enter buildings through cracks around doors, windows or holes for wires. They’ll also sneak into your house far above the ground using overhead wires, shrubs and trees that touch the building.
These pests need a constant water source to survive. Experts at Pennsylvania State University report carpenters will excavate soft building materials like foam insulation board to make nests. Their work rarely causes structural damage, but they quickly turn into a bother when they’re inside.
Check the basement, attic, garage and outside of your house for the black, half-inch long workers at night during the summer. You might be able to see if they are going to an indoor nest or if they’re only indoors foraging for food.
Pavement ants make nests under concrete and on the sides of houses and garages. They eat almost anything and will travel up to 30 feet to search for food. Hungry pavement ants will eat insects, seeds, bread, fruits, nuts, cheese and more.
Outside, you’ll most likely see the 1/8-inch workers coming out from under stones or cracks in pavement. Inside, they’ll most likely infest masonry walls, but they’ll also nest in insulation and under floors.
Michigan State University researchers say you’re more likely to find these pests indoors during the winter. They like foraging outside for their natural foods during the summer. Pavement ants themselves aren’t a health risk, but they can contaminate food and cause sickness.
These tiny reddish ants are also called grease ants because you’ll find them in the kitchen. They feed on sweets, oils and proteins. They often infest commercial businesses that serve food, like hospitals, grocery stores and hotels.
Their nests are in hard-to-reach, warm and humid areas close to food and water. They’ll build behind baseboards, in furniture and under floorboards. They use wires to travel through walls and between floorboards. Workers will migrate to start new nests if the original nest is disturbed. This is called budding.
These pests are a major threat to public health. They spread more than a dozen diseases, including salmonella and strep. They are particularly dangerous in hospitals. Pest World reports they can enter wounds, IV bottles and even the mouths of sleeping patients in their hunt for water. They can survive most household pest control treatments, and their colonies include thousands of workers, making them hard to eliminate.
We use bait stations to get rid of ants. Spraying scatters them around and doesn’t get to the nest to keep them from coming back. Contact us to treat your home.