Ant Control Tips from the Pros

Ah, summer. Most of us enjoy the warm summer months, but so do ants! In North America, ants are most commonly active from March through September. Ants are nature’s clean-up crew, but no one wants them in their home! There are many different types of ants and usually extermination efforts must be tailored to the specific type. Read on for our tips to keep your home free from these pests.

Fire Ants: Fire ants are small and red. They are easily identified by their color and the dirt mounds they build in your yard. Fire ants have a venomous bite and can be extremely dangerous. Young children and pets usually need medical treatment if they receive many red ant bites. Take action quickly to kill red ant mounds in your yard. Call a professional exterminator if your initial efforts do not control the problem.

Pharoh Ants and/or Pavement Ants: These are distinct types of ants, but are similar in color, diet, and usually respond to the same control measures. Pharoh and pavement ants are small and brownish-black. They build nests, sometimes with multiple queens, usually just outside a home. They are the most common types of ants in North America. Often, these ants are called “sugar” ants because they are attracted to sweets and most other food scraps.

The first line of defense when tackling sugar ants is thorough, daily kitchen cleaning with bleach or white vinegar. At the end of each day, use a bleach spray on kitchen counters and in the sink and wipe dry. Bleach helps destroy the scent trails that ants leave for their followers. Sweep and mop hard floors daily, and vacuum rugs found in eating areas.

Even the smell of food can attract sugar ants, so pour a small amount of bleach or white vinegar down the kitchen drain and in the disposal after cleaning the dishes. Take the trash out regularly and use good quality trash bags to prevent leaks. Outside, keep your trash bins closed and not leaning against your home.

If the sugar ants still find a way in, try using a sweet bait like Terro. Be sure to follow package directions carefully. If these measures don’t resolve the problem within a few days, then it’s time to call in a professional exterminator.

Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants eat wood – the older and deader the better. They behave much like termites do, and to complicate matters, some carpenter ants have wings and will swarm like termites. In fact, carpenter ants and termites are often confused. Carpenter ants can do serious damage to your home or other structures.

A good prevention plan includes clearing all brush and dead wood from your yard, especially near the house. Replace rotting wood siding and decking. Examine tree stumps in your yard for evidence of an infestation.

If you find a colony of carpenter ants on your land, you can attempt to treat it with a boric acid or diazinon product. Terro ant bait may work. If you think the carpenter ants have established a colony inside your walls or anywhere in your home, the only solution is to drill holes into the walls and use an aerosol and/or powder pesticide. This type of treatment is best left to a professional exterminator. After locating and treating all the nests, a professional can apply an ant deterrent to the perimeter of your home.

Are ants bugging you? In the Triangle area of North Carolina, call ProForce Pest Control at 919-776-3672  for a professional evaluation of your property. The professionals at ProForce will solve your ant (and other pest) problem!

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