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Ants

What are ants?

Ants are insects that are part of the family Formicidae. There are over 10,000 species of ants in the world and probably many more that we haven’t identified yet. These social creatures live together in organized colonies, and once they make themselves comfortable on your property, they can be hard to get rid of. Some of the most common species in the area include:

Argentine ants

  • Measure 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch long
  • Dark to light brown
  • Tend to travel along trails in yards, gardens, parks, and roads
  • Live in massive colonies with multiple queens

Carpenter ants

  • Largest ant species on the continent, measuring up to ½ an inch long
  • Range in color from dark black to reddish-brown 
  • Chew through wet, decaying wood to construct their nests and grow their colonies 
  • Have a huge pair of jaws that they use to eat insects and shave down timber

Fire ants 

  • Measure up to 3/16 of an inch and are copper, red, or brown
  • Sting when they feel disturbed, causing large welts and sometimes serious allergic reactions. 
  • Release a venom that causes a burning sensation
  • Live in sunny areas in irrigated soil, nesting in large sandy mounds with intricate tunneling systems

Pharaoh ants

  • Measure around 1/16 of an inch
  • Infiltrate sterile areas and cause widespread contamination
  • Yellow to light brown and almost transparent looking
  • Chew holes in silk and nylon fabrics

Are ants dangerous?

Even though they’re small, ants can cause huge problems. There are major dangers involved when it comes to ant infestations, such as:

  • Ants threaten the construction of your property, infesting building materials like wood and foam insulation. They also chew on electrical cables, risking fires.
  • Some ants can bite and inject their venom into your body, leading to inflamed skin, cramps, headaches, and other adverse health effects.
  • Ants travel in unsanitary areas like garbage and decaying matter, spreading germs and diseases around the home, leaving you and your loved ones vulnerable to diseases. 
  • Ants can cause all kinds of illnesses, such as E. coli, streptococcus, salmonella, staphylococcus, shigella, and other bacterial infections.

While some species are more dangerous and destructive than others, we can all agree that ant populations aren’t a welcome sight around your home or business.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Open containers of trash, outdoor eating areas, gardens, pet food, and compost piles can attract ants to your property. These are all things that provide them with food, water, and shelter. Ants regularly invade homes and other buildings while foraging for new food sources. A lot of ants including carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and decaying wood.

Where will I find ants?

Ants outside nest underneath soil and mulch, in piles of wood, in cracks in the pavement, along fence lines, in gardens, under fallen trees, under landscaping ties, or inside tree stumps. Fire ants like to nest in open, sunny areas. 

Common indoor nesting spots for household invading ants include under floors, inside insulation, in crawl spaces, in wall voids, near heating systems, and above ceilings. Carpenter ants create tunnels and nesting galleries inside structural wood. Fire ants are rarely found nesting inside. 

How do I get rid of ants?

To eliminate and control ants, partner with an experienced pest control expert. Compass Pest Management is committed to using modern and effective pest control solutions in Riverside to get rid of ants and prevent their return. Our well-trained and friendly technicians will provide the routine, guaranteed services need to protect your home from ants and other common household pests. To learn more about our residential pest control services, reach out to Compass Pest Management today.

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In order to keep yourself protected from an ant infestation, there are many things you can do. Try the following:

  • Add sweeps and weatherstripping to doors and windows.
  • Check screens and windows for any gaps, holes, or tears.
  • Clean up food crumbs and spills as soon as they occur. 
  • Clean your dishes and vacuum regularly.
  • Close cracks in windows, doors, the foundation, paneling, and utilities.
  • Eliminate any landscaping touching the exterior of the house or other building. 
  • Ensure that outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting or locking lids.
  • Fix any faulty pipes, fixtures, and appliances. 
  • Have all leaks fixed, specifically those that are dampening wood.
  • Inspect potted plants for ants before bringing them indoors.
  • Inspect wood and plants for signs of ants and other insect activity. 
  • Install a barrier between the lawn and the foundation of any structures on your property. 
  • Keep your gutters unclogged and free of debris.
  • Place plants and free wood two feet away from your house.
  • Put trash and food in containers with tight lids.
  • Remove any organic debris, fallen trees, and downed tree limbs. 
  • Replace any water-damaged or rotting wood and eliminate decaying trees.
  • Routinely clean behind and under the oven, fridge, and other appliances. 
  • Store food in sealed containers or the fridge. 
  • Store trash cans on platforms above the ground. 
  • Take the trash out regularly and keep it sealed.
  • Trim back trees, bushes, and other vegetation.

Regardless of the preventative steps you take to deter ants from taking over, the most reliable way to deal with ants is to seek help from the experts. Contact Compass Pest Management for all your ant control and prevention needs. 

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