Ants

What are ants?

Ants are one of the most common pests to find their way into homes. Ants are social insects that live and work together in large groups. They vary in color and size depending on their exact species, but are often yellow, red, brown, or black, and sometimes a combination of several different colors.

close up picture of an ant

Ants have three distinctive body parts, including a head, thorax, and abdomen; and they have a pair of bent antennae. Only the reproductive members of an ant colony are winged. Two of the most common species of ants located in our area are the carpenter ant, a destructive species, and the odorous house ant, a nuisance species.

Are ants dangerous?

Many species of ants, like odorous house ants, are considered nuisance pests and pose no significant risks to people or property. However, ants like the carpenter ant are a destructive species and pose a significant threat to properties. These wood-destroying ants tunnel through structural wood in order to create an area to establish their nesting sites. Over time, this can cause significant structural damage inside the home or other building that they have invaded.

Other species of ants are known for carrying and transmitting bacteria and diseases including salmonella and streptococcus and therefore pose health risks to humans. Any species of ant living in or around your home should be eliminated as quickly as possible to stop them from creating indoor nests, contaminating food, spreading disease, causing structural damage, or just being a general nuisance to have around!

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants typically target properties and homes that provide them with easy access to food, water, and shelter sources. Since these insects live, work, and travel together in large numbers, when an ant colony finds its way into your home, they have the ability to contaminate food sources and become a huge nuisance very quickly.

There are a few things that can attract ants to a property, including:

  • Gardens

  • Clogged gutters

  • Compost piles

  • Open garbage cans

  • Pet food

Since carpenter ants are attracted to moist areas and decaying wood, they attack water-damaged wood first and, if the infestation is allowed to continue, they'll eventually attack sound wood as well. Ants will also move inside homes and other buildings when the weather outside becomes too hot, wet, or cold for them to live comfortably. When ants invade our homes, they typically gain access inside in the following ways:

  • Small cracks or openings found in exterior walls

  • The foundation

  • Around utilities entering your home through exterior walls

  • Openings underneath exterior doors

Where are ants commonly found?

Ants create their nests in a variety of places, both inside and outside of homes and other buildings. Outside, ants can be found nesting in the following places:

  • In the ground, underneath the soil

  • Under Mulch

  • In piles of wood

  • Along fence lines

  • In the cracks of pavement

  • Under fallen trees or landscaping ties 

  • Inside tree stumps

 Inside, ants can usually be found nesting in these areas:

  • Underneath floors

  • Behind Walls

  • Inside insulation

  • Near heating systems

  • In crawl spaces

  • Behind large appliances 

When nesting inside a home or other building, carpenter ants prefer to nest inside structural wood that has been previously damaged by water. Because of this, they are often found in areas with high moisture levels like around windows and door frames, in bathrooms, and inside wall voids.

How do I get rid of ants?

The best way to eliminate ants from your home is to partner with a professional. When you partner with Triple S Services, we will identify the species present, find the source of your ant problem, and exterminate them where they live and hide. Our professionals will take care of your ant removal needs with modern and effective ant treatment solutions, and provide the services needed to prevent future infestations. To learn more about implementing our ant control services in your Northern VA home, reach out to us!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In combination with the quality pest control services from Triple S Services, there are some steps you can take to make your home and property less appealing to ants:

  • Caulk cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Ensure that all your window and door screen are intact.

  • Place weather stripping around your exterior windows and doors.

  • Place door sweeps on all your exterior doors.

  • Create a stone barrier of at least 12-18 inches between your home’s foundation and any grass or mulch. 

  • Make sure that trash cans have tight-fitting lids on them. 

  • Place garden areas and compost piles a distance away from the exterior of your home.

  • Store food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator.

  • Regularly wipe down counters and vacuum the floors in your home. 

 

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