All children go through question phases. Children want to know why, how, and when as they experience new things. If you have been on long road trips with children, you probably heard the question, "When are we going to get there?" a thousand times. Of course, as they grow to become teenagers, the questions change from information gathering to authority challenging. Now, the questions are: "Why can't I stay out after midnight?" or "Why do you care what I do?".
There is nothing wrong with questions because that is how we learn. Philosophers speak of the Socratic method, which is learning through questions. We understand that there are many questions about pests, and in this guide, we provide answers to frequently asked questions about ant control.
You probably arrived on this page because you searched for pest control in Virginia Beach; specifically, you want to stop an infestation of ants in your house. If that is the case, Hawk Mosquito & Pest is the answer to your ant problem. As a local company, we understand the issues these tiny pests cause homeowners in Virginia Beach. Our dedication to quality service, integrity, and superior customer service is why over 500 homeowners trust us, and we have earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
One of our goals is to educate our community about pests so you can identify the problem and take preventative measures. Please keep reading to learn how to resolve your ant problems.
What Are Some Common Types Of Ants In Virginia Beach?
If it appears that ants are everywhere, that is because they are. There are more than 12,000 species of ants worldwide, but fortunately, only a few are problematic for Virginia Beach residents. Before we look at specific ant species, let's start with general characteristics.
Ants are in the same insect classification as wasps, cockroaches, bees, and termites. All insects have three pairs of jointed legs, two antennae, compound eyes, and a body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. Some ants temporarily have wings like other insects, but not all ants have wings. With such a variety of ants worldwide, there is diversity in body size, habits, and color.
This list is not comprehensive, but these are the ant species often problematic for Virginia Beach homeowners:
- Acrobat ants
- Argentine ants
- Carpenter ants
- Imported red fire ants
- Pavement ants
- Pharoah ants
- Odorous house ants
In the following paragraphs, we will give details so you can identify the type of ants in your Virginia Beach house.
Acrobat ants have a 1/8 inch light brown to black body with an abdomen that looks like a heart when viewed from above. These ants appear to stand on their head when they perceive a threat, hence the name; acrobat ants. Acrobat ants prefer to live in moist areas. They also like to walk on pipes, wires, and utility lines.
Introduced by coffee ships from Brazil in the late 1800s, Argentine ants have spread throughout the United States. While they have the same body color (dark brown to black) as many other species, their 1/16 to 1/4-inch oval bodies are shiny. One way to identify Argentine ants is by the long lines they form when traveling into a house.
Carpenter ants have bigger bodies than the other ants on our list. These ants may have black, brown, red, or black and red 5/8-inch bodies. Carpenter ants infest damaged damp wood in the home.
With their dark reddish brown 1/8 to 3/8 inch body and a stinger in the abdomen, imported red fire ants (RIFA) made their Virginia debut in 1989. Although they typically do not enter houses, they will come inside searching for food, water, and shelter if necessary. Outside, red imported fire ants create up to four-foot irregular domed or flat nests in warmer soil near landscaping timbers, foundations, paving stones, etc.
Pavement ants are another species that is more prevalent outdoors. These dark brown to blackish 1/8-inch ants nests under pavement stones, driveways, sidewalks, and foundation masonry cracks. Pavement ants are good climbers and often enter homes by climbing trees and using the branches as a highway into the house.
Pharaoh ants stand out from the rest of our group because they have a pale, yellowish to reddish head and thorax, but their abdomen is darker. Although they are among the tiniest of ants on our list (1/16 inch), they can inflict more harm on people than most ants on the list.
Odorous house ants have a brown or black 1/16 to 1/8 body. These ants prefer to live near moisture sources. As their name suggests, these ants release a rotten-coconut odor when crushed.
Hawk Mosquito & Pest is your ant control solution for all ant species invading your Virginia Beach house.
Are Ants In The House A Big Deal?
Although ants appear harmless, you do not want them in your house. Depending on the ant species, they do the following harm:
- Contaminate food
- Spread disease
- Weaken structures
- Inflict painful stings
Not all ants spread diseases, weaken structures, or inflict painful stings, but all ants contaminate foods and surfaces inside homes. Ants are not choosey about where they forage for food, so they travel over animal feces, rotting garbage, and other unsanitary places attracting bacteria to their feet. Later, the bacteria transfer to exposed foods and eating and cooking surfaces as they move through the house.
Fortunately, most ants are not cockroaches and do not spread disease; however, the pharaoh ant spreads diseases like salmonellosis, staphylococcus, clostridium, and streptococcus by crawling over open wounds and infiltrating IV bags. Although this ant is more of a problem in medical facilities and commercial locations, it occasionally invades Virginia Beach homes.
The ant that can cost you money is the carpenter ant. As their name suggests, moist, rotting wood lures these ants. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood for nutrition but bore smooth tunnels deep inside damp wood to create nests. Destruction by carpenter ants may not be as quick as subterranean termites; however, years of creating numerous tunnels weaken support beams causing sagging floors, warping window and door frames, and collapsing structures.
The name "imported red fire ant" says it all. These ants create huge nests in warmer soil in the yard and quickly swarm onto perceived perpetrators. When they attack, they bite and stabilize themselves while they sting, injecting a painful venom into the victim. Their smooth stingers allow them to sting multiple times. A painful white pustule-filled blister quickly develops and itches for several days. Although primarily outside, these ants occasionally enter homes through HVAC systems.
Some ants create large nests in appliances and walls. Although they are not termites, ants chew on paper, plastic, and the coating on wires. Ants can cause electronic equipment to short-circuit by gnawing away the protective layer and exposing wiring.
If you value food safety, your house, and health, you need effective ant control from Hawk Mosquito & Pest. Our highly-trained technicians can determine the ant species infesting your Virginia Beach property and will develop a strategy to remove them so you can rest easy in your home.
How Do I Prevent Ants From Coming Into My Home?
Ant control in your house requires removing enticements. Ants enter homes searching for food and water; once inside a house, they find shelter inside walls, appliances, cabinets, behind baseboards, masonry, and other places. The first step to deter ants from entering your Virginia Beach house is to remove all food enticements by keeping indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed, regularly vacuuming the house paying attention to corners and cracks, and wiping down cooking and eating surfaces after meals. Remove pet food from bowls, clean and store dishes before bedtime, and seal food in airtight containers.
Most ants require a moist area, so repair leaky pipes and drains in the house. Ensure the bathrooms and laundry rooms have adequate ventilation to prevent moisture build-up. Maintaining a dry crawl space will also deter ants.
Seal cracks in the foundation and along the roofline to prevent ants from entering the home. Since some ants, like pavement ants, use tree and shrub branches as bridges onto a house, prune these away from the structure.
When a Hawk Mosquito & Pest technician inspects your house, they can offer additional suggestions for your location.
What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In My House?
The best way to remove ants is to use ant control near you from Hawk Mosquito & Pest. Our ant process begins with a property inspection to search for signs of ants. We will work to determine attractants, entry points, and ant nesting areas. We will use the data from our investigation to create a strategic treatment plan focusing on the ant species invading your home.
Our ant pest control approach involves using eco-friendly products that we apply to the cracks and crevices in the interior and exterior. We also work with you to identify entry points and attractants so you can take action between treatments to ensure ants do not return once we eradicate them from your house.