There are many ways to get rid of ants. Some work much better than others. Often, the best solution for ants isn't one method, but several. If you're currently dealing with ants getting into your Chesapeake home, there are a few things you should know about those ants. Let's look at how to detect an ant infestation and evaluate the severity of your problem and examine some of the ways Chesapeake residents try to solve ant problems. We'll also look at how professional ant pest control in Chesapeake works and how Hawk Mosquito & Pest can provide extra protection against ant infestations.
Signs Of An Ant Infestation In Your House
When you sit down on your couch and realize there are thousands of ants crawling all over it, you don't need any tips to help you figure out that you have an ant infestation, but ant problems aren't always this obvious. You can have thousands of ants in your home and not know it. The first step in any ant pest control plan is to search for warning signs. These tips will help every step of the way. Knowing how to detect ant activity will let you know if your control methods are working and let you know when no ants remain in your home.
- Mounds. Many ants create mounds for you to see. If you find dirt mounds near your exterior walls, ants are likely getting into your home.
- Alates. When you have an ant problem, you might see winged ants (called alates). These are reproductive ants that mate and establish new nests. They are twice the size of worker ants, which makes them more noticeable. Learn to identify the unique body shape of ants so that you can distinguish ant alates from other winged insects.
- Wings. You may only see the wings of alates. Winged ants don't mate for long. During the mating process, they shed their wings and disappear from view. When you find wings, they are evidence of an infestation.
- Frass. Carpenter ants produce this material, which is composed of sawdust, insect parts, and ant droppings. You may notice frass leaking from a gap or crack.
- Dirt. Some ants bring dirt in with them. They do this to create an appropriate habitat for nest building. Like frass, you may see dirt leaking from a gap or crack. When you do, there is likely an ant nest in the structural void.
- Ants. The best sign of an ant infestation is the ants themselves. When you inspect your home, look for ant trails and general ant activity. These can guide you to where the nests are or alert you to entry points the ants are using to get into your home.
When you detect ants in your home, the next step is to evaluate the threat. Some ant problems aren't as disturbing as others. You may see an ant trail in an out-of-the-way location and consider shrugging it off. We don't recommend doing that. Here's why.
All The Issues Ants Can Create In Your Home
The primary reason Chesapeake residents contact a licensed pest control provider is that ants are driving them crazy. They can enter a home by the thousands. They get into stored food. They climb on walls, television screens, counters, desks, computer keyboards, and more. Life is often put on hold when ants invade in large numbers. But ant problems aren't always this obvious. When you see them in out-of-the-way locations, it is easier to ignore them. Here are a few facts you should know.
- Ants spread germs. All ants pick up microorganisms and spread them around indoor spaces. The ants that get into your trash are the same ants that climb on dishes, silverware, cutting boards, food, and condiments. Ants don't have a problem climbing on dirty things.
- Some ants spread diseases. Pharaoh ants are particularly troublesome as this species is known to get into open wounds of livestock, wild animals, pets, and also humans. Doing this exposes them to microorganisms that cause diseases.
- Carpenter ants can damage property. These ants excavate tunnels in wood to establish their nests. While they have a preference for decaying wood, they're known to spread into sound structural timbers inside homes and businesses. The good news is that it takes years for carpenter ants to do significant damage to property. Early detection can save you lots of money. Learn how to identify carpenter ants and keep watch for these ants around and inside your home.
- Fire ants can present a serious health risk. While the majority of the time, fire ant wounds are little more than an irritating burn accompanied by a distracting itch, they can turn into far more. Individuals with an insect allergy can have an allergic reaction. When this happens, severe symptoms may occur. We can't emphasize enough that this is rare, but you should know that the threat exists. You should also know that insect sting allergy often develops later in life after multiple exposures. If you find fire ants on your property, consider consulting an allergist about whether or not you are at risk.
Ants are mostly nuisance pests but there are some ways they present a greater problem. It is best to use effective ant control solutions to make sure you're protected. Is there a quick DIY fix for ants? We wish there were.
Why DIY Ant Control Is A Waste Of Time And Money
When Chesapeake residents attempt to get control of ants, they often find that over-the-counter products don't work as promised. It isn't that the products don't work. The greater issue is that they fail when misapplied. Here are some examples.
- Can bait stop ants? Yes. But you have to select a bait that the ants will take. If you don't know how to identify ants, you're likely to get the wrong bait.
- Can a mound treatment eliminate a colony? Yes. But some ants create nests deep in the ground. When you apply a mound treatment, it may not go deep enough.
- Can you catch ants with sticky traps? Yes. But you can catch ants daily and never run out of ants to catch. Sticky traps are helpful for monitoring an ant problem, but not a control solution when used alone.
- Can you exterminate ants with sprays? Yes. But this is another example of attacking the symptom, not the source. Not only will this not arrest an ant infestation—it can actually make the problem worse. Budding can occur when a product is used to exterminate ants, turning one colony into two or more colonies.
- Can you suck ants up with your vacuum? Yes. But removing ants and cleaning the location where you found the ants won't stop ants from getting into your home. You need to address the entry points the ants are using, and if you have a nest in your home, you need to eliminate the nest.
- Can you put down natural repellents to drive ants out? Yes. But often, ants find a way around things that smell bad to them.
- Can you use a product to stop ants from getting inside? Yes. But these products can fail when they are applied to areas ants aren't using as entry points. They are also impacted by other factors such as weather conditions outside your home or cleaning products stored in the cabinet under your kitchen sink.
Ant control in your house is a complicated matter. It isn't about using a specific product. It is about applying a systematic approach that locates the problem, targets the source, and ensures no ants remain.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In Your House And Keep Them Out
If you're in the Chesapeake area, contact Hawk Mosquito & Pest for ant control in Chesapeake. We get to the heart of ant problems and treat the source, not the symptom.
- We start by inspecting your property. Your technician will look for ant trails, ant swarms, warning signs, conducive conditions, entry points, and routes the ants are using to get into your home.
- We apply a crack and crevice treatment inside and around your home in targeted areas where ants are likely getting in.
- We offer recommendations based on the findings from your inspection and let you know how you can address vulnerabilities around your home and keep ants out between service visits.
- We monitor ant activity with products and professional inspections until no activity is detected in your home.
- If you have year-round pest control service, we routinely treat the exterior of your home to keep ants, and a long list of other pests, from getting inside.
Ant control is an ongoing process. There is no silver bullet. The only long-term solution is ongoing ant management and appropriate treatments for targeted areas. If you'd like assistance with this, reach out to us. At Hawk Mosquito & Pest, you'll always get industry-leading pest control solutions and the highest level of professionalism. When it comes to stopping ants in their tracks, this is the best way to go.