It’s that time again – ants are coming into our homes in droves! While they may be a nuisance, it’s essential to understand why they’re coming inside and what we can do about it.
Here at Sprague Pest Control Solutions, we want to help keep your home ant-free this Summer. Ants are expected during the warmer months. They invade homes for food and water and can be challenging to control. There are several reasons why ants come inside more during the summer. Keep reading tips on getting rid of these pesky insects.
What Types Of Ants Commonly Invade Homes?
Generally, there are more than 13,000 species of different kinds of ants on the Earth, but despite how it feels when they’re marching through our kitchens, only a tiny handful of those species will invade our homes. The most common types of ants that invade homes in Washington are Moisture Ants, Odorous House Ants, Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants, and Western Thatching Ants.
Descriptions of Invading Ant Species
- Carpenter Ants – These ants are one of the most common in the Pacific Northwest. They get their name from their ability to tunnel into wood and build their nests. Carpenter ants are giant and black and can grow up to ¾ of an inch long. Usually, they are attracted to moisture and food remnants in household kitchens.
- Moisture Ants – Moisture ants are tiny, yellowish ants that thrive in humid environments. They are often found near water sources, such as leaks or standing water. Moisture ants depend on moisture and will come inside your home for food and water.
- Odorous House Ants – Odorous house ants get their name from the foul smell they emit when crushed. These small, black ants are attracted to sweet foods and often invade kitchens in search of sugar. They have uneven thoraxes, which help distinguish them from other species. You can find them in areas of high moisture like hot water pipes, pantries, and bathrooms.
- Pavement Ants – Pavement ants are tiny, light to reddish-brown insects that get their name from the fact that they often build their nests in pavement cracks. These ants will sting if cornered.
- Western Thatching Ants – Western thatching ants, are giant, red or black, that build their nests in grassy areas. They get their name from the fact that they will use leaves, sticks, grass, or whatever is available to develop their mounding nests. They often invade household kitchens in late summer and early fall.
Other than being a nuisance, ants aren’t generally harmful to humans. However, some species, like carpenter ants, moisture ants, and odorous house ants, can cause damage to your home. For example, carpenter ants excavate wood to build their nests. This can eventually lead to structural damage if the infestation is left untreated.
Moisture ants increase the decay of water-damaged wood and are often an early sign of decaying wood in the home. Odorous house ants aren’t considered dangerous to humans; however, they are an extreme nuisance because of the odor they leave behind. They can also contaminate the food that they find in your home.
Why Are Ants More Active In The Summer?
There are several reasons why ants are more active during the summer months. The warm weather and high humidity provide perfect conditions for ants to thrive. Many species of ants are reproductive during the summer months. This means more ants are looking for food and water to support their colonies.
Often the summer months lead to drier periods forcing ants to come into your homes in search of food. On the opposite side, heavy rains often flood ant nests and force them to find a safer location. Usually, the easiest choice is our homes.
How Are Ants So Capable and Clever?
It’s frustrating, but no matter what we do, ants are always one step ahead. They seem to be able to find the tiniest crack in our defenses and exploit it. So, how are they so capable and clever?
The answer lies in their social structure and their anatomy. Ants have a very keen sense of smell. They use this sense to communicate with each other and to find food. They also have a powerful sense of community. When one ant finds food, it leaves a scent trail (pheromones) for the other ants to follow.
This is why you often see a line of ants marching into your home in search of food. Ants are also very good at working together. They can lift objects that are much heavier than they are. They use their long legs and strong mandibles to grip the object and then work together to raise it.
What Can Homeowners Do Prevent Ants From Coming Inside?
There are several things that homeowners can do to prevent ants from coming inside. The first step is to identify the type of ant that is invading your home. This will help you determine the best course of action for getting rid of them.
Once you have identified the type of ant, you can take steps to prevent them from coming into your home. For example, sealing cracks and crevices outside your home is an excellent way to prevent ants from entering. This also keeps them from nesting inside walls.
You should also ensure that your food is sealed correctly and that there are no crumbs or spills around your home. Ants are attracted to food, so keeping your home clean is an excellent way to prevent them from entering.
Truthfully, DIY methods like insecticidal baits rarely work; generally, you’re killing worker ants but not directly harming the colony. If you need an effective treatment method, it’s best to hire a professional.
Find Pest Control Management Services in Yakima, Washington
Sprague Pest Control Solutions has been offering effective and reliable pest management services to homeowners and businesses in Yakima, WA, for years. We have a team of experienced and certified professionals who can help you quickly and efficiently eliminate your ant problem.
We offer a variety of services that are designed to meet the specific needs of your home or business. When you work with us, we’ll manage pests at every stage of their life cycle and point of entry. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control management services and how we can help you eliminate your ant problem.