WHICH ANTS SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT?
Pittsburgh is starting to warm up and with the transition from winter to spring, there is a lot to look forward to. You get to fire up the BBQ for that backyard bash, leave behind the heavy clothing, and let the kids free in the yard to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, with all the plus sides to spring, there is a downside too. Ants! Let’s take a look at what kind of ants you can expect this year, and how to take care of them.
ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS
The name says it all… odorous house ant. An ant that is found commonly in homes, the odorous house ant lets off a terrible smell when crushed. Odorous house ants are brownish black in color with two antennae and reach about 1/8” in length. Often found to infest foods if accessible, the odorous house ant is more of a nuisance pest than anything and doesn’t present a real danger to you or your home, however, the smell alone is enough to get them out of your house! When trying to keep out odorous house ants, make sure to keep food sealed in tight containers. Also, focus on fixing any cracks or crevices in the outside of your home and in your foundation to prevent them from entering.
With working ants coming in at about 1/4” long, and the queen potentially tripling that size, the carpenter ant is dangerous, but not to people directly. When seeking to build their nests, carpenter ants will excavate the wood from your house right out from under your feet. Carpenter ants are known to excavate enough wood to compromise the structures in a home. Carpenter ants are especially drawn to wet or rotted wood. Because of this, keeping moisture and water damage to a minimum is crucial. Always keep gutters clean to remove backed up water, and fix leaking pipes where necessary. Also focus on the exterior of your home, making sure to patch up any holes or cracks that could allow entry from outside.
At about 1/8” long, the pavement ant can be found in a dark brown to black color. Maybe one of the least picky eaters in the ant family, pavement ants are known to eat almost anything from other ants, to bread, meats, nuts, and cheese. Pavement ants can be hard to find due to their habit of hiding and nesting within the cracks outside of structures. Usually entering at ground level, pavement ants will infest the masonry walls of your home. Always make sure to patch up walking paths, sidewalks, foundations and any other stone walls to keep out pavement ants. Pavement ants are also attracted to moisture, so when taking steps to prevent them, make sure to alleviate standing water and fix any leaks that may be occurring. Try and redirect any collected water, like in gutters, away from the home.
A smaller ant, growing to about 4 mm maximum, acrobat ants are often a light brown to black color. These ants get their name from their ability to elevate their abdomen over and above their thorax and heads when in distress. As well, they can release a very strong odor when they feel they are in danger. Typically found nesting within wood piles, under rocks, and in decaying trees, these ants will also inhabit previously used tunnel systems created by other ants or even termites. Their ability to strip the insulation off of wires makes them a real threat. Once exposed, open wires are a major fire hazard within your home. Acrobat ants can be hard to prevent and even harder to find, though trimming back trees and shrubs from your home can help. Also to help, try keeping your trash in cans with tight-fitting lids, sealing up the exterior of your home and installing door sweeps on exterior doors.
Do you have ants? Don’t worry, Witt Pest Management has you covered! Unsure what kind of ants you have? Don’t worry, we can take care of that too! With our year-round pest control plans, not only will we identify your infestation to make sure to employ the appropriate extermination methods, we will also get rid of the infestation and take measures to prevent another in the future. Including more than 40 other pests, our TopCare plans make getting rid of ants easy! With our year-round control plans, we provide periodic visits to make sure your home is covered throughout the year. We are so confident in our year-round pest control, we offer the Witt Pest Free Guarantee. This guarantee offers prompt, priority service to eliminate pest problems in between visits, at no additional charge! Have an ant problem already? Ask us about our same day service.