Ant Identification & Prevention

What are ants?

Ants are social insects that live and work together, and they are some of the most common pests to invade residential and commercial properties. There are around 1,000 species of ants living in the United States; depending on the species, ants vary in size, feeding habits, nesting locations, and behaviors. Reproductive males, queens, and workers make up an ant colony. Workers make up the bulk of the colony and are responsible for gathering food, caring for the larvae, defending the colony, and expanding the nest.

three ants fighting over food outside of a home in dallas texas

Some of the most common ants to invade properties in our area include black ants, fire ants, and Pharaoh ants.

Black ants
Black ants are common household invaders. They are dark brown or black and small in size – growing between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. They prefer to feed on sweets and are also referred to as sugar ants or odorous house ants.

Fire ants
Fire ants are small in size but big in attitude! They received their name from the painful bites and stings they deliver.These reddish-brown ants are easily agitated and will attack any perceived threat, usually in a large group.

Pharaoh ants
These ants are tiny, growing to around 1/16 of an inch long. Their bodies are yellow to light brown and almost transparent. Pharaoh ants like to create indoor nests and their extensive colonies often become a problem inside grocery stores, hospitals, hotels, and other structures where food is stored.

Are ants dangerous?

Any species of ants, whether nuisance or dangerous, can be difficult to control, contaminate food sources, and invade in large numbers. The black ant is an example of a nuisance ant that lives in our area. The fire ant and Pharaoh ant are species of dangerous ants. Fire ants deliver painful stings, and their venom can trigger serious allergic reactions. These ants also invade and damage farm equipment as well as air conditioning and heating units. Pharaoh ants spread disease pathogens that cause salmonella and Streptococcus. They are a major concern in hospitals because they will seek out moisture in IV bags, inside patient wounds, and from the open mouths of sleeping patients.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants eat a variety of proteins, starches, and sweets. Workers travel each day from their nest to a food source to feed all the members of their large colony. Things like open compost bins and trash cans, gardens, pet food, and outdoor eating areas attract ants to outdoor spaces. Once foraging for food near your home or commercial building, it is only a matter of time before they find their way indoors. Once inside, ant species such as Pharaoh ants will more often than not build indoor satellite nests close to food sources. Sometimes, ants will also move inside when the weather outdoors becomes too harsh for the colony to live comfortably.

Where will I find ants?

Black ants like to nest in warm damp areas in wall voids near hot water pipes, in heaters, and in the structural wood previously inhabited by carpenter ants. Outside, they nest in the soil under stacks of firewood, fallen trees, or landscaping ties. Fire ants prefer to live outside in open, sunny areas – making yards, parks, and golf courses perfect nesting spots for these dangerous ants. Pharaoh ants prefer to nest in in warm, humid areas behind baseboards, large appliances, and walls near water heaters or hot water pipes.

How do I get rid of ants?

Dedicated to providing our residential and commercial customers with effective pest control solutions, Evolve Pest Control will solve all of your Texas, Nevada and St. George, Utah property's pest problems. With an extensive service area that covers Dallas/Fort Worth, TX and the Las Vegas Metro, our experienced service technicians perform thorough inspections and advanced treatments to eliminate pests and prevent them from returning. Our goal is to offer our customers high-quality services that are affordable and eco-friendly, helping them to maintain a pest-free home or business. To request your free quote and get started with your service, contact Evolve Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following tips will help to keep ants off your property:

  • Install locking lids on all trash cans and compost bins, and store them off the ground and away from the exterior of your property.

  • Reduce water sources in and around your property by repairing leaky pipes and fixtures and maintaining your gutters.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas clean and free of food debris.

  • Use a dehumidifier to dry out damp basements.

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors, and replace torn screens.

  • Get rid of entry points into your home or business by using a caulking gun to repair cracks in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Limit places for ants to forage for food inside by keeping food in the fridge or containers with airtight lids and vacuum floors to pick-up stray crumbs.

 

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