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Ants Ants and More Ants

Ants, ants, and more ants; there are 3 main ants found on Long Island and they are pavement ants, house ants, and carpenter ants.  They’re an invading army that live in a very organized and structured society near you.  Don’t let them get inside your home otherwise, you will have a big problem.  If you’re getting overrun by them, you’ll need Pro-Force Pest Solutions to fight back. Ants are more than just an annoyance, they can create unhealthy conditions in your home or business because they carry bacteria as well as disease.  They can get inside your wood and damage your home or building structure.

Long Islands Most Common Ants

1. Pavement Ants: they are called pavement ants because they often nest in the cracks, which can be very invasive. These small and brown ants will forage up to 30 feet away from their nests to find food. This is usually how they end up inside, creating nests in walls and under floors.

2. Odorous House Ants: Their name comes from the smell that emits when you crush them, and these ants are one of the most troublesome pests to combat. The reason being, the colonies are HUGE, with more than 10,000 ants and multiple queens. These ants are pretty smart too, the usual pesticide you grab at your local DIY store will not be enough. Those are repellents, and these ants will literally move a few feet away to avoid it and find another way in.  It is important to note that this species is virtually impossible to control and remove without professional help. In fact, we’ve noticed that the more a property owner has done to get rid of odorous house ants, the more difficult it is for us to get rid of them. If you are a homeowner or business owner and catch one, then squish it between your fingers resulting in a smell that is something nasty, like rotten coconut, don’t spray! Call your local friendly pest control professional as Pro-Force Pest Solutions, it’s worth it.

3. Carpenter Ants: One of the largest ants found in this area, the carpenter ant often makes tunnels in rotting trees or wood, but they will nest in any hollow area that is close to food or water.  The carpenter ant will forage up to 300 feet for food; that is crazy!  A common misconception is that carpenter ants eat wood. This is not true! They hollow out wood to make nests for their young, but they prefer to eat honey-dew like most ants. This is a sweet solution produced by aphids.   Carpenter ants are more than just a nuisance inside your home, they can actually destroy it. In some parts of the country, ants cause more damage to homes than termites, which can cost a homeowner over $1 billion each year.

Are Ants Dangerous?
Ants are considered to be dangerous in relation to people for a couple of different reasons including that they can carry bacteria and parasites on their legs and bodies which they can contaminate food and surfaces with resulting in illness. Also, some species of ants like the red imported and have the ability to inflict painful stings and bites making them a danger to people.

What’s The Difference Between Carpenter Ants and Termites?
Two species of household invading insects that are often mistaken for one another is the carpenter ant and the termite. It is important to understand that while both are destructive they are two totally different species of insects.

Termites actually feed on the wood that they have invaded and are tunneling through, while the carpenter ant does not feed on the wood. Carpenter ants invade the inside of structural wood to create new nesting galleries to help expand their colony. Winged termite and termite swarmers look very similar, so in order to help you tell them apart we have listed some of their more obvious differences below:

  • Carpenter ants and termites both have two pairs of wings-front wings and back wings. The termite’s front and back wings are the same length, while the carpenter ant’s back wings are much shorter than their front wings.
  • Termites have straight antennae while the carpenter ant’s antennae are bent.
  • Carpenter ants have a pinched waist, while the termite’s waist is straight.
  • Termite wings are twice as long as their body.

Steps to an Ant Free Home
There are simple prevention tips you can do today to reduce your chances of unintentionally inviting ants into your home.

1. Know where ants like to go or hang out in a home.
There is no surprise that you hear of ants in the kitchen, right?  I mean, after all, kitchens are full of food, water, and most everything all pests need to survive.

2. Eliminate water sources to prevent ants.
Simply by reducing moisture and standing water around your home can go a long way to help prevent attracting ants. When you notice leaky pipes repair them immediately.  As a homeowner, you should routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces, or attics. On the outside of your home ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation which could attract ants to you.

3. Eliminate food sources
Keeping your kitchen clean will help to discourage ants from coming inside but that is not all you need to do to stop them.  It is also important to wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to eliminate crumbs or spills.  Some other simple ways to avoid ants in the kitchen are keeping ripe fruit in the refrigerator and wipe down any sticky jars.

4. Don’t forget about your pets
Yes, that’s right cats, dogs and other pets can invite ants into your home.  Inspect your animal to ensure they are not on them.  Ants can enter into the home the same way the animals come in and they can fit through even the tiniest openings.  At Pro-Force Pest Solutions we often see pet food as the main source that attracts ants in the home.  Using pest-proof containers is a great way to deter ants from inside.  Their food and water bowls attract pests, so be sure to keep pet bowls clean and tidy up any spilled food or water immediately.

5. Eliminate access points
Take your time to inspect the outside of your home for access points. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the home, as branches can provide the superhighway for ants to get inside.

6. You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Often homeowners would like to save money and attempt to treat their ant problems themselves.  Although sometimes it is possible to resolve the visual ants seems but most often you are not fixing the entire problem.  Without the proper training and tools, battling ants can be an uphill battle. What’s worse, an infestation can continue to grow if it is not properly treated. Some species of ants can cause serious property damage (like carpenter ants) and others (like fire ants) can pose health threats to your family. Even species that are considered nuisance pests (like odorous house ants) can contaminate food.

Give Pro-Force Pest Solutions a call today for your FREE in-home estimate for a pest-free home.