Blog Posts for ant-control
Ant bait for my home | keeping the yard safe to play on
You may be a bit apprehensive about using ant bait to control those tiny pests, given that your yard is probably a focal point of outdoor summer activity. Unfortunately, ants can spoil the fun, and even though you may be wary of ant bait, it is sometimes the right solution for a serious problem. However, it’s important to identify the type of ant involved before trying to control them because different ants require different solutions.
Using ant bait: the targets
There are several types of ants you may encounter in your yard, and they’re all rather difficult to get rid of. Fire ants, for instance, are tenacious and may reinvade from neighboring properties. It’s important to treat individual mounds, but using ant bait in the entire yard is often necessary as well to help reduce the fire ant population.
Argentine ants populate not only colonies, but also sub-colonies, often on neighboring properties. Ant bait alone has little effect in reducing Argentine ant populations at the height of summer. It can be helpful to make your yard less attractive to ants by clearing out areas where they are likely to nest, like heavy ground- covering vegetation, and piles of bricks, flagstones and lumber. Carpenter ants are tricky, because of their multiple satellite colonies. Parent colonies are typically located in trees and landscape timbers, but satellite colonies can be located anywhere including wall voids, hollow curtain rods, boxes and even inside some electronics. The parent colony must be treated directly using a residual dust or aerosol. In many cases the parent colony may be inaccessible high up in a tree so a carpenter ant bait may be used to try and control it.
If ants have invaded your property, enlisting the help of a pest control company can be the best course of action for a long-term solution. You could spend your summer reading online reviews to determine which natural ant bait products may be effective, and then labor in your yard to keep the ants at bay—or you could call in a professional who has the expertise to solve your problem quickly and safely.
Terminix® provides solutions for ants and other pests
Terminix® has more than 85 years of experience in not only identifying the type of pest you’re dealing with, but also the best methods to employ for a long-term solution. Their Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.
To determine if the solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.
Natural ant control | tips and tricks for home ant control
Natural ant control is a difficult thing to achieve. More times than not, ant colonies are more extensive than you realize with sub-colonies on neighboring properties. That means that even if you eliminate them it's easy for them to return to your property and home.
Effective natural ant control includes identifying what types of ants may be trying to invade your home, along with certain steps you can take to control these pests. However, enlisting the services of a professional pest control company is the best way to secure a long-term solution
First step for natural ant control: identifying the pests
There are several different kinds of ants a U.S. homeowner may encounter. Fire ants have a painful sting and can be difficult to get rid of, because they can easily reinvade from neighboring yards. Argentine ants live in colonies that have numerous sub-colonies located on nearby properties. Carpenter ants can damage the wood in your home by tunneling through it, and Pharaoh ants can invade your food. Different ant species may require different strategies, and trained pest professionals can identify the ants involved and offer the more effective solution.
Natural ant control: preventative steps
Ants enter your home seeking a food source, so putting food away is a big part of preventing an infestation. Clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly, vacuum daily and make sure to rinse recyclables before discarding them. For Argentine ants, you’ll need to remove places where they can nest like heavy ground covering vegetation, piles of stone or lumber and also seal exterior cracks and holes where they could enter.
Natural ant control: the ongoing challenge
Good sanitation efforts are helpful and sealing points of entry is a step that can make a big difference. For example, a good way to disrupt ant trails is to wipe them with a solution of vinegar and water. However, most homeowners discover that, despite their best efforts, ants just keep coming back. Even using ant bait is usually not enough, because not every ant species will feed on ant baits and each trail could involve a different ant colony.
Natural ant control: the solution
The most effective way to protect your home from ants with natural ant control is by calling in an expert. A trained professional can identify the type of ant you’re fighting and can provide the right long-term solutions to get rid of ants.
With more than 85 years of experience, Terminix® trained professionals have the knowledge and experience to provide solutions to your pest problems. The Terminix Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.
To determine if the long-term solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.
Fire ant control for your yard and home
As a homeowner who uses your yard for a myriad of activities, fire ant control should be a priority. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, playing soccer with your kids or playing with your pets, you want to ensure fire ants don’t put a serious damper on your outdoor enjoyment.
Fire ants aren't shy about making their presence known; their mounds are unsightly, large and in some cases hard enough to damage farm equipment. They emerge from their mounds ready to defend their colonies aggressively by biting and stinging. And people aren’t their only targets; fire ants also may sting your pets.
An infestation of fire ants is driven by their insatiable quest to find a food source. Here are some of the reasons why fire ants target areas in and around your home:
- Fire ants are attracted to aphids and scale insects for the “honeydew” those insects secrete
- Swimming pools attract swarming winged fire ants by the thousands
- Spilled and poorly stored food, this includes pet food and unsecured food and waste inside and outside, attracts fire ants, especially sweets, proteins and fats
- Fire ants are attracted to damp areas, so leaking faucets and plumbing can encourage them to nest where they normally would not, such as wall voids
Risks of do-it-yourself fire ant control
Fire ants can be difficult to eliminate completely because they can reinvade from neighboring properties. Still, many people seek the best fire ant killer and try “home remedies” for fire ant control. Such methods include:
- Hot water: Hot water poured over mounds kills a significant number of ants, but survivors simply rebuild mounds nearby
- Grits: There’s a myth that if you pour grits into a mound, the ants will eat it, swell in size and eventually explode, but the truth is, grits have no effect on colony health
- Non-toxic options: Club soda, vinegar, baking soda, molasses, aspartame and plaster of Paris are non-toxic, but ineffective
- Caustic chemicals and flammable liquids: It should be obvious why dumping chlorine bleach, ammonia, gasoline, or oil onto mounds is not realistic for fire ant treatment. These substances pose a threat to people, pets, livestock and wildlife; it also may be illegal to use them for this purpose.
The Terminix® solution for fire ant control
Terminix® has more than 85 years of experience in providing long-term solutions for termites and pests, including fire ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection. For more information on fire ant control, visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.
Ants, pest control | keeping ants out of your home
One of the largest families of insects, ants, has more than 12,000 species, a few of which are classified as pests that can invade your home and cause problems. Are all ants bad? Why do they try to come in your home and how can you keep them out? When it comes to ants, pest control solutions from professionals are a better alternative than doing it on your own, to keep them where they belong – outside your home.
The detrimental aspects of ants
Ants actually can have a positive impact on the environment by increasing the level of nutrients in the soil, but it’s hard to appreciate this fact when they have invaded your home:
- Ants bite; some can sting; others spray formic acid from the tip of their abdomen
- Ants can infiltrate the pantry and contaminate food
- Some ants have an affinity for electrical fixtures and can cause short circuits by chewing through wires
- Some ants can damage wood and fabrics, causing costly repairs
How and why ants move into your home
Ants enter homes through narrow cracks and tiny holes in a coordinated effort as worker ants leave pheromone trails for other ants to follow. Homeowners also may accidentally carry them into their home in potted plants, firewood or other materials. Ants have two objectives: to find food and to establish a new colony.
Once a new colony has been established, it can grow quickly. In some species, the queen can lay up to thousands of eggs per year. Colonies can consist of thousands of ants that are determined to find food for survival. Spilled food is the “low hanging fruit,” so to speak – these determined pests have been known to chew through plastic bags and cardboard boxes to access stored food. This poses a tough challenge for homeowners because if you don't treat an ant infestation correctly, they just seem to keep coming back.
Ants, pest control: tips for homeowners
Pest control for ants requires taking a proactive approach before signs of ants are evident. Here are some suggestions for home pest control:
- Store unrefrigerated food (including pet food) in plastic, glass, or metal containers with tight-fitting lids
- Wipe up spilled food immediately
- Place potted plants inside larger bowls partially filled with water and a small amount of detergent
- Seal cracks and crevices to prevent ants from entering
- Vacuum frequently
- Store firewood away from the foundation of your home, trim vegetation and prune tree branches so they don’t come into contact with your home
- Limit the number of groundcover plants, decorative wood elements, flagstones and loose bricks to eliminate potential outdoor nesting sites
Terminix® treatments for ants, pest control
If you want protection from household pests, including ants, Terminix® can help. Their Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. This plan—which is backed by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee, the strongest guarantee in the business includes:
- We start with an evaluation to develop a customized plan.
- An initial service inside your home gets to the pests you see and the pests you don’t.
- The exterior of your home is treated to help prevent new home invasions.
- Regular services create a perimeter around your home that helps keep pests out.
Visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today to get your FREE Pest Evaluation.
Carpenter ant control | keep carpenter ants away from my homeAlthough carpenter ants do provide a valuable service in nature, as they assist in the decay of wood that adds nutrients to soil, they do not differentiate when it comes to their food source. This means that all wood on your property—even your home—is fair game for these pests. And as with any other form of pest control, the first step toward carpenter ant control is to confirm the type of infestation you may be facing.
Identifying carpenter antsCarpenter ants have an evenly rounded thorax, which is the body segment just under the head. Carpenter ant nests are found in hollow logs, in landscape timber or in tree stumps. In fact, carpenter ants often have more than one nesting site; the parent colony houses the queen, while satellite colonies contain larvae, pupae and unmated males or females.Although carpenter ants do not have stingers, they can and will bite if picked up or provoked. The sharp mandibles they use to cut through wood are used to defend themselves by grasping the enemy and then spraying weak formic acid from the end of their abdomen into the wound.
How carpenter ants can damage a homeCarpenter ants enter homes as they forage for food and nest in wood that is moist, so it is not uncommon to find them around sinks, bathtubs, poorly sealed windows and doorframes, roofs, gutters and downspouts. Finding five or more ants per day in an area indicates there may be an indoor nest nearby that would require carpenter ant control. Carpenter ants can weaken studs, joists and other structural parts of the home, although the damage is usually not as severe as that caused by termites because the carpenter ants do not eat the wood, but simply create grooves for their nest. In some cases, bits of sawdust and dead insects the carpenter ants have eaten may appear near the nest, but often the debris remains hidden in a wall undetected.
Steps for carpenter ant controlThere are several things that you as a homeowner can do to deter carpenter ants from invading your home. Repair roof and plumbing leaks to limit moisture that attracts carpenter ants. Trim tree limbs and branches to keep them from brushing the roof or side of your home, as these can serve as bridges for carpenter ants to gain access into your home. Seal cracks and crevices in your foundation, especially where pipes and wires enter from the outside. Firewood makes a prime nesting location for carpenter ants, so storing firewood away from your home is an excellent step for natural ant control.If you need help with carpenter ant control or any other form of pest or termite control, trust the trained professionals at Terminix® to provide a solution. To learn more about ant control, visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.
Ant control | best methods for a long-term solution
Ant control can be an exercise in frustration, especially when attempting to treat an ant infestation on your own. Your first impulse might be to spray countertops, floors and other areas of infestation with do-it-yourself products—only to see ants return soon after treatment.
As someone who is trying to protect both your home and family, you want ant control that provides long-term results. And that usually begins with identifying the specific type of ant that has invaded your home, because, frankly, you can’t treat all ants the same way. Here is a closer look at a few types of ants that may make their way into your home.
Winged ant control
Winged ants are often mistaken for termites because they look very similar. Winged ants have pinched waists and two pair of wings that differ in size and shape; termites have pigmented bodies that are up to 3/8th of an inch long with broad waists and two pair of wings of identical size. Both winged ants and termites shed their wings quickly after a short flight. Another distinguishing difference is that winged ants have elbowed antennae, while a termite’s antennae are straight. While it’s best to bring in a trained technician, you can help prevent flying ants by caulking around door thresholds, windows and openings where utility pipes and wires enter buildings.
Fire ant control
There are many types of fire ants in the United States. There’s the red imported fire ant and the southern fire ant. The red imported fire ants are more aggressive than the southern fire ants. There are also the little fire ant in Florida and Hawaii and the European fire ant in New England but these are minor pests in yards. The black imported fire ant is an important species in AL, TN, and MI. Fire ants can be difficult ants to eliminate because they constantly reinvade treated areas from neighboring properties. Long term fire ant management involves multiple treatment strategies and may require repeat inspections and applications over the course of the summer. This is why a pest professional may be the best choice when dealing with this troublesome ant.
Carpenter ant control
Carpenter ants are characterized by a one-segmented body and an evenly convex thorax. In the U.S., more than 25 species that are known to invade homes, but only 5-6 species are considered to be structure-damaging pests. Carpenter ants come in different sizes and different colors from black to black and brown to red and black and even yellow-orange. The carpenter ant species that are damaging to structures have a parent colony and a few to a dozen or more satellite colonies. The parent colony is usually located outside in moist wood, such as rotting trees or stumps, roots and logs lying on or buried in the ground. Parent colonies can also be found inside, nesting in moisture-damaged wood in buildings, such as wood that has been exposed to leaks, excessive condensation or poor air circulation in the crawlspace or attic. Most inside infestations involve satellite colonies which can nest in any suitable void, dry, sound wood or under attic insulation. Like termites, carpenter ants can damage wood by creating tunnels and grooves in the wood but they do not eat the wood. Instead they chew off bits of wood and deposit in in small piles. Besides seeing foraging ants, these piles of sawdust are often the first indication of an infestation. Left untreated, some carpenter ant infestations can cause significant damage to some structural wood. The best method for carpenter ant control is to locate and destroy the nest(s), which is best handled by a pest control professional.
Terminix® offers long-term solutions for ant control
Terminix® has more than 85 years of experience in identifying and controlling ants with methods that provide long-term solutions. The Terminix Pest Control Plan provides guaranteed protection against 27 of the worst kinds of pests, including ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, carpenter ants and other wood-eating ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection.
To determine if the long-term solution you need is included in the Pest Control Plan and covered by the Ultimate Protection® Guarantee—the strongest guarantee in the business—visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628.
on Friday, June 14, 2013 by TerminixAnt control can be an exercise in frustration, especially when attempting to treat an ant infestation on your own. Your first impulse might be to spray countertops, floors and other areas of infestation with do-it-yourself products—only to see ants return soon after treatment. Read more
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