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Ant control | best methods for a long-term solution

on Friday, June 14, 2013 by Terminix

all posts ANT-CONTROL

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 or call 1.866.766.7628.

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