Ants Are The #1 Pest Issue Don't let ants take over your home or office.
Ants are the primary pest problem facing homes and businesses in Bensalem and throughout the country. These invaders use their powerful senses to locate food sources inside human habitations. To the human residents, this feels like a non-stop onslaught by enemy forces.
Unfortunately, these insects leave a trail of germs and bacteria. Such contaminants can make people sick. Unclean food preparation surfaces and contaminated food represent an ongoing health threat until the infestation is eradicated.
While the acrobat ant, citronella ant, odorous ant and the pavement ant may make homes filthy, it is the carpenter ant that also may leave a path of destruction. In extreme cases, the structural integrity of the building may be undermined. Clearly, it is vital to take swift action when ant extermination is needed.
Ants are small six-legged insects with a pair of antennae. The acrobat ant has an abdomen shaped like a heart. Members of the species vary between light brown and black coloration. Adult workers measure about one-eighth of an inch though queens may be three-eighths of an inch.
Citronella ants are a yellowish color. Measuring between one-eighth and three-sixteenths of an inch, this species has segmented bodies that are unevenly rounded. When frightened or crushed, citronella ants emit a lemon-like scent.
Odorous ants have black or brown hairless bodies. They are similar in size to citronella ants, and they smell like rotten coconuts when they are crushed.
Tiny pavement ants measure one-eighth to one-sixteenth of an inch. They are black or brown and feature two spines rising from the backs. Their legs and antennae are a lighter hue than their bodies.
Much larger than most ants in the region, carpenter ants may reach a length of five-eighths of an inch. Black is the most common coloration, though some reports include carpenter ants that are red or brown.
Most ant species prefer to live in loose soil where it is easiest to construct an underground nest. Nests may be placed beneath a fallen tree or next to a stump. Occasionally, a large rock provides a protected place.
Closer to human habitations, ants may use garden soil as a nesting site. Alternatives include woodpiles and yard debris piles. Some species may establish a nest next to a building's foundation. Still others look for paving stones, sidewalks and driveways beneath which they can burrow.
An exception to this is the carpenter ant, which always chooses to nest in wood. Typically, members of the species look for wood that is damaged or wet to provide them with an easy entrance.
Most ant species seek steady sources of protein and sugar to satisfy their nutritional needs. Some may feed on insects whether living or dead, and various species are attracted to grease. Seeds, nuts, fruits, dairy products, meat and bread all may be attractive to ants that invade kitchens and pantries. Any dessert items containing sugar and pet food also are vulnerable.
PROBLEMS WITH ANTS
Property owners who find themselves dealing with an ant infestation will confront numerous concerns. Yards that host large or several ant colonies may notice that their produce and flower gardens stop producing because ants are ravaging the seed supply.
An additional concern is the ability of the ant colony to destabilize stepping stones, patios, walkways and driveways. Many accidents occur when people trip and fall over these hazards.
When people see ants in kitchens and pantries, there is yet another cause for worry. Ants track germs and bacteria across food preparation surfaces. They also leave these contaminants in food that is intended for human or pet consumption. This contamination of the kitchen and food represents an economic loss as well as a loss of free time and peace of mind.
People who suspect that they have a carpenter ant infestation have yet another cause for concern. This species tunnels deep into the structural supports of buildings, potentially causing the house or outbuilding to become unstable. Because carpenter ants typically keep their activity in out-of-the-way places like attics, basements, crawl spaces and garages, they may be able to cause widespread destruction without the human occupants realizing that there is a problem until it is too late.
Ants tend to be social and are adept at communicating with one another. Generally, they live in large colonies that may occupy an established nest over a period of several years.
Sustaining a growing population means that worker ants must continuously be on the lookout for food. This may lead them to venture well beyond the colony and into places like garbage cans, sewers and dumpsters. Many also will visit animal carcasses. Accordingly, ants are able to spread filth to kitchens and pantries.
Ants may be busy around the clock, depending upon their specific habits and the needs of the colony. They may appear indifferent to the presence of people, but some species are equipped to bite or sting if provoked.
While some ants are capable of biting or stinging a human victim, such attacks rarely are a cause for concern. A small amount of pain or itchiness typically is the result, though a small number of individuals is prone to a far more severe reaction that may require medical treatment.
The most common ailment connected with an ant infestation is food poisoning. Such illnesses are caused by the contaminants that ants leave behind in food and on food preparation surfaces. Symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, chills and diarrhea may be the result.
SIGNS OF ANT INFESTATION
Ant control may be necessary if these signs are noticed:
• Flying ants making a springtime appearance • Small piles that look like sand or loose soil in the vicinity of paving stones and driveways • Lines of ants walking across kitchen surfaces • The presence of any wood that is perpetually wet on the property
In an effort to prevent an ant infestation in your Bensalem home or business, SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC suggests these actions:
• Use screens on all windows and doors • Eliminate standing water around the property • Discover the source of any wet wood and correct it • Place yard debris piles and woodpiles at least 20 feet away from structures • Do not allow vegetation to touch buildings • Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
Effective ant control requires a thorough inspection of the building to locate all existing nests, identify the type of ant involved, locate entry points, and determine the best type of treatment.
SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been serving Bensalem area home and business owners with successful pest control for over 20 years. Our trusted, licensed exterminators can identify the pest and implement immediate treatment so that everyone in the home or office can regain peace of mind.