When Bucks County homes and businesses are confronted with an ant infestation, it is important to act quickly to resolve the problem. Contacting a professional pest control company when it comes to ant control.
Ants are among the most numerous species on Earth, and several varieties of this pest may be found in Pennsylvania and New Jersey which include the carpenter ant, odorous ant, and the pavement ant. Ants in this part of the world tend to be small, usually about two and a half to five millimeters long, depending upon the species. The queen of the colony, which is typically not spotted inside human structures, may be longer at between seven and nine millimeters long.
All ant species have three body sections: the abdomen, thorax and head. They have six legs, and they tend to be dark brown or black, though other colorations are certainly seen.
Ants are extremely adaptable and may be able to make a home almost anywhere. Carpenter ants like to nest in stumps or trees in the wild. Moist wood is preferred, but dry wood also may be attractive. Other ant species common to Pennsylvania and New Jersey New Jersey build underground nests. Sometimes, these nests are protected or hidden by a large rock or stump. A paving slab or stepping stone in a garden often masks a sizable ant colony. The foundation of a home or other building additionally may be an attractive nesting site. Some species of ant may be attracted to living in wall voids while others have been found making a home in a house plant.
Ants may be interested in a wide variety of food sources. Carpenter ants appear to feed on wood, though they actually only bore through it. Other species of ant may eat insects both alive and dead while plant material also may be consumed. Additionally, many species are drawn to all sorts of human foods, especially those that are sweet or greasy. Pet food similarly may be targeted.
PROBLEMS WITH ANTS
Ants are generally harmless and even useful when they stick to their natural environment. However, they can become a nuisance or worse when they begin to encroach on human habitations. Carpenter ants are generally the greatest threat given their propensity to damage large portions of wood in a relatively short period of time. These infestations must be quickly treated to prevent severe structural damage.
Most ants do not represent a threat to people, although some species do bite or sting. These species are not commonly encountered by those living throughout the Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas.
Ants develop through four life stages. In the egg, larvae and pupae stages, ants are entirely dependent upon the other members of the colony. The end of the pupae stage brings on the adult stage, at which time the ant is ready to assume its duties within the nest. Many will become workers while others will be fertile males who have the responsibility of mating with the queen.
It is not unusual for workers in some species to live for only a few weeks, while they may live for three years in other species. Queens generally have the longest life spans. The appetite of the colony is voracious. To meet its needs, workers or scouts routinely seek new sources of food. They lay down a scent trail that can easily be found by all other colony members, which is why the sighting of one ant is frequently an indication of an infestation.
Organisms that cause diseases may be transferred by ants. Salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus are the most commonly seen problems. Ants may pick up these organisms while foraging through animal feces and garbage. When they come into a home or office, they trail the organisms with them, creating a potential health threat.
SIGNS OF ANT INFESTATION
Signs of an ant infestation include:
• Sightings of live ants
• Hearing insect activity when an ear is placed close to a colony in a wall or floor
• Piles of wood shavings
It may be possible to prevent an ant infestation by applying the following tips:
• Store food in tightly sealed containers
• Put pet food out only at mealtimes
• Seal cracks and crevices that might provide ants with an entrance
• Quickly repair any water leaks
Most DIY ant control efforts fail because they do not address the source of the problem: the nest. An ant colony will simply look for another way inside when one entrance is taken away, unless the nest is eradicated. The best way for homes and businesses to address an ant problem is with professional exterminator.
SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been serving Bucks County area homes and businesses for over 20 years. Our trained technicians will provide accurate species identification, identify entry points, and implement the best treatment methods for the specific situation to ensure complete eradication.