ABOUT ANTS



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.

APPEARANCE



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.

HABITATS



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.

DIET



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.

BEHAVIOR



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.

HEALTH ISSUES



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

PREVENTION TIPS



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

ANT CONTROL



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 Bucks County area home and business owners with successful ant eradication and 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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED ANT CONTROL QUESTIONS

 

DOES DIY ANT CONTROL WORK?

DOES DIY ANT CONTROL WORK?

Many people try DIY ant control before calling an exterminator. Ants seem like such a basic, common pest, that it seems reasonable that they would be easy to control. The reality is far more complicated.

One of the main reasons why DIY ant control methods fail is that they use the wrong kind of bait. Several ant species are commonly found in the area, and they all have their own behavior and habits. They also follow their own diets. If a bait does not appeal to the species of ant that is responsible for the infestation, it is destined to fail.

This may seem counterintuitive, but another reason why a DIY ant control product does not seem to be effective may be because it is working too quickly. This may be the case when the homeowner is confronted with numerous dead ants yet does not see a slowdown in the number of ants invading their property. Ideally, the bait kills slowly so that the ants have time to take it back to the nest where it can do maximum damage. Unless the colony is wiped out, the problem will simply continue.

In some cases, the bait that is used may not be sufficient to kill the colony. Some ant colonies may have thousands of members, and reproduction can happen with shocking speed. If the bait depletes too quickly, then the colony may be able to produce more new members than are being killed by the poison.

Homeowners who are really dedicated to the idea of enjoying an ant-free house are encouraged to contact a professional ant exterminator at once. With their ability to accurately identify ant species and their knowledge of ant nesting behavior, it is far easier for an exterminator to deal with the problem. Moreover, the exterminator knows precisely what sort of bait to use for each ant species.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTROL ANTS IN THE YARD?

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTROL ANTS IN THE YARD?

It is possible to control ants in yards, but it is not always necessary to do so. In fact, ants can be a beneficial species in the garden. They provide natural control of other pests and they are unintentional pollinators. Ecosystems may be healthier thanks to the soil aeration that ants provide, and ants are instrumental in the decomposition of decaying plant matter.

However, having ants in the garden is not always good news. Many ant species are notorious for "farming" aphids. An aphid is an insect that secretes honeydew after feeding on sap from plants. Aphids are hazardous to gardens, and with ants providing care for them, their numbers can grow. Overall, this can have a detrimental effect.

By far the biggest concern is the carpenter ant with its habit of building a nest in wooden structures. They can cause extensive damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. A suspected carpenter ant infestation, even if it has not made its way to any structures yet, is certainly worthy of nipping in the bud as soon as possible.

People who find an ant infestation in their yard that concerns them are advised to contact an exterminator immediately. The exterminator can identify the species and provide recommendations regarding whether or not the colony needs to be destroyed.

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THEIR CAR?

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THEIR CAR?

For many people, discovering ants in their car is like something out of a horror movie. Moreover, these discoveries tend to happen at the most inopportune moment, such as when the car owner is running late for work. It is a baffling situation, and the person has to wonder why ants would bother to get into a car in the first place.

The answer is that the ants are doing what they always do: Looking for food. Ants typically do not look to cars when they want to establish a new colony. Instead, they are simply looking for an additional food source to keep all of the colony members fed.

Many people have eaten more than a few meals in their cars. No matter how careful they are, spills and crumbs are inevitable. With the ant's innate ability scent food wherever it may be, they will soon move in on those crumbs.

The car owner can take steps to get rid of the problem. Moving the car to a spot farther away from the ants' nest makes sense as does clearing all trash from the car. A thorough vacuuming of the car's interior is in order, and it may make sense to clean the tires and wheels too. An ant control professional may need to be called to take care of the colony before it can find another inappropriate food source.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF ANTS OUTSIDE?

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF ANTS OUTSIDE?

It is an unfortunate reality that it is virtually impossible to end an insect problem without destroying the colony. Knowing the location of the nest may make getting rid of the colony faster and more effective. Of course, if an exterminator is on the job, he can ensure that the appropriate bait is used so that it can be carried back to the colony. He also may identify the nest's location if he believes that additional control methods may be advisable.

The most highly recommended way to get rid of ants outside is with the assistance of an exterminator. This way, homeowners can be confident that the pest has been correctly identified, which means that the proper, and most effective, control methods can be employed.

These control methods are effective on the worker ants that are seen outside the nest and the colony members that never leave the nest. This ensures that the colony is eradicated, and that is the only way to put an end to the infestation.

When an exterminator performs this service, homeowners can rest assured that the methods used are safe for people, animals and the environment. Nonetheless, these methods are powerful enough to eliminate the problem.

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THE WALL?

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THE WALLS?

Ants are small and determined, which can lead them to be found in some incredibly out-of-the-way places such as inside the walls of a home. Such infestations can be extremely difficult to eliminate as access to the nest may be poor. In some situations, the nest cannot even be located.

Fortunately, a licensed pest control technician understands ant behavior. This makes it easier for them to determine where a nest might be located. Ants that are nesting inside walls are of particular concern because there is a strong possibility that they are carpenter ants. These destructive pests can cause a great deal of damage to any wood in the structure.

When ants are discovered inside walls, the exterminator is likely to use baiting to attract the ants so that they will take the poison back to their nest. A particularly bad infestation may call for the drilling of small holes in the wall and then the application of a powdered poison. The exterminator will present all available control methods to the homeowner so that an informed decision regarding treatment can be made.

 
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