While ants found throughout the Croydon area are not necessarily a danger, they still have no place in human habitations. People can get food poisoning, and carpenter ants can cause structural damage, underlining the need for proper pest management.
A professional pest control provider has the tools and knowledge that are needed to eradicate an ant colony. This service is performed safely and effectively to ensure the welfare of people, pets and the environment.
The pavement ant, little black ant, citronella ant and the odorous house ant are commonly found in Croydon. Infestations by such species may be common, but this does not mean that property owners are forced to put up with the inconvenience. An experienced exterminator can resolve the issue by eradicating the nest and helping the property owner to enact preventative measures.
Like all other insects, ants have six legs. They further are equipped with a pair of antennae that function much like a nose in that the ant is able to smell with them. The majority of the species in Croydon are fairly small and either brown or black. This can make it difficult for the average person to distinguish between species, complicating DIY pest control methods.
Measuring between 2.5 and three millimeters long, pavement ants are tiny. Their brown or black bodies typically are a few shades darker than their legs.
Little black ants get their name from measuring just five one-hundredths of an inch when fully grown. While they are not easy to distinguish from other species with their brown or black bodies, the unusually glossy sheen on their bodies may identify the species.
The yellowish citronella ant worker is an exception to the brown or black rule. They measure just six millimeters or less when full grown, and they emit a smell like lemons when they are crushed.
Odorous house ants are even smaller, with most members of the species being just 2.4 to 3.3 millimeters long. When they are crushed, they smell like rotting coconuts, a dead giveaway for identifying the species.
The size of the carpenter ant can most easily be used to identify the species. Ranging between 3.5 and 13 millimeters long, this species is far larger than any of the others in the Croydon area. With a heart-shaped head and black or brown bodies, this is a distinctive species.
It is rare for most of the ant species in Croydon to establish a nest within human habitations. Most of them nest in an underground burrow that provides plenty of protection from the elements and predators. Ant nests may be used for several years, and they become increasingly complex in terms of the tunnels and chambers that they include.
Loose soil typically is preferred as it provides the easiest tunneling. Some species, such as pavement ants, are most likely to be found beneath or around driveways, sidewalks and paving stones. Other likely nesting sites include beneath fallen logs.
While most of the local ants prefer soil as a primary nesting material, carpenter ants show a distinct preference for nesting in wood. They look for wood that is rotting and damp, circumstances that make for easier tunneling. Well-established nests that have been in existence for years may threaten the structural integrity of houses and other buildings.
Protein and sugar are the staple foods of the ant's diet. They get the nutrition they need from living and dead insects as well as honeydew, a sweet substance that is secreted by insects such as aphids.
Many human foods appeal to ants. Sugar, syrup, honey, jams, jellies and desserts will be marauded by opportunistic colonies. Meats and other foods that are protein-based frequently are targeted as well.
PROBLEMS WITH ANTS
Property owners typically are horrified when they see a line of ants marching across their kitchen counter or floor. These ants may be seeking food that is stored on the counter or in pantries and cupboards. The nutritional needs of an average ant colony are enormous. Accordingly, the search for food is continuous. When food is discovered, the colony will exploit it en masse.
Ants regularly walk through garbage, animal carcasses and other objectionable items on their way into human habitations. This means that they trail filth and bacteria with them, necessitating extra cleaning and the need to throw away contaminated food.
Moreover, carpenter ants are capable of causing massive destruction to the wooden components in buildings as they construct a nest. The structural integrity of some buildings may be undermined by such excavations.
Most ant species in Croydon are most active during the day. However, they may be active on a 24/7 basis if the colony is large enough and requires a non-stop supply of food.
Ants lay down a trail of pheromones when a food source is discovered. Other colony members pick up on this cue, following the trail to secure food to bring back to the nest. These trails are notoriously difficult to eradicate without the assistance of a professional exterminator.
While the ants in some exotic locales are quite dangerous to human health, this is typically not the case with the ants in Croydon. Most are quite harmless and unlikely to bite. Food poisoning is the most prominent health threat. Accordingly, it is critical that any contaminated food be promptly disposed of to prevent accidental ingestion.
SIGNS OF ANT INFESTATION
An ant exterminator may be necessary if the following signs are present:
• Flying ants appearing in and around buildings
• Trails of ants in pantries or kitchens
• Tiny piles of loose sand or soil left around walkways and foundations
• The presence of damp wood that may be attractive to carpenter ants
Property owners should take these precautions to avoid issues with ants:
• Ensure that all wood on the property is painted, stained or otherwise treated
• Store woodpiles and yard debris piles well away from structures
• Promptly fix all plumbing and irrigation leaks
• Keep food in glass or metal containers with tight lids
• Use only garbage cans with lids
• Frequently clean garbage cans
• Do not allow crumbs or spills to remain on counters or floors
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 Croydon 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.