ABOUT ANTS



When ants invade Warminster homes and offices they can be difficult to eradicate. This is because ants lay down a powerful scent trail that other colony members use to locate food or water. Unless that trail is eliminated and the nest is destroyed, an ant infestation is an ongoing problem.

Pavement ants and odorous house ants are an annoyance for property owners. However, carpenter ants are another thing entirely. This pest burrows into rotting or unfinished wood to create nests where the colony's young are kept. The tunneling causes structural damage that must be repaired to maintain integrity. Professional pest control is usually the best method for ending the problem for Warminster homes and businesses.

APPEARANCE



As six-legged insects with a set of antennae, it is not always easy to distinguish one species from another. It takes training and experience to definitively identify the species, and this identification will affect the treatment method chosen.

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants that are typically found in Warminster. Adult workers generally measure between one-quarter inch and one-half inch in length. Most examples of the species are black or brown, though other colors are sometimes seen. Reproductive members of the colony have wings, but workers and the queen do not.

Pavement ants may be distinguished from carpenter ants because of their smaller size and the dark, parallel lines that decorate their heads and thoraxes. Adults typically only grow to be one-quarter of an inch long. Brown and black are common colors, but their legs frequently are a shade or two lighter.

Odorous house ants are even smaller. Their thoraxes are unevenly shaped, but this can be difficult to see with adults only measuring between one-eighth and three-sixteenths of an inch. Perhaps the easiest way to identify odorous house ants is the distinctive rotting coconut smell that they emit after being crushed.

HABITATS



The various ant species that are common in Pennsylvania have distinctive nesting habits. Carpenter ants prefer to bore into unfinished or wet, rotting wood to dig tunnels and galleries where they live and raise their young. Any neglected wooden components on or near human habitations may be vulnerable including fences, decks, siding and porches. The tunnels are highly polished and feature windows through which tunneling debris may be dumped.

Pavement ants are more likely to be found nesting beneath stepping stones or in cracks that are located in driveways and sidewalks. If there is a crack in a foundation, this may become a nesting site as well. Odorous house ants have similar habits, and both of these species can cause damage to pavers and concrete patios.

DIET



Living and dead insects form a major part of the diet for all of these ant species. It is the proteins in the insects' bodies that ants need to survive. However, they also are drawn to sugary items. In particular, aphids secrete a sweet liquid call honeydew that ants regularly consume.

Their attraction to protein and sugar makes many human foods irresistible to ants. This is why ants are often discovered trooping into kitchens or onto picnic tables. Any item that contains meat or sugar is likely to tempt a colony of ants. Sauces and dressings are vulnerable, as are sodas and jams. Ants make seek out fruits and vegetables as well.


PROBLEMS WITH ANTS



Carpenter ants pose the biggest issues for property owners. Typically, an infestation of these pests is not as devastating as an infestation of termites, but if the property owner does not notice a problem for several years, then the situation can get out of hand. Any extensively damaged wooden components will need to be replaced. Sometimes, these repairs are more cosmetic in nature, but a severe infestation may necessitate structural work.

Pavement ants and odorous house ants pose less of a problem, but any species of ant may contaminate human or pet food. Remaining edible items that have been infiltrated by ants should be destroyed to avoid the risk of food-borne illnesses.

BEHAVIOR



Ants generally are absorbed in the tasks that are necessary to ensure the colony's survival. To that end, they have a tendency to avoid contact with humans. This is somewhat easier for carpenter ants that spend much of their time inside wooden components in places where people rarely go. When ants and humans do encounter each other, ants are not particularly aggressive. Nonetheless, they may deliver a slightly irritating bite if they feel threatened.

HEALTH ISSUES



The ant species that are commonly seen in Warminster are not known for transmitting any sickness to people. However, they may contaminate the food supply with saliva, feces and urine, and they may redistribute bacteria and germs to human foods that they climb on and consume. This makes it necessary to dispose of these items before food poisoning occurs.

People with respiratory issues may have additional problems when carpenter ants are present because of the small wood particles that are released into the air through tunneling. People with allergies or asthma will want to act quickly to end an infestation.


SIGNS OF ANT INFESTATION



Signs of an ant infestation include:

• Discovering wood on the property that is routinely wet or showing signs of rot
• Finding ants in cupboards and pantries or on kitchen tables or counters
• A line of ants moving toward a structure
• Tiny dirt or sand piles that indicate underground excavation near paving
• Piles of wood shavings where carpenter ants may be tunneling
-Sounds of rustling or movement behind walls

PREVENTION TIPS



It may be possible to prevent an ant infestation by applying the following tips:

• Store all food in containers with tight lids
• Do not leave food sitting on counters and tables
• Immediately clean up spills and crumbs
• Make certain that lids on garbage cans are tight
• Keep window and door screens in good repair
• Seal even the tiniest cracks and holes in the building's exterior

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 Warminster 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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