Bill Clark Pest Control reminds families that ants are more than a nuisance pest
While homeowners across the country enjoy the warm weather and the sights, smells and activities of the season, they also must contend with increased pest activity. This season, we want to remind homeowners to be on the look out for one of the most prevalent pest – ants.
Often considered the No. 1 nuisance pest, ants also pose significant health and property risk as they destroy wood and contaminate food items. And with more than 700 types of ant species in the United States, it’s not surprising that ants can quickly become a source of disgust, frustration and concern for homeowners.
Most ants thrive in warm and moist conditions, which is why it’s best to eliminate moisture or standing water near or inside the home. In some cases, the only way to completely remediate an ant infestation is to call a qualified pest professional who can locate and treat the identified species’ nests.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that the first step to remediation is to properly identify which ant species is present in the home.
Some of the most common home invaders include:
- Fire Ants: Fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in addition to structural damage caused by chewing through the insulation around electrical wiring. The risk of stings may be brought out more given the increase in fire ant pressure that we have seen as of late.
- Tawny (Rasberry) Crazy Ants: A non-native ant species that were introduced into the Houston area and is spreading to surrounding counties. This ant is one type of a group of ants referred to as crazy ants because of their erratic running behavior. These ants live in extremely large colonies, can forage for great distances and can literally sterilize a lawn by displacing other pests from existing in areas.
- Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed, often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
- Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
- Carpenter Ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
Homeowners who suspect an ant infestation should contact a licensed pest professional who can identify ant species and recommend a course of treatment.