There is only one continent on Earth that doesn't have ants, and unless you want to take your chances braving the harsh tundras of Antarctica, you'll probably encounter at least one infestation at some point in your life. With roughly one thousand different species in the United States alone, you'd be hard-pressed to find a home that hasn't struggled with them. Thankfully, there aren't many species that prefer domestic life over the wild. There are a few, though, and it's important to know how to prevent them before they decide to march inside.
Ants Commonly Found As Pests In Richmond
Since these insects are so small, it can be difficult to figure out which species have infiltrated your home, but it's not impossible if you know what appearances and behaviors to look for:
- Carpenter Ants – black in color, 1/8 – ½ of an inch long, create vast nests within rotting and water-damaged wood, can bite but not venomous
- Argentine Ants – light brown to black, 1/16 – ¼ of an inch long, often seen around sidewalks and gardens, cannot bite
- Pavement Ants – dark brown to black, roughly 1/8 of an inch long, usually seen within cracks of pavement, non-aggressive but can bite and sting
- Fire Ants – reddish-brown, 1/10 – ¼ of an inch long, create dead patches of grass in lawns, very aggressive and inflict painful stings
- Little Black Ants – black in color, 1/16th of an inch long, widely known for their trailing lines towards food, can bite and sting but it is rare
- Odorous House Ants – dark brown to black, roughly 1/8 of an inch long, emits a pungent rotting coconut odor when crushed, cannot bite
Invasive ants are usually classified as either dangerous or nuisance pests, depending on the threat they pose to human life. Where species such as Argentine ants, little black ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants are less harmful and more of a nuisance with their food contamination, other species like fire ants and carpenter ants can cause structural damage and health problems. Enough stings from a hoard of fire ants could send someone to the hospital, and both fire and carpenter ants can cause significant damage to the safety and integrity of your Richmond home.
What Attracts Ants To Infest A Home In Richmond
Sometimes home is merely a shelter of convenience, specifically when inclement weather strikes such as excessive rain or extreme cold. Most times, though, there's usually something particularly enticing about a home that they just can't resist, such as water damage and easily accessible food. Each species has its own food preferences, but basically, if you enjoy eating it, they'll enjoy it too:
- Sugars and syrups
- Fruits and juices
- Raw and cooked vegetables
- Cooked proteins
- Grains and nuts
- Pastries and bread
Ants are small creatures that can squeeze their way through the tiniest cracks, So the best first step is to make sure there aren't any cracks to squeeze through. Patch up any holes and crevices in the outer walls, foundation, roof and trim, and around windows and doors. Always clean food prep surfaces immediately after making food, wipe up any messes as soon as they happen, and sweep and vacuum regularly to keep crumbs off the floor.
Moisture is another big attractant for ants, so if you discover any leaks in your pipes, have them repaired immediately. Fix any water damage that you find, and invest in a dehumidifier for those moisture-retaining rooms such as the kitchen, basement, bathroom, and laundry room. Don't over-water your garden, and be sure your lawn is draining properly as well.
What To Do When Ants Have Overstayed Their Welcome
Trying to get rid of ants isn't just annoying, it can be dangerous, and it can also cause a worse infestation. Ants are known to branch out and create satellite colonies if they're startled, and if you don't eradicate them all in one go, you'll find yourself even worse off than before. On top of that, most store-bought pesticides contain a lot of harmful chemicals that could make you and your family sick. These kinds of pests are best left to the professionals.
There isn't a better pest control company to offer professional ant control than Pestmaster® Services. Our highly-trained pest experts strive to get to the root of your pest problems, not just treat the symptoms. We use high-quality, science-based pesticides and procedures that are safe for the environment, and we're always dedicated to providing the best customer experience we can offer. Get in contact with us today, and send those ants marching right back out the door.