Ants are hard to get rid of because they have evolved by working together to protect and feed the colony. They work together like a well-oiled machine to feed and grow the colony while defending against threats. Threats to an ant colony can include those from termites and other predators as well as when they detect environmental threats. Severe weather such as heavy rains or heat are some environmental threats ants face. But they also can detect threats such as chemicals used to kill them.
Ants will split off, or engage in what is called “budding” to protect the colony from being devastated by a single threat. Satellite colonies help ensure the ants' survival instead of putting all their eggs in one basket. Each of these colonies can have multiple queens and thousands of ants in each colony. Even when you eliminate one ant colony, the other ant colonies can continue to thrive and infest your home.
Another reason that ants are hard to get rid of is their use of pheromone trails. These invisible chemical markers that they put down help ants know the location of a good food source. So, when you see a big trail of ants, it’s because ants have laid down this pheromone map to guide the way. Similarly, they use pheromones to signal areas to avoid because of a threat.
The Best Products to Get Rid of Ants
Many of the products homeowners purchase from big box stores to eliminate ants are repellants. They will kill ants and many other pests when sprayed directly. But they can push the ant problem around your home or even make the situation worse by pushing them into the walls, where they face fewer threats. Store-bought pesticides typically do not last as long as professional-grade products, are quite toxic, are smelly, and can be harmful to children and pets.
Trained pest professionals such as those at My Pest Pros have professional-grade products that have longer and more effective residuals to eliminate ant problems. As trained professionals, they also know how to treat for where ants are likely to trail, identify colony locations, and understand the different products that work best depending on the ant species or environment.
A pest professional can save you time, money, and the stress of combating these clever opponents. A pest management professional can also provide safer solutions to your ant problems.
Types of Ants in Northern Virginia and Maryland
Another reason ants are hard to get rid of is that there are so many ant species. A one-sized fits all solution offered by store-bought products does not always work. There are more than 700 species of ants in the U.S.
The most common ants in the Northern Virginia and Maryland area include:
Odorous house ants – Odorous house ants measure between 1/16 and 1/8 inches in length and are usually dark in color. When their bodies are crushed, they release an unpleasant odor said to smell like rotten coconut.
Pavement ants – Some of the smallest property-infesting ants, pavement ants measure between 1/8 to 3/16 inches in length and are usually dark brown or black in color. They are commonly found nesting in driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots among other areas.
Acrobat ants – These ants are easily recognized by their cinched waist and heart-shaped abdomen. They are small, usually about 1/10 of an inch in length, and are light brown to black in color.
Carpenter ants – Carpenter ants can tunnel into the structural wood on your property to build their nests. They can vary in color from red to black and measure between 3/8 to 1/2-inch long.
My Pest Pros’ Professional Ant Control
Solving your ant problems begins with some detective work. A comprehensive inspection of your home or business and interview about the problem and physical conditions around the structure are the first steps towards a My Pest Pros’ ant control expert will use to identify and eliminate your ant problems.
The inspection will identify the type of ant causing your infestation, locate and pinpoint trails and entry points, and the best solution to eliminate the issue.
My Pest Pros’ Pro Protection Plan provides affordable 365-day protection for ants as well as common pests including crickets, mice, spiders, and many other pests.
Call us to today to learn how we can protect your family, pets, and home from pests.