Pest Guide: What to Know About Ants

Identifying Ants: Common Features

Ants are some of the most common sources of insect infestations in the greater D.C. area. That makes it essential to know some key identifying features across all species.

All ants divide themselves into several unique castes with different body types. They are each evolved to carry out different roles within a colony.

  • Workers: These are the most common type of ant and are all sterile females. They have a head with large mandibles for biting, a narrow thorax, six legs, and a sizeable rear abdomen with a stinger.
  • Soldiers: These ants have similar bodies to workers but tend to be more prominent in size and have much larger heads and jaws.
  • Queen: A female, the queen never leaves the colony but lays thousands of eggs daily.
  • Princesses: These young females become queens but have not yet been fertilized by a male. They have wings and can travel to set up new colonies.
  • Males: These ants have wings and may be mistaken for other types of insects.
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Common Sources of Ant Infestation

Ants can be found virtually everywhere on Earth. Your neighborhood alone likely hosts several different colonies of ants. You could face an infestation if something disturbs their colonies or attracts them to your home.

A household ant

Some common sources of ant infestations include the following:

  • Water leaks: Ants are always looking for sources of water. A nearby colony could move in if your home has a water leak due to a burst pipe or other source.
  • Abundant foliage: A beautiful lawn can make a wonderful home for an ant colony. Lush foliage has abundant shade for ants and can be a habitat for food sources.
  • Construction: Nearby construction can disturb existing ant colonies, forcing them to move to a new home.
  • Pets: If you have pets, you may be at risk of attracting ants. Pet food can be a source of nutrition for ants, and if you’ve left a bag outside, a nearby colony is sure to notice.
  • Garbage cans: Ants are always looking for food, and if your garbage cans are open or near a lawn or exposed dirt, ants could soon find it.

Common Questions About Ants

Ants follow each other by laying pheromone trails, which attract a line of ants leading directly to their colony. If one ant finds its way into your home because it found some food left out or a leaky pipe, it may alert its fellow ants back at the nest to come into your home.

Ants are usually considered a nuisance pest rather than a dangerous insect. They may bite or sting if agitated, but they are usually more destructive to property, especially if you face a carpenter ant infestation.

It’s challenging to get rid of ants on your own. Once they’ve entered your home, they’ve likely tipped off others in their colony as well. The ants you see may not be the only ants in your home. That’s why working with a professional to eradicate any ant infestation is best.

Tips for Preventing Ants

  • Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Use vinegar-based cleaning products. They effectively eliminate the pheromone trails that ants leave behind.
  • Remove garbage from home frequently.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Put away food—including any uneaten pet food.
  • Repair any holes or gaps around the exterior and interior of your home.
  • Mow the lawn and trim trees around the house.
  • Keep foundation, mortar, and weather-protective measures up to date and repaired.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Ants

With over ten years of experience in this industry, we know what it takes when it comes to ant control, prevention, and protection. We use effective methods in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.

Many products will eliminate the problem but not the source of the problem—the colony. Our trained professionals deal with various ant infestations. Their experience and expertise allow them to form an effective treatment plan. Our professional team not only eradicates current problems but also provides preventative care. With our protection plan, the tiny household invaders will be eradicated both now and in the future with regular treatment visits. These visits are effective at treating and preventing ant infestations.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your ant problem, today and tomorrow.

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