What are ants?
Ants are insects that have learned to thrive living near or with people. They have adapted to nesting in our yards, homes, and businesses taking advantage of the food, water, and shelter provided. They are omnivores, and in addition to feeding on insects and honeydew that garden insects produce, they feed on many of the same foods we do.
Ants do see, but not very well, and therefore they communicate and move from place to place, relying on touch, smell, and vibrations. As workers gather food for their colony they swallow it and water and store it in one of the two stomachs found in their abdomen.
Ants have three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. The connection between their thorax and abdomen makes them have a thin waist, just like the wasps that they are related to. Ants range in size from very tiny to large and vary in color and behavior depending on their species.
In our area, the most problematic ants for home and business owners include the following:
- Carpenter ant
- Fire ant
- Pavement ant
- Pharaoh ant
Are ants dangerous?
Ants carry on their bodies bacteria that they have picked up from their travels and spread it to surfaces and contaminate food with it. Ants should never be welcome inside of any home or business.
Most ants that we come across like pavement ants are simply a nuisance to deal with and pose no significant harm. Others, such as the carpenter ant, fire ant, and Pharaoh ant are a bit more problematic.
- Fire ants bite, sting, and have venom that is strong enough to trigger severe allergic reactions. They also invade and damage farm and electrical equipment.
- Carpenter ants nest within the structural wood of a home or business and cause extensive damage and expensive repairs.
- Pharaoh ants spread things like salmonella and Streptococcal infections that can make people quite ill. These ants are a significant concern and problem in hospitals because they seek moisture from patients’ eyes, mouths, and wounds. They also contaminate IV bags.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants have become a problem on your property because it is offering them something they need. Ants like most pests are opportunistic and won’t shy away from taking advantage of sources of food, water, and shelter that they discover.
Things that attract ants to a property include:
- Trash cans and recycling bins.
- Gardens and piles of compost.
- Fallen trees, logs, tree stumps.
- Mulch, landscaping, and brush piles.
- Water leaking from pipes.
Where will I find ants?
Ants mainly live outside, where most species build their central nests. They do, however, move inside while they forage for food or to escape extreme weather conditions. Once inside, they often decide to stay and build a satellite nest to help expand their colony.
- Fire ants prefer to live outside and like to place their nests in wide-open, sunny areas; they shy away from shaded areas.
- Outside, carpenter ants place their nests in fallen trees, tree stumps, woodpiles, and in other pieces of damp or decaying wood. Inside they like to nest in wet or water-damaged structural wood.
- Pharaoh ants are a species that prefer to live indoors, nesting in warm, humid areas like behind baseboards, behind wall voids, under floors, and in crawlspaces.
- As their name suggests, pavement ants like to nest in the soil found in the cracks of driveways, sidewalks, and walkways. They also like to nest in the dirt next to foundations and masonry walls.
How do I get rid of ants?
The best way to get rid of ants from your Las Vegas, Nevada area property, is to partner with the local pest control experts at Pest Control Solutions, Inc. We have a deep understanding of the pests that live in our area, and how to control and eliminate them.
Our dedicated professionals use “out of the box” thinking to solve current pest problems and prevent future ones. We take the time to work with our customers and tailor all of our pest control services to meet the unique needs of every home and business we serve.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
The following list of prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with ants both inside and outside your home:
- Block entry points into your home by sealing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls. Install weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Create a barrier between your home’s foundation and any soil or mulch.
- Make sure outdoor trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins have tight-fitting lids.
- Cut back shrubbery and other vegetation from your home’s exterior walls. Ants will use branches to gain easy access to your house.
- Fix leaky pipes and hoses.
- If you own pets, make sure to pick up uneaten pet food each day. Ants love to nibble on leftover pet food.
- Store your food either in the fridge or in sealed containers.
- Be diligent about washing dirty dishes each day.
- Remove trash from your home each day and store outside in containers with locking lids until trash day.
- Pull out appliances in the kitchen and clean up any crumbs and grease you find.
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