Ants

The specific type of ant you’re having trouble with might not matter much to you, but getting rid of them sure will! Our Prevention techs use professional grade Advion Ant bait to kill ants. But why do we use ant bait over spray?

Ants are notoriously hard to kill because they live deep underground and there are usually millions per colony. You may have been under the impression that ants all live in a little mound on the ground, however the part you see is generally only 25% of the total nest. That’s right, 75% of the nest is underground so the next time you knock over an ant hill be aware that you’re not doing much to hurt them.

Using sprays to kills ants is kind of like knocking their ant hill over. The spray doesn’t penetrate the whole nest and by the time it gets even to the middle the ants are already evacuating. Even if 75% of them die there are still enough to start a new colony.

Ants on bait 2

This picture was taken approximately 10 minutes after applying the bait

Using ant bait is a much better solution. Ants send out foragers to collect food and bring it back to the nest. When we place ant bait these foragers find our bait and bring it back to the nest. The time-release formula ensures that they have time to distribute it through out the whole colony before it begins killing them. The best part is that the ants don’t build up a resistance! To the left are some pictures of our ant bait in action. Below we have some helpful information on different types of ants in case you were curious.

 

Argentine Ant

Argentine Ant

Argentine Ant Eating

Several species of Argentine ants are imported insects that are found throughout the southern United States and California. These pests usually live in nests outdoors, but are major pests because they often forage indoors for food. They are found over wintering deep in the soil or in buildings near heat sources. Their large overwintering nests may have several queens. In the spring, these nests disperse and smaller colonies are developed in moist soil, in trees, or under stones or concrete slabs. These insects complete their life cycle in an average of 74 days-the eggs hatch in about 38 days, the larval stage lasts an average of 31 days, and the pupal stage is completed in 15 days.

The colonies are mobile, moving to more acceptable nesting locations whenever necessary. In the fall, they congregate in communal overwintering sites and ant members decrease somewhat during this period. These ants are very aggressive insects, completely eliminating other types of ant colonies in the area. They also attack, destroy, and eat other household pests such as cockroaches. These Ants prefer sweets and are often found tending aphids, using them as a source of honey dew.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ant

Carpenter ant nesting in wood

This species is common in the central and eastern United States. Other species of Camponotus are distributed throughout the United States. Carpenter ants are social insects that usually nest in wood. They commonly excavate galleries or tunnels in rotting or sound trees and will rapidly infest the wooden portions of structures. They prefer to excavate wood damaged by fungus and are often found in conjunction with moisture problems.

The workers do all nest excavation, foraging for food and care for the young. Carpenter ants feed off of sugar solutions from honey dew-producing insects such as aphids, sweets,and the juices of insects they capture. They do not eat the wood they excavate from nests.

Carpenter ants may enter homes while foraging for food. However, the appearance of large number of winged adults inside a home indicates that the nest exists in the home. The workers will often expel fibrous sawdust from the nest through slit-like openings in the surface of wood. These piles of sawdust are good signs to look for when trying to locate a colony in an infested structure.

Fire Ant

Fire ants

Fire ants are notorious for creating rafts during flooding

 

There are several species of solenopsis that get the name fire ant because of the fiery pain their sting inflicts upon the victim. These ants usually nest in the ground, but can develop colonies in homes, especially in areas near the soil. When nesting in the soil, they build large mounds which are unsightly and a detriment to cultivation of fields. These ants, and especially the red imported fire ant, solenopsis invincta buren, have tremendously large colonies that can severely injure crops, lawns, young birds, and sometimes people.

Fire ants feed on practically everything, including other insects, honeydew, seeds, fruit juices, nectar, plants, nuts, cereals, butter,grease,and meats. They will also gnaw on electrical wiring and clothing, especially if it is soiled.

 Little Black Ant

Little Black Ant

Close up of a little black ant

 

 

Little black ants are found throughout the United States. They usually nest beneath stones, in lawns, or in areas that lack vegetation. Their nests are easily located because they form small craters of fine soil at their entrances. These ants may also nest in rotting wood or behind woodwork or masonry of homes. The colonies have several queens and can build up large numbers in a fairly short period of time. The winged reproductives are usually seen swarming in late spring or early fall. Little black ants like to feed on a variety of foods. They will tend aphids as a source of honeydew,feed on meats or greases, and are predaceous on other insects. In home they will feed on both greases and sweet foods.

 Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

Close up of an Odorous House Ant

 

 

 

Odorous house ants are native ants that often nest out doors under stones or logs. They can also nest indoors in walls or floor voids, especially around heat sources. Each nest will have several females, each of which lay one egg a day. The eggs hatch in 11 to 26 days, the larval stage takes 13 to 29 days and the pupal stage lasts eight to 25 days. Odorous house ants are like Argentine ants in they travel in trails and prefer sweets,although they will eat almost any household food. They usually invade homes during rainy periods when honeydew on plants has been washed off.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh Ant

Close up of a Pharaoh Ant

In the United States Pharaoh ants are imported from the old world tropics and are distributed widely across the country. These pests may nest outdoors and have at time been a crop pest, but they are a major problem in homes and institutions such as hospitals, hotels, prisons,or apartment complexes. Pharaohs nest in warm, hard to reach location in the walls, sub floor areas, wall sockets, attics, cracks, crevices,behind baseboards,and in furniture. These ants do not swarm; females mate in the nest and new colonies are formed by “budding.” This means part of the main colony moves en masse to a new location.

A female can produce 350 to 400 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs hatch in five to six days, the larvae develop in 22 to 24 days, and the pupal period lasts nine to 12 days. The ants entire life cycle is completed in 38 to 45 days at room temperature. These persistent little guys can develop year round indoors. Pharaoh ants will eat dead or alive insects and seem to prefer meats or greases. However, they will also feed on sugar syrup, fruit juices, jellies, and cakes.

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