Got Ants in your Pants?
We hope not! but if you do have them in your house, we got you covered!
Why are Ants so difficult to control?
Whenever you see ants in or around your house you are only seeing a fraction of the actual colony that they are associated with and many of the over the counter solutions for ant control can be very misleading. The truth of the matter is that ants are very easy to kill and that Windex is just as effective as effective at killing ants as any pesticide spray solution may be, but again, the challenge is not killing the ants that you see, but rather controlling the ants that you have not seen yet.
What does a Pest Professional do for the 10,000 ants that I don’t see?
We understand that with ants there is no single solution to controlling ants due to the various characteristics of each different type of ant. Some ants are only controlled by certain types of baits and depending on the time of year they will accept to reject different baits. For example, many ants will prefer a sugar based bait for the warmer seasons and then switch to a protein bait in the colder times of the year. Some ants will require a liquid treatment that is not detected by the ants, which attaches to their feet as the walk over it not causing immediate mortality, then, when they get back to the nest will transfer that product to other ants during their grooming processes, then leading to death. Once those ants die, then other ants grab those ants and carry them out of the nest, or even eat them, become infected and starting that process over and over again until the entire colony is destroyed.
What makes ant control so much different than other pests?
Ants are what we call Social insects. Much like bees and wasps, they work together as one large family, whereas other pests like Spiders, Mosquitos, Fleas & Ticks are solitary and once they are adults no longer need each other. Simply because of the sheer numbers ants can overwhelm a house quickly, you may be able to kill off a small fraction of the population in one area, however, they are sending out scout ants constantly, and once a scout locates a new food or water source it literally makes a B-line straight back to the next leaving a pheromone trail behind which alerts the thousands of ants immediately of when they found, causing a wave of ants to swarm that location and invade your home yet again. And then you may kill off a few hundred ants, think you good, then a new scout finds more food or water and the process repeats. This is why when it comes to ants you will generally want to hire a professional with professional products and methods to handle an issue quickly. Even with a professional treatment, there are times when a nest was not able to be located and even though all the adults have been killed off, there may be some eggs hidden in the walls which may slowly or rapidly hatch over the next seven week. Because of this issue, if it is at all possible the nest needs to be located and treated directly so that these ants do not emerge and wander around until they finally come across the products and die.
What are the most common ants in the Modesto, Patterson and Central Valley?
These are the most common ants here in the Central Valley, these are the ones that you will see most commonly using the sidewalks and they travel from house to house. You may see one long line of ants, but many times these ants are not all associated with the same next, there generally might be 3-4 different colonies using the same exact ant trails. Argentine ant colonies really get along well and they will actually team up in the battle against a different species of ants in a literal ant war. If you have ever come across one of these battles it is fascinating. Thousand and thousands of ants battling each other is like a battle out of Lord of the Rings. They will fight to the death in the quest for dominance. These ants will under Items that are in contact with the ground like pavers, bricks, and potted plants. They will also nest under boards that are on the ground, pretty much anything that is in contact with the soil they will build their next under. Their nests are usually pretty shallow and when you pull up a paver with one of these nests under it it is very clear, and you will even see their eggs. These ants will also farm Aphid for their sugary secretions, they take care of aphid by protecting them and farming them as if they were cows. One of the keys to a good ant control program is to make sure the aphid populations are under control.
Odorous House Ants
These ants get their name because they have a musty coconut smell when you crush them and because they will actually build nests inside your home, they are smelly house ants :-). They will nest next to hot water pipes, under floors, in the walls, under sinks, I have found them on top of the dishwasher under the counter, they will also nest behind cabinets. These ants are the ones that can be most difficult to control inside and may take 7 weeks for the eggs to hatch when they are well hidden indoors. They are not exclusive to the inside and actually live quite well outdoors, at least until the falls when it starts raining and they decide to work their way inside.
Little Black Ants
These are the official name 🙂 they are called little black ants, well, because they are little black ants. They are 1/16 of an inch and are tiny. This ant generally lives mainly outside. They like dark moist areas under large rocks or logs, or in cracks in the cement, they will live in the house as well, but in the walls or even under carpeting.
Red Imported Fire Ants
These are the ants that you will mainly see on the outside of the home, however, there have been some cases that we have dealt with where they actually infested a kitchen and it was horrible because the family was getting bit and sting in their home! These guys will make little mounds outside, they will sting and bite to beware!
These are the ants that you will find in the cracks in the pavement. They generally excavate the dirt and you will see the mounds of dirt on top of the pavement. These can also be found in the home, but honestly, I have not come across a pavement ant issues indoors in the valley. I have seen them plenty of times outdoors though.
These little guys… oh man, these little guys are one of the worst ants that you can have in your home. They will nest literally anywhere. You may find a small nest of 15 under a piece of paper, or a nest of 5 under some toys. What makes them so difficult to control is that they will do what is called budding. If a certain nest is disturbed they the ants will just split off and create a new colony immediately. They can live in the attic, or in the basement. Special care must be taken when dealing with a Pharaoh Ant populations. They are rare, but they do exist and we get about one call every two years for them.
We handle all of these ants
If you ever have any questions please give us a call and we would be glad to help you figure out exactly what you are dealing with and also how we can help. Call or Text us a 209-595-9473 immediately. They can live in the attic, or in the basement. Special care must be taken when dealing with a Pharaoh Ant populations. They are rare, but they do exist and we get about one call every two years for them.