Ants. They weren’t there before and then suddenly, they’re everywhere. Before you know it, you’re down on your hands and knees peering under the counter and shuffling along the floor trying to follow the ant trail, all in the hopes of answering the big question, “Where are they coming from?” The answer, as many homeowners can attest to, is rarely an obvious one.
The ants you see are only a small fraction of the entire colony. Sure, you might get lucky and find a nest outside and a quick attack with the hose seems like it’ll do the trick, but these little guys are masters of relocation and will reestablish a new nest nearby if they haven’t done so already. Once these resilient creatures reestablish their homes, you may think to try a more aggressive approach of removal and spray the colony with an insecticide. Not only will this be ineffective, but it can actually make the problem worse.
Ultimately, professional ant removal will likely be the most effective form of treatment for home and business owners who cannot get rid of the continual stream of tiny raiders.
The Uninvited Scavengers
How do ant infestations start? These insects possess a keen sense of smell through their antenna, and they are constantly searching for food to nourish their colony and their queen, who happened to establish a nest near your home.
Staying outdoors isn’t always what the ants have in mind; often they like the cozy, sheltered areas in the space behind your walls and they can get in there easier than you might think.
It takes only the smallest crack, barely perceptible to the naked eye, to provide entry to these militant invaders. Once inside, it’s difficult to get them out because of their sheer population numbers — which can commonly range between a few hundred and 10,000, depending on the species. That’s why identification of these miniature invaders is so important. It’s the first step to controlling them because different ants may require different treatments.
Determining Which Type of Ants Have Invaded Your Home
When searching out ant infestation treatment, it’s vital to gain an idea of what type of ants you’re experiencing. You’ll likely find one of two kinds — little black ants (also known as sugar ants) or carpenter ants.
Little black ants generally establish their colonies outside, but they can move to multiple locations and attack your home from different angles. These ants scavenge for food — especially tiny crumbs, sugar particles, and meats. Detecting an established ant trail is the first step in pest control, as the trail will generally lead to at least one nest. Sealing off entry points is the next vital task.
If your six-legged friends are slightly bigger than little black ants, then you’re probably squaring up with carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are a much bigger problem because they’ve likely nestled into moist wood throughout your home due to leaks and seepage. Not only can these nests be frustrating to find, but extended colonies can cause extensive damage to your house. Carpenter ants require a refined, delicate approach to minimize damage.
Signs You Have An Ant Infestation
Ants are motivated by one thing: food. The insects do a poor job covering their tracks when seeking out a snack, so it’s possible that you may pick up on an ant infestation before seeing the colony firsthand. Ants will continue to chew on a food source with you standing right over them, but the location of the entire colony might be difficult to detect based on what they’re interested in eating.
Aside from spotting a mound of carpenter ants or sugar ants, the following clues are associated with large-scale ant infestations:
- Missing food: While you’ll most likely spot a group of ants swarming a fruit tray or bowl of sweets, the pests are known to carry food back to their nest when convenient. If you see small indentations in food sitting on your countertop, tiny ants may be at work inside your home. Check to see if you can spot a trail nearby, and discard these food items immediately.
- Small piles of dirt: Ants that report to a nest will build their “home” out of dirt and soil. Random piles of dirt outside doors, windowsills, and garages is a tell-tale sign that ants are ready to move in.
- Wood shavings: Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, but they do chew their way to safety. When sweeping indoor and outdoor surfaces, look for any sawdust or shavings. If you’re not a woodworker yourself, carpenter ants or termites are starting to get comfortable.
Rid Your Florida Home of Ants With Apex Pest Control
The biggest mistake most homeowners make when treating ant problems is focusing only on the ants they can see. During our first visit, we will search your property, inside and out, to find any hidden networks around and within your home’s structure. Our pest control experts will start by treating your home’s interior to make it the most unattractive place on earth for ants. We treat the attic, basement, crawl space, kitchen, bathrooms, windowsills, door thresholds, and screen-doors to prevent unwelcome ant entry. We then move outside and remove all pest habitats from the vicinity of your house, with a specific focus on eliminating egg-laying queens. Your garbage area is treated along with any patio, porch, garage, and lanai.
Following your first visit, your personal Apex technician will stop by for additional visits focusing on outdoor perimeter ant prevention, to ensure that your home’s pest defenses are functioning as intended. We are happy to schedule routine follow-ups at your convenience to ensure that your home is safe from ants at all times.
No matter the species of ant, Apex will provide the solution with professional ant removal. Don’t share your home with unwelcome pests. Contact Apex Pest Control today, and put an end to the colony. We offer pest control, termite control, mosquito control, and lawn care in the following service areas: Brevard, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade/Broward County, and Palm Beach County.