Controlling Ants in Your Home
In Florida, spring brings both warmer weather and ants. Ants are pervasive pests in Florida homes, and they can cause significant damage. Some species can even inflict painful bites and stings, making them a danger to your children and pets. Tampa pest control professionals generally group ants into two broad categories:
- House-Infesting Ants. Ants typically enter homes to forage for food or moisture, but some can actually damage the structure of your home. Common house-infesting ants include little black or “sugar” ants, which forage along baseboards and carpet edges for sweets, fats, and oils. They can occasionally work their way into containers of food, making it unappealing and tainted for consumption. Larger carpenter ants can build colonies in wall voids, foam insulation, and crawlspaces. They don’t eat wood, but hollow out spaces to build colonies.
- Outdoor Nesting Ants. These ants can build unsightly mounds on lawns and in shrubbery. One of the most unpleasant varieties, the fire ant, has very painful stings; furthermore, their colonies can grow to hundreds of thousands of ants, with mounds that can engulf small bushes and shrubs! Fire ants are very aggressive, and can eat almost any plant or animal matter that crosses their path.
Tampa pest control experts have observed that ants are highly adaptable, and it’s not unusual to find outdoor nesting ants inside a home. Ants can enter a home through windows, crevices, door jambs, and even cracks in the floor. Ants leave scent trails to allow other members of the colony to find their way to food sources, and that’s why they “march” in lines. If your home is being invaded by ants, follow their lines to see where they are entering your home, and, if possible, permanently seal the opening with caulk or weather-stripping. You can sprinkle cornstarch along ant trails, vacuum them up to suffocate the ants, and then wash any ant-traveled surface to remove the scent trail.
Cleanliness is one of the best ways to control ants. They often seek kitchens and dining rooms to forage for crumbs and spills. In addition to keeping these areas as clean as possible, store food in tightly sealed containers. Pesticides, granules, and ant baits can help control ants, but their effects are usually temporary. In addition, liberal use of pesticides and ant baits can be risky if you have small children or pets, especially if they’re not implemented by Tampa pest control professionals.
The key to destroying an ant colony is identifying the type of ant, locating the nest, and treating it with appropriate pesticides. Different types of ants may require different treatments. At Apex Pest Control, our Tampa pest control technicians search your property to find ant nests. We treat the inside of your home to protect it from ant incursions, and move outside to attack the nests and remove egg-laying queens. Additional visits focus on maintaining an outdoor perimeter to keep ants away from your home. If you’re finding ants in or around your home, contact one of our Customer Care Representatives to find out more about protecting your home from ants.