Ants In Northern Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC

What are ants?

Ants are one of the largest families of insects in terms of the sheer number of individuals as well as the number of different species. Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera, which means "membranous wing." More than 12,000 species of ants have been identified. They are found in all terrestrial regions of the world, including the cold subarctic tundra and dry deserts, but the majority of ants originate from the tropics. Despite the tremendous diversity of ant species, a relatively small percentage of ants have been classified as pests. Of the nearly 1,000 ant species in North America, roughly 13% of the species could be considered pests in the urban environment. This includes species that may only occasionally invade structures or cause a problem in limited localities. The number of ant species causing frequent problems on a regional basis is typically much less. While the overall number of different pest ant species can be limited, the potential of having millions upon millions of a single ant species in a locality can present a significant challenge to property owners and exterminators.

Ants are social creatures that live and work together in large groups. Ants divide their colonies into three castes: queens, males, and workers. The queens and males are reproductive members; workers forage for food, create nesting sites, and care for the colony. Ants can be identified by their three distinct body regions consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. They have a narrow connection between the thorax and abdomen. Ants also have two antennae that are bent, and chewing mouthparts.

With the globalization of commerce brings more opportunity for the introduction of new pest ants. One example of this is the Red Imported Fire Ant, which has spread throughout a large portion of the southern United States, as well as into new countries and continents. In addition to the Red Imported Fire Ant, other exotic ants that were found in the United States decades ago now have exploding populations that have become serious problems in both natural and urban landscapes. Frequently, these ants are not territorial, resulting in large areas with interconnected nest sites and many reproducing queen ants in each colony. Once they become established, invasive ants can thrive and spread into surrounding areas. Eventually, they can become the dominant animal, displacing native ants as well as other animals.

Ant Control Services In DC, MD & VA

Flying Ants In Washington DC

Flying Ants

Flying ants are the sexually mature, reproductive ants of any ant colony. Both male and female ants can have wings. When the ant colony is ready to expand, the winged reproductive ant "swarmers" will leave their nest. Ant swarmers, or "alates," typically emerge from their colony in a swarm, flying out from their home in search of a mate. This flight is commonly known as a "nuptial flight." Swarming helps keep predators away by providing safety in numbers, as well as increasing the changes of queen ants finding a mate and successfully becoming fertilized. After its nuptial flight, a newly fertilized female queen ant will start laying eggs, forming a brand new ant colony close to where she lands.

 

What Kinds Of Ants Are Found In The Greater DMV Area?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are ants dangerous?

Many species of ants are considered nuisance pests and don’t pose any real threats to people or property. They will contaminate food sources, invade in large numbers, and are difficult to control. Examples of nuisance ants living in our area are odorous house ants and pavement ants. There are also many species of ants living throughout the United States that are considered dangerous. Carpenter ants will cause damage inside of your property by tunneling through structural wood to create nesting areas.

How can I tell the difference between termites and ants?

There are three main ways for the untrained person to tell the difference between ants and termites:

  1. Female ant antennae are elbowed; termite antennae are straight and beaded.
  2. Flying ants have 2 pairs of wings of different sizes; flying termites have 2 pairs of wings that are the same size.
  3. Adult ants have 3 distinct body parts; termites have 2 distinct body parts.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants often choose to build their nests near homes. These nests are often located in the soil near the foundation of homes, driveways, fence lines, garages, sidewalks, and other structures. Additionally, ants are attracted to our yards because they provide them with ample food sources, along with appropriate nesting sites. Trash cans, compost bins, bird feeders, gardens, grill areas, and pet food bowls are all objects that can be found in or around your home that provide ants with easy access to food.

Where will I find ants?

Depending on the species, ants nest in a variety of locations. Pavement ants create their nests in cracks and crevices in and around cement slabs, driveways, foundations, and sidewalks. Carpenter ants are attracted to and nest inside of decaying or water-damaged wood. Odorous house ants like to build their nests in exposed moist soil or under logs, mulch, or rocks. Inside, ants will nest in secluded places like above ceilings, around hot water pipes, behind large appliances or walls, inside of structural wood, and under floors.

How do I get rid of ants?

If ants have become a problem in your home or on your property, it is best to seek the help of a pest control professional. When you partner with the licensed experts here at Miche Pest Control, you will have the peace of mind to know that the entire ant infestation will be eliminated. Our friendly, highly trained professionals use effective and modern pest control methods and products to control ants and other common household pests living in and around your home or business. To learn more about our exceptional ant control services that are performed throughout our service area in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, contact Miche Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Preventing problems with ants is difficult, so we want to help you protect your property from ants by offering these helpful prevention tips:

  • Place door sweeps on all exterior doors; window and door screens need to be completely intact, and vents should have tight-fitting mesh covers on them.
  • Seal any gaps found in your property's foundation and exterior walls, and around the utilities entering into your home.
  • Maintain garden areas by picking up any fallen fruits and vegetables.
  • Regularly vacuum floors and wipe down counters and appliances.
  • Make sure outdoor eating areas are kept clean and free of food debris.
  • Inside your home, store all food in the refrigerator or in containers with airtight lids.
  • Eliminate their easy access to water by repairing any leaky pipes and drains, and by making sure your gutters are free of clogs.
  • Remove food sources by making sure outdoor trash cans and compost bins have tight-fitting lids and are stored off of the ground and away from the exterior of your home.
 

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