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Ants

What are ants?

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.a group of pavement ants crawling on tile in a home in fairfax virginia

The most common species of ants that an be found invading properties in our area of greater Fairfax, Virginia include carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants.

Carpenter ants
These large ants use their mandibles to chew through wood in order to build their nests. When carpenter ants choose to build nests inside of a property's structural wood, they can cause significant, costly damage. Carpenter ants can be black, red, yellow, or a combination of those colors.  They have segmented, oval-shaped bodies and can be distinguished from other species by their one-node waists and their thoraxes with an evenly rounded upper surface.

Odorous house ants
Odorous house ants are a small species of ants that are brown or black. The best way to distinguish this species from other types of ants is by the foul, rotten coconut-like odor they emit when they are crushed.

Pavement ants
Adult pavement ants range in color from dark brown to black. These ants are usually identified not by what they look like, but rather where they place their nest: in the cracks that are along or inside of pavement and sidewalks.

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.

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 areas in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., 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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