How to Handle An Ant Infestation: A Helpful Guide
Ants are homeowners’ most concerning pests, according to a recent Consumer Affairs survey. For North Carolinians, that should come as no surprise, and many struggle with how to handle an ant infestation at their home or business.
The problem is that ant sprays, traps, and other store-bought products are notoriously ineffective at treating infestations. They’re much better suited to the occasional visit from these chitin-covered arthropods.
Treating an ant infestation requires locating the entire colony. Since most ant colonies are underground, the most effective solution for how to handle an ant infestation is to consult an North Carolina pest management service.
Read on to learn about the different types of ant infestations common to North Carolina and how to handle an ant infestation when they do invade your home.
Common North Carolina Ant Species Requiring Native Pest Management
While any type of ant species can lead to a home infestation, there are a few native North Carolina ant varieties that cause the most concern. The following types of ants pose significant threats to health and property.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Commonly referred to as RIFAs for short, red ants get their name from the painful bites and stings they cause. Fire ant stings are severely painful. They also pose a health risk to those with fire ant allergies.
RIFAs nest in soil. It is common to find them near foundations and landscaping areas.
If you find a red ant nest (mound) on your property, do not attempt to remove it. This is highly dangerous and should only be handled by professional pest management services.
The best preventative measure you can take to keep red ants out of your home is to seal any cracks and crevices leading to the interior.
Carpenter ants build their nests inside of wood. They prefer wood that has softened due to moisture or fungus.
These burrowing ants excavate and dig tunnels in the wood that are difficult to detect from the outside. The only signs of carpenter ants you can see are small openings on the wood surface and a trail of wood shavings below. Ant body parts will be found in wood shavings, where worker ants have died in the process of excavating the wood.
Carpenter ant infestations can cause significant structural damage if left untreated. If you think you may have a carpenter ant infestation, contact an environmental pest management service right away.
Acrobat ants will travel up to 100 feet from their colonies in order to forage for food. These little brown and black ants might look harmless, but they have stingers and will bite if anything threatens their colony.
As with carpenter ants, the clearest indicators of an acrobat infestation are the presence of ants in the home and trails of dirt and wood-shaving debris. They often use wires and utility lines leading into the home to gain access.
Deteriorating or moisture-damaged wood is a haven for acrobat ants. It’s a good preventative measure to inspect your foundation, windows, and crawlspace for signs of mold, deterioration, and peeling paint.
In addition, make sure to keep all of your food sealed and stored in airtight containers.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants pose a unique threat to the home. They emit a pungent, rot-like odor when they get crushed. The smell is so rancid it can linger and spread around your home’s interior.
This type of ant prefers to nest near standing water, so the best preventative approach you can take is to eliminate sources of moisture in your home. These could be leaky faucets, water pipes, or rotting wood.
It’s also important to keep the trees and shrubs around your home trimmed back. This will prevent odorous ants from using the branches to gain access to your home.
You can also seal up any cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation to deter infestation. Store food in airtight containers as well, since odorous ants can pose a contamination risk.
While these steps and tips will help reduce the likelihood of an ant infestation, and give you info on how to handle an ant infestation, there is no guaranteed way to eliminate all risk.
Greensboro Pest Control Options
The best type of pest management is an integrated pest management approach. This type of approach is an industry standard and involves a series of stages.
Integrated Pest Management Process
First, the pest management expert will identify the type of ant species that has infested your home to determine how to handle an ant infestation. Then they will do a thorough search of your home interior and exterior to locate all of the ants’ entry points and food sources.
When this process is complete, the pest management expert will determine the best corrective measures on how to handle an ant infestation.
This way they can develop an environmental pest management approach and avoid excessive pesticide use. The best pest experts offer green pest management approaches committed to protecting the environment.
Pest Management Schedules
A minor pest infestation may only require a single treatment. However, the majority of homeowners prefer the security of a quarterly pest control service to keep their ant problems at bay.
If your ant infestation requires a unique pest control solution, you may need a customized pest management program to get things under control.
Your Solution for North Carolina Pest Management Services
Ant infestations are one of the most common frustrations for North Carolina homeowners.
If you’ve already noticed signs of an ant infestation in your home, it’s important to call a pest management expert right away and learn how to handle an ant infestation. Ant infestations can present serious risks to the health of your home and family.
Pest Management Systems offers pest management solutions that work for the residents of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and the surrounding areas. Contact us to get a free estimate today and we can help you determine how to handle an ant infestation.
While these tips, steps, or education will help, there is no guaranteed way to eliminate all the risks.