With over 10,000 different ant species around the world, these insects come in all shapes and sizes and exhibit different behavior. In North Carolina, there are several types that are commonly found in and around homes and businesses. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at native species of ants and how they live.
While most ants are simply a nuisance, fire ants can deliver painful bites that inject venom and lead to itchy welts. These ants are known for their aggressive nature. When they feel threatened, they will work together to attack and continue to sting multiple times. They tend to prefer warm dry places and live in large colonies that can have hundreds of thousands of ants.
One sure sign that your yard has become infested with fire ants is the appearance of mounds of dirt. Fire ants build these large nests that can reach up to 18 inches. What you can necessarily see is that the colony actually extends under the ground and can cover large distances. This makes it especially difficult to get rid of these pests.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous ants will enter homes as they look for sources of food and water. This small ant is a common pest in North Carolina. While they don’t bite, they can ruin food and they release a rotten odor when they are smashed. Once you see a couple of these ants, it is safe to assume that there will be more to follow. They use pheromones to communicate with each other, so once they find a food source, they will alert the rest of the colony.
Carpenter Ants are one of the larger species and can grow up to a half-inch although the queens can grow even larger. As the name suggests, carpenter ants build their nests in wood. While they don’t actually eat the wood, they will cause damage as they remove material and make room for their nest. They have large mandibles that allow them to attack wood. Typically, they will look for damp or dead wood, but they are also known to build nests in houses.
How to Prevent Ants
The best way to prevent ants from entering your home is to eliminate any food and water sources that may attract them. This means keeping floors and counters clean, making sure that food is stored in airtight containers, and cleaning up after pets. If you already have an infestation, it is important to correctly identify the type of ant you are dealing with. The species will influence what type of approach you will need to get rid of them. While there are some DIY extermination techniques, your best bet is to call the professionals at PMi Pest Management. We can make sure that the infestation is completely gone and take measures to ensure that it doesn’t return.