Ants are becoming a major problem all over the country. They can be difficult to control, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:
Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks seeking sweet or greasy substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas. Ants leave an invisible chemical trail known as pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source. They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations. Can number from 300,000 to 500,000 and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened. With comparative freedom from natural enemies, a colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years and the queen may live as long as 15 years. Most do-it-yourself approaches only kill the ants you see, whereas a truly effective treatment will penetrate and destroy their nest to prevent them from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.
Among the largest ants, from 1/4- to 3/8-inch long. The most common species is black, but some have reddish or yellowish coloration. Workers have large mandibles.
Resides both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut "galleries" into the wood grain to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. Can leave "sawdust" behind that provides clues to nesting location. If this wooden complex happens to be a wall frame within your home, structural damage may result. Moisture is the key component to look for, when managing this species.
- Most Active:
It is common to find carpenter ants active in the spring. You can also find carpenter ants swarming in the spring. They swarm in order to branch off and begin new colonies.
Carpenter Ants can also be found active in the winter indoors, if they receive sufficient warmth from sunlight, mild outdoor temperatures, or from indoor heat. When ants are active during winter they will forage at night, searching for moisture. It is common for a home owner to enter a room early in the morning, turn on the
lights, and see ants scurrying for cover. Common places to sight them are cabinets, sinks, dishwashers, rolled-up towels, bathroom tubs, sink and toilet areas, or other places where moisture is abundant. On a bright sunny day, ants may be seen walking randomly through different areas of the house.
- Tips For Control:
Store any firewood away from your home and remove any dead wood or wood scraps from around the foundation.
Trim dead limbs from trees and remove stumps. Rid your yard of these potential nesting sites.
Make sure that all plumbing or roof leaks are sealed, and check crawl spaces for excess moisture.
Water from rain gutters should be directed away from your home and not be allowed to accumulate close to the foundation.