There are a few pest types that are especially well-known due to how common they are around the globe, and ants are perhaps the single most notable example. Ants can create a variety of issues in a home or building, from simple annoyance or aesthetic concerns to property damage, health concerns and more – but there are also some simple ways to avoid these issues.
At A-1 Exterminators, we’re happy to provide the best ant control services you’ll find in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, West Valley City, Sandy or nearby areas – this in addition to our other comprehensive pest control solutions like insect control, bird control and more. Here’s a comprehensive primer on what home and building owners should know about ant control – the problems they create when they infest an area, how to identify ants and their potential infestations, and some tips on both home methods and professional solutions for preventing or removing ant infestations.
Problems Ant Infestations Cause
While the precise effects of an ant infestation will depend on the type of ant plus several other factors, several possible issues can arise from an ant infestation:
- Property damage: In many cases, ants will cause damage to property or structures. This might be simple aesthetic concerns like ant trails on the walls and floors, for example, but there are also cases where ants can actually harm the structure of a building.
- Health risks: Ants have been known to carry microorganisms that cause disease – in some specific rare situations, they may even break human skin and cause infection. Infestations that acquire large numbers of ants can potentially pose a health risk.
- Food contamination: Ants will often infest areas where food is kept or prepared, and their presence in these areas poses an obvious hazard to human health. Even if they don’t directly contaminate the food itself, their shed body parts and feces are known to be allergens that can cause health problems.
- Property value diminishing: As with any number of pests, ants can have a severe impact on the value of your property if you ever plan to sell it in future.
Broad Ant Type Differentiation
While we don’t have the space to list every single individual species of ant that’s out there, ants can generally be classified into three categories within the US:
- Carpenter ants: These are the most problematic type of ant, and can potentially damage the structure of your home or building. They typically infest wood structures and often nest in walls, roofs, or other wooden areas.
- Odorous ants: These ants are so named because of the strong smell they emit when crushed. They’re typically found indoors, and often infest areas where food is prepared or stored.
- Pavement ants: These are perhaps the most common type of ant in the US, and can create large trails along sidewalks and other pavement areas.
Identifying Ants and Ant Infestations
While most people know the basics on what a typical ant looks like, a few more nuances can help you identify potential infestations. Identifying a precise species can often be helpful – you’ll need an advanced ant species guide for this, but many are available online.
In most cases, you’ll either see an ant itself or its trail when identifying an infestation. If it’s the latter, try and follow the trail back to the source to get a better idea of where they’re coming from and how severe the infestation may be.
Places Where Ants Live
One important note: While ants can and do live outdoors in many cases, they are also known to infest homes and buildings. They’ll often enter these structures through cracks or other openings, especially if they’re searching for food or water.
Furthermore, ants are communal creatures and like to live in large groups – so if you spot one ant, there’s likely many more nearby. They’ll also often build nests in places that provide warmth and moisture, such as near water pipes or heating vents.
Home Methods for Ant Control
There are several home methods for controlling ants before they become an infestation:
- Regular cleaning: Keeping your home clean will prevent ants from being attracted to any food particles or crumbs on the floor. Be sure to regularly sweep and mop floors, wipe down countertops, and cover or store food properly.
- Sealing cracks: As mentioned above, ants can enter buildings through small openings in walls or foundations. Conduct regular inspections of your home to identify and seal any potential entry points.
- Natural deterrents: Some natural substances like vinegar, peppermint oil or cayenne pepper can be used as a spray to discourage ants from entering your home. However, these methods may not always be effective and should be used with caution.
Professional Solutions for Ant Removal
If you’re facing an actual ant infestation, it’s often best to call in professional pest control services. They’ll have the expertise and tools to properly identify the type of ant and implement effective removal methods. Some common professional solutions include:
- Bait stations: These are often used for odorous ants, and consist of a trap with poison that’s placed near areas where ants are entering your home.
- Insecticides: Professional exterminators will use insecticides that are specifically designed to target and eliminate ants. These are applied in areas where the ants have been identified.
- Nest removal: If carpenter ants are the culprit, a professional will need to locate and remove the nesting areas, which may require drilling into walls or structures.
At A-1 Exterminators, we offer a variety of solutions for ant control and removal. Our team has the expertise and experience to effectively eliminate any type of ant infestation, and our services are safe for both humans and pets. Contact us for help with ants or any other pest control need you may have around SLC, West Jordan, West Valley City, Sandy or nearby areas.