Have you spotted ants in or around your home? Perhaps you aren’t currently seeing any, but you know you’ve had a problem with ants in the past. Although ants are recognized as valuable helpers in the outdoor world, they’re a nuisance when they wind up indoors. Unfortunately, because ants tend to forage for food as a group, when one enters your home, you can be sure that many more will follow and it can quickly get out of hand.
We know that you don’t want to be worried about these pests in or around your home which is why we’ve rounded up some important tips on how to get rid of ants.
Ants in the Lehigh Valley
Ants are found everywhere in the world, with the exception of Antarctica (slightly ironic given the name!) and the Arctic. In North America alone, there are said to be around 1,000 different species of ants. So, it’s not surprising that many of those live right here in the Lehigh Valley.
Of course, there are some species that are more common than others. In particular, there are 3 ant species that are the most notorious for being problematic for homeowners in the Lehigh Valley. These are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants.
Let’s look at each.
1. Odorous House Ants
These ants are quite similar in appearance and behavior to the Pavement Ant, but get the first part of their name from the smelly odor that they emit when crushed. Unfortunately, the second part of their name is due to the fact that they can be quite aggressive about making their way into peoples’ homes.
Of the 3 ant types commonly found in the Lehigh Valley, the Odorous House Ant is the most likely to wind up in your home. It is also the most difficult species to address. One colony can have multiple queens. These colonies are the largest, with up to 100,000 workers in some instances.
They also live in hollow parts of foundation walls, under concrete slabs for house additions or garages, and other tricky locations that make them difficult to get rid of.
2. Pavement Ants
These ants are light brown-colored or black and get their name due to the fact that they tend to hang out around sidewalks, patios, and other hardscaped areas. Of course, because they live so close to homes, Pavement Ants can potentially make their way inside in search of food.
Even the most well-sealed houses are no match for these sneaky (and tiny) ants, which will make their way through the smallest cracks in search of food. Regardless of how clean you are, there is always food residue in cracks and crevices—and the tiniest crumb can be an attraction. Also, in times of extreme moisture or drought, ants will come indoors to look for dry ground or water.
3. Carpenter Ants
Of the 3 common types in our region, Carpenter Ants may be one of the most unsettling because of their size and the fact that they can cause damage. In fact, their name is derived from their nest-building habits. They will excavate wood to form tunnels. While they do not eat the wood, they will tunnel and chew their way through it.
Carpenter Ants are amongst the largest ant types in the United States, however, they’re not that easy to spot. Because they are such good hiders, oftentimes the first sign of a Carpenter Ant problem is their destruction (such as left behind sawdust). They can forage for up to 100 yards away from their nest—so they may not have even originated on your property! This is an ant that you do not want in your home.
How to Get Rid of Ants
Now that you know a little bit about the types of ants you are most likely to encounter in the Lehigh Valley, you’re probably wondering how do I get rid of them? Or, perhaps you'd like to be proactive and prevent them in the first place.
Either way, there are a few steps that you can take.
However, you’re probably also looking for additional ant control measures that you can take.
Because ants are making their way from the outside, in, your best defense against ants is going to be a Quarterly Pest Control program with an interior component. This will reduce the chance that ants will make their way in. With a program like this, ant control product is applied around the exterior foundation of your home, where ants would be seeking a way in and interior issues can be addressed on an as-needed basis.
Benefits Beyond Ant Control
The added benefit to a program like this is the fact that it will take care of other creepy crawlies as well. Although you might be most concerned about ant control right now, a comprehensive program will also reduce other unwanted pests like spiders, centipedes, and crickets from getting in.
Of course, you might have already spotted some ants—or other pests—on the inside of your home and you’re worried that exterior treatments are not enough. While exterior treatments will reduce future problems, you want to know what you can do now.
At Joshua Tree, our Quarterly Pest Control program will also include one interior visit (or more, on an as-needed basis). We can search for signs of internal pest problems and treat them as needed.
While most lawn care companies that only do exterior-only perimeter pest control never include an interior visit, we believe that this provides an added value to homeowners who want to address pests that have already found a way in.
As we mentioned, this is not just a program for ants but for other unwanted pests as well—including rodents. After all, you deserve to be able to know that your home is safe and free from pests. With a Quarterly Pest Control program, you can gain that valuable peace of mind.
If you’re interested in learning more about pest control services for your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA home, contact us for a free pest control quote or give us a call at 610-365-4858 so that we can answer your questions.