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Ant Identification & Prevention


What are ants?

Ants are insects and are close relatives of both bees and wasps. Like most bees and wasps, ants are social insects that live together in large colonies. You can easily recognize them by their three distinct body segments, short antennae, and defined waists. 

Most ants we see are workers and are wingless, but some members of an ant colony do have wings. Winged ants are the reproductive members of a colony and, in warm weather, will swarm from the nest to mate and establish new nesting sites and colonies. 

Ants are some of the most common and frustrating pests that homeowners deal with regularly. Many different species of ants can find their way onto our North Carolina properties, but the following are most common:

  • Carpenter ants: These ants are usually black or a combination of black and red. They are the largest ants that will invade our structures.
  • Fire ants: Fire ants are small, reddish-brown ants. Their aggressive nature makes up for their small size. These ants work together to bite and sting anything they view as a threat to themselves or their nest. 
  • Odorous house ants: Small, black ants, odorous house ants are most commonly identified by the foul, rotten-coconut odor they emit when squished.

Are ants dangerous?

Ants tend to be more of a nuisance and cause for frustration than dangerous. They invade properties in large numbers and are difficult to get rid of. 

Odorous house ants are some of the most common nuisance ants. While they are unwanted and can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria, they are not a significant threat to people or property. 

Dangerous ants are those that can harm people or damage structural elements in our homes. When carpenter ants move inside, they create nesting sites within structural wood and, over time, cause damage that is expensive to repair. Fire ants can deliver painful bites and venom-filled stings that can trigger serious allergic reactions in both people and our pets.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants are always looking for a food source that they can collect and bring back to the nest. They are very adept at seeking out any crumb, spill, or open trash can. Once they discover a food source, they will return each day to collect more food. Ants are excellent communicators and lay down pheromone trails to help other colony members move back and forth from their nests to newly found food sources. 

Moisture is another big attraction for ants. Most species gravitate to areas with excessive humidity, poor drainage, damp wood, and things like leaky pipes or air conditioners.

Where will I find ants?

You will find ants living successfully both in our yards and in our homes. When trying to escape harsh weather conditions or seeking new food sources, it is common for ants to move into our homes and other structures. Some of the most common spaces you will find ants moving in and out of your house include a damaged foundation, gaps around wires or pipes, or around damaged weatherstripping.

Inside our homes, ants won’t hide the fact that they are present. They travel over floors, counters, and furniture, searching for crumbs and other food sources. However, their nesting sites will be more hidden. Ants generally place their nests in hard-to-reach areas behind walls, under floors, or in attics or crawl spaces.

How do I get rid of ants?

With over 25 years in the pest control industry, Eco Man Pest Solutions professionals have the experience necessary to eliminate ants from your Durham, NC property. Utilizing innovative and eco-friendly products, we rid properties of dangerous and destructive pests, protecting people, property, and the environment. We are committed to our customers and provide the most comprehensive pest control services possible, ensuring your property becomes pest-free and stays pest-free. To learn more about our residential or commercial pest control options, give us a call today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

The following five easy steps will help you to prevent problems with ants in your Durham yard and home.

  1. Eliminate water sources by filling in low-lying areas that allow puddles to form, repairing leaky pipes, and keeping downspouts clear of debris and directing water away from the outside of your house.
  2. Rake back mulch, and remove weeds or tall grass from the outside of your home that can trap moisture.
  3. Keep ants out of your house by sealing spaces in the foundation, under doors, and around windows.
  4. Get rid of damp or rotting wood from your yard and home. 
  5. Remove food sources by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins, and keep kitchen and eating areas clear of leftover food and crumbs.

Learn more about how our team can eliminate pests from your Durham area business.

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Thanks so much Eco Man for taking care of the Yellow jackets in my yard... Still gone after two weeks now. Bravo to a local company

Andrea Y 
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