Do you wish you could find all you need to know about Durham ants in one simple place? You found it. If you've been wondering about the ants you're seeing around or inside your home, you'll find some helpful information here, including how to detect hidden ant problems, how ants behave indoors, five naturally effective ant prevention tips, and how ant control in Durham works. The more you understand about the common ants in our area, the better equipped you will be to deal with ant problems. If you don't want to deal with ant problems and would rather have one of our technical pest pros deal with those pesky ants, contact us. The Eco Man Pest Solutions provides the highest level of pest control in Durham and sustainable solutions for pest-free living.
Signs Of An Ant Infestation
The warning signs of an infestation vary depending on the ant species and the unique infestation. Some signs are obvious. When you see a wall covered in ants, a blob of ants piled in a corner, or a convoy of ants moving across your floor, there is little doubt that you have an infestation! The signs we're going to cover are not so obvious.
Carpenter ants are secretive pests. When they enter your home, you may not know it. They come out at night to feed and often feed on food sources found outside. The warning signs they provide are sometimes noticeable but often are hidden. Carpenter ants produce frass, which is a mixture of wood scrapings, ant droppings, and ant body parts. They push this material out of tiny holes. When left in a common area, you will notice. Unfortunately, carpenter ants can push frass out into wall voids. The damage created by these ants is also sometimes hidden. They can cause extensive damage in a location that is just out of view, a common occurrence as carpenter ants prefer darkness. Use a flashlight to look in crawlspaces and any voids you have access to if you want to find carpenter ants.
Fire ants are a problem that can sneak up on you. They don't typically infest homes, and seeing ant mounds next to your home may not immediately alarm you. It is also possible you may not notice them if they're on a side of your home you don't frequently see. If nests are established next to your foundation walls, these ants could sneak in and sting someone. Check your foundation for mounds to catch these ants before trouble begins. If you find mounds, contact The Eco Man Pest Solutions for professional fire ant control.
Ant colonies produce winged reproductives. These winged ants are twice the size of the workers. When you see a winged ant in your home, it is a warning sign of an infestation, even if you only see one winged ant.
The Issues Ant Infestations Create In Homes
When you find an ant problem, should it worry you? It depends on the ant species and the conditions of your infestation. Here are a few ways ants can cause trouble inside your Durham home.
- Some ants are just a nuisance. If your home is sanitary, you have little to worry about with most ants.
- Some ants are a bit stinky when you crunch them underfoot. These ants are doubly annoying, but only a limited threat. They may get into trash receptacles and then crawl around on counters, dishes, and cutting boards. They may also get into your stored foods. The result of this activity is stomach illness.
- Fire ants are mostly annoying. The wounds they cause are itchy and persist for a day or more, but to someone with a stinging insect allergy, a sting from a fire ant is potentially dangerous.
- Carpenter ants are rarely annoying. They are hidden pests that can damage your home over time. These ants tunnel in wood. As they grow a colony, produce reproductives, and create more nests, the potential for damage increases with the population.
- Some ants get into electrical boxes, outlets, and car engines. In these locations, they can cause malfunctions to occur.
The first step in ant prevention and control is to detect ant activity and consider the risks. Early and appropriate action can prevent harm to your health and property. Now, let's get into the meat and potatoes of our topic today.
Five Naturally Effective Ant Prevention Tips
When we're asked about home pest control for ants, it is because people want to know about ant control products. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers when it comes to indoor or outdoor ant control. Professionals use a scientific process to identify the species, evaluate the ant control issue, and apply appropriate products effectively. If ant control is not applied correctly, it can make the problem worse or allow a secret problem to persist. We recommend natural ant prevention to deal with ants proactively. These five tips work in all situations and require no specialized knowledge of ant pest control.
1. Consider Natural Food Sources.
What do ants eat in your yard? It depends on the ant. Some prefer protein. They are the ants that eat insects, both alive and dead. Some prefer sweet sources of food. They are the ants that eat nectar and honeydew. Address these food options and you'll significantly deter ant infestations because ants start outside your home. If they don't have a reason to establish a nest by your home, they may never grow a population and invade your home.
- Replace exterior white lights with yellow lights to reduce insects.
- Move hummingbird feeders far from your exterior walls.
- Keep plants healthy to deter aphids.
- Address lawn weeds to reduce sources of nectar and plant sap.
2. Consider Human Food And Sanitation.
Ants eat what we eat. They're also happy to eat the foods we eat long after we would eat them. In fact, decaying food is a big attractant because ants can detect the strong scent from a distance. If you want fewer ant problems, trash management and sanitation will help you get there.
- Cover trash to contain the scent.
- Get trash to the curb faithfully each week.
- Clean your receptacles if they start to have an unpleasant aroma.
- Clean up anything around your home that is decaying, such as food matter left near the grill.
3. Consider Habitat Preferences.
As ants search for insects, they explore leaf piles, leaf litter, brush piles, landscape vegetation, and are of high moisture. When you remove ideal habitats and reduce moisture, you make your exterior less interesting to ants and the bugs they eat.
- Blow, rake, and clean up leaves.
- Store dead branches in a bin
- Trim landscape vegetation and water plants in the early morning.
- Clean gutters and repair gutter breaks.
- Repair exterior plumbing issues.
4. Consider Entry Points.
Ants get into your home through tiny gaps. It is hard to keep ants out, and sometimes the only solution is routine treatments of the exterior, which are best applied by a service professional. But there are many ways you can create physical barriers to keep ants out of your home.
- Fill in rotted wood holes and gaps between wood members.
- Seal around water mains and electrical wire PVC conduits.
- Replace damaged door sweeps or the weatherstripping around exterior doors.
- Patch screens and address gaps around screen frames that fit loosely.
5. Apply Indoor Sanitation And Food Protection.
When one ant finds its way indoors, it can enlist an army to come inside. All that is required to inspire that one little ant is to provide a food source. There are many ways to keep your home clean and free of ant activity. Here are just a few of them.
- Clean up jelly and honey.
- Clean up juice spills.
- Wipe down shelves and cabinets.
- Store food in sealed containers
- Keep interior trash in a covered container.
- Clean dirty dishes as you go.
- Put pet food down during certain times of the day and collect the dishes afterward.
- Check to make sure no one has left food in wastepaper baskets.
- Consider making a rule that food is only eaten in the kitchen or dining room.
- Vacuum your couch and living room rugs thoroughly to remove crumbs from foods consumed while watching television.
All of the natural solutions work as layers of protection. There is no one silver bullet to keep ants out of your home. It requires a multi-pronged strategy and diligent application.
Total Ant Control For Durham Homes
The most effective ant control you can have for your home is ongoing pest management for your exterior. A year-round pest control service plan will reduce the bugs ants eat, address honeydew-producing insects, directly control ant colonies, and provide a pest control barrier to keep ants from entering. If you'd like to learn more about how The Eco Man Pest Solutions helps Durham residents keep ants and a long list of other pests out, we'd love to speak with you. Jump to our contact page and connect with us. Or just give us a call. We are your premier pest specialists in the Durham area.
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