Ants

What are ants?

Ants are one of the most common pests to cause problems for homeowners. They are social insects that live and work together in large groups. Ants vary in color and size depending on their specific species. All ants can be identified by their three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Ants have a pair of bent antennae, but only the reproductive members are winged. There are about 700 species of ants living throughout the United States, but only about 25 regularly infest homes.

an oderous house ant scavenges for food in a new jersey home

The most common species of ants that invade our properties in New Jersey and surrounding areas are carpenter ants and odorous house ants.

Carpenter ant
This ant is usually black in color, but sometimes can be a combination of black, red, and yellow. They are the largest house-infesting ant living in the U.S. Adults grow to about 1/2" in length; the queens can grow more than an inch in length.
 
Odorous house ant
As their name describes, this ant emits a powerful, unpleasant smell when they are crushed, often likened to that of a rotting coconut. Odorous house ants are brown or black and are relatively small in size; adults grow to between 1/16-1/8" in length.

Are ants dangerous?

Most ants pose no threat to people or property and are simply a nuisance to deal with. The odorous house ant is an example of a nuisance ant. While difficult to control and eliminate, they cause no significant harm. There are, however, some species of ants that do pose a danger to people and/or property. The carpenter ant is an example of a dangerous ant. Carpenter ants commonly nest indoors and are attracted to structural wood that has been damaged by water, tunneling through it and creating satellite nests. Over time, this nesting habit can damage the structural integrity of a home, causing costly and extensive damages that can be difficult to repair.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants are initially attracted to properties that offer them sources of food, water, and shelter. Once on your property, it is only a matter of time before they find their way inside while foraging for food. Upon entering, they often decide to stay and create indoor nests close to their newfound food sources. They may often find their way inside when the weather outside becomes too hot, dry, or wet. Ants typically move inside through cracks in the foundation and exterior walls, spaces around utilities entering into your home, and through holes found along the roofline.

Where will I find ants?

Carpenter ants and odorous house ants create outdoor nests in damp areas like under fallen trees, inside of tree stumps, under woodpiles, under mulch, or in very moist soil. Indoors, carpenter ants nest in structural wood (especially if it has been water damaged), behind walls, under floors, or above ceilings. Odorous house ants nest inside of wall voids, crawl spaces, and areas found around hot water pipes or leaky fixtures.

How do I get rid of ants?

To eliminate current problems with ants, as well as prevent future problems, it is best to partner with an experienced professional. At Bugaboo Pest Control, our professionals provide customers with the residential or commercial pest control services needed to solve your unique ant problem. To learn more about our full-service extermination services that are offered throughout New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Delaware, contact Bugaboo Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Ants create a multitude of problems for the residents of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Deleware, but the following tips can help to deter these pests:

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other organic debris from your property.

  • Use dehumidifiers or air conditioners to reduce humidity levels in your home.

  • Remove structural wood from your home that has been damaged by water.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home, sealing any gaps found.

  • Repair leaky faucets, fixtures, and pipes.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas clean and free of food debris.

  • Place tight-fitting lids on all outdoor trash cans and compost bins.

  • Place woodpiles up off of the ground and away from the exterior of your home.

  • Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and the foundation of your home.

 

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