Ants are one of the tiniest and commonest insects on the planet. Their harmless appearance leads many to believe they are innocent and unlikely to cause harm. On the contrary, these hard-working creatures can be a serious annoyance and, in some cases, even destructive. While some ant species cause extensive structural damage, others are known to carry and transmit disease-causing pathogens.
Unless controlled at the first sign of an infestation, an ant colony will soon become full-blown and challenging to get rid of. Old Bay Pest Control technicians are highly skilled and experienced in getting rid of all ant species in Annapolis, Arnold & beyond. Our experts are certified to utilize highly effective and eco-friendly solutions that eliminate ants quickly and thoroughly while reducing the chances of re-infestations.
What Are Ants? How to Identify Ants
Ants are common home-invading insects native to the United States. Scientifically known as Monomorium minimum, these critters get their name from their size and black coloration. Like other ant species, black ants are social insects, meaning they live in colonies, often infesting in large numbers.
Black ants can be shiny-black or dark-brown in color. The workers typically grow up to 1.5mm long, while the queens can reach 4mm in length. These tiny creatures are easy to identify as they have a two-segmented waist and an unevenly rounded thorax. Their antennae have 12 segments and usually end in a 3-segmented club.
Ants are omnivores, meaning they eat just about anything: from fruits, meat, vegetables, juice, sweets, nuts, oily foods, honeydew, insects – you name it. These nuisances live in wooded areas. Outdoors, you’ll find them in rotting logs, under piles of lumber, and inside trees. Indoors, little black ants make nests inside wall voids, countertops, behind baseboards, and in decaying wood.
Why Do Ants Invade Homes?
Generally, ants’ natural habitats provide them everything they need to live and thrive. However, some seemingly innocent mistakes can unintentionally make your home an ant magnet. Here are some habits that inadvertently attract ants to your home:
- Cracks and crevices: Worker ants foraging for food often invade homes if there’s an easy entry point. These opportunistic pests will quickly enter your home via cracks in walls, holes in the foundation, and gaps in the window or door seal.
- Exposed food: Ants have a remarkably good sense of smell that allows them to pick up odors and locate food. Unsealed foods, dirty dishes, unwiped spills, and uncovered pet food will have ants matching into your home.
- Leaking faucets: Like other insects, ants need water to survive. In fact, ants can survive for two weeks without food, but a lack of water for 5 days can be deadly. Mistakes like ignoring plumbing repairs, a drippy sink, or leaky pipes can make your home a sanctuary for ant pests.
Do Ants Pose Any Risks?
Ants begin their work as soon as they infest your home, and believe it or not, some species are known to cause extensive structural damage. Carpenter ants are the most destructive species that severely damage wood by excavating its material to form a vast tunnel system for their nests.
Luckily, this is not the case with black ants. These little pests are not considered to be destructive. Though they have a stinger, it is too small to inflict painful stings. Even so, ants are disease carriers, capable of transporting bacteria from outside or inside your home and contaminating foods & food preparation areas.
A black ant infestation puts you and your loved ones at risk of food-borne diseases such as salmonella, staph, E. coli, and fungi. As such, you should seek help from a pest control expert as soon as you spot the signs of an ant infestation.
Signs of an Ant Infestation
A black ant infestation does more than ruin the enjoyment of your home. These critters put your family’s health at risk. Unfortunately, spotting an ant infestation can be tricky as these pests prefer to hide in quiet, dark places.
Spotting the small black insects is the most obvious telltale sign of an ant problem. You may see ants scurrying on the kitchen floor, bathroom, or cabinets. Watch the ants carefully to see if they form a trail to their nest.
How to Prevent Black Ants
On top of being an unsightly nuisance, ants can ruin your business’s brand and reputation. They are especially risky in hospitality organizations such as restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafes. Business owners should consider working with a licensed pest control company that offers regular inspections and preventative services.
Below are other tips to prevent ants:
- Keep your home spotlessly clean
- Seal cracks, crevices, and gaps in the exterior wall and foundation using caulk.
- Store firewood a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from your home
- Wipe down spills immediately after they occur
- Do the necessary plumbing repairs, including leaky pipes and clogged gutter
Old Bay Pest Control Ant Removal Services
Old Bay Pest Control technicians are highly reviewed for offering safe, effective, and highly reliable ant control services throughout Annapolis , Arnold and beyond. Backed by decades of experience, our experts thoroughly understand the habits and tricks of all ant species in our area. They utilize this knowledge when designing a pest control program customized to the specific needs of your home or business.
Using advanced solutions and up-to-date technology, we successfully get rid of pests and destroy their nests to reduce the chances of future infestation. Contact Old Bay Pest Control today to discuss your pest problem and organize a free survey.