What are ants?
Ants are identified by three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have antennae. The reproductive members of their colonies are the only members that are winged. Ants have a complex social structure, and are found living and working together in large colonies.
Two of the most common species of ants found invading homes in Maryland include odorous house ants and pavement ants.
Odorous house ants
Odorous house ants are a small species of ant, and range in color from dark brown to black. These ants produce a distinct, unpleasant smell, which helps to identify them from other species of ants. When odorous house ants are crushed, they emit a foul smell that is similar to a rotting coconut.
Pavement ants are dark brown or black in color. However, these ants aren’t typically identified by their appearance, but rather by where they prefer to nest. As their name suggests, pavement ants are found nesting in the cracks and crevices found in and next to paved areas, including sidewalks, foundations, and driveways.
Are ants dangerous?
Most ant species that you come across are nuisance pests and pose no threat to people or property. For example, odorous house ants, while unpleasant to smell and an annoyance to deal with, pose no significant danger to you, your home, or your family. The same goes for pavement ants. They can invade structures, be difficult to eliminate, and contaminate food, but they aren’t a "dangerous" species. However, it is important to understand that some species of ants do have the potential to be dangerous or damaging. If ants have invaded your home and property, it is always important to partner with a professional to have the infestation accurately identified and treated.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants, like other insects and pests, are attracted to properties that offer what they need to survive - food, water, and shelter. Clogged gutters, leaky outdoor fixtures, open garbage cans, gardens, woodpiles, animal feed, compost piles, and outdoor eating areas can draw ants to your property. Once on your property, ants will quickly find their way inside your home through openings in its exterior while foraging for food. Ants will also make their way into homes when the weather outside becomes too hot, dry, or wet for them to live comfortably. Ants can be a seasonal or year-round pest problem. If an ant colony nests inside, they become a more permanent problem and can become difficult to get rid of without professional help.
Where will I find ants?
Ants nest outside underneath soil and mulch, in piles of wood, in cracks in pavement and sidewalks, along fence lines, in garden areas, under fallen trees, under landscaping ties, or inside tree stumps. Ants nesting inside homes and other buildings do so underneath floors, inside insulation, in crawl spaces, behind walls, behind wooden trim, behind appliances and heating systems, and inside structural wood.
How do I get rid of ants?
To completely eliminate ants from your home or property and prevent a re-infestation, partner with a knowledgeable professional. At Pest Czar, our local and experienced pest control professionals can provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to find and get rid of all the ants nesting in your home or on your property. We can then prevent their return by implementing one of our GreenPro certified pest protection plans. For exceptional, eco-friendly ant control services in the Baltimore, Maryland area, call Pest Czar!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Preventing problems with ants can be a difficult task. There are several things you can do in and around your home to deter their presence:
Repair any gaps in the exterior of your home, roofline, and foundation that ants can use to enter your home.
Remove water sources from around your property.
Make sure outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.
Cut tree branches, bushes, and other landscaping away from the outside of your home.
Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and your home’s foundation.
Keep outdoor eating and grilling areas cleaned up.
Put into place a professional residential ant control program from Pest Czar.
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