Preventing An Ant Infestation

Ants in your home are a nuisance. These crawling insects persistently search high and low for any source of food. An ant scout leaves the nest, laying a trail of pheromones as it goes. If it finds food, it will follow the trail back to the nest and leave more pheromones, creating a stronger trail that other ants in the colony will follow.

Prevention techniques can make your home less appealing to ants and reduce the risk for a potential infestation. Here are some tips to avoid an infestation in your home.

Remove moisture sources.
Like any living thing, ants need water to live. Eliminating stray water sources and moisture from your home will prevent these insects from establishing a colony in or near your house.

Keep your house clean.
Ant food sources are primarily dead insects and human/pet food. Keeping your house clean and free of leftover food and crumbs will prevent ants from being attracted to your home.

Remove materials where ants can establish their nests.
Ants establish their colonies in materials that are near a food source. They also choose areas with debris that will allow them to build their nests. Remove tree stumps, wood, branches and other yard waste from near your house.

Seal points of entry for ants.
If ants are entering your home, but have not yet established a colony inside the house itself, patching holes and cracks will stop ants from getting into your house.

Call a professional.
Prevention techniques may work well, but if they don’t, it may be time to call a professional like Amco Ranger Termite & Pest Solutions to eliminate your ant problem.

Find out more about how you can take care of your lawn against bug infestation.

How Do You Know if You Have Termites?

Termites typically live in colonies underneath your home and when the ground thaws, they emerge, entering your structure through cracks in the foundation. You won’t even know they are there until you see signs in your home.

Signs of Termite Infestation
The following list indicates common signs of a subterranean termite infestation. It is recommended that you have your house thoroughly inspected by a pest control professional trained to detect what can be subtle signs of termites.

The swarm
The appearance of a swarm of what looks like flying ants is a good indication of the existence of a termite nest. Swarming occurs when a colony reaches a certain size and is most common in the spring (March, April, May, and June). Most swarmers emerge on warm days after rain.

Bugs and bug parts
You may see live termites in your home. Reproductive kings and queens are 1/2″ long, winged and black or brown in color. Workers are sterile and usually hidden within infested wood. They are 1/4″ long, wingless and white. You might also see piles of wings, indicating that the swarmers have entered their next phase of development.

Mud tunnels
Subterranean termites live in the ground and build “mud tubes” – pencil-sized tubes made from mud particles, saliva, and fecal matter that connect the nest to the food source. Mud tubes are proof of termite infestation, but their absence does not necessarily mean that a structure is free of termites. You can break open tubes to determine if termites are still active inside. Termites often rebuild damaged tubes, another indication of continued activity. Old tubes are dry and will crumble easily.

Hollowed-out wood
Termite-damaged wood makes a hollow sound when tapped with a hammer and may appear crushed at structural bearing points. If you pick and probe the surface of an infested piece of wood with a sharp object, you will find tunnels running parallel to the wood’s grain.

What to do
Termite problems are not a do-it-yourself project. If termites have invaded your home, contact a pest control professional like Amco Ranger that can provide ongoing treatment to protect your largest investment – your home.

Also find out how to control dust mites.