What is Attracting Ants Inside of My Home?

Ants are more commonly seen in the spring and summer months in Missouri, but they can become a household pest regardless of the season. Ants are extremely interesting creatures and live within a complex social structure that can include thousands of colony workers. When one ant is seen within the home, there is a good chance that the colony has already infested. To prevent this from happening, it is important to know what attracts ants inside a home, and to ensure your home does not have any of these temptations, so you can keep the ants outside where they belong.


Food is by far the biggest draw to ants. Worker ants are always on the hunt for food. Although ants typically prefer sugary substances, they will eat just about anything. As they hunt for food, they also leave a scent or pheromone trail behind them. This trail allows them to easily find their way back to the colony, but it also provides a path for other ants to follow so they too can forage for food and bring it back to the queen. 

To deter ants from entering a home, it is important to keep the kitchen area particularly very clean. Refrigerate produce when possible, always quickly clean up spills, and ensure that countertops and the pantry is always clean of crumbs and other food spills.


Like all animals, ants need water to live, but they do not always need a direct source. Many ants get all the water they need through the food they eat. The amount of water any ant will need will largely depend on the type of ant. Pharaoh ants, for example, must nest close to a reliable water source, while carpenter ants are drawn to damp wood. Of course, it is important to ensure there is no standing water outside, but also address any plumbing issues, such as a leaky faucet, that could also act as a draw for ants.


Ants, like all other insects, are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. When the weather starts to turn colder in the fall months, ants may come inside where it is warm and where they can expand their colonies. Being inside during this time also allows ants to remain close to a food source, and find the moisture they need. Unfortunately, due to the fact that humans also need to live in a comfortable environment, there is little that can be done to prevent ants from coming into the home for this reason.

The best way to prevent ants from turning your home into theirs during the cooler months is to continue with ant prevention practices. Keep a clean home, ensure that fixtures are watertight and are not leaking, and ensure all garbage cans in your home, including a garage or shed, have tight-fitting lids. One of the best prevention tactics is to also inspect the outside and inside of your home, particularly the areas around doorways and windows. Ants can make their way in using the smallest of gaps or cracks. Sealing these off will block any entry points, so ants can remain outside all year long.

Reproduction and Propagation

Homeowners are most likely to encounter flying ants in the spring. Flying ants are reproductive ants and as the colony matures, its population grows. Flying ants develop within their colonies before they emerge and perpetuate the species. After the ants mate, the males die and the female becomes the queen that will search for places to build their new colonies. When these swarms are seen in the winter, it may mean that carpenter ants are nesting within the structure, which is a very serious problem and may require professional help. Without the help of a professional pest control company, the only real way to get rid of these ants is to vacuum the swarms and take the vacuum or the bag outside to release the ants.

Our Missouri Pest Control Company can Help with Your Ant Problem

Unlike other insects, ants do not generally pose a threat to humans, but they are annoying and can sometimes cause damage to a home. If you are dealing with an ant infestation in your home, our St. Charles pest control company can help. At Amco Ranger, we have the necessary experience to eliminate ants from your home, and keep them out. If you have a problem with ants or any other pest, call us at (636) 223-5703 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection.

How To Get Rid Of Ant Colonies In Yards

Ants are one of the most common types of pests. In Missouri, they can wreak havoc in your yard and in other outdoor areas. If not addressed, they may eventually make their way into your home. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we have been helping residents throughout our community deal with ant problems for more than 50 years. Find out where ants may be hiding in your yard, the damage they can cause, and how you can eliminate them permanently. 

Why Are Ants So Bad In My Yard?

The Missouri Department of Conservation warns that there are more than 700 different types of ants living in North America. While ants can be spotted in and around your home, common types of ants in Missouri likely come from colonies formed outdoors, in some cases as far as 100 yards away.  While ants can be good for aerating the soil and may even kill other insects, such as caterpillars, you do not want these pests inhabiting your yard. In addition to increasing your risks of a home invasion, other hazards ants pose in your yard include the following: 

  • They can invade picnics and barbecues, preventing you from enjoying outdoor areas;
  • Certain species can bite, leaving behind painful red welts;
  • They can damage plants, eating leaves and any fruit or vegetables growing;
  • They can interfere with your lawn, killing off the grass;
  • They cause unsightly mounds and anthills, which serve as a home for thousands of these pests.

How Do I Find Ant Colonies?

Ants are social creatures and live in large colonies. They are also hard workers and adhere to a rigid hierarchy. Ant colonies typically consist of a queen, who is responsible for laying eggs, males, whose primary job is mating, and worker ants. These take care of eggs while maintaining the nest and gathering food. One of the ways they do this is by burrowing tunnels to other areas. 

Following trails of worker ants are one of the ways you are most likely to find the colony. Knowing where they like to hide is half the battle. The University of Missouri identifies four common types of ants and the most likely places for them to build colonies: 

  • Odorous house ants: While often found in homes, colonies are generally located outside. Look under stones, old bark, or areas of shallow soil;
  • Pavement ants: As their name implies, these can be found near sidewalks or paving stones;
  • Larger yellow ants: These nest in soil along your home’s foundation;
  • Field ants: These include a variety of different species, including fire ants. They are easy to find due to their large mounds, which can measure up to one foot in diameter. 

Carpenter ants are another common type of ant and one of the most destructive. Rather than spending time underground, they are likely to build colonies in decaying wood around your property or in old railroad ties used for landscaping. 

Common Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

There are several do-it-yourself methods for eliminating ants in your yard. Gardening Know How warns to beware of harsh over-the-counter chemical sprays or baits, as children or animals may be playing nearby. Safer methods include: 

  • Use boiling water over the colony: This kills the ants and floods the colony. 
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over it: A white powder containing skeletons of small sea creatures, diatomaceous earth acts as small shards of glass when ingested by acts, killing them from the inside.
  • Spray the colony with a solution of dish soap or borax and water: This acts as a poison for the ants while also causing them to dehydrate. 
  • Get rid of the hill: When dealing with mounding ants, flattening the hill can destroy the colony. 

Eliminate Ants In Your Yard Permanently With Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions

Even if you are able to identify the nest and use one of the above treatments, there is no guarantee they will not return. Ants are industrious, quickly rebuilding and repopulating colonies. To get rid of them permanently, call in the experts at Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions. 

We pride ourselves on providing the best service in the industry and back our work with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. Do not let ants ruin your yard or give them the opportunity to enter your home. Reach out and call or contact our Missouri ant control experts online today. Request a free, no-obligation ant inspection to locate colonies in your yard and to discover ways to eliminate them completely.   

Do Ants Hibernate?

Ants are one of the most common pests. Depending on the type, they may originally invade your yard, garden, landscaping, or outdoor structures, such as porches and decks. Eventually, these persistent bugs will more than likely make their way into your home. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we help businesses and residential property owners eliminate ants quickly and safely, using environmentally friendly products and methods designed to keep them from returning in the future. 

While ants in Missouri are most likely to wreak havoc with property owners during the warmer spring and summer months, ants do not hibernate. This means that if there is a nest or colony of ants nearby that was previously not dealt with properly, there is a good chance you will spot them over the winter months as well. 

Where Do Ants Go When the Weather Turns Cold?

Ants are common invaders at summer picnics and barbecues. In warm weather, they often get in through open windows or cracks in your siding. During this time, you are likely to notice them marching across countertops, walls, and floors in kitchen and pantry areas. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation advises that in some cases, they may be coming from colonies formed outdoors, sometimes from as far as 100 yards away. These are generally worker ants, who go off in search of food while the queen remains in the nest, mating and watching over any eggs or ant larvae that are hatched. This is characteristic of yellow ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants, all of which are common in Missouri. Other ants you may spot in your home over winter include: 

  • Pavement ants, which usually live outdoors and underground, mainly along sidewalks and in pavement cracks as their name implies.
  • Carpenter ants, one of the more destructive species, feed on wood both outdoors and inside your home. 
  • Pharaoh ants, which usually nest in void indoor spaces, such as behind walls and in electrical outlets. Colder weather draws them out, where they can be spotted crawling along your baseboards or heating vents. 

All of the above may become more visible in you  home during the winter months. Ants do not hibernate but their bodies do require warmer temperatures to survive. Even field ants and other outdoor types not commonly seen in homes will build deeper tunnels and trenches in order to escape the cold. 

Why Am I Still Seeing Ants In My House?

If you are still seeing ants in your home despite freezing outdoor temperatures, there is a strong chance they may have moved their nest inside. Either that, or your previous attempts at exterminating them failed. 

Many home and business owners attempt do-it-yourself methods to keep ants at bay. Unfortunately, in addition to being unsafe, these are generally ineffective for the following reasons: 

  • Over-the-counter insecticides are simply not strong enough to eradicate an ant colony, nor are they generally applied the right way. 
  • Simply spraying will not do the trick. The University of Missouri advises that different types of ants require different elimination methods. For example, to effectively eliminate acrobat ants, you must find and thoroughly spray the nest, whereas pharaoh ants require the use of baits. 
  • You have to eliminate the entire nest. Another common mistake made among DIYers is killing only the queen. While this does prevent her from hatching more eggs, it does not prevent other queens from taking her place.
  • Even once the queen and the nest is removed, you need to address nearby conditions that may have served to attract ants to your home. This means sealing up cracks at windows, doors, and the exteriors of your home, eliminating food sources, attending to areas in your yard where ants are likely to nest. 

Half measures and the wrong methods will not yield the desired results and you will likely continue to see ants over the winter months. 

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you are experiencing problems with ants in your home despite the cooler temperatures, Amco Ranger Pest Control Services provides the professional help you need. You can expect fast, effective, friendly service backed by our 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. When dealing with pest control problems, it is important to remember that the longer you wait, the bigger your problem is likely to get. To eliminate ants permanently from your home or business, call or contact our Missouri ant control experts online and request a free, no-obligation inspection today.  


Everything You Need To Know About Ants

Ants are one of the most common household pests in Missouri. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them any less annoying when they enter your home. Once ants have found their way in, homeowners attempt a variety of different methods to get rid of them. In order to truly eradicate ants, you must first understand their social structure and how they live. Below are some common questions and answers about these pesky insects. Understanding them can help you eradicate ants from your home once and for all. 

How Many Queen Ants Are In A Colony?

Some ants have more than one queen in their colonies. These are known as polygene colonies. More commonly, ant colonies are monogyne, meaning they have only one queen ant. 

Colonies will typically have more than one queen ant when the colony is new. This allows the ants to produce more offspring. Once a colony is developed though, the worker ants will typically kill additional queens until only one remain. Sometimes, they may kill the only queen as well, which eventually eliminates the entire colony. 

What Do Ants Eat?

Ants have a very diverse diet. While ants are omnivores, some species of ants prefer one type of food over others. Some ants eat animals, often other species of ants. Certain ants prefer protein such as meat and will look for it in small animals. Usually, when this is the case, ants will feed on dead or decaying animals. Dairying ants will keep a farm of aphids, tiny insects that destroy gardens. The ants will protect these farms from other animals and will milk the aphids for honeydew, a sweet substance aphids produce. 

Whatever the source of food is for a particular colony, worker ants will forage for it. As they do, they’ll leave a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow, so the food is easily found in the future. 

How Much Can An Ant Lift?

It’s been said that ants can lift up to twice their body weight. However, it’s much more than that. In fact, ants can carry up to 50 times their body weight. This is due to the fact that ants are so small. Their muscles are thicker, which means they can produce more force pound-for-pound. 

Do Ants Have Wings?

Certain ants develop wings, also called alates, in their reproductive stage. The wings allow the ants to fly, and they mate while in flight. Although these ants swarm in certain areas during this nuptial flight, they pose no harm to humans. After mating, the male will die. The females, now fertilized, will continue to fly, looking for a suitable place to nest. After finding an appropriate colony site, the female will settle there and shed her wings. As the queen begins to build the colony, she will use the wings, and the muscles she used to move them, as a food source until worker ants can start bringing her food.

Do Ants Bite Or Sting?

All ants have the ability to bite. Most will only do so when they feel threatened. After biting in defense, an ant will also sometimes spray a chemical onto the bite site to inflict further pain. Fire ants, on the other hand, bite only to get a grip. Once attached to the threat, these ants then use their stinger to inject venom into the threat or prey. 

A few species of ants that sting include:

  • Red imported fire ants
  • Acrobat ants
  • Harvester ants

Ants that bite include:

  • Field ants
  • Crazy ants
  • Carpenter ants

These are some of the most common ants in Missouri that bite or sting.

How Do Ants Communicate?

Ant colonies are extremely large, sometimes consisting of millions of worker ants. Of course, ants can’t speak and so, many wonder how the ants communicate with one another. They have a number of ways of doing so.

  • Scent: An ant’s antennas are a big part of their communication. These antennae allow ants to smell the pheromones left behind by other ants in their colony. These pheromones are specialized, with each communicating something different to the other ants. One pheromone cocktail may lead the way to a food source, while another may indicate a predator nearby. 
  • Touch: Ants often communicate simply by moving their bodies, or by touching their antennae to another ant’s antennae. In doing so, one ant can tell another what type of food is at the end of the trail. Sometimes, ants will even give other ants a sample of the food they are carrying so the other workers can better identify it. 
  • Sounds: Ants make sounds by rubbing their legs on a part of their body similar to a washboard. This sound is often too low for humans to hear, but other ants certainly can. Ants often communicate in this manner if they have become trapped, as pheromones will not help other ants find them if a tunnel or chamber has collapsed. 

Ants are much more complex than humans often give them credit for. The varying ways in which they communicate with each other is just one example of this. 

Do You Have Ants? Call A Missouri Pest Control Company

Ant colonies are very large, which makes them difficult to get rid of if they’ve found a way into or around your home. If you have an ant problem, you need a St. Charles pest control company that can help. At Amco Ranger, we can easily eliminate ants from your home, and any other pests you may have, too. Call us today at (636) 441-2847 to schedule your free inspection and learn more about how we can help. 

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.