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Ant Identification Guide

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What are ants?

The ant is a small insect that can cause big problems for property owners. They invade in large numbers, are annoying and sometimes dangerous to deal with, and are difficult to eliminate. Ants that frequent properties located in the Greater Houston Area include fire ants, ghost ants, rasberry crazy ants, Pharaoh ants, and carpenter ants.

red ants on ground

As one of the most common household invaders, ants are easy to identify. They are insects and, therefore, have three body regions, two antennae, six legs, and reproductive members have wings. They also have chewing mouthparts, and some have stingers. Depending on their species, ants come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, yellow, red, or a combination of colors.

Are ants dangerous?

Depending on their species, ants can be dangerous to either people or our properties. However, most of the ants that we come across are nuisance ants, such as the rasberry crazy ant, and pose no significant threats. Examples of dangerous ants living in our area are fire ants, carpenter ants, and Pharaoh ants.

  • Fire ants are aggressive, deliver painful bites and venom-filled stings, and they damage electrical equipment.

  • Carpenter ants aren’t a danger to people, but they frequently nest inside of structural wood, and, eventually, cause extensive and expensive to repair damages.

  • Pharaoh ants transmit diseases to people that cause significant health problems. They are a frequent problem inside of hospitals, contaminating patient wounds, and bags of IV fluids.

No matter the species, any infestation should be taken seriously. All ants can introduce bacteria into your home and contaminate your family’s food sources.

Why do I have an ant problem?

If your property offers ants places to shelter that is close to food and water sources, they will take advantage. Almost any yard or outdoor space can become a place that an ant colony will call home.

As our habitats have merged, it is common for ants to create their nests close to our homes and businesses, making it easy for them to move inside while foraging for food or seeking respite from unsuitable weather conditions. Ants move indoors through spaces in the foundation, exterior walls, and around windows and doors. Once inside, they often decide to stay and nest or keep returning daily to forage for food.

Where will I find ants?

Where ants prefer to nest is species dependent. Ghost ants will build their nest in damp soil, inside tree stumps, under fallen trees, and in mulch. Indoors, these ants nest inside of cracks in floors and walls, behind baseboards, in wall voids near pipes, and inside potted plants.

  • Pharaoh ants like to nest inside and are a frequent problem in homes, hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, and food processing facilities. They place their nests in areas behind walls, baseboards, and under floors.

  • Carpenter ants nest outside in tree stumps, in fallen trees, woodpiles, and old fences. Inside, they nest inside of structural wood behind walls, under floors, and above ceilings. These ants prefer structural wood previously damaged by water.

  • Fire ants like to nest in open, warm, sunny areas. They prefer to nest outside rather than inside. Fields, golf courses, parks, and our yards are common nesting spots. Fire ants avoid shady wooded areas or in areas of dense vegetation.

  • Rasberry crazy ants are an invasive species that prefer to nest in areas of high moisture. They are often found nesting in tree cavities, tree stumps, under fallen trees, and underneath piles of debris. They also like to nest in potted plants. Inside, these ants often nest within electrical equipment, which causes short circuits and other damage.

How do I get rid of ants?

The best solution to your problem with ants is a professional solution. At TNT Home & Commercial Services, we take our time and provide the thorough services needed to solve pest problems once and for all. Our central focus is to ensure our customers are satisfied, and their properties are free of pests! For more information about protecting your Greater Houston home or business from ants and our area’s other common pests, reach out to TNT Home & Commercial Services today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

More than an inconvenience, pests can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. In addition to our professional pest control services, use the following tips to keep ants out of your home:

  • Seal up cracks and gaps in the foundation and exterior walls of your home using an appropriate filler.
  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Place mesh covers over vents and chimney openings.
  • Replace torn or loose screens.
  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, logs, and other debris from your yard.
  • Maintain gardens areas, harvesting fruits and vegetables regularly.
  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins.
  • Remove standing water from your property.
  • Repair leaking pipes or fixtures.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep humidity levels low in your home.
 

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