Ant Control 101: A Helpful Guide For Houston Homeowners
At one point or another, just about every homeowner has to deal with an annoying ant problem. For such small pests, they can be a huge hassle to keep out of the house. This guide will explain more about effective ant control in Houston and help you determine when to call for professional pest control services in Houston.
The first step to handling any pest problem is identifying the species causing trouble on your property. Most ants appear very similar to an untrained eye, but knowing how to differentiate one species from another can help protect your home from riskier types. We'll provide precise descriptions of the most common species in our area so you can get a better idea of what you are dealing with.
We'll also go over which ants, in particular, are the most problematic to have in the house. Many common ants are primarily a nuisance to have around, but some can damage the structure of your home, and others risk your family's health. Knowing the risks each type of ant carries can help you to make informed decisions on the best way to control them.
If you find your home overrun with ants or suspect you have a more troublesome species, it might be time to seek professional help. The pros at Modern Pest Control offer effective solutions to help you protect your home and family. We can assist you in getting rid of ants and help to safeguard your home from any future pest problems.
After your home is free and clear from ants, it is time to take steps to ensure they don't come back. We'll provide practical tips to help you keep ants outside where they belong and ensure you have a safe, pest-free home. Please continue reading to learn more about ants in Houston and how to control them successfully with the experts at Modern Pest Control.
Identifying Common Ant Species
It's relatively easy to determine you have an ant infestation in the house. These aren't pests that try to stay out of sight or avoid people. But identifying the various species tends to be challenging for homeowners.
Because certain types of ants cause more problems than others, knowing how to identify the species can help you to reach out for help if you have dangerous or destructive kinds of ants on your property.
The following list details the most common home-invading ants in Houston:
- Red imported fire ants are dark, reddish-brown ants, between 1/8 and 3/8 of an inch long, with a stinger on the hind end. They build large mounds in the yard.
- Carpenter ants are larger, between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch, usually black, red, brown, or a combo of red and black. They build nests inside the wood in your home.
- Acrobat ants are light brown to black ants, around 1/8 of an inch, and raise their heart-shaped abdomen over the head when threatened.
- Pharaoh ants are pale yellow or reddish ants with darker abdomens. These very small ants grow to about 1/16 of an inch long.
- Crazy ants are dark brown to black with a gray sheen. They are small ants between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch long and run in an erratic, jerky manner.
- Odorous house ants are brown or black and between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch long. They release a rotten coconut smell when crushed.
- Rover ants can be black, dark brown, or pale yellow. They have long hairs on their bodies and are very small, growing to about 1/16 of an inch long.
If you have trouble identifying the species on your property or need assistance eliminating them, Modern Pest Control is here to help. Our expert pest management professionals can quickly identify the problem and help eradicate ants from your Houston home. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your free inspection.
Ants In The Home Can Create Many Problems
If you've had the experience of opening a cabinet and seeing a stream of ants coming out, you already know what a nuisance these pests can be. But several local species can cause much bigger problems than being an annoyance. In this section, we'll review some issues that can arise with an infestation of Houston's various types of ants.
Red imported fire ants are one of the easiest to recognize and one of the more troublesome species. If these ants have made a home on your property, you have likely seen the large mounds they create in your yard. Fire ant mounds are flat, have an irregular shape, and are typically between two and four feet in diameter.
These ants often build their nests close to the foundation or in the yard's landscaping. Red imported fire ants endanger your family and pets because anyone approaching the mound will likely end up with numerous painful stings. Some people can have severe allergic reactions to the stings.
Carpenter ants in your house endanger the structure itself. Carpenter ants don't eat the wood like termites, but they chew their way through the structural wood creating tunnels for nesting. Over time, a carpenter ant infestation can weaken the structural integrity of your home.
Carpenter ants are most active shortly before dusk until dawn, reducing your chances of seeing them. You can, however, watch for signs like small holes in the wood with piles of sawdust shavings, pieces of insulation, or insect parts under them.
Acrobat ants nesting in the house can sometimes be mistaken for carpenter ants or termites because they will nest in wood that already has damage from other wood-boring insects. Acrobat ants will clean out these previously used nests, and you may notice debris like dirt and wood scraps near holes.
Acrobat ants may bite if they sense a threat, but they are more of a risk to the house. These ants can strip the insulation from electrical wires and cause a short circuit. A clear sign of these ants is seeing trails of them on wires or pipes coming into the house.
Pharaoh ants can have thousands of ants in their colony, nesting in wall voids, under floors, and behind baseboards. They tend to nest in humid areas close to food and will use the wiring in your home to travel through the walls and between floorboards. Pharaoh ants risk your family's health because they can spread illnesses like strep and staph infections.
The other ants on our list, crazy, odorous, and rover ants, are mainly nuisance pests. But these species also carry some risk to the people in your home. Outdoors, these ants can pick up bacteria, and when they enter your home, they can contaminate food and cooking surfaces.
If you're not sure which species of ant is infesting your home or need assistance eliminating them, the pros at Modern Pest Control are here to help. No matter what type of ant you have, they can cause problems in the house. Contact us today to learn more about our ant control services or to schedule your free inspection.
Contact Us To Completely Eliminate Ants
If you have been dealing with an infestation for a while, you've likely already tried several store-bought ant control products. While sprays and baits can sometimes get rid of an ant or two that find their way into your home, they are not enough to eradicate an infestation.
To properly treat an infestation, you must eliminate the entire colony and, most importantly, the queen or, in some cases, queens. If a queen survives the treatment, she will continue to reproduce, and you will continue to have a problem. If you get rid of ants for a short time, and then they quickly return, this is likely the problem.
Certain species, like fire, carpenter, and pharaoh ants, can have extensive colonies with multiple queens making them harder to eliminate. Fire ants should always be left to the pros because the colony will work together to defend the nest if they sense a threat, and you risk severe stings if you attempt to terminate them.
The pest management professionals at Modern Pest Control have the tools and experience to eliminate an ant colony quickly. When we perform your free inspection, our pros will determine the species you have, whether or not they are nesting in the house, and then find the best solution to eradicate them.
After we remove your ant problem, our experts can help you determine how these pests get inside. People often have conditions around their property that increase the likelihood of a pest infestation, so we will also point out any factors on your property you can remedy to avoid attracting ants.
If you are ready to get rid of ants once and for all, contact us today at Modern Pest Control. You and your family deserve a safe, pest-free home without the constant stress of trying to control ants or any other pests. Call today to learn more about how our services can protect your home or to schedule your free inspection.
Five Naturally Effective Ways To Prevent Ants From Coming Back
We understand what a relief it is to finally have a pest-free home, but there are essential steps to take to ensure it stays that way. Our pros can assist with keeping ants from coming back, but there is a lot you can do to help. We'll provide five naturally effective ant prevention tips you can start using today, which we'll elaborate on below:
- Store food and trash properly.
- Keep your home clean and tidy.
- Repair any moisture problems.
- Seal cracks and gaps.
- Remove potential attractants from the yard.
Ants enter homes while searching for one of three things, food, water, or shelter. If you can remove their access to these necessities, you can significantly reduce the chances of another infestation.
The ants you see crawling all over the house and yard are usually foraging for food. If they find a potential source, like open food packages in a cabinet, or easily accessible trash containers, they leave a scent trail so the other ants in the colony can find their way to the food.
You can help avoid attracting them by storing all your food in pest-proof containers with tight lids. Tiny ants can easily find their way into open packages, so utilize plastic, glass, or metal containers whenever possible. Taking out the garbage frequently and placing it in receptacles with secure lids can also help keep ants away.
Even small amounts of food can attract ants on the hunt, so it helps to keep your home clean and tidy, especially in areas where people eat. Frequently vacuum any dining areas and clean up crumbs and spills promptly. Also, try not to leave food sitting out, including pet food.
Moisture issues are among the most common reasons pests like ants enter homes. Look around the house for leaking pipes, dripping air conditioning units, or water-damaged wood, and make repairs as necessary. Ensure adequate ventilation in areas with high humidity, like crawl spaces and attics, or install dehumidifiers.
Sealing cracks and gaps around your home can help to prevent ants from finding an entryway. Use a silicone-based caulk and carefully seal any crevices in the foundation, cracks around doors or windows, and gaps around utility lines. Also, check that all your doors and windows have intact screens and weatherstripping.
Outside the house, check for areas with standing water on your property, including clogged gutters or water that pools near the foundation. Keep the grill clean because grease can attract ants, and thoroughly clean up after dining outdoors.
The simplest and most effective way to keep ants out is to collaborate with a local company like Modern Pest Control that offers ant pest control services. For over 70 years, we have been helping our neighbors protect their homes and families from problematic pests like ants. Contact us today with any questions about our residential or commercial pest control services in Houston or to schedule your free inspection.