Ants are the number-one nuisance pest in the Greater Houston area. There is a reason for this. We have a lot of ants. Not just a lot in terms of numbers, but also in terms of species. And many of the ant species we have here in our area can also become household pests. Our area is home to rover ants, tawny crazy ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, and many more. And each of these ant species present their own set of dangers.
When fire ants come into your yard, they're going to present a biting hazard. Well, more specifically, a stinging hazard. When disturbed, these tiny red ants will sting, causing painful red welts on our feet, ankles, legs, and anywhere else they come in contact with.
Tawny Crazy Ants
When tawny crazy ants infest your yard, you can expect these ants to get into electrical equipment and cause trouble. For reasons unknown to us, tawny ants are drawn to car, truck, and lawn mower engines. If they find electrical equipment on a property, they will infest it and cause damages. And repairing the damages caused by these ants can be frustrating and costly.
Like many other ant species, rover ants invade in large numbers and enter homes through locations that have been damaged by water. Once inside your home, these ants will get into your trash and invade your food items.
Perhaps the worst ant we deal with in our area is the carpenter ant, specifically the black carpenter ant. These large ants are extremely destructive to man-made structures in the United States, including here in Texas. The reason they are so destructive is because they create galleries in the wood of our homes to create their nests and establish their colonies in.
Ant Entry Points
Now that you have an idea of some of the ants you can expect to get into your Houston home, let's talk more about "how" they get in.
Most ants, with the exception of carpenter ants, will seek out entry points in order to invade your home. To a certain extent, carpenter ants do this as well, but we'll talk about them more specifically later.
Ants often crawl around the foundations of our home while searching for food. As they look for food, they may come across a hole, gap, or crack in the exterior of your home and utilize it to get inside. They usually do this in areas that have been compromised by moisture but can also find entry points in drier areas. And these entry points don't have to be very big. Some ants can be very tiny. At only .080 inches long, rover ants are the smallest ants we’ll be talking about in this article, followed closely by tawny crazy ants are a mere .125 inches in length!
As a home ages, more and more entry points can develop. These entry points may be a rotted area of a sill just above the foundation wall, a weathered corner of a door frame, a crack that has developed in a foundation wall, or damaged weather stripping around a door. There are many ways a home can deteriorate and give access to these tiny invaders.
Carpenter Ant Entry Points
Now it’s time to discuss the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are somewhat unique among ants because, while they can enter your home through a small gap, especially in areas that are moist, they also have the ability to chew their way in. Whether these ants choose to damage your home depends partly on whether or not they can find wood on your home that has been softened by moisture. This is one of the many reasons we often suggest that homeowners do regular inspections of their gutter systems! A broken or obstructed gutter can lead to many serious problems for homeowners, including a carpenter ant infestation.
When carpenter ants exploit holes that already exist to get into our homes, they'll work their way toward any area in the home that has high moisture levels. For this reason, pest control professionals often use a moisture meter to track down carpenter ant activity. While moisture isn't a sure sign that there are carpenter ants, termites, or other wood-destroying pests in a home, it is a helpful indicator for trouble spots.
What To Do About Ants In Greater Houston
If you're seeing ants in your home, the best solution is to have a licensed professional come take a look. It is important to identify what type of ant you're dealing with and what dangers those ants present to best eliminate them and protect your family, your pets, and your home in the process. Along with proper identification, a trained pest professional will follow strict protocols that are proven to get rid of ants and keep them out!
At Modern Pest Control, we use a comprehensive process for getting rid of ants that begins with an inspection to identify what ants you're dealing with, where colonies are located, and what conditions are conducive to ant infestation. Depending on the results of the inspection, we’ll then develop a customized plan that includes cultural, mechanical, and physical controls as well as a targeted application of EPA-approved liquid products and the strategic use of baits. All treatments will be performed by a licensed pest control technician to ensure that everything is done in an effective and responsible manner.
Don't let ants cause problems in your Houston home for another day! When ants appear, reach out to us at Modern Pest Control. We can make those ants disappear and keep them from returning! Reach out to us for immediate assistance.