Ants are one of the most common insects you’ll have to battle in the home. They can be lured in by anything from easy access to food to just the availability of a pre-built shelter from the elements. Having replaced cockroaches as the #1 pest in the United States, ants can cause a variety of issues including biting pets and humans and causing damage to the home.
In the St. Louis area, the most common types of ants are Carpenter and Pavement Ants.
- Carpenter Ants- Typically found in dead or hollow trees, carpenter ants make their homes by chewing up wood for nesting materials. If they wander into a house, they may decide to make a nest among the wood they find there because it is better protection from the weather. These ants can cause damage to the structure of a home.
- Pavement Ants- The most common ant in the Metro Area, pavement ants can be seen in trails long cracks or seams in sidewalks, roads, or driveways. When a foraging ant finds food, it leaves a chemical trail for the other ants to follow. Hence, the single-file line they’re usually seen traveling. Though less damaging, they can still pose a problem for your health and can impede business for restaurants or other shops.
As if that isn’t enough, many species of ants can produce winged ants. Carpenter ants can resemble the appearance of termites and can easily be confused with them given the nature of their preferred dwelling. This can make treating for ants tricky as it is very different from treating for termites.
What to Do About Ants
The best way to treat ants is to prevent getting them. Prevention may be in the back of your mind, but once you see ants in the home, prevention is no longer an option. From here, common simple treatments can include:
- Deterrents: Talcum powder, cream of tartar, and borax are natural ant repellents. Using these to create a “land-moat” to cut ants off from targets can entice them to find another home.
- Bait traps: These can be used to offer a slow-acting poison that ants will not only eat, themselves, but take back to the queen in the nest, potentially destroying a colony.
Without a doubt, the best way to guarantee ant protection or elimination is your local exterminator. Local professionals will know the best ways to address each type of ant in the area of your property and save you a time and frustration (and maybe even money). To see if our expertise will this for you, contact Midwestern Termite & Pest Control today!