What Are Ants?
Ants are insects that are found almost anywhere, including wherever we live. While ants are mainly viewed as a nuisance when they live outside, away from our yards and homes, ants play a vital role in the ecosystem. They are a food source for many other larger insects and animals, and the ants themselves are predators feeding on and controlling the numbers of many insects. Their underground tunnels and nests help to aerate the soil, and as ants travel, they move seeds from place to place. These insects also aid in the decomposition of wood, plants, and other organic materials.
Ants are survivors and highly adaptable social insects. They work tirelessly together to care for each other and their nest, which is why controlling these pests is so difficult.
There are three species of ants in the Los Angeles area that we run into regularly:
- Carpenter ants are some of the largest household invading ants and cause costly damage to homes by tunneling through and nesting within its structural wood.
- Argentine ants are known for living in huge colonies and traveling together in wide trails to forage for food. When crushed, they produce an unpleasant musty odor.
- Pharaoh ants have adapted very well to living indoors and are common inside our homes, hospitals, and other commercial buildings where food is prepared or stored.
Are Ants Dangerous?
Ants have a reputation for being annoying, and that they are! They invade in large numbers, maintain multiple nests, contaminate food, and return day after day. Some ants pose even bigger problems and are dangerous. Dangerous ants cause structural damage, bite or sting, or spread human pathogens that make people ill. Whenever you first begin to spot ants on your property, it is always best to take quick action and call for professional help to eliminate them as quickly as possible!
Why Do I Have an Ant Problem?
Like other living creatures, ants need food, water, and shelter to survive. Worker ants leave their nest each day to go and search for their basic needs. If your property is offering them sources of food and water, they will keep returning.
Ants don’t have to be nesting in your yard for you to be experiencing issues with these pests. They could be coming from a neighboring property. In addition, some ants like the pharaoh ant prefer to live indoors, and our homes often provide them with the warmth, safe nesting spots, and easy access to food.
Where Will I Find Ants?
Ants are insects that are active during the day. Homeowners regularly see them wandering around their yards, gardens, decks, outdoor trash cans, walkways, and kitchen and bathrooms.
Ants are constantly searching for reliable food sources, and once they find food, they will lay down a pheromone trail to alert the other members of their colony. One day, you may not even notice there are ants on your property, and the next day, there seem to be hundreds of them!
When ants move into your home and decide to stay to build an indoor satellite nest, they prefer to do so in areas that offer warmth and moisture. Walls voids or spaces under floors near hot water pipes, HVAC systems, and large appliances are common nesting spots. They also like to live in attic spaces and crawl spaces.
How Do I Get Rid of Ants?
Ants are social insects and invade our homes and commercial properties in large numbers; if you see a few ants wandering around your home or yard, know that many more are close by. Protecting your property from being taken over by ants is not easy but can be accomplished with the help of trained and experienced professionals.
At A Step Above Pest Control & Termite, our professionals will find and identify all ant nesting sites and appropriately treat the nest and individuals. You can have peace of mind when choosing us for your Los Angeles home pest control or commercial pest control needs because all the materials we use are registered with the EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. To learn more about having our family-owned and operated pest control company protect your family from ants and other common pests, reach out to us today!
How Can I Prevent Ants in the Future?
Avoid having ants take over your Los Angeles home or yard with the following prevention tips.
- Take a look around your yard and eliminate things that could provide nesting spots for ants like tree stumps, fallen trees, leaf piles, woodpiles, rock piles.
- Regularly inspect your lawn for ant nests like dirt mounds.
- Ants are attracted to moisture. Reduce excess moisture by ensuring your yard has good drainage. Repair leaky pipes, and use dehumidifiers and air conditioners in your home.
- Take away their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins, keeping kitchen areas clean, and placing leftovers in appropriate containers or the fridge.
- Look over your home’s exterior regularly, sealing any cracks or other openings you discover; even the largest ant is small enough to fit through very small spaces.