Ants are one of the most common pest infestations, and they can carry the largest numbers. Small and usually unable to bite or sting, ants are easy to overlook, at first. When they nest inside your home or business, however, and their numbers swell into the thousands, they become a nuisance very quickly. Blue Ridge Termite and Pest are professional exterminators providing complete pest control for ants of all types, helping you reclaim your home or business.
There are many different types of ants in and around Charlottesville, though a much smaller grouping is prone to infestation. Acrobat ants, carpenter ants and harvester ants may all form colonies indoors. They do this by occupying small, sheltered spaces, such as the spaces behind siding, between walls, under floors or in unoccupied spots like garages or basements. Many species will find areas that have previously been occupied by termites and start nesting there. Though the termites may be gone, their tunnels make ideal homes for ants and the damage to your home will continue.
Acrobat Ant Control
Acrobat Ants are so named for their tendency to ‘acrobatically’ raise their abdomen above their head. The abdomen in heart-shaped. Acrobat ants are small, typically less than 5.4 mm in length. Many produce an unpleasant odor when bothered.
Acrobat ants usually nest near moist areas such as stones, stumps, rotting logs and woodpiles. Inside the home, acrobat ants gravitate to damp areas such as behind siding or near a leaking skylight. They have also been known to nest in wood damaged by termites or carpenter ants. Acrobat ants often clear out areas that other insects have already damaged. The dirt or wood scraps they push out of the areas are sometimes mistaken for an active termite infestation.
Acrobat ants can enter homes in a number of ways. Common entryways include thresholds and construction gaps, or the worker ants can climb in through tree limbs or shrubbery that border the house. They can even enter through utility lines or openings in pipes or wires.
The most visible signs of acrobat ants are debris deposited from their excavations of nests or ant trails searching for resources. If there are pieces of foam around the foundation, it may be a sign ants are nesting in the siding. Keeping your shrubbery and trees trimmed and neat can help keep acrobat ants from invading. Keep attic vents and screens repaired and clean and move piles of wood away from the house. However, established nests can be very difficult to locate.
Carpenter Ant Control
Among the largest ants in the United States, carpenter ants range from 3.4 to 13 mm long. They tend to nest in decaying, moist or hollow wood, although they do not eat the wood. The nesting process includes burrowing into the wood to cut passages; this produces shavings and dead ant parts which point to an infestation.
The most likely signs of carpenter ants are the workers, foraging for food, or the swarmers (winged ants), which are evidence of well-established colonies. The swarmers appear when the colony has matured and is looking to form new colonies.
If carpenter ants are allowed to nest for long periods of time, they can be responsible for extreme damage to the structural integrity of houses and buildings. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in structural lumber, especially that which has been damaged by moisture, decay or other insects.
Harvester Ant Control
Harvester Ants are medium-sized ants who get their name from their habit of cutting small pieces of grass to build large nests. Harvester ants usually live in dry environments. They tend to live in large, exposed areas. Due to their nest building habits, they are relatively easy to spot. Just look for a large mound of clipped grass and plant stems!
If you see ants around your home, it is likely there are hundreds more you are not seeing. Call today to schedule an exterminator and get rid of ants quickly, completely and safely.