How to Identify and Get Rid of Ants

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How to Get Rid of Ants

Ants may be tiny pests, but they can create huge problems. That’s because one ant generally means there’s a large colony nearby and they can multiply inside your home quickly. Ants can get in through the smallest cracks or holes searching for a source of water and sweet or greasy food substances to feast on. Once they find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave an invisible chemical trail for the other ants in their colony to follow. And before you know it – you have a whole colony of ants moving in.

Depending on the type of ant that shows up inside your home, they can contaminate your food and other surfaces and even damage the wood and other building materials. That’s why it’s essential to take action at the first sight of one.

How to Identify Ants

There are more than 12,000 known species of ants worldwide, but there are only a handful that actually end up inside homes here in the United States. Most of them end up in the kitchen or the bathroom, because they’re searching for water for themselves and their colony. If a few get in through an open door, you can probably get rid of them quickly. But if you find them in your kitchen pantry or cabinets or on the bathroom or kitchen counters, you may have an infestation or at least the beginning of one.

If you’re planning to treat them on your own, it’s best to identify what kind is crawling around and what they’re capable of.

Carpenter Ants

Sometimes carpenter ants can be confused with termites. Carpenter ants are large, black and have bent antennae. They like to chew and burrow into wood so, you are most likely to see them in logs and trees or on ceiling beams or wood doors. They generally build several nests in and around your property in wood that has decayed. You’ll find nests outside in stumps, firewood and rotting fence posts. Inside nests can be found in wood, walls and insulation.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are one of the most common ants in the United States. They’re also called sugar ants, stink ants or coconut ants. You’ll see them most often in spring and summer in spots all over your property. They live in large colonies in multiple nests. You’ll find their nests in rock beds and exposed soil outside. They like to nest in warm places indoors, so they’re often found near heat returns, in attic insulation or inside house plants. Odorous house ants are small and either black or brownish in color. They get their name from the fact they give off a distinct odor when you crush them. They like the food they’ll find in your kitchen, and they leave an invisible trail behind for other members of their colony to follow.

Pavement Ants

You’ll find these ants nesting underground in the sand and soil that’s found in or around basements, driveways, patios, sidewalks and concrete slabs. You’ve probably seen them crawling in and out of their mounds outside. Pavement ants are black or brownish and small, and have pale-colored legs. They live in large colonies, usually 3,000-5,000 group together at a time. They are territorial and are most active at night.

Preventing Ant Infestations

Ants are one of the most common household pests in the United States. Trying to get rid of them can present quite the challenge. It’s probably best to call a pest control professional, but there are a few do-it-yourself things you can try first to eliminate them.

  • Ants come inside because they’re looking for food. Make sure you keep food particles picked up, swept up or vacuumed up. Clean floors where food drops often and keep food off the floor of your pantry.
  • Ants leave an invisible trail so the others in their colony can find their way to the food. If you find a few ants, use a mixture of vinegar and water to mop outward from the area to get rid of the trail.
  • It’s important to figure out how ants are getting in. Do a thorough inspection of your property, find any openings you may have and seal them to keep ants, and other pests outside where they belong.
  • Ants don’t like the smell of pepper, so you can sprinkle black or red pepper around baseboards or behind appliances to keep them out.
  • The smell of peppermint can also work as a deterrent. You can mix peppermint oil with water and spray it around your door frames, windows and baseboards to try and keep ants out.
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Getting Rid of Ants in Your House

Treatment Methods for Ants 

If your ant problem seems to be a little bigger than a DIY method can solve, give Ehrlich a call. At Ehrlich, we are dedicated to eliminating ants from your home, as well as keeping them from coming back. We tackle your problem with a comprehensive plan that utilizes the most up to date and safest technology and tools.

Step 1: Free Inspection

We will schedule an appointment that is most convenient for you and an Ehrlich pest control professional will arrive to thoroughly inspect your property for free, paying particular attention to the problem areas you’ve identified.

Step 2: Customized Plan

After inspection, we will identify the type of ant you have in your home and present you with a detailed plan of treatment, complete with the methods we will use and the best schedule for elimination and prevention. You will also be given a price quote for our services. The technician will answer any questions you may have or get the answers for you as quickly as possible.

Step 3: Protection and Prevention

Depending on the type of ant you have in your home, our pest control professionals will provide treatment targeted to the specific species. Treatment and control methods will be used in the areas where the ants are and where they might likely be found. Treatment plans can be set up on a regular schedule to prevent future infestations. All our pest control products are safe for your family and your pets.

Treatment plans may include:

  • Perimeter treatments around your home or business to keep the ants from getting inside
  • Finding, treating and eliminating the nest for the colony and the trail the ants have used to get inside
  • Using bait applications for the ants to carry back to the colony to fed on, ultimately eliminating them

Professional Ant Treatment

The problem with ants is they continue to come back. That’s why it’s important to have a long-term plan to protect your home and your family. Because of the way ants colonize, getting rid of them yourself can be difficult and ineffective, so it’s best to bring in a pest control professional. Our technicians are properly trained, know what to look for, and are equipped with the most effective tools to eliminate your pest control problems.

Ehrlich’s Ant Services

Whatever pest control issue you may have, Ehrlich is here to help. Our pest control specialists are highly trained, licensed and certified professionals who use the latest technology, treatment and tools to eliminate your current problems and prevent future infestations. We have been protecting homes and businesses from pests since 1928 – we’d be honored to protect yours too.