Ant Identification & Prevention

many ants crawling on a piece of food on a floor

What are ants?

Ants are social insects that live in huge colonies. The breeding for the whole colony falls on the queen. The queen mates with the males in the colony and produces all the new offspring, while lower castes like workers and soldiers remain sterile and care for the queen. Some ant colonies have multiple queens to protect themselves from the loss of one.

Ants are among the most common pests in Michigan, and most home and business owners will have to deal with them at some point. Common species in our area include carpenter, pavement, pharaoh, and little black ants. Our residential pest control services can effectively eliminate ants from any home!

Are ants dangerous?

Little black ants and pavement ants are considered nuisance pests. Pavement ants can sting, but they rarely do. However, pharaoh ants and carpenter ants are a different story. Pharaoh ants spread potentially deadly pathogens like staphylococcus, streptococcus, and salmonella bacteria. Meanwhile, carpenter ants tunnel through wood just like termites, meaning they’re a significant threat to your property.

Where do ants live?

Ants are some of the most common creatures on Earth. They live virtually everywhere on the planet except for Antarctica and a few isolated island nations. Ants often nest underground, but they may also build their colonies in things like hollowed-out logs, cracks in rocks, and even human habitations that are convenient.

What do ants eat?

Ants are foragers, so they’ll eat just about anything. Different species have different preferences. Some like sugars; some go for proteins; still, others prefer oils and fats. However, in a pinch, any ant will eat anything that’s physically edible. That means you need to store all foods in airtight containers to avoid attracting ants.

How do I know if I have an ant problem?

Ants don’t make much effort to avoid being seen. If you leave a plate of cookies on the counter in an ant-infested house, for instance, you’ll probably find a line of ants munching on it sooner or later. Aside from seeing ants, you might see ant nests or piles of dirt around your home. Signs of carpenter ants, in particular, include significant damage to your home, such as:

  • Warped walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Windows and doors that don’t fit.
  • Hollow-sounding walls.
  • Rustling sounds inside walls.

You should be especially concerned if you regularly start seeing large, black ants. These are carpenter ants, and frequently seeing them is pretty much a guarantee that you have a problem.

How can I prevent an ant infestation?

The best way to prevent an ant infestation is to make your home unattractive to ants. That means making food inaccessible and entry difficult:

  • Seal up all potential entryways like cracks and holes in your home’s exterior.
  • Cover all indoor and outdoor garbage at all times.
  • Always store foods in airtight containers or the fridge.
  • Never leave things like cookie plates or dirty dishes sitting out.

Also, consider your pet food. Dirty pet bowls or pet food containers that have food in them all the time can be big ant attractants.

How do I get rid of ants?

Ant colonies are often vast and complex entities, so getting rid of them on your own is not easy. For nuisance ants like little black ants or pavement ants, you might give it a go with DIY methods. But if you have carpenter ants, you need to contact local pest control professionals like the experts here at SureShot Pest Control right away. Every second counts with a carpenter ant infestation, so don’t hesitate. Call today to find out if your home or business is in our service areas or to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services.

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