What are ants?
Ants are social insects that live and work together in large groups, and have an intricate social structure. Ants vary in color and size, depending on their exact species. They can be yellow, red, brown or black in color, and sometimes they are combinations of different colors. All ants have three distinct body parts, including a head, thorax, and abdomen. They have a pair of bent antennae. Only the reproductive members of the colony are winged.
Ants are some of the most common household invaders. In our area of Oklahoma, odorous house ants and fire ants are two species that cause big problems for home and property owners.
Odorous house ants
Odorous house ants are a small species of ant that produces an unpleasant smell. When odorous house ants are crushed they emit a foul smell that is similar to a rotting coconut.
Fire ants are a small but aggressive species of ant. They will bite and sting anything they view as a threat, often attacking in large groups.
Are ants dangerous?
Ants are often divided into two categories: nuisance or dangerous. Nuisance ants are invasive and can be difficult to get rid of, but they pose no significant health risks or danger to people. They also do not cause any damage to the structures of homes and other buildings. Odorous house ants are one example of nuisance ants.
Dangerous ants are those species that do pose health risks to people or that damage property. Fire ants are a dangerous species of ant. Fire ants aggressively protect themselves and their nests from perceived threats. They grasp the skin of their victims with their mandibles. Once they have anchored themselves, they deliver painful stings (repeatedly), injecting powerful venom into their victims. Their venom is strong enough to trigger life-threatening anaphylaxis, especially if a person or animal is attacked by a large group of fire ants.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants are found living on properties that provide them with the things they need to thrive; water, food, and shelter. Clogged gutters, leaky outdoor fixtures, unsecured garbage, gardens, woodpiles, animal feed, compost piles, and outdoor eating areas attract ants. Ants become problematic inside homes and other buildings after moving indoors while searching for food, or when the weather outside become unsuitable for them to live comfortably.
Where will I find ants?
Ants living on residential properties and are often seen wandering around on decks, driveways, walkways, and in garden areas while foraging for food.
Outdoor nesting spots include:
In wood piles
Underneath fallen trees or rocks
In tree stumps
along fence lines and foundations
In the cracks of pavement or sidewalks
Fire ants usually build their nests in open, sunny areas (lawns), and generally stay away from wooded, shady areas. They prefer to live outside, and are rarely found inside homes. Odorous house ants nest inside near moisture sources, such as behind walls that are near hot water pipes, or under floors that are located in bathrooms or kitchens.
How do I get rid of ants?
The easiest way to control and prevent ant infestations is with the help of a qualified professional. At Mid America Pest Control, our dedicated technicians provide the year-round services needed to rid your home and property of ants. Mid America Pest Control is committed to using innovative and eco-friendly solutions to remove ants and other household-invading pests, and prevent their return. To learn more about eliminating ants from your Pryor, Oklahoma home, reach out to us at Mid America Pest Control and schedule your free 58-Point Pest Analysis.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
The best way to prevent problems with potentially dangerous ants and other household-invading pests is to seek professional pest control from Mid America Pest Control. In addition to our professional pest control services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with ants:
Seal as many entry points as possible.
Caulk cracks and crevices in your home's foundation and exterior walls.
Make sure all screens are intact.
Place weather stripping around windows and doors.
Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
Ensure that trash cans have tight-fitting lids on them.
Locate gardens away from the outside of your home.
Secure compost piles.
Maintain outdoor eating areas.
Place woodpiles a distance from the outside of your home.
Create a stone barrier of at least 12-18 inches between the foundation and any grass or mulch.