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Say Good Riddance To Ants In Your Nassau County Home
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Say Good Riddance To Ants In Your Nassau County Home

Ants are common visitors to our Nassau County properties. In fact, they do more than visit. Our yards are full of ants. We don't see them because they create their colonies underground. It is only when they come up out of the ground to forage for food that we catch a glimpse. That's something we don't mind so much when they're crawling on the driveway or the front steps – in reasonable numbers – but when they get inside, no amount of ants is a reasonable number. If you agree, we have some good news. We're going to dig in and look at some facts and tips that will help you get rid of ants. As always, remember that your Parkway Pest Services team is here to help you. We provide all the professional pest control services you need, including ant control in Nassau County. Contact us by phone and speak with one of our friendly agents to learn what services are available and how they might meet your needs.

Ants swarming on a leaf

Types Of Ants Common To The Area

Do you know how many different species of ants there are in the world? Experts estimate there are around 14,000 species, with several thousand still unclassified. Of all those ant species, there are four ants that commonly present a pest problem for Nassau County property owners. They are odorous house ants, pharaoh ants, pavement ants, and carpenter ants. While there are certainly more species we could discuss, these are enough to illustrate the challenge ants represent.

Odorous House Ants

These ants live up to their name. When you crush them, they create a foul odor. Some describe it as a rotten coconut smell, but there has actually been a research study done that determined that the true smell of odorous house ants was more like bleu cheese. We hope you never have the opportunity to test this research in your home. It is not a great smell, no matter what you think it might smell like.

These ants look like little black ants because they are dark brown to black in color. But they are not little black ants, which are known scientifically as Monomorium minimum. Odorous house ants range in size from 1/16 to ⅛ inches. They are fond of sweets and are drawn to warm human spaces.

Pharaoh Ants

These ants are known for their ability to make people sick. They spread diseases like streptococcus, clostridium, and staphylococcus. Are you familiar with someone getting strep throat or a staph infection? These are examples of these types of diseases. Pharaoh ants are pale with a yellowish or reddish tint and darker abdomen. They are about 1/16 of an inch long, and all of the workers are the same size. These ants are prone to budding when disturbed, which can turn one colony into several.

Pavement Ants

These ants are another ant species you might mistake for little black ants. They are dark brown to black in color and are 1/8 of an inch long. As their name indicates, they have an attraction to pavement. They're also attracted to stone, concrete, and other hard materials. They build their nests underground alongside driveways, walkways, and foundation walls. Their proximity to foundation walls can get them in trouble because it often leads them to enter structures.

Carpenter Ants

These ants have the word "carpenter" in their name, but don't expect them to come to your house and fix anything. They are destructive pests that tunnel inside structural timbers – though they target decaying and moisture-damaged timbers first. They are the largest ants listed here at 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 of an inch in length and are entirely black or black with dark red portions. Even though they're large ants, they're still ants. So, once again, you may think you have a problem with little black ants if you see black carpenter ants. Look for the frass these ants produce in order to zero in on their nests. 

These are the ants you're most likely to see. If you find another kind of ant, take a photo and send it to us. Our on-staff entomologist is happy to identify the ant for you. We can also tell you what you can expect from the ants you're seeing. Let's take a look at a few of the things the ants above will do when they get into your home.

Ants In The Home Can Create Many Problems

If you have an ant infestation, there is one thing you can count on: Those ants are going to get into things. They get into trash cans, cabinets, drawers, food packages, appliances, electronics, powerboxes, outlets, and more. When they do, they can cause all sorts of issues to arise.

  • Ants can contaminate the food in your kitchen and pantry by spreading harmful bacteria, such as salmonella.
  • Ants can chew on wiring in your appliances or inside your walls.
  • Ants can cause electronics to stop working when they climb on circuit boards. 
  • Carpenter ants can hollow out wooden timbers and cause floors to sink.

Most of the time, we get calls because ants are an incredible nuisance. But, they can pose problems that you may not connect to them. It is best to keep ants out of your home if you can help it. Let's take a look at some effective ant prevention tips that will help you achieve this goal.

Five Useful Ant Prevention Techniques

There are many ways to prevent an ant infestation in your home, but five truly rise to the top. We're going to take a look at each and explain why they work so well to stop ants from entering your home.

1. Deal With The Weeds

You may not realize it, but lawn weeds and landscape weeds offer food for many kinds of ants. If you don't want an infestation in your home, you need to deal with what attracts ants. Removing weeds will get rid of sources of nectar and plant sap.

2. Deal With Aphids And Insects

Many ants have a sweet tooth for honeydew. If you have aphids (or some other plant-damaging pest) in your landscaping, you can attract a serious ant problem. Carpenter ants are particularly fond of honeydew and are known to protect aphids so they can produce it for them. Along with aphid control, it is critical to address all insects in your yard because insects are a source of protein for most ants. An ant will eat an insect, alive or dead. You can reduce insects by keeping lights off at night, installing motion-sensitive lights, or replacing white lights with yellow bulbs.

3. Deal With Moisture

Water is one of the building blocks of life. All animals need it, even ants. Moisture problems also lead to wood decay, which will attract carpenter ants. Make sure your gutters are clear and unobstructed. Clear out leaves and other debris in your landscaping, and trim plants to keep things dry. When you trim your plants, focus on trimming away from your foundation and exterior walls because it will further help to keep ants away from your home.

4. Deal With Trash

Ants can smell trash from a distance. It is critical to dispose of your trash in a way that will reduce odors. Put trash in plastic bags rather than directly in the receptacle. Keep the receptacle cover on at all times and avoid overfilling. Get the trash to the curb each week. Every once in a while, wash your receptacle with soapy water. All these steps will help keep your trash resistant to ants. They will also work to reduce the insects ants eat.  

5. Deal With All Those Tiny Holes

If you don't want ants in your home, the best, long-lasting solution is pest-proofing. A caulking gun, a can of expanding foam, and some new weatherstripping will go a long way toward keeping ants out. Also, check your foundation for cracks and apply a sealant.

These methods work together to provide you with exterior protection from ants. In many cases, nothing more is needed. But, if you don't have the energy or time to do these things, there is another option.  

Professional Pest Control Is A Great Way To Keep The Ants Away

When you contact a licensed professional and get year-round pest control for your home, there are a few ways we can help you keep ants out. We reduce the insects on your property, which reduces the ant food. We routinely apply a liquid application to your exterior so that ants and other pests can't enter your home. During your routine service visits and inspections, we look for ant activity. If needed, we'll directly select ant pest control treatments to target any ant problems we're seeing.

Want to learn more about residential pest control and how it helps to stop ants? Are you in Nassau County? Contact Parkway Pest Services for local ant control or to get started with a residential pest control plan in Nassau County. Call and ask us about PestGuard and PestGuard+, two great ways to deal with over 30 common pests in Nassau County. You'll be glad you did.

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