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If you have ever been in New York in the springtime, there is something you have surely observed; ants come back to life in spring! Or at least it seems like they come back to life. They are actually coming out of a state called diapause, but that is a subject for another article. In today's article, we will examine what draws ants to homes, how they get inside, and what to do if you are fed up with them. But before we cover those questions, let's look briefly at the common types of ants New York residents typically see getting into homes.
Pavement Ants: Growing to be as long as 4 mm in length, these ants are dark brown to black in color with grooved parallel lines on the head and thorax. Usually, these ants nest outside but sometimes get into homes when foraging for food. If they get into kitchen and pantry areas there is the potential that they will spread bacteria.
Pharaoh Ants: Worker ants of this species are only around 1.5 mm in length. They have 2 nodes and are a yellow to orange coloring with an abdomen that is capped with a darker brown. Pharaoh ants are known to be some of the most difficult pests to exterminate. Since they are linked to the spread of Salmonella and other diseases, it is important to seek help if you are seeing them in your home.
Odorous House Ants: These ants measure around 3 mm in length, have 1 flat, hidden node, and are dark brown to black in color. More than just a nuisance, these ants produce an unpleasant odor when squished. Some describe this odor as the smell of a rotten coconut.
Carpenter Ants: Measuring up to 13 mm in length, these are the largest of home-invading ants. These ants are mostly black, have a single pointed node, and are destructive to homes when they get in and carve galleries inside structural wood.
What draws ants to homes?
Ants, like so many other pests, are drawn to food and water. If your yard contains food sources for ants, such as gardens, fruit trees, compost, leftover barbecue foods, open trash cans, etc, then ants are likely to be drawn in close to your home.
They need a drink as well. Do you have leaky spigots, areas of hardened ground that holds rainwater, or items left out in the yard that hold water? If so, you may be providing ants with a water source, as well as giving mosquitoes places to lay their eggs.
These are things that may draw ants close to homes, but something that may drive them to seek shelter inside your home is the weather. If it becomes too hot, too dry, too cold, or too wet, they may explore your home and find ways to get in out of the weather.
Common points of entry for ants
Since ants usually live in the ground, or close to it, it makes sense that most of their entry points will be low to the ground. Ants can get into structures by squeezing underneath damaged door sweeps on ground-level doors. They might find a crack in a home's foundation and march right into a wall void or basement area. They can get in through cracks around window or door frames or walk right in through a torn screen. Since ants are so tiny, their opportunities for entry into homes are numerous.
Why Call in the Professionals at Parkway?
While there are steps a homeowner can take to keep ants out, such as removing attractants from the yard and sealing up all entry points that can be found, getting ants out of a home, once they have invaded in large numbers is another story. In fact, DIY methods of ant removal have been known to cause colonies to split and establish new colonies, only making matters worse. To eliminate ants completely from your home, the surest way to accomplish this is to call upon the pest professionals at Parkway Pest Services.
If you need assistance getting ants out of your home, reach out to Parkway and we will take care of those ants for you. And if you would like ant-prevention services "before" ants get in, we can take care of that for you as well.