Ant Management In Northern Virginia

05/13/2015


Ants   

It doesn't take long for ants to get out of control in Virginia. The warm temperatures and humidity give them the perfect environment to do what they do best: search for food and spread their species. This is all well and good in nature where ants have a helpful role of aerating soil. But in your home, their presence can be a frustrating pain.

Pavement Ants: The most plentiful ant in Virginia is the pavement ant who builds volcano-like mounds all through your lawn, in the crevices of pavement (as their name suggests) and in landscape pavers. They can also infest buildings, especially structures that are built on a concrete slab.

Odorous House Ants: These small dark brown to black ants range in size from 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch, and go straight for the sugar. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as sugar ants. But sugars aren't the only thing these ants eat. They like meats, dairy products, and vegetables. When stepped on, these ants leave a distinct and unpleasant smell of rotten coconuts.

Red Imported Fire Ants: Often called by other, more colorful, names and expletives, this ant is a terror to bare feet. In nature this ant will feed on the sugars found in nectar or aphid honeydew, but it is also a protein eater, capable of taking down small animals. Have you ever wondered why fire ants bite you? Fire ants bite to get a grip on their prey. The painful burning you feel isn't from their mouths, but from the venom they inject with their tail stinger.

Carpenter Ants: Of all the ants you can get in your Virginia home this is the worst. Carpenter ants are a destructive wood-chewing insect. Though they come into your home in search of the same food other ants eat, they don't have any desire to leave. This is a pest that prefers to live in wood. It can chew large galleries in the wood of a home, usually in areas that have been softened by moisture.

EXCLUSION

  • Make sure all windows and window frames are completely sealed and screened.

  • Inspect all door sweeps and weather stripping to be sure they are in good working order.

  • Seal any cracks in basement walls. It is especially important to look in hard-to-see places.

  • Don't leave wet leaf cover in your yard.

  • Make sure there are no obstructions in your gutter systems that makes water to run down the sides of your home.

By reducing entry points and areas where moisture and water collects, you can slow the spread of ants on your property. To fully exclude this and a host of other insects, get year round treatment from a professional.






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