Easy Tricks To Keep Ants Out Of Your Columbia Home


two pavement ants on food

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also the time of year when ants proliferate. From seeing them on your driveway to finding their hills in your flowerbeds, you probably don’t give too much thought to ants until they start showing up everywhere inside your Columbia house.

The problem with ants is two-fold. First, there are many different species of ants that can invade your home which makes it difficult to know which ones are dangerous. Second, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of an ant infestation once you end up with one. Prevention is key, so American Pest has put together 26 easy tricks to keep ants out of your Columbia home, as well as one easy trick to get rid of ants if they find a way to invade.

The Ants That Are Common Problems In Columbia Homes

With so many different ant species, it’s important to know a little bit about the types that are most likely to invade your Columbia home. The following six species of ants are the ones that you might find in your house this year.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are the type of ant that most people are accustomed to seeing. They roam around on your driveway and build their nests in or under the cracks in the pavement. Sometimes though, they find their way inside. You may end up with pavement ants coming and going inside your house, or they may build their nests in your walls or under your floors.

Pavement ants are dark brown to black in color. They grow to about an eighth of an inch in length. Like all ants, they have six legs, segmented bodies, and elbowed antennae.

Pavement ants will eat almost anything. From honeydew to nuts to meat to other insects, they are foragers with a wide variety of tastes.

Although they are considered a nuisance pest when they get into houses, pavement ants can contaminate food and are a pest you do not want in your Columbia home.

Field Ants

Field ants tend to be larger than pavement ants, and because of their size, they are sometimes confused with carpenter ants. They range in color from yellow to red to brown to black and are sometimes called red ants.

Field ants prefer to nest outdoors and typically do so in fields, lawns, gardens, and similar areas. They excavate the dirt out of the ground into a mound, which sometimes causes them to be confused with fire ants in parts of the country where fire ants are common.

Field ants prefer sweet foods and often get inside Columbia homes while they search for food. Although they are not dangerous, they do bite if provoked, and these bites can be painful. However, they do not cause any serious long term problems.

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat ants get their name because they can lift their back end up over their heads like they’re doing a handstand. They typically exhibit this behavior when they’ve been disturbed. These ants are about the same size as pavement ants. They are light brown to black in color and sometimes have a mix of colors.

Acrobat ants nest under rocks or in areas with trees, logs, or firewood where wood rot has set in. Therefore, they can easily set tunnels to navigate their colony. They eat sweet foods and meats and often get into homes in search of food.

They often get inside by making trails along tree branches that come in contact with your house, but they can also make their way inside on wires or pipes that allow them into the walls. Once inside, they’ll nest in wall voids or areas with water-damaged wood.

Although they can bite, acrobat ants pose no real threat to humans. They are considered a nuisance ant, but they can cause some damage to your home and are best avoided.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are small, growing no longer than an eighth of an inch. They are dark in color varying from brown to black.

When nesting outdoors, odorous house ants tend to live under piles of firewood or in exposed soil. However, as their name indicates, they also enjoy nesting inside. If they get into your house, they prefer to live in moist areas or near water sources, such as near leaking water pipes.

Odorous house ants prefer sweet foods. They are considered a nuisance pest. However, they will contaminate your food, and they give off a rotten odor when crushed.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are extremely small, growing to only about 1/16th of an inch. They are typically yellow in color with a darker abdomen.

When outside, Pharaoh ants typically nest in shaded areas or under debris. However, they cannot survive outside through the colder winter months in Baltimore, which is why they’re often found indoors. They tend to get inside by crawling along electrical wires, and they nest in areas that are inaccessible to humans, such as in wall voids and under floors.

Pharaoh ants have varied diets. They enjoy sweet foods, oily foods, and protein-based foods. Unlike most species of ants, Pharaoh ants are not simply a nuisance. They are known to spread over a dozen dangerous pathogens that can cause serious illnesses.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are large ants that grow to over half an inch in length. They can be red, black, or a combination of the two colors.

When outdoors, carpenter ants live in stumps, dead trees, firewood, or other wood sources. They require a constant water source in order to survive. They frequently enter houses through water-damaged wood, but can also get inside through cracks or other small openings.

Carpenter ants eat sweet foods, but will also eat other insects. Once inside, they’ll eat almost any food they can find in your house.

Carpenter ants are dangerous ants because of the damage they cause. Although they don’t eat wood, they do chew tunnels through wood while building their nests. If enough damage is done inside the wooden elements of your home, carpenter ants can weaken the structural integrity of your house.

Easy Tricks To Reduce Ant Attractants Inside Your Columbia Home

Although carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants are the two main types of ants that are a serious cause for concern if they get into your Columbia home, the fact of the matter is that you really don’t want any of these ants in your house. Even nuisance ants will contaminate food and drive you crazy as you attempt to get rid of them.

Keeping ants out of your Columbia house starts with reducing attractants inside your home. The following tips will help make your house less attractive to ants, making them less likely to want to move in:

  • Do not leave food out on the counter. Put it in the refrigerator or in airtight containers.
  • After a meal, wash your dishes right away, or put them in the dishwasher. Do not leave them in the sink or on the counter.
  • Clean your counters after every meal or snack.
  • Wipe up messes as soon as they occur.
  • Sweep or vacuum on a regular basis to remove crumbs.
  • Take out the trash regularly.
  • Check your cupboards and pantry to make sure that nothing has spilled. Also, make sure that all items are tightly closed.
  • Check all faucets in your house to make sure none of them are drippy. Fix any that are.
  • Check under sinks to make sure you don’t have any leaking pipes. Repair any leaks that you find.
  • If you have water-damaged wood due to a leak, remove and replace the damaged sections.
  • Pay attention to areas in your house with high humidity and moisture levels. Install dehumidifiers, and ensure good ventilation to keep them dry.
  • Look for gaps around the interior of doors and windows. Seal or repair any that you find.

Easy Tricks To Reduce Ant Attractants Outside Your Columbia Home

In addition to making the inside of your house less attractive to ants, there are also easy tricks you can perform to make the exterior of your house and your property less conducive to ant activity.

By combining these tips with the tips above, you’ll go a long way in protecting your house from an ant infestation:

  • Keep garbage bins stored a good distance away from your house. Make sure they have tightly fitting lids.
  • Don’t leave pet food and water dishes outside.
  • If you have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit before it has a chance to rot.
  • Eliminate all areas of standing water, such as clogged gutters, low spots on your lawn, and upturned buckets.
  • If you have firewood, store it a distance away from your house.
  • Cut back tree limbs and other foliage that touches the sides or roof of your house.
  • Avoid using mulch right up against your house.
  • Clean up lawn debris on a regular basis.
  • Fill all cracks and crevices in your foundation walls.
  • Look for holes and gaps in your siding and repair any that you find.
  • Fill gaps around windows and doors.
  • Repair or replace any screens that have holes or tears.
  • Install door sweeps under exterior doors that have a gap.
  • Replace worn or damaged weather stripping.

The Easiest Trick To Eliminate An Active Ant Infestation In Your Columbia Home

Sometimes, even when you take all the right steps to prevent an ant infestation, you still end up with one. If you have been finding ants inside your house, you need to know the easiest trick to eliminate them.

The easiest and most effective way to eliminate an active ant infestation from your Columbia home is to call the professionals at American Pest. At American Pest, we use a four-part system to eliminate your ant problem and make sure it doesn’t return.

First, we identify the type of ant that has gotten into your Columbia home. As experts in ant biology, we understand that different ant species require different types of treatments to effectively eliminate them. By identifying the type of ant in your house, we can determine the best method for effective treatment.

Next, we’ll locate indoor and outdoor nesting sites. Your ant problem will not go away unless the problem is eliminated at the source. Therefore, targeting our treatments to eliminate the nests will do away with the entire ant colony.

Third, we’ll treat around your foundation and other areas that are common entry points for ants and common areas where they choose to nest.

Finally, we’ll provide ongoing control to prevent a future infestation.

When you have an ant problem, contacting American Pest is not only the easiest thing to do, it’s also the most effective. Don’t waste time playing around with DIY ant control treatments. Find the source of the problem and eliminate it for good with the help of American Pest. Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control options.


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