World Pest Day Brings Awareness This Summer
In the spring, ants make their way into homes and businesses throughout Maryland, including in Cape St. Claire. Because ants are social insects, they tend to live in large colonies in underground nests. These nests can be found underneath pavement, under stones and rocks, under mulch in your garden and even underneath piles of wood. When ants choose to nest indoors, they can be found in spaces between walls, behind insulation and even inside water-damaged or weakened wood. If you have ants inside your structure, it’s not a problem you should just ignore. Besides the fact that ants can live in huge colonies and may begin to infest your property in large numbers, some types of ants can cause structural damage to the wood timbers of your structure. For complete ant control, the best option is to contact a Cape St. Claire pest control provider that deals with the ants that are infesting your MD home.
There are thousands of species of ants throughout the world, but fortunately for us, there are only a few species that we deal with regularly on our Maryland properties These include carpenter ants, pavement ants and odorous house ants. How do you know which ant is invading your property? Here are some basics on identifying these ants:
Odorous house ants: These ants are quite small, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. They are called odorous house ants because when crushed, they emit a strong odor, which some have compared to rotten coconuts. When they get inside a home or business, they will nest in a warm place, near heaters or inside insulation. Odorous house ants will eat pretty much anything, but are especially fond of sugary treats. They are mostly a nuisance when they enter homes, especially in large numbers.
Pavement ants: These ants are small, around 1/8 of an inch and dark brown or black in color. They build underground nests and the entrances to these nests look like tiny volcano-like mounds, normally seen between cracks and crevices in pavement or landscape pavers. These ants may infest buildings, especially when the buildings are built on concrete slabs; when they infest in large numbers, they can be a serious nuisance.
Carpenter ants: These ants are the largest of our native ant species, with winged queens ranging up to an inch in length. They will bore holes into previously damaged or weakened wood timbers not to consume the wood, like termites, but to build nests for their colonies inside the wood. Carpenter ants are a problem in your home or business because they can contribute to severe structural damage that most insurance policies won’t cover.
Ant prevention is not an easy task, as these pests can enter tiny cracks in the exterior of your home; cracks you may not even see. There are, however, a few ant prevention tips we can offer to control any ant-friendly environments that may currently be present in your property.
Make sure that trees, branches, shrubs and bushes are cut back away from the structure. If there is vegetation touching the structure, ants will use these things as a bridge into your home.
Seal any apparent or obvious cracks or crevices in the foundation. You may not find them all, but sealing the ones you do see should make a difference.
To deter carpenter ants, repair or replace water-damaged or weakened wood and paint or stain bare wood timbers.
Keep food out of reach. If ants can’t get it it, their source of food is greatly diminished inside your home.
Following all these prevention tips will reduce the chance that these pests will find your Cape St. Claire home, but no prevention methods are entirely fool-proof. That’s why the professionals at American Pest in Maryland offer residential pest control and commercial pest control to take care of ant problems you may be having despite your best efforts.
American Pest has been a family owned and operated pest control company in Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia since 1925, taking care of many different types of pest problems. Our Cape St. Claire pest control services include:
For more information about our exceptional services or to schedule your first inspection, contact us in Cape St. Claire today.
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