The Problems Summer Ant Infestations Bring To Maryland Homes

carpenter ant near maryland home

No one likes it when ants come to visit. (No, we aren't talking about the kind of "ants" that are actually spelled "aunts." Aunts can be wonderful and lots of people love it when they visit. We are talking about those creepy crawly little creatures that can contaminate foods, exacerbate allergies, or carve up the wood of your home. No one likes it when these "ants" get into homes and businesses. And, if you are seeing a few ants here and there, know that the problem is only going to get worse. While ants are a year-round problem in the DC area, summertime is the time of year when ant populations explode.

So What's The Big Deal About A Few Little Ants?

The big deal about a "few little ants" is that there are usually infinitely more than just a few. And some ants really aren't all that little! Common ants in the DC area include pavement ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants, all of which come with their own set of problems.

Pavement Ants

These tiny ants may only measure around 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch in length but, when they come into structures by the thousands, they can be quite disturbing. Not only is it horrifying to see a source of food, or anything else, completely covered in a mass of ants, but these ants can contaminate foods when they crawl through filthy places and then get into kitchens and pantries. This makes them a health concern.

The pavement ants that you see crawling around on countertops, stove tops, and stored foods, may have just been outside crawling on a rotten carcass in a dumpster, or on the inner rim of your toilet bowl. And it is important to note that ants have been known to carry various disease-causing organisms including E. Coli, streptococcus, shigella, salmonella, and staphylococcus. Though this is mostly a threat in developing countries, why take chances here in the U.S.? Pavement ants are also known to bite on occasion and, although their mouthparts are not strong enough to break the skin, an allergic reaction can cause a rash to develop on the skin of sensitive people.

Odorous House Ants

These ants measure around 1/16th to 1/8 of an inch in length and when they get into man-made structures they present a unique problem. While they have the ability to contaminate foods with sickness-causing bacteria, what they are known for most is the unpleasant odor they put of when they are squished. This is why they were given the name "odorous" house ant. And, since they are able to develop extremely large colonies, this can become a big problem relatively quickly.

Eliminating these ants is a real challenge since crushing them (or in some cases even just disturbing them) will release a smell similar to that of rotting coconuts. Not something you want in your home if you plan to do any entertaining this summer.

Carpenter Ants

These not-so-little ants typically grow to be around 1/2 an inch in length, but female and male winged reproductives (also called swarmers) can sometimes grow to be almost 3/4 of an inch long. That's a pretty big ant! And while you will probably never see more than a few of these large black ants in your living spaces in the daytime, this doesn't mean there are only a few. Seeing a few outside the walls can mean thousands, or hundreds of thousands, inside your walls.

Carpenter ants are similar to termites in the destruction they can cause over time. They target soft, moist wood but are able to establish themselves in any type of wood. Carpenter ants chew out tunnels and galleries inside wood to establish nests in order to produce more carpenter ants. If a carpenter ant infestation is not taken care of in a timely manner, it can result in costly repairs. In fact, carpenter ants cost U.S. home and business owners hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

While carpenter ants don't cost US property owners as much as termites each, a carpenter ant infestation can cost a homeowner as much as termites if given the right circumstances. These insects will thrive in a home that has water damaged wood. And, when the sawdust (frass) they produce is deposited in hidden locations, these ants can damage a home for years without being discovered.   

The Solution To All Your Ant Problems

Here at American Pest, we offer the most advanced approach to home ant control. No matter what kind of ant you may be dealing with in your DC home, American Pest has the solution. You don't have to worry about ants coming in by the thousands, making a (literal) stink, or weakening the very structure of your home over time. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.


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