Ant Identification & Prevention
What Are Ants?
Ants are insects that belong to the order Hymenoptera. Adults have six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), antennae, and chewing mouthparts.
These social insects divide the colony's members into three groups — workers (sterile females), reproductive males, and queens. Only the reproductive members of an ant colony have wings. They need their wings to leave the nest and find a mate to begin a new nest.
Ants can live successfully outside, far away from people, but have also learned to coexist with us, taking advantage of our properties' food, shelter, and water.
The most likely species of ants to find their way into our Utah yards and eventually into our homes are:
- Carpenter ants
- Pavement ants
- Red ants
- Sugar ants
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Are Ants Dangerous?
There are ants in Utah that are a danger either to people or property. However, breathe easy knowing that most ants that you will find have made their way into your yard or home are more of an unwanted nuisance than a significant danger.
One of the two dangerous ant species in Utah is the red ant. The red ant is small and aggressive. Red ants deliver painful bites and stings, and once they view you as a threat, they will attack as a group. A severe allergic reaction that requires medical attention can be triggered in people who are very allergic to their venom.
Carpenter ants are another dangerous ant species; they aren't a danger to people but to our homes. Carpenter ants like to build their nests inside wood. When these pests find a way into our home, they will invade and tunnel through its structural wood. Since carpenter ants prefer wet, decaying wood to nest in, their presence not only causes structural damage but could be an indicator of an overall moisture problem in your home.
Why Do I Have an Ant Problem?
Ants are a problem for homeowners because our properties are a place they can have their needs met. The more sources of food, water, and shelter your home or yard provide them, the more likely it is that ants will find their way to your Utah property.
Ants are omnivores and feed on many things, including proteins, plants, grease, and sweets. Our trash cans, kitchens, pet food bowls, gardens, and even outdoor areas provide ants with food sources and keep them returning day after day. The worker ants will lay down pheromone trails to alert other colony members to a food source. Ants are excellent communicators, one of the biggest reasons they are so difficult to prevent and eliminate.
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Where Will I Find Ants?
Ants are pests that make their presence very well known. It is common to see ants traveling across walkways, gardens, kitchen floors, pantry shelves, and bathroom counters throughout the day and night.
Where ants prefer to nest can vary, but places we regularly find ant nests in yards include in the soil under or next to woodpiles, tree stumps, mulch, foundations, and walkways. Some species like to nest in open sunny areas and place nests in the middle of our yards.
Ants are pests that will move in and out of our homes to forage for food, but sometimes they decide to make themselves a permanent fixture by building an indoor nest.
Indoor nesting sites include spaces behind walls, under floors, above ceilings, in electrical equipment, or inside structural wood. They like to nest near moist areas like close to water pipes, windows, or doors.
How Do I Get Rid of Ants?
If you have discovered ants in your home, the best way to get rid of them is with the help of the local pest professional at Mountain West Pest Control. We will treat and remove ants from your Utah property through our premium pest control services and use of pet and kid-safe products. To learn more about our effective quarterly pest control services for your Ogden home, backed by our dedicated professionals and unmatched customer service, give us a call today!
How Can I Prevent Ants in the Future?
Prevent problems with ants with the help of the following recommendations.
- Regularly sweep and mop your home's floor to pick up crumbs and sticky spills.
- Wash dishes and wipe down surfaces daily.
- Store pet food in containers with airtight lids.
- Repair leaky pipes and spigots that provide a water source for ants.
- Remove leaf piles, brush piles, fallen trees, and other debris where ants can nest.
Make it difficult for ants to find a way into your home by placing door sweeps on exterior doors, caulking gaps in the foundation, and placing weatherstripping around windows.
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