Ant Control 101: Tips For Protecting Your Phoenix Home From Tiny Invaders

We want to feel secure in our homes. Therefore, we install alarm systems, video doorbells, and surveillance cameras and lock our doors. We do these things to deter human invaders from entering our homes, but what about tiny invaders like ants? Even high-definition cameras are unlikely to detect a line of ants crawling up foundation walls into our homes. While our door locks may keep an intruder out, they are ineffective at stopping ants. 

How can you protect your Phoenix home from these tiny invaders? Begin with securing ant control in Phoenix from Overson Pest Control. Our family-owned and operated company has removed ants from Pheonix homes for almost a decade. Unlike big chain pest control companies operating out of a central office in another state, we are local, which means we know the unique pest control issues in the Phoenix area. Our customers are our top priority because we live and work in the same community, and our children attend the same schools. Proof of our commitment to you is our 100% satisfaction guarantee: if you experience a problem between regularly scheduled services, we will return and retreat your home with no additional costs. 

You probably found this article because you stumbled into the kitchen one morning and saw ants crawling across the countertops, around the garbage can, or inside the pet food bowls, and you want them out. We understand the feeling. So, please keep reading to get the information you need to stop these tiny invaders and to prevent a future infestation. 

How To Identify Common Types Of Ants

Ants are insects with six legs, two clubbed antennae, and a three-part segmented body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. They are similar to wasps in that they have a narrow waist, and while most ants do not have a stinger, some do. 

Ants are social insects that live in colonies and function in a hierarchy. The queen is the founding member of the colony, and her job is the production of eggs. The workers are sterile ants tasked with physically expanding the nests, foraging for food, and nurturing the offspring. Some ant species, like red imported fire ants, have soldier ants to protect the colony from invaders. The queen produces male and female reproductive ants when enough worker ants exist to maintain the nest. In some ant species, the reproductive ants possess wings (swarmers), but in others, they are wingless.

To help you identify the ants invading your house, here is a list of the top species we encounter:

  • Argentine ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Fire ants
  • Harvester ants 
  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants

These types of ants, which are problematic for Phoenix homeowners, have winged and unwinged reproductive ants. Therefore, effective pest control begins with identifying the ant species infesting your house. We will briefly describe these ants so you can determine the species invading your home. 

Argentine ants are common in southern and southwestern states. These 1/16- to 1/4-inch insects have dark brown to black bodies. Argentine ants travel in long trails up buildings and trees to access food and water sources inside homes. These aggressive ants force other ant species from their nests when they invade an area. 

While all ants on our list create nests in the dirt when outside the home, carpenter ants build their structures inside damp wood. However, they do not consume wood like termites but bore smooth tunnels and chambers to house the colony. Carpenter ants have a red, black, brown, or red and black 1/2 to 5/8-inch body. 

Although fire ants sometimes invade homes through the HVAC system, they primarily reside outside in yards and fields where they construct two to four-foot irregular nests against structures. Like their cousins, fire ants have a smooth stinger at the end of their abdomen on their dark reddish brown 1/8 to 3/8 inch bodies.

Harvester ants are another species that thrive in the Arizona desert climate. These ants have a 1/4 to 1/2 orange to red or brownish-black body with a pair of spines on their midsection. Long hairs grow from the underside of their heads, making them appear like they have beards. These ants are so-called because they gather seeds as their primary food source. Like fire ants, harvester ants possess a stinger. 

Odorous house ants are so-named because these 1/16 to 1/8-inch-long brown or black ants produce a rotten coconut odor when crushed or threatened. These household pests enjoy eating honeydew produced by aphids in potted house plants. 

You can probably guess where one can find pavement ants. These 1/8-inch dark brown to black insects nest under concrete cracks and in masonry. Like Argentine ants, pavement ants travel in lines to and from food and water sources.

Effective pest control begins with identifying the problematic ant species invading your Phoenix home or property. When you partner with Overson Pest Control for ant pest control, we will send a trained pest management professional to your home who can identify the ant species and prescribe the correct treatment. 

The Many Problems An Ant Infestation Can Create In Your Home

We all know that little things can cause a big problem. For example, a small oil leak in your car can cause your engine to lock up. Let's look at ways tiny ants can create many unpleasant situations in your home. 

All ants are a nuisance. No one wants to wake up with ants traveling across their body; we don't want to go into the bathroom and see them climbing on the towels, and we certainly don't want to watch them walking over food in the kitchen. Adding to the nuisance factor is the odor some ants produce when threatened or crushed. 

In addition to ants being a nuisance, they are embarrassing. When guests visit, and you look down and see a trail of ants traveling along the kitchen baseboard, you may wonder if guests think your house is dirty. Even worse is when a guest has an ant crawl across their hand while visiting at the kitchen table. 

Ants contaminate items and surfaces. If you are curious how ants travel up a tree or masonry, the answer is the tiny claws (tarsi) at the end of their six feet. While the claws enable them to climb, they also collect bacteria on the surfaces. When the ants enter your Houston home, the bacteria transfer from their feet onto items and surfaces, contaminating them. 

One ant species that infests Houston homes, the carpenter ant, chews through damp wood to create tunnels for nesting. If the infestation is allowed to continue for several years, you may begin to experience warping window and door frames and sagging floor corners as structures weaken. 

If you've stumbled upon a fire ant mound, you know the pain these aggressive ants cause. Fire ants attack by biting and stinging multiple times while they inject venom into their victim. Painful, itchy, fluid-filled blisters result, and sometimes people experience anaphylactic shock. 

Don't allow these tiny invaders to disrupt your day, cause physical pain, or do harm to your Houston home. Secure the best ant control service near your home from Overson Pest Control.

Five Useful Ant Prevention Techniques

When you partner with us, we will dispatch a pest management professional to remove ants from your home; however, no one can eliminate all ants around your house. Therefore, to keep ants from invading in the future, we recommend these ant prevention tips:

  1. Seal foundation and roofline cracks.
  2. Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the house.
  3. Keep indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed.
  4. Suction out corners, cracks, and crevices to remove crumbs.
  5. Store food in airtight containers.

To deter ants from infesting your house in the future, maintain a clean, dry property surrounding the house and inside the home. When an Overson Pest Control pest management professional inspects your Houston home, we can provide additional tips. 

Quality Ant Control For Your Phoenix Home

Our ant control process begins with listening to your concerns and noting your experiences. Our pest management professional will inspect your home for signs of ant infestations, entry points, attractants, and hot spots. 

Because ants reproduce by budding or swarming, effective ant control requires identifying the ant species in your house. If you use the wrong products, you can have more ant nests in the house than when you began. For example, ants that use budding to reproduce may respond to a liquid application by dispatching multiple queens and workers throughout the house, thereby creating more nests. In situations with ants that use budding, you need to use bait so they do not detect a threat. 

At Overson Pest Control, our ant pest control services utilize bait stations, liquid, and dust to ensure we eliminate the problem without creating more ant nests. Once our pest management professional identifies the ant species invading your house, we will select the proper method to prevent additional issues.

Contact us today to learn more about our pest control options; click to start your services.

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