Ant Control 101: What Every Plymouth Homeowner Needs To Know

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What things cause your skin to crawl? What gives you shivers down your spine? Is it the sound of fingernails scratching a chalkboard? Does the sound of cutlery scraping across a plate bother you? Do your teeth hurt when someone is crunching ice? Are there smells from foods like sauerkraut or Brussel sprouts that make you want to leave the table? Everyone has sights, sounds, or smells that make them squeamish or shiver.

In addition to sights, sounds, or smells that cause mental discomfort are pests. Seeing a cockroach, rat, or spider run across the floor is upsetting to most people. Finding a string of ants in the kitchen marching to the pet food bowl or surrounding a garbage can is also disconcerting to many people. Pests in our houses bother us because they are not supposed to be in our homes.

If ants are streaming into your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or garage, you need a locally-owned company with over two decades of experience to solve your problem. The Plymouth pest control team from Combat Pest Control will stop ants from infesting your house. 

Our pest control technicians can tackle any situation and remove ants from your Plymouth home. Since 2008, we have removed ants from houses, leaving customers satisfied with our no-nonsense guarantee. Please keep reading because the following information will help you understand the battle against ants, the problems they can cause, and what you can do to prevent future infestations.

The Habits And Behaviors Of Common Ants

ants swarming on a log

There are thousands of ant species worldwide, but carpenter, pavement, sugar, and red ants are among the most familiar in the Plymouth area. Although these ants vary in color and size, they share many things in common. 

Ants social creatures, which means they live in colonies or groups. Ants create nests using soil and organic plant matter outside in yards, along sidewalks, pavement cracks, next to buildings, and inside rotting wood. Inside houses, they build homes in wall voids, behind baseboards, inside appliances and electrical boxes, insulation, and damp wood. 

Ants create new colonies through either swarming or budding. One example of ants that produce new nests through swarming is carpenter ants. When a carpenter's nest matures to about 10,000 ants, the queen produces reproductive winged ants alongside sterile workers and soldiers. In the spring, after a heavy rain, pairs of reproductive ants (or alates) fly from the nest on wind currents in search of new nesting locations. 

The other way ants form new homes is through a process known as budding. Some ant colonies have more than one queen, and if there is a threat to the nest, the queen will take other reproductive ants and travel to a new location to create a satellite colony.

Ants are self-organizing and do not have a hierarchy. Ants are hard-wired to work as nest builders, protectors, and foragers. Scientists have been fascinated by the ant's ability to create nests, which include intricate underground tunnels, without a leader. They speculate that ants use a chemical pheromone deposited on objects to help them determine where to drop the materials so that they build upon each other. 

Ants work all hours of the day. Unlike cockroaches and other nocturnal insects, ants work day and night foraging for food and building nests. Because ants create satellite nests, work day and night, and eat foods found in Plymouth homes, you need effective ant control from Combat Pest Control.

An Ant Infestation Can Cause Many Problems In The House

Ant control in your house is necessary for these reasons:

  • Destruction: Although most ants will not physically harm your house, carpenter ants will wreak havoc on your home. Carpenter ants build nests by boring holes deep into damp wood in the crawl space or basement. After years of tunneling into the damp support beams, they become unstable and break under stress causing sagging floors and collapsing structures.
  • Disease: Unlike cockroaches that spread disease-causing organisms throughout a house, most ants do not expose family members to dangerous pathogens except pharaoh ants. The yellow and orange-colored pharaoh ants can spread salmonella, streptococcus, pseudomonas, and clostridium. 
  • Contamination: Pharaoh ants are not common in homes in our area, but that does not mean ants are not a problem. Ants forage and travel everywhere, including rotten food, animal feces, drains, and other unsanitary areas. When ants move over those places, they unwittingly pick up bacteria lying on the surface. When ants later crawl over exposed foods, kitchen countertops, food products, and inside kitchen drawers, the bacteria on their legs contaminate surfaces and products.
  • Bites: Ants will bite when threatened. In some cases, wounds from an ant are not noticeable, but bites from some ants, like carpenter ants, result in a temporary stinging sensation due to the formic acid they inject into the wound. 
  • Hazards: When ants invade a location, they bring moisture from dead plant matter to eat and help in nest creation. Some ants are attracted to electrical wiring in walls and electronic equipment. Ants chew on the housing around the wiring and will, over time, expose the wiring. The mixture of dampness and electricity can result in short circuits that may harm electronics. 

Combat Pest Control provides ant control solutions to protect your family and pets from costly structural repairs, food contamination, and disease. 

Factors That Attract Ants Into The Home And How To Remove Them

We prefer ants to stay outside in nests while we enjoy the comforts of our houses free from ants. Since the outdoors is the natural habitat of ants, why do they come into our homes? Can't ants be content to stay outside where they belong? Why do ants enter Plymouth houses?

Food is the primary reason ants enter Plymouth houses. Ants are omnivores, which means they eat meat, fruits, vegetables, and other items like pet food and rotting food. Have you seen a trail of ants moving along the baseboards in your house? Have you witnessed a line of ants along the foundation that disappears under the siding near your kitchen? The reason for these lines of ants is that when they find a food source, they release pheromones to alert and guide other ants to the location. Soon, you have a line of ants following the pheromone trails to crumbs on the floor, exposed pet food, or open indoor garbage cans. 

Water is another attraction for ants. When we experience extended dry spells, ants invade houses for moisture sources. If they find a way into the house, they create nests in the walls near drains, leaky pipes, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas with high humidity. The soil in potted plants is another favorite hiding place for ants due to the moisture content. 

Ants also enter Plymouth homes searching for shelter. Carpenter ants often live in dead tree stumps or rotting fence posts in the yard, but when the nest matures, reproductive winged ants leave to find new nesting locations. Moist, often fungus-infested wood, in crawl spaces, basements, and underneath wood decks and porches attracts the swarming carpenter ants. Other ants enter homes because their nest has been disturbed, and the queens and their entourages have fled to begin a new colony (this process is known as budding). When ants enter, they seek dark locations near food and water sources like voids in walls, cracks in the walls between door and window frames, crawl spaces, attics, basements, electrical boxes, insulation, and other dim areas. 

Ants are ectotherms or cold-blooded insects that cannot internally regulate their body temperature. Thus, ants rely upon the environment to keep their body temperature at a life-sustaining level. When colder air moves into the area, warmer air seeping from toasty Plymouth homes attracts ants. If the ants can find entry points, they will enter the houses to stay warm and avoid freezing. 

How do you keep ants from entering your Plymouth home? Ant prevention tips include using a silicone-based caulk to seal cracks, gaps, and holes, repairing window and door screens, installing door sweeps, and fine wire mesh screens over the crawl space and attic vents.

When a technician from Combat Pest Control thoroughly inspects your Plymouth home, they can provide several ant control solutions to prevent future infestations.

The Most Effective Ant Control Method For Plymouth Homes

Combat Pest Control provides local, fast, effective ant pest control near you. When you schedule an inspection, a highly trained pest control technician will investigate your Plymouth home to determine attractants, entry points, and areas of infestation. Our technician will create a plan using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions to remove the ants by utilizing a treatment plan working with you to prevent future problems. Your safety, as well as the protection of the environment, are our primary concerns; therefore, we use eco and bio-friendly products to eliminate ants in your Plymouth house.

If you are searching for an ant control service near your home, you need to look no further than Combat Pest Control. Our decades of experience, combined with knowledge and the latest tools and techniques, ensure your complete satisfaction. Contact us today and get a free estimate.

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