Ants are typical home-invading pests throughout the United States. Like many other pests, ants travel into homes in search of food. Due to their social nature, ants travel, work, and live in large groups. Some of the common ants to the Houston area are carpenter, fire, pyramid, pharaoh, Argentine, harvester, and Rasberry crazy ants.
Differentiating Ant Species
It is essential to distinguish between the different species of ants that might infest your Houston, Texas home because they cause different problems.
- Carpenter ants are attracted to wood; specifically, water-damaged wood. These ants can cause severe damage to your home’s structure, given enough time. They tunnel and chew through wood using their large mandibles. Carpenter ants are black but can also have a combination of red and yellow coloration.
- Although Fire ants usually live outside, they can build nests inside homes in spaces such as inside walls. These ants are more aggressive than others and will attack people or animals that disturb their nests. (An interesting note is that pyramid ants, named after the pyramid shapes on their thoraxes, eat fire ants.)
- While many ant species build their nests outside and travel indoors for food, pharaoh and Argentine ants prefer to build their nests indoors. While Argentine ants are nuisance pests, Pharaoh ants can transmit diseases such as salmonella.
- Golden-brown to reddish-brown-colored Rasberry crazy ants are difficult to control as they move around without reason, hence the name “crazy.”
- Harvester ants’ primary source of food is seeds. Because of this, harvester ants are known to damage lawns because they clear vegetation and grass from the areas around their nests.
Although these common ants behave differently and cause different types of damage and health risks, non are welcome in the home–not even Pyramid ants that help control fire ant populations.
Ant Prevention And Control
As with all pest prevention, the best place to start is with deep cleaning. Keeping your home and property clean and uncluttered is one of the best ways to prevent pests as it eliminates food and water sources, hiding places, and underlying issue like water damage.
A deep cleaning routine should include the following:
- Wiping out cupboards and appliances such as the fridge and microwave
- Vacuuming often to eliminate crumbs or food scraps on the floor
- Cleaning under heavy appliances and furniture that aren’t moved often
- Storing all food correctly in sealed containers
- Keeping pet areas clean and clear of spilled water and food
When cleaning for pest prevention, your main goal is to eliminate access to food and water. After eliminating possible food and water sources, you should make sure your home is adequately sealed.
- Check screens for damage and improper installation as well as window frames for any gaps or rotting wood.
- Door sweeps should be in good working condition.
- Seal cracks in floorboards and walls as well as around your foundation.
Due to their small size, ants can enter your home through the smallest of cracks or holes. Because of this, it is best to turn to professional help to prevent or control an ant infestation.
Professional Ant Prevention & Control
Although there are many things you can and should do in your Houston home to prevent ants, there is no better way to prevent and control these bugs than with professional assistance. At Romney Pest Control, our professional team is committed to keeping you and your home safe from pests.
Contact the professionals at Romney Pest Control to set up a six-point home pest control inspection. Each step of our home inspection ensures we are providing the best care for you and your home.