If you have one ant in your home or business location, we can confidently say you have more. As social creatures, ants build vast colonies which contain hundreds upon thousands of ants, most of which you can’t see from your above-the-ground vantage point. While killing one or two ants with your shoe may be satisfying, rest assured this has not solved your ant colony problem.
In the Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa areas, we see everything from the smallest ant varies like those congregating near flowers (such as peonies), to the giant wood-destroying carpenter ants. In fact, in the United States, there are more than 700 varieties of ant species and over 12,000 types of ants.
Controlling ants is a difficult task and requires some expertise to accomplish. It starts with having an understanding of the type of ant you’re dealing with, as well as knowledge about ant behavior and having the skill and equipment to solve ant problems where they live.
Chances are, you’ll know if you have an ant problem. Visual evidence of them traveling together in a trail-like pattern is one sign. Outdoor mounds that signal the entry to a nest is another. You might find ants in your kitchen drawers or cupboards or chewing away at the rotting wood in or near your home.
Ant identification in the Omaha area can be tricky, but Genie Pest Control can help you pinpoint the specific type of ant you’re dealing with in your home or office. From there, a plan can be developed to eradicate ants from your living or workplace and keep them gone for good.
Ants often nest in outdoor mounds that can vary in size, but 2-4 inches in diameter is average. The reddish-colored fire ants can build substantial mounds spanning more than 12 inches in diameter and have been known to dig vast tunnels for the colony as much as 10 feet deep underneath the soil.
On the other hand, carpenter ants work and chew tunnels inside of rotting wood located near their earthen nests. These ants also cause severe property damage if left untreated. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood as a food source, but they do tunnel extensively leaving intricate patterns behind. These patterns are real signs of trouble for home and business owners. If you spot these characteristically black, wood Tboring ants setting up residence on your property, the first call should be to Genie Pest Control.
While there are over hundreds of species of ants, they do have some particular body parts that make them, ants. Three distinct body regions – the head, thorax and abdomen (called the gaster) define the species, as do connecting segments called pedicels that appear between the thorax and gaster.
Aside from these three qualifying characteristics, this is where ant identification can become difficult. Some ants have stingers, while some do not. Colors of ants range from dark reddish brown to brown, to black to white (or even transparent). They can vary in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to more than three-quarters of an inch long.
Shape, size, color, the things they eat, and where they live are all keys to ant identification. Your best bet is to contact a Genie Pest Control specialist to help identify the infestation and then develop a plan to eliminate ants from your home or business.
Some fascinating ant behavior is found in the social hierarchy they arrange within the colony. Each member of this caste system has a different job. While some are food foragers, others are construction workers who built the nest. Others serve as daycare providers, caring for the young and reproductive members of the colony, which includes the colony queen.
The Queen’s primary job is to lay eggs. Swarmer ants are winged males and females that fly out to build and expand into new colonies. In this process the swarmers mate, the male soon dies, and the “wannabe” queen sets about locating the perfect nesting location where she sheds her wings and sets up a new colony all her own.
The life cycle of an ant is also fascinating. Eggs hatch into larvae which require careful attention from the mature ants who perform daycare duties. Through metamorphosis, the larvae pupate into grown ants who quickly assume their place in the complex society created within the colony. While Swarner males live just a few weeks, worker ants can live for several months. Queens can live for many years under the right circumstances.
We’ve already mentioned the property damage that can come along with some species of ants, but there are plenty of other reasons why Omaha home and business owners shouldn’t just wait for the seasons to change and the ants to go away on their own (hint: they don’t!).
In warmer climates, ants are active year-round. In places with variable seasons (as in the Omaha area), ants survive the winter by going into a type of dormancy known as diapause. Rest assured, when the temperature rises, the ants will be back ready to do the work of further building the colony and causing potential damage to your property.
Ants can also cause health issues from their likelihood to contaminate food as they travel throughout your home. Some ants have a painful sting that is best to avoid, especially if you have children or play areas near where ants are building nests. There are also ants that emit a distinct odor, which is rarely a welcome fragrance in anyone’s home or office building.
For these reasons, putting off treatment for an ant infestation is never a good idea. Ants don’t just go away on their own and the longer an ant colony is left unchecked, the larger and more problematic it can become.
Got Ants? Call Genie Pest Control at (712) 325-0808 or at (402) 346-7810 to provide practical solutions both in inside and outside of your home or office.
There are many ways to eliminate or prevent a significant ant infestation and even a few techniques to make their living and work spaces less attractive to pests like ants.
First, be sure to rid the home or office area of moist areas or standing water. Inspect outside water spigots for air conditioner lines for leaks. Remove wet or rotting debris from the property. Trim back branches that can serve as ant highways into your home. Be sure to properly store food and avoid leaving sweets or other food items out on kitchen counters.
Aside from these practical tips for keeping ants at bay, professional ant control services from Genie Pest Control are the best bet for avoiding or eliminating an ant problem.