As the weather begins to warm up the closer we get to spring, you may begin to have familiar residents return to your property; your friendly ant population. With the warmer weather, ants will begin foraging once again for food and that food source just may be found in your home.
What Type of Ant Is Invading My Home?
There are a number of common ants that are native to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some of which can be destructive to your home structure. Before you panic at the sight of an ant on your kitchen counter, it’s best to identify which type it is.
Common Ant Species Found in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
- Odorous house Ants
- Pavement Ants
- Carpenter Ants
- Acrobat Ants
- Citronella Ants
- Flying Ants (all of the above ants have a winged form in their colonies that swarm)
Of all the ants that are native to our area, only carpenter ants and acrobat ants can cause structural damage to your home. Of the two, carpenter ants are more serious than acrobat ants because they will destroy sound wood in addition to wood that has been weakened by moisture damage. Acrobat ants tend to cause less damage and are usually associated in areas of the structure where moisture is a problem.
Even though having any type of ant invade your home can be an annoyance, it is very important to take the necessary steps in eradicating carpenter ants due to the structural damage they can cause to your home.
Why Do Ants Invade My Home?
Once you have identified what type of ant it is, you’ll have a better chance at removing it from your home, as well as determining why it was there in the first place.
For most homeowners, nuisance ants, like Odorous House Ants, are the most common ants entering the homes but other ants can certainly invade your home.
“Ants will invade homes sometimes for reasons that we can’t explain,” said Dr. Richard Cooper, staff entomologist at Cooper Pest Solutions. “The reasons ants are coming in to begin with is that they are either looking to build a nest in a wall or they are scouting for food resources, or both.”
According to Cooper, “ants are going to survey their entire environment and if the home is within their surveying territory, then it gets included in the areas that they are scouting for food resources. If they don’t find food resources, they may occasionally re-scout those areas periodically. However, if they do find a food resources, then that may result in chronic or persistent activity.”
Landscaping Can Attract Ants to Your Home
In addition to being in the surveying area for food resources, your property may be prone to ants because of your landscaping.
“There are a group of insects, such as aphids and scales (homopterous insects) that feed on plants and produce a sugary secretions which is what ants feed on,” Cooper said. “This in return draws ants to your home. So, the more landscaping you have that has homopterous insects, the more likely you are to have ants attracted to the structure.”
Although there can be a number of reasons why the ants are getting in and why they keep coming back, there is something you can do to reduce the activity in your home.
Simple Tips to Reduce Ant Activity in Your Home
- Clean your house. Start by cleaning your kitchen because according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) kitchens were found more vulnerable to ant activity 96% of the time and bathrooms were vulnerable 89% of the time.
- Ants are generally looking for a source of food and water, both of which can be found in your kitchen. Be sure to clean up crumbs and spills immediately as to not attract the ants.
- Keep an eye on any fruit that may be over ripe that can also attract ants into your kitchen.
- Trim your shrubs. Shrubs and tree branches that are close you your home can be bridges for ants so it is best to keep them trimmed so that they are not touching the home in any way.
- Consult with a Landscaper prior to landscaping. Prior to doing any landscaping, consult with a landscaper to ensure that you are not using plants that are prone to aphids, scales or other homopterous insects that will in turn attract ants. If you are including ornamental plants in your landscaping that attracts homopterous insects, you may need to treat them to eliminate the insects that attract the ants.
How Can Cooper Pest Solutions Help Protect My Home from Ants?
More often than not, the DIY ant removal remedies sold at big box stores will not solve your ant problem. Unlike other DIY options, Cooper Pest Solutions understands the biology and behavior of ants which is what makes out treatment methods more effective for eliminating the problem rather than a temporary solution.
What makes Cooper different is that we focus on the exterior where ants originate, rather than inside where the ants are seen. By doing this, we solve ant problems rather than simply treat the symptoms. Cooper offers several different types of services that will address your ant problems and protect your home from future invasions.
There are two service options when dealing with nuisance ants:
- One-time treatments
- Home Traditional or Home Intensive quarterly service plans
One-Time Ant Removal Services
One-time services will include proper ant identification by one of our skilled technicians followed by a treatment protocol that corresponds with that species. In most cases, the service can be conducted primarily from the exterior of the home with little or no treatments indoors.
“Generally customers can expect to see a 50 percent reduction in ants within three days of treatment and complete elimination within 7-10 days,” said Dave Burgess, Vice President of Operations at Cooper Pest Solutions. Burgess added that although treatments for ants may be similar, there are differences in treatment protocols depending on the species you have invading your home.
One-time services provide coverage for up to 90 days, however if you would like future treatment and prevention methods for ants, Cooper Pest Solutions suggest our Home Traditional or Home Intensive services.
“Ants have very large colonies and it can be very difficult to completely eradicate ant colonies,” Cooper said. “When it comes to ants, often it requires periodic management of the colonies to keep the numbers low and keep the ants out of the home. While the one time services may come with 90 day service warranty, if you have had ant problems in your home, there is a very good chance that you will have ant problems again in the future for the same reasons that you had them in the first place. So home maintenance programs really do make sense for people who are experiencing ant problems.”
Schedule service online today for fast technician dispatch. No consultation or estimate is needed to get started.
This service does not include carpenter ant control.
Preventive Ant Control
The Home Traditional and Home Intensive services at Cooper Pest Solutions not only cover ants, but a wide variety of other insects as well. Both services include year-round preventive pest control with services conducted four times a year.
You will receive three exterior maintenance treatments on the exterior of the home for spring, summer and fall (March-November), in addition to one interior service during the winter months (December-February).
The Home Traditional service includes ants as well as many other crawling insects, mice and wasps. If your home is in an area that is prone to carpenter ants, which can cause structural damage to your home, it is suggested that you enroll in Cooper’s Home Intensive services that includes carpenter ants and much more.
Why Call Cooper Pest Solutions for your Ant Problems?
Regardless of what insect you have, you want to choose a pest control company that knows and understands the biology and behavior of the insect they are servicing. At Cooper Pest Solutions, we have a staff entomologist who is always at the forefront of the latest science and technology for pest control. We develop our treatment services based off of scientific research and limit the use of pesticides whenever possible.
If ants are causing a nuisance at your NJ or PA home or you would like to prevent you property from ants and other insects with our home service programs, give Cooper Pest Solutions a call at 1-800-949-2667. To schedule a FREE estimate, fill out our form here.