The shock of seeing an ant crawl across your kitchen counter or bathroom floor can catch you by surprise. Sometimes keeping a tidy house isn’t enough to prevent these pests from moving in. While, you first instinct may be to start spraying and set up traps, below are a few recommended steps before you call the exterminator.
The first step is identifying your ant. There are over 12,000 species of ants, so narrowing it down is your first step for successful ant removal. In Monroe, NJ there are three common ants that prevail over all others: carpenter ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Begin by using our guide below to define your pest.
Our simple guide to ant identification
Ant nests can be located in attics, underneath floor coverings, in ceilings, and cracks in walls. Carpenter ants are often confused for termites due to their tendencies to burrow into damp wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They burrow into wood to make their nest, which causes the small holes that you may see.
- Carpenter ants are typically large and black
- Most carpenter ants have a heart-shaped head
- Check for moist or decaying wood on or around your property or wall voids and insulation
- Look for small piles of wood shavings. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they burrow through it and leave the shavings behind.
For residents with an active Carpenter Ant infestation at home, the Cooper Carpenter Ant System focuses on eliminating active ant colonies. Detailed inspections are performed to locate Carpenter Ant trails and with pinpoint accuracy, our pest management professionals deliver the system. The ants feed on the bait, taking it back to the colony where it is fed to other ants, thus destroying the colony. The system includes identifying carpenter ant trails, utilizing baits and traditional materials as necessary. The program is available only through Cooper Pest Solutions.
Photo credit: NPMA
Pavement ants are another common pest that is found in the Monroe, NJ area each year. They live in the cracks and crevices between sidewalks, attic insulation, underneath decks, between bricks, at the edge of driveways, and surrounding your in-home plumbing.
- Pavement ants are tiny black ants, most easily identified by their large antennae [photo]
- Small piles of dirt between the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway indicated the presence of pavement ants [photo]
- They can be found digging through your pantry in search of sugary sweets. Check to see if you have any open boxes of cereal with evidence of tampering.
You can find more information about pavement ants here.
Odorous House Ants
Photo credit: NPMA
Odorous house ants are another nuisance pest that is commonly found in homes throughout Monroe, NJ. Although they are not dangerous to humans, odorous house ants can be difficult to remove on your own. They are often confused with pavement ants, but there are a few key differences in identifying this pest.
- Customers often refer to odorous house ants as “tiny black ants” as well, but they can also appear to be dark brown.
- Do you smell coconut or pine scent? Odorous house ants live up to their name, releasing a strong coconut or pine scent when stepped on.
- You may see a large colony of ants scatter when you disturb their nesting area. Without stingers, their odor release is their only form of defense which is released when running.
Learn more about odorous house ants on our small ants page.
Now that you’ve identified the type of ant you have, it’s time to find a solution.
Why do I have ants in my home?
Ants find shelter and build nests in a variety of places. Spotting the signs of different ant nests can also help differentiate the type of ant in and around your home.
Are you seeing round holes appearing to be drilled into wood? Carpenter ants are most likely your culprit. Carpenter ants build their nests in rotting or moist wood to burrow, destroy, and then build their colony. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not digest wood, and as they build tunnels, they regurgitate the soft sawdust standing in their way. As their colonies grow, so does their network of tunnels found around your property.
If you are finding small mounds of dirt or sand around your property, you are seeing the tell-tale signs of pavement ant activity. Pavement ants may enter your home for a variety of reasons. They are attracted by loose food particles that may exist in your kitchen or other living spaces, particularly around sugary foods and substances like plant nectar and fruit.
Odorous house ants may enter your home in search of a food source. Much like pavement ants, odorous house ants are likely to find small crumbs under your kitchen counter, sink, doormats, or even in your dishwasher. It’s not only you that has a sweet tooth. These tiny black ants are especially attracted to household sweets like plant nectar and honeydew.
How can I prevent ants from entering my home?
Ants may find their way into even the most immaculate homes so staying vigilant and aware is often your best line of defense. Be sure to sweep up any leftover crumbs that fall in your dining room and kitchen. Monitor the moist spots that they may show up such as your dishwasher or sink. To avoid carpenter ants, make sure that you clear your property of rotting or decaying wood. Check your deck or other wooden structures to make sure they are kept dry and clean.
Are there DIY solutions to ant removal?
If you spend time on Google, I’m sure you’ve discovered a variety of home remedies for ant control. Unfortunately, there is no sure fire way to prevent ant activity or wood damage to your property without the proper training and tools that professional pest control companies provide.
What can Cooper Pest Solutions do to get rid of my ants?
Here at Cooper Pest Solutions we pride ourselves on quality service with treatments based on proven scientific tactics. With professional entomologists on staff, we have several options to fit your unique needs. We provide targeted treatments for carpenter ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Ant removal programs are offered in 90 day guaranteed plans or year-long home services that offer unlimited service calls and treatments throughout the year.
No consultation is needed to get rid of the small nuisance ants in your home. Schedule service online today for fast technician dispatch. You decide the time that works best for you, not the other way around.
This service does not cover carpenter ant activity. To learn more about our carpenter ant services, click here.