Thursday, June 16, 2016


Ants are social insects which live together in cooperative, intermingling colonies. The colonies may range in size from hundreds to millions of individuals, depending on the species. Within each colony are different types of individuals, each with a specific function. All ant colonies contain one or more queens, whose primary role is to lay eggs. The eggs hatch into white, grub-like larvae that later transform into adult "worker" ants. The workers feed and care for the queens and developing brood, and are the ones seen foraging for food and water, often at great distances from the colony. Ants lay down invisible odor trails, which the workers follow between food and the nest. In many species, the trail of ants is distinct enough to be followed back to the nesting location, or to where the ants are entering from outdoors. 
At certain times of the year, ant colonies produce large numbers of winged individuals known as swarmers. These winged ants emerge from the nest to mate and establish new colonies. When a swarm of ants emerges inside a home, it's an indication that a nest is present within the structure. Fortunately, the success rate for swarmers establishing new colonies inside buildings is low. Nonetheless, an exodus of winged ants emerging indoors can be disturbing and often mistaken for termites.
Simply spraying the foraging ants you see may bring temporary relief but it often fails to provide long-term, effective control. The workers you see are just a small portion of the overall colony; which often contains thousands of other worker ants, along with the egg-laying queen(s). The most effective ant control is accomplished by locating and destroying the nest(s). Outdoors, check under and among stones, boards, firewood, landscape timbers, logs, stumps, and other debris. Check in mulched areas and in vegetation around the foundation. Sometimes the nest can be found by following the foraging workers back to the nest site. One way to help track ants is to place a sugary food (e.g., bottle caps filled with some soda, peanut butter, or honey) along the outside of your house and check them for ant activity. You should find an active “foraging trail” set up at one or more of the foods and you can follow the ants back to their nest. Once the nest is found you can drench it with a ready-to-use insecticidal spray or use a granular bait or granular insecticide

Locating an ant nest can often be difficult or even sometimes impossible. You can apply an insecticide outdoors to help reduce ant populations and possibly keep ants from invading your home. Outside, treat any known or suspected ant entryways: cracks in bricks and foundations, around crawl space doors, foundation vents and utility openings, and up underneath siding. Place a protective “barrier” around your home by applying a spray insecticide up and around the foundation. The spray should penetrate the soil, not simply lightly coat the surface. Otherwise, it will dissipate too quickly to provide any effective control. The best method of application for homeowners is a garden hose attachment. Treat a 2-5 foot wide area of ground along the foundation in mulched, ornamental plant beds and grassy areas, as well as an 18-24 inch wide vertical band up the foundation wall. Spraying higher up on the house, around soffits, overhangs, and windows is not as important and you need to be very careful when spraying overhead because the chemical will drift down onto you. Remember also to keep children and pets away from treated areas until the chemical dries (or longer if specified so on the product label). Also, watch out for pesticide drifting and contaminating toys, swimming pools, and other objects, such as barbecue grills, etc.
Granular insecticides can be used in the place of sprays to treat the soil around the home. Do not apply granular insecticides if the grass is wet from rain or dew because insecticide granules will get hung up on the vegetation. The treated area should be watered lightly to ensure that the insecticide is released into the soil. If ant activity continues or even increases indoors following a perimeter treatment, it is possible that ants are nesting indoors or in the crawlspace and were “trapped” by your treatment. This can help you narrow down your search for the nest.
Spraying indoors to control ants is often ineffective in the long term particularly with repellent insecticides because these treatments may only “detour” the ants from the treated area and doesn’t stop them entirely. Indoors, focus on sanitation, exclusion, and baiting
Ant infestation are not easy to control and different strategies should be used depending on nest location and food preferences of the ants. Ants can be controlled with a combination of good sanitation, removing pheromone trails, caulking entry points and eliminating active nests. Insecticide sprays and baits can be used to kill foraging ants and destroy nests, but strategies designed to prevent further infestations should be used in conjunction with chemical treatment.

An effective solution to carpenter ants, while minimizing the amount of pesticides in and around your home. During your initial service, a Pest Management Professional will conduct a thorough inspection and provide a detailed report documenting where carpenter ants were found and the extent of the current infestation. Ampm pest control focuses treatments on interior and exterior areas of the home where carpenter ants are likely to be working, nesting or foraging for food. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood, they excavate or hollow it out to nest inside. Voids, either excavated or naturally occurring, are treated by placing materials directly into the void. By treating the source of the problem directly, we limit the use of pesticides within the home. Proactive treatments in areas prone to infestation are also applied providing residual protection against re-infestation. Parent carpenter ant colonies sometimes establish one or more satellite nests 98040

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