Ant Control in Oklahoma City and Edmond

Professional Ant Control in Oklahoma City Metro

Ants Pest Control Service in Oklahoma City

Identifying Common Household Ants

Ant control management requires identifying the ants and their habits. Although most ants among the species are primarily a nuisance, some ants do damage to homes and ants that can bite and sting humans. Ants are familiar insects and are close relatives to bees and wasps. Easily recognized are the adult ants without wings, known as worker ants. However, winged ants leave the colony in large swarms during warm weather to establish new colonies. Winged ants are often mistaken for termites, who also leave the nest to mate.

Ant and Termite Distinguishing Features

The ant body has the appearance of a thin waist, and the termite has a broad waistline. The winged ant’s hind wings are smaller than the front wings, but the termite wings are the same size. Shortly after flight, both insects lose their wings and become more distinguishable. Lastly, ants have elbowed antennae, whereas termites’ antennae appear straight.

Ants undergo stages from egg to larval, pupal, and adult in their lifecycle. Larvae don’t resemble adult ants and are not able to move. Sterile female ants gather the food, feed and care for the larvae, build the tunnels, and defend the colony. Females comprise the most significant portion of the colony, while male ants’ sole purpose is to mate with the queens. Adult male ants are few in number and are fed and cared for by the worker ants.

Damage Caused by Ants

There are over 12,400 species of ants in the world today, and while not all cause damage, you need to know those that do. Sources of food inside homes and office buildings attract the ant workers. Sugar, syrup, honey, juices, fatty products, and meat are all carried back to the ant colony for consumption. Outside, ants are attracted to liquid excrement from mealybugs and aphids. This excrement contains nutrients they need and sugars.

Fire Ants

Fire ants can use pincer-like to bite; however, most species rarely do. A few ants sting, including the fire ant and harvester ant, which are outdoor species. Fire ants bite, and sting and are aggressive by nature. A fire ant sting injects venom, which causes a burning sensation, causing red bumps at the sting site. After stinging, fire ants attach themselves to the skin with their jaws, and you must brush them off briskly.

Carpenter Ants

Eight carpenter ant species exist in the United States. Nesting in the wood, they create smooth tunnels and large living areas inside the wood. Usually, new colonies are established in moist or decayed wood, although they may nest in an existing dry cavity. Unchecked, carpenter ants will expand the nest with satellite nests in structures and trees nearby. Building foraging trails from nest to nest significantly damages floor joists, window frames, wood siding, and voids in the ceiling of porches and breezeways. Carpenter ants travel 100 yards or more to search for food and establish satellite colonies. The areas near an infestation can grow into even more problems.

Ant Control Treatment

Total elimination of ant colonies requires several weeks because time is needed for the toxicants to spread inside the nest. Non-foraging ants and the queen remain inside the nest and are fed by the foraging worker ants. Ant control treatment using chemical and non-chemical treatments is usually necessary to completely eradicate the colony. Follow-up evaluations are recommended to achieve complete satisfaction. It is possible for an immediate cease of activity only to resume after a few weeks. Close monitoring is required for extended colonization over a large area.

Ant Control Tips

Understanding what ants need is essential to make your home and yard less inviting. Knowing the difference between wood-eating ants, food-eating ants, and other ants that feed on decaying plants or other insects is helpful.

  • Seal off any cracks ants may use to gain entry into your home.
  • Remove any visible ant trails with soapy water to remove the pheromones.
  • Vacuum ants, disposing of the bag as quickly as possible. Consider adding cornstarch to the bag.
  • Locate and remove visible ant nests.
  • Keep food in sealed containers, not cardboard boxes, especially sugar or honey.
  • Keep vegetation trimmed and elevate potted plants inside a larger bowl full of water.
  • Remove any moist or damaged wood away from the house or other wood structures.

Pest Management Integration

To learn more about ant control and pest management, consider researching Integrated Pest Management. Several universities throughout the US have published information on specific species. For free, you can find more information and tips about fire ants and carpenter ants from these institutions. Just click on the links provided. For more information on Our Pest Control OKC services click here.

Ant Control in Edmond OK and Oklahoma City