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Are These Ants On My West Chester Property Dangerous?

The simple answer is no, probably not. Almost all of the ants that we have here in West Chester are not dangerous. There is only one species that could be considered dangerous, but it isn't dangerous to people. Instead, it is dangerous to our property. Here's what you need to know:

Types Of Ants In West Chester

Nuisance Ants

Most ants that get into West Chester homes are nuisance ants, like the pavement ant. Pavement ants accidentally get into homes through cracks in foundation walls and entry points around doors and windows. Once inside, pavement ants can appear on kitchen counters, tables, islands, and other places.

These ants are unwanted because they are annoying and an unwelcome presence in our homes, not because they are dangerous. In some cases, ants can find their way into stored foods, making them even more of a nuisance. In rare cases, they can travel from trash bins to stored foods and cause contamination which can result in flu-like symptoms.

Stinky Ants

Another common ant pest in our West Chester service area is the odorous house ant. These ants are similar to pavement ants, but if you step on odorous house ants, your home will start to smell like rotting coconut. This scent won't harm you, but it is certainly unpleasant.

Dangerous Ants

What are the ants that are dangerous to your property? They're called black carpenter ants. These ants create galleries inside wood by chewing through the wood. If they choose to create a nest in your home, they can cause quite a bit of damage over time. Once a nest matures, it can begin to produce winged ants. These are male and female reproductives. The job of a winged reproductive is to leave the nest and create other nests. Sometimes, these ants don't travel far. This can lead to multiple carpenter ant colonies damaging your home at once.

ants on kitchen counter

Identifying Ants

When you start to see ants in or around your West Chester home, it is important that you identify them if you can. This can be challenging. The three ant species we mentioned above can look similar. All of them can be black or dark-colored. There are three helpful ways to tell if the ants you're seeing are carpenter ants:

  • Size. Pavement ants are about 1/8 of an inch long. Odorous house ants are between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch. Carpenter ants are between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch. Winged ants are twice the size of workers. This makes winged carpenter ants hard to miss when they congregate on your walls.

  • Smell. Odorous house ants have a distinct rotten coconut-like odor when you squish them. This is helpful for identification.

  • Frass. Carpenter ants produce a material called frass. This is a mixture of sawdust, insect parts, and feces. If you see piles of this material near a gap or crack in your exterior wall, you can know for sure that the black ants you're seeing are carpenter ants.

If you're seeing ants that are not dark or black colored, they're likely to be some other type of nuisance ant. The exception to this is species of carpenter ants that are dark red with a black abdomen. These ants can present a threat to your property, but aren't as much of a threat as black carpenter ants.

What To Do About Ants

Nuisance ants can be managed with a few practical tips. Here are the best tips offered up by the experts here at Moyer Pest Control:

  • Seal entry points in your exterior, paying close attention to door sweeps, weatherstripping, and frames around doors and windows.

  • Keep exterior trash receptacles clean and free of odors that can attract ants.

  • Reduce moisture around your home to make it less inviting to ants and other pests.

  • Address standing water and ground saturation.

  • Rake up leaves and blow leaves out of your landscaping.

  • Move woodpiles away from your home.

  • Remove objects that sit on the ground near your home.

  • Remove organic debris, such as grass clipping, acorns, sticks, etc.

  • Keep the interior of your home clean.

  • Store food in sealed glass or plastic containers.

  • Fix leaky faucets and other plumbing issues both inside and outside of your home.

The tips mentioned above may also help to deter carpenter ants, but you may need to take additional measures to keep them away.

Professional Ant Control

There is no better way to get control of ants in West Chester than to invest in one of our residential pest control plans. We can help you select the right plan for your specific needs and budget to make sure you're getting the level of pest protection you're looking for. To get started with ant control in West Chester, reach out to us at Moyer Pest Control today!

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