October 20, 2015
According to the experts at Pest World, there are more than 700 species of ants in the United States. Thankfully, only a handful of these species will cause you any real trouble in your Pennsylvania home. The three you're most likely to deal with are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Here are some quick identification tips.
The secret to identifying ant pests is in the waist. Trap one of your ant pests and check to see how many nodes it has between its thorax and abdomen. If the ant you are looking at has two nodes, it is likely a pavement ant. If you clearly see a single node, you're probably looking at a carpenter ant. If it doesn't appear to have a node at all, it may be an odorous house ant. Odorous house ants have a node; it is just hidden under its abdomen and usually mistaken for part of the thorax.
Why does it matter what kind of ants I have?
All three of these ants can be pests when they get inside your home, but they are not all created equal. Carpenter ants don't just forage in your cabinets and get into food; they can also be quite destructive inside the wood of your home where they create galleries to house their colonies. If you have carpenter ants, you want to know.
Okay, I know what ant I have, now what?
If you have determined that you may have carpenter ants, call a professional. Do-it-yourself articles and videos will cost you time and money with no real promise that the ants will be fully removed. Only a professional pest control company like Moyer, which is QualityPro designated, and recognized by national agencies as an authority on pest control, can make sure your home is free of these wood destroying pests. You have a lot invested in your home, don't trust the safety of your equity to someone on YouTube.
Is there anything I can do?
Of course! There are many ways to protect your home from ants--even carpenter ants.
If you see an ant walking in a line, spray the entire trail with soapy water so new ants can't find the scent of the trail.
Find where the trail of ants is coming from and use a caulking gun to seal up any holes you find.
Keep your home clean, this will go a long way to deterring all ants from coming in.
Keep pantry food in hard plastic containers. This will keep smells in and ants out.
Pick up pet food between meals.
Never store wood inside your home, and always keep wood piles away from your exterior walls.
If ants are driving you crazy in your Pennsylvania home, give us a call. At Moyer, we've been solving pest problems since 1869. You can trust our experienced and certified technicians to do what is necessary to make your home ant-free.