Ants may be small, but they can cause big problems when they move into your home. Ants can range from 1mm to 13mm, depending on the species.
While many of these species are relatively harmless, some ant infestations can cause significant damage to your home. They can even become a health risk as they can carry harmful bacteria on the food they infest.
Bacteria and viruses that ants can potentially transmit include E.coli, Streptococcus, Shigella, Salmonella and Staphylococcus.
Apart from these health risks, having ants in your house can be a major source of irritation. Nothing disrupts a peaceful morning more quickly than a parade of black ants across your toast!
Getting rid of ants is no easy feat, which is one of the reasons ant pest control is such a popular service. We’re going to give you an insider’s look at how an ant control company gets rid of an ant infestation to provide you with some ideas of what to do in case you’re experiencing an outbreak, and to help you know when you need to call for professional help.
How Pest Control Professional Deal With An Ant Infestation
Like with most things involving pest control, it all begins by determining what kind of infestations you’re facing. There are countless different types of ants throughout Canada, and each one has its own unique challenges to overcome.
The most common types of ants found throughout Canada include carpenter ants, black ants, odorous house ants, thief ants, and pharaoh ants.
Know The Enemy
An ant exterminator will begin by inspecting your home to determine the species of the infestation. Here are three of the most common types of Canadian ants that require ant control in the house.
- Little Black Ants
Little black ants measure about 3.175mm, although the queen can 2-3x that size. They are black in colour, thus the name. Little black ants tend to form straight lines between their colony and food and water sources. They tend to feed on the sweet honeydew left by aphids, scales, and mealybugs that feed on many plants. Thus, fruit trees, roses, and certain shrubs can lead to a little black ant infestation.
They’ll move indoors, however, in search of food and water. They may establish a colony inside of walls, behind a brick facade, or beneath carpets.
- Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are also about 3.175mm in length. Odorous house ants can be challenging to control as they don’t always respond to ant baits. An ant exterminator often has to find their colony and treat it directly.
Odorous house ants tend to make their colonies beneath piles of mulch, beneath loose bark on trees, in potted plants, or within piles of lumber.
- Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants can be some of the most destructive of the indoor ants. They can measure up to 15.875mm in length, so they’re much bigger than many house ants. They come in a variety of colours, but black is the most common.
The preferred food source of carpenter ants is the ‘honeydew’ from aphids, scales, and mealybugs.
In the spring, colonies produce scouts, known as ‘swarmers,’ which are winged ants that fly out in search of places to start a new colony. Swarmers are the first sign of a carpenter ant infestation. If an ant control company spots winged ants, they know they’re likely dealing with a carpenter ant colony. Carpenter ant colonies are some of the trickiest to control for, due to their finicky eating habits and the presence of multiple sub-colonies.
Create A Species-Specific Strategy
Once an ant exterminator knows what they’re dealing with, they’ll begin preparing to get rid of the infestation. The specific measures will vary based on the type of ants you have; but the broad outline is as follows:
Secure The Perimeter
The first thing an ant control company will do when dealing with an infestation is to make sure that your home’s exterior is completely sealed. They’ll caulk to seal all of the doorways, thresholds, windows, and trim.
Next, ant exterminators will create a barrier so no new ants can get in. Salt, talc, and even essential oils such as peppermint can be effective barriers for ant colonies.
Finally, an ant exterminator will remove potential food sources. They’ll move all the food in your house away from the ground, and make sure that everything is stored in sealed containers.
The Inside Job
Once a home’s sealed and secure against new ants, an ant control company will get rid of the ant’s inside your home. Ant traps are the most common method of ant extermination. Ant traps, or baits, can come in gels, granules, or station. Ant traps are usually sugar- or protein-based, to target ants’ particular diets.
Certain species of ants can be resistant to ant traps, however. This means an ant exterminator has to treat the colony directly. To do this, an ant exterminator will follow lines of ants back to their source. They will then treat the colony using a residual repellent dust. If the colony is behind a wall, the ant control company may have to drill small holes and apply the residual repellent dust with a bulb duster, to reach the colony directly.
Preventing An Infestation
The best way to get rid of an ant infestation is to prevent it in the first place. There are usually only a few reasons why an ant colony will move indoors. Generally, they’re looking for food and water. An inhospitable outdoor environment can also cause ants to seek shelter inside your house.
All of these steps, taken together, are a highly effective ant control strategy. It’s nearly guaranteed to eliminate the infestation in your home. Seeking out professional ant services in Aurora or Newmarket is a foolproof way to keep your home ant-free year-round so that you can live your life in peace.
Do You Need Ant Control Services In Aurora?
With over 20 years of pest control experience, JDM Pest Control takes great pride in helping our clients live peaceful, pest-free lives. If you’re looking for ant pest control near Aurora or surrounding areas, contact us today or call 416-729-3568 to schedule an assessment and get $25 off!