Ants are America’s #1 nuisance pest according to the National Pest Management Association. While some ant species are simple nuisance, others, like carpenter ants, pose a serious threat to your home. Properly identifying the ant that has entered your home is important to distinguish between a nuisance and a threat and also very important to treatment.
How Ants Enter Your Pennsylvania or New Jersey Home
Ants enter your home in search of moisture or a food source. They come in along pipes or through small cracks and crevices near windows, door jams and even the foundation of your home. Water leaks and rotting or damp wood will attract ants into your home. Some ants enter in search of food. Different ant species are attracted to different food types. There are sweet feeding ants, ants that forage for proteins and other ants that will eat just about anything. Once inside, ants can quickly establish themselves into colonies and turn into an infestation in a short amount of time.
Ants commonly found in Pennsylvania & New Jersey
Carpenter Ants: These wood destroyers are especially big and black. They are typically a little over a half inch long. They tend to burrow in damp wood but have also been known to damage solid wood. They do not eat the wood, but simply remove it in order to build a nest. If left untreated, carpenter ants can cause significant damage to a home so prompt treatment is recommended. You must eliminate the water source that is attracting them to your home for long-term control. Fix leaky faucets and pipes and replace damp, rotted wood. Control can be tricky since you must find and destroy the nest and carpenter ants may be nesting indoors, or most likely, outdoors.
Pavement Ants: This nuisance pest is brown to black in color and small in size, about one-eighth inch long. They get their name because they make their nests in pavement cracks. They will eat just about anything and will enter your home through cracks and crevices. They gain access from overhanging trees and shrubbery. While they don’t pose any serious threats they can contaminate your food. A nest indoors will likely be in your wall, insulation or beneath your floor making control on your own rather difficult.
Pharaoh Ants: These tiny ants are about one-sixteenth inch long and pale in color, typically yellow to red. These ants are commonly found in hospitals and nursing homes, where they are capable of transmitting Staphylecoccus and Psuedomonas infections. Pharoah Ants also known to invade restaurants, apartment buildings and similar dwellings. When they nest they do so in great number, usually in the thousands! Control can be difficult because when their nest is threatened they will begin a process called budding where they will establish new colonies in different locations as a means of survival.
Is it an ant or a termite?
Ants with wings can easily be mistaken for termites. In comparison, ants have a very narrow thorax (mid-section), while termites’ bodies are more uniform. If you are unsure which it is we highly recommend you contact a pest professional. Termites and some ant species are wood destroyers that pose a serious threat to your home or business. Proper control will never be achieved if you are treating one pest for another.