Ants are one of the smallest insects in the world and as small as they come, we find them a nuisance when they are inside the home. The behavior clues and biology of each ant is unique. There are over 12,000 species of ants all over the world. Luckily, we don’t have to deal with all 12,000 species in North America. The top 10 ant species in North America are as follows: Argentine Ants, Carpenter Ants, Crazy Ants, Fire Ants, Ghost Ants, Little Black Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Pharaoh Ants, and White-Footed Ants.
Ants can be divided into two groups. Those with one node between their front and rear and those with two nodes.
We will talk about indoor ant control first. When ants are inside the home, check the carpets or flooring by inspecting along the walls. If the carpet can be removed, check under the carpet in front of places such as fireplaces and sliding doors. If you are seeing ants around bathroom sinks, bath tubs, kitchen sinks or even in the kitchen, you will most likely find an ant trail that can head to the colony. Usually ants will travel from the wall voids and cracks from the walls to move around. For most cases, ant baits and ant gels work the best because it is less messy and will start attracting ants right away. It is important to note if you see ant trails, it is important to not disturb the ant trails. The whole purpose of using ant baits and ant gels is to have as many ants come out to consume the bait and bring it back to the colony. The more ants that come out to consume the bait, the faster the colony will be eliminated.
As for outdoor ant control, check the foundations, vegetation (yard), ground surfaces and mulch.
For the foundation, if ants are found inside along the exterior walls, check outside beside the foundation or inside the wood framed walls. If you see any cracks outside, most likely the ants are coming in from that location.
When we talk about vegetation, this is the yard inspection. Often times, the plants around the foundation will be home to many ants and they will venture inside the house for food and water.
We classify ground surfaces as all places on the ground outside. Ants commonly follow the edge of sidewalks, driveways, landscape materials, and garden hoses. Usually you will find ants located under the cracks of a sidewalk or driveway because there are dirt / mud underneath.
Mulch is considered the number one spot for many kinds of ants, especially pavement ants, fire ants, odorous house ants, crazy ants and Argentine ants. This is one of the favorite location for ants due to the mulch’s ability to retain moisture. They don’t need to go very far for water!