Very few people can honestly claim to have never experienced issues with ant pests within their home. Ant infestations are more frequent than most other insect infestations, or maybe all, as ants are often the most frequently mentioned insects in residential surveys concerning household pests problems. As everyone knows, ants are small, even for insects, but unlike most excessively small insects, ants are capable of traveling long distances away from their colony’s nesting site. Ant colonies contain thousands of specimens, sometimes millions depending on the species, and in order to feed an entire colony, worker ants must forage far and wide. So it is not surprising that ants are often found indoors where they tend to gravitate onto kitchen counters and pantries.
Ants are also essential to the world’s ecosystems, as their soil-dwelling habits aerate and enrich the soil, promoting vegetation growth. It is hard to avoid household ant issues when all houses are built on top of the insects’ natural habitat, but it is difficult not to be annoyed by their seemingly supernatural ability to enter even the most well-sealed homes in massive numbers. Their small size allows them to enter homes through foundation cracks that most other insects would not be able to fit through. These are just a few factors that make ants common household pests, but at least very few ant pest species in the northeast US bite and/or sting humans.
Many household ant pest problems solve themselves, as ant pests can leave homes just as easily as they entered them. Many residents experience consistent household ant issues every year during a particular season, and others have had stubborn and long-lasting infestations that require professional intervention. In the northeast, Pharaoh ants are known for maintaining a presence within homes for months, and in rare cases, years. Several thief ant species infest the same homes each year during the summer months before leaving on their own accord. Many other ants are known as seasonal house pests, and residents who have problems with these ants should have their property inspected for ant colonies.
Ant pests that are attracted to wet or rotting wood establish stubborn infestations that almost always require professional pest control assistance to eradicate. For example, carpenter ants, especially black carpenter ants, often invade homes in the northeast where they excavate nests within structural wood, and some species of acrobat ants are attracted to moist wood within homes. Carpenter ants are particularly common in homes in wooded areas, and many ant pest species such as carpenter ants establish nests within wall voids. Very few ant pests in the northeast are considered medically significant to humans, but the European red ant is an exception. These ants usually remain outdoors, but they frequently inflict lawn damage. Ant infestations can be prevented by making sure foundation cracks are sealed and by keeping homes free of food scraps.
Have you ever needed to contact a pest control professional over an ant infestation?