What are ants?
A quick description of ants is that they have three body segments, a defined waist, a short antenna, and six bent legs. They are typically brown, black, or red in color, and their size and behaviors vary by species.
Ants are social insects and divide their colony into three groups- workers, queens, and males. Workers make up the bulk of the colony and are responsible for maintaining the nest, defense, gathering food, and caring for the young back at the nest. The key to an ant's success is their ability to work together as a team.
The most common ants to make their way into our yards and homes in our area include black ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, and Pharaoh ants.
Are ants dangerous?
Ants should never be allowed to move in and out of our homes as they wish. As they move over the surfaces of our homes, they can spread bacteria, and they have no shame in contaminating your family food sources.
For the most part, ants are considered nuisance pests, but some ants in our area are more than just annoying; they are dangerous. Examples of dangerous ants include:
Carpenter ants: These large ants nest inside pieces of wood. In our homes, structural wet wood often becomes their target.
Fire ants: Fire ants are tiny in size and reddish-brown in color. They are extremely moody and aggressive. Any person or animal that gets too close to their nest will be met with a swarm of aggressive biting, stinging ants.
Pharaoh ants: Pharaoh ants spread pathogens that make people very ill. These ants spread salmonella, staphylococcus, and clostridium. As big of an issue that these ants are in our homes, they are even more dangerous in hospitals where they can infest people's eyes, mouths, and IV bags in search of moisture.
For help determining what ants have found a way into your Tampa Bay area home, it is always best to consult with a professional.
Why do I have an ant problem?
The following reasons are likely why you are experiencing problems with ants in your Tampa Bay area home.
- Ants have discovered a reliable food source on your property- trashcans, gardens, pet food, crumbs in the kitchen.
- They have discovered that a water source is present. Things like leaky pipes, fixtures, air-conditioners, or poor drainage can provide ants with the moisture they need to survive.
- Your property is offering them suitable nesting spots either out in your yard or behind your home's walls.
Ants are common household pests that have adapted to living with people as they have learned our properties will provide them with their basic needs. Any small amount of food, water, or shelter will attract them to your property- one of the biggest reasons why they are so difficult to control!
Where will I find ants?
Ants are pests that don't worry about concealing their presence. Yes, they build their nests in a sheltered location, but we regularly see ants trailing together during the day, moving back and forth from the nest to their found food sources.
Many ants nest in the ground in areas of damp soil. Shady spots under trees, woodpiles, rocks, landscaping ties, and shrubbery are where we often find ant nests. They also like to nest in the soil next to foundations or sidewalks, and some, like the fire ant, nest in open sunny areas.
Though ants usually like to nest outside, sometimes our homes become a place where ants decide to build their nests. Indoor nests are typically placed in dark, quiet areas near sources of moisture like pipes, sinks, tubs, drains, and windows. If an ant colony has decided to nest in your home, the nest is likely located in a crawl space, wall void, vent, space behind a cabinet, or in a large piece of electrical equipment.
How do I get rid of ants?
Get rid of ants with the help of Haskell Termite and Pest Control. We are proud to be the largest family-owned and operated pest control company in Tampa, Florida. If ants have found a way to your property, don't hesitate to contact our team for help.
Since 1992 we have provided our customers with effective ant control treatments and the routine treatments necessary to eliminate ants and other common household pests.
To learn which of our guaranteed ant control services is the right fit for you or receive a free estimate, please reach out to us today!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Implement the following strategies to help stop ants from taking over your property:
- Seal cracks that have developed in sidewalks, walkways, your driveway, and the foundation of your home.
- Replace missing weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Seal spaces around wires and pipes entering your home.
- Place covers over vents.
- Eliminate standing water from your property and repair leaky pipes to remove the excess moisture from your property that attracts ants.
- Stop ants from foraging for food in trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins by keeping locking lids on them.
- Make sure to vacuum your home regularly and wipe down counters to eliminate crumbs and spills.
- Maintain a clean kitchen and practice proper food storage.
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