Your Complete Guide To Ants In Tampa

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It is amazing how small things can cause a big problem. For example, a splinter stuck into your finger is a source of pain and frustration. There are stories in the media about bridges collapsing because a bolt gave way. Perhaps a fuse blew in your house and disrupted your morning routine, or an electrical spike shut down your refrigerator. If we were to list small things that cause problems, ants would be on it.

When you stumble into the kitchen to get your coffee and see a line of ants traveling along the baseboards, you know you have a problem. Fortunately, Haskell Termite & Pest Control provides pest control in Tampa. When you contact us, you are not getting a fly-by-night pest control company; or a person in a distant call center that works for a national organization; instead, you are partnering with a family-owned and operated business that has served this community for over 30 years. Our highly-trained team members have over 100 years of combined pest control experience.

You probably found this article because ants are crawling all over your kitchen garbage can, in the countertop fruit bowl, or you've had them crawl across your body while relaxing in your recliner, and you want them out of your house. We wrote this blog because we understand your frustration and concern, and we want to provide the information you need to stop the current infestation and prevent future ones, so please keep reading.

What Types Of Ants Live Around Tampa?

There are over 12,000 types of ants worldwide, but only a handful directly impact homeowners in Tampa. Although odorous house ants, black ants, and pavement ants sometimes invade homes, the following ants cause the most problems in our area:

  • Carpenter ants
  • Fire ants
  • Ghost ants
  • Pharaoh ants

Some of these ants cause physical destruction to homes, and others harm people. To help you determine the ant species in your Tampa home, we will discuss each species; let's begin our description by moving from general to specific.

Researchers classify ants as insects. Creatures in the Insecta classification have six jointed legs, two antennae, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), and an exterior skeleton (exoskeleton), and they may or may not have a stinger or wings. Although wasps, bees, and other pests are in the same classification as ants, their clubbed antenna and node-like structure sets them apart. Now that we have a general description of the ant species, we will look at the problematic ants for many Tampa homeowners.

Carpenter ants have 1/2 to 5/8-inch red, brown, black, or red and black bodies; of the ants on our list, carpenter ants have the largest bodies. As we noted earlier, ants may or may not have wings, and the carpenter ant is one species that has winged members. These flying, reproductive ants (swarmers or alates) are born once the nest is established and matured. During the spring, they fly from the colony to begin new groups in other locations. Carpenter ants do not have stingers but can bite. Most ant species live in the soil, but carpenter ants infest damp, decaying wood in the yard and later migrate by swarming into homes.

Perhaps the most notorious ant species on our list is the red imported fire ant. As their name suggests, these 1/8 to 3/8-inch ants have dark reddish-brown bodies. Like carpenter ants, fire ants bite but also have smooth stingers. Some fire ants also produce winged, reproductive ants which swarm from the nest to start new colonies on the property. These nests are two to four feet, have a flat top and multiple exit points; they build their settlements near landscaping materials, foundations, trees, and other objects in the yard.

Ghost ants are such a problem in the Tampa area that we have an entire pest control service dedicated to their eradication. These ants have a uniform 1/16-inch multicolored body consisting of a dark brown front half (head and thorax), a pale yellow abdomen, and legs. These ants create large colonies inside homes behind baseboards, between cabinets, inside potted plants, and in wall voids. Bathrooms are a common infestation designation for ghost ants because of their high moisture needs.

Pharaoh ants are so-named because many thought they were one of the ten plagues of the biblical story; however, there is no evidence for this assumption, although pharaoh ants did originate in Africa. These ants have the same body size as ghost ants (1/16-inch) but the opposite body color scheme. They have a lightly colored front portion (head and thorax) but a darker abdomen.

All ants contaminate whatever they touch because the bacteria on their feet transfer to surfaces; however, unlike other ant species, pharaoh ants spread diseases like salmonellosis, staphylococcus, clostridium, and streptococcus. The transmission by pharaoh ants of the infectious organisms that cause these disease occurs primarily in medical facilities, but they can happen in your Tampa house. When pharaoh ants invade a home, they generally create nests in humid areas near food and water sources.

Haskell Termite & Pest Control provides ant control services for your home. Our pest control treatments remove ants from your home and control them on your property. We have specialized services for especially problematic ants like ghost and fire ants.

The Many Ways Ants Get Into Tampa Homes

Ants are a natural and needed part of our ecosystem, and no pest control company can or should attempt to eradicate them from your property. Although they are necessary outside the house, no one wants ants inside their home. So, the challenge is keeping ants from invading your house.

Ants enter homes searching for food and water, especially during adverse weather conditions. Because they are tiny, they easily squeeze through cracks in the foundation, roofline, and around window and door frames. There are two ways ants gain accessibility to cracks around window frames. First, they have tiny claws on the ends of their feet that enable them to scale brick walls, and second, they use tree and shrub branches as bridges into these areas. Once around the openings, they enter through gaps in the caulk surrounding the windows or through holes in the screens.

Another way ants enter homes is by incoming telephone, internet, and electrical wiring, which they use as highways into and throughout the house. Because moisture attracts ants, many enter through the crawl space by accessing improperly sealed shower or tub floor drains. Unlike rodents and other insects, installing a wire mesh over the crawlspace and attic vents will not prevent them from entering.

When you partner with Haskell Termite & Pest Control to provideant control in Tampa , we can alert you to entry points when we thoroughly investigate your home and property.

Tips To Reduce Ant Activity And Mistakes To Avoid

Ants infest homes looking for food and water, so the best way to deter their presence is to remove the attractants from your home and property. Ants are omnivores that eat protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and when an ant enters your house and finds a food source, it releases pheromones to alert other ants, which is one reason for the line of ants marching through the kitchen. Also, ants have high moisture requirements; they will enter your property and home if they find water.

These ant prevention tips, along with professional pest control from Haskell Termite & Pest Control, will keep them away:

  • Remove debris from the yard
  • Provide drainage for gutters, ditches, and low-lying areas
  • Pick up rotten fruit on the lawn
  • Repair leaking plumbing fixtures and drains
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Install door sweeps under exterior doors 
  • Keep outdoor and indoor garbage containers closed
  • Clean and store the dishes after each meal 
  • Wipe down cooking and eating surfaces after use
  • Vacuum the house regularly
  • Suction out corners, cracks, and crevices between baseboards, walls, and flooring 
  • Store food products in airtight glass or plastic containers
  • Empty pet food bowls before bedtime 

Eliminating food and water sources will discourage ants from infesting your property and entering your house. When a Haskell Termite & Pest Control service technician inspects your Tampa home, we can provide additional suggestions for your situation.

Your Source For Complete Ant Elimination In Tampa

Many people purchase a DIY product hoping it will solve their ant infestation problem, only to have ants reappear in the home. The best way to remove ants is to secure ant control near you from Haskell Termite & Pest Control. When you call our experienced customer service team and explain your situation, we will dispatch a trained service technician to your Tampa home to inspect your property. Our certified technician will investigate for entry points, attractants, hot spots, and infestation signs. We will also determine the ant species to develop a targeted elimination strategy.

If ghost ants are the problem, we will use a combination of aerosol and bait treatments; if fire ants are the concern, we will spray the yard to eliminate the nests. We use proven products and methods for the ant species infesting your Tampa home. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Tampa and request your service.