One of the most common pest problems people experience in the Wichita area is ants. They enter your home in search of food and shelter. Often, they can live inside the walls of your home. These tiny foragers slip through cracks in siding, windows, and doors because they are attracted to sugary treats and common household foods such as cheese, vegetables, and meats. They also come in search of dead insects and damp or rotting wood. It doesn’t take long for an ant colony to infest your home as they mature from juveniles to adults in a matter of days. Some ants, like odorous house ants, have many reproductive females that breed quickly. While most ants may look alike to the untrained eye, knowing what species of ant you’re dealing with is critical to eliminating the problem. It is important to find an expert that can properly identify the species that is invading your property so they can be eradicated before they damage your home and sanity.
Types of ants:
Odorous House Ants: These little (⅛ in.) blackish, brown ants are the most common ant to invade homes and businesses in the Wichita area. Also called sweet ants, they are often found running across kitchen and bathroom counters searching for spills and food debris left over from human meals. They can be quite annoying and persistent. Often they live under siding, in walls and window or door cases. They forage outside and inside but can be pushed inside homes by large, attractive food deposits and cold weather.
Old repellant insecticides, the ones you typically find in stores, can just move them around and spread the range of their indoor search. Special non-repellant, transferrable insecticides and baits are needed to knock the ant colonies out of you home. Often, the colonies are quite large, up to 100,000 ants, and require special pest control experts to control the problem.
Carpenter Ants: The most common carpenter ant to enter homes is an ant that’s reddish brown in color and ¼-½ inch long. A larger black ant 5/8 inch in size also shows up in Kansas homes but generally stays outside in rotting areas of trees. These carpenter ants can damage the solid wood in your home as they remove wood to create nests, but they generally want to live in water damaged wood because it’s softer and easier to tunnel into. When the colonies are mature, they will forage inside homes for sweets and proteins, usually at night. The best approach to treating these ants are baits and non repellent insecticides.
Acrobat Ants: These ants often dwell indoors in areas where water damage has occurred or inside insulating wall panels and wall voids. They can live outdoors under rocks or in logs, and in decaying wood and trees where they can build tunnels under the bark. They seek a variety of foods, sweets, and proteins and enter homes through door thresholds and small openings. They are known for their heart-shaped abdomens which they often raise making them look “acrobatic.”
Controlling them requires locating the nests and trails in order to place insecticides in the appropriate areas.
Identifying the species of ants infesting your home helps our team at Patton Termite & Pest Control solve your ant issue quickly. Our many years of experience with ants and other various pest invaders as well as our continuous education, has made us experts in our field.
Can you treat ants by yourself, without a professional?
Most commercially available pesticides (available at hardware stores or big box stores) will kill ants on contact. However, this doesn’t address the source of the problem- the colony. In order to eliminate the colony, which can be challenging, you first have to find it. The ants need to be treated with a special non-repellent class of chemical. This “secret weapon” allows the ant to take the chemical back to the nest and wipe out the colony, queen and all!
What does an ant treatment entail?
The treatment will begin with a thorough inspection of the property. Ants can show up around the kitchen sink, but the colony could be in a wall, window casing, or in the base of a rotten tree in the backyard. Often times, we will treat inside and outside for the ants.
Is the treatment safe around my children and pets?
Yes, if we use ant baits inside they will be applied in small amounts in cracks and crevices, or inaccessible places to children and pets. Any “sprays” we apply will need to be left to dry before children or pets come in contact with the materials. This is usually around 20-30 minutes. We do our best to use “reduced risk” materials that are still effective.