Ant control in any neighborhood can be a significant challenge since pests can cause a severe allergic reaction in response to a sting or cause damage to our homes. During this period of the year when heavy rains are recurrent, and temperatures are higher, two types of these pests (fire ants and carpenter ants) can cause a lot of damages. It is important to learn more about them and know the required steps to keeping them away from both your home and surroundings because this will go a long way to protect your home and family.
As stated by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), there are two different types of fire ants in Florida. The red imported fire ant which is the most common species and the less common tropical or native fire ant. The red imported fire ant originated from South America and got into the U.S. around 1940. According to the UF/IFAS, it’s essential to know the species you are dealing with to put in place the right control measures. Nonetheless, having a professional pest control provider to handle this situation is the best course of action to take. At Ambassador Pest Control, our technicians and entomologist have the training, experience, and skills to recommend the ant control plan that will best work for you.
Eliminating fire ants from your home is not a do-it-yourself project. Some homeowners try to handle this by pouring boiling water these ants or by pouring flammable liquids on fire ant mounds and igniting them. These methods are partially effective at best and hazardous at worst.
Where to look for fire ants
You can find red imported fire ants in mounds with a span of approximately 18 inches. This species will make these mounds their home just about anywhere, including your lawn, beneath house foundations and concrete driveways, underneath patios and sidewalks edges, and even in electrical boxes. Other areas you can find fire ants include; mulch around flowerbeds, in pavement cracks, and compost piles. Because they do not like saturated soil, a colony of fire ants can move to higher ground or indoors after heavy rain.
When fire ants sting
Most fire ants will violently protect their terrain and will collectively work together to scare away intruders. Home gardeners, children, and pets can readily become victims if they mistakenly walk on a fire ant mound. These ants will keep attacking until the threat is over. Unlike different types of pests that sting just once, individual ants can sting over and over again during an attack.
The sting of a fire ant is unpleasant and can be life-threatening, especially for those who are allergic to fire ant venom. The sting itself can be excruciating but doesn’t persist for most individuals. Skin irritancy can continue for days, and the itches keep getting worst. There’s the risk of anaphylaxis for those who are allergic to fire ant venom. The Mayo Clinic describes this condition as the release of chemicals by a triggered immune system that can lead to shock, with symptoms like a rapid drop in blood pressure and narrowing airways. Anaphylaxis can lead to death if untreated with epinephrine or if neglected.
However, there are a few home remedies for fire ants’ stings that can lessen the irritation and itching if they don’t have a severe reaction. These include antihistamines, hydrocortisone cream, cold compresses, and oatmeal baths.
Although these ants don’t live on the cellulose in the wood just as termite do, they’re still named adequately since they bore wood to create space for their nests. They can cause significant damages as they dig out the wood that holds up your house, thereby, severely compromising the structural unassailability of your home. Carpenter ants are among the top five pest ants in our country.
Where to look for carpenter ants
Carpenter ants love the moisture they find in damp or damage woods just as most of the pests in Northeast Florida. Outdoors, that might be in dead trees, tree stumps, rotten logs, and even live trees. Once in your home, you can find them in areas where moisture is high. These areas include; spaces around the sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and woods that have been affected by a plumbing leak. Most at times, they prefer woods that have already been attacked by other pests. With humidity now on the rise, the population of carpenter ants on your property has dramatically increased.
According to the UF/IFAS, a mature colony of carpenter ants will dispatch alates, or flying reproductive, from spring to fall, and that you might see them searching in your home at night for spilled sodas and sugary items.
How to avoid carpenter ant infestation
Again, just as other pests in Florida, carpenter ants will use the available “highways” to get into your home. Maintain good seals surrounding utility pipes and cables that link directly to your walls. Keep limbs, branches, and stacks of woods far away from your home. Also, make sure you keep drainage systems clear and fix water leaks without any hesitation.
For quality results, contact Ambassador Pest Control experts
The U.S. has more than 700 species of ants. Though we’re happy to let you that not all of them live in our area, those that do pose a risk of damage and a health threat. Detecting and eliminating ant mounds and nests should be left to certified pest pros to solve the problem. Get in touch with us, and we’ll be pleased to offer a free, no-obligation estimate on our pest control services.