an ant on a leaf outside of a christiansburg virginia home

What types of ants are most common in Virginia?

Ants are found living throughout the entire United States, living and work together in large colonies. Ants are common household invaders and are very difficult to completely eliminate from homes and properties without professional help. In Virginia some of the most common species of ants include Argentine ants, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, pavement ants, and red imported fire ants.

 

foraging Argentine ants in VA

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants are a small species of and are usually either shiny dark brown or shiny black in color. Their segment body is oval in shape. Their most identifying feature is the extremely large colonies that this species creates. A single colony can have thousands and thousands of workers and hundreds of queens living and working together.

 

carpenter ant in virginia

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of household invading ants found living in the United States. Carpenter ants are most commonly black in color, but can be a combination of black, red, and yellow in color. Carpenter ants typically create their main nest outside, but after entering into a home while foraging for food, they may decide to create satellite nests inside of structural wood - being particularly drawn to water damaged or decaying wood.

odorous house ant in virginia

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are a very small species of ant that produces a very unpleasant smell. When the odorous house ant is crushed they emit a very foul smell that is similar to the smell of a rotting coconut. Odorous house ants are a very small species of ant and they range in color from dark brown to black.

 

pavement ants virginia

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are named because of their habit of creating their nests in the cracks of pavement or cement. Pavement ants are very commonly found invading Virginia homes. Adults are brown to black in color and their head, body and thorax are covered in grooved parallel lines, another identifying feature is that their thorax has a small pair of spines extending from their hind end.

red imported fire ant in virginia

Red Imported Fire Ants

Red imported fire ants are most well-known for being extremely aggressive; they will sting anything that they come into contact with or that they view as a threat. This is a small species of ant and they are darkish-red in color. This species of ant typically builds large nesting mounds in open sunny areas.

Are ants dangerous?

Ants are considered to be dangerous in relation to people for a couple of different reasons including that they can carry bacteria and parasites on their legs and bodies which they can contaminate food and surfaces with and that can make people ill. Also, some species of ant like the red imported ant have the ability to inflict painful stings and bites making them a danger to people.

Will ants damage my house and property?

Most of the time ants that have invaded your home are considered nuisance ants and won’t damage the structure of your home and property. However, some species of ants like the carpenter ant for instance cause damages to the structures of homes and other buildings that they have decided to invade. Carpenter ants have the ability to damage structural wood, flooring, molding, and trim as well as personal belongings like wooden furniture. In addition to structural damage many species of ants have the ability to create unsightly mounds of dirt (nests) in your otherwise green and healthy lawn.

What's the difference between carpenter ants and termites?

Two species of household invading insects that are often mistaken for one another are the carpenter ant and the termite. But, it is important to understand that while both are destructive they are two totally different species of insect. Termites actually feed on the wood that they have invaded and are tunneling through, while the carpenter ant does not feed on the wood. Carpenter ants invade the inside of structural wood to create new nesting galleries to help expand their colony. Winged termite and termite swarmers (winged termites) look very similar, so in order to help you tell them apart we have listed some of their more obvious differences below:

  • Termites have straight antennae while the carpenter ant’s antennae are bent.
  • Carpenter ants and termites both have two pairs of wings-front wings and back wings. The termite’s front and back wings are the same length, while the carpenter ant’s back wings are much shorter than their front wings.
  • Termite wings are twice as long as their body.
  • Carpenter ants have a pinched waist, while the termite’s waist is straight.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants are found living in, on, or near properties and homes that offer them easy access to their basic needs.  Unsecured garbage, garden, compost piles, and pet food can all attract ants to a property. Once on your property leaky pipes and fixtures, crumbs in the kitchen, even decaying wood will make it so they won’t want to leave. Also, many species of ants often invade homes when the weather outside makes it so they can’t live comfortably; weather that is too hot, too dry, or too wet will cause ants to want to move indoors to reap the benefits of your climate-controlled home.

How do I get rid of ants?

In order to completely eliminate ants from your home and property, the species of ant invading needs to be accurately identified so that a treatment specific to the invading species can be implemented. Ants can look very similar to each other so seeking professional help is the best way to ensure that the species of ant is correctly identified, all the nesting areas are found, and that the necessary treatment is completed. It may be tempting to try and treat an ant infestation on your own using products that can be bought from big box stores; but DIY ant control doesn’t typically work. In fact, it doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t find and eliminate the source of the ant problem, they will continue to come back.  What’s more, DIY treatments used improperly or on the wrong pest may cause the problem to grow worse and move to other parts of your home or business.  To take care of an ant infestation completely contact the ant control professionals found at All Pest Control.  Serving Salem and the New River Valley areas, our professionals will inspect your property, develop a plan of action and then implement!  The end result – 100% satisfaction guaranteed ant control for you’re your property.

Does All Pest Control have any ant prevention tips?

Preventing ants from finding their way onto your property and into your home can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do inside and outside to help deter these household invading pests.

Indoor Ant Prevention Tips:

  • Store food (including pet food) inside of the refrigerator or in air-tight containers.
  • Quickly clean-up crumbs and spills in kitchen and pantry areas.
  • Routinely vacuum your entire home and wash dishes on a daily basis.
  • Install de-humidifiers in basement areas to reduce moisture levels in your home; remove any wood from your home that has been damaged by water.

Outdoor Ant Prevention Tips:

  • Make sure that outdoor trash cans are stored away from the outside of your home and that they have tight fitting or locking lids on them.
  • Place woodpiles up off of the ground and away from the outside of your home; trim back trees, bushes, and shrubs away from the outside of your home.
  • Quickly pick up fruits or vegetables that have fallen to the ground in garden areas.
  • Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation and exterior walls; place door sweeps underneath of all exterior doors.  
 
 

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