Problems Ants Bring to Virginia Homes
Ants are frustrating pests to deal with. When they decide to invade, they can enter your home by the hundreds or even thousands. Most of the time, this is just a nuisance. But there are some threats to consider when it comes to ants. Here are a few common ant pests All Pest Control & Solutions deals with in Virginia homes, and what you need to know about them.
When it comes to ant problems, no other ant holds a candle to carpenter ants, especially black carpenter ants. Why are carpenter ants so bad? Because they create galleries in wood to establish their nests. This can cause property damage when they get into a home.
The wood carpenter ants target is wood that has been damaged by moisture. So the presence of carpenter ants in a home is often a warning sign of moisture problems. Sadly, these ants don't make it easy for you to detect them. They prefer to be in dark, secluded locations and are usually only active at night. If you're dealing with an infestation, you may only see one or two scout ants crawling around your home in the evening.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Of all the ants we deal with, these ants are the only ants that inflict a wound. We often call these wounds fire ant bites, but they are more appropriately called fire ants stings. Fire ants only bite to hold on to the skin. Those red welts they leave on your skin are caused by a stinger. On the tip of its abdomen, a fire ant has a stinger that injects an alkaloid venom called solenopsin. They use this venom to subdue small animals.
For most people, the venom administered by fire ants is harmless. But, to the nearly two million Americans who are allergic to insects stings, a fire ant sting can become fatal. Symptoms of fire ant allergy include hives, swelling, itching, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or throat, and difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, there can be a fast drop in blood pressure that can lead to cardiac arrest.
Fire ants also present a unique threat to babies, elderly people, and the infirm who cannot quickly get away from a nest full of stinging fire ants. This increases the exposure to solenopsin and can be a potentially dangerous situation.
Odorous House Ants
What's in a name? A lot, when it comes to these invaders. The smell odorous house ants create when they're crushed is often described as rotten coconut. This makes them a stinky pest when they invade your garage or closed-in porch.
These ants are attracted to areas of moisture and can be found in wood damage caused by termites or carpenter ants. This allows them to come out of gaps and cracks in your kitchen and attack sweet foods without warning. At only one-eighth of an inch to one-sixteenth of an inch, these little ants can travel through some of the tightest gaps and tunnels to get to where they want to be. When they get into foods, they can contaminate them.
These ants like to crawl around in and under hard objects such as pavement and concrete. If you have cracks in your foundation wall or around window and door frames, you can have trouble with these ants.
Pavement ants aren't considered a health threat but they can contaminate food when they get into food packages. They eat almost anything so very little is safe when these ants get into your pantry or kitchen cabinets.
If this is the type of ant that is driving you crazing in your Virginia home, it isn't surprising. Argentine ant colonies can be impressively large. A single colony can have several hundred thousand individual ants. If those ants are ¼ of an inch long, which Argentine ants can sometimes be, you're going to notice when they invade.
If you're dealing with ants in Virginia, All Pest Control & Solutions can help you get to the source of those problems and protect your health and property. Schedule a free, no-obligation pest inspection. We'll send a professional right to your door to have a look. It doesn't get any easier than that.
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