Understanding Ants

Ants are a nuisance pest in the home because they feed on and contaminate human foods, infest structures by nesting in wall voids and/or beneath kitchen sinks and other locations, and create unsightly mounds in lawns and other landscapes. Ants can inflict painful bites or have venomous stings in some cases. Ants in houses do not attack or eat fabrics, leather, or wood

Ants can be distinguished from other insects by their narrow waist and one or two joints (nodes) between the thorax and abdomen. When identifying ant species, the first thing to look for is whether the ant has one or two nodes. Ants also have elbowed antennae. The antenna is the second most important structure in ant identification. t he antenna is divided into segments.

Because ants are social insects, finding the nest is essential for control. The time spent performing a thorough inspection and locating all areas where ants are active is critical to the success of an ant management program. If the nest is not discovered, a large number of individual ants may be killed without ever resolving the problem. Determine the type of ant infestation so that appropriate control measures can be implemented as soon as possible.

Cleaning is the most effective method of ant control in the home. Ants can be attracted to and fed by any type of food or food particles. Food should be stored in airtight containers. Control aphids, whiteflies, and other honeydew-producing insects on plants in and around structures, or remove plants that attract ants. It is beneficial to remove any materials or vegetation that ants use as a nesting site.

Quick Fix Treatments

Baits, crack-and-crevice treatments, indoor space-and-surface treatments, outdoor barrier and broadcast treatments, and void and attic treatments can all be used to control ants. Methods that target individual ant trails, such as crack-and-crevice treatments and indoor space-and-surface treatments, are typically a "quick fix" and ineffective in the long run because they do not AFFECT THE ANT POPULATION AND DO NOT EFFECT THE QUEEN

Residual insecticide sprays used as a barrier outside the home can provide temporary relief from invading ants. Ants that cross the barrier do not die immediately, but they will die at some point, and their carcasses may be found within the home. Additionally, ants foraging and nesting in the landscape should be treated. 

Distinguishing Most Common Ants

Big Head Ant

The BHA has been a pest in southern Florida for many years, and according to pest control operators, it has become the most common annoyance, having displaced other ants such as the red imported fire ant   and the white-footed ant in most areas. It's possible that the rise in BHA infestations was aided by severe weather.

The BHA, a soil-nesting ant, is sometimes confused with subterranean termites because it can build debris-covered foraging tubes that look similar to termite tubes but are much more fragile. These ants frequently leave piles of loose sandy soil. Homeowners are irritated by these "dirt piles," as well as ants foraging in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as around doors and windows 

Workers differ in appearance (major and minor workers). The BHA gets its name from the large head of the major worker, or "soldier." Minor workers are small reddish-brown ants (2 mm). The majors are much larger (3 to 4 mm) but only account for about 1% of foragers. The major's head is sculptured on the front half, while the back half is smooth and shiny. Both workers' petioles (waists)

The BHA can be found nesting in disturbed soils, lawns, and flowerbeds; under objects such as bricks, cement slabs, or flower pots; around trees or water pipes; along the base of structures; and walkways, where displaced soil is usually observed from ants digging beneath the surface. BHA infestations in well-cared-for lawns may be less visible, except along the edges where lawns meet.

How we treat Big Head Ants

Pest control companies are currently using residual spray products containing fipronil, bifenthrin, or permethrin, sometimes in combination with granular baits. Granular insecticides are sometimes used to treat lawns and flowerbeds.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the most common indoor insects pests in Florida. The presence of the worker ants inside a structure or house may indicate an infestation. If you find piles of wood shavings under wooden items, you almost certainly have carpenter ants inside. If large, winged ants emerge from any location, an infestation is almost assured.

Exterior Areas

Outdoor nesting sites include under old leaf petioles in palms, particularly in and around the inflore decaying tree stumps and tree holes or crotches between limbs; old drywood termite galleries and wooden objects previously destroyed by other organisms such as insects or fungi; decaying tree stumps and tree holes or crotches between limbsscence of coconut palms; under bark, in roots of trees, especially citrus trees; and in old wooden fences. 

Interior Areas

Wall voids (especially those with moisture, under attic insulation and usually near the eaves where they are difficult to penetrate, under bath tubs, very common under windows and door frames with moisture intrusion from rain or sprinklers, around skylights, in boxes or paper bags, in rarely used closets)

How we treat Carpenter Ants

Our treatments consists of a two-part treatment- dusting of the attic and exterior turf, tree and shrubs treatment. We recommended bimonthly treatment to exterior turf, tree and shrubs will keep theCarpenter ants under control.

Whitefoot Ants

The WFA is a black to brownish-black ant with yellowish-white tarsi (feet) and a one-segmented waist that is medium narrow (2.5-3 mm long). WFA have five abdominal segments, 12-segmented antennae, few erect hairs, and no sting. They belong to the Dolichoderinae subfamily.

White-footed ants leave well-defined, easy-to-find foraging trails outside infested homes. 

How we treat Whitefoot Ants

White foot ants are one of the only ant species that do not exhibit trophlaxis, the process by which ants share food throughout the colony/nest through regurgitation. Because they do not utilize this behavior, more common pesticides are not effective for the treatment of white foot ants, as these pesticides are spread through ant nests by tropholaxis. As a result, white foot ant treatments require a different treatment process, a 2 step process

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