Pest Control for Texas Ants

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Pest Control for Ants

 

Did you know there are over 10,000 types of ants!  Thankfully they don’t all live in Boerne or even in Texas. And Covenant Pest Control can help to eliminate the ants that decide to take up residence in your home and the fire ant that want to live in your yard.

 

 

4 Common Types of Ants in Boerne, TX

The most common ants found in Texas are carpenter ants, acrobatic ants, fire ants, odorous house ants, and sugar ants.  You can identify the different species of ants by their distinct body regions, color, and size.

1.  CarpenterAntscarpenter ants in enlarged detail

There are many different species of carpenter ants. The one you are most likely to encounter is about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long with a reddish-brown head and body and a black tail.

Carpenter ants tend to build nests inside dead, damp wood.  Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood.  However, the ants can still cause extensive damage to your home as they tunnel through the wood and make their nests.

If you have dead trees or piles of wood on the ground near your home, it can be an invitation for these ants to invade your home.  Make sure you remove any dead brush and firewood from around your home.

It’s most common to see carpenter ants in late winter or early spring when the ants come out of their nest to mate and build new colonies. If you see large ants with wings, these carpenter ants are likely inside your home.

You’ll want to call for a home WDI (wood destroying insect) inspection as soon as possible.

 

2. Acrobat Ants  

Acrobatic ants are small, ranging in size from 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch. While they can range in color from yellowish-brown, black, to multicolored, the most common color in Boerne is reddish-brown. They’re easily recognizable by their heart-shaped abdomen.

Acrobatic ants have the unique ability to lift their abdomen over the rest of their body giving the appearance of a circus acrobat. They use this as a defense mechanism if disturbed.

Acrobatic ants also emit a foul odor when they feel threatened.

Unfortunately, acrobatic ants can damage your home by tunneling through wood, particularly  water damaged wood around windows and doors.

 

3. Fire Ants

fire ants carrying off pieces of foodThere are over 200 species of fire ants. These ants are red and black with large eyes and two nodes on their bodies.  However, the most memorable feature of a fire ant is its bite!

If you’ve ever felt the burning sting of an ant bite, it is likely from a fire ant. The bite is painful and causes an itching blister.

If you experience a fire ant bite, wash the area with soap and water and apply an over-the-counter antiseptic and anti-itch cream. If the bite shows signs of swelling, apply a cold compress.  As with any insect bite or sting, if your symptoms show signs of concern, seek medical attention immediately.

Fire ants work as a colony to attack anything that threatens their home or their food gathering.  That can be a child playing in the yard, a fawn left to hide in the grass, or someone working or mowing the grass.

To keep your yard enjoyable, you’ll want to get rid of these fire ant mounds from your yard.

 

4. Sugar Ants or Pharaoh Ant

Sugar ants are small ants commonly found inside homes. They live inside cracks and crevices, inside light sockets and walls, and anywhere that’s warm and cozy.

The most common species of sugar ant is the pharaoh ant. These are tiny, red ants around 1/12 to 1/16th of an inch long.

Pharaoh ants don’t sting, bite, or swarm like other ant species. But they love sweets, hence the name sugar ants.

And while they may not be destructive to your home, they can be a nuisance in the kitchen.  Any food or liquid spills will attract these ants in large numbers. And any food that is not tightly seal will become their feast.

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How do I protect my home and family from ants?

acrobat ants on a leaf

The best way to avoid an ant infestation is to be proactive. The following 4 tips will help to make your home less attractive to ants:

1 – Keep your home clean and free of food sources

2 – Clear away rotted wood from around your home

3 – Find and seal cracks and crevices where ants can get inside

4 – Use a quarterly pest control service

 

 

Why are ants in your house?

 

Ants will enter your home seeking food and moisture. They may also be looking for protection from the weather, especially rain, cold, and dry heat.

 

 

What do ants eat?

 

Ants eat other insects, seeds, plants, and fungus, but their favorite food is sugar in both liquid and solid form.  Like all animals, ants also need water which they get primarily from the food they consume.

 

To keep from attracting ant to your home, store your food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator.

sugar ants on a sugar cube

What should I do if I have an ant infestation?

Call for Pest Control Services – If you’re a regular customer with Covenant Pest Control we will come back out and retreat your home at any time.  So, if you’re experiencing an invasion of ants, just give us a call.

If you’re not currently a regular customer, call us for a free inspection.  We’ll take a look and provide a one-time treatment or get you signed up for quarterly services.

If you need to combat the ants before we come out, check out 5 Steps to Getting Rid of Ants and try the following 5 methods to get rid of them:

 

  1. Glass Cleaner and Dish Soap – Mix glass cleaner and dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray areas where you find ants entering. Wipe the area leaving a light residue. This will remove the ants’ scent trail and deter new ants from reentering.

 

  1. White Vinegar and Water – Mix 1 to 1 white vinegar and water. Use this to clean hard surfaces like countertops and floors where the ants travel. Ants don’t like the scent of vinegar and will avoid that area.

 

  1. Ground Black Pepper – Ants find the smell of black pepper irritating. Sprinkle pepper around baseboards, on windowsills, and behind appliances to keep ants away.

 

  1. Coffee Grounds – Sprinkle freshly brewed coffee grounds on scrap paper or index cards and leave them in areas where you’ve spotted ants. Ants dislike the acidity and scent of coffee grounds.

 

  1. Boiling Water – If you see ant mounds in your yard, especially around your home, pour boiling water into the ant hole. This will immediately kill many of the ants. A word of caution with this method though: the boiling water will kill the grass and other vegetation that it touches.

How Long Do Ants Live?

 

Most ants have a short life cycle. However, the ant’s lifespan depends on its function within the colony.  Some ants live only a few days, while other members of the colony can live for years.

Male ants live just a few days and die after mating.  Worker ants, which do not reproduce and live primarily to support the colony, live for a few weeks to several months.  The Queen ant is the egg-laying member of the colony and can live for many years.

However, ants may find their lives cut short is they become a delicacy to their predators: lizards, frogs, snakes, and even coyotes.

 

Call Covenant Pest Control

 

If your ant infestation is taking over and DIY methods aren’t successful, it’s time to call in the professionals at Covenant Pest Control.

Call 830-431-1960 today to schedule your pest control service.  We specialize in integrated pest management. Offering customized pest treatment plans inside and outside your home.

We’ll give a FREE inspection and discuss your pest control treatment options, including our all-natural, organic pest control.

We’re the pest control experts you can trust to rid your home and yard of ants and other unwanted pests.

Covenant Pest Control is a Texas Pest Control Company serving in and around the Texas Hill Country

Pest Control in & near:  Bergheim,    Boerne,   Bulverde,   Comfort,   Cross Mountain,   The Dominion of San Antonio,   Grey Forest,   Fair Oaks Ranch,   Helotes,    Kendalia,   Leon Springs,   Nelson City,    Pipe Creek,    Sisterdale,   Spring Branch,    Waring,    Welfare.

Cordillera,   Esperanza,   Herff Ranch,   River Crossing,   Tapatio Springs