Ants of All Kinds - Keeping Them Out of Your Home and Garden

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When ants infest a home or yard, they can be a real difficult issue to deal with. In some species of ant, the queen ant can have millions of babies over their short lifespan – making it easy for them to take over an area fairly quickly. Three of the main types of pests that homeowners may have to deal with are carpenter ants, field ants, and sugar ants. Each of these types of ant is unique and needs to be dealt with in a different way.

Carpenter ants, named because they build their nests in wood, can cause significant damage to a house. They range in size from about a quarter of an inch to about three quarters of an inch. Each colony of carpenter ant is established by a single fertilized queen, who starts a nest within a cavity of wood. Once established, the colony tunnels into surrounding wood and can cause significant structural damage. Many pest control experts consider carpenter ants to be of the most difficult pests to remove, and removal can take considerable time and multiple treatments. In order to remove carpenter ants, the main nest as well as all satellite nests of the colony need to be identified and eliminated.

Field ants often can be found nesting near the foundation of a building – often they make a mound of soil as they excavate under the ground. Field ants do not usually invade homes, but they will hunt for food on decks and porches. Field ants art known to bite and their bites can be painful. The best way to deal with keeping field ants away from your home is through prevention – keep much away from foundation to prevent nesting, keep firewood off the direct ground, and make sure exterior doors of the home close tightly to make sure field ants can’t get into the home when hunting for food.

Sugar ants are commonly seen in suburban areas, and prefer warm and humid climates. Sugar ants feed on nectar, sugary foods, and some small insects. When sugar ants locate a reliable source of food, such as from within a home, they can become a problem for a homeowner. Sugar ants are attracted to spills and stains, so it is important to clean these up immediately. Sugar ants may bite to defend themselves, but the bites are typically not painful.

To ensure proper removal of an already existing infestation of ants of any type, it is best to call a professional. However, in many cases preventing the issue in the first place if often a much easier option – clean up spills, and try not to create a yard environment that will encourage ants to nest.

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