Ants Top List of Concern for Homeowners
Homeowner Advice on Keeping Ants Away
As of 2006 there are 9,000 to 10,000 known ant species and researchers believe that there may be more than 20,000 species worldwide. With this fact in mind it is no surprise that 25% of homeowners listed ants as their main pest concern according to research conducted in 2005 by the National Pest Management Association. This same study revealed that more than half of all homeowners have had problems with ants – making them the most prevalent pest nationwide.
Ants are social insects and form highly organized colonies with up to millions of members each having a role. Spotting one ant unfortunately signifies that the troops are somewhere close by.
Homeowners should particularly watch out for fire and carpenter ants. Fire ants, found mainly in the south, are vicious and can sting repeatedly if disturbed. Carpenter ants attack wood that is or has been wet or damaged by mold and can build tunnels through dry, undamaged wood causing costly property damage.
Hulett Environmental Services offers the following tips for minimizing invasion by ants:
- Keep wood and debris away from exterior siding
- Keep kitchen clean: seal containers, wipe counters frequently, empty the garbage religiously, and avoid leaving pet food dishes out for long periods of time.
- Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
- Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
- Seal up cracks and small openings along bottom of the house.
- Store sugar, syrup, honey, baked goods, and other sweets in closed containers that have been washed to remove residues from their exterior surfaces.
For more information on other ant species and preventative tips visit
www.pestworld.org and www.bugs.com