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Keep Ants At Bay Effective Prevention And Control For Houston Homes SERVING FAMILIES IN DALLAS FORT WORTH & HOUSTON
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Keep Ants At Bay: Effective Prevention And Control For Houston Homes

Ants are remarkable creatures. They work together in large groups to do some pretty impressive things. If you have enough ants in your yard, they can actually provide benefits. Ants help aerate the soil, eat certain pests, like termites, grubs, fleas, and ticks, and help with pollination. Ants provide a source of free fertilizers; they consume materials and leave their droppings in your yard. It is good to have ants around your home—in moderation. So, you may want to know how to keep ants away, but the best question is, "How do you manage ant populations?" We're going to answer this question today.

In this article, from the pros at All-Safe Pest & Termite, we'll discuss a few of the ant species that live in Houston. We'll explain what species you shouldn't tolerate at all, then show you how to manage the vast majority of ants that can benefit your yard. As long as the ants stay outside where they belong, having them live on your property is a good thing. If ants are already out of control, contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for professional ant control in Houston. We can help you deal with ants in your home and stop them from taking over your property.

Types Of Ants: Understanding Common Ant Species

The first step in controlling ants around your home is knowing which ants to manage and which to give an eviction notice to as soon as you detect them. Let's quickly look at common types of ants in Houston and what you should know.

Fire ants are a species you’ll want to evict fast. While this species is quite small, ranging from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long, fire ants are no small problem—these pests sting. While the sting from fire ants is a nuisance to most people, they can present a serious hazard for anyone allergic to their venom. We recommend immediate control for this species. Fortunately, they typically stay outdoors and are most often found in sunny areas.

Carpenter Ants create tunnels through wooden structures and can present a risk to property. They're also incredibly sneaky. If you see large ants between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long, contact a licensed pest control service provider for an inspection, just in case. While they won't wreck your home overnight, they can do quite a bit of damage over time. Don't let them fly under the radar.

Pharaoh ants are at the top of the list when it comes to ants that can make you sick. They are tiny pale yellow ants. Workers are about 1/16 of an inch. They can enter homes in large numbers and pose serious health concerns.

Crazy ants are good at infiltrating properties in large numbers. When this happens, professional control is a must. Crazy ants can harm automobiles and electronics. Their ability to produce large populations is also a concern.

Odorous house ants are stinky ants that'll cause a "stink" when they break into your home. Consider sweet food sources around your house, like nectar, honeydew, and hummingbird feeders. Reducing food options may prevent an infestation.

General pest ants are those species that are mostly just a nuisance, and there are several of them. Some common species in this category are rover ants, ghost ants, acrobat ants, and pavement ants. If you manage their populations by controlling food options in your yard, they're fine to have in your yard.

In the next sections, we'll discuss how to control ant attractants around your home. First, though, let's look at what happens when ants find their way into your interior spaces. They have the potential to become more than a nuisance.

Ant Problems: Ants In The Home Can Be More Than A Nuisance

We're often asked, "Can ants make you sick?" Many Houston residents don't know what ants do inside their homes. When we tell you, you will immediately understand why they can make you ill. Ants search for food in trash bins, and many species are attracted to decaying organic material. They aren't bothered by organisms like salmonella or E. coli. That means they can pick these invisible germs up and spread them around your kitchen.

Along with spreading bacteria, there are other risks, which we mentioned above. Fire ants sting. Carpenter ants damage structural wood. Pharaoh ants spread diseases. Crazy ants damage electronics. If you find ants inside your house, contact a service provider like All-Safe Pest & Termite to address the problem immediately.

Ant Prevention Is Key: Effective Tips And Tricks

There are many ways to manage ants near your exterior walls and prevent ant problems within your home. Performing ant prevention practices indoors and around your property will yield the best results. Before we look at how to get rid of ants in your yard, let's consider why they enter your home and how to prevent this.

Ants are always searching for food. They collect the food, carry it back to their nests, and give it to the larvae. When larvae feed on this food, they produce an excretion that the workers can eat. What this means is worker ants aren't going to eat food while they're in your house. They'll come in, rapidly collect it, and disappear. When they disappear, you may think your ant problem is gone. But it's not. It can appear again at any time. You must use the following strategies to correct the issue.

  • Clean your home to remove food options for ants.
  • Wipe up spills to remove smells that bring ants indoors.
  • Wipe down surfaces to remove ant pheromones. 
  • Repair leaking faucets and other plumbing issues.
  • Keep food covered when left out on the counter.
  • Keep dirty dishes in soapy water until you have the time to wash them, or do them immediately.
  • Apply expanding foam to seal gaps around pipes and the seals around your exterior doors and windows.
  • Repair weatherproofing.

What these steps do is bolster your indoor protection. They work to prevent worker ants from getting inside and remove the catalyst that can cause a large number of ants to invade your home all at once.

Once you've considered how to protect your interior, you'll need to consider the environment around your home. There are several conditions that will promote ant activity. You have to work to counteract their natural desire to encroach on your exterior walls. 

  • Rake up and remove leaves. Leaf litter and piled leaves provide a habitat for bugs, and many ant species eat bugs.
  • Install lights that react to motion. Insects are attracted to light. A simple alteration like this will reduce insects in your yard, which ants feed on.
  • Deal with weeds in your vegetation and throughout your lawn. Ants eat nectar. They will go from one tiny flower to the next. As they feed on the food source your weeds provide, they'll also damage your lawn and landscape plants.
  • Deal with aphids and other insects that produce honeydew. Many ants are attracted to honeydew because it is a sweet and delicious food source. Carpenter ants love honeydew so much that you'll find them tending to aphids like humans tend to livestock. One way to deal with aphids is to inspect your vegetation and wash it off routinely. Along with this, use sticky traps to capture them.
  • Many ant species are going to zero in on a dirty trash receptacle. If you want to reduce ant populations, you must keep your trash container as clean as possible. You'll also want to get your trash to the curb and make sure you don't overfill the containers, as this will prop the lid up and allow pests in.

These tips should get you started with your ant prevention. Use other steps like this for general management of ants around your home. If you don't have the time or energy, remember that a home pest control program from All-Safe Pest & Termite can control insects around your home.   

Expert Ant Control: Call Us At The First Sign Of Ants In The House

When you see ants in your home, it is time to contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for ant pest control services in Houston. But you don't have to wait until you have an ant problem to call us. Our technicians know how to get rid of ants inside your home and can provide ongoing pest services on your property to keep them out.

Spot treatments work to reduce the insects and other pests that ants eat. Mound treatments and baiting can directly target ants when they start to grow populations that are too large. Routine perimeter treatments stop ants and other pests from infiltrating your home through cracks and crevices. These and other regular treatments will reduce pest populations around your house and guard against interior pest problems.

Want to learn more about home pest control in Houston? We'd love to hear from you. Contact All-Safe Pest & Termite today. We are your local area pest experts.

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