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A Guide To Effective Ant Control In Washington

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Are you having trouble with ants? Are you finding mounds near your exterior walls or ants crawling around inside your home in large numbers? Today, we're going to help you understand those ants better. We'll look at the complexity of ant identification, some of the ways ants create problems, and what you can do to keep ants out of your home. We'll also tell you how American Pest Control provides effective pest control in Washington. If you want to see it first hand, contact us anytime. We're here to help you find solutions to all your pest concerns.

Quick Identification Guide For Washington Ants

We have a few common ants in the Washington area. Each one has its own unique quirks. It helps to know what ants you're battling. Let's examine the physical characteristics and how you might tell these ants apart from each other.

Little Black Ants: You can probably guess that these ants are little and black. But they aren't always black. They are dark brown too. How little is a little black ant? A little black ant worker is only 1/16 of an inch in length. They are mere specks. But these tiny ants can enter your home in large numbers and create issues.  

Carpenter Ants: These ants are black, but they're not little. At as much as 5/8 of an inch long, carpenter ants are the largest black ants you'll find in your home. But they have minor workers that are as small as 1/4 of an inch, which might cause some confusion or doubt. Your doubt will evaporate if you find winged carpenter ants. Alates are twice the size of the workers, and an inch-long winged ant is definitely a carpenter ant. 

Pavement Ants: These ants are also black but not as little or as dark. A pavement ant worker is about 1/8 of an inch, twice the size of a little black ant worker. But it is hard to tell which ant you've found if you don't have the two to compare with each other. With a magnifying glass, you can inspect the ant and count the nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Pavement ants have two nodes. But don't get too excited. Little black ants have two nodes as well. Fortunately, both species act similarly and are controlled in similar ways. 

Argentine ants: These ants can look black, but they're actually dark or light brown. At 1/16 of an inch long, an Argentine ant worker is as tiny as a little black ant worker, but it isn't dark enough for a little black ant or pavement ant. Some species have a distinctly light body with a dark abdomen, which further helps to distinguish them.   

Fire Ants: Red imported fire ants are 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long. They are entirely red or red with a black abdomen. You shouldn't have trouble identifying these ants. You'll know what ant you have if you get stung.

These are the general ant pests you can expect in your yard or your home. As you can see, it is sometimes hard to tell them apart. Why is it important to do so? Some ants eat sweet sources of food, while others eat protein. If you use the wrong bait, you'll have no success dealing with these ants. They also nest in different ways. As you consider eliminating colonies and treating nests, you need to know the specifics. If you want a professional opinion, contact American Pest Control and request a service visit. We'll tell you what ants you have and suggest treatment options. There is no silver bullet for ant pest control in Washington. It is a multi-pronged process.

The Many Issues Ants Can Cause In Your Home

It is vital to get ant control in your house done right. There are potential risks to having an ant infestation. Some of the problems ants cause are mysterious or unexpected. Let's quickly look at how ants can impact your life and how these might sneak up on you.

Ants Spread Germs: Ants climb in unsanitary environments and feed on unsanitary things. You don't know where their little feet have been when they climb on your counters. They may track tiny microorganisms in your home. These invisible organisms can cause stomach illness.  

Ants May Cause Electrical Issues: Certain ants chew on electrical wire coating and climb on electronics. In both cases, they can cause lights to go out and other strange electric issues. If they get into a car or truck, they can cause your vehicle to stop running. 

Some Ants Damage Property: Carpenter ants are known for doing this. They chew galleries inside the wood and create nests. When the nests mature, they send out reproductives to establish more nests. Over time, they can do a ton of damage. Knowing how to identify carpenter ants quickly is best, particularly if you have black carpenter ants in your home. They are the most destructive.  

Some Ants Sting: A few ants sting or bite, but none are quite as bad as fire ants. The wounds caused by fire ants are usually an irritation. They result in tiny, red blisters that itch like crazy. For anyone with a stinging insect allergy, life-threatening symptoms may result from a fire ant sting, such as an anaphylactic response. Having these ants appearing in your home or crawling around in your yard isn't good.

If you already have an indoor ant infestation, contactAmerican Pest Control for assistance. We'll help you find suitable treatment options to address your problem entirely. But what if you don't? What if ants haven't gotten into your home yet? Are there ways you can keep ants out of your home? Yes. Let's look at ant control for homeowners.

Natural Ant Prevention Tips For Washington Homes

Before ants enter your home, you have many options for keeping them out. Some are easy. Some are more challenging. But keep in mind that applying ant control will provide management of many other pests as well. It pays to roll your sleeves up and tackle some or all of these suggestions.

  • Clean your trash receptacles. Ants can smell a dirty receptacle from afar. 
  • Cover your trash. Doing so will keep the scent of the garbage mostly contained.
  • Get your trash to the curb weekly to prevent your receptacles from having an ant-attracting odor.
  • Ants eat insects. Reducing the number of insects will reduce the number of ants. One effective way to reduce insects around your home is to replace exterior white lights with lights that cast yellow light. Insects can't see a yellow light.
  • Ants eat nectar. If you have lots of flowering weeds in your yard, you can expect to have trouble with ants. Lawn weed control can keep ants and other pests from encroaching upon your property and finding the flowers in your landscaping. Remember that an ant has a long way to travel from the edge of your property to your exterior walls. Ants are tiny!
  • Ants eat honeydew. If you don't know, honeydew is a material produced by aphids and other plant-damaging pests. Keep your plants healthy, wash aphids off when you find them, and install yellow sticky traps to manage these pests. Carpenter ants are particularly drawn to honeydew and will protect aphids so they can produce this sweet food source.
  • Move hummingbird feeders away from your exterior. That sweet liquid will attract carpenter ants and other sugar ants.
  • Rake leaves, remove dead branches, and pick up other organic debris. These provide harborage and hunting grounds for ants.
  • Keep your gutters cleaned and in good repair to prevent ants from finding moisture. 

All of these tips work to keep ants out of your home. If you see ants in your home, you know our recommendation. Let's examine why it is always best to contact a professional.

Contact The Pros At The First Sign Of Ants In Your Home

There are many DIY ant control products available. Unfortunately, these products don't offer effective ant control when misapplied. A common mistake is that ant control is put down, the ants detect it, and colony budding occurs. The budding process is sparked when workers return to the colony and inform the queens (yes, queens) that there is danger in the area. Many ant species have several queens. These queens can split up and create multiple colonies in response to a dangerous environment. A professional knows which ant species have numerous queens and knows how to apply control methods to prevent budding.

Another reason to contact a professional ant control in Washington is that getting rid of ants is a lot like putting out a brush fire. You get rid of them in one area, and they pop up in another. You get rid of them there, and they pop up in three more locations. It can drive you crazy. If you'd prefer to stay sane, remember that American Pest Control is standing by to help. We provide advanced solutions for all general pests in our Washington service area. Contact us today for immediate assistance and request a free inspection.

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