Ants 101: Successful Tiny Workers

Ants are among the most prevalent pests in commercial and residential properties. They have three-segmented bodies and are usually red, yellow, brown, or black in color. Their sizes range from 1mm to 15mm, depending on the species.

Ant colonies are composed of multiple queen ants and thousands of worker ants. They typically nest in soil and around trees, but also love living in man-made materials. 

These insects invade homes, warehouses, restaurants, and other places where there are food and water. Just like other invasive insects, they have a diverse diet and they can easily adapt to their surroundings and can eat just about anything.

Red ants on Austin, TX sidewalk

Most Common Ant Species in Texas

Fire Ants

Fire ants are the most hostile and aggressive of all ant species. Since colonies have one or more queens, they can reproduce at a rapid rate. A typical queen produces around 1,500 eggs each day and can live for 2 to 6 years. Worker ants, on the other hand, have a 180-day lifespan. It takes only an average of 30 days for an egg to become an adult. 

They prefer high-protein food, from insects and meat to fruits and other plants. If you have a pantry full of protein-rich and sweet products, you’re vulnerable to fire ant infestation. When threatened, fire ants can launch a coordinated attack, leaving painful, swollen spots.

Carpenter Ants

Just like fire ants, carpenter ants have powerful jaws and painful bites. While they usually build nests in tree stumps and other garden spots, they also tend to explore indoor areas for warmth, food, and shelter. They mainly feed on fruit juices, plants, insect honeydew, and other arthropods. These destructive creatures are also attracted to meat, sweets, and eggs when indoors. 

If parts of your house are regularly wet and damaged by mold, it can become attractive to both carpenter ants and termites. Most carpenter ants attack wet wood. That being said, they have also been known to excavate tunnels in dry, undamaged wood but it’s less common.  

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants love nesting in warm, hidden areas. These ants don’t fly, so they crawl around in search of food and find their way back with the help of trail pheromones. A queen can lay around 400 eggs and live for as long as 39 weeks. And in just 45 days, a pharaoh ant can grow from an egg to an adult. 

If you have these in or around your house, it can quickly turn into an infestation so it’s a good idea to get a pro treatment. 

How Bad Are Ant Problems? 

The answer depends on the severity of the infestation and the type of ant. There are many kinds of ants, and each one comes with its own unique set of problems. 

For instance, carpenter ants are wood invaders. So if your home is mostly wood, you should keep an eye out for these pests. Also, if you live in a mostly wood home, you should keep an eye out for termites that can closely resemble carpenter ants. 

Meanwhile, fire ants are powerful stingers. A fire ant’s sting can result in a painful welt that lasts for more than a week. Fire ant infestations can also present a huge safety risk, most especially for those who live with elders and kids. Their bites can trigger anaphylactic shock, as well as severe allergic reactions.  

Lastly, pharaoh ants infest not just restaurants but are also common in hospitals and medical facilities. Pharaoh ants can transmit several pathogens like Salmonella and Strep which makes them especially dangerous in hospitals and medical environments.

If you want to eliminate ants around your property, reach out to us. We’ll take care of the ants for you both quickly and with guaranteed results.

Signs of Infestation

  • Your pet’s water and food bowls are attracting ants
  • Nest sites that appear like a small pile of dirt or soil
  • Wood shavings or sawdust on the floor, or kitchen or pantry surfaces
  • Ant trails leading to food sources

Why Do I Have Ants?

There can be a million reasons why you have ants. But the most common is that there’s food on the counter. It may even be crumbs that you don’t see but the ants can find them. It can also be due to dirty dishes in the sink, dirty trash cans, improperly sealed food in the pantry, etc. 

These are potential food sources for ants. And what starts with a few invaders becomes a huge problem once they establish colonies within your home’s foundation, lawns, and walls. 

Ways to Prevent Ants

Whether you’re suspecting a fire, carpenter, or pharaoh ant infestation, the best way to stop the issue is to take action before it even starts. Contact Andy Howard’s Pest Control today for an inspection. Our team will deliver a combination of interior and exterior treatments to prevent ants, roaches, spiders, and all other common insects. 

Did You Know?

  • Myrmecology is the branch of science dedicated to the study of ants
  • Ants are able to line up and follow each other because of the pheromones contained in the chemical trail they are leaving
  • Discovered ant fossils have proven that they lived during the time of the dinosaurs
  • Ants can enter even the smallest cracks and crevices and can nest just about anywhere
  • Over 2,500 species of ants exist worldwide
  • Ants have the ability to lift something that weighs 20 times their own body weight
  • Most ants can live for 45 to 60 days, workers for 4 to 7 years, but the queen can survive up to 15 years
  • Ant colonies can grow up to 300,000 to 500,000 in number
  • Ants have the largest brains compared to any other insect in the world, with about 250,000 brain cells
  • Different pest treatments are needed for different ant species; moist DIY approaches won’t work in the long run though it can kill the ants that you see

 

Getting Rid of Ants

If you’re dealing with ants, regardless of the type, give us a call. Andy Howard’s Pest Control has been servicing Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas for 45 years now. When it comes to reliable residential and commercial pest control services, you can depend on us. 100% satisfaction guarantee on all services! Call us now for a free instant quote.