Ants in a home can wreak havoc in many ways. They are known to tear into food packaging, contaminating anything they come into contact with. House ants invade homes, particularly kitchens, in search of food and water. Some nest inside walls ands ceilings, but usually cause no direct damage and pose little health risk. They can become a serious nuisance, however, and will require the services of a professional pest-control and pest-management company if their nest get too large.
Certain species, such as carpenter ants, are notorious for chewing up the wood on the floors and siding of homes. Left untreated, an ant infestation can be difficult and very expensive to fully eliminate.
Common Ants Species Found In Pittsburgh Homes
While all ants fall within the same general species, they differ greatly in the damages they incur. Below are some of the more important differences between the three most prevalent ant types found in Pittsburgh, PA and the suggested pest control management and solutions offered by our expert technicians at Pestco Professional Services. They are: Odorous House Ants, Carpenter Ants and Pavement Ants.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are a common household pest, whose name derives both from their preferred habitat and the rotten odor they leave behind after they are crushed. These ants have two antennae and are brownish black in color. They can cause problems for homeowners because they are known to get into food packages and cover them by the hundreds, which is to say the least, rather unappetizing to behold.
Of course, perhaps for an eccentric and very lonely person who might be comforted by crowds not matter what form they come in, there might be no need to call a residential pest-control and pest-management service company, but all others should seriously consider this alternative.
The Best Protection Against Odorous House Ants
Before odorous house ants get inside a home, they can be seen in any vegetation or wood pile near a residence. Their food source is there, as they feed on the seed of honeydew particularly. Rain patterns often force the ants to move their nests every few months. The more visible these odorous house ants are, the greater the infestation. Ants in the home are usually found in moist areas, and this means there are entry points that must be closed.
These ants are tiny, and they can easily slip under doors lacking door sweeps, through gaps in weather stripping and through holes created by wood-damaging pests. Pestco experts warn that home owners must diligently inspect the exterior walls and foundation.
The most sensible way to eliminate odorous house ants from a residence is to keep them out in the first place. This is best achieved by an investment into a residential pest-control and pest-management program. Ours specifically is cost-effective and include routine visits from our highly trained licensed professionals, and the application of sustainable products that both repel and eliminate ants.
Protecting Pittsburgh From Carpenter Ants
There are nine types of carpenter ants throughout the United States. They range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen. They are especially drawn to wood that is or has been wet and damaged by mold. Although wet and decaying wood is their primary preference, these ants are also known to construct tunnels through dry, undamaged wood.
Cracks around doors, windows, or gaps along exterior walls are the usual means of ingress into a residence. Homeowners should also be aware that any foliage or tree limbs touching a house provide avenues for the ants to crawl along to reach those otherwise unaccessible areas above the ground.
Carpenter ants cause serious structural damage to homes and other structures. Despite their moniker, these ants don’t actually eat wood. They build satellite nests from damp or mold-damaged wood inside a residence that serve as smaller settlements for the much larger mother colony, which is always located outdoors. These secondary nests can be very active during the colder months of the year. Food sources can include: woodpiles, old tree stumps, landscaping, desks, porches and even the framework of the house itself.
According to Missy Henrikson, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA): “The extent of the damage caused by carpenter ants depends on the number of nests inside the structure and how long they have been active. Once the presence of carpenter ants is confirmed, it’s important to find and eliminate the nests immediately.”
Due to the fact that carpenter ants require a water source, one very effective prevention tip is to eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house and make sure that there are no cracks or tiny openings around the bottom of a residence. Do not store firewood and building materials very close to the home.
Hire our pest-management professionals at Pestco Professional Services — (412) 252-5200 — to evaluate the nature, scope and appropriate applications to eliminate the infestation. We are a five-star, family-operated Pittsburgh-based company and have been in continuous operation since the 1940s. More specific to ant control, our eco friendly carpenter ant treatment techniques include integrated pest management (IPM), diverse surveillance, baiting and exclusion solutions.
Pavement Ants In Pittsburgh Homes
This species arrived in America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their tiny size made them easy stowaways in the holds of merchant vessels. They hid in the European soil that the sailing ships used as ballast during their lengthy voyages at sea.
Upon arrival in port, the soil was no longer needed and removed, and goods were then loaded onto the ships to transport back across the ocean. These ants get their name from the fact that they live in or under pavement cracks on the outside of structures. They are known to eat almost anything including: insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts and cheese.
Pavement ants are sometimes mistaken for carpenter ants as they are both black, but pavements are much smaller and more of a nuisance than a destructive force. They often invade in large numbers and can contaminate food sources.
They are usually found inside Pittsburgh homes where they nest inside walls, insulation and under floors. They also are attracted to shelter in the ground-level masonry walls of the foundation, especially on the side of or near the home’s main heating source and on pipes coming through slab expansion joints and natural openings.
Prevention Of Pavement Ants In Pennsylvania
The following safe and effective do-it-yourself tips will help the homeowner keep Pavement ants out of their homes. in the first place:
- Keep tree branches and other plants cut as far back from a residence as possible and immediately seal up any cracks in piping venting , windows and doors and any other tiny openings around the property’s exterior.
- Locate any nests in or around the property.
- Diligently watch out for and immediately eliminate any build-up of food material such as grease, meat products, sweet substances, bread and other similar organic residue.
- Remove any water sources, which include leaky pipes and damaged gutters.
- Store all food in tight containers.
Quality Pro Certified Pittsburgh Ant Control
There are currently 7 ACE-certified technicians throughout Western Pennsylvania and two of those are a part of our Pestco Professional Services family. This, combined with our Quality Pro-certification and well over seven decades of continuous operation, make us one the most qualified pest control and pest management companies in all of Western Pennsylvania for home owners and business owners.
Since our formation in 1948, we have been a consistent leader in pest-control and pest-management solutions throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. We have, until fairly recently however, offered our services only to commercial enterprises. This has changed over the course of the last year or two under the diligent helm of Robert A. Wiemer, Executive General Manager, who specializes exclusively in residential pest solutions.
Our consistent growth over the last seven decades is largely due to the fact that they offer superior services, products and pest control strategies. Our knowledgeable and highly-trained technicians attend company workshops to ensure they are always on top of and a few steps ahead of the pests they encounter.
We guarantee results for any residential infestation and take the time to educate homeowners as to what they can do to minimize the risk of returning ants. They welcome questions and offer helpful solutions. We understand that no one product ever fits-all strategies, situations and solutions. We utilize only products that are environmentally friendly and promote a carbon footprint policy that will insure the legacy of a green planet.
Our integrated pest control and pest management services (IPM) have practical, hands-on approach that entails an extensive and thorough examination of the affected residence and the sealing up of any cracks and crevices that might permit future ingress.
If you are a homeowner living in the Pittsburgh area and plagued by ants on your property, consider giving yourself some peace of mind by calling our specialists — (412) 252-5200 — and let us help you keep your residence ant-free… forever!
Final thought about ants: If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics? ~ Marie Dressler