Ants are very industrious and persistent insects. They have a strong instinct for taking actions to ensure the survival of their colony even if it means sacrificing a significant portion of their population. This is why it might seem like no matter what you do, ants will return to infest your property year after year. Let’s examine three species of ants known to infest homes in the Arizona area and the steps you can take to combat their infestations:
These are not the most common of ant infestations. Odorous ants have been known to seek refuge in homes when escaping inclement weather or other events that disturb their outdoor nests. You may be able to recognize them by their exceptional love of sweets and fruits that may attract them to your garbage, but more likely you will first recognize their distinctive smell. They are very fast for their size and if they are chased by you or your pets the smell will become much more noticeable.
The best way to prevent odorous ant infestations is to eliminate their food source by not leaving fresh fruit on countertops and keeping garbage outdoors until the infestation has passed. Insect sprays are very ineffective with this breed of ant. The “workers” that die will be replaced by others who will follow the scent left by the previous workers. However, a perimeter treatment may discourage the ants and cause them to choose another property.
This ant is an invasive species from South America that is becoming more common in urban areas of Arizona. Rover ants are most commonly encountered outdoors but are known to be found in human habitations during warm, dry summer months where they are attracted to the moisture found in plumbing, kitchens, and bathrooms.
The best method to prevent a rover ant infestation is to perform regular maintenance; ensure plumbing is not leaking and that there are no other easily accessible damp areas that may attract the ants. If an infestation is in progress, gel ant baits and insecticide dusting in foundation cracks may be the most effective treatment.
These distinctive ants are larger and more robust than other species in the Arizona area and are a deep red color. They are a more aggressive pest than odorous or rover ants as they have been known to bite and sting. Sometimes confused with fire ants, Harvester ants are rarely found in houses but are persistent pests in yards.
Harvester ants will most likely be attracted to your property by seeds in your garden or bird feeder. They can cause significant damage to your landscaping by creating large anthills. The most effective method to remove them is placing ant baits around seeded areas. They take the bait back to their nest, which may kill the queen and cause a colony collapse.
Do you need any help dealing with an ant infestation? Contact the experts at University Termite and Pest Control today for a consultation!