What are ants?
Varying in size, behavior, nesting locations, and food preferences, ants are highly social insects that thrive in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. These insects are one of the most common household invaders on the planet, and due to the large size of their colonies and potential for multiple nesting sites, they are a tricky pests to control.
No matter their species, the following physical characteristics help to identify ants. All ants have three body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen), a pair of bent antennae, and the reproductive members, the males and queens, are the only ants that have wings. Below are some of the most common ant species that invade homes, businesses, and yards in the Las Vegas area.
Argentine ants are shiny dark brown or black in color. These ants move in large, wide trails traveling up the sides of buildings, trees, along utility lines, and fences while foraging for food. Known for their multiple nesting sites and their massive colonies, these ants are especially difficult to control.
Pavement ants are small, range in color from dark brown to black, and will feed on almost anything. Their name describes their favorite nesting locations—in the cracks of sidewalks and along the pavement.
Harvester ants are about ¼ to ½ of an inch long and are red, brown, or black. Many species also have long hairs on the underside of their heads, giving them a beard-like appearance. These ants “harvest” seeds to feed their colony, hence their name.
Are ants dangerous?
Most species of household-invading ants, including pavement ants, are considered nuisance pests and don’t pose significant threats to people or properties. However, some species are considered damaging or dangerous pests and present more of a threat to structures and people. For example, harvester ants damage lawns by removing grass and vegetation from the areas around their nests, creating unsightly bare patches in your yard. While not considered dangerous or damaging pests themselves, Argentine ants are attracted to areas of moisture; if these ants are nesting in your home, there could be an underlying moisture issue present, which can be dangerous.
Whatever the species, ants should not live in or around your home as they are known to contaminate food and spread bacteria onto the surfaces in your home.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants work together to care for their colony. Whenever ants discover a food source on your property, they travel back and forth from their nest to gather the food. Ants feed on a variety of things, including vegetables, meats, sweet liquids, cheese, fruits, and grease. All their food choices are things that trash cans, compost bins, gardens, outdoor eating areas, and pet food bowls provide and can be found in most yards.
After being drawn in by these attractants, it’s only a matter of time before ants find their way inside. Once on your property, they find their way inside homes, garages, and outbuildings while foraging for new food sources. In addition to food, ants also move inside if the weather becomes unsuitable. Extremely hot, dry, wet, or cold weather often drives ants to seek shelter indoors.
Where will I find ants?
Their ability to nest in a variety of locations is what makes ants so difficult to control. Where these ants choose to nest outdoors is often determined by their exact species. Pavement ants create their nests in cracks and crevices in and next to sidewalks, foundations, cement slabs, and driveways. Argentine ants nest in moist soil like is found under stones, rocks, mulch, fallen trees, or in the ground next to sidewalks. Harvester ants choose to establish their nests in open areas like yards, parks, and golf courses.
How do I get rid of ants?
Red Rock Pest Control understands that ants and other household pests are difficult and stressful to deal with. Our certified pest control technicians are experienced in eliminating the pests that live throughout the Las Vegas region and know how to protect people and their properties from them. We offer professional ant control services that you can trust to eliminate ants from your Las Vegas property and help prevent them from returning.
If you are looking for quality pest control solutions for your Las Vegas home or business, reach out to Red Rock Pest Control today!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Keep ants out of your Southern Nevada home and yard using the following prevention tips:
Get rid of easily accessible food sources by keeping tight-fitting lids on your trash cans and compost bins, cleaning up vegetables and fruits in garden areas that have fallen to the ground, and keep your outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
Eliminate excess moisture by maintaining gutters and downspouts and fixing leaky fixtures and pipes.
Remove woodpiles, rock piles, fallen trees, tree stumps, and other debris from your property that could serve as potential nesting sites for invading ants.
Seal up any cracks, crevices, or gaps in your foundation and exterior walls.
Place weatherstripping around all exterior windows and doors.
Repair or replace torn window and doors screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.
Remove trash from your home on a daily basis, if possible.
Store all human and pet food either in the refrigerator or in containers with locking or air-tight lids.
Vacuum your floors and wipe down tables and counters regularly to remove crumbs and other food debris.
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