Protecting Your Castle From Pests

Protecting Your Castle From Pests

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What are ants?

Ants are a type of insect. They vary in size, shape, and color depending on their species, but in general, you can identify ants as having three body segments, a constricted waist, a pair of bent antennae, and six legs. Only the queens and males (reproductives) having wings. Ants live throughout the world, and much to our dismay have adapted to living near and with people. Ants are social insects and work together for the good of the colony. Their colonies consist of different groups or “castes”.

Worker ants make up the largest group of ants in a colony; they are sterile females that gather food, care for the young, maintain the nest, and defend the colony. The reproductives are the males and queens (fertile females) and are responsible for reproduction.

Are ants dangerous?

Ants can be dangerous, although we consider most species that live around us as only nuisance pests. Most don’t create any significant danger to us or our property. It is important to note, however, that some species do spread serious diseases, and others cause costly damage to structures.

Common Types of Ants in The Central Valley

Argentine Ant

The Argentine ant is one of the most common species in the country. It is brown and is primarily a sweet eater. It is one of the most difficult ants to control because it tends to set up multiple satellite colonies to ensure domination over a greater area. You can find these ants crawling around electrical outlets, kitchen counters, and bathroom ceilings at any time of the year.

Pharaoh Ant

Only 1/16-inch, these tiny golden-amber ants require a warm climate to survive. They hide their nests in well-protected areas such as wall voids. A single colony can support several million worker ants.

Fire Ant

Aggressive and venomous, fire ants will bite predators multiple times and can kill small wildlife or domestic animals. They can also eat through rubber wire insulation. When these guys bite it hurts! They are ¼-inch long and a dark-reddish color. Fire ants typically build mounds of earth in the yard.

Thief Ant

These tiny ants sometimes go undetected for weeks. They earn their title by feeding off the larvae of other ant species. Commonly seen around the kitchen sink or pantry, they also feed on cheeses, greasy foods, and meats.

Odorous Ant

These ants stink when you step on them. Odorous ants are brownish-red and about 1/10-inch long. They build colonies under rocks and inside walls. Each female can lay one egg per day and they can live for several years.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants are foraging for food on your property because they are nesting near or in your yard. Ants will work together to gather food and bring it back to the colony. They forage for food in a variety of locations, including trash cans, compost, and gardens. Some of their favorite foods are sweets, meats, fruits, vegetables, and grease.

Ants foraging and living near homes and other buildings will eventually make their way inside while searching for even more food for their colonies or when unsuitable weather conditions drive them indoors. You’ll often see ants wandering around kitchens and pantries, and their common entry points are basements. Once inside, they may build a satellite nest to expand their colony in a temperature-controlled environment with easy access to food sources.

Where will I find ants?

Ants create their main nests outside, usually in the soil. They also create their homes under woodpiles, next to sidewalks and foundations, under fallen trees, and inside tree stumps. Inside homes and structures ants nest in dark, hard to reach locations like behind walls, in insulation, under floors, and behind wood trim.

How do I get rid of ants?

There are many species of ants living throughout the Central Valley. To eliminate ants, you must first identify their species. The best way to get rid of ants and prevent them from returning is to partner with Castle Pest Management.

Our experienced professionals and modern services provide home and business owners with the peace of mind knowing that their pest problems will be solved once and for all. If you are looking to get rid of ants from your property with the help of dedicated, local professionals, reach out to Castle Pest Management today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

For homeowners who want to protect their yards and homes from ants, partner with us and use the following prevention tips:

  • Keep ants out by using a caulking gun to repair cracks in the foundation and exterior walls. Install door sweeps, fix loose screens, and place weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  • Eliminate their food sources by keeping tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins. Plant gardens as far away from the outside of your home as possible. Regularly harvest vegetables and fruits.
  • Make your yard less attractive to ants by removing piles of leaves, fallen trees, tree stumps, and woodpiles from your yard. Always maintain a barrier between any mulch or soil and your home’s foundation.
  • Reduce moisture levels inside your home by using dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Also, repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

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