Although there are several hundred species of ants that live in the United States, there are only a few species that tend to enter homes in Missouri. Besides being an unsightly pest, ants can cause damage to your home or health. Depending on the type of ant, they can chew wood and spread bacteria that can lead to health problems.
Carpenter Ants are the most destructive of invasive ants. Similar to termites, these ants chew through wood to enter spaces. Left untreated, the damage can impact the structural integrity of your home. Carpenter ants usually make nests in damp, rotting trees, but will gladly enter and make a human home their home.
Pavement Ants build colonies (ranging from 3,000 to 10,000!) under pavement, under concrete slabs, and in sidewalks. Because of this, they often find their way into a home. Inside, they are often found living in walls, insulation, and under floors. They will eat almost anything including other insects, honeydew, and people food. They prefer meat and grease when available.
Pharaoh Ants are the ants most likely to spread disease pathogens in locations with a high volume of food handling such as hotels and restaurants. They also invade healthcare facilities, including hospitals. They are known to invade hospitals and can spread Salmonella and Streptococcus to already-vulnerable patients. When these ants nest indoors, they seek places that are warm or humid and are close to food and water.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous House Ants are considered the most common home-invading species. True to their name, these ants give off a coconut-like odor when crushed. Odorous House Ants eat honeydew and plant nectar found outdoors, but will invade in large numbers when their usual supply starts to run low. They can be found building nests in wall voids, especially near hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks and cupboards.
Keeping Ants Out Of Your Home
- Clean up food, including pet food, and any beverage spills as soon as they occur.
- Remove crumbs from food preparation areas and floors.
- Clean under and around appliances often.
- Store food in air tight containers.
- Remove trash regularly.
- Eliminate moisture. Ants need moist environments to survive.
- Seal openings around doors, windows, and the foundation.
- Store firewood away from structures and up off the ground.
- Keep trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
- Eliminate hiding spots by cutting back vegetation, tree branches, and removing debris from around the exterior of your home.
If you have an issue with any of these around your home, please contact us at 314-601-1789.
Photos from Pestworld.org