Are you dealing with an ant problem in Fort Myers? Are you wondering what to do about those ants? Have your ant control solutions fallen short? Join us today as we discuss what it takes to get rid of an ant infestation in your Fort Myers home and what to expect from common ant pests in our area. If you'd like immediate assistance with ant pest control in Fort Myers, jump to our contact page for help.
The Many Types Of Ants That Can invade Your Home
We have quite a few ant pests in Fort Myers, but a few rise to the top. They are carpenter ants, fire ants, ghost ants, and big headed ants. Each is unique in its ability to cause trouble. Let's take a quick look at how you can identify them.
It is important to understand that reproductive ants are often twice as large as the workers. Reproductives are often seen when they exit a nest and take to the air with wings. But they don't show themselves for long. They quickly mate, shed their wings, and get busy creating new nests. You'll most likely see worker ants, but once in a while, a wingless reproductive is seen crawling around in a Fort Myers home and is mistaken for another ant species because of its large size. For example, a carpenter ant worker may look like a fire ant reproductive without its wings. However, in most cases, ant identification is fairly straightforward.
Now that we have the groundwork, let's specifically look at the four common pest ants that require ant control in Fort Myers.
Carpenter Ants: These ants are entirely black or red with a dark head and abdomen. The coloration depends on the species. The worst carpenter ants are the black ones. Why is it bad to have black carpenter ants in your home? Because they cause the most damage. Other species can enter Fort Myers homes and do no damage at all. That is not the case with black carpenter ants, so it is critical to know how to identify carpenter ants. Apart from being entirely black, a black carpenter ant (and carpenter ants in general) are the largest ants you'll find in your home. They range from ¼ to ½ an inch in length. They have major and minor workers; some of the workers are large and some are small. If you catch one and examine it closely, you may check to see how many nodes there are between the thorax and abdomen. A carpenter ant has one node.
Fire Ants: Some species are entirely red and others are red with dark abdomens. The latter can be confused with carpenter ants of a similar coloration. A worker ant is ⅛ to ⅜ of an inch in length, and the reproductives are twice this size. If a fire ant gets on you, you won't have long to wonder which kind of ant it is. Fire ants deliver a burning sting.
Ghost Ants: These ants have a unique coloration and are easy to identify. The head and thorax are dark brown and the abdomen and legs are a pale yellowish color. The light coloration of the abdomen and legs blend in with bright building materials and make these ants look like they're half transparent and sort of ghostly—hence the name. If you need more help identifying these ants, the workers are about 1/16 of an inch long. That's really small compared to carpenter ants and fire ants.
Bigheaded Ants (BHA): These big-headed pests are big bullies. They like to drive other ants out. You can tell the major workers in a bigheaded ant colony by their big heads. That is helpful. The minor workers make up the greatest population of foraging ants. They are only about 1/12 of an inch long and reddish brown. The major workers are dark brown.
We have many other pest ants in our area that are black or dark brown. In general, these ants are a nuisance because they crawl around on driveways, walkways, and back decks. But they aren't quite as much trouble as the four we listed.
An Ant Infestation Can Cause Many Problems In Your Home
When any of the four ant pests listed above get into your Fort Myers home, you can expect problems. The primary way ants create trouble is that they pick up germs when crawling in your trash and then they spread those invisible organisms around in the places they explore. Here are a few unique ways these ants have earned their elevated pest status, and why we get more calls about them than any other ant pests.
Carpenter Ants: It is bad enough to have ants that raid your cabinets, contaminate your food, and spread germs, but these ants also damage wood as they create galleries and establish nests inside wood. They also produce winged reproductives that establish more nests. Over time, your infestation will grow and the potential for damage will grow with it.
Fire Ants: Most Fort Myers residents know the familiar sting of a fire ant. But few realize the true danger these ants represent. Do you know that some people are allergic to the stings of fire ants and that serious medical symptoms can result from a sting? Do you know that you can develop an allergy over the course of your life and not know you are now allergic to fire ant stings? Always be cautious when you discover fire ants around your home, and consider checking with an allergist to see if you are at risk. The good news with these ants is that they rarely take to living indoors. You'll most likely find them in the sunny areas of your yard.
Ghost Ants: When these ants come indoors, they often stay. Since they can become indoor ants, outdoor ant control may fail to impact these ants. Their ability to thrive indoors will also increase their ability to drive you crazy, which is why we're often called in to deal with these ants. Ghost ants create multiple colones that can have thousands of workers. They are no small problem.
Bigheaded Ants: These ants are a growing problem. Bigheaded ants outcompete other ants and drive them out. As they've grown their populations in Fort Myers, they've taken over. In a 1995 survey, bigheaded ants were seventh in terms of how often pest management professionals had to deal with them compared to other ants. They are now number one. Their unsightly and numerous mounds are typically the big issue with these troublemakers. If these ants establish themselves near your home, they can enter in large numbers, if given an opportunity.
So, what can you do about pest ants? What does effective ant control in Fort Myers look like? Before we look at what works, let's take a quick look at what doesn't work.
Why Do-It-Yourself Ant Control Often Fails
There are many ways to control ants. Unfortunately, ant control can fail even when appropriate products are used. That is the real challenge of ant pest control. Here are a few examples.
- Some people apply products to eliminate ants, but these are topical and only address a small portion of the ant colony. They don't address the source of the ants.
- Some people use sticky traps to capture ants. You can catch a lot of ants this way, but you'll never arrest an ant infestation using traps. Traps are primarily for monitoring ant activity after successful treatments are applied.
- Baits work to control ant populations and eliminate colonies. But there are a surprising number of ways ant bait can fail. You can place the wrong bait for the type of ant you're attempting to control. Some ants eat protein. Others prefer sweets. You can place too much bait. If ants realize a food source is harmful, they'll start to avoid it. You may not place enough bait in enough locations. Some ant species have workers that only mobilize a small number to collect food, which increases their ability to detect what food sources are harmful. Bait dispersion is needed for these ants.
- Mound treatments can stop ants. Unfortunately, mound treatments don't work for all ant species. Some ants create nests that are deep in the ground or they have runways that travel several feet from the mounds. These ants are not easily controlled with mound treatments. Other ants have multiple queens, and budding can occur after a mound treatment. Budding is when one nest becomes several nests. That is not a good result.
We recommend that residents use sanitation, exclusion work, yard work, and other natural methods to control ants and keep them out. When control products are needed, contact a licensed professional to get good results.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Ant Infestation In Your Home Fast!
When you need ant control stat, it is best to contact Stat Pest Control. Our technicians inspect your property, identify your ant pests, consider the conducive conditions, and select products that are known to work with the ants you're battling. These products are applied according to strict protocols and field-tested strategies, and monitored to ensure success. Are you struggling with ants in Fort Myers? Contact Stat Pest Control for a fast solution to your ant control issue. We have the answers to your pest control questions. Help is just a few clicks away.