Ant Control In The Bay Area Can Be Difficult To Execute

Argentine ants

Every day most of us face our first difficulty; getting out of bed. The alarm goes off, but you hit the snooze button. Then the alarm sounds again, and you think, "just five more minutes," and hit the snooze button again. Finally, you realize you have laid in bed too long, and you jump out of bed, race to the bathroom, quickly take a shower, and hope traffic is not slow on the way to work. 

Life is full of difficulties, and getting rid of ants is one of those difficulties. One day your home is pest free, and the next morning you awaken and find ants crawling across your kitchen countertops. You run out to the store to purchase a product and spray the house, hoping it will give you ant control, but within a few days, they are back. You scratch your head and wonder, "How are the ants getting into my house?" and "Where are all these ants coming from?"

If ants are in your house, you need The Bay Area pest control team from Bay Pest. We have removed ants in Bay Area homes for over 40 years. Our top priority is your satisfaction. When you partner with us to eradicate ants from your home, you will see why we are Bay's best in pests. Please continue reading to learn about ants so you can make an informed decision about your next step in your war against ants. 

How To Identify Common Ants In The Bay Area

There are approximately 12,400 ant species worldwide, and California is home to about 270 species; however, only a few are problematic for most homeowners. Before we look at specific ants in The Bay Area, let's first get a working description of these creatures.

Ants are insects, which means they share the same characteristics as other pests in this classification. Insects have compound eyes, two antennae, a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and six legs. If you compare ants to wasps, you will notice that both species have pinched waists because they are closely related. Some insects have wings or wing pads. While most ants do not have wings attached to their body, many ant colonies produce a group of flying reproductive ants with wings. These ants swarm from the nest in the spring or fall and glide along wind currents to locate new nesting locations. 

Ants are social creatures that create colonies. These nests consist of at least one queen, wingless worker ants, eggs, maturing offspring (larvae, pupae), and winged reproductive ants. If ants are infesting your Bay Area house, they are coming from a nest inside your home or nearby outside. These are ants commonly found in homes in our area:

  • Argentine ants
  • Odorous house ants
  • Carpenter ants

Of the three species, Argentine ants are the most common in houses and gardens in The Bay Area. Argentine ants are from the ParanĂ¡ River area in Northern Argentine. By 1907 Argentine ants were in California, and today they are prominent in the coastal and southern regions of the state. Argentine ants have a 1/16 to 1/4 inch shiny, brown-to-black body. These ants enjoy living in the soil in potted plants, near sinks, water pipes, and other moist areas. Fortunately, Argentine ants do not sting like the red imported fire ant because they do not have a stinger; instead, they are more of a nuisance to homeowners.

Odorous house ants have the same body size and coloration as Argentine ants but are not as shiny. These ants have a sweet tooth and prefer to live indoors near water heaters, beneath leaking pipes, inside wood damaged by termites, and other high moisture sources.

Carpenter ants are the most destructive of the three common ants in Bay Area homes. As their name suggests, these ants prefer wood, which is where they create nests. Like Argentine and odorous house ants, you will find carpenter ants near water sources, but these sources will also be near wood. Carpenter ants have a 1/2 to a 5/8-inch body, usually a mixture of red, black, or brown.

Although not as prevalent in Bay Area homes, pavement ants are occasional invaders of homes in our area. Pavement ants have a dark brown to black 1/8-inch long body. These ants typically live in masonry cracks at ground level but climb outdoor bricks to get into a house when no food is available outside. 

Another occasional invader in The Bay Area is the thief ants. Of all the ants mentioned previously, thief ants have a distinctive yellow to light brown 1/16 inch body. These ants enter homes during hot, dry spells to search for greasy, protein-rich food. They travel along the wiring inside walls and live in cracks and crevices in woodwork and masonry. 

Bay Pest provides ant control near you. Whether you have Argentine, thief, pavement, carpenter, or odorous house ants, Bay Pest will remove them for your Bay Area home. 

Why Ants In The House Can Be So Problematic

Odorous Ants

Ant control for homeowners is necessary because ants cause many problems, and some present a danger to your house. Fortunately, Argentine ants are not dangerous to humans or structures but can be a nuisance. These ants create large colonies with multiple queens. When a colony senses danger, it will dispatch several fertilized queens and workers to begin satellite colonies. Soon, what starts as one nest results in many nests scattered throughout the area consisting of millions of Argentine ants; due to the rapid creation of interconnected nests through this process (known as budding), a network of nests may encompass entire city blocks. 

In addition to the nuisance of thousands of ants invading your house, Argentine ants contaminate exposed foods and food products. These ants crawl over sewage, trash, and rotting animals. Bacteria in these areas stick to their feet, and when they crawl over foods and surfaces in the house, the pathogens may transfer and potentially contaminate the area. 

Like Argentine ants, odorous house ants may contaminate food. These ants eat all types of food and often infest the pantry. Odorous house ants do not bite or sting but release an odor resembling a rotten coconut when squashed. Unlike Argentine ants, odorous house ants create new nests by swarming. The queens will produce reproducing winged ants, and in the spring, these ants fly from the nest to begin new colonies.

Carpenter ants are dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, they can inflict a painful bite with their powerful jaws. When they bite, they inject formic acid that causes one to experience a burning sensation. Although a bite from a carpenter ant is unpleasant, the main concern with these ants is that they bore into wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites but create tunnels deep into damp, softened wood for nests. Over time the holes in the wood weaken it and may cause floors to sag, frames to warp, or worse, collapse. 

To stop ants from contaminating food or destroying wood in your Bay Area home, you need ant control in your house from Bay Pest.

Why Are Ants Taking Over My Home?

Like all creatures that invade Bay Area houses, ants enter homes for food, water, and shelter. Argentine and odorous house ants live outside in moist areas under stones, logs, and beneath plants in shallow nests in the ground; however, when dry, hot weather arrives or if the temperature gets too cold, they will try to enter nearby homes following the branches that touch the structure. They will stay inside the house if they find moist areas and sweet or protein-rich food sources nearby. 

Carpenter ants originate from dead tree stumps, rotting landscape timber, or wood scraps nearby. When they swarm in the spring, some will land around the house if they detect fungus-infested wood. They will enter through cracks and create a nest in the softened wood if they can access sweets and protein food sources inside the home.  

When technicians from Bay Pest arrive to provide ant pest control, they will help you identify attractions and entry points so you can keep ants away. 

Five Easy Tips To Prevent Ant Infestations In Your Home

Once Bay Pest eliminates the ants from your house, you need to implement these ant prevention tips to keep them away: 

  1. Seal access points into the house
  2. Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the house
  3. Vacuum the house regularly
  4. Wipe down eating and cooking surfaces after each meal
  5. Fix leaking pipes

Use caulk to seal all cracks around the foundation, along the roofline, and where frames connect to mortar or siding. Cover vents with screens and repair holes in window and door screens and install door sweeps. Trimming trees and bushes away from the house will stop ants from using them as highways onto the structure. Suction corners and cracks between the baseboards, walls, and floors when you sweep the house. Remove excess moisture by repairing leaking pipes, faucets, and drains. Provide proper ventilation to the crawl space or basement to prevent moisture build-up and damp wood. 

When you contact Bay Pest for a pest control ant treatment, our technicians will inspect your property and home to determine attractants, entry points, the ant species, and hot spots. We will treat your home using tools and techniques which target the specific species infesting your property. Contact us today to learn more.

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