Texas is home to hundreds of different types of ants. Many species look similar, making it difficult to differentiate them. One of the places you don’t want to find ants is in your home.
If you encounter ants in your home, they are usually drawn to your kitchen because they love sugary, syrupy foods. If you have ants in your kitchen, it is difficult to get rid of them. To prevent and eliminate these pests from your kitchen, there are some ant control techniques you can use.
Here are the most common species of ants in Texas.
- Fire Ants
- Carpenter Ants
- Pharaoh Ants
- Acrobat Ants
- Odorous Ants
What Damage Can Ants Cause To My Home?
Once you have an ant infestation, depending on the species, it can do a lot of damage to your home if you aren’t careful. Carpenter ants, for example, chew through walls and wooden beams. If left untreated that damage can become severe enough to compromise the structural integrity of your home.
The kitchen is an ideal gathering spot for ants since they are mostly attracted to food and moisture. While there is no fear of diseases being transmitted to your food ants can contaminate your food with bacterial and fungal organisms.
Where Can I Find Ants in My Home?
When ants get into your home, they can spread to any part of it. Different species tend to go to different areas of your house. For example, carpenter ants are not as attracted to your kitchen as odorous ants are. carpenter ants are attracted to areas with high moisture and humidity such as bathrooms, basements, and damp crawl spaces.
Smaller ants like odorous ants and Pharaoh ants are attracted to food in the kitchen. you will usually find them Marching In long lines across your kitchen counter and cabinets in search of a delicious meal.
Fire Ants in Texas
Fire ants are a very common ant species here in Texas. After being imported to the United States in the 1930s, these ill-tempered ants have spread all over the American South. Fire ants are known for their painful stings and their red color. When fire ants build their colonies in your yard they can pose a threat to you and your family. Fire ant colonies can disrupt the growth of your grass and other plants. Fire ants are very aggressive and will attack anything that disturbs their nests including pets and children.
How to Get Rid of Fire Ants
Fire ants are very difficult to control once a colony has been established. The only way to completely eliminate fire ants is by eliminating the queen. One of the most effective methods of controlling fire ants is a slow-acting poison that you can buy at the hardware store. Another method that is known to work is pouring boiling water over the mound, but the best and most efficient way to get rid of fire ants in your yard is by hiring a professional exterminator.
Carpenter Ants in Texas
Carpenter ants are not aggressive biters like fire ants, but what they lack in aggression they make up in destruction. Carpenter ants build their nests in damp wooden structures, just like termites. In nature, carpenter ants prefer to build their homes in rotten trees or firewood, But once they get into your home they can cause damage to wooden structures such as floors, walls, and wooden support beams.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Getting rid of a carpenter ant colony in your home is one of the toughest tasks you can do. Finding the carpenter ant colony in your home is a task in itself. Once the colony is located, the only way to eliminate them is by killing the queen who is usually hidden far from sight. However, there are ways to prevent carpenter ants from getting into your house in the first place.
- Fix roof leaks and plumbing leaks.
- Prune tree limbs that grow close to or touch your house.
- Seal cracks and openings around the foundation and where utility lines enter the house
- Keep firewood a good distance away from the house and only bring it inside if you intend to burn it immediately.
Pharaoh Ants in Texas
As their name suggests Pharaoh ants come from Egypt. They are a yellowish brown color and measure less than 1/16 of an inch. They are attracted to foods such as meat and sugary snacks. Pharaoh ants can build their nest inside of buildings where they are within easy access of food. Outside, pharaoh ants nest in damp, shaded spots like under leaves, fallen trees, mulch, and landscaping ties. Inside, they like to nest in warm, humid areas near their food sources, such as behind baseboards and wall voids, under floors, and in crawl spaces.
How to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants
Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep pharaoh ants out of your home and kitchen.
- Seal cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.
- Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.
- Place mesh covers over vents.
- Seal the spaces and utilities that enter your home.
- Leave a 12-18 inch barrier of crushed rock or stone between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
- Keep piles of wood, leaves, and other organic debris at least 20 feet from your home.
- Store trash cans and compost bins off of the ground and make sure they have tight-fitting lids.
- Use dehumidifiers to keep your basement, attics, and crawl spaces dry and free of excess moisture.
Acrobat Ants in Texas
Because of their similar appearance and nesting habits, these medium-sized ants are often confused with carpenter ants. Close inspection, however, reveals that acrobat ants aren’t like carpenter ants. The majority of their activity occurs during the day, unlike carpenter ants. When disturbed, acrobat ants lift their rear end into the air which is how they get their name. Usually, acrobat ants nest in trees, but they also can live in walls and insulation. Look for these ants to be in high moisture places like bathrooms and high moisture areas like rooms with a water heater.
How to Get Rid of Acrobat Ants
If you are having trouble fighting an acrobat ant infestation you can do the following:
- Address moisture issues around your home and seal off any entry points in these areas.
- Trim back vegetation close to your house.
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Utilize in scents that repel acrobat ants like cucumber, vinegar, coffee grounds, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil.
Odorous House Ants in Texas
Odorous house ants have a smooth body and relatively few hairs and produce a distinctive, licorice-like smell when crushed. As their name suggests, they are very keen smellers and are attracted to sugar and sweets. As they seek out sources of food they will leave a scent trail behind for others to follow. This is why you will usually see them marching in a line across your counters.
Odorous ants make their nests under:
- Landscaping ties
- Fallen trees
How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants
To prevent odorous ants from getting into your home you need to store your food properly. keep all of your cereals, sugars, grains, and baking supplies in sealed plastic or glass containers. Don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight and take out the trash every day. Keeping your house clear of food and crumbs will prevent odorous ants from finding their way inside.
Professional Ant Control
If you live in the Houston or Dallas area, contact Termio Pest Control at the first sign of an ant infestation. Our team of pest control professionals is well-trained and equipped to get rid of annoying ants from your home or yard. We are family owned and operated and use eco-friendly solutions, so you never have to worry about the safety of you and your family.