Arizona Ants: How Improper Treatment Makes Infestations Worse
Ants are a very common household pest in Arizona, and while they may seem harmless, they can pose many problems if left untreated. Unfortunately, improper treatment of ant infestations can actually make the problem worse, so it’s important to understand the different species of ants in the Grand Canyon State, the health risks they pose, and the best ways to prevent and eliminate them.
Common Ant Species in Arizona
The Copper State is also known as being one of the states with the most species of ants. For instance, we deal with around 21 different species in the Phoenix market alone. There are over 700 species of ants statewide, but some of the most common include:
- Carpenter ants. These large, black ants are known for tunneling through wood, which can cause structural damage to homes.
- Odorous house ants. These small, black ants are known for their sweet, unpleasant odor.
- Fire ants. These aggressive ants can deliver a painful sting.
- Argentine ants. These tiny, brown ants are known for forming large colonies and invading homes in search of food and water.
Additionally, in the state, there are also Acrobat ants, Argentine ants, Big-Headed ants, Crazy ants, Ghost ants, Odorouse House ants, Pavement ants, Pharaoh ants, Rover ants (Brachymyrmex patagonicus), and Thief ants.
Health Risks of Ants
While ants are not typically considered dangerous pests, they can pose some health risks. Ant bites can be painful and itchy, and some people may be allergic to ant stings. Additionally, ants can contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, which can lead to illness.
Types of Damage Ants Can Do to a Home
Ants can cause several problems in a home, including, but not necessarily limited to the following:
- Structural damage. Carpenter ants can tunnel through wood, which can weaken and damage structural supports.
- Electrical damage. Ants can chew through electrical wires, which can cause sparks and fire hazards.
- Food contamination. Ants can contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, which can lead to illness.
- Water damage. Ants can build nests in moist areas, which can lead to water damage.
How Ants Enter Residential Homes
It should come as no surprise that with such a tiny size, Ants can enter homes through a variety of ways, including by the following means:
- Cracks and crevices. Ants can squeeze through tiny cracks and crevices in walls, foundations, and around windows and doors.
- Pipes and utility lines. Ants can also enter homes through pipes and utility lines.
- Plants and trees. Ants can hitchhike on plants and trees that are brought into the home.
How to Detect Ants in a Household
There are some pretty distinct signs that may indicate an ant infestation in your home, including indicators:
- Seeing ants. Seeing live ants in your home is the most obvious sign of an infestation.
- Ant trails. Ants follow pheromone trails so that you may see trails of ants marching through your home.
- Frass. Carpenter ants leave behind piles of sawdust-like material called frass.
- Honeydew. Some species of ants secrete a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew. You may see honeydew on countertops, floors, or plants.
Ways to Prevent Ants from Entering a Home
There are a number of things you can do to prevent ants from entering your home, including:
- Seal up cracks and crevices. Use caulk or sealant to seal up cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and foundations.
- Trim plants and trees. Keep plants and trees trimmed back away from your home.
- Store food properly. Store food in airtight containers.
- Clean up spills promptly. Completely wipe up spills immediately to avoid attracting ants.
- Use ant bait traps. Ant bait traps are a good way to control small ant infestations.
How a Professional Pest Control Company Can Help
If you have an ant infestation, it’s important to call a professional pest control company. A professional will be able to identify the type of ant, assess the extent of the infestation, and recommend the best course of treatment.
Professional pest control companies have the experience and expertise to eliminate ant infestations quickly and effectively. They will also be able to provide you with tips on how to prevent ants from returning in the future.
Improper Treatment Makes Infestations Worse
Here’s something that you should also know. And, that is treating an ant infestation yourself can be risky. If you don’t use the right products or methods, you could make the infestation worse. For example, using over-the-counter ant sprays can kill individual ants, but they won’t eliminate the queen and colony, which will allow the infestation to continue to just keep on growing (and you may not even know it’s happening). In some cases, improper treatment can even make ants more aggressive. For example, if you use a harsh pesticide, ants may become agitated and more likely to bite.
Wrapping It All Up
Ants are a common problem in Arizona, but they can be controlled with the right treatment. If you think you have an ant infestation in your home, don’t try to treat it yourself. Call a professional pest control company today.
With proper treatment, you can eliminate your ant infestation and prevent it from returning in the future.