Pain in the Ants!

We have been killing ants for over 30 years.  I have had a special dislike for all ants ever since I was bitten on the arm by several and the bits swelled up and I had an allergic reaction to them.  We’ve all asked the question of “how to get rid of ants?” We have experimented with all kinds of poisons for them.  Some of the more effective methods that we used back on the farm can’t be used now that I am a grown up and do this professionally.

Pavement Ants

Average Colony Size 3,000-4,000

One of the most common home-invading ant types

Aptly named because of their tendency to nest inside or under cracks found in the pavement, sidewalks, driveways large rocks, and even decorative garden slabs.  This doesn’t eliminate them from being prime candidates for living inside the cracks and crevices of your home. Most commonly found on the east coast,  pavement ants are also found in Utah, California, and Washington.

These little guys are not picky eaters.  Seeds, grease, honey, bread, meats, cheese, and even other insects.  Simply, they will eat anything a human will eat and much more. Pavement ants don’t carry disease that is catching to humans but has been known to be messy eaters.  they can contaminate food by leaving their waste behind.

Carpenter Ants

Average Colony Size, 2,000

Carpenter ants aren’t too common in Utah but will enter a home if the conditions are right!

They chew through the wood but don’t actually eat it.  They are called Carpenter ants because of their tendencies to colonize there.  Their favorite foods include meats, fats, sugary foods like candies and cakes, and even nectar from plants. A colony of carpenter ants begins with a single fertilized queen who will find a cavity in some wood and will start her first brood.  This brood is commonly worker ants and she feeds them with a steady stream of her saliva.

Carpenter ants usually find their way into homes through wet damp or damaged wood.  This also means they are completely comfortable making residence in mulch or wood-lined garden boxes. These ants don’t bring disease or health issues when living in a home but their tendency to burrow into the wood causes the wood to lose it’s structural integrity and can be extremely expensive to replace.

Argentine Ants

Average Colony Size – Potentially Millions

Argentine ants are visitors from the lands as far south as Argentina and Brazil, most likely introduced by the freight ships of the late 1800′s.  These ants are commonly found in the southern and western regions.

Obsessed with efficiency these ants leave a pheromone trail every direction they go when searching for a food source.  This ensures the colony wastes no time in rechecking ground already searched.   Even the queen has been known to join the search for food.

It’s tough to assign an average colony size as these guys have a habit of tying into other colonies and nests potentially making their populations cover an area of a small backyard garden to an entire city block or more!  However, they’re almost always started in wet locations near a constant food source.