One of the most beneficial commonplace insects, ants hold a firm grip on our imagination. Smart, hardworking, and willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of their community, the number of children's stories, cartoons, and movies featuring ants as heroes is beyond count.
Ants serve a very important role in our ecosystem, accelerating the decay of dead matter, enriching and aerating the soil, and serving as an important food resource for a number of predators. Unfortunately, the same skills that make ants so efficient and beneficial in their ecosystem make them a huge pain to deal with once they make their way inside your walls.
Let's take a look at traits and characteristics of ant species you're likely to run into in your home, the dangers of an ant infestation, how to get rid of ants, and where to find experienced pest control in Omaha if the DIY approach doesn't do the trick.
Characteristics Of Common Ants
There are over 12000 ant species worldwide, with over 1000 different types of ants calling the United States home. They differ widely in size, color, and appearance but share a number of common traits that define them as a species.
To identify an ant, look for the following:
- A body separated into three visible parts: the head, the thorax/mesosoma, and the abdomen/gaster, with the thorax and abdomen separated by a narrow connector called a petiole
- Six legs with three joints each
- Antennae with elbows
- Big mandibles
- A set of compound eyes
All ants live in large colonies divided into three groups: a queen that lays eggs, a myriad of worker ants responsible for providing for and protecting the colony, and immature ants in larval or pupal stages. Immature reproductive ants will sprout wings upon reaching maturity and take off on mating flights to create new colonies of their own.
An Ant Infestation Can Be More Than Just A Nuisance
While most of the time, an ant infestation is an unpleasant nuisance; certain ant types can be a serious threat to your and your home's health.
- While they don't feed on cellulose like termites do, carpenter ants can often inflict just as much damage by tunneling through wooden areas of your house to build space for their colonies.
- Acrobat ants are known to strip insulation of electrical wiring, causing house fires.
- Odorous house ants can contaminate the food in your home.
- Pharaoh ant infestation can expose your household to salmonellosis, staphylococcus, and clostridium.
All ants, regardless of species, can become a serious problem once their numbers get out of control.
Why Do-It-Yourself Ant Control Usually Fails
The main difficulty in attempting the DIY approach to ant control is the inability to get rid of an entire colony.
Even with every worker ant gone, the eggs and the queen are safely hidden and will repopulate the colony in no time. An effective ant treatment addresses the colony as a whole, ensuring that you're not faced with the same problem a few months down the line.
Different ant species respond differently to different treatments. To rid your home of ants, you would need to identify the species and have experience in developing an effective treatment to reach and deal with every last member of the colony, including the unhatched eggs.
Call The Professionals For Total Ant Control
At Quality Pest Control, we've been providing home pest solutions for ants in the Omaha area for over 26 years. We specialize in customized, least toxic treatments to ensure your home is ant free without endangering you or your pets.
If your Omaha home is infested with ants, don't wait until the numbers in the colony get out of control: give us a call today for help with ants and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Omaha.
Quality Pest Control