Have you ever left dishes in your sink, and then come back to find a trail of ants scavenging in your leftover crumbs? It's never a fun experience when you discover an ant infestation in your Virginia Beach home, and some infestations are far worse than others. While some ants are merely nuisance pests, others can bite and sting, or cause permanent structural damage to your home.
There a few species of ants commonly found in the Virginia Beach area:
- Odorous House Ants – dark brown to black, 1/8 of an inch, emits a foul rotten coconut smell when crushed
- Argentine Ants – light to dark brown, 1/8 of an inch, well known for having multiple queens in their colonies
- Pavement Ants – black and brown, 1/8 of an inch, parallel grooves on head and thorax
- Carpenter Ants – more commonly black, ¼ to ½ of an inch, more commonly found burrowing within the wood
- Red Imported Fire Ants – reddish-brown and black, 1/16 to 1/5 of an inch, they have venom-filled stingers on the ends of their abdomen
Ants such as odorous house ants, Argentine ants, and pavement ants are mostly classified as nuisance pests. Pavement ants can bite and sting, but their bites are only slightly painful and not dangerous, and their stingers are too weak to puncture human skin. Carpenter ants and red imported fire ants, on the other hand, are dangerous pests to have in your Virginia Beach home. Wondering how to keep them away? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
One: Limit Accessibility To Food
When ants find easily accessible food stores, the whole colony comes running. Each species has its own food preferences, but if you can eat it, you can be sure that ants will eat it too. These preferred foods include:
- Sugars and sweets
- Baked goods
- Greasy foods
- Cooked and uncooked fruits and vegetables
- Pet foods
In order to keep ants from foraging through your kitchen, you have to make sure you keep things clean. Wipe up any messes immediately after accidental spills, clean all food-prep areas after preparing meals, and sweep and vacuum regularly to keep crumbs off the floor. For outdoor prevention, keep tight-fitting lids on all outside trash bins, and place compost bins well away from the perimeter of your Virginia Beach home.
Two: Limit Accessibility To Your Virginia Beach Home
It can be pretty difficult to keep ants outside, especially since they're such small insects, but it's not entirely impossible. This part requires some routine home maintenance, so get your DIY belt ready. Seal up and patch any holes and cracks in the outer walls and foundation, cover any exposed wood on the outside of your home, and fill in any gaps between outdoor-leading pipes and wires. Fix any worn-down insulation around windows and door frames, and check the roof trim to make sure you haven't missed any difficult spot holes.
Three: Reduce Moisture
Moisture could come from sinks and appliances, or it could come from an undiscovered leaky pipe or crack in the roof. If you think you have water damage in your home, it might be a good idea to inspect the pipes and shingles on your roof. If everything's clear, invest in a dehumidifier to air out those tough-to-dry rooms such as the laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
Four: Lawn Care Maintenance
Even if they don't manage to sneak inside, ants can cause quite a stir if they shack up on your Virginia Beach property. Keeping your yard clean and free of any debris piles is an important step in keeping these pesky colonies away. Clear away any brush, mulch, and leaf piles from your yard, trim any tree branches and bushes away from the siding of your home, and maintain a weekly mowing routine to keep your lawn freshly manicured.
Five: Call In The Professionals
When it comes to fighting an ant infestation, don't try to DIY them away. Store-bought pesticides can contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous for you and your household, and oftentimes they aren't nearly as effective as a licensed professional. The best form of ant control comes with professional assistance, and if ants are marching in your pantry, it might be time to give us a call.
Our pest control experts at Mosquito Elite Pest Control are fully equipped to handle all of your pest control needs. We offer reliable, affordable treatments, and we only use top-of-the-line pest control products and equipment in all of our visits. Don't waste time and money on frustration and failure. Give us a call at (757)689-0640 today and start discussing your pest control options as soon as possible.