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Ants

What are ants?

Ants are a diverse species of insect. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, display different behaviors, and consume many different kinds of food. Ants are social, living and working together in large colonies found in a wide range of environments. Ants can be identified by their three distinct body regions - their head, thorax, and abdomen. The reproductive members of an ant colony are winged.

a group of acrobat ants crawling on wood inside a marine city michigan home

The three most common species of ants In our area of Port Huron, located in Saint Clair County, Michigan are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and acrobat ants.

Carpenter ants
Carpenter ants are destructive ants and can cause significant structural damage when nesting inside homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants are some of the largest ants to invade homes. They are black in color, with some having reddish or yellowish markings.

Pavement ants
Pavement ants are dark brown or black in color. Their head, body, and thorax are covered in grooved parallel lines and their thorax has a small pair of spines extending from the back of it. Pavement ants nest in cracks and crevices found next to areas of pavement and cement. Their nesting habits are how they are most often identified.

Acrobat ants
Acrobat ants get their name from their unique acrobatic movement - raising their heart-shaped abdomen over their heads when they are disturbed. Acrobat ants also emit a foul-smelling odor when disturbed. They are small in size and are black to yellowish-brown in color, though some are multi-colored.

Are ants dangerous?

Most ant species are nuisance pests and pose no threat to people or property. Pavement ants and acrobat ants are both examples of nuisance ants. They are unpleasant to deal with and will contaminate food, but they aren’t a significant danger to your family or home. There are, however, some species of ants that are considered dangerous, such as carpenter ants. They pose a significant danger to property. Carpenter ants are attracted to water-damaged and decaying wood. They are common home invaders and are often found tunneling through and nesting inside structural wood. If an infestation is allowed to continue for a long time, their damage becomes significant and costly to repair.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants have the potential to become a problem on any property that offers access to food, water, and shelter. Clogged gutters, leaky fixtures, open garbage cans, gardens, compost piles, woodpiles, trees, dense vegetation, and pet food attract ants to your property. Once on your property, they will find their way into your home foraging for food through cracks and crevices in exterior walls. Some species also invade homes when the weather outside becomes too hot, cold, dry, or wet for them to live comfortably. Both carpenter ants and acrobat ants are attracted to areas of moisture and water damage. Their presence can be an indicator of water damage or moisture issues somewhere in your home.

Where will I find ants?

Ants live in a variety of locations including in suburban, urban, and rural areas. They typically nest outside, but oftentimes find their way inside homes and other buildings where they may stay and build satellite nests to help expand their colonies. Ants living outside nest underneath soil, under mulch, in piles of wood, in cracks found in pavement and sidewalks, along fence lines, and in garden areas. They also nest underneath fallen trees, tree limbs, landscaping ties, or inside tree stumps. Ants nesting inside place their nests under floors, behind baseboards, inside insulation, in crawlspaces and wall voids, and in structural wood (carpenter ants). Some species like to build nests behind large appliances and heating systems.

How do I get rid of ants?

The best way to control and prevent ants is with the help of a qualified and experienced professional. At Eco Pest Control, our knowledgeable technicians provide the effective and environmentally-responsible residential and commercial services needed to rid your Michigan property of ants. Eco Pest Control is committed to exceeding customer expectations, and using state-of-the-art solutions to get rid of ants and prevent their return. To learn more about getting rid of ants at your Port Huron or Imlay City area home, reach out to Eco Pest Control.

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In conjunction with professional services, doing the following can help to prevent problems with ants:

  • Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.

  • Cut tree branches, shrubs, and bushes away from the exterior of your home.

  • Seal gaps or other openings in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Eliminate water sources and repair water leaks both inside and outside your home.

  • Put weather stripping around exterior windows and doors.

  • Replace or repair torn window or door screens.

  • Keep locking lids on all outdoor trash cans and compost piles.

  • Maintain garden areas, quickly picking up fruits and vegetables that have fallen to the ground.

  • Do not place woodpiles, trash cans, and compost bins right next to the exterior walls of your home.

 

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Michigan’s Carpenter Ant

July 22, 2013

In some areas of the country, like here in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, carpenter ants cause more damage to structures than termites. It’s not hard to identify carpenter ants because of their size, they’re quite big.... Read More

 

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