- Posted by gordonb
- On April 27, 2022
- 0 Comments
Left, right, left, right, left, right. A line of ants, as adorable as they can seem to a child, can mean horror to the parent. This is especially true in the kitchen, where clean and healthy surfaces are necessary for proper food preparation. Unfortunately, even the most sanitized kitchens can still attract ants, and, depending on the species, they can be very hard to permanently remove. Online, you can find a wealth of advice on how to dispense of these pests, but ultimately, only a professional can determine whether you simply need to find an airtight container for some foods, or if you have a potentially dangerous species on your hands.
Here in the Triangle of North Carolina, many bugs and pests emerge in the spring, and ants are a very common invader. Because ants are cold blooded, they tend to slow down and hibernate when the weather is cold, which is why they seem to suddenly be everywhere in the spring and summer. But before you try and kill them, it is important to at least identify whether they are potentially harmful to the structural integrity of the home or the human occupants that reside there.
While there are at least a dozen common ants in North Carolina, here are the worst ones to watch out for.
- Ants that can carry diseases: As crazy as it sounds, even ants can transmit diseases. Pharoah ants, which can appear golden to reddish in color, are known for carrying streptococcus and salmonella. And big-headed ants, which can vary in appearance depending on their job in the colony, can even be a host for tapeworms. Anyone with pets or children should call a professional at the first sign of ants, if only to have peace of mind against these seemingly harmless visitors.
- Ants that like to make their homes indoors: Along with carrying diseases, Pharoah ants also prefer to make their nests indoors and will happily move their whole colony into homes that have any water damage or easy availability to exposed food. Pavement ants prefer cracks and crevices of concrete but often will set up their colony in dirt basements. Little black ants love to live in walls and under floors. Argentine ants are extremely sensitive to weather changes and will move their nest indoors if the weather gets too dry, hot, or wet. And the worst of all, carpenter ants, actively destroy any wood in their path that could be altered to create their nests. This can cause major problems for any homes that have wood structural elements.
- Smelly ants: Odorous house ants and ghost ants are most common in kitchens and bathrooms, but will smell like putrid coconut if stepped on when killed. They are also remarkably good at hiding when they need to and can be especially difficult to remove completely without professional help. Amazingly, much like skunks, acrobat ants actually spray out a nasty odor if they get scared or cornered.
- DANGEROUS ants: Unfortunately, fire ants have become more and more common in North Carolina, and the highest precautions should be taken with them. In most cases, fire ants are simply visiting from an external nest if they are found indoors, but they are known to chew on electrical wiring and set up colonies under concrete slabs. They vary in size and are reddish in color, looking relatively similar to some other species. But they are extremely harmful. Being extremely aggressive, they will attack humans and animals in large groups, delivering venomous and painful stings. They are very hard to get rid of, and no one should approach them or attempt to remove them without professional assistance.
Ants may seem relatively harmless but because of diseases they could carry, the influx of potential colonies in your home, damage to the house itself, odor, and even painful attacks, it is essential that before attempting to remove any ants, a professional is called. Critter Control in the Triangle has the experience, equipment, and knowledge necessary to dispense of these pests in a safe and humane manner. Don’t hesitate to call 919.382.0651 at the first sign of the marching of ants indoors.