It does not take a rainstorm to drive ants marching into homes. The scent of a sweet snack left uncovered or standing water in a kitchen sink is all it takes. A nuisance to many homeowners, ants can be extremely difficult to eradicate. To prevent one ant from becoming a full infestation, Arrow Exterminators encourages homeowners to learn more about these insects and their habits.

"With more than two dozen species of ants posing nuisances to homeowners across the nation, identifying these insects is no easy task. Often, it takes an expert to properly identify the type of ant and provide an appropriate method of treatment," said Shay Runion, Arrow pest expert. "Smothering an ant with spray might be an easy solution, but it's only a temporary fix. If a homeowner doesn't get to the root of the problem, for example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich lost behind a couch, the infestation will surely continue."

This summer, Arrow encourages homeowners to be on the lookout for ants, especially these most common species:

  • Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants can pose serious structural damage to homes if they are not properly identified and treated. These ants attack wet and moldy wood to create galleries for their nests, weakening the structure of the wood. Potentially destructive, these ants should be eliminated from the home as soon as possible.
  • Red Imported Fire Ants: Red imported fire ants get their name from the painful sting they can give humans if their nest is disturbed. These ants usually sting multiple times, leaving behind raised welts on the skin. Nests for fire ants tend to be built in large mounds, in landscaped areas or near the foundation of a home.
  • Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the rotten smell they emit when crushed. Known for having a "sweet tooth," odorous house ants will eagerly enter homes where sugar is involved. While they do not pose any health risks to humans, they can contaminate the food that they come into contact with.
  • Argentine Ants: Argentine ants are typically found in areas with moisture and close to a food source. Similar to odorous house ants, they prefer a sweet treat, but are also drawn toward meat, oils and eggs. They can also contaminate food they come into contact with.

To keep ants from entering the home, Arrow advises all homeowners to follow these simple tips:

  • Eliminate standing water;
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house;
  • Seal all cracks in and around the bottom of the house;
  • Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home; and
  • Seal all food, especially sweets.

Arrow protects homes from ant infestations with the STEPSâ„¢ Total Protection System, an industry-leading process that utilizes Integrated Pest Management. STEPS includes a full inspection of the home and property to pinpoint pest control issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and to help prevent future recurrences.