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Arrow Exterminators Blog

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Top Five Ants Looking to Vacation in Your Home this Summer

Shay Runion VP of Profesional Development

Many areas in the United States have been experiencing scorching heat waves and experts say that the sweltering temperatures are not going to let up anytime soon. As the summer days continue to be hot, people aren't the only ones looking to cool off! We want to encourage our customers to be on the lookout as ants make their way indoors in search of food, water, and shelter.

All it takes is the scent of a sweet snack left behind and you could have a full infestation of ants in your home. Many people don't realize that ants are more than just a nuisance. They can pose health risks as well as cause serious structural damage to your property.

Don't let such a tiny pest ruin your summer fun! Be on the lookout for the top five ants looking to take a vacation in your home this summer:

• 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.

• Acrobat Ants: Acrobat ants' name comes from their habit of raising their abdomen above their head when disturbed. Outdoors they nest under woodpiles, stones or in stumps and rotting logs and indoors may nest in wall voids. Acrobat ants usually prefer sweets, but can also be attracted to meats.

Our experts recommend several proactive tips to keep ants from invading your home this summer such as eliminating standing water around the home, keeping food in sealed airtight containers, cutting back tree branches and other plants away from the house, making sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home, and finally, sealing all cracks in and around the bottom of your house.

We hope these tips help you and your family stay pest free this summer!