In the kitchen, at a backyard barbeque, playing at the park or walking down the sidewalk, it seems like you can never get away from ants. Nature’s little scavengers, these pint-sized pests can be found everywhere from city apartments to country homes. No matter where you live or what you do, it seems like it’s impossible to keep them at bay. It is estimated that there are more than 15,000 species of ants in the United States alone, so it’s really no surprise that we’re confronted by ants everywhere we go.
When you find ants in your home or business, you can try to use a DIY or store-bought treatment. And it might kill a few ants here and there. However, if you don’t figure out how the ants are entering and leaving your home, locate the source of the infestation and kill the queen, we can guarantee you those ants are going to come back. Poison sprays and baits might kill the ants that come in contact with them, but won't solve an infestation. If you're tired of ants in your home or business, it’s time to call the professionals. If you can’t find and eliminate the queen, you can’t eliminate the entire colony. We’ll be sure to identify how ants are finding their way into your home and then eliminate them at their source.
Like termites, ants are industrious, social insects that can cause considerable trouble due to their numbers and persistence. That makes ant control essential to protecting your home or business. Some varieties of ants, such as carpenter ants, can also damage the wood in which they nest. Despite what you may think, carpenter ants don't eat wood. The damage carpenter ants cause comes from their burrowing into your wood to find other sources of food. However, they are still very destructive and can cause major damage to a structure if they are not swiftly exterminated. On top of being an important step in protecting your investment in your home or business, ant control is also a health and safety issue as well. While most ant bites are minor, some ants, like Fire Ants, bite and sting. These bites and stings can be painful, and for people with high allergic sensitivity they can be extremely dangerous.
Arrow Exterminators is Oklahoma's ant control professionals. We’re proud to have been successfully eliminating ants from commercial and residential properties across the state for over 60 years. If you have a problem with ants, get in touch with Arrow Exterminators. You can call us or fill out our online contact form to get started on your free, no-obligation evaluation today!
Ants in Oklahoma
Due to the crazy weather conditions we have here in Oklahoma, the state is home to a wide variety of ant species. Some are small and harmless, others are large with painful bites and stings. But all of them, regardless of size and bite, are pests that need to be eliminated. Here are some of the most common ant species that you are likely to come in contact with:
- Carpenter Ants: carpenter ants may vary in color (though they’re usually a burnt orange), but they are easily recognizable by their size. These ants are the giants of the ant family and the largest ants found in North America. Carpenter Ants to not have stingers and are not venomous, but due to the large size of their jaws a bite can still be quite painful. Carpenter Ants are extremely destructive little creatures, burrowing deep into the wood of homes and businesses to make their nests and look for food. Unlike termites, they don’t eat wood; they chew through it to make pathways for themselves and the rest of their colony. They primarily eat other insects and plant juices. However, just because they don’t eat wood doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly destructive. A carpenter ant infestation can be damaging to your home and expensive to fix. If you have a problem with Carpenter Ants, make sure to call the professionals at Arrow Exterminators right away. We’ll make sure to eliminate every last ant giving you trouble, including the Queen, so that you never have to worry about an ant infestation harming your home again.
- Red Imported Fire Ants: this invasive species was brought to the U.S. from Brazil in the 1930s or 1940s and has been a nuisance ever since. These ants build medium sized dirt mounds to house the colony and when the mounds are disturbed, the ants will swarm out to bite and sting whomever is disturbing their home. These stings are very painful, and for people who have sensitivity to Red Imported Fire Ant stings can be extremely dangerous. These ants are not shy and frequently build their mounds in backyards, lawns, playgrounds, soccer and football fields, golf courses, parks and other similar areas. Since they inhabit heavily trafficked areas, the risk of coming into contact with people and people being stung is high. That’s why professional management is essential. If you see a Red Imported Fire Ant colony around your home or business, call the ant extermination professionals at Arrow Exterminators right away. We can come out and get rid of the entire colony before anyone gets stung and potentially injured.
- Formica Ants: these ants feed on the honeydew produced by aphids (those terrible, green insects that hang on the underside of plant leaves and suck the life out of your garden plants) and often they guard aphids against predators and help them find the juiciest part of plant leaves to feed on so that their honeydew supply will be uninterrupted. They do not sting, but sometimes when disturbed they will bite or spray formic acid, which is not particularly dangerous but can be unpleasant and cause coughing, watery eyes and itchiness or burning if it comes in contact with broken skin or your nose, eyes, ears or mouth. While these ants tend to live in pastures, open grasslands and farms, they can sometimes be found in homes, especially if you live in a rural area or on a farm or ranch. Make sure to call Arrow Exterminators to help you get rid of Formica Ants because it can be very difficult to locate the source of the infestation and exterminate the whole colony.
- Red Pavement Ant: you know those tiny ants you see swarming cracks in the sidewalk or running to feast on some food dropped in the street? More than likely, those are red pavement ants. These tiny creatures are extremely social scavengers and live in large colonies built around at least one queen. They are harmless, but if they are provoked (like if you step on them while walking down the sidewalk) they will swarm around you and may bite. These bites can be painful, but are not dangerous. These ants typically center their colonies outside, but their quest for food can take them just about anywhere. They are particularly fond of sweet, sugary food but will eat anything. Because of this, they are often attracted to homes, restaurants and other places where there is a chance of them finding food. Once Red Pavement Ants have infested a building, their small size and large numbers make them extremely difficult to get rid of. Red Pavement Ant extermination is best left to pest control professionals, like those at Arrow Exterminators.
These are the most common ants in Oklahoma, but with 15,000 species across the country you never know what type of ant you might find. Some people also have trouble telling the difference between winged ants and winged termites. So if you see an insect in your home or business and you’re not 100 percent sure what it is, call the experts at Arrow Exterminators. All our technicians are trained and equipped to be able to properly identify whatever pest is pestering you and then prescribe the right pest control treatment to get rid of it for good.
Once you have ants, no matter what type, it’s very hard to get rid of them without professional help. While some of the DIY treatments you look up online or buy at the hardware store might kill a few ants, they won’t be able to get rid of a full-fledged infestation. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help decrease the risk of getting ants in your home in the first place. Here are some ant prevention tips:
- Many types of ants are scavengers and are attracted to food and food smells. Make sure to take out trash and recycling promptly to keep from attracting them. If you have anything particularly smelly in your trash, like rotten fruit, meat packaging or chicken bones, take it outside immediately.
- Clean regularly. Wipe down counters, floors and other surfaces that food and beverages have come in contact with. Clean up any spills, especially of sugary things like soda or ice cream, right away.
- Wash all dishes or put them into the dishwasher right away. Ants will be attracted to food remnants in pots and pans if left in the sink overnight.
- Keep your food inside your refrigerator or sealed inside airtight containers. Also make sure to finish open boxes of food before opening another.
- Check the exterior of your property for small holes or cracks that could be letting ants in. This could be cracks in your siding, gaps around utility lines, tears in window screen or gaps under doors. Most of these can be fixed with spray foam, weather stripping or a new window screen (all available at your local hardware store).
- If you do find any of these entry points, clean around them with a detergent after you have sealed them off. This will remove the chemical pheromone scent the ants have left behind and will make it harder for them to find their way back inside.
- Check for any leaky pipes or faucets as insects, including ants, also need water to survive and are attracted to moisture.
- Replace any rotted wood in your home’s structure and remove tree stumps from your property to avoid attracting Carpenter Ants. If you use mulch in your yard, make sure it does not come in contact with your home. Also, paint or stain any exposed wood, trim trees and shrubs so they don’t come in contact with the house.
While these tips will help keep your home ant free, there’s no substitute for professional pest control services. Arrow Exterminators offers a variety of plans based on the level of pest control needed for your property and what matches best with your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today to get started on your custom ant control plan.
Ask the Entomologist
Although some ants are carnivorous (meaning they eat everything, including their own kind), some ants actually have burial ceremonies for their dead! Ants can lift 20 times their weight, which is part of what makes them such great little architects. If I could do that, when my truck ran out of gas, I could just carry it to the gas station.
Why Arrow Exterminators?
We hope this information helps you prevent ant infestations and keeps your home free from any type of ant infestation all year long. And if you see any of these creepy crawlies—or any others—in your home, give us a call or visit our website to get started on a free, no-obligation ant evaluation. The talented technicians at Arrow Exterminators can identify any type of pest and identify the best course of treatment to get rid of it. We’ll create a custom pest control plan to make sure we eliminate every last one from your home and keep them away for good! You can call our trained pest control experts at any time with questions about pest control methods or pest prevention techniques. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for more pest prevention tips and tricks. Contact Arrow Exterminators and our ant control experts will get you the help you need right away. Whether it's a private residence, dormitory, hotel or any other type of property. Arrow Exterminators has been eliminating ants all over Oklahoma since 1952. We know ant control.