There are more than a couple types of ants found in Virginia that can invade your home or property. Two of the most notorious are the Carpenter Ant (which can cause structural damage to building) and Fire Ants (which can sting). Fire ants as of the time this was written have only traveled north as far as the south east corner of the state but we felt worth mentioning. Other common ants in Virginia that invade structures are Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Little Black Ants, and Citronella Ants. Most of the time these ants would prefer to be outside but can invade and infest a home if they find the conditions favorable, usually plentiful food and water.
Ants are one of the most common household pests next to cockroaches because they can easily get in to your home through the smallest of openings. Ants are also very organized social insects and typically live outside. But a scout ant can get into your home. One small ant can usually go unnoticed. This one ant is searching for food and once he finds it the rest of the ants follow a chemical trail directly to the food source, now you will notice then as there are numerous ants doing what ants do best, finding and storing food. Depending on the ant, B&C Exterminating has a program for ridding your house from ants. Services ranging from prevention to spot treatment of an existing ant infestation and a monthly program designed to keep them out for good. One of our licensed inspectors would be happy to identify the ants and provide information on how we plan to rid your house of the invading ants. We service Roanoke, Salem and Vinton Virginia and surrounding counties. Call today for a free quote.
Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive insects in the Roanoke Valley area next to termites. Area home and business owners are possibly more likely to face an invasion of carpenter ants than termites. Although carpenter ants do not eat wood they carve out living quarters at an alarming rate.
Carpenter ants get their name,as you may have guessed, because they excavate wood in order to build their nests, leaving hollowed-out tunnels which if done in a building will eventually weaken the structural integrity. Carpenter ant colonies require a source of water to survive, and are found in wet, decayed wood such as dead limbs and tree stumps. Inside a building structure, they can be found in or near damp, poorly ventilated spaces such as crawl spaces, attics and basements. While carpenter ants don’t eat wood, if living in the wooded structure of your house, could cause structural damage that is very expensive to fix. Carpenter ant colonies will swarm. You will notice winged reproductive ants called swarmers. Carpenter ant swarmers and large and range in color from red to black and will fly to a new location to start new colonies.
Carpenter Ant Control
To successful control a carpenter ant infestation will depend on eliminating the parent colony, which is usually located outdoors. Locating and treating as many carpenter ant nests as possible is the key to controlling the invasion going on inside your home. A couple things you can do to keep carpenter ants from invading your home is to store firewood away from your house, trim and get rid of dead tree limbs, and remove stumps and lumber from around the house. Sealing any pipe leaks, insulating sweating pipes and fixing leaks in your roof will remove a possible water source carpenter ants need to survive inside your home.
Fire ants are not in this region of Virginia but are currently found as far north as the south east corner of the state. Many times Allegheny mound ants are mistaken for fire ants as they live in mounds and are very aggressive, see below. Fire ants nest in the soil and build large mounds. Dozens, possibly hundreds of stings can be inflicted on a person accidentally kneeling or disturbing a fire ant mound. Fire Ants, are an introduced species that is notorious for its aggressive behavior. These ants can cause serious health problems for humans due to their aggressive nature and sting. They clamp onto their targets with powerful jaws and sting repeatedly. The sting of a fire ant injects a tiny dose of venom which causes a burning feeling on the victim. These tiny stings create blisters which will itch and eventually become infected. If you are sensitive or allergic to fire ant stings, and are stung enough, they can cause anaphylactic shock which could cause you to have trouble breathing or even faint. In sever cases, with allergic or very sensitive victims, fire ant stings can cause death.
In addition to stinging humans, fire ants can also destroy seedling corn, soybeans, and other agricultural commodities. These insects feed on plant buds or fruit on trees and may remove bands of bark from young trees, killing them.
Fire Ant Control
Controlling fire ants is difficult as the workers are very protective of the queen and very aggressive in making sure she is safe. If a fire ant colony is disturbed, the queen will quickly be relocated and immediately begin making a new colony. For this reason alone killing the workers that are probably attacking you is not a good idea or work very well.
Once fire ants are identified, our licensed technician can apply a bait that will be taken back to the nest to be fed to the colony. Available baits range from being able to kill the queen or rendering the queen sterile effectively killing the colony . The use of baits is one of the best ways to eliminate a colony as they distribute the pesticide throughout the colony. Since baits are typically slow acting, the entire colony, including the queen is usually effected and the colony dies.
Allegheny Mound Ants
Allegheny mound ants are aggressive and will come out in number if the mound is disturbed. They are a medium size ant with reddish head and thorax and dark or black thorax and legs. The worker ants make galleries with tunnels under the surface of the ground. Allegheny mound ant colonies can be as deep as 3 feet down into the soil. As they dig and enlarge their colony they pile excavated soil that makes up their mound, which could extend another 3 feet above the soil.
Allegheny mound ant nests can be found in wooded areas as well as pastures and fields. They will also live in areas populated by humans but rarely infest a home. If they are found inside, which is unusual, they are typically foraging for food and may more commonly be found foraging on or around decks or patios on the outside of a home or business.
They mostly eat insects or the honey dew from sap feeding insects. Worker Allegheny mound ants are known to protect aphids and other types of honey dew producing insects. In your yard these ants can cause damage to vegetation and trees close to their mound, within about a 40 foot radius.
Allegheny Mound Ant Control
If you notice an Allegheny Mound Ant nest on your property do not try and disturb it. They will come out quickly by the hundreds, possibly thousands, and have a painful bite. Depending on the proximity of the nest and if their are more than one mound we can develope a plan to get rid of them. Smaller nests can be baited successfully larger colonies may require a more drastic measure to successfully eliminate the colony.
Ant Control. Professionally.
Over the counter ant pesticides can work well if used properly. But multiple treatments, and knowledge of exactly what type of ant, is the most effective method as some ants common to the Roanoke valley may have more than one queen. Spraying them may disperse them into multiple colonies making the ant invasion worse. That’s why calling B&C Exterminating is the best solution for killing ants and keeping them from coming back. We have trained and licensed professionals to inspect your home for ants, identify the ant, and recommend the best solutions based on the type of ant invading your house.
Contact B&C Exterminating today for a free inspection.