Ants

What are ants?

Ants are social insects that live and work together in large groups. They divide themselves into three different castes: workers, males, and queens. Only the reproductive members are winged and are allowed to reproduce. Ants vary in color and size, depending on their specific species, but they are usually yellow, red, brown, or black in color. However, they are sometimes a combination of several different colors. In Florida, ants are some of the most common pests to find their way into homes and businesses to live.

two ants inside a home in jupiter florida

Ants can be found living all throughout Florida and frequently become a problem for home and business owners in our area include:

  • Fire ants

  • Ghost ants

  • White-footed ants

  • Big-headed ants

Are ants dangerous?

Whether or not ants are dangerous is dependent on their exact species. Most ant species that you will come across here in Florida are nuisance pests. Of the four common ants in our area, ghost ants, white-footed ants, and big-headed ants are all considered nuisance ants and pose no health threats to people and cause no damages to properties.
 
Fire ants, on the other hand, are quite dangerous pests. These ants are highly aggressive and will attack any person or animal they perceive as a threat in large numbers and their painful stings deliver venom that is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions that may require medical attention. Therefore, caution should be taken around fire ant nests.

Why do I have an ant problem?

In our area, sources of food, water, and shelter are common attractants for ants looking to invade properties. For example, white-footed ants are attracted to sweets foods and damp, shaded environments while fire ants are attracted to wide open, sunny lawns and prefer to feed on meats, sweets, and greasy food items.
 
The following can attract a wide variety of ant species onto Florida properties:

  • Clogged gutters

  • Leaky outdoor fixtures

  • Unsecured garbage

  • Garden areas

  • Woodpiles

  • Bird and wild animal feeders

  • Compost piles

  • Outdoor eating areas

Once on your property, ants can quickly find their way inside homes by sneaking through cracks and crevices in their exterior while foraging for food sources. In addition, these tiny pests also commonly make their way into homes and other buildings to seek relief when the weather outside becomes unfavorable.

Where are ants commonly found?

Most ants actually prefer to nest outside, hiding away in places like underneath soil and mulch, in piles of wood, in cracks in pavement and sidewalks, along fence lines, in garden areas, under fallen trees, under landscaping ties, or inside tree stumps. However, the ants that do make their way inside homes and other buildings may decide to stay and create a satellite nest that is closer to their newly found food sources. Those ants often nest underneath floors, inside insulation, in crawl spaces, behind walls, and behind appliances and heating systems. Where ants nest does depend on their specific species, however. For example, ghost ants even create indoor nests inside potted plants and white-footed ants prefer to create their nests in high locations up off the ground; fire ants and big-headed ants prefer to nest outside but can sometimes be found inside homes.

How do I get rid of ants?

The best way to find and eliminate all the ants that are living and nesting throughout your home is to contact a pest control professional. At Reynolds, our professionals will complete a pest analysis and evaluate points of access. Based on our findings, we'll create a treatment plan to eliminate the infestation and prevent future problems with ants and other common household invaders. For professional ant control services here in Florida, reach out to the professionals at Reynolds Pest Management!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Though ants can be difficult pests to prevent, the following tips can help to deter them from choosing your home and property to invade:

  • Cut tree branches away from your the exterior of your home.

  • Place a stone barrier between your home's foundation and any mulch, soil, or grass.

  • Seal gaps or cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Make sure that weather stripping is placed around all exterior windows and doors.

  • Repair or replace torn window or door screens.

  • Create stone or rock barriers between your home’s foundation and any soil or mulch.

  • Make sure outdoor trash cans have locking lids placed on them.

  • Inside your home, keep all food in airtight containers or in the refrigerator. 

  • Regularly wipe down your counters and vacuum your floors.

 

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