How To Get Rid Of Ants
To effectively get rid of an ant infestation, follow these steps:
- Identification: Identify the ant species to choose the right control method.
- Sanitation: Keep your home clean, especially in the kitchen. Store food in airtight containers, and promptly clean up crumbs and spills.
- Sealing Entry Points: Seal cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and walls where ants can enter.
- Remove Attractants: Eliminate food sources by fixing leaks, sealing trash cans, and cleaning pet food dishes.
- Natural Deterrents: Use natural remedies like vinegar or lemon juice to deter ants from entering specific areas.
- Ant Baits: Use ant baits containing insecticides or boric acid. Place them near ant trails but out of reach of pets and children.
- Barrier Treatments: Apply ant barriers, like diatomaceous earth or insecticide sprays, around entry points.
- Professional Help: If the infestation persists or is severe, consult a pest control expert for tailored solutions.
- Prevention: After elimination, maintain cleanliness and address moisture issues to prevent future infestations.
Effective ant control depends on proper identification and a combination of strategies to address the specific ant species and the extent of the infestation.
Types of Ants in Ohio
Here are some common types of ants found in Ohio:
Carpenter ants are relatively large ants, typically measuring between 0.25 to 0.5 inches (6 to 13 mm) in length. They come in various colors, including black, reddish-brown, or a combination of black and red.
Carpenter ants are found in various natural environments but are notorious for invading homes. They prefer to nest in moist, decaying wood, but they do not consume the wood like termites. Instead, they excavate galleries to create their nests.
Carpenter ants primarily feed on sugary substances, insects, and other small organisms. They forage for food both outdoors and inside structures.
These ants are known for their ability to cause structural damage. They tunnel through wood to create nesting sites, which can weaken wooden structures over time.
Carpenter ant colonies consist of worker ants, which gather food and care for the nest, and a queen, responsible for laying eggs. Some colonies can have multiple satellite nests connected to the primary nest.
Carpenter ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult can take several months, depending on environmental conditions.
If carpenter ants infest a home or structure, it's essential to address the issue promptly. This often requires the services of a pest control professional who can locate and eliminate the nests and recommend measures to prevent future infestations.
Carpenter ants are fascinating insects, but their presence in homes can be a cause for concern due to the potential for structural damage. Proper identification and management are essential to protect homes and structures from their destructive habits.
Learn more: Carpenter Ants
Pavement ants are small ants, typically measuring around 1/8 to 1/16 inch (2.5 to 3.2 mm) in length. They are usually dark brown to black in color, with paler legs and antennae.
As the name suggests, pavement ants often nest under sidewalks, driveways, and in the cracks of pavement. They can also be found nesting indoors in walls and under floors.
Pavement ants are omnivorous, meaning they eat a wide variety of foods. They are known to consume sugary substances like nectar and honeydew, as well as proteins from insects and human food scraps.
These ants are known for creating small mounds of soil near their nest entrances, particularly in outdoor environments. They are also scavengers and will forage for food in both natural and urban settings.
Pavement ant colonies typically consist of workers, a queen, and sometimes winged males and females. Colonies can vary in size but usually contain a few thousand ants.
Pavement ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The time it takes for an egg to develop into an adult ant varies with temperature and other factors.
When pavement ants become a nuisance indoors or damage pavement outdoors, it may be necessary to manage their populations. Pest control methods can include baiting, sealing entry points, and eliminating food sources.
Pavement ants are common urban pests known for nesting in and around human-made structures. While they may not cause structural damage like carpenter ants, they can be a nuisance when they invade homes and create unsightly mounds in outdoor areas.
Learn more: Pavement Ants
Odorous House Ants:
Odorous house ants are small ants, usually measuring around 1/16 to 1/8 inch (2 to 3.2 mm) in length. They are typically dark brown to black in color.
These ants are known as "odorous" because they emit a foul, rotten coconut-like odor when crushed. They often nest in and around homes, making them common household pests. Their nests can be found in wall voids, under floors, or outdoors in gardens and mulch.
Odorous house ants have a varied diet, feeding on sugary substances, insects, and food scraps. They are attracted to sweet foods and can forage both indoors and outdoors.
These ants are known for their trailing behavior, where they form lines or trails to food sources. They are skilled at exploiting food resources in kitchens and pantries.
Odorous house ant colonies can vary in size but often contain thousands of ants. They have multiple queens, which makes colony growth faster.
Like most ants, odorous house ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult can take several weeks, depending on environmental conditions.
Managing odorous house ant infestations may involve removing food sources, sealing entry points, and using ant baits or sprays. Professional pest control services can be helpful for severe infestations.
Odorous house ants are a common nuisance in homes due to their ability to locate and exploit food sources. While they do not cause structural damage, their presence can be frustrating, and the unpleasant odor they emit when crushed makes them easily identifiable.
Learn more: Odorous House Ants
Field ants are a group of ants that vary in size and color depending on the species. They can range from small to medium-sized ants, typically brown or black, but some species may have reddish or yellowish hues.
Field ants are commonly found in open fields, meadows, grassy areas, and gardens. They build nests in the soil and often create small mounds or openings in the ground.
These ants are omnivores, consuming a wide range of food, including insects, honeydew produced by aphids, nectar from flowers, and occasionally scavenging on human food scraps.
Field ants are generally not aggressive towards humans and do not pose a direct threat. They are primarily focused on foraging for food and tending to their colonies.
Field ant colonies can vary in size, with some consisting of only a few hundred ants, while others may number in the thousands. These colonies usually have a single queen responsible for egg-laying and worker ants that gather food and care for the nest.
Like other ants, field ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult varies depending on environmental conditions.
Field ants play a significant ecological role by helping control insect populations and aiding in soil aeration through their tunneling activities. They can also act as pollinators by visiting flowers for nectar.
Field ants are generally not considered pests, and they rarely invade homes. However, in some cases, their mound-building activities in lawns or gardens may be considered a nuisance.
Field ants are important members of the ecosystem, contributing to the balance of natural environments and providing benefits such as pest control and pollination, while usually coexisting peacefully with humans.
Learn more: Field Ants
Fire ants are small to medium-sized ants, typically measuring around 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) in length. They are reddish-brown to reddish-black in color, with a darker abdomen.
Fire ants are known for their aggressive and invasive behavior. They are most commonly found in warm and sunny regions, such as the southern United States. They build mound-shaped nests in open areas, often in lawns, gardens, and pastures.
Fire ants are omnivores, consuming a variety of foods, including insects, small animals, seeds, fruits, and even dead organisms. They are attracted to sugary substances and can scavenge for food.
These ants are notorious for their aggressive nature and painful stings. When disturbed, they will defend their nests vigorously, and their stings can cause burning sensations, itching, and allergic reactions in some individuals.
Fire ant colonies consist of worker ants, multiple queens, and sometimes winged males and females. The presence of multiple queens makes these colonies grow rapidly.
Like other ants, fire ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The time it takes for an egg to develop into an adult ant depends on environmental conditions.
Managing fire ant infestations can be challenging due to their aggressive nature and large colonies. Control methods include baiting, mound treatments, and prevention measures like keeping outdoor areas clean and clear of food debris.
Fire ants can have negative effects on local ecosystems, as they compete with native ants and disrupt the balance of insect populations. Their presence can also harm ground-nesting birds and other wildlife.
Fire ants are known for their painful stings and their ability to establish large, aggressive colonies. While they play a role in natural ecosystems, they are often considered pests and require management when they invade human-occupied areas.
Learn more: Fire Ants
Allegheny Mound Ants:
- Allegheny mound ants are relatively large ants, typically measuring between 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 13 mm) in length. They have a distinctive reddish-brown color, and their bodies are covered in fine hairs.
- These ants are native to North America and are often found in grassy or open areas, such as meadows, prairies, and along woodland edges. They are known for building large, conical mounds made of soil and plant material.
- Allegheny mound ants are primarily carnivorous, preying on insects and other arthropods. They are also known to feed on honeydew produced by aphids and other insects.
- These ants are considered aggressive defenders of their nests. They have strong mandibles and can deliver painful bites to potential threats. They are also known for their territorial behavior, protecting their mound from other ant species.
- Allegheny mound ant colonies can be quite large, with thousands of individuals. They have multiple queens, which can contribute to colony growth. The colony's mound serves as a central hub for foraging, nesting, and protection.
- Like other ants, Allegheny mound ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult varies with environmental conditions.
- These ants play a role in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations and aiding in soil aeration through their mound-building activities. They can also interact mutually with aphids, protecting them from predators in exchange for honeydew.
- Allegheny mound ants are generally not considered household pests and are not known to invade homes. However, their large mounds can be an interesting natural feature in open landscapes.
Allegheny mound ants are important contributors to their ecosystems, playing roles in predation, soil enrichment, and even mutualistic relationships with other insects. They are primarily creatures of open habitats and do not typically pose problems for humans.
Learn more: Allegheny Mound Ants
Thief ants are very small ants, usually measuring around 1/32 to 1/16 inch (1 to 2 mm) in length. They are pale yellow to light brown in color.
Thief ants are often found in a wide range of environments, both indoors and outdoors. They tend to nest in hidden or protected places, such as under rocks, logs, and inside walls of buildings.
Thief ants are true to their name; they are known for stealing food from other ant colonies. They are scavengers, feeding on the larvae, pupae, and food stores of other ant species. They also consume a variety of organic matter and sweet substances.
These ants are highly secretive and rarely seen out in the open. They rely on their small size and stealth to infiltrate the nests of other ant species and pilfer their resources.
Thief ant colonies can range in size from a few hundred to several thousand individuals. They have multiple queens, which contributes to colony growth. Thief ants are known for their polygynous colony structure, meaning they have multiple queens in a single nest.
Like other ants, thief ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult varies depending on environmental conditions.
Thief ants are generally not considered household pests in the same way as other ants, as they do not typically invade kitchens or cause structural damage. However, they can be a nuisance if they infest stored food items.
Managing thief ant infestations, if necessary, may involve sealing entry points, eliminating other ant species in the area, and using ant baits or traps.
Thief ants are unique among ants due to their scavenging behavior, which relies on infiltrating and stealing resources from other ant colonies. While they may not be as commonly encountered as some other ant species, they are a fascinating part of the ant world.
Learn more: Thief Ants
Citronella ants are relatively small ants, usually measuring around 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) in length. They are distinctive for their light yellow to brownish-yellow color.
Citronella ants are primarily found outdoors, often in wooded areas and under logs or rocks. However, they can also be found indoors in homes, particularly in damp or moisture-prone areas.
These ants are omnivorous, consuming a variety of foods, including honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs, as well as dead insects. They are also known for their sweet tooth and may be attracted to sugary substances.
Citronella ants are not typically aggressive towards humans. They are known for their distinctive lemony or citrus-like odor, which is emitted when they are crushed. This odor can be quite strong.
Citronella ant colonies consist of worker ants, a single queen, and sometimes winged reproductive ants. The colonies tend to be smaller in size compared to other ant species.
Like other ants, citronella ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult varies depending on environmental conditions.
Citronella ants are generally not considered household pests, although they may occasionally enter homes in search of food or moisture. Their presence indoors is often a sign of underlying moisture issues.
Managing citronella ant infestations, if necessary, usually involves addressing moisture problems in homes, sealing entry points, and removing attractants such as food crumbs or leaks.
Citronella ants are unique among ants for their lemony scent and their preference for damp environments. While they are not typically harmful, their presence indoors can indicate underlying moisture concerns that should be addressed.
Learn more: Citronella Ants
Acrobat ants are relatively small to medium-sized ants, typically measuring around 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) in length. They vary in color but are often brown to black, and they have a distinctive heart-shaped abdomen.
Acrobat ants are adaptable and can be found in a variety of environments, including woodlands, gardens, and urban areas. They nest in various locations, such as dead or decaying wood, leaf litter, and even wall voids in buildings.
These ants are omnivorous, consuming a range of foods, including insects, honeydew produced by aphids, nectar, and sugary substances. They are also known to scavenge for food scraps.
Acrobat ants get their name from their unique behavior of lifting their abdomen over their thorax and head when disturbed, resembling a gymnast doing a backbend. This behavior is used as a defense mechanism.
Acrobat ant colonies typically consist of worker ants, a queen, and sometimes winged reproductive ants. The colonies can vary in size, with some containing hundreds to thousands of individuals.
Like other ants, acrobat ants go through complete metamorphosis, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The development from egg to adult varies depending on environmental conditions.
Acrobat ants are not considered major household pests, although they may occasionally enter homes in search of food. They are not known for causing significant structural damage.
Managing acrobat ant infestations, if necessary, may involve sealing entry points, removing food sources, and using ant baits or traps. Professional pest control services can be helpful for severe infestations.
Acrobat ants are unique among ants for their acrobatic behavior and their ability to adapt to various environments. While they are not typically considered harmful, it's important to address any infestations to prevent them from becoming a nuisance in and around homes.
Learn more: Acrobat Ants
Ohio is home to a variety of ant species, and this list only covers some of the more common ones you might encounter. Ant identification can be more precise through a professional entomologist or pest control expert. For help identifying an ant infestation, or to learn more about our professional pest control services, contact us today!
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