Twenty-five percent of homeowners say ants are their main pest concern, according to a research study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). This same study revealed that more than half of all homeowners have had problems with ants — making them the most prevalent pest nationwide. In addition to being a general nuisance, these bothersome pests can cause significant damage in your home by destroying wood and contaminating your food.
Most ants thrive in warm and moist conditions and can be controlled with cleaning methods and bait systems. In some cases, the only way to completely remediate an ant infestation is to promptly locate and remove the identified species' nests.
Some of the most common home invaders include:
- Odorous house ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed. It's often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
- Pharaoh ants: Pharaoh ants also prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
- Carpenter ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove from the home since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
- Fire ants: At least 32 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to severe allergic reactions to fire ant stings each year. Fire ants can chew through the insulation around electrical wiring and have also been known to kill small animals. They currently infest 14 states throughout the Southeastern U.S.
For more information on ants and pest prevention tips, visit www.pestworld.org.