An In-depth Look At Ants
Ants are a dominant group of social insects. They are found throughout the world except in the polar regions. They are the number one pest - difficult to control due to their large numbers.
The Ant Colony
Ants have winged reproductives, both male and female. They swarm like termites and many times are confused with them. The males die shortly after mating. The female will then find a suitable place to start a nest, usually in the soil but at times in a wall void. She will then start laying eggs. When the tiny, white, legless grubs (larvae) hatch, they are fed by the salivary secretions of the female queen. After molting several times, the young (larvae) change into a soft, white pupae. Soon after the pupae emerge as young adults. Now they take on the role of a caste member, mostly workers at first, they take over the role of caring for the young, foraging for food, and defending the nest.
Ants eat a wide variety of food, including other insects, seeds, nectar, meets, greases, sugars, and honeydew. Honeydew is a secretion from plant sucking insects such as aphids. Ants will herd the aphids and protect them from predators. The ants take care of them like humans care for cattle. Ants will create pheromone trails to help other ants find their way to and from food sources. At times these trails lead into and out of our homes and places of work.
Ant Control and Management
It is important to note that only a few species of ants are considered pests. It is very important to determine the type of ant to know the size of the ant colony. Some ant colonies are small while other will number in the millions. Is the colony inside or outside the structure? So, an inspection is required.
Both the inside and outside of the structure has to be inspected. Placing baits may help speed up the inspection process and helps determine the location of the nest. Look for small opening into the structure. Look for vegetation attached or touching the structure. Are the ants following cables into the structure? Inspect the vegetation around the property for signs of aphids.
Caulking or using a high-quality sealant around pipes and other structural penetrations may be required. Leaks must be repaired. Trim shrubbery away from the structure. Remove stacked firewood away from the structure. Screen windows. Seal window and door frames. Control aphids.
Consider using baits first. These are best used early in the springtime when the colony needs to grow, and other food sources are not available. Do not spray or dust around the baits since this will contaminated them.
Use crack and crevice treatment in areas where a nest is suspected, use dust in wall voids. Use wettable powders and micro-encapsulated formulations where pesticides may be absorbed into surfaces.
Holes may need to be drilled to gain access to the nest sites.
Sometimes granules or sub-slab applications may be needed to eliminate the ants.
Magic Exterminating has the equipment and knowledge to make every type of application needed to eliminate the ant pest. Our team of professional exterminators can assist with your ant problems in and around New York City and Long Island. Contact us today for a free on site estimate.