What You Should Know About Florida Ants

There are many species of ants throughout Florida. Although most of the ant species are not typically encountered in residential or commercial properties, there are some ant species that do enter structures and are more likely to become a pest. Some ants can inflict painful stings and bites that can be venomous and can cause serious medical problems for some people. Ants are also known to cause damage to electrical boxes, patio slabs, under edges of sidewalks, foundations, concrete driveways, plants, crops and can reduce ground nesting populations of rodents and birds. Click on the link below to find out more about the species of ants that are most seen and encountered in homes and businesses…

  1. Red Imported Fire Ants
  2. Ghost Ants
  3. Crazy Ants
  4. Carpenter Ants
  5. Big Headed Ants
  6. White Footed Ants
  7. Argentine Ants
  8. Pharaoh Ants
  9. Thief Ants
  10. Acrobat Ants
  11. Pyramid Ants
  12. Rover Ants

Diet: The food preferences of some species of ants consist of honeydew from plants, oily substances, insects, seeds, sweets, fats, and proteins. Ants become an issue for residential and commercial properties when they feed upon and contaminate food, infest and invade buildings by creating nests in wall voids or under structures, build colonies and ant mounds in gardens, lawns and build nests inside structural wood.

Ants on Cupcake

Treatment: Since there is not a one size fits all ant treatment, an inspection should be made by a Pest Control Professional to determine the type of ant involved in the infestation. Identifying the type of ant responsible for the infestation, would allow the Pest Control Professional to select the proper treatment for the specific targeted pest as well as locate the potential nesting sites and to identify and correct the contributing conditions that led to the infestation.

Ant Mound By Fence

Ant Reproduction: There are two primary methods used by ants when establishing new colonies. One method used is by swarming. This is the most common method of the two for reproduction. Swarming takes place when males and females leave the nest during the Spring. The other method used would be by budding. This is when one or more queens leave the nest to begin a new colony. The ants that reproduce by this method are the most challenging to control. Argentine, Ghost and Pharaoh ants are the most common ants that reproduce by budding.

Fire Ants with Pupae

Ants & Termite Swarmers:  Oftentimes, ants and termite swarms are often confused with each other. The way that you could tell the difference between an ant swarm and a termite swarm would be by their:

Antennas: Ant swarmers have an elbowed or L-shaped antenna, while the termite’s antennas are straight.

Bodies: Ant swarmers have narrow, constricted portions of their bodies, called thread waists, while the termite swarmers have broader waists without any constriction.

Wings: The hind pair of wings are smaller than the front pair for ant swarmers while the wings for the termite swarmers are approximate in size.   

Controlling Indoor & Outdoor Ants: Some strategies that have been proven to be effective in controlling ants are by sanitation, habitat modification, and by physical & chemical controls.

Sanitation is especially important for prevention and control. Clean up any food debris and spills especially those involving sweets (ex: soda, candy, baked goods etc.). Make sure to thoroughly clean all food preparation areas and in areas where there is grease and where food debris may build up. Keep food in tightly sealed containers, remove any food debris left in the kitchen sink, keep garbage in a tightly sealed container and if recycling, make sure to rinse off any food residue to also help with control.

Habitat modifications reduce ant entry points and access to food. Clear all landscape debris away from the house, so that the ants will not be able to make a nest. Seal all potential entry points by using a silicone caulking compound as they are more flexible, long lasting, and easy to apply; start where the ant trails are gaining access to your home or office. It is important to seal cracks, and crevices especially around cupboards, baseboards, outlets, toilets, pipes, and sinks. The use of weather stripping around doors and windows where ants may enter have also been proven effective.

Our team here at Trapline Pest Solutions are ready to help you solve your ant problem. We will provide you with a thorough inspection of your home or office and identify the target pest responsible for the infestation and provide you with the most effective and long-term treatment available to date. We provide services throughout Central Florida. Give Trapline a call today to schedule your free estimate at (407) 970-5645.

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