They might be small but they sure are mighty! We’re talking ants – an insect that seems to be able to show up in all seasons and places, including homes, gardens, garages, and sheds. Creative and persistent in their efforts to claim territory for their own, ants can be annoying to humans occupying the same space, especially late March to early September when ant activity peaks, prompting home and business owners to find a way to control ant activity. Calgary’s ant populations are immune to harsh winter temperatures and are quick to re-establish their colony at the first sign of spring. As social insects, ants work hard to build a community that can survive the harshest elements and human disturbances.
Ants in the Home
Like most insects, most people are okay with them just so long as they remain outdoors and away from human life. Unfortunately that’s something that rarely happens, as ants, like most insects, view the indoors as a haven for food and water, sustenance that can be hard to find regularly in the outdoors. Ant activity in the home or business is a frequent concern that Calgary pest control and extermination companies handle. The pharaoh ant is a species found in Alberta capable of transmitting disease, and is never a welcome sight in a home or business’s pantry or kitchen. Recognizable by their distinctive light yellow body and red and black abdomen markings, pharaoh ants have only one objective – forage for food to support a growing colony. Keeping ants out of your kitchen means keeping countertops squeaky clean, and mopping up sugary liquids that can quickly attract ants.
When it comes to ants in the home the common carpenter ant usually comes to mind, and for all the wrong reasons. Infamous for gnawing through the support structure of a home, carpenter ants cause nothing but problems and should always be controlled at the first sighting. The winged male and female worker ants are not a sight anyone wants to see, as these insects usually appear after a colony is well established, meaning infestation is a concern when these worker ants are spotted. Varying in size and colour, carpenter ants prefer to seek out moist wood that can be easily gnawed through. Because of this, decks, porches, and window sills are all vulnerable wooden structures that carpenter ants will take advantage of if given a chance. Seeking professional help in eliminating carpenter ants is recommended as their tendency to develop satellite nests and colonies can make their presence hard to control.
Ants and Yard Damage
If worrying about protecting your home from an ant infestation wasn’t bad enough, these tiny insects can also cause problems for yards and gardens due to their love of building nests in lawns, planters, and composting structures. The give-away sign of ants nesting in a lawn are piles of fine soil, indicating a nest is below. More bothersome than anything, consideration should be given to the destruction of lawn nests as colonies are easily reclaimed by incoming queens, leading to further nests being built by new worker ants. While in some ways they are a help to gardens by feeding on other insects, ants typically upset the tranquility of a yard by protecting insects like aphids whose sap they feed on. An over-abundance of aphids invariably leads to plant ill-health and demise. Destroying ant colonies underground can be tiresome due to their extreme resilience. Bringing in the pros is recommended for both fast and effective solutions.
Ants might not be the worst insect to spot but they can present concerns when left uncontrolled. To protect the health of your home and yard, talk to the team at One Man and a Ladybug today about ant infestations.