For most people, spring in New York and New Jersey means ants in the kitchen. Beneficial in their natural outdoor environment, when ants invade homes, ants can become a serious problem for home and business owners. Ants live in huge colonies that can number in the millions. While most species dwell outdoors in underground nests, ants often enter homes while foraging for food and may build satellite nests indoors in places such as wall voids, under cabinets or in attic insulation. A long trail of ants leading into a trashcan or food left on a counter is a frequent indication of ant infestation.
While most ants are classified as nuisance pests, carpenter ants damage buildings, pharaoh ants spread bacteria, and many species contaminate food supplies. By virtue of their tremendous numbers and persistent behavior, even nuisance ants can become an overwhelming problem. If ants invade your home or business, call a pest control professional. Home treatment and garden sprays will just cause ant colonies to split or relocate making extermination more difficult. Ant extermination requires expert identification and pest control treatment.
Do you hear a rustling sound, something akin to crinkling cellophane when standing near a wall in your home? Do you find that you keep killing ants, only to have them return again and again? If so, you may have carpenter ants. These industrious insects hollow out walls and can cause structural damage to your home if the problem is not corrected swiftly.
Carpenter ants are large, black ants that prefer to build their nests in moist wood. They often settle in kitchen and bathrooms. Some homeowners find that they can spray to no avail: the ants keep coming back. This is because the only effective way to rid your home of carpenter ants is to destroy their nests. Then you must correct moisture problems to avoid their return.
Carpenter ant communities operate through a system of parent and satellite colonies, with nests inside and outside of a home. So it is essential to find the nests because even if you are able to kill the ants you see, others continue to reproduce.
It is possible to bait the ants yourself using sugar or honey. Instead of killing them, you can feed them and follow them to their nest. Afterwards, the nest must be destroyed. This method takes patience and time. Late nights are prime time for worker ant activity, so you could find yourself sacrificing sleep to do some of this detective work.
If you find that trailing ants is not for you, or if your efforts to find and destroy nests are unsuccessful, then it is time to call in the professionals. Bear in mind that it may take more than one visit to complete the task, but it will be well worth it. Your walls will stop talking and you’ll sleep a lot easier.
Ants are amazing little creatures. Their determination has inspired folk tales and video games. Their complex societies fascinate scientists and children. But their trailing mini-highways do not gladden the hearts of homeowners.
Basically ants will go wherever they can find consistent sources of food and water. First they usually send out a scout. It’s that lone ant you see scurrying across your kitchen counter. He’s the Kit Carson of the ant world. Head him off at the pass and you may avoid the problem. Clean the surface immediately, and hopefully more ants won’t follow.
But to ants your kitchen is a veritable pirate’s cave full of hidden treasure. Spilled juice that dribbled it’s way under the fridge, bread crumbs, and even spattered oil on the stove. Or teenagers’ rooms with nearly empty soda cans, candy wrappers and perhaps a sticky spoon or plate hidden somewhere – all these call loud and clear to ants from miles away.
To avoid an ant attack, clean up after preparing food and spills. Regularly clean cabinets, counter, stovetop and floors to prevent food buildup. Use vinegar or soapy water to eliminate the scent of food that will attract ants. Be sure to take out the garbage every day and keep it bagged. Ants will inevitably find their way to garbage so keep your bins as far from the house as you can.
Pet food is another ant attractant. Try putting out your pet’s food only for short times during the day. Wipe up spills immediately.
If you have a serious ant infestation, it may be best to call a professional NY, NYC pest control firm.
Let’s hope NJ and NYC ants are ordinary insects and not the new species of ants recently found by German biologists in the Amazon rain forest. According to the scientists the ants date back about 120 million years. They base this estimate on testimony from a really old guy living in the rain forest – well actually on ant DNA samples.
If they can survive the heat and dangers of the rain forest let’s hope they didn’t climb into the suitcase of a researcher that decides to visit NJ or NYC.
The scientists hope the discovery of the new species of ants will provide an insight into the early evolution of ants. If they bring them over to Stern Environmental the Stern guys will probably provide the scientists some insight into the modern techniques of ant destruction.
If they end up in your NJ or NYC kitchen (probably not) they look like a miniature wasp and are unique in the ant family. You might become envious when I tell you the ants were discovered while the scientists were fortunate enough to have the pleasure of investigating fungus.
If you are invaded by ants of any variety call a NJ, NYC pest control professional.