What ants lack in size, they more than make up for in persistence and sheer numbers. Any home or business owner who’s combatted an ant infestation before knows that they can be the meanest insects on six legs. Beyond just being bothersome, ants can pose a grave risk to the structure of your home, business, or even your health. Often entering dwellings and commercial buildings at ground level, ants exploit the tiniest crevices between doors or utility connections in their search for food and shelter. They can turn wall voids, gaps in floors, and even electrical systems into unwelcome nests. Alabama’s warm climate supports a broad range of both native and invasive ant species. Heavy rainfall can drive them to seek new food sources in your pantry and shelter under your roof. Drought conditions can bring them inside for water. Despite their pervasive footprint in Alabama, ant invasions don’t have to be a fact of life that we learn to live with. Read on for everything you need to know about our state’s common ant invaders and how pros like APS’s extermination teams can help protect your property.
Firstly, you’ll need to know what to look for to see an infestation coming. If ants aren’t already in your building, dirt-like nests around the exterior of your land and lines of ants making a break for your building are both signs of an impending incursion. In general, ant pest populations can be categorized by their threat level. Some are merely a nuisance, but others can cause severe structural damage, and others still can be hazardous to your health. Roughly 170 species of ants call Alabama home—of those, fewer than 60 represent the lion’s share of home and business owners’ complaints.
In brief, the following is a rundown of common Alabama nuisance ants you’re likely to encounter:
- Rover Ants – Generally dark in color, these ants are distinguished by their large colonies and penchant for hiding in wall voids.
- Argentine Ants – Argentine ants are known for their vast colonies. They’re attracted to moisture, so if your space has a known issue with humidity or encroaching water, you should be on the alert for these pests to follow.
- Odorous House Ants – These insects are identifiable by the unmistakable putrid odor they give off when crushed. It’s reminiscent of rotting coconut.
- Sugar Ants – Sugar ants forage for sweet food sources, as their name implies, meaning they’re frequent offenders when ants are found in dry storage areas like pantries.
While those species are bad enough, let’s move on to address the ants that pose a risk to your home or place of business itself.
- Carpenter Ants – No prizes for guessing these pests’ favorite pastime. Carpenter ants are unique among their peer species for instinctively building nests within wood. They excavate wooden construction, like the framing of your building, to build their elaborate tunnel systems. As they go, they compromise the integrity of any structure unfortunate enough to host them along the way.
- Pavement Ants – Similarly to carpenter ants, pavement ants behave in the way you’d expect from the name on the tin. This species nests in the cracks and crevices of concrete. They’re generally found on and around pavement outdoors, but once they make their way inside, homes with accessible foundations and dirt basements can quickly become infested with these bothersome intruders.
Finally, it’s critical that you’re aware of the most physically dangerous ant species in Alabama.
- Asian Needle Ants – As their name implies, this species is known for its excruciating sting. You’re more likely to encounter Asian needle ants around patios and other outdoor recreation areas, and they have trouble climbing vertical surfaces, meaning their access to your home or business is more limited.
- Imported Red & Black Fire Ants – Fire ants are infamous for their aggressive behavior, huge numbers, and painful stings. Fire ants are found across the state, from Mobile to Jackson County, with red, black, and hybrid species all staking their claims. These ants have been known to take down animals as large as calves, making them especially dangerous to pets and other outdoor animals. Additionally, they pose an elevated threat to individuals with allergies to their stings.
- Pharaoh Ants – Pharaoh ants are notorious invaders of even the cleanest settings, like hospitals and clinics. They’re known to infest IV lines and even open wounds, carrying diseases like salmonella and Streptococcus with them as they go.
With this in mind, can you be sure your property will remain ant-free if you go it alone? Many home and business owners opt to take pest control into their own hands when it comes to ants, but it takes a trained, professional hand to nip the problem in the bud and ensure a colony doesn’t return more robust than before. That’s why our experienced, courteous teams of pest control veterans take the time to not just spot-treat ants where ants are visible. We eliminate the lingering problem where ants live. We use a powerful combination of both liquid and bait treatments to form a perimeter on the interior and exterior of your house or business to deny ants access to your spaces. Further, we’ll follow up with you ten days after treatment to confirm that your pest problem is really solved. That’s the kind of service you can expect from a fourth-generation family-owned business born right here in Alabama. Call us today to send ants away. Your free estimate is waiting!