When you think of dangerous insects, you probably don’t think of ants. Let’s face it: ants are tiny, they don’t weave webs or have gigantic stingers, and they don’t look all that threatening or disgusting. While you’re right in assuming that most ants can’t cause large scale trouble, ants aren’t entirely innocent pests.
If you see ants crawling around your Greenville property, you may just be dealing with a nuisance pest, but no ant species is welcome in the house and you don’t want to risk letting the issue get out of control. Let’s discuss the different ant species common in South Carolina, and what Greenville residents should do when ants make their presence known.
Ant Identification Tips For Greenville Residents
All ants have segmented bodies divided into three parts – the head, the thorax (middle), and the abdomen. Six legs branch off of the ant’s thorax, a short stinger rests on the end of the abdomen, and the face has two short antennae, two short pincers, and two small eyes.
When it comes to your home, there are two types of ants: nuisance pests and dangerous pests. The following species are nuisance ants:
- Odorous House Ants: 2-3mm in length, dark brown or black bodies. As the name suggests, these ants leave an awful smell like rotting coconuts, especially when the workers are killed.
- Pavement Ants: 2-4mm in length, dark brown bodies with lighter legs. These ants tend to nest in the cracks between pavement or under sidewalks, though their mounds sometimes emerge from these cracks.
- Little Black Ants: 1-2mm in length, dark, black bodies. You can find these pests crawling around kitchens, bathrooms, and hiding in the tiniest cracks you can find.
- Argentine Ants: 4-6 mm in length, brown or dark brown bodies. This invasive species loves moist areas, like the kitchen or bathroom, and they often push out other insects.
The occasional Greenville resident may also come across the dreaded fire ant. These bright red ants only measure 2-4mm in length, but their stings are painful and repetitive. Never let a fire ant problem carry on longer than it needs to because this is one painful pest to have.
Indoor Pest Prevention Tips
A good ant prevention strategy includes both indoor and outdoor changes. The following can be done around the house to ensure that ants don’t want to move indoors.
- Proper food and trash storage: Ants feed off your trash, pet food, and pantry, and are likely to come inside if they sense an open pantry or trash can. Keep these spaces closed and secure, and keep your trash inside or far away from the house.
- Declutter your house: Ants can find far more places to hide during the day in cluttered spaces.
- Deep clean under appliances: Ants will often find the undisturbed parts of the house and stay there to wait for their next meal.
- Reduce indoor humidity: Moisture issues indoors can weaken the wood in your home and attract ants inside, so keep indoor leaks and puddles to a minimum.
Outdoor Pest Prevention Tips
Indoor changes are only half the battle; these outdoor prevention tips will keep ants from moving near your house in the first place.
- Clear yard debris: Leaves, stones, and woodpiles make for ant feeding and nesting grounds, and once they hunker down in your yard ants will almost certainly move indoors.
- Move firewood at least 20 feet away from your building: This helps keep ants, especially carpenter ants, away from your home’s foundation.
- Seal cracks in your home’s foundation: This includes door frames and window caulking, as well as any potential entry points for ants.
- Remove standing water: Puddles can attract all types of pests, including ants. It’s good to drain water away from your house and to keep gutters clear.
- Comprehensive yard maintenance: Falling leaves create nesting opportunities for ants, so make sure to keep your grass cut short and your leaf piles disposed of.
Finally, for the best ant prevention and ant infestation maintenance, contact the pest control professionals at PinPoint Pest Solutions, and we’ll keep your Greenville property safe and secure from the problems that ants can cause.