West Palm Beach Homeowners' Step-By-Step Guide To Ant Control
May 15, 2020
There are over 10,000 species of ants in the world, and probably many more that we haven’t identified yet. In West Palm Beach alone, we’re exposed to dozens of ant species that we probably don’t know that much about.
Here are the most common household ants in Southern Florida and some of the distinct characteristics that can help you identify them:
- Destroy wet, decaying wood
- Red/black in color
- Up to ½ inch in length
- Pose serious structural threats to your property
- Infiltrate and contaminate sterile areas
- Yellow/light brown; almost transparent looking
- 1/16 inch in length
- Chew holes in silk and nylon fabrics
- Make erratic movements when looking for food sources
- Dark brown/black
- Up to ⅛ inch in length
- Highly attracted to sweet substances
Odorous House Ants
- Emit a rotten-smelling odor when they are squished
- Dark brown/black
- Up to 1/8 inch in length
- Often contaminate food
- Known for their aggressive behavior
- Up to 3/16 inch in length
- Give off a painful sting when threatened
- Extremely territorial of their nesting areas
- Build their colonies under the pavement
- Light brown/black
- Up to 1/8 inch in length
- Attracted to honeydew and tend to contaminate food
Most ants, no matter the species, are considered nuisance pests. While some species are more dangerous and destructive than others, one thing that they all have in common is the fact that they’re certainly not welcome in our homes. If you want to protect your property from ant activity, you need to be proactive in your prevention efforts. A good place to start is removing ant attractants. Here are some popular ant attractants that you should eliminate from your property immediately:
- Damp wood sources
- Dirty kitchen countertops
- Excess moisture around the property
- Leaky pipes and faucets
- Pet food
- Other readily available food sources
- Sources of standing water
- Sugary substances and spills
- Improper trash storage
Once you’ve identified ant attractants around your property, it's time to get serious about your prevention methods. Here are some helpful ways to minimize your exposure to ant activity on your West Palm Beach property.
- Eliminate access points by sealing all cracks and crevices around outside of the home.
- Keep branches, trees, and bushes well-trimmed and directed away from the house.
- Maintain a high level of cleanliness and practice proper sanitation throughout your house.
- Repair any leaky pipes, faulty facets, and malfunctioning drains, gutters, and downspouts.
- Take out the garbage often and keep it in a tightly sealed trash can outside with a lid.
- Use a dehumidifier in moisture-rich areas of the house like basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
Ants are tiny, as we all know, they can fit into some of the smallest cracks and crevices to gain entry into your house. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to detect these areas. Ants can nest both outdoors and indoors, so the possible access points are endless. Ants like to nest and hide eggs in moisture-rich areas, so inspecting the kitchen and bathrooms is usually a great place to start. Use a flashlight to search in the following areas where ants tend to congregate.
- Around floor drains
- Behind wallpaper and around walls and floorboards
- In and around utility and electrical boxes
- In cracks and crevices of cabinets
- In dirt mounds found around the yard
- In piles of firewood
- Inside motor areas of microwaves and refrigerators
- Under or behind appliances like the stove, dishwasher, sink, etc.
- Under piles of yard debris
- Under the siding of the building
If you want to get crafty, you can try attracting ants with a small lid filled with peanut butter and honey. This will bring all the ants to one central location, and you’ll be able to follow the trails of where they’re coming from, effectively detecting their nesting spots and colony locations. Unfortunately, this like most DIY methods is doomed to fail. The best form of effective ant control and prevention is professional assistance. The team at Native Pest Management is highly experienced in the comprehensive inspection, identification, and elimination of ant infestations. Call us today to get started with home pest protection and commercial exterminator services in South Florida.
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