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Ant Identification

What are ants?

Ants are insects that no one wants to discover living in their homes or yards. Unfortunately, at some point or another, ants are likely to make themselves at home on your St. Louis property. Ants live together in huge colonies and have made a name for themselves as common household pests after discovering that people will supply them with their basic needs.

Two types of ants we deal with regularly in the St. Louis area are pavement ants and odorous house ants.

  • Pavement ants look like your generic everyday ant, so the best way to identify these small black ants is by where they create their nesting sites. As their name gives away, pavement ants like to nest in the exposed soil in or next to sidewalks, driveways, masonry walls, and foundations.
  • Odorous house ants are another unassuming species of ant. They are small ants that are black and brown. The way that most identify this species is by their smell. These ants produce an unpleasant odor that is likened to rotten coconut when squished.

Are ants dangerous?

There are dangerous ants that can cause some problems like biting, stinging, or causing structural damage, but in most cases, ants are considered nuisance ants. Being a "nuisance" means that they won't cause major damage to our homes or be a health threat to people.

Ants do cause us some issues, and they should never be allowed to become a permanent member of our households. As ants travel over the ground and decaying matter, they come into contact with bacteria and pathogens that they then carry on their bodies and legs. When inside our homes, they then contaminate food and surfaces with those pathogens.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Most of our yards naturally offer ants a place to nest and forage for food, and once comfortable; they will eventually make their way inside a nearby structure, potentially your home. Ants are omnivores and feed on many different things like garden aphids, the sap of plants, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

Since they can feed on many of the same things we do, our properties are very attractive to ants. Ants can feed their colonies from the food they come across in our kitchens, outdoor eating areas, and yards.

Where will I find ants?

Ants are active and move around during the day back and forth from their nesting sites to food and water sources.

Some of the common places to see ant activity in and around our homes include:

  • Gardens and flower beds
  • Around trash cans
  • Pantries and cabinets
  • Kitchen counters, tables, and floors
  • Pet food bowls
  • Near sinks, drains, or vents
  • Foundation and basement walls
  • Near windows and doors

Ants are social, and worker ants create pheromone trails to alert the rest of the colony to food sources. Their ability to effectively communicate with each other is why an ant infestation can seem to pop up overnight.

At the first sight of ants moving around your indoor or outdoor spaces, reach out to Roberts Pest Control for professional help. The faster you ask for help, the faster we can work together to eliminate them!

How do I get rid of ants?

When ants have decided to use your St. Louis property as a place to nest, the best way to get rid of them and prevent a re-infestation is to partner with a professional. At Roberts Pest Control, we are passionate about developing pest control solutions that will meet your family's needs. Our St. Louis pest professionals know how to get to the bottom of your ant infestation, provide effective treatments, and put into place the routine services needed to provide a comprehensive, long-term solution.

To have your family's and property's pest control needs met, partner with the company that offers common-sense pest solutions in the St. Louis area: Roberts Pest Control. To learn more about our solutions to your ant problems, contact us today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Taking the time to make changes around your St. Louis yard and home that will make it less attractive to ants is essential to preventing problems with these common household pests.

Below is a list of our most helpful ant prevention tips:

  • Pick up fruits and vegetables from garden areas to prevent ants from using them as a food source.
  • Store pet food in hard-sided containers with locking lids. Pick up your pet's uneaten food each day.
  • Store all trash in containers with locking lids. Remove trash from your home daily and have your family's trash picked up from your property each week.
  • Keep your kitchen clean, wash dirty dishes, vacuum, and keep tables and counters wiped down and free of crumbs.
  • Outdoor eating areas should be kept clean and free of food debris.
  • Keep ants from being able to move in and out of your home as they please by sealing cracks in the foundation, place door sweeps on exterior doors, place a mesh cover over vents, and seal spaces around wires and cables leading into your home.
  • Ants gravitate to moisture; leave a barrier between any mulch and your foundation, make sure gutters are working, and repair leaky pipes.