It is moving towards the end of termite swarming season in Sacramento so we have decided to shift our focus to another of the most common household pests in our area: ants. There is not much worse than entering your kitchen during the day to find a trail of ants going back and forth from a piece of food left in the open to an unforeseen passage back to their lair. But can ants cause more damage than simply eating away at the crumbs we leave out? Well let us first learn more about these pests.
Ant Control Service in Sacramento | Pegasus Pest Control
Why Ants Are Such A Big Pest Control Problem
Ants are one of the most prevalent pests in the greater Sacramento region. They can appear anywhere and will always be drawn to properties that have sources of food. It isn’t just homes that ants invade, they have been known to appear in office buildings, hospitals, warehouses where food and water are not in short supply. Ants also have a knock on effect when it comes to pest control as they protect and care for honeydew producing insects like whiteflies, mealybugs, and aphids. This in turn increases the damages that these guys get up to! If you need a Sacramento pest control company to take care of these little critters just call us toll free on (888) 885-5017. Commercial pest control services in Sacramento have never been in such high demand, as property owners know the risk when it comes to damages that they are liable for. Although there is only one kind that would fall under the WDO (wood destroying organism) category.
What Are The Different Types Of Ants in Sacramento
So we can see that ants can cause a massive problem in both residential and commercial buildings. Not only the hygiene regulations in place in establishments such as restaurants but also the actual structural damage to buildings and foliage outside as well. Lets take a look at the common types of ants found in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville.
The biggest ant problem in northern California is due to the introduction the Argentine Ants. They are half the size of the Pharaoh Ants mentioned below, and much the same color to the Odorous House Ant. They are a highly aggressive species and have taken over as the dominant ant in California. They are a light to dark brown in color. Bait traps and other pest control methods will not work as it depends on killing the colony at source [the queen]. For a typical Argentine Ant colony, there can be 300 queens for every 1,000 workers. They also don’t have static or permanent nests, instead able to move around whenever they sense danger. They are attracted to food sources supplied in homes and buildings. They have evolved to survive in urban areas as human irrigation systems provide them with ample supply of water. Since their introduction to North America approximately 120 years ago they have successfully invaded and settled on every continent on earth. If provoked, they have the ability to bite humans. If you notice any signs of them you will need an experienced pest control company to take care of the issue for you.
Pharaoh ants are one of the most common indoor pests found in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville. They are small in size (workers are under 2mm with the queen being 4mm). They are a light brown to yellow in color. They originated on the continent of Africa and are more suited to warm climates, making the greater Sacramento region a perfect place to habitat. They do not pose a threat to humans directly as size makes their ability to inflict harm non-existent. Pharaoh ant infestations are easy to recognize, however finding the nest can be quite tricky. They can travel approximately 115 feet away from the nest, which usually can be found from drainpipes, behind refrigerators, bookcases, wall skirting boards, and even electrical switchboards.
Pavement ants are named due to where you are most likely to find them, the pavements on the streets in which they use to get into your home. After an ant infestation they can be found in skirting boards and even in the walls. A larger breed than the Pharaoh Ant, they can get to over 4cm in length and are black to dark brown in color. A highly territorial ant they will collide and fight other ants to protect and expand their nest. They can most likely be spotted at night when they come out of hiding to source for food. All things sweet and greasy are on the menu so make sure to not leave food lying around in the open.
We have already touched on this subject in a previous post (which you can find here). Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ant found in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville. Their name comes from the ability to chew through wood, although unlike the termite they do not use it as a food source, rather to gain entry and create nests. Another highly aggressive species, they have long been known to have wars with termites when it comes to causing structural damage to your residential or commercial property. One of their most common ways of getting into your home is through the firewood, as damp and rotting wood left unattended is their perfect habitat. Due to their size and sheer strength they have the ability to bite humans. If left unattended they can cause severe damage to your home and safety so if you’re in doubt you should call us immediately. The longer they to eat away at your home the more hazardous it can become.
Other Ant Types Found In Sacramento
Odorous House Ants
Deriving from the name the odorous house ant (or stink ant) will emit a smell similar to rotten coconut when crushed. They can become 3.3mm in length and are dark brown to black in color. They have the ability to bite and can contaminate food that they come in contact with.
Velvety Tree Ants
They primarily reside outdoors feeding on the honeydew and sap produced from aphids, mealybugs, and plants. If food is in short supply the workers will forage into your home. They are red to brown in color with the abdomen a velvety black shade. They will nest in the wood and can go unseen for months if you’re not careful.
Like most ants they are named after certain characteristics. It is the same for the thief ant that will nest close to other ant colonies in order to steal their food. They love grease, which is why they are also known as grease ants. They are yellow to light brown in color and are only 1.5mm in size. If you spot them it is a sure sign that there are other species of ant infestations nearby.
Termite Swarms vs Ant Swarms
Much like the articles we have produced on termite swarms recently ant swarms are just as common. Winged ants are often mistaken for their termite counterparts due to what they look like to the untrained eye. But there are some noticeable differences that an experienced Sacramento pest control company like us can identify.
- The winged ants bodies are restricted, giving the appearance of a thinner waist line, while the termite swarmer is broad
- The termite swarmers antennae are not elbowed, but the female winged ant and worker ant’s are.
- The termite swarmers front and back wings are approximately the same size whereas the winged ants front is larger than the back.
If you notice a swarm of insects, whether it be ants or termites we always recommend our customers clean them up using a recently cleaned vacuum bag. Upon inspection of the deceased pests we can identify what we are dealing with which will aid in the pest extermination process.
Why Do Ants Swarm?
Like the termite swarms we have previously written about evidence of ant swarms prove that there is a nearby colony that is established. But ants swarm for two reasons as opposed to termite swarmers having one main goal.
Establish New Ant Colonies
Like termites, ants swarm to establish new colonies. It is usually a process due to collective intelligence that the colonies have reached maturity levels and are ready to invade other areas. These other areas can be in your home, nearby garden, or commercial properties in nearby proximity.
Find New Sources Of Food
But ants also delegate another task to their swarmers: finding new sources of food and water. This separates them as ant swarmers will return to the colony with information about nearby food sources that will lead to worker ants taking up the expedition and bringing food back to their queen. If you find an ant swarm occurring indoors than that is a sure sign that a colony is inside the building. Ants will rarely swarm indoors without an established colony already there, so if you see evidence of them you need to call us ASAP.
Call A Sacramento Pest Control Company Now
If you have noticed any form of winged ants in your residential or commercial building give Pegasus Pest Control a call toll free on (888) 885-5017 for a free pest control inspection. You can also complete our online contact form. We will be following this up with another article soon for the best methods to kill ants. If you have a question about ants or any other form of pest control leave a comment below!