Ant Control: Removal, Treatment & Prevention
Prevent Ants From Marching Into Your Home or Business
Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring ants indoors looking for shelter from the storm.
While most insects quiet their bodies in diapause —a period of suspended development — over the winter, they come alive with activity as the weather warms. This is why you’re most likely to experience an ant problem in the spring and summer. And while they are mainly a nuisance bug, ants can contaminate food, and carpenter ants cause structural damage.
Learn more about the types of ants active in the Washington, D.C. area, proper ant control prevention measures and ant removal.
Common types of ants
There are more than 700 ant species in the United States, but the three most common types you’ll find being pests in the D.C. area are odorous house ants, carpenter ants and pavement ants.
Odorous house ants
These small brown and black ants nest near moisture sources,in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood. Odorous house ants love to eat sweets, and are especially fond of honeydew. They look for crumbs in your kitchen and can contaminate food, which is why you should contact a CroppMetcalfe pest control professional for ant removal if you spot these pests.
Carpenter ants build smooth tunnels inside wood, so they pose a property threat if they gain access to your home. They enter structures through wet, damaged wood, but once inside, carpenter ants continue to build paths through dry, undamaged wood. They find their way in through cracks around windows and doors or through holes for wires. These large black ants require a water source to survive.
These dark brown to black ants typically build their nests in or under cracks in the pavement, but can also be found in ground-level masonry walls, in insulation or under floors. Pavement ants eat insects, seeds and a variety of foods you probably have in your kitchen right now. They can contaminate food, so hire a pest control professional to implement an ant control plan if you see them in your home.
Seeing ants is the main way to know you have an infestation, but you can also look for rotted areas on the exterior of your home (a sign of carpenter ants) or listen for them in your walls or floors. If you’re unsure whether you have an ant problem, contact CroppMetcalfe for a free inspection.
Take the following preventive measures to keep ants out of your home or business.
- Eliminate sources of standing water
- Trim tree branches, shrubbery and bushes away from the home
- Seal cracks and openings around the home’s exterior
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home
- Keep your kitchen clean, especially wiping away food crumbs and drying any wet spots
- Store food in airtight containers
- Empty and clean trash bins regularly
Ants are hard to control once you notice they’re inside the home. Leave ant removal to the experienced pest control professionals at CroppMetcalfe.