Ant Removal Tacoma, Olympia, Auburn, Kent, Federal Way and Burien
Ants are a very common pest in and around homes and businesses in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Some researchers estimate that there are 20,000 or more different species of Ants worldwide, not even half of which have been named and described in the scientific community, Ant Removal can be difficult. Ants can be a fascinating insect to observe, with their teamwork and communication abilities and their constant foraging to help feed the ever expanding colony. The foraging ants represent about 10% of the colony and they gather all the food and moisture requirements for the remaining 90% of ants that never leave the nest!
Everywhere they go they leave a scent, or pheromone trail. This helps them and their friends find their way back home after travelling hundreds of feet away from home in search of food. Some ants prefer to eat insect “honeydew” secretions while others prefer a bit of our leftover steak dinner, while others just don’t have a preference, they will eat whatever is available. While there are many kinds of ants distributed worldwide there are also many that call Western Washington home. Most of these varieties will mind their own business out in the woods but several are very common to find nesting in, under, on, or around your home. Some of these include: Carpenter Ants, Moisture Ants and Odorous House Ants.
Ant Pest Control Process
Rambo Total Pest Control begin with a thorough inspection to identify the species we are dealing with. We also look for areas of recent activity and signs of evidence. Our control tactics will vary depending on the species and our findings during the inspection, but a combination of the following techniques could be involved with our initial Ant removal Tacoma service: bait placement inside the structure in active areas, crack and crevice application inside, drill and treat wall voids, exterior perimeter spray treatment, ULV fogging treatment, or various other control techniques. Many of our strategies revolve around the social nature of the ants we are targeting. Baiting programs combined with “transferable” perimeter applications can be very effective because they allow the social nature of the ants to transfer these materials back to the nest sites. It is not uncommon to experience an increase in activity following an initial ant treatment. This is indicative of the ants reacting to our treatment. Usually we ask that you give a couple weeks for the products to work but if the ants are still active after that time period, please give us a call and we will return to touch things up at no additional charge. We will often recommend a recurring preventive service to maintain a barrier around your structure year-round, which will keep the ant removal Tacoma populations that exist outside from following existing pheromone trails back into your house. After the first 30 days or so we will begin our scheduled prevention services as agreed to during our initial visit.
For many years Carpenter Ants have been classified as the primary wood destroying pest in our region. They are capable of hollowing out large portions of wood from structural timbers in our houses and buildings, and creating massive nests. This behavior is great in helping to decompose fallen trees in the woods but it is not welcome in the largest investment many of us have, which are our houses. Contrary to common belief Carpenter Ants (and no other ant species for that matter) cannot digest wood. They do not “eat” it. They simply remove portions of a log or wall stud, one bite at a time, and move it to a location out of the way from the nest. Similar to how we have landfills and dumps, so do Carpenter Ants. It is not uncommon to find large mounds of sawdust-like material called “frass” under a house in the crawlspace or below a garage door header. These Ants have very strong mandibles, or jaws, which help them in the removal of wood. To guarantee survival of the population a “parent nest” sets up many “satellite nests” up to 300 away. They can infest water-weakened wood or perfectly sound wood. Many times a satellite nest is set up in a brand new house before the construction is even complete.
Moisture Ants, also known as “Cornfield Ants”, aid in the deterioration of water damaged wood. Evidence of this invader is usually not found until the late summer when the reproductive alates swarm into living rooms and kitchens creating quite a spectacle. They can be very large in number and the reproductive females are quite large. These ants speed up the decomposition of rotting wood. They do this in a similar manner as Carpenter Ants as they chew little pieces off at a time, and the large numbers of workers within a colony can bite off many pieces in a short period of time, especially when the wood is consistently moist. Many times they can form some very complex three dimensional nests with the wood, insulation or other material they are nesting in. These nests can take on the appearance of a sea sponge. (Picture of Moisture Ant nest material)
Odorous House Ants
Over the past number of years Odorous House Ants have emerged as the most common and challenging insect pest encountered in Western Washington. If you know anyone who has dealt with Odorous House Ants in their home they can undoubtedly tell you some horror stories about the years spent trying to control them. Some people (even some other pest control companies) call these pests Sugar Ants, Piss Ants, Odiferous Ants, or Odorless Ants. These pests deserve the respect of calling them by their actual name because they are tough to control! The Odorous House Ant gets its name from the pungent odor created when the ant is crushed. Some say it smells like rotten coconut, others say it smells like ammonia. It is not uncommon for us to get called out for an initial control service and find these ants infesting every room of the house. Due to their abilities for rapid reproduction and polygenic (multiple queens within one colony) nature, these very small ants can set up many colonies in a house. With up to 10,000 workers in one colony, control can prove to be a very difficult undertaking. A “budding” process happens when they sense that a chemical has been sprayed. This causes one colony to split up into multiple units or “mini-colonies” and move to different areas of the house. This is why they are so commonly found entrenched in every room of a structure. Complete and consistent efforts must be maintained to make sure that these pests are eliminated and kept out of your home or business. As a professional and experienced pest control company we have access to proven techniques and the proper materials to control these difficult pests. We will also empower you with fact-based knowledge to help us in this process.
Ant Pest Control
Control of ants within or around a structure can consist of many different techniques. Every situation is different. The important thing to remember when dealing with ants is that, due to their pheromone scent trails, there is never a limit to the quantity of ants that can target your house from outside. Neighboring colonies can easily invade after the previously existing colony has been destroyed. Our perimeter treatments and inspection processes will cut down on any chance of reinfestation. Call Rambo us for a free phone quote today!