The Ants Are Coming!

Roses are red, violets are blue, she’s got ants and so do you

This time of year, especially with the wet, wet, wet winter we’ve had, we can expect heavy ant pressure.  They could show up in new areas where they haven’t before, or in heavier numbers. Ants are social insects, like wasps and yellow jackets. They can have either one or multiple reproductive queens, which mate once and can continue laying fertilized eggs for 20+ years!  Social insects utilize a caste system with defined roles. If a worker ant’s job is to tend to the brood then that is what she will do for her entire adult life.  If her job is to gather food, that task will dictate every waking hour.  Outdoors, ants are just fine, if you ever have an hour to spend on a warm summer evening we would highly recommend finding an ant trail outside and following it around (bring a flashlight).  You will be amazed at what they can teach you!  Our job is to prevent them from establishing a colony in your home or business.  Varying construction styles and conducive conditions make for ideal ant habitats.

There are 3 main species of Ants we typically see affecting a structure this time of year: Carpenter Ants, Odorous House Ants, and Pavement Ants.

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants can cause significant damage to the structural wood members of a house.  Both these pictures showing Carpenter Ant damage were taken at locations where we treated.  Unfortunately the call from our client came after the ants had already done their damage.  As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Carpenter Ants Tacoma
Odorous House Ants
OHAs are a prolific nuisance pest in Western Washington.  The individual ant is very small but their nests can regularly house upwards of 50,000 ants!  If you think you have these PLEASE DO NOT SPRAY OVER-THE-COUNTER PRODUCTS or DIY REPELLENTS, as that will only complicate the control measures.  We only use non-repellent materials on these pests, due to their sensitivity and avoidance of standard chemical treatments.  The sooner we start the control process the sooner control will be achieved, but it always takes some time.  

odorous house ants tacoma
Pavement Ants
If you have to choose one of these three species to have in your house, Pavement Ants would be the one to pick.  These ants can be a seriously annoying pest but they don’t have some of the survival capabilities of Odorous House Ants, and the most damage they will cause is their tell-tale pile of dirt and sand they kick out of expansion joints in sidewalks and driveways. 

pavement ants tacoma

 

If you find any signs of having an ant infestation at your home of business this Spring, don’t hesitate to call.  We can be reached at 253-848-6000 or [email protected].  We look forward to keeping you free of unwanted pests this Spring and Summer!  Remember, Rambo’s Got ‘Em On The Run! 

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