Ants are just waiting for you to spill a few drops of a sweet drink or the syrup you put on your waffles. Ants find their way into cupboards. They help themselves to the pet’s food. And, any food that is not properly stored in a sealed container is fair game. Some ants even attack the woodwork!
Ants Are Everywhere
Ants love spilled sugar in your kitchen but they survive just fine, thank you, anywhere in the world. These adaptable critters survive and prosper at all latitudes, altitudes, and longitudes. And they can make their homes in deserts, rain forests, and on mountain heights. But, they love a temperate climate like Southern California and your home is just ideal. There are several species of ants that may wish to take up residence in or around your home.
Iridomyrmex humilis, the Ants from Argentina
Argentine ants got into the USA by hitchhiking on ships carrying coffee from South America back in the 1800’s. Although they are just 1/16 inch long, these light brown to dark brown colored ants are aggressive colonizers. In many parts of the USA, the Argentine ant has totally displaced the previous dominant species, the odorous house ant. These little guys like moisture. You will find them around sinks that drip, poorly ventilated and therefore moist bathrooms, potted plants, and home irrigation systems. Fortunately, the Argentine ant does not sting or bite but if you leave the sugar, syrup, honey, or even meat unprotected, they will eat you out of house and home!
Solenopsis, the Fire Ant
You will know if you have been bitten by a fire ant as the bite can be even more painful than a bee sting. Luckily, these guys are not as successful in colonizing as the Argentine ant. They build mounds in open areas and mostly feed on plants and seeds. It bites its prey and then injects venom with stinger attached to its abdomen. For humans, this is a painful experience. For a small animal, it can be deadly. The Red Imported variety of fire ant has even required the closure of some parks and playgrounds.
Tapinoma sessile, the Odorous House Ant
Where these guys have not been totally displaced by Argentine ants, they are the dominant house pest ant. Their name comes from the fact when squished they emit a rotten smell.
Camponotus modoc, the Carpenter Ant
These are the guys who will really eat you out of house and home, starting with the woodwork! Carpenter ants can grow to half an inch long and attach the supporting wood beams of your home much like termites and some species of beetle.
How We Prevent and Get Rid of Ants
Keeping ants out of the house is our first priority at Cal Termite. We treat the exterior of your home using a safe product, called Termidor. It contains fipronil which you may have used as a topical treatment for your dog or cat.
When ants have gotten into your home we treat in hard to reach areas where they hang out. We treat inside the walls of your home and away from living areas by removing light switch plates and outlet covers.
Carpenter ants are a different issue. Many pest control companies will refer you to a termite inspector and a termite specialist. But, we at Cal Termite are termite and carpenter ant specialists. This is a specialized job that requires specialized treatments before your home is damaged beyond repair.