Within our region of Colorado, we typically respond to calls for ant service to treat six different kinds of ants including; pavement ants, field ants, cornfield ants, odorous house ants, pharaoh ants and carpenter ants.
- Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) are by far the most common ant call that we receive. These ants are about 1/10 – 1/16 of an inch long, are dark brown in color, and prefer greasy protein rich foods. They are common indoors and outdoors.
- Field ants (Formica species) are also a very common ant outside the house, in the garden and tend to migrate in homes during the spring. They are black or reddish brown, 3/16 – 1/3-inch-long and are commonly mistaken for carpenter ants. These ants prefer sweet foods. Cornfield ants (Lasius speies) are relatively small ants, < 1/8 of an inch long, light to medium brown in color and will come inside homes and buildings after sweet foods.
- Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) are also small, 1/10 of an inch long, black in color and do not nest inside homes but might come inside after sweet foods.
- Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharoaensis) are very small ants, 1/12 of an inch long, light brown in color, will nest inside but can frequently move their nests. They are known to split their nests and can create what is called a satellite colony. These ants prefer both sweet and greasy foods.
- Carpenter ants (Camponotus species) are the largest ant in Colorado, ¼ – 3/8-inch-long, black or black with reddish brown thorax. These ants are most commonly found in forested areas, nest and cause damage in wood, and feed on both protein and sweet foods.
Most of these ants are a nuisance pest because they enter homes and buildings and crawl over countertops, sinks, floors, and bathrooms. The ants are in search of food and water and it is common to see a pile of ants if you mistakenly drop food on the ground. Due to their small size, they are difficult to keep out of homes and buildings because they can enter almost anywhere. Aside from carpenter ants, most ants do not cause damage inside the home or business but are a true nuisance pest. Carpenter ants, however, are both a nuisance pest and a wood destroying pest. These ants typically go after wood that has been damaged previously from moisture. Carpenter ants are natures clean-up crew and go after dead trees. If you are unfortunate enough to have any water damage on your home or business, it is no different to them from a rotting tree and it attracts ant activity.
Ant Service Treatments
Ant service treatment techniques will include a detailed interior and exterior inspection by the pest control technician. Identification is always key and will aid in the best mitigation approach. Most ant treatments will include a foundation treatment with an insecticide that both works as an instant knock-down but will also provide a residual for up to 60 days. In addition, ant bait might be placed outside the home in targeted areas on nests; but away from children and pets. On the interior of the home or business, we like to use ant bait. We can use both greasy and sweet baits and the kind of ant will aid us in which bait to select. If ants accept the bait and take it back to the nest, we see long term results, versus spraying inside all the time. Carpenter ants might be slightly different, where we might inject an insecticidal dust into their satellite nests in addition to the exterior treatment. The most important part about carpenter ants is to get the damaged wood repaired, so that another colony of ants does not re-infest the same area in the future. Pharaoh ants are very sensitive to insecticides and they can split their nests if disturbed, so extreme caution is used by the pest professional.
If you have an ant service with NOCO Pest and Wildlife Control, you should expect all the ants to disappear within the first week after service. It is very common that immediately after treatment, you might notice a slight increase in ant activity, due to a flushing action of the insecticides used. As with most of the common insecticides, the residual insecticide only lasts up to 60 days and some customers might prefer to maintain a preventative service on the exterior of their home or business year-around or on a custom basis to ensure they do not have ants inside. This treatment will also greatly reduce if not eliminate most of your common insect pests (earwigs, pill bugs, crickets, millipedes, centipedes) and spiders. Every home and business are different and the conducive conditions that allow ants to thrive vary greatly. Some places might benefit from a single treatment, whereas others might benefit from a preventative service. A customer must look at his or her own personal tolerances towards the insect pest. Some people cannot handle a single insect, versus other people who do not mind living with them. The technician will guide you through this and help you make the best-informed decision that is best for you and your family or business.