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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]The fact that southern California is home to numerous ant pest species, some of which are invasive, is not news to residents of Ventura County. Residents surely recall last summer’s heat wave which brought armies of many different ant species into people’s homes. Unfortunately, there is no reason to assume that a similar invasion won’t reoccur this year. The nearly two month long heat wave that occured last July and August caused the natural food and water sources sought out by ants to dry up, thus prompting the insects to enter homes in massive numbers in search of sustenance. Some of the most common ant species to invade homes in Ventura County include Argentine ants, southern fire ants, and rover ants.

The southern fire ant is a common nuisance pest within urban and suburban environments where they build unsightly nesting mounds within residential yards. Colonies of these ants are also known for nesting near sources of moisture within homes, especially when outdoor temperatures become particularly hot and dry. While most southern fire ant colonies are located outdoors, the workers often enter homes in large numbers in search of sweet-tasting foods. Although these ants can be a nuisance for several reasons, including their habit of swarming in both indoor and outdoor locations, southern fire ants can also inflict painful stings that can be dangerous for those with an allergy to their venom.

Unlike the southern fire ant, the rover ant and Argentine ant species are not native to the United States. While neither of these ant species are known to inflict bites on humans, their massive colony sizes can cause a significant nuisance within homes, and this is especially true when it comes to the invasive Argentine ant. Argentine ants require an abundant source of water to survive, which makes them common on irrigated lawns in southern California. Multiple queens exist within their large colonies, which makes it likely for colonies to become established indoors where they seek out and feed on a variety of different food sources. Rover ants have also been known to swarm indoors, and feed on a variety of foods, but these ants prefer sweets and proteins. It is not uncommon for residents to find a large number of winged rover ants within their swimming pool, and rover ants are usually tolerated by fire ants, making it possible for homes to become infested with both ant species at the same time.

Have you ever found multiple ant species infesting your home at the same time?