Pest control professionals throughout the United States claim that ants are the most common insect pests within homes. A recent survey of pest control professionals found that carpenter ants, pavement ants and odorous house ants are the most commonly managed ant pests within US homes. The fourth most commonly managed ant pest within homes is a non-native species commonly known as the Argentine ant. This ant species has established an invasive habitat in southern California where it has become the most common pest of homes. Pest control professionals follow four simple steps when addressing ant infestations within homes. Before inspecting a home for signs of ant activity and associated damage, pest control professionals gather available specimens in order to identify the species. Once the location of the ant colony and all nesting sites are discovered, pest control professionals treat the nest/s directly with insecticide spray, dust, and in some cases, the colony is eradicated with bait.

When contacting a pest control company, homeowners usually describe the ant pests found in their house, which is often sufficient for pest control professionals to accurately identify the species. Pest control professionals are familiar with the common ant pests active in their area, and several identification resources are available that allow pest controllers to confirm the species of pest ants. Pest control professionals also possess a vast knowledge of the behaviors demonstrated by different ant species, which is essential for picking the proper treatment methods. For example, bait is used to exterminate the particular ant species that forage both outside and inside of homes from one central nest. Bait contains a slow-acting poison that worker ants transport back to their nest where the poison spreads and kills the entire colony. Bait is not as effective against ant species that establish multiple satellite nests in addition to one parent nest. This is because workers may transport bait to satellite nests rather than the parent nest where the queen resides. Insecticides cannot be sprayed directly on ant nests located within narrow wall voids that are largely inaccessible; instead, insecticide dust is usually injected into wall voids through a tiny drilled hole in order to kill nesting ants. The most difficult ant species to eradicate from infested homes in southern California include Pharaoh ants, Argentine ants and ghost ants.

Have you ever lived in a home that became infested with ants?