Here in Florida, we’ve got our fair share of ants (more than our fair share, really). Our warm winters and humid climate make it easy for many ant species to thrive, and our state has over a dozen problem ant varieties to show for it. In this post, we’ll drill down and focus on the most dangerous ones and talk about some things you can do about them.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants – or more commonly known as just fire ants – are an invasive South American species famous for their propensity to swarm like yellowjackets when their nest is under threat. These ants can inflict a painful sting. While one or two stings may be little more than a nuisance on their own, the problem is hundreds of fire ants can crawl up to you in seconds if you disturb their mound, stinging you hundreds of times. This can leave you with painful welts that are open to infection and can even cause anaphylaxis in individuals allergic to insect stings.
Carpenter ants aren’t much of a threat to people, but can potentially be a threat to property. While they don’t eat wood like termites, they do tunnel through it to build complex colonies that can stretch for dozens – even hundreds – of feet. These nests include highways and living spaces that can weaken wood’s structural integrity and cause decay. Carpenter ants love to get into your home’s wood components like decking, molding, railing, staircases, etc. If they get into your home’s support structure, they can cause thousands of dollars in damage and may lead to costly repairs.
Pharaoh ants are globally distributed because they’ve hopped on humans’ trade routes and spread themselves to every continent except Antarctica. However, they’re a particular problem here in Florida because of our mild winters. Harsh winters can force these ants to find an indoor source of heat or die. But here in Florida, they’re often not presented with such a choice, meaning there’s less natural control of their populations. Pharaoh ants don’t destroy homes or sting, but they spread several types of dangerous bacteria, such as staph, salmonella, and strep. They can contaminate your food stores with these bacteria if they get into your pantry.
Ant Prevention Tips
With ants stinging you, tunneling through your home, and spreading harmful bacteria, it’s safe to say you don’t want them in your house or backyard. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to keep them off your property:
- Keep both trash and food containers covered when not in use.
- Don’t leave pet food bowls sitting out – feed pets, clean the bowls, and put them away.
- Never leave dirty dishes sitting around. Wash them immediately after use.
- Repair possible access points to your home including cracks and holes in the foundation or siding, tears in window screens, gaps underneath doors, etc.
Unfortunately, ants can break through even the toughest prevention measures. If that happens, they can be tough to get rid of. Some ant species proliferate fast, pumping out dozens of satellite nests and new queens and making it almost impossible to get every last one. That’s why you’ll need professional help.
Here at Rodent Solutions, we have the solution to more than just rodent problems. With 50 years of combined experience in the pest control industry, we’ve got the solution to all your pest problems! Not only do we have the plans to get rid of the pests on your property, but we also have tons of knowledge and experience in construction, giving us a deeper understanding of how pests invade homes and how to seal them against infestation. So, give us a call at (941) 220-6982 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today.