Ants are one of the most annoying pests that we have the unfortunate pleasure of frequently encountering in our day to day lives. They are tiny insects that work in massive, intricate colonies to constantly grow their colony. There are approximately 270 ant species scattered across California, each one unique their own way.
Though they are annoying, ants are a necessary part of the ecosystem because their colonies are typically underground where they aerate the ground allowing the land to grow more. Interestingly enough, ants are capable of lifting something that is 100 times their weights, which helps them become such great workers.
Why Do Ants Enter Your Home?
Ants find their ways into your home for a variety of reasons, but mostly it’s for food. Your home acts as a nice dwelling for ants to thrive because it can protect them from the weather outside and other predators.
They can come into your home through the tiniest of cracks and gaps, mostly found in the kitchen where the food is stored and prepared. Once a food source has been found by scouts, a trail is formed using pheromones from the food source back to the colony where workers will travel to and from transporting food.
Different Types of Ants in California
There are 5 different types of ants that are common in California.
These tiny ants are non-stinging and typically have multiple queens per colony. Argentines are attracted to bacteria which can be troublesome for health reasons. They are typically light to dark brown and have 12 segments on their antennae.
These are one of the largest ant species and the last ones you want to see around your home. They are considered wood-destroying insects which means they act similarly to termites and consume the cellulose in wood for food. If found it is best to get them under control quickly otherwise they could spread around the inside of your home and cause structural damage.
The pharaoh ant is often mistaken with the Thief ant with the biggest difference being their color. They are mostly yellow with red and black markings on their back. They will typically go after sweeter items and proteins like peanut butter, but they may also be found nesting in places with no food sources nearby.
Unlike the Pharaoh ant, Thief ants are yellow with brownish markings and have only 10 segments on their antennae compared to the 12 on Pharaohs. Thief ants will typically have more order and organization in their trails than other ants.
Odorous House Ant
One of the most common ants, the Odorous House ant gets its name from the smell it secretes. When squished Odorous House ants give off a scent that is similar to a minty, rotten coconut smell. They are one of the most common house ants and will typically go after sweet items.
Signs of Ants
Here are 3 key signs of an ant infestation.
- Trails: Ants form trails from nest to food sources which is the best way to identify an ant infestation.
- Noise: Depending on the severity of the infestation, if an ant infestation is large enough you may be able to hear them working wherever the majority of the colony lives.
- Missing items/damages: If you notice a diminishing amount of a particular food missing then it could be a sign of ants. Additionally, depending on the ant there could be physical damage to your house along with frass piles laying around.
3 Tips to Prevent Ant Infestations
Ant infestations can be difficult to get rid of once they have invaded your home. Here are 3 tips to help keep ants out of your California home.
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean: Ensure there are no crumbs, grease, sweets, or food laying out. Staying on top of cleanliness is one of the best ways to prevent ants from targeting your home.
- Yard Maintenance: Ants want to establish colonies where they won’t be disturbed. Unkempt yards will provide more hiding places for ants to grow and thrive.
- Hire the Professionals: A professional pest control company will have the knowledge and product necessary to prevent ant infestations from ever happening.
Hire a Reliable Ant Control Company
Pacific Pest Control has been tackling and solving ant infestations in Los Angeles and Orange County for many years. With so many different ant colonies in California alone, having the understanding of how to treat each type of ant is vital to keeping them away for good. Ant infestations are extremely difficult to get rid of because ant colonies are persistent and require high attention to detail and strategic treatment plans.
Contact Pacific Pest Control today and talk to one of our certified representatives to get a free estimate on ant treatment and prevention, along with answering any questions you may have!