If you notice ant activity on your property, it probably doesn’t stress you out quite as much as other pest problems. However, if you get to know some of the local ants that can invade Houston homes, you might be a little bit more concerned about attracting them into your house.
Ants That Commonly Plague Houston Homes
While there are dozens of ant species in the Houston area, there are five common species that act differently and bring different risks to your property.
- Acrobat ants: Small and light brown/black in color, these ants get their name from their incredible flexibility. Able to contort their bodies into crazy shapes, acrobat ants can get into many places that some other ants can’t. However, they are not a threat to your health. They’re simply nuisance pests which can invade your home in large numbers.
- Carpenter ants: As these ants invade your home, they’ll nest within wood. Unlike termites, these large, black ants don’t eat wood, but they’ll still do a lot of damage to your house as they nest and infiltrate your stored food areas.
- Fire ants: Red imported fire ants, or RIFA, are the dark brown or red ants that invade your yard in large groups and make large, unsightly mounds. While they are unlikely to invade your house, they’ll still deliver a painful sting if you encounter them outside. In large numbers, these stings have been known to lead to anaphylactic shock.
- Black ants: Even though these ants are some of the smallest in the Houston area, they can create a huge nuisance in your house with their invasive tendencies and large numbers. If they manage to squeeze into your pantry area, there’s not much stopping them from overrunning your stored foods.
Pharaoh ants: Very similar in size to black ants, this species will sneak into your house very easily. Unfortunately, they also carry dangerous bacteria that can spread to your food preparation areas as they invade your house in large numbers.
A Proper Prevention Plan
Since common Houston ants all bring a certain amount of risk onto your property, it’s important for you to prevent an infestation before it becomes unmanageable. By adhering to the following suggestions, you’ll decrease your risk of attracting ant activity into your home.
- Regular cleaning: consistent, deep cleanings will eliminate crumbs that attract ants. Don’t forget low-traffic areas like the cupboards and under appliances/furniture. Just the smallest crumb will send scout ants running back to their nests to bring the whole colony in search of more.
- Proper food storage: plastic, sealed containers will usually deter ants from infiltrating your stored food. Never leave food out on the counter overnight.
- Entry point identification: seal up any cracks and crevices in the foundation with silicone-based caulking. You should also check your weather stripping and screens for wear and tear. Keeping tree branches and bushes cut back from the house can help deter any form of window or roof entry.
- Moisture control: most ants are attracted to humidity and moisture buildup, so using a dehumidifier in areas of poor ventilation can help. You should also monitor your pipes for leaks and maintain your lawn regularly.
Even though all of these methods can be very helpful, nothing can guarantee that your home stays ant-free like professional assistance. Don’t wait until you’re overrun with dangerous and destructive ants, and don’t waste your money on home remedies. Instead, get rid of ants the easiest and most effective way. Call GreenForce Pest Solutions today.