1 ant. . . 2 ants. . .3 ants. . .4!! How many is too many? If you are seeing the occasional ant on the window sill or an intruder by the shoe rack, do you need to be concerned? How do you know when you have an ant infestation on your hands? Well, while no ant in the house is necessarily a good ant, there are signs you can watch for to ensure that a small problem doesn’t grow.
From famed fable worker to pernicious picnic pests, ants are so common they are found on every continent except Antarctica. Due to their industry, reproductive speed, and strength, ants are a formidable home invader. And while most ants aren’t particularly dangerous or destructive (barring the carpenter ant), they can contaminate food and cause damage to structures and peace of mind.
So, how do you know if you are facing an ant infestation?
5 Signs You Have an Ant Infestations
- Live ants: One or two ants in your kitchen might not mean an infestation. But take a minute to watch them before writing them off. Are they forming a trail? Do they seem to be coming from the wall? Ants leave pheromone trails to alert other ants to make sure if you kill an ant or two, that you also wipe around them as much as possible to eliminate the trail.
- Ant pathways / sawdust trails: If you are seeing more than a few ants or they are traveling in a line, you might have yourself an infestation. As other ants pick up the trail, they may find your abode the perfect place to nest in the walls with access to plenty of food and water. A more concerning trail would be a sawdust trail. If you are finding piles or trails of sawdust around your home, you might be looking at a carpenter ant infestation. It is important to take care of that before structural damage occurs.
- Discarded wings: Another sign that you might have ants in your home is discarded wings. During the life cycle of some ants, they have wings for a short period of time. They can swarm during the summer and they look for a place to start a new colony. You don’t want them to choose your home, so if you see wings, take action.
- Noise in your walls: If you’ve seen some of the above signs, you might want to take a minute to check your walls. If you’ve seen ants coming out of outlets or see rips in wallpaper, listen in the area for rustling. There might be ants nearby. They can live inside the walls but they can also travel between the wall and wallpaper.
- Dirt mounds / ant nests: Another telltale sign of a possible ant infestation is seeing an ant nest in your yard. While it doesn’t guarantee that ants will invade your home, an ant nest is a sure indication that ants are near and it can increase your chances of an infestation. If you see a distinctive volcanic-type pile of dirt with ants coming and going, make an appointment with a pest professional to stop them in their tracks.
How do I keep ants out?
Ants are opportunistic. They are foraging creatures so if they stumble upon a smorgasbord at your house, they are going to capitalize on it. Practicing cleanliness will go a long way to discouraging invaders. Open sugar bowls, food crumbs, even exposed pet food dishes can result in an ant explosion. Sweeping floors and keeping food sealed in airtight containers are just a few steps you can take. In addition, seal cracks and gaps to reduce access to your home. Make sure bushes and plants aren’t making contact with your house and providing a highway for insects to access your windows, etc.
Concerned about an ant infestation? Call the ant control experts at Cascade Pest Control. We will work with you to develop a plan to get ants out and keep them out.