In some locales around the globe, ants can be quite dangerous. Bulldog ants, African driver ants, jack jumper ants, and more can pose a threat to people and animals alike because of their terrible stings and tendency to swarm and overwhelm victims. Fortunately, we don’t have any of those species here in Livermore, CA but that doesn’t mean we have nothing to worry about – ants still can pose a problem for California properties, pets, and people. Though they’re considered more of a nuisance pest in our area, there are a few species that can do actual damage. Let’s talk about a few of the most common culprits in our state.
Odorous House Ants
As their name suggests, odorous house ants are smelly – they release a foul odor when crushed or sometimes even when they’re just frightened. These tiny dark brown to black ants are rarely larger than an eighth of an inch long. They prefer sugar and moisture, so you might find them in your kitchen or bathroom.
Individuals from this invasive ant species are also small – usually clocking in at just over 2mm long. Argentine ants are light to dark brown and are avid cultivators of aphids. The ants protect and assist these plant-eating pests because Argentine ants are suckers for honeydew: the sweet liquid secreted by aphids.
Like odorous house ants, pavement ants also have a very literal name, earning their moniker because they like to nest in pavement cracks. Pavement ants do have the ability to sting, but they typically don’t. Unlike a few other species of North American stinging ant, pavement ants are not aggressive and prefer flight to fight.
These large black ants are the most dangerous ant on this list because they nest in wood, tunneling through it, weakening its integrity, and reducing its structural soundness. Undisturbed carpenter ant infestations can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and cause issues like warped window and doorframes, bulging walls, sagging ceilings, bucked floors, falling decks, and more.
Like pavement ants, fire ants are capable of inflicting a painful sting. Unlike pavement ants, fire ants are far from docile. They live in large mounds that can reach two to four square feet in area and sometimes exceed twelve inches in height. If you disturb one of these mounds, fire ants will swarm by the thousands, stinging as many times as it takes to chase the threat away.
Five Tips For Ant Prevention
As we’ve seen, some ants are nuisances while others can pose more significant dangers. However, no ant is a welcome sight in your home. Even the ones that are just considered a relatively harmless bother can still spread germs and ruin food stores. So you’ll want to take measures to prevent them. Try things like:
- Avoid leaving foods, even pet foods, sitting out uncovered.
- Tightly cover all indoor and outdoor garbage cans with snugly fitting lids.
- Eat in only one location in the home and always clean up after meals right away.
- Locate and seal up potential access points to your home like cracks or holes in the siding or foundation.
- Be proactive in seeking professional help.
Here at Pro Active Pest Control, we believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to ant infestations. Not only can we help eradicate stubborn existing infestations, but we’ll also work with you to customize a prevention plan to ensure you never have an ant problem again. So give us a call at (888) 674-9095 or visit our contact page to schedule your inspection!