There are over 12,000 known ant species in the world, and more than 270 of them live right here in Arizona. That’s a lot of ants! While most ant species prefer to steer clear of humans, we have to watch out for quite a few pest varieties here in Gilbert, AZ. While most of these pest ants are just nuisances, we do have several varieties that can sting, spread disease, and even do property damage. That means ant prevention needs to be a key part of your overall pest plan. Let’s talk about what you can do.
Problems Caused By Ants
Most ant species don’t cause any problems at all other than just being kind of ugly on your countertop or tracking dirt into your kitchen. However, some ant species can do a lot more than that. Disease is a big problem with ant infestations. Some species are known to carry dangerous bacteria like staph, strep, and salmonella, because all ants crawl around on the ground, tracking whatever germs they pick up. This means ants can ruin food stores and contaminate preparation surfaces. A few varieties do even more damage, like infesting hospitals and care homes and contaminating medical equipment, IVs, and even wounds.
Many ant varieties can also sting. While a few stinging species are pretty docile and won’t sting unless seriously provoked, other species are more trigger-happy, stinging at the slightest provocation. If you disturb their nests, some ant varieties will come swarming out by the thousands, stinging as many times as it takes to get you away from their colony. This can lead to painful, itchy welts, scarring, infection, and sometimes even anaphylactic shock.
Property damage is another danger with wood-nesting ant varieties. Some ant species tunnel through wood to build their nests. This is fine if they do it in a rotting log in the woods, but when they do it inside your home’s wooden support frame, they can do just as much damage as any termite colony. Untreated ant infestations may cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Ant Prevention Tips
Since ants can be so damaging, and you never know which species you’re going to wind up with, it’s important to take preventative measures. Fortunately, while all ant species have some variation in behavior and needs, they also all have many things in common, meaning your preventative measures can ward off many species at once. To keep ants at bay, you need to focus on three key attractants: food, moisture, and suitable nesting areas.
To reduce food attractants, always ensure your indoor and outdoor garbage is covered, dirty dishes are cleaned up immediately after meals, and all foods are stored in airtight containers. Always avoid leaving pet foods or pet bowls sitting out. Feed your pets right away and put their dishes up. Also, consider eating meals in one location in your home to reduce crumb droppage.
To reduce moisture, fix all water leakage and clogging issues such as pipes, gutters, and drainage. Try using dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in commonly humid areas of your home like basements, crawlspaces, storage cellars, etc. Finally, to reduce nesting sites, be sure to remove clutter, especially outside, so that ants don’t have shelter for their nests. Get rid of wood debris around your property, including lumber and firewood piles.
If all else fails, help is just a click or call away. Here at Pro Active Pest Control, we’ve got the tools and the know-how to get rid of any ant infesting your property, no matter the variety. So visit our contact page or call (888) 674-9095 to schedule your service today!