What You Need to Know About an Ant Infestation in Baltimore
Ants are common insects that are found all throughout the United States, including here in Baltimore. Seeing a stray ant might make you wonder about a possible ant infestation. Although small, ants can cause a lot of damage to your home and property.
As a professional pest control company, we have seen our fair share of ant infestations in Baltimore. This is what you need to know and how to handle an infestation.
What Types of Ants Are in Baltimore?
There are 5 common types of ants in Maryland:
- Acrobat ants: This is a heart-shaped ant that comes into your home through cracks. They can also enter through gaps around windows and doors. You might find them in your kitchen and will sting when threatened.
- Carpenter ants: These are black and red ants with wings and found around wood. They seek out moist wood to chew through and build nests.
- Odorous house ants: These are tiny and smell of rotten coconut when crushed. They love sugary food and will nest in stacks of firewood.
- Pavement ants: These tiny ants are common in the eastern portion of the United States. They are light brown to black and don’t bite. They nest inside of pavement cracks or in your walls and floors.
- Thief ants: These are one of the tiniest house ants in the world. They feed on dead rodents and will contaminate your food.
Now that you know the common ants of Maryland, let’s talk about the problems they cause.
What Problems Do Ants Cause?
Ants are tiny and appear harmless. However, there are some major potential issues you can find with an infestation.
- Nuisance: Imagine scrolling on your phone while sitting on your couch. You feel a tickle on your arm and look down. You find an ant crawling up your arm, and you instantly smack it away. This is one of the many annoying nuisances that ants bring inside the home.
- Food contamination: The probability of food contamination can vary depending on ant species. For example, odorous house ants will nest inside a pantry in your kitchen. These ants bring bacteria and can spread disease. Keep in mind that this species of ant feeds on dead insects and animals. The last thing you want is an odorous house ant near your food.
- Property damage: Ants can also cause property damage that is costly to repair. Certain species of ants will chew their way through wood, such as old wood siding, decks, and fences. Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood but they use it to create nests and lay eggs. You’ll find signs of this if you discover a small and smooth hole inside the wood.
An ant infestation is quite a headache. But what exactly is considered an ant infestation?
What is Considered an Ant Infestation?
Finding one or two ants isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. However, it can be a hint that an ant infestation is happening in your yard or home.
When it comes to a full-blown ant infestation in Baltimore, you’ll find a large number of live ants within a small proximity. Unfortunately, the infestation can happen in the interior or exterior of your home.
If the ant infestation is outside of your home, you might locate it in areas that contain rotted wood. If someone dropped food outside and left it in the yard, ants can come in hoards.
For example, carpenter ants live in highly organized colonies. They have a queen and hundreds to thousands of worker ants. They love sweets, fats, and proteins. If you drop half an apple and leave it for squirrels, ants might come to feast on it instead.
If you discover an ant infestation, don’t panic. Professional pest control companies such as Brody Brothers can effectively remove the ants and their accompanying woes.
What Causes an Ant Infestation?
If you’re facing an ant infestation, it’s helpful to know the cause behind it.
In most cases, ants are attracted to a plentiful food source, such as:
- Sugary residues from spilled soda, fruit juice, or syrups
- Spilled food, food particles, or water/food residues
- Pet foods
- Open or insecure trash containers
To take advantage of the food source, the ants must first gain entry to your home. If your home isn’t completely sealed, it can lead to an infestation on the inside.
Remember that the food isn’t necessarily going to come from your kitchen. Ants can also find food that was left outside, leading to an infestation.
How to Handle an Ant Infestation
There are several approaches to handling ant infestations in Baltimore. However, know that controlling an ant infestation isn’t always a quick and simple fix.
- Sealing holes and cracks in the exterior: The entry can be done through small cracks in the foundation or siding, poorly-sealed doors, holes drilled for pipes, or any other small opening. Try caulking around gaps within the window and door frame.
- Removing leaves and debris from around the building: Neglecting that pile of old leaves and debris in your yard? It might be a nice and quiet nest for an ant colony.
- Cleaning the kitchen and dining room often: Make sure you sweep the floors often to ensure all crumbs are picked up. Wipe off the countertops each day for crumb removal. Furthermore, make sure your pantry is cleaned out and all food is sealed inside.
- Cleaning food spills quickly: If you spill food and drink, make sure you quickly clean it up. This is especially true for young children who are notorious for leaving food crumbs from snacks around the living room or kitchen.
- Keeping garbage and pet food containers sealed: Keep garbage containers tightly closed off. Consider removing pet food from its original container and put it in a large, air-tight Tupperware bin.
Taking these steps will eliminate the source of food for the ants, which can ultimately help control the infestation.
Make Your Own DIY Ant Repellent
Ants leave pheromone trails that attract other ants along with them. In the early stages of a possible infestation, you can make the following solution. This is best used when you find a small number of ants.
This is a very easy DIY ant repellent solution to make at home. All you need is dish soap, water, and a small spray bottle.
Time needed: 2 minutes.
How to Make DIY Ant Repellent
- Get an empty spray bottle
- Add 3/4th cup of water into an empty spray bottle.
- Add a generous amount of dish soap
- Mix it and spray at the ants that you find
This solution kills the ants and cleans the surrounding area, which rids of the pheromones and scent trail.
Antsy to Remove Those Ants? Call Brody Brothers
If you do discover an ant problem, it is not advisable to treat it yourself, as many consumer products can actually make the problem worse. If you have an ant problem in Baltimore or Montgomery County, Maryland or a surrounding area, contact the team at Brody Brothers today!