Lutherville and Timonium: Ants in your plants?
Lutherville and Timonium residents know how to take care of their homes; the area is particularly known for beautiful brick and Victorian-era homes, as well as meticulously mulched flower and plant beds.
These same charming features also make the area a target for “overwintering” odorous house ants.
These ants nest under mulch and feed on the waste of plant lice, making Lutherville and Timonium a target for major ant infestations in the spring and fall.
That Telltale Smell
It’s sometimes difficult for homeowners to determine what kind of ants they’re dealing with, but odorous ants are easy to identify by the strong, rotten coconut smell they emit when crushed. They tend to congregate around the kitchen sink, dishwasher, pet food, bathrooms or pantries. These bugs may be small, but they do pose risks; they can contaminate food and may even bite if threatened. These are nomadic creatures that are always on the move looking for their next sugar fix. They feed on the excretions of plant lice, nectar and any sweet liquids they can find, but they will also dine on meat or grease in a pinch. In more urban environments, people often get a nasty surprise when they find them in trash cans, drink cups and soda cans.
Unlike other pests that disappear if you wait out the season, odorous ants live for several years, building a network with many queens and connected nests. Their populations can grow out of a control and can even exceed 100,000. This is why our clients often think they’ve taken care of an odorous ant infestation by getting rid of the visible insects, only to have them reappear again and again. As long as there is food, especially sugary or sweet liquids, these ants will be back.
The Infestation Timeline
When the weather is nice, odorous house ants live outside and feed on the food available in their immediate environment.
They nest in mulch beds, sheds, mailboxes, retaining walls, and trees, bushes and shrubs infested with plant lice and aphids.
When the weather cools off and food becomes scarce, they target your kitchen or settle in damaged wood, near heating pipes, air vents and under the floor.
Ants in general are very resilient and many of our customers see them come back year after year before they finally call in the experts at Brody Brothers to end the problem once and for all. In fact, ants are the number one pest we see in Lutherville, Timonium and the general Baltimore area, and odorous ants are the most difficult species that our technicians deal with.
It takes knowledge, experience and the right tools to get rid of these persistent insects. Because of their large populations spread out across multiple nests, our customers can’t pinpoint and treat all their hiding spots with traditional home ant treatments. Brody Brothers locates and treats all the nests, and targets all potential access areas to prevent more ants from moving in.
5 Tips on Ant Prevention
Some customers will find ants in their homes no matter how regularly they clean, but we’ve developed five tips for keeping them at bay:
- Clean up spills right away.
- Keep pet food bowls and the surrounding area clean.
- Make sure to fix any leaky sinks, windows, or showers.
- Avoid using ant sprays. They only mask the problem while potentially polluting your cooking surfaces with dangerous chemicals.
- Spray existing ants with a solution of 2 oz. hand soap to a quart of water. This will kill the ants and get rid of the chemical trails that attract more ants, preventing the infestation from getting worse.
Remember that just treating visible ants and wiping off countertops won’t do the trick. If you spot more than a few ants, chances are there are hundreds or even thousands more hiding away. Call in the experts at Brody Brothers to keep your home ant-free.