With all the time we spend outdoors in Texas, we’re used to seeing ants outside. Unfortunately, these pests aren’t content to stay outside, and will do their best to make their way into your home. Ants are a common problem in East Texas in the spring and summer months, and at Innovative Pest Control, we want to help you with your ant problems before they take over your house, your yard, and your summer.
Common Species Of Ants In East Texas
There are many ant species that are common to our area, and learning more about them can help identify them and prevent an infestation. Here are some of the ant species most common to East Texas:
- Fire ants: The red imported fire ant is one of the most common species throughout East Texas and the southern United States. They are reddish-brown in color, approximately 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in size, and build large, noticeable mounds. They will react aggressively to disturbances to their mound with a painful sting.
- Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants are large ants, 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch long, identifiable by their black, brown, or a combination of black, brown, and red-orange coloring. They are mostly nocturnal and can usually be found nesting in hollow tree trunks and tree branches. However, it is important to know that they will also nest in wooden parts of structures such as doors, walls, and ceilings, often leading to structural wood damage.
- Odorous house ants: The odorous house ant is medium-sized, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch, and blackish-brown in color. They nest under objects like stone pavers and mulch. These ants are attracted to sugars and are known for smelling like rotting coconuts when they are stepped on.
- Pharaoh ants: Pharaoh ants are small ants that have a yellowish, almost clear appearance. They nest primarily indoors and are most likely to feed on foods that are high in sugar or protein.
What Attracts Ants Into My Home?
Most of these ants will nest or travel indoors if they are drawn inside. They are constantly hunting for food and water sources, which means bathrooms and kitchens are the primary areas for ant infestation. While an ant infestation is best handled by the professionals at Innovative Pest Control, there are some steps a homeowner can take to help keep ants under control:
- Clean up spills quickly and store ripe fruit in the refrigerator to keep ants away from the scents that attract them inside. All other food should be stored in airtight containers.
- Inspect your pet’s food and water bowls regularly, and clean up any food or water spills immediately.
- Clean and wipe down trash cans consistently.
Outside the home, there are also steps that you can take to make sure ants do not come in:
- Seal cracks in your windows and foundation and replace loose mortar and weather stripping.
- Make sure your firewood is stacked at least 20 feet from your house and keep shrubbery away from your home’s exterior.
- Replace mulch or pine straw with crushed stone to keep ants from nesting near the house.
These steps may help prevent an ant infestation, but given their tiny size and determination to get into your home, ants can be very difficult to keep out. If you’re dealing with an ant infestation or looking to prevent one, the best solution is to call the trained pest control technicians at Innovative Pest Controlfor a free, no-obligation inspection. We’ll handle the infestation, and help you build a plan to prevent it from happening again.