In the Arlington area there are three types of ants that the experts at EcoTek are called on to treat. We commonly treat household ants, carpenter ants and occasional red imported fire ants. Household ants are commonly found inside homes or businesses. Carpenter ants build their nests inside the wood of your home. Fire ants prefer to live in colonies outside where there is direct sunlight, but they can prove to be an issue for people spending time outside in your yard.
The Difference Between Ants and Termites
Many people can confuse termites and carpenter ants, but there are a few distinct differences:
- Both ants and termites have two sets of wings. Termite wings are the same size, while ant wings are larger wings in the front.
- Ants have bent antennae are bent and termites have straight antennae.
- Termites have broad waists and are uniform in width, while ants have narrow waists and have distinct segments.
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Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants were brought in from South America in shipping containers sometime in the 1930s. They arrived in Mobile, Alabama and have spread throughout the southern portion of the United States. They are extremely invasive and continue to spread more each year. They will build massive underground colonies with multiple mounds throughout a property. It can be difficult to treat fire ants because of their extensive tunneling systems. It is best to call the professionals at EcoTek that can quickly work to eliminate the colonies.
Dangers of Fire Ant Stings
Fire ant stings are very painful and cause welts. Some people can have severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis from a sting. Most fire ant stings can be treated with Benadryl spray to help with the itching and swelling. If you experience difficulty breathing after being stung or if they have dizziness, fever, headaches, chest pain or severe sweating, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Controlling Fire Ant Infestations
The fire ant treatments available at the local home improvement stores are primarily powder based or granule treatments that require you to sprinkle the treatment on the ant mounds and then soak them in water to kill the ants. However, the fire ants will use their tunnels to escape the treatment. The best solution to make sure you truly eliminate fire ants on your property is to contact the experts at EcoTek to come out and pump insecticide throughout the entire network of the underground tunnels.
While termites use wood as their primary food source, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, instead they build their colonies in the weak and decayed wood and hollow areas that can be in your home or around your property. The tunnels they create inside of your wood can cause similar damage to your property as termites.
How to Identify Carpenter Ants
When you are trying to identify carpenter ants, you should look for wood damage, that will go with the grain of the wood. You may find hollowed out areas in the wood. Saw dust pellets may be found around your home and if you tap on the wall where a nest is the ants may come streaming out.
Eliminating Carpenter Ants
Like fire ants, carpenter ants build extensive tunneling systems that allow them to navigate the walls inside of your home and provide exits outside of your home. While you may try to treat the colony, they may retreat to an area that is safe from treatments. The DIY ant control methods use liquid and dust, but you may still miss an area. The best option is to contact EcoTek who will find all the tunnels and nests to perform treatment with commercial grade insecticides to eliminate them from your property.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if I have carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants prefer damp wood, and they will burrow through the wood to build nests. When you knock on the walls, you may hear hollow wood, and the ants may swarm out.
What do each of the different types of ants look like?
Household ants are black and smaller in size. You can find them in your kitchen, but they tend to build their colonies outside. Carpenter ants are also black but larger inside. They build their colonies in wood. The fire ants are similar in size to carpenter ants but are red or a reddish brown in size.
What should I do if I see an ant?
When you see an ant, you need to take action quickly. You can kill the ant and then clean the area with bleach or household cleaner to wipe out the trail that the ant left behind. Then call the experts at EcoTek to take care of the entire ant colony.
How are fire ant mounds different from ant mounds?
Fire ant mounds are larger and can be up to 18 inches tall. The mounds do not have a hole time in the top like other mounds. The entrances are on the side of the mound. There may be several mounds throughout your yard if they have established a large colony.
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