Ants in Texas
If you’re harboring ants in your home, you need to be aware of what different kinds of ants may be present. Different types of these critters can have various effects on your home, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with so you can be informed as you handle your pest problems. The best way to prevent pest damage is to be prepared, and this article is here to help. Below, you will find a list of ants found in Texas, and how to properly eliminate them from your home.
Why Do I Have Ants?
Finding ants inside usually means you have crumbs, spills, and other food messes that have not been properly cleaned. It can also mean that your home is not as secure from the outside as you thought and the ants are able to find a way in. Regardless of how and why the ants are there, you need to know something about these tiny insects. There are over 700 species of ants in the U.S., so you will not encounter all of them. It is necessary to properly identify the ant species that you have in order to effectively eradicate them. Of the thousands of species of ants, the ones listed below are the most commonly found in Texas.
Fire Ants in Texas
Fire ants invaded Texas over 50 years ago and have thrived through our searing Texas heat, hurricanes, freezing temperatures, and floods. But that does not mean you have to live with them. These red insects are most commonly found in the southeastern United States, although they have been making their way north for many years. These ants are feared due to the incredible pain caused by their bites. Although they typically stay outside, they will come inside if food is available to them. These ants can grow to around five millimeters long, and bear a distinguished red coloration. During the warmer seasons, they may nest in a wide variety of outdoor environments, including lawns, fields, and gardens. When the colder months arrive, they may try to make homes inside your house and invade your interior space. They are a mean breed of ant and inflict a painful sting if threatened.
Why Fire Ants Enter Your Home
Fire ants enter your home in search of food, water, and shelter. A fire ant infestation is most likely in the hotter months of the year or during heavy rain. These ants will enter your home in a similar fashion to most pests, through small cracks and crevices in your home structure.
Are Fire Ants Dangerous?
A fire ant infestation can be extremely difficult to manage. The colonies are typically very large and they burrow underground. Fire ants can be a great danger to your family and your pets. They are aggressive ants that bite. If you are suffering from a fire ant infestation contact a pest control professional to exterminate them before it gets out of hand.
Carpenter ants are one of the more feared ant species one can find inside. As the name implies, carpenter ants burrow into the wood in your structure. While they are often confused with termites, they are not the same. Still, their burrowing can cause massive structural damage if left unchecked or undiscovered. Tell-tale signs of a carpenter ant infestation include piles of wood shavings on the ground and the faint sounds of rustling from inside your walls. The name "carpenter ant" may suggest that these ants feast on wood, but they actually carve wood out for the sole purpose of creating homes.
Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?
Carpenter ants can be aggressive and may sting if their nest is disturbed. Carpenter ants are a threat to many Texas homeowners because these ants can cause real damage to your property. If you live in a wooded area, your home is at a higher risk of being attacked by these ants. They tend to burrow in damp wood but have also been known to damage solid wood. They do not eat the wood, but simply remove it in order to build a nest.
Pavement ants are about one-eighth inch long. They generally make their nests in pavement cracks and are also capable of infesting buildings. If you notice ant pounds piling up outside around your driveway or sidewalk, you are likely dealing with pavement ants. These tiny insects love to burrow outside around structures, and while they are not dangerous on their own, they are still attracted to food sources and will find their way into your home if given an opportunity.
Odorous ants are commonly found indoors. They are harmless, black insects that will not hurt you, but their presence usually indicates a mess. Furthermore, their nests and leavings can be gross and pose a health risk if left untreated. They get their name due to the rotten coconut-like smell they emit when killed, which is a good reason to leave them alone, and contact a pest professional to get rid of these pests.
Acrobat ants are found throughout the United States, including Texas. Acrobat ants are a type of worker ant that nest in moist wood and damaged wooden structures. These ants may not invade the interior of your home, but they will forge homes in the exterior of your property or in any damaged wooden parts of your house. They can also nest in foam insulation, so keep that in mind if you have insulation in your home. Be cautious of these ants, as they can be aggressive and have the tendency to sting.
Dark Rover Ants
Rover ants are commonly found in the South, and nest in parking lots or under objects on the ground. If they get inside your home, dark rover ants are most comfortable in bathrooms or kitchens, as they have an affinity for sweet liquids. They live in large colonies which means they have the potential to swarm and cause a huge nuisance in your home.
These ants can be found virtually anywhere in the United States. They have a brownish color and can make homes in insulation or cracks in walls. While these ants cannot sting, they release a musty smell if crushed.
Pharaoh Ants are sweet-feeding ants that can trail inside our structures. Unfortunately, over-the-counter sprays only serve to splinter colonies and spread them throughout the structure.
Rover Ants are a new ant species that can occasionally grow in population enough to invade our structures. They are sweet-feeding ants that can trail inside our structures.
Ghost Ants are a relatively new invasive ant species that can number in the hundreds of thousands in population around our structures. They are sweet-feeding ants that is very adaptive at living inside our structures. Unfortunately, over-the-counter sprays only serve to splinter colonies and spread them throughout the structure. Control for these ants can be achieved with our professional pest control methods. Call for a free quote to help rid your home or business of these nuisance pests.
Raspberry "Tawny" Crazy Ants ("RCAs")
Rasberry Crazy Ants, also known as Tawny Crazy Ants, are a somewhat new invasive ant species that we are dealing with in the Gulf Coast region. These ants are so difficult to deal with because of the size of their “colony”, oftentimes over 150 acres! These ants forage over a large region and their density in trailing is quite disturbing.
Why Should I Worry About RCAs?
RCAs, when foraging around your structure, will enter through exterior walls and over-winter inside the structure. They can then emerge inside during the winter months and inundate the interiors. Another major concern is these ants have an attraction to Electro Magnetic Frequency (“EMFs”). All electrical contacts emit EMF and RCAs can infest these areas and cause power interruption and even electrical damage.
Since the colony is much larger than your property, eliminating the RCA colony is impossible, so we look more for control. The control we get is defined as keeping them outside and not in your structure.
How to Get Rid of RCAs
RCAs typically forage from May to October, depending on many environmental factors. While we will perform a 1-time service, for ultimate control we recommend our monthly treatment regimen during these months. Over the past several years we have developed a treatment regimen that incorporates several products and strategies to gain that control. We treat up to 10,000 square feet of lawn area using a granular material and spray applications on the perimeter of the structure(s) on your property.
When to Call the Professionals
If you’re dealing with ant infestations, be sure to contact local Pest Control today. If you live in the Houston Texas area, Our team at Alvin Pest Control is here to make sure your pest problems are taken care of with efficiency and care. We will investigate your property, construct solutions for your issues, and execute our plans with professionalism. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can serve you!