Do you know how many different types of ants there are? What about the ones that like to make their homes in your home? Did you also know you cannot treat all ants the same way? Should I hire a professional exterminator? Is Orkin worth it? There is a lot to think about when you are talking about ants getting into your home, and usually calling in a professional is a good idea.
There Is More Than Meets the Eye
Say you buy a can of spray made to kill ants, thinking that is all you need. While it will kill the ones crawling around on your counters or your floor, there is way more to treating ants than killing a few stragglers. Ants are social insects and live in colonies. By the time you see scouter ants, there is already an established colony in play. Those scouts have been sent out to search for a food source and return to the colony with their findings. They may also be searching for a place to establish a new colony.
The best ant exterminators will understand that you can’t treat just one spot. They will search for the colony to find it and get rid of it before it becomes problematic. You can’t just spray with an insecticide and expect that the ants are gone. It takes more effort to find the source of the ants invading your home. A little spraying will only deter them momentarily. When they come back, they will come back in force if you have not gotten rid of the colony.
Unintentionally Attracting Ants
Most people don’t want ants in their homes because they’re annoying and they can bite you or your children. Ants typically find their way inside for a single reason: They need food. Sugar ants love sugary things, and other types of ants may enjoy greasy foods and residues.
Other things that attract ants include pet foods that are left out during the day. Some ants love those, and other insects do, too. You always want to take the trash out regularly because ants will go after that, too. If you collect recyclables, make sure you rinse them out thoroughly before putting them in the recycle bin to avoid ants finding a treat in there.
Carpenter ants are different. They like proteins and will eat through wood. If you see piles of wood shavings, that is a red flag that you might have carpenter ants. When you see these, you definitely want to call a professional because these little guys are hard to get rid of on your own. The cost of a pro will be worth preventing extensive damage to the internal wooden structure.
What the Pros Do
Getting rid of ants is a lot more involved than wiping down some counters, mopping some floors, and spraying some bug spray. A full-blown infestation can be extremely challenging to get rid of, mainly because you might not even see it. The first thing a professional will do is identify the type of ants you’re dealing with, and then they will look for what is bringing them out.
Once the ant species have been identified, you can expect the exterminator to evaluate the severity of the infestation. Steps involved include visually inspecting for trails and groups in addition to drilling small holes into your wall to see if they are hiding inside your walls. If it is possible that you have carpenter ants, your exterminator may also need to check crawl spaces and exposed wood. Doing this allows the professional to decide what course of action is required to begin treating the infestation.
Once the exterminator knows the extent of the infestation, your home is ready for treatment. The treatment chosen will also consider the people and animals that live in your home, as insecticides or other chemicals can be dangerous if accidentally ingested. From there, the professional will let you know what the most effective approach is to get rid of the ants and keep your loved ones safe in the process.
A Few Final Thoughts
Ants do not seem like a big deal at first, but the picture gets more clear when you know what you are dealing with. Ordinary people do not usually know what to do about ants beyond the basics, so getting a professional on board is always good to get rid of them. It is entirely possible that you do not know what is attracting the ants, so having a professional let you know what the cause is will make it easier for you to treat and prevent infestation.