When ants get into your home, what is your first response? Do you get a product that targets ants and eliminates them on contact? Do you follow up by cleaning the areas with a vacuum and some soapy water? These methods work to get rid of ants, but they don't offer long-lasting control—and it is a hassle to have to keep applying methods like these to address ant problems. Join us as we look at common ants in Honolulu, the problems ants present, and the challenges of DIY ant pest control methods. We'll finish off by talking about the most effective way to get rid of ants and keep ants out of your home. If you have questions about ant control in Honolulu, you should find many answers in this short article. If you have a question that needs an immediate answer, remember that you can reach out to us by phone or through our contact page at any time. Pest Tech Hawaii provides advanced pest control in Honolulu; our team is happy to help you find answers to your pest control questions. Connect with us today.
What Type Of Ant Is In My House?
We have several ant species in our service area and it would take pages to describe each, so for the sake of brevity, let's consider the different types of ants. Keep in mind that some ant pests present more than one issue.
Stinging Ants: The most common stinging ant is the fire ant, which has more than one species. Typically, these ants are all red or red with darker abdomens. While we call them "fire ant bites," these ants actually sting. They do this in the same way a wasp does. A fire ant has a stinger on the end of its abdomen. It plunges the stinger into the skin and injects venom. The result of a fire ant sting is usually localized pain and an irritated wound that can last for days. It is also likely that you'll get more than one sting; fire ants aggressively defend their nests as a group, and each worker ant is able to sting repeatedly.
Destructive Ants: These ants (known as carpenter ants) excavate galleries in wood and produce a material called frass, which is a mixture of wood shavings, insect parts, and droppings. When these ants get into your home, they can weaken support beams and create structural issues over time. It is essential to know how to identify carpenter ants so that you can protect your property from this destructive behavior. While they won't wreck your home in a week or a month, they can do a lot of damage over time if left untreated. The worst part is carpenter ants can feed on outdoor food sources and grow a large population without appearing indoors. Why is this bad? Because, when ants make an appearance indoors, you're going to do something about them. These destructive ants can damage your home for years, right under your nose. You may not know you have a problem until you find out that your home has extensive damage.
Electrical Ants: These ants invade circuit boxes, outlets, electronics, and car engines. They chew on wire coating and cause electric shorts when electricity passes through them. If your lights go out or your car doesn't start, you may have these ants causing trouble.
Swarming Ants: These ants gather into a swarm in the air and on the ground. In the air, winged alates gather to mate and establish new nests. On the ground and on surfaces in a house, they can gather into clumps that look like something out of a science fiction movie.
Disease-Spreading Ants: Almost all ants do this. The reason they are a disease risk is that they climb around inside trash receptacles and then get into stored food packages or climb on food-preparation surfaces.
Let's take some time to consider how ants present a danger when they get into Honolulu homes. While most of the time, ants are just a nuisance, there is a potential for harm. Understanding the health risks can motivate you to take appropriate steps to do ant control in your house the right way.
Are House Ants Typically Dangerous?
An ant that explores a clean home is less likely to spread germs, but it is extremely difficult to keep a home clean enough to prevent the spread of germs. Ants are tiny insects. They can get into places you wouldn't expect and access areas that are hard or impossible to clean. It is also difficult to keep a home clean all the time. Life gets busy. Therefore, ants are a danger when they infest Honolulu homes. They go from dirty things to clean things and leave invisible organisms. When you use a utensil, plate, cup, toothbrush, cutting board, or any other item in your home, you can't tell if it's contaminated. Germs are microorganisms.
Ants that sting present a greater threat. Some individuals have an allergy to the venom of insects, and stinging insect allergies can form later in life. Fortunately, stinging insects don't prefer to stay indoors. They create their nests in the ground and live in the sunny areas of your yard. The concern is when they create nests in a sunny location near a foundation wall and start getting inside on a routine basis in search of protein sources to feed on, such as remnants of chicken or steak on your dishes. They can strike at any time, and an allergic reaction can lead to a hospital visit.
The Hassles With Do-It-Yourself Ant Control
Ant control for homeowners is tricky. There is no silver bullet or simple ant control solution. Let's take a quick look at a few things that don't work, and why they don't work.
- Spray products only treat the symptom. There are many things that will eliminate ants on contact. You don't need harmful materials to get rid of ants. The problem isn't that ants are difficult to eliminate; it is that eliminating ants on contact will not get to the heart of your problem. You need to address the ant colony and the queens that are producing worker ants.
- Topical treatments are easy to avoid. Have you ever watched ants? They are continually walking up to each other and checking each other out. What they're doing is looking for harmful materials. Products that are detectable to ants are easily avoided. Products that are undetectable to ants may also become easy to avoid if ants are taken out. When an ant dies, it produces a scent that warns other ants that the area is dangerous. In both cases, tropical treatments often fall short of achieving positive results.
- Bait is a common and effective solution for ant problems. Sadly, there are many ways ant bait can fail. If you use the wrong bait, the ants won't take it. If you apply too much bait, the ants will develop bait aversion and stop taking the bait. If the bait works too quickly, it can cause colony budding. This is when one colony turns into several colonies. If you put bait in a sunny location, it may become inert. The list goes on.
- A solution that works well for homeowners is a mixture of sanitation and exclusion. Proper trash management and general cleaning remove the smells that attract ant pests to your home, and exclusion makes it harder for ants to find a path indoors. The downside of these methods is that it is hard to keep up with them. They are a hassle in the strictest sense.
Whether you attempt to control ants with products and have unwanted results or you have success keeping ants out but the effort is wearing you out, it is a hassle. Fortunately, there is another option. You can have someone apply ant control effectively and let them do the hard work of keeping ants out of your home.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Ants
If you have an ant problem, the best solution is to contact Pest Tech Hawaii for assistance. Our technicians have ongoing training and re-certifications to stay on the cutting edge of pest control technologies. They know what is needed to address the specific ant pests you're dealing with and are able to offer a customized solution for your specific needs. Once the ants are out of your home, you can keep those ants out with ongoing pest control service. Ants are far from the only pests that get into Honolulu homes. Every home can benefit from routine visits from a licensed and experienced pest management professional. If you've been on the fence, let your ant problems inspire you to get the pest control you've always needed. Connect with Pest Tech Hawaii today to schedule an inspection. When you need guys who know how to deal with pest problems, let our guys be your guys. Contact us today for assistance.
As a Realtor with At Home Hawaii, I work with Pest Tech on a regular basis. The quotes are always competitive and the people we've been working with have been great. I highly recommend Pest Tech.