Ant Control Maintenance: Keeping Your Oahu Home Ant-Free Long-Term

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ants crawling on food

Have you noticed labels on plastic bottles that say "BPA Free"? Without getting too technical, bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in plastic water bottles and other products. Although the Federal Food and Drug Administration says that consumption of low levels of BPA is acceptable, many consumers demand the removal of bisphenol A in plastic bottles due to suggested links with some medical conditions. As a result, many bottles have the label "BPA-free" to let people know the plastic does not have the chemical.

Not only do we want products free from potentially dangerous chemicals, but we want our homes to be ant free. No one needs the embarrassment of ants running across the countertops when guests visit, and we certainly don't want them crawling over our bodies while we sleep. 

You are probably reading this article because ants are marching parallel to your baseboards or congregating around garbage cans inside your house, and you want your home to be free from ants. The first step is to secure pest control in Oahu from Pest Tech Hawaii. The founders of our locally owned and operated company have 130 years of combined experience in the pest control industry. Our licensed and insured technicians stay current on the most up-to-date products and techniques. Because we are a Hawaiian company, we understand the community, culture, and unique pest issues on our string of Islands. 

There are more things you can do after partnering with Pest Tech Hawaii that will ensure you enjoy an ant-free home, so please keep reading to learn more.

The Life Cycle Of Ants: How Infestations Develop And Spread

A colony of ants can start in one of two ways; swarming or budding. When a nest matures, the queen produces a group of reproductive male and female ants, known as alates, and these ants are different from the others because they have wings. After a heavy rain and temperature increase in the late spring or early fall, the reproductive ants fly from the nest, soar on wind currents, mate, and land in a new location. 

The male ant dies, while the newly-fertilized female creates a burrow in the soil (or a crack in wood) and produces eggs. The now-queen ant nurtures the initial offspring consisting of sterile worker ants. Soon the worker ants mature and begin creating tunnels in the dirt and foraging for food. In addition to the sterile worker ants, the queen soon produces male ants capable of keeping her fertilized. As the colony expands, alates are born. Alates are winged, reproductive males and females, and these ants fly out of the nest, create new groups, and repeat the cycle.

Before examining the other way an ant infestation begins, you need to understand that ants are not the only swarming insect; termite colonies also produce swarmers. How do you know if you have ants or termites swarming around the lights or windows on your property at dusk or dawn? Flying ants have four wings, but the two front ones are longer than the rear wings; the four wings on flying termites are the same size. Ants have clubbed or bent antennae, but the antennae on termites are straight. Also, termites do not have narrow waists like ants. Now that you have the information to distinguish between flying ants and termites, we will explore the other way ant colonies form. 

Most ant colonies have only one queen that produces new ants, but some ant species have more than one queen in the nest. Groups with multiple queens create new nests through a method known as budding. When the nest is disturbed, several of the fertilized queens flee along with workers to begin a new nest nearby. Unlike swarming, which occurs in the late spring or early fall, budding can happen throughout the year. One can cause the formation of more nests if they use the wrong pest control ant treatment on ants that use the budding method. 

Part of creating an ant-free home involves understanding the types of ants in Oahu that invade the houses in our area. This is a list of ants that commonly invade our homes and the way they create new nests:

  • Argentine ants: Budding
  • Carpenter ants: Swarming
  • Crazy ants: Swarming
  • Pharaoh ants: Budding 
  • Fire ants: Swarming

The location of the infestation depends on the ant species.

Carpenter ants have a black or red, or black and red 5/8 inch body, and they invade soft, fungus-ridden wood to bore smooth holes and create nests. Crazy ants have 1/16 to 1/8-inch dark brown to black bodies with a blueish-grey sheen covered with coarse hairs. These ants live in wall voids but are fond of electrical equipment. A pharaoh ant's front end (head and thorax) is pale and yellowish, but the back part (abdomen) is darker or black. These 1/16-inch ants infest wall voids, behind baseboards, in furniture, or live underneath floors. Argentine ants have shiny dark brown to black 1/16 to 1/4-inch bodies and live in damp areas around water heaters and potted plant soil. Although they don't usually infest homes, fire ants are problematic for homeowners. These 1/8 to 3/8-inch dark reddish brown ants tend to live in yards next to landscape timbers, trees, and foundations but occasionally infest homes through HVAC systems.

Pest Tech Hawaii provides ant pest control services near you to stop an infestation in your Oahu home. Our trained service technicians will identify the problematic ant species invading your house.

Ant Problems: Ants In The Home Can Be More Than A Nuisance

We need ant-free homes not only because ants are a nuisance but because they contaminate surfaces. Have you wondered how ants can climb vertically? The answer is that they have claws on the bottom of each of their six legs. Ants forage in garbage cans, on animal feces, and in other unsanitary areas where their feet attract bacteria lying on the surface. The bacteria transfer and contaminate areas when they travel across countertops and other items in the house. In addition to contaminating surfaces, pharaoh ants spread salmonellosis, staphylococcus, clostridium, and streptococcus, especially in medical facilities.

Crazy ants often create large colonies in indoor and outdoor appliances. When tens of thousands of these aggressive ants chew on wiring, they expose the wires to moisture, causing short circuits and expensive repair bills.

Carpenter ants create nests in damp, fungus-ridden wood. Although they do not eat wood like termites, they use their powerful mandibles to bore smooth tunnels deep into the timber in the crawl space, basement, and other high-moisture areas. Years of wood excavation by carpenter ants weakens wood and causes floors to sag and warping window and door frames, resulting in expensive repair bills. 

Fire ants inflict painful blisters. When a fire ant nest is disturbed, these ants swarm onto the perpetrator, bite to anchor themselves, sting repeatedly and inject venom. As a result, itchy, painful, fluid-filled blisters form that cause pain for several days. Individuals with allergy sensitivities may experience severe reactions requiring medical attention. 

If you want an ant-free home, you need ant-control solutions from Pest Tech Hawaii. We have the best-trained service team in the industry, and we can stop ants from harming your house, inflicting pain, and contaminating your items.

Ant Prevention Is Key: Effective Tips And Tricks

Partnering with Pest Tech Hawaii is necessary to achieving a home free from an ant infestation; however, there are several things you can do to stop ants from invading. Implement these ant prevention tips to keep ants away for good: 

  • Clear away rotting landscape timbers and tree stumps
  • Dehumidify the crawl space and basement
  • Keep indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed
  • Remove animal feces and rotting fruit from the yard
  • Seal cracks in the foundation and along the roofline
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the house
  • Repair leaky water fixtures and pipes
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors
  • Vacuum the house regularly

Maintaining a clean, dry environment inside and outside will deter ants from infesting the property. When you partner with the best pest control company for ants, Pest Tech Hawaii, we will identify other ways you can keep your home ant-free.

Professional Ant Control: A Great Way To Keep Ants Out For Good

When you contact Pest Tech Hawaii for home pest control in Oahu, we will listen to your concern and dispatch a highly-trained technician to your home. Our licensed and insured technician will inspect the interior and exterior of your house for entry points, attractants, and ant trails. We will determine the ant species infesting your location to ensure we apply the correct treatment to avoid new colonies from forming.

Once we collect data from the investigation, we create a strategic plan that targets the ants infesting your house. Our treatments end the ant problems in your home and create an exterior barrier around the house to prevent ants from entering and creating new colonies. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control programs and to request your estimate.

Client Review

happy family

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.

Cindy S

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