Ants are one of the most common outside invaders that infest homes in our region. Depending on the time of year, ants will colonize in certain areas, such as wall voids or behind insulation. But have you ever wondered what, exactly, an ant is?
Believe it or not, there are about 14,000 different ways to answer that question! That's because throughout the world, there are approximately 14,000 different species of ants. But here in Massachusetts, the species we tend to see most often are far more limited than that large amount. The most common ants in the Bay State include the odorous house ant, the pavement ant, the carpenter ant, and the pharaoh ant. Each of these ants present some unique challenges in controlling them. While all are capable of causing some level of damage, carpenter ants are, by far, the most serious when it comes to compromising the structural integrity of a building.
Ants are small, social insects that reside in large colonies. One small colony can easily support thousands of ants. In fact, it is possible that there can be tens of thousands of ants in one colony. There can also be several colonies in the same area.
Why are ants in my house?
There are three things that ants need for survival: food, shelter, and moisture. Without these three elements, it becomes impossible for an ant, let alone an entire colony, to survive. When you think of your home, take it from the perspective of an ant by asking these three questions:
Are you providing shelter? Do you have a moisture problem somewhere that's conducive to ant activity? And do you have a food source that's attractive to ants? If you answer yes to these questions, it's time to take corrective action. Keep in mind, the sole purpose of an ant is to care for and protect its colony. These foraging ants are usually the ones you see: seeking food, water, and a new place to call home - your house!
Are any of the ants I see dangerous?
The most common ants in Massachusetts and New England
are mainly considered by experts to be nuisance pests. In other words, they are not highly poisonous, and in turn, are not dangerous to humans or pets. Carpenter ants, however, cause structural damage by making their nests in wood. This could potentially cause a risk to humans.
How do you get rid of ants?
Here's the challenge with eliminating an ant colony: the ants you see are only the tip of the iceberg. By some accounts, 90 percent of an ant colony is located in an area you can't see. That means an expert like Burgess Pest Management
has to located the ant nest, or use the proper residual products that will allow the rest of the colony to be effective. Most importantly, we have to kill the queen. No queen means no colony. No colony means a happy, ant-free customer.
How soon can you get here?
At Burgess Pest Management
, we know how important it is to solve your pest problem as soon as possible. That's why we offer emergency and same day service, and in most cases we can be there the very next day.
Is the treatment safe?
Burgess Pest Management
is a Quality Pro Certified company; our industry's highest distinction. We are also a pest management firm based on the principles of Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) techniques. IPM is a system of controls and barriers that limit the need to treat for pests with a chemical. It's only when a certain environmental or economic threshold is crossed that a Pest Management Professional will resort to the use of a low impact product, which may include gel baits.
How can I prevent a future infestation?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That's one way to answer this question. A regular pest management program can help prevent future ant infestations.
It is also helpful to learn more about the biology and behavior of ants in order to understand what you can do to eliminate the conditions that fosters their survival. It's a safe bet that by removing food sources and moisture problems, you are taking a big step toward eliminating some of those conditions.
Eliminating ants is a science. This is why more people rely on the experts a Burgess Pest Management
to solve ant problems. Our inspections are honest and our estimates are free!