ABOUT ANTS



Only a few of the known 12,000 ant species are found in Bensalem area. Most are relatively harmless. Nonetheless, homeowners are extremely troubled when they discover a line of ants marching across their kitchen counter or invading the food in their pantry. The problem may be even more serious when carpenter ants are the suspected culprits. This species is known for burrowing into wood, which can cause extensive structural damage.

Odorous house ants, pavement ants, and carpenter ants all are familiar pests to exterminators in Bensalem. A single member of a colony may leave behind a powerful pheromone trail when a food source is discovered. Unless this scent trail is obliterated and the nest destroyed, ant extermination can become all but impossible for any home or business.

APPEARANCE



Most of the ants that are frequently found within the Bensalem area are quite small, measuring much less than one-half inch in length. They all have a pair of antennae and six legs. Brown and black are common colors, all of which means that it can be difficult to distinguish one species of ant from another.

Exterminators may be able to identify pavement ants by the parallel lines that are found on the thoraxes and heads of these insects. Additionally, their legs tend to exhibit a lighter color than their bodies. Odorous house ants are mainly distinguished by the smell of rotting coconut that is emitted when they are crushed. Carpenter ants are far larger than any of these other species. Their heart-shaped heads and round profiles further distinguish them from other area ants.

HABITATS



Most ant species prefer underground nesting areas as these provide adequate shelter from the elements and protection from predators. Other ant species are more likely to nest well away from human habitations within the root system of a tree or beneath a fallen log. Still, if ants find a likely nesting location that is close to a building, they will establish a colony there. Carpenter ants present the biggest cause for concern, as they tunnel into damp, rotting or untreated wood. Left untreated, these tunnels can cause wholesale structural damage.

DIET



An ant colony can provide an effective means of pest control with their appetite for protein. They eat a wide variety of insects on a regular basis, which makes them a desirable species as long as their colonies are located well away from human habitations. Additionally, most ant species require sugar in their diets. This is frequently obtained from the substance called honeydew, which is produced by aphids.

Proteins and sugars are major factors in the human diet as well. This means that ants are irresistibly attracted to numerous foods that are intended for people. From meat to candy, many foods are vulnerable. This includes fruits and vegetables as well as sodas and juices.


PROBLEMS WITH ANTS



Ants are, at a minimum, an annoyance in kitchens. They march across tables and countertops in a methodical attempt to gather food to feed the colony. With them, they trail all sorts of bacteria and germs. These toxins are transferred to surfaces in the kitchen and pantry as well as onto food items. People may become ill from exposure to these substances.

The ant nest itself may be a hazard if it is placed beneath a paving stone, walkway or patio. A large nest may destabilize the rock, making it uneven.

However, the biggest problem posed by ants comes from the carpenter ant. This species chews into all sorts of wood, potentially causing structural problems that can only be fixed with expensive repairs.

BEHAVIOR



Ants are highly social creatures that live in large colonies consisting of thousands or even millions of members. Most of their time is spent underground or in sheltered areas where predators are unlikely to see them. The common ant species in Bensalem are not aggressive toward people or animals. Instead, they remain intent on the necessity of keeping the colony fed.

HEALTH ISSUES



The people most likely to experience adverse health effects as a result of the presence of an ant infestation have asthma or allergy issues. This is especially true in the case of a carpenter ant infestation. These determined, tunneling insects leave a wake of tiny particles behind them. When these particles encounter heating, cooling and vent systems, they may be released into the air.

Intestinal and stomach issues also may arise with an ant infestation. This is because the ants trail germs and bacteria into people's homes and their food. These illnesses may be uncomfortable, but they are rarely life-threatening.


SIGNS OF ANT INFESTATION



Ant control may be necessary if these signs are noticed:

Ants clustered around a foundation or the exterior wall of a building
A line of ants walking across a table or counter
Finding ants in or around food
Rustling sounds coming from behind walls
Small sand piles around pavement
Mounds of wood shavings near building foundations

PREVENTION TIPS



In an effort to prevent an ant infestation in your Bensalem home or business, SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC suggests these actions:


• Seal all cracks and holes in building exteriors
• Do not leave food sitting on counters or tables
• Immediately place dirty dishes in the dishwasher
• Promptly wipe up liquid spills and crumbs
• Store all food in containers with tight lids
• Place tight lids on garbage cans
• Do not allow wood to be perpetually wet
• Do not use unfinished wood

ANT CONTROL



Effective ant control requires a thorough inspection of the building to locate all existing nests, identify the type of ant involved, locate entry points, and determine the best type of treatment.

SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been serving Bensalem area home and business owners with successful pest control for over 20 years. Our trusted, licensed exterminators can identify the pest and implement immediate treatment so that everyone in the home or office can regain peace of mind.

FREQUENTLY ASKED ANT CONTROL QUESTIONS

 

DOES DIY ANT CONTROL WORK?

DOES DIY ANT CONTROL WORK?

Many people try DIY ant control before calling an exterminator. Ants seem like such a basic, common pest, that it seems reasonable that they would be easy to control. The reality is far more complicated.

One of the main reasons why DIY ant control methods fail is that they use the wrong kind of bait. Several ant species are commonly found in the area, and they all have their own behavior and habits. They also follow their own diets. If a bait does not appeal to the species of ant that is responsible for the infestation, it is destined to fail.

This may seem counterintuitive, but another reason why a DIY ant control product does not seem to be effective may be because it is working too quickly. This may be the case when the homeowner is confronted with numerous dead ants yet does not see a slowdown in the number of ants invading their property. Ideally, the bait kills slowly so that the ants have time to take it back to the nest where it can do maximum damage. Unless the colony is wiped out, the problem will simply continue.

In some cases, the bait that is used may not be sufficient to kill the colony. Some ant colonies may have thousands of members, and reproduction can happen with shocking speed. If the bait depletes too quickly, then the colony may be able to produce more new members than are being killed by the poison.

Homeowners who are really dedicated to the idea of enjoying an ant-free house are encouraged to contact a professional ant exterminator at once. With their ability to accurately identify ant species and their knowledge of ant nesting behavior, it is far easier for an exterminator to deal with the problem. Moreover, the exterminator knows precisely what sort of bait to use for each ant species.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTROL ANTS IN THE YARD?

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTROL ANTS IN THE YARD?

It is possible to control ants in yards, but it is not always necessary to do so. In fact, ants can be a beneficial species in the garden. They provide natural control of other pests and they are unintentional pollinators. Ecosystems may be healthier thanks to the soil aeration that ants provide, and ants are instrumental in the decomposition of decaying plant matter.

However, having ants in the garden is not always good news. Many ant species are notorious for "farming" aphids. An aphid is an insect that secretes honeydew after feeding on sap from plants. Aphids are hazardous to gardens, and with ants providing care for them, their numbers can grow. Overall, this can have a detrimental effect.

By far the biggest concern is the carpenter ant with its habit of building a nest in wooden structures. They can cause extensive damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. A suspected carpenter ant infestation, even if it has not made its way to any structures yet, is certainly worthy of nipping in the bud as soon as possible.

People who find an ant infestation in their yard that concerns them are advised to contact an exterminator immediately. The exterminator can identify the species and provide recommendations regarding whether or not the colony needs to be destroyed.

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THEIR CAR?

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THEIR CAR?

For many people, discovering ants in their car is like something out of a horror movie. Moreover, these discoveries tend to happen at the most inopportune moment, such as when the car owner is running late for work. It is a baffling situation, and the person has to wonder why ants would bother to get into a car in the first place.

The answer is that the ants are doing what they always do: Looking for food. Ants typically do not look to cars when they want to establish a new colony. Instead, they are simply looking for an additional food source to keep all of the colony members fed.

Many people have eaten more than a few meals in their cars. No matter how careful they are, spills and crumbs are inevitable. With the ant's innate ability scent food wherever it may be, they will soon move in on those crumbs.

The car owner can take steps to get rid of the problem. Moving the car to a spot farther away from the ants' nest makes sense as does clearing all trash from the car. A thorough vacuuming of the car's interior is in order, and it may make sense to clean the tires and wheels too. An ant control professional may need to be called to take care of the colony before it can find another inappropriate food source.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF ANTS OUTSIDE?

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF ANTS OUTSIDE?

It is an unfortunate reality that it is virtually impossible to end an insect problem without destroying the colony. Knowing the location of the nest may make getting rid of the colony faster and more effective. Of course, if an exterminator is on the job, he can ensure that the appropriate bait is used so that it can be carried back to the colony. He also may identify the nest's location if he believes that additional control methods may be advisable.

The most highly recommended way to get rid of ants outside is with the assistance of an exterminator. This way, homeowners can be confident that the pest has been correctly identified, which means that the proper, and most effective, control methods can be employed.

These control methods are effective on the worker ants that are seen outside the nest and the colony members that never leave the nest. This ensures that the colony is eradicated, and that is the only way to put an end to the infestation.

When an exterminator performs this service, homeowners can rest assured that the methods used are safe for people, animals and the environment. Nonetheless, these methods are powerful enough to eliminate the problem.

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THE WALL?

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET RID OF ANTS IN THE WALLS?

Ants are small and determined, which can lead them to be found in some incredibly out-of-the-way places such as inside the walls of a home. Such infestations can be extremely difficult to eliminate as access to the nest may be poor. In some situations, the nest cannot even be located.

Fortunately, a licensed pest control technician understands ant behavior. This makes it easier for them to determine where a nest might be located. Ants that are nesting inside walls are of particular concern because there is a strong possibility that they are carpenter ants. These destructive pests can cause a great deal of damage to any wood in the structure.

When ants are discovered inside walls, the exterminator is likely to use baiting to attract the ants so that they will take the poison back to their nest. A particularly bad infestation may call for the drilling of small holes in the wall and then the application of a powdered poison. The exterminator will present all available control methods to the homeowner so that an informed decision regarding treatment can be made.

 
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