Omaha Pest Control Articles

Ants Are Back!

Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in the Midwest and Omaha Pest Control, Inc. has over 30 years of experience dealing with them.

team of ants carry log with chief on it

Left, Right, Left, Right !!!

Ants are social insects and are divided up into three castes: workers, males, and queens. Workers are sterile, wingless females which range in size from 1/20th of an inch long to about 1/2 inch long.

Like all insects, ants have three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. All ants have a pair of elbowed (bent) antennae on the head and a constricted area between the thorax and abdomen.

Ants are sometimes pests mistaken for termites that are commonly called swarmers. Ants differ from termites by having a narrow, constricted waist, elbowed (bent) antennae, and hind wings shorter than front wings.

Ants have a wide variety of nesting habits and food preferences. Some ants build nests in soil, producing characteristic mounds while others nest in homes behind moldings, baseboards, countertops, and similar places. Still other ants nest in decaying or moisture damaged wood.

Management

Omaha Pest Control, Inc. services Nebraska in the Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs, Iowa metro areas. Our exterminators know what species of ant is present and that helps to determine the nesting site, food preference, and the best method of management. In most cases, the most effective, permanent solution is inspection and treating the nest; queens must be killed to properly eliminate a colony.

Nonchemical methods

Trying to discourage and control ants from invading your Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs homes can be frustrating. Proper food storage and waste management will reduce the food that often attracts workers indoors. Clean all kitchen surfaces, vacuum daily, and rinse recyclable containers before storage. Ant trails can be temporarily disrupted with a mild solution of vinegar and water. Sticky barriers using commercially available materials can be used to prevent ants from reaching plants or other items. Caulk cracks that ants are using to enter the home.

Outdoors

Many ants enter homes from outside nests as they forage for food. Ants usually take regular routes to and from their nest and the food source by establishing a pheromone trail. The nest may be found by watching where the ants go; for some ants, such as carpenter ants, this works best at night. If the nest is discovered, Omaha Pest Control treat or remove.

Common insecticides we use for treating ant nests in the lawn are listed below:

  • permethrin as a liquid or granules
  • carbaryl (e.g. Sevin) as a liquid or granules
  • bifenthrin as granules
  • cyfluthrin as granules
  • acephate as a liquid

In cases where the nest is not found, we keep ants out of the house by applying an insecticide barrier around the exterior of the building. Careful observation may reveal the ants are entering only through one area of the house; this would allow a spot treatment of that area. If it is not clear where the ants are entering, then treat a 3-foot wide area around the entire building.

Common insecticides we use for treating the building exteriors are listed below:

  • permethrin as a liquid or granules
  • bifenthrin as a liquid
  • carbaryl as a liquid or granules
  • cyfluthrin as granules
  • deltamethrin as a dust
Indoors

When possible, our Omaha Pest Control will find the nest and treat it with an insecticide. When the nest is concealed, e.g. behind a wall, it may be necessary to drill small holes, about 1/8 inch diameter, and apply an insecticidal dust.

Common dusts we use for treating voids/cracks/crevices are listed below.

  • deltamethrin
  • permethrin

Another tactic we use is the use of baits, Workers feed on the bait and take it back to the nest where they share it with the rest of the colony. An advantage of baits is that they are is delivered into inaccessible areas that insecticide sprays cannot reach. However, baits act slowly and may take several weeks to several months to eradicate a colony. Ant baits sold in stores for public use are generally labeled for many common household ants, although ants will not be equally attracted to all baits. It is important to identify what ant species is present so the appropriate bait can be used.

Spraying foraging ants is only temporary and has little impact on the nest. Spraying may be useful for seasonal ant problems, when ants enter from outside nests.

Omaha Pest Control, Inc. professionals have the training and experience to deal with household ant problems. Contact our reputable pest management company if you want to have your ant problem eliminated.