How to Get Rid of Infestations of Fire, Pharaoh & Odorous House Ants in Simi Valley, CA
Ants and their near cousins the termites have vexed man from the time he set his first foundation in Neolithic times. Big ones and little ones; there are about 12,000 different species. These guys can snatch and clean 20 times their own weight. For a man that would be near to or over two short tons, or 4,000 pounds. The queen is prolific in their progeny, laying millions of eggs over their life time. Ants are not good bar fighters and go for the jugular seeing as how they fight to the death. Ants cannot hear you coming, but they feel it, picking up your vibrations through their feet. Ants talk stink. They communicate through pheromones, laying down trails of stink for their comrades to follow to a food source found by a scout. Like most insects, ants lack lungs. They have tiny holes all over their bodies for aspiration. The queens are the life of the community. The other ants cannot reproduce, so the colony eventually dies when the queen goes. Winged males and females leave the colony, mate and start a new colony. The males die and queen picks a new site to carry on. Thus, ants can spread quickly. So now that we know what we are dealing with let’s look at some of those 12,000+ varieties and determine which ones are our neighbors.
Odorous House Ants
Most pheromones are not detectable by human smell. In fact, pheromones are so subtle that generally we are not even aware of human pheromones around us. But some ants, the odorous ones are stinky as they emit a strong rotten coconut kind of smell if crushed (stepped on). These are native to the US, as with most species these ant do not carry diseases, but may contaminate our food by leaving behind their feces. This group will set up housekeeping indoors given an entry point.
Fire ants are scary little buggers. They’re aggressive, adaptable to near every climate and hurt when they sting. Most ants don’t have stingers but bite in defense. Fire ants have stingers and their painful stings result in welts and blisters. The real problem is for people who may be allergic as their reaction may be fatal. They destroy plant roots and can destroy crops. Like many insects, fire ants are attracted to moisture. It’s best to keep plants, limbs and bushes back away from the house. Check for cracks and weather stripping. Firewood and building materials should be kept away as well. A pest management pro may have to be contracted with to successfully control this pest. Fire ants can even infest your electrical system. Pets are not safe unless they’re mobile as the fire has been known to kill pets, children and small pets are the most vulnerable.
Little pharaoh ants are one of the most likely species to invade the home. Unlike many other ants these species have been implicated in pathogen transfer creating disease danger for the household. Ants on the kitchen counter are probably these guys. A unique survival characteristic, there are multiple reproducing females in the colony, not just one queen. They were native from Africa and hitchhiked to America where they have thrived. Very small, 1/16th of an inch or less. They like sweet and fatty foods, so keep your kitchen counters clean.
For effective pest control you need to know your adversary. Enlist the aid of a professional pest control company who is familiar with how these critters operate and best how to control them. Contact Ventura Pest Control & Termite for all your ant and other pest control needs!