There have been countless things joined to the idea of summer. There’s summer love, the boys, and girls of summer, summer vacation, summer jobs, summer camp, etc, the list goes on and on. Joining a specific pest or pests to summer isn’t unheard of either. Here in Middle Tennessee, ants are a year-round concern, but the summer time sure brings an influx of activity and encounters with these tiny creatures. This increase of ant problems is the result of a few things. Let’s look at these reasons and discuss what can be done to lessen your encounters with the ants of summer in Middle TN.
We are spending more time outside in their habitat.
Summer means that school is out and there are more opportunities for family time outside in our yards. Playing games, pool parties, and barbecues bring us all outside more often and for longer periods of time and stepping outside brings us right into their natural habitat.
We supply food that they like outside to them.
Ants love sweets and protein! So that’s why they come crawling up the picnic table towards your lemonade, sweet tea, and burgers. Carpenter ants come for the food of sweets and protein but will stay if they can find some moist wood to live in. They can find suitable wood in places such as the picnic table, swing set, patio furniture and your home. Our Middle TN ants are omnivores, which means that they all enjoy eating meats, greasy foods, sweet foods or liquids, and plant secretions.
They come looking for food inside too!
It’s very common for these pests to come inside looking for food. Ants can fit through very tiny holes, cracks and crevices on your home's exterior. And, once one of them gets in and finds food, it isn’t long before more show up. Keep them out of your pantry and food by following these easy prevention tips:
Put open food in sealed containers or inside of the refrigerator, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
Clean up all spills and crumbs immediately.
Wash or rinse dirty dishes as soon as you’re done with them. Stuck on or leftover food can be a meal for ants.
Repair, replace or install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
Repair or replace damaged insect screens in windows, doors and on utility vents.
So now that we’ve discussed why you’re more likely to run into ants this summer, let’s focus on what types of ants you are probably going to encounter. The four ants of summer that we run into the most are the odorous house ant, little black ant, fire ant and the carpenter ant. While all these ants are drawn to your property and home for food, they are a bit different from each other.
Little black ants
Just like their name suggests, this type of ant is tiny, 1.5mm long, and is extremely common to see in long lines walking along the edges of foundations and sidewalks.
Odorous house ants
These dark colored ants are larger than the little black ants in the fact that they are usually around 1/8 of an inch long. They too are a nuisance to have around our homes, properties and under foot. These ants give off a unique “rotten-coconut” smell when they are crushed.
Fire ants are a more than a nuisance pest. These small, 1/10-1/4 of an inch, red ants are infamous for their painful sting. They will attack when they think that their nest is under attack. When they sting, it feels very similar to a burn and some people can have allergic reactions to the venom that is injected with the sting. These ants seem to like to build nests in and around electrical motors. They are often found inside of farm machinery and automobiles.
Carpenter ants are a larger, 1/8 to ½ of an inch, black ant. These ants are considered destructive and dangerous because they create huge galleries of nests in moist or water-damaged wood. They don’t care if that wood happens to be in the framework of your home or the rotten trunk of a tree, it’s all just wood to them.
It’s summer, get out and enjoy it, but don’t let ants get in your way, give the Nashville, Henderson and Middle Tennessee pest control experts here at All-American Pest Control a call today and schedule your free home evaluation. Let our team of professionals show you how to successfully avoid the ants of summer.