Ants may seem like harmless little critters. But, a little ant infestation can lead to big problems down the road.
Some ants will start by getting into your food and causing a real annoyance. When overlooked, they may make their home in building materials, like foam insulation and wood, causing structural damage to the home.
If you suspect bugs in your home, call an ant pest control service before the problem gets out of hand. Here are 7 signs that can tell you it’s time to call ant pest control.
Ultimately, knowing when to call an ant exterminator may save you a ton of money and hassle. Read on if you ask yourself, “when should I call an ant pest control near me?”
1. Ant Sightings
During the summer, you may normally notice a few ants in your home. These critters tend to keep underground during the winter, but then resurface in search of food during the summer.
You may not need to worry about a couple of stray ants. But, when do ant sightings indicate a bigger problem?
Spotting a few ants regularly should prompt you to investigate the situation. Rather than cleaning them up straight away, watch to see where they go. Do they roam around in separate directions or seem to go into your walls?
If the ants form a line to head into the same crack, then you may want to call for help. These insects leave a trail pheromone that leads other worker ants back and forth between food sources and the nest.
You may overlook a few ants thinking they are no big deal. But, remember, the workers spread out in search of food while the majority of the colony lives under the protection of their nest.
2. Finding Discarded Wings
If you spot insect wings on the floor, you may mindlessly clean then up and then forget about it. But, if you continue to see discarded wings on the floors and window sills, you may want to call pest control for ant service.
Both ants and termites, neither of which you want to live in your home, develop wings in their reproductive state. When a female matures, she leaves her home and finds a suitable spot to begin her own colony.
As she searches, she releases pheromones that attract potential mates. As they swarm, many will lose their wings.
Another reason ants swarm is for a more efficient way to stock up on food. Whatever the reason, outdoor colonies do not come inside for this, so, wings in your home indicate ants in your walls.
3. Scurrying in Your Walls
Homes often make a number of noises as they settle. But, rustling isn’t one of them.
Ants constantly stay busy. As the male ants work on building the nest, they make a lot of noise.
Put your ear to the wall if you think you hear sounds, and you will hear soft scurrying as they work. The colony will not take up more than one wall, so listen against others throughout your home if you feel unsure. If the rest remain silent, then look up, ‘ant exterminator near me‘.
4. Random Dirt Piles
Some species of ants do not necessarily build nests within the walls. They may start one in your basemen or corners of your home.
These ants will build hills out of soil or dirt. They may look like nothing but may contain hundreds of ants.
Do not attempt to clean such a pile on your own. Ants will protect the nest at all costs, and some species can actually hurt humans with a site or poisonous sting.
5. Damp Wood
Technically, damp wood indicates a leak or flooding of some sort. But, if you find wet wood in your home, your likelihood for an ant infestation increases.
Carpenter ants seek out damp wood because it makes burrowing through it easier for them. If you notice damp wood in your home then check for the other signs of infestation.
6. Trails or Piles of Wood shavings
Some ant species, like carpenter ants, like to burrow into wood. As they chew through wooden beams and walls, they produce sawdust.
The worker ants will then track the sawdust throughout your home in the search for food and water. Since ants typically follow the pheromone trail, you will find lines of the sawdust leading to their nest.
Take this seriously. Sawdust means that the colony already started damaging the structures of your home.
If you see sawdust or hear crawling in your walls, you should knock on exterior wording cladding, beams, and floorboards. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, then they will enter in through the small space and then hollow out the area, causing true damage from the inside out.
Normally, when you knock on a stud, it will sound hollow. But, when you knock on a damaged area, it will sound hollow.
7. Crumbling Structures
If you overlooked the sawdust, it may lead to this much more pressing issue. Crumbling walls or beams indicate a serious infestation that absolutely requires professional extermination.
The structure may crumble on its own. Or, it may appear perfectly stable only to easily break under pressure.
The structures may appear perfectly fine from the outside but then crumble under pressure.
Preventing Ant Infestations
Prevention always beats extermination when possible. You can help protect your home from ant investigations in several ways. Keep your home clean. Crumby counters and floors will attract them, as will a buildup of garbage with foodstuff.
Ants really want places with easy access to food and water. So, keeping dry food sealed will discourage them from settling there. Also, properly take care of floods and leaks. This will prevent wet wood from enticing them.
Keeping them out altogether will obviously prevent them from nesting, so keep doors shut and windows screened in the summer. Close up small structural cracks to prevent other inlets.
Call for Ant Pest Control Service Today
Sometimes, even the best prevention efforts fail and infestations happen. In this case, get proactive and get an ant pest control service.
We want to help you keep your home pest-free! Call us today or request your free estimate online.