Ants
Scientific Name:Formicidae
Length:6 to 12 mm
Color:Variable in color from light red to brown or black
Sounds:---
Bite:Yes
What Are Ants?
Most people, even young children, have heard of and know about Ants. When toddlers learn their ABC’s, Ant’s may even be one of the first words they learn to identify with the alphabet. We may even have been taught at a young age that red ants sting, but there are more to Ants than just being a word or things that crawl around our yard or even in our homes. What are Ants in general? What kinds of insects are they?

 

An Ant is a small insect with the scientific name Formicidae belonging to the Hymenoptera order along with bees and wasps. They are classified as social insects because they are always in large groups. They build large colonies that consist of a queen or queens, males, and female workers.

If you do not manage to get rid of them, a black Garden Ant could live up to 15 years while the Pharaoh Ant can survive for up to 12 years. The typical length of a black Garden Ant is about 0.5 to 0.7 cm. The Pharaoh Ant is really tiny at about 0.2 cm. The Carpenter Ant can grow anywhere from 0.64 to 2.5 cm.

There are thousands of ant species all over the world. In Arizona, the most common ones are the Argentine Ants, Carpenter Ants, Crazy Ants, Fire Ants, Leafcutter Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Pavement Ants, Rover Ants, Forelius Ants, and the Odorous House Ants.

If you have an Ant problem at home, you can use several items straight from your kitchen like vinegar and lemon to help get rid of them. In some cases, Ants can be hard to control when living in large colonies in your yard or having access to your home through small cracks and crevices. If you find you cannot control the Ant population in and around your home or office, call Watchdog Pest Control for removal and control. Call us at (602) 842-5290 to schedule an appointment.

Where Do Ants Live?
Just like many other animals and insects, Ants live everywhere in the world — across all continents, except for Antartica. There are also a few large islands, such as Greenland, Iceland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands who do not have native Ant species living there. They can live pretty much anywhere from indoors to outdoors, and in many different climates depending on their kind. There are hundreds of Ant species and an estimated 10,000 Trillion Ants in the world. That is an unbelievable number! Where do Ants live when they bother humans the most? Inside our homes and in our yards, of course.

 

While they are generally harmless and wouldn’t attack you on purpose, there are some Ants that sting and bite, including the infamous Red Fire Ant. Since they live in colonies underneath the earth on your lawn or in parks, one can accidentally step on their mound. That’s when they would sting as self-defense; and you won’t just get one or a couple of bites when this happens. You’ll probably end up with a swollen foot after multiple Ant bites.

Pavement Ants do not bite but you can tell they live under your driveway or pathway going towards your house when you see soil scattered and dug up in those areas. Most likely they’re underneath those areas of your home already.

Indoors, Ants would look for shelter under your counter tops, sinks, baseboards and even inside walls. There are also Carpenter Ants who live inside homes. These Ants harvest wooden parts of your furniture to build their own nests. The damage can be extreme especially if you don’t catch this early on. They can overpopulate and take over your home quickly.

While they’re mostly harmless, it is still best to not have Ants in your home.

Where Are The Common Hiding Places For Ants?
In Arizona, Ants are definitely a common sighting. In fact, it is most likely that you’d see at least a few ants everyday wherever you walk. There’s usually so many of them, one might wonder where the common hiding places are for Ants? Do they hide? They do seem confident enough wandering around in broad daylight.

 

It depends on the type of Ant you’re looking at if you’re wondering where they live and where they usually hide. If you have a garden, then it’s most likely you’d have a colony of Black Garden Ants there. It’s also possible there are Red Fire Ants hiding underneath a mound of soil. Pavement Ants can be living under your driveway and walkways.

Indoors, you can find many other Ant types. You can find them hiding in the garbage, in bags of chips and sweets left open, underneath the sink, counter tops and even in your furniture. Because there’s more source of food in the kitchen, they like being around that area the most. It is also common to see Ants trailing in the bathroom as well.

There are times when it seems like there aren’t any Ants around, that’s because they do hide in their holes in walls or underground in their colonies. They are more prevalent during summer months as they venture out to search for food and work on expanding their colonies.

What Kinds of Ants Live in My Area?
Unless you live in Antartica, there are many Ant species living all around you. There are an estimated 12,000 different Ant species in the world. In Arizona, we have several types and some of them can easily be found on your property. While many of them seem harmless, there are some that could cause a bit of damage to your property, painful and itchy bites on your legs and feet while others could bring germs inside your home.

 

In Arizona, one of the most common Ant species is the Carpenter Ant. They nest within rotting, dry or moist wood. While not as bad as termites, they can cause quite a bit of damage to your home’s wooden structure as they excavate bits of wood to take to their nest.

We also have a whole lot of Argentine ants found in gardens and lawns. Crazy Ants are the ones that seem to be rushing around all the time and would go “crazy” when disturbed. They’re the ones you would find indoors and outdoors, but they don’t particularly sting. Those that sting are Fire Ants which can either be black or red. They like living in gardens and parks where it’s mostly sunny and moist. Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Leaf Cutter Ants, and Pharaoh Ants are some of the other common Ant species in Arizona.

What Damage Can Ants Inflict On You And Your Home?
Generally speaking, most Ants are considered harmless to humans. As long as they don’t enter your home, they won’t do much damage except they could be considered an nuisance in your lawn or garden. They can lay around in the pavement, take over your plants, create their homes under the soil and more. But when they enter indoors, what damage can Ants inflict on you and your home?

 

First of all, it depends on the kinds of Ants you’re dealing with. Ants that bite and sting include Red Fire Ants whose sting hurts quite a lot, especially if more than one of them sting you at once. Then there are the Carpenter Ants, which offer the more serious damage. They build their nests using materials they get from the wooden structure of your home. If you have a severe infestation in your home, they can truly put the structure of your home at risk.

Then there are the Black Ants and the Sugar Ants that look for food all the time. They’d get into your leftovers, garbage, pet’s food and so much more. Seems like they bring little damage, but they’re actually dangerous too. Imagine these ants walking into your bathroom, crawling through walls indoors and outdoors, then moving on towards your food. Just think of all the germs and harmful bacteria they carry!

Pharaoh Ants are known to transmit organisms such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Streptococcus. Sugar Ants can also spread Salmonella and contaminate food. It is important to identify and remove ants from inside your home either through your own home DIY or by calling Watchdog Pest Control if the infestation is severe or you are having trouble controlling it.

What Do I Do If I Was Bitten/Stung By Ants?

Ant bites and stings are very common. While they don’t intentionally prey on humans, some Ant species would sting as a defense mechanism. In the event that you accidentally step on their nest, expect more than just a couple of bites that would certainly get you itching for hours.

Fire ants, the red ones, are usually the ones that would sting very painfully. The feeling is like a burning and sharp pain sensation that you certainly wouldn’t be able to ignore, hence the name “FIRE”.  These Fire Ants are commonly found in lawns and gardens in Ant mounds. As mentioned, you will get multiple stings at once when you step on their home because there’s plenty of them living there.

Kids are the usual victims of these Fire Ants as they play around in gardens and parks without really looking out for Ant mounds. The best way to avoid getting stung is by wearing closed toed shoes and socks when playing outdoors where there could potentially be Fire Ant nests.

More often than not, Ant stings will result in tiny blisters that only need to be washed with mild soap and water. A cold compress is ideal when you want to minimize the pain and itching. While not exactly deadly when you’re only dealing with few Ant bites, these Ants do carry a venom that could potentially cause an allergic reaction. When swelling, nausea, breathing trouble and other unusual symptoms occur, it is best to visit your doctor for medical assistance.

Are Ants Dangerous For My Pets?
Ants find their way into our homes. They go into our garbage, and may even share with our pets, aside from our own leftovers out in the open. It is quite common for us to see our cat or dog ingesting Ants by accident or on purpose. The question that you may have now — are Ants dangerous for my pets? Can they be toxic if our pets eat them? Would they sting or harm our pets?

 

Ants are generally harmless and would do very little to hurt your beloved pets. In fact, Ants are wise enough to stay away from your cats and dogs. Some Ant species that bite and sting could be quite problematic though. Fire Ants, in particular, can secrete venom and may cause an infection when they sting your cat or dog. One sting doesn’t automatically mean your dog is in danger. Observe how your pet reacts to the sting and if there’s anything unusual, then it’s time to call the vet. Typically you may see your dog running through the yard and them quickly bite at their foot. Check on them as this is a sign they may have run through an Ant mound and may have Ants on them. Quickly clean their feet and address the problem of Ants in your lawn or garden.

When your cat or dog ingests Ants, they are actually in for a healthy treat as some Ants can be a source of Vitamin C and protein. They aren’t that toxic to cause any harm to your pets’ health. However, when a dog or cat ingests way too many Ants, there could be possible irritation in the mouth area, which requires you to seek vet assistance. As with anything, most things consumed in moderation is okay while most things consumed in abundance is not okay.

One of the most common requests we receive at Watchdog Pest Control is Ant Removal. Call us today if you are seeing an severe infestation in and around your home at (602) 842-5290.

How Do You Prevent Ants From Invading Your Environment?

There are 10,000 Trillion Ants in the world. This number is way too great to be able to get ride of them completely nor do we want to as they play an important role in our ecosystem. They turn and aerate soil allowing water and oxygen to reach plant roots. They also eat a wide variety of organic material and provide food for many different organisms. They are also an important food source for lizards, insects and other organisms. For these reasons, we do not want to fully remove Ants from our environment. However, we do need to control populations in and around our home. How do you prevent ants from invading your environment? What are the steps you need to take to make sure they won’t damage your property or cause you any harm?

Ants are attracted to certain places differently depending on their species. For instance, Red Fire Ants are usually found outdoors because their main food sources are found there. They like plants, insects, worms and other sweet items. Black Garden Ants are known to eat soft fruits and seeds, and even smaller insects. Then there’s the all too common Odorous House Ant in Arizona that likes living outdoors but would find their way indoors when they smell some sweet leftovers in your home.

It is challenging to prevent ants from invading your garden because you basically have to turn every brick, stone, and piece of wood upside down to make sure they’re not hiding anywhere. You may use pesticides to get rid of them outdoors or control the population in your yard. To keep Ants from inside your home, keep a clean environment, never leaving out food or things that would draw these insects indoors.

What Can You Do If You Already Have Ants?
Ants are a major part of nature. These tiny insects can be extremely small but their effect on people is simply huge. What can you do if you already have ants in your home?

 

Ants are a common sight in your lawn or garden where they can build their colony and keep their food. As long as they are in their areas and not where humans or pets play or walk, you should leave the Ants be. However if you are seeing them in areas that you frequent regularly in and around your home, you should address the issue.

You can control Ants through various products you can easily find in your kitchen. Cinnamon, white vinegar, and lemons are only some of the things you can use to come up with an anti-ant solution. There are also a number of sprays you can find on the market that are safe on humans and pets, but deadly on insects like ants.

However, when you have an infestation you can’t control, call Watchdog Pest Control at 602-842-5290 for immediate ant removal services.

When Are Ants Most Active?
Ants are known to be one of the busiest insects because we always see them wandering around. It is rare for you to encounter an ant who’s alive and healthy that would stay put in one place. They’re not all too harmful and would usually stay outdoors, while some would find their way indoors. So when are Ants most active? When is it best to exert effort in prevention of Ants or getting rid of them?

 

Ants are active all year round. They prepare to mate and lay eggs during the spring season but seem to be most active during the summer because this is when the new ant babies have grown to be the new ant generation. Summer months are typically the time where they are working to build their colonies and searching for food.

What Is The Birthing Cycle Of Ants?

One of the most abundant insects in the world is the Ant. These tiny creatures are found almost everywhere in the world. They are ultimate survivors with over 10,000 Trillion living among us. A queen Ant can live more than 15 years while worker Ants survive 7 years or more. What is the birthing cycle of Ants? How can there be too many of them in such a short time?

The birthing or life cycle of Ants happen in as quick as 6 to 10 weeks. They have the ability to have so many babies at once because both fertilized and unfertilized eggs produce brand new Ants.

Their life cycle starts as an egg, which is tiny at about 1mm and oval-shaped. Larger eggs mean it may contain a queen Ant. These eggs soon become larva then pupa before they become adults. Female Ants including queens come from fertilized eggs while the unfertilized eggs results in a male Ant.

All these cycles take place in the Ant colony, which could easily be on your property. Just imagine all the Ants that could be produced by a couple of colonies in a small garden, and there could easily be even more than that.

What Is The History Of Ants?
Plenty of insects have been around for over 400 million years. Surprisingly, the Ant is not one of them. In fact, the history of Ants only began about 140 million years ago. Today, there are more than 12,000 species of Ants in the world. Tiny as they may be, and despite not being the earliest living insects around, these Ants are survivors. Some of them live over 15 years and there are an estimated 10,000 Trillion living today throughout the planet.

 

Ants are the result of an evolution of wasp-like insects during the Cretaceous period. Through the years and centuries, more and more species are being discovered, and now, Ants are considered to be one of the most abundant insects in the world. Some would say that for every one human, there are more than one million ants. But no one can really say for sure because there’s just too many of them to keep count. They’re now located in every continent except Antartica.

Because there are many Ants in the world, it is very common to have some of them on your property. In fact, there could be more than one ant species within your residence. There could be colonies underneath your garden or behind your walls.

If you suspect Ant problems in your property, you may try some home remedies such as vinegar or peppermint sprays. If those won’t work, then call on experts like Watchdog Pest Control. To set an appointment and to request a free consultation, call us at 602-842-5290.

ANTS
PEST CONTROL

Ants are a very common pest here in Arizona. It is important to control Ant infestations in and around your home. We at Watchdog Pest Control can help you control your Ant problem. Call us at (602) 842-5290.

Watchdog Pest Control and exterminators will monitor your home and help prevent an infestation with ANTS.

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