Ants are invasive by nature. Their presence in our homes can range from being a nuisance to a danger. Some ants spread filth and disease. Some ants are known for destroying wood. Some ants are known for their painful stings. In Oakland, there are several varieties of ants, and none of them belong in our homes. Smith’s Pest Management is here to make sure your Oakland house stays ant free. Call to schedule your free consultation and find out why now is a great time for ant prevention.
A Single Ant Is Cause For Alarm
Ants are on a never-ending quest for food. They troll around our Oakland yards looking for crumbs and dead insects to bring back to their colonies. Once in awhile, we may notice one or two ants in the kitchen. The sighting of a single ant may not seem like it is cause for alarm, but it is. We understand that it is what we can’t see that troubles us professionals. Somehow a single ant got into your house; that means there is a way that many more ants can follow.
A single ant is probably just a scout, this means it’s drawing an invisible line with chemicals secreted from his body. This smell-trail is meant for other ants to follow. If it returns to the colony with some food crumbs, thousands of foraging ants will follow that line back into your house, and before you know it, there will be a full-blown infestation.
The Bright Side Of Ants
There is one redeeming quality about seeing a single ant in the house. Because of their never-ending search for new food sources, ants are always testing the perimeter of your home. If there’s a way into your home, an ant will usually find it first. In other words, ants will find the entry points into your home before other unwanted pests. So by seeing a single ant in your house, you might still have time to call us and stop a potential pest infestation before it gets out of control.
The Dark Side Of Ants
There are different types of ants in Oakland. Now is the time to stop them all. Stopping ants before they get into your home is always better than trying to get them out once they’ve established themselves. Our experts can even help with the types of ants that might not make themselves visible.
Carpenter ants for instance, can stay within our walls. They, like termites, damage wood, but unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood. Carpenter ants hollow it out for housing. They can do a lot of damage without ever being seen.
Other ants can deliver a painful sting. Often mistaken for a bite, an ant will use its powerful mandibles, or teeth, to hold its body in place as it drives a stinger into your skin. These stings are unpleasant for anyone, but for some people who experience allergic reactions, the sting of an ant can cause anaphylactic shock and sometimes even death if left untreated.
Types Of Ants In Oakland, California
There are over 12,000 known species of ants throughout the world. That number keeps growing. There was even a new type of ant discovered in the US last year. California has about 270 different types of ants according to the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources extension. Many of these ants are so invasive that they are invading us from other countries. All ants tend to be polymorphic, meaning they vary in size even within their own colonies.
Here are some of the ants we may see here in Oakland:
- The Argentine Ant: This ant lives outside and makes little ant hills. It is dusty brown in color and about an eighth of an inch in length. It eats sugars and proteins.
- The Carpenter Ant:This ant is the one that might do some severe damage to our homes. They live in tree stumps and firewood and can be detected by the piles of sawdust they expel from their hives. They like mostly eating sugar. These are big ants that can get up to a half an inch long and are black or blackish-red in color.
- The Southern Fire Ant: These are mean little critters that seem to wait until you are covered with them before they start biting and stinging. These ants prefer meat but also eat sugar. They sometimes have small mounds but prefer living under flat rocks, boards, and bricks. It is a matter of debate among professionals if they are named fire ants because of how bad their sting burns or how they look. They have a yellow amber colored head and what looks like a burning ember on their charcoal colored abdomen. They do have golden hairs on their bodies, and in the right light they may appear furry. These are medium small ants that, at their largest, only grow to be about ¼ inch long.
- The Pavement Ant: These are the dark brown or black tiny ants we often see building nests in cracks on driveways and on sidewalks. These ants will eat anything. They are master infiltrators and are often found in our homes. They sting but not as badly as other ant species. The sting from a pavement ant can cause irritation to the skin that varies in intensity from person to person.
Smith’s Pest Management understands that there are several types of ants living in Oakland. With over a decade of experience, our experts can answer all of your questions. We use organic, low toxic sprays and are known for our environmentally friendly yet highly effective pest control methods. Even though ants may not be out in full force today, now is a great time to call and ask about ant prevention in your Oakland home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.