Spring and summer is high season for ants and for ant pest problems in our homes and gardens.
There are some 200 species of ants in California, but fewer than a dozen are common household pests in our area. Of those, the most common is the Argentine ant, a dull-brown ant about 1/8-inch in length. Less common but also significant pests are the pharaoh ant, the odorous house ant, the thief ant and the southern fire ant. If you step on an odorous house ant, which is dark brown to black and about the same size as the Argentine ant, you may recognize it by its strong odor. Carpenter ants are black or red and black and larger than the Argentine ant at ¼ to ½ inch in length and, because they hollow out and nest in wood, can do significant damage to homes and buildings. Our L.A. neighbors are dealing with a serious problem from the red imported fire ant, which has recently established a population there; they have not yet been found in Northern California.
Most of the ants we see are easily recognizable. However, in the warm spring months, mature ant colonies produce winged ants, which travel away from the nest to mate and form new colonies. For that reason, ants are sometimes mistaken for termites.
Inside your home, ants may feed on sweets such as sugar, honey or fruit juice, or on fats and meats. Your first sight of ants may be of a long chain of them leading from the food source inside your home to their nest outdoors or in the cracks and crevices of your home.
Ants often make their trails on pipes or wires and enter buildings via cracks and crevices. Caulking can help prevent ants from entering your home. Rinsing out soft-drink and juice containers before putting them into the recycling bin and storing sugar and syrups in airtight containers also helps.
Your local pest control professional can assist you by identifying the type of ant or pest problem you have, assessing the best way to eliminate it and prevent future invasions, and helping you decide upon the right combination of pest control services for your household or business.
For a free pest assessment and estimate from our licensed, bonded and certified pest control professionals, contact Earth Guard Pest Services, (916) 457-7605 or toll-free (877) 328-4468, contact@EarthGuardPest.com.
Source: University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
Source: Pest News4
Original Source link ==> Most Common Northern California Ants
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