There are many species of ants in Charlotte, NC but none make people as uncomfortable as the carpenter ant or the fire ant. Both of these species can cause serious problems when they make their homes near or even inside your house. This residential pest control guide will help you identify, eliminate, and prevent these pests from making your home their home.
Fire ants are not natives to the United States, they were imported here from South America sometime in the 1930s. When these tropical ants arrived they found the warm summers of the south and lack of natural predators quite suitable. Since then they have spread unchecked throughout South Carolina and even into parts of North Carolina, invading lawns and posing a serious threat to anything or anyone that disturbs their nests.
There are two types of fire ant colonies: single queen and multiple queens. Workers in a single queen colony will forage and attack within their defined territories while workers in multiple queens colonies will move from one nest to the other. Keep in mind, a single queen colony left unchecked can contain 40-150 mounds containing over 6 million ants. If you think that’s a lot, a multiple-queens colony can have over 200 mounds with an ant population of up to 40 million!
When these ants make their home in your yard they can construct extensive tunnel systems, feeding on the roots of your grass and causing it to decline. Not to mention the large dirt mounds that can seemingly appear overnight, can make mowing difficult and playing in your yard impossible.
Identifying Fire Ants
You can first identify fire ants by their large mounds in your grass. These colonies can easily contain half a million ants and the colony can cover an area as large as an acre. Ants behave instinctively when someone trespasses in their territory such as playing children, pets, and lawnmowers. Fire ants will attack in an aggressive swarm with excruciatingly painful stings that could potentially be deadly if enough of them sting you.
Controlling Fire Ants
Fire ant treatments can be found at any hardware store and are sprinkled over the mounds. The ants will eat the slow-acting poison then take it back to feed the queen.
If you don’t know whether you have fire ants then it should be left to a residential pest control expert.
Carpenter ants are not aggressive biters like fire ants but, let’s be honest, they are much scarier looking. Seeing one of these big black ants crawling on your wall is enough to put your house up for sale. Instead of building mounds in your yard, carpenter ants make their nests in dead, moist wood. They usually prefer old rotting trees but when they find a suitable place in your home, they can cause some serious damage to your wooden structures. Once established they will chew tunnel systems through the wood in your walls, floors, and ceilings as they expand.
When these ants get inside your walls it’s hard to remove them, unless you can discover their nest and use a combination of insecticide sprays and bait traps. It is much easier to prevent them from coming into your home in the first place.
How to prevent carpenter ants from entering your home:
- Fix roof leaks and plumbing leaks.
- Prune tree limbs that grow close to or touch your house.
- Seal cracks and openings around the foundation and where utility lines enter the house
- Keep firewood a good distance away from the house and only bring it inside if you intend to burn it immediately.
Get Professional Help From Cramer Pest Control
At Cramer Pest Control, no one’s better at residential pest control. We’re well-seasoned in battling fire ants, carpenter ants, and other pests in the Charlotte, NC area. If you suspect you have an ant problem don’t hesitate to call. We will send out one of our bug exterminators to evaluate the situation.
Check out our perimeter pest control program to insulate your home from invading insects.