Do you smell a faint whiff of coconut or blue cheese? Are these foods nowhere around your home to cause such a scent to be present? Suspect odorous house ants if you notice either of these odors in or around your home.
Experts disagree on the actual defining smell of the odorous house ant, but all agree that this stinky ant is a problem pest. The following are three more facts about ants and how to manage them.
1. Most Ants Stay Outside
The Midwest is home to many species of ants. In Minnesota, dozens of ant species roam the woods and lawns within the state's borders. However, only around 10 ant species are considered to be household nuisances in this state.
Indoor ant pests include the odorous house ant and the following nine species:
Larger yellow ants
False honey ants
You don't necessarily need to be able to identify the precise species of ant infesting your home. If you can't control an ant infestation, the key is to hire a pest control company to help solve the problem.
The pest control professional finds the colony and identifies the species of ant invading your food cabinets and pet-food bags. The expert targets the ants with specific treatments based on the life cycle of the particular ant you're battling.
2. Ants Can Cause Health Issues
Some ants live primarily indoors in Midwestern states. The insidious Pharaoh ant is one such invasive ant that can also cause serious health issues in vulnerable people. These ants may infest your home in any season but are often first noticed in winter when you observe many small ants in your home.
Pharaoh ants eat just about anything, including:
Pharaoh ants have also been shown to cause asthma in some people. These ants are hard to manage on your own. If you spray the ants yourself, they simply move their colonies to a new location. A pest control professional is required to effectively manage the Pharaoh ant.
3. Ant Invasions Require an Integrated Approach
Pest control experts combat ants through a planned approach called integrated pest management (IPM). On the pest control company's side of IPM is the responsibility for tasks including baiting, trapping, and killing colonies of ants.
On your end is the responsibility to clear up the conditions that are tempting ants to enter your home. Start by cleaning up all of your cabinets. Store all dry goods in containers that are sealed tightly. Some ants, like the thief ant, can enter almost any type of food container.
Ants love moisture and will develop their colonies near water sources. Correct issues including leaky pipes, pooling AC condensate, poor yard drainage, and damp spots inside your home.
Other IPM tasks involved in a battle against ants include:
Installing extra flashing
Using door brushes on exterior entries
Caulking around doors and windows
Sealing cracks and gaps in walls
To lower the ants' attraction to your kitchen, clean and tidy all counters and floors after cooking, preparing food, or eating. Wipe and sweep away spills as soon as possible to remove any food sources for ant colonies. Remove trash from indoor containers daily. Routinely clean and disinfect all trash containers and cans to remove odors.
Your pest control professional will share other ant-fighting IPM strategies with you once they inspect your property and determine the species of ants invading your living spaces. Together, you can keep the odorous house ants and other problem ants outside where they belong.
If ants are a nuisance in your home, contact Godfather's Exterminating, Inc., today to schedule an inspection and treatment of the problem. We solve ant problems in a wide service area that includes Minnesota, South and North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.