Unfortunately, for those of us living in Augusta, there are several species of ants that regularly invade homes in search of food and water. Typically, ants aren’t a big deal when they stay outside, but they can be a real nuisance when they make it indoors.
Lucky for us, there are ways to keep ants outside and to get rid of them. Here’s everything you need to know about ants in your area, including the most common types, what they look like, how to prevent and treat them, ant exterminator services, and more.
Truthfully, ants are everywhere. So, exterminating them completely isn’t realistic. With over 700 ant species in the United States alone, identifying the type of ant helps determine the course of action needed to keep them out of our homes. Read on to learn more about the specific species and pest control for ants.
What is an ant’s body like?
Ants have three main body regions: the head, thorax and gaster (abdomen). What distinguishes ants from other insects are the connecting segments between the thorax and the gaster. These are called pedicels.
Do ants have stingers?
Some ants have stingers, like the red imported fire ant in Augusta. These ants pack a painful sting, especially when they’re angry and can cause severe reactions in those with allergies.
Still not sure what type of ants you’re seeing?
Start by looking for trails. Ants very rarely travel alone. When you’ve found a trail, look at the sizes of the ants. Are they identical or do they vary?
Look to see if ants are active during the day or night. Try to identify the type of food they’re eating.
It’s the tiny things that usually go unnoticed that are key to ant identification and ant extermination. Your best bet? Contact a Terminix specialist to help.
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Ants in Augusta, GA
The most common ants in Augusta, GA, are fire ants, little black ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants.
Around 1940, the red imported fire ant was accidentally brought to Mobile, Alabama, from Brazil. They’re a dark, reddish brown and range in size from one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch long. They build their nests in mounds outdoors and enter homes through holes or cracks.
The species has spread throughout the Southeast and out West and is considered one of the most detrimental pests ever introduced into the United States. They damage wildlife, crops, and property. Many people are dangerously allergic to their painful stings. Billions of dollars are spent every year for fire ant control.
Fire ants prefer to build their mounds in sunny spots. But, they have also been found nesting in shaded areas and inside electrical components, such as air conditioning units, switch boxes, and transformers. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to discourage fire ants from nesting in your yard. Even regularly mowing over their mounds will not help much. Our fire ant bait is one type of pest control for ants. We perform this treatment twice a season and guarantee elimination for the entire year. Contact your local Terminix branch to learn more about fire ant control in Augusta.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants are found all over the U.S., and are small, shiny and black, measuring roughly one-eighth of an inch long. Like most species of ants, they will eat nearly anything, but love sweets. These small black ants nest in piles of lumber, rocks, and other debris.
Once inside, they follow well-defined trails to food and water sources—typically on kitchen counters and in kitchen sinks. On occasion, a colony or part of a colony may establish itself inside a wall, behind brick veneer or the carpet by a doorway.
Carpenter ants are very common in Augusta, Georgia. Workers vary in size within the same colony and some can be up to five-eighths of an inch in length. The main colony where the queen and brood reside is usually outdoors near dead wood, but they can set up satellite colonies inside your home. They can be a real problem because they build nests and chew through wood, causing serious damage.
Carpenter ants have large mandibles used for chewing and tunneling, a heart-shaped head and a smooth rounded thorax. There are multiple species and the most common are solid black in color, other species can range in color from light brown to red, or black and red. Common signs of a carpenter ant infestation include wood shavings and rustling noises inside walls.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are also called sugar ants, stink ants, or coconut ants and are common in Augusta, Georgia. They are brown or black and are about one-eighth of an inch long. These ants nest outdoors under objects, in mulch, beneath tree bark, in potted plants, and within lumber, firewood, or bricks.
Once inside, they may build nests in walls, beneath carpeting, and other suitable voids or spaces. These ants can occupy multiple nests at once using scent trails to travel between them and relocating nests frequently.
The size of ant colonies depends on a number of factors, with some having as few as 15 to 30 workers, and others having more than 50,000. When crushed, odorous house ants give off a smell similar to a rotten coconut (gross), hence their name. This species may be difficult to control because they can have multiple nesting sites on the property. The key to odorous house ant control is to find all the colonies and treat them directly.
Are Ants Dangerous?
Most ants don’t pose any threat to humans and are just a nuisance. However, the fire ant has a nasty, painful sting and the carpenter ant can cause structural damage to a home during an infestation. Odorous house ants don’t cause a public health risk or damage your home, but they can contaminate food and smell downright awful.
How to Prevent Ants
Keep in mind that even with pest professional services, keeping ants out entirely is a tough task. However, there are some ways to improve your odds.
- Keep a tidy home, wash dishes, clean tables, wipe countertops, mop and vacuum regularly.
- Move wood piles as far from the house as possible.
- Keep trees and bushes trimmed away from the house to prevent easy access.
- Make sure your sprinklers don’t spray onto the foundation of your house.
- Inspect the perimeter of your home and seal as many cracks as you can.
- Store food, including pet food, in airtight containers.
Ant Control and Ant Extermination
Knowing the species of ant you are dealing with is important. If you know your enemy, extermination for ants is easier. Finding the nest and food source is the first step.
A little black ant infestation is best treated by following the ant’s trail back to the colony and treating the problem at the source. Then seal off all entry points to your house.
Ant control in general is a bit tough, and carpenter ants require a much more dedicated approach. These ants are difficult to control, especially since they prefer to nest in moist wood. These nests can cause wood damage, and since moist wood is typically found in previously damaged locations (e.g., places with leaks, foundations that were exposed to the elements, etc.), this can create a big problem.
A more thorough investigation will have to be conducted by a pest management professional to create the most effective pest control plan for battling carpenter ants.
Unfortunately, ants will always come back. Having an ongoing pest management plan is key to managing pest problems in your home. A knowledgeable Terminix service technician will assess your situation and create the best plan for getting rid of ants and keeping them out of your house in the future. This can include interior and exterior treatments, sealing up entry points around the home, and placing ant baits around the property.
Terminix Can Help
Terminix experts aren’t like most exterminators. Our pest professionals have the knowledge, specialized training, and proven approach to protect your home, guaranteed.