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© 2017 by CrossRoads Pest Control Reed City, Michigan.

In need of pest control in Mid-Michigan?

Sub-sections:

Ants
  • Acrobat Ants are usually 1/8-1/2" long and dark brown to black in color. Like Carpenter Ants they tend aphids and mealybugs for the honeydew and they also feed on other insects. They can be found in stumps, rotten logs, old carpenter ant galleries, wet roof boards, house siding, porch rafters, pillars, sill plates-any part of a structure where the wood does not dry out. They may also be seen feeding in kitchens.

  • Pavement Ants are around 1/8" in length and found throughout the Midwest. They nest outside under rocks, at the edge of the pavement, door stoops and patios. They commonly move their colonies inside between the foundation and the sill plate. These are the ants that make piles of sand seemingly overnight.

  • Odorous Ants get their name because of the foul odor that is released when they are crushed. While small in size 1/8", their name because of the foul odor that is released when they are crushed. While small in size 1/8", their colonies usually consist of 3,000-4,000 ants and several queens. They can nest in many types of cavities and known for the long lines of ant trails we often see. They prefer sweets.

  • ​​​Pharoah Ants are only 1/16" long and are usually yellow or light orange in color. They prefer warmer buildings and warm areas (80-85 degrees F.) for nesting. They are active all year round, nesting in wall voids, cracks in woodwork, stacks of paper, bed linens and even desk drawers. They also trail one another and are attracted to grease, meats, insects, and sweets.

  • Little Black Ants are 1/16" long and black in color. They are usually found outside tending honeydew-producing insects such as aphids and mealybugs.

  • Thief Ants are less than 1/16" long, shiny and yellow or slightly darker in color. They are found inside and outside and also tend honeydew-producing insects such as aphids and mealybugs.

 

As you can see ants have a broad diet, feeding on sugars, grease, other insects, and honeydew. Once you understand these pesky insects you can turn the odds in your favor.Ants leave scent trails indicating where the prime food and water locations are. Understanding that simple fact gives you a huge advantage in the battle against them.

Prevention methods

  1. Use a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach-10 parts water) to wipe down your countertops and appliances. This eliminates their scent trails!

  2. Dispose of overly ripe fruit or store fruit in the refrigerator.

  3. Store food supplies in tight-fitting containers, ie; dry pet food, sugar, cereals, etc.

  4. Caulk cracks and entry points ie; windows, doors, electric wires, pipes, etc.

  5. Remove and replace decaying or damaged wood.

  6. DON'T store your firewood in your house, basement, garage or even stack it next to your house!

  7. Rake the leaves and debris away from your house and remember to CLEAN your gutters and downspouts at least once a year!

 

Carpenter Ant Identification

Carpenter Ants range in size from 1/4-1/2" and the queen can be as large as 3/4". Carpenter Ants have an even, smooth arching profile and are black in color. Other ants often have bumps or spines along the profile of their mid-section. Carpenter Ants also have gray or yellowish hairs covering their abdomens, but the basic black remains obvious.

Carpenter Ant colonies begin in isolation, but not always in wood. Secrecy is the key to the new colony's survival, so it may even start under a stone or in a roll of tar paper. Soon after the colony moves into wood such as; a fallen log, a stump, a tree hole or a structural wall.

Carpenter Ants do NOT eat wood, instead, they discard it outside of their nest area. This sawdust is very fine and feels soft. Often you will see ant parts mixed in with the sawdust.

 

The nest or colony may consist of several thousand ants. Large colonies of Carpenter Ants in critical areas can cause structural damage, but the colony USUALLY resides in the voids between the wood; such as between roof boards, between studs under windows or between the subflooring and the shower bases.

 

Common outdoor harborages for Carpenter Ants are stumps, firewood, living trees that are hollow inside and piles of debris or brush. Many colonies of Carpenter Ants are originally brought inside during construction on building materials that have been laying outside on the ground. Vines, overhanging branches, and wiring all provide access into buildings as well.

 

Moisture problems and Carpenter Ants are nearly inseparable.

 

This is because Carpenter Ants prefer a humid atmosphere. In the majority of cases, Carpenter Ants make their nest in or near wood that has been wet and infested with Brown Rot Fungus. Dark fungus stains on wood indicate the presence of such moisture.

Habitat Alteration

  1. Remove damaged wood, repair roofs and gutters.

  2. Stop the moisture problem, ventilate moist areas.

  3. Redirect water away from buildings.

  4. Trim tree branches and remove damaged trees.

  5. Caulk holes and cracks, replace or repair damaged screens.