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fire ants

What are ants?
Ants are social insects that live in large colonies made up of reproductive females, reproductive males, and non-reproductive (or worker) females. These colonies can have millions of members. Ants have three body sections – the head, thorax, and abdomen. They have six legs and are exceptionally strong insects, able to lift items that are far above their body weight.
There are many types of ants, but two that are common in North Carolina are fire ants and odorous house ants.
Fire ants
The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, continues to spread across North Carolina, in part because of favorable climate conditions that aid its natural spread as well as increased residential and industrial development across the state which provides opportunities for fire ants colonies to be moved around the state in infested soil, sod, nursery stock, and other materials. Although fire ant stings are not usually fatal, they are painful. In agricultural areas, fire ant mounds can interfere with the operation of machinery and disrupt harvesting activities. Eradicating fire ants is not practical at this time, but we can manage infestations to reduce the chance of accidental contact with people.
Odorous house ant
The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny brown ants range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.
Are ants dangerous?
The answer to this question depends on the type of ant. For example, fire ants pose a serious risk because of the painful stings they deliver, and pharaoh ants are dangerous because they spread disease. Pavement ants and odorous house ants are not dangerous, but they are a nuisance. Furthermore, if they get into your home, they can contaminate food supplies.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants usually end up in your home while foraging for food. They enjoy sweet foods as well as greasy foods, but pavement ants will eat almost anything. If they find something to eat when they get inside, they’ll continue to use your home as a food supply. Although it’s more common for ants to nest outdoors, they do sometimes build their nests within the walls of homes. If this happens, you could end up with millions of ants in your house.
Where will I find ants?

Ants live in nests, usually built underground. However, as mentioned above, they sometimes build their nests in wall voids, usually near a water source. Once inside your North Carolina home, ants may be observed crawling across your counters or inside your cabinets on their way to a food source. Outside your home, you’re likely to find ants under rocks or wood piles, or simply walking across the ground.

How do I get rid of ants?

Once they get inside your house, ants can be difficult to remove. It’s important to eliminate them all so they don’t pose a problem in the future. Pickett Pest Control offers pest control services that will take care of your ant problem.

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Ants are drawn to moisture and food, so eliminating those two attractants will go a long way in protecting your home. Here are some helpful ant prevention tips:

  • Ensure that you have no leaking pipes, dripping spigots, or faucets in or around your house.
  • Keep moisture and humidity levels low inside your house.
  • Eliminate excess moisture outside your home.
  • Store food in closed containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Clean up spills and messes as soon as they occur.
  • Wipe up crumbs, and don’t leave dirty dishes out on the counter or in the sink.
  • Seal cracks and holes around the outside of your house to make it more difficult for ants to get inside.

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