Ant Control Maintenance: Keeping Your Home Ant-Free Long-Term In The Woodlands


Have you had a day when everything seemed to go wrong? That day may have started when the coffee maker wouldn't work, followed by the inability to find the shirt you needed, then as you raced to get to work on time, you encountered an accident that made you thirty minutes late. When you get into the office, you are frazzled, cannot focus, and know that the rest of the day will be challenging. There is no worse feeling than when things are spiraling out of control.

A day may begin with a frazzled feeling when you discover a line of ants marching along the baseboard or a host of ants underneath the kitchen garbage basket. When ants invade your house, you cannot rest because they make you feel itchy when you think about them crawling across your body. Instead of allowing ants to ruin your day, you need pest control in The Woodlands from Chase Pest Control. Since 1997 our family-owned and operated company has removed ants from homes in The Woodlands. Because we are a family-owned business, we treat everyone like family by valuing your time and schedule. Our technicians are highly trained and licensed. 

We wrote this article because we don't want ants in your house to disrupt your day or cause consternation. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you need to combat an infestation and prevent a future occurrence of ants in your home in The Woodlands. Please keep reading to understand how infestations begin and what you can do to end the problem. 

Ant Communication: How Infestations Develop And Spread

Understanding how ant infestations begin and spread starts with a basic knowledge of an ant colony and its life cycle. A queen or several future queens, sterile workers, and flying or non-flying reproductives are in an ant nest. The number of queens and whether or not there are flying ants depends upon the ant species. The problematic ant species in our area, fire and carpenter ants, have only one queen and winged reproductive ants. 

In these types of ant colonies, the queen is a former flying reproductive ant fertilized by numerous winged male ants during their springtime flight. Each spring, male and female reproductive ants, called swarmers or alates, leave the nest, usually after a heavy rain, and fly using wind currents to find new nesting locations. During the flight, the males fertilize the females and then fall to the ground and die. The females continue their journey until they find a suitable nesting location.

One indication of an ant infestation on your property is if you see flying ants swarming around outdoor lights or windows with light shining through at dusk or dawn. If the insects have clubbed antennas, a narrow waist, and longer front wings than back wings, then ants are on your property attempting to locate new nesting areas. 

Once the female swarmers find an area, they land, discard their wings, and burrow into the soil (fire ants) or a wood crevice (carpenter ants). Once she settles into her new home, the female lays the first batch of eggs that hatch as sterile female workers. The workers soon begin creating tunnels and chambers for the ever-growing brood of ants the queen continues to produce. (A fertilized female delivers eggs for her entire life and never mates again after landing.) When there are sufficient workers, the queen bears winged reproductive male and female ants that later leave the nest during the spring, and the cycle begins anew in another location.

Most ant colonies have this structure, but a few have wingless reproductive ants. The founding queen produces workers and reproductives, while the reproductive males fertilize the non-sterile females and die shortly afterward. While the other "queens" may lay eggs, they generally do not until the nest is disturbed, and they quickly exit along with an entourage of sterile workers to begin a new nest nearby. This process is known as budding; ghost ants, pharaoh ants, some fire ant species, and Argentine ants spread through budding.

You must know the ant species in The Woodlands that are infesting your house because if the infestation is from ants that spread through budding, you can inadvertently create more nests by applying the wrong or ineffective treatment. Chase Pest Control has removed ants for over 25 years, and our highly-trained technicians can identify the ant species infesting your house in The Woodlands. We will use the correct ant control treatment protocol that targets the ant species in your home to avoid creating more nests. 

Ant Problems: Ants In The Home Can Be More Than A Nuisance

All ants are a nuisance when they enter a home. These six-legged insects crawl over food, people, clothing, and all other items inside the house. When they travel on your body, they make you itchy and feel icky. Although ants are disconcerting and embarrassing to homeowners, they are more dangerous than you might think.

You've probably watched in amazement as ants climbed vertically up a brick wall; you may have wondered how these tiny creatures seemingly defy gravity. The climbing secret is the claws on the foot on each of their six segmented legs. While these enable ants to scale verticle surfaces and uneven terrain, they also are magnets for bacteria. 

When ants forage in garbage, over animal feces, or on other unclean surfaces, the claws pick up bacteria that later transfer onto kitchen countertops, exposed foods, food packaging, and other areas as they walk through a home. Except for pharaoh ants, ants do not spread disease, but all ants contaminate surfaces with bacteria. Pharaoh ants, which are more problematic for healthcare facilities but occasionally invade houses, spread salmonellosis, staphylococcus, clostridium, and streptococcus.

Beyond being a nuisance and contaminating surfaces, some ant species cause additional problems. One of those ants, which is problematic for homeowners in The Woodlands, is the fire ant. Fire ants have a reddish-brown body 1/8 to 3/8 inches long. These ants create large outdoor mounds two to four feet in diameter near landscaping timbers, dead trees, and foundations. 

Biting is the mechanism of self-defense for most ants, but fire ants have an additional weapon; a stinger. Their stinger is similar to a wasp's in that they are smooth and can be used several times on their victim. When fire ants detect a threat, soldier ants swarm out of the numerous nest openings onto the perceived perpetrator. Once they get onto their prey, they bite to anchor themselves, repeatedly sting, and inject venom into the victim. The human body reacts by dispatching histamines which cause the area to swell, turn red, and form a fluid-filled blister. Pain and itching from the venom-filled stings last several days after the attack. Because fire ants infest yards and occasionally homes in our area, Chase Pest Control offers fire ant pest control in The Woodlands.

You know when fire ants attack because the pain is immediate; however, it may be years before you see the results of a carpenter ant infestation. A carpenter ant infestation begins when a newly crowned fertilized queen finds a crevice in damp wood, usually in the yard. Soon she produces workers who begin to bore smooth tunnels into the wood to expand the nest and create birthing and storage chambers. Unlike termites, these 5/8-inch long black, red, or black and red ants do not eat wood, but they remove it to create nests.

When the nest reaches maturity, the queen produces swarmers that leave the nest. If nearby dwellings have wet, fungus-ridden wood in the crawl space or basement, the ants will notice and attempt to enter the home to begin new colonies. Over the years, what started as one ant nest on the property may spawn into several inside the house. Carpenter ants bore tunnels deep into damp wood, and if it is a load-bearing support, they can cause significant damage to the home. As more nests develop and holes are bored in structural wood supports, the homeowner may notice sagging floors, warping window and door frames, and collapsing structures. Chase Pest Control provides carpenter ant control in The Woodlands to protect your hard-earned investment. 

Chase Pest Control can stop whatever ants infest your home. Our technicians work on your schedule to eliminate these problematic pests.

Professional Ant Control: Eliminate The Infestation

Chase Pest Control provides ant control service near your home. When you partner with us, we will dispatch a trained technician to inspect your house to identify signs of ant infestation, entry points, attractants, and nesting locations. Upon completing the investigation, we will present you with a written plan, treatment options, and goals.  

With your approval, we will initially treat the interior of the house. We will focus on ant nesting locations to eliminate the current infestation and their offspring. We will treat the exterior and focus on entry points. We will create a barrier around the house to deter future invasions.

Our ant pest control treatments eliminate the current infestation by eradicating the offspring, workers, and queens. We not only stop the current problem but work to prevent a reoccurrence in the future. 

Ant Prevention Tips: Keep Your Home Ant-Free

Once Chase Pest Control ends the current infestation, these tips are great ideas for ant control for homeowners: 

  • Remove debris, junk, and rotting timber from the property
  • Keep all indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed
  • Seal foundation and roofline cracks
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs from the house
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors

Implementing these tips and ant pest control services from Chase Pest Control will ensure ants stay away from your house. Contact us today to learn more and request your free inspection.

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