The Best Advice About Ant Prevention Philadelphia Homeowners Can Hear

ants in basement

Ants in Philadelphia can range from being a nuisance to downright destructive. No matter what type of ant is on the verge of invading your home or yard preventative measures are crucial in keeping them away.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants get their name from commonly making nests in or under cracks in pavement but they are also known to infest structures. These ants are dark brown to black and typically slow moving. They range from 1/12 to ¼ inch in length and feed on a wide variety of food sources. While pavement ants do not pose a public health risk they can contaminate food and should be avoided whenever possible.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building. While many people assume carpenter ants eat wood this isn’t the case. These ants tunnel land chew through wood to create nests, damaging structural wood of homes and businesses. Mature colonies of carpenter ants contain 10,000-20,000 workers with some colonies growing to house more than 50,000 individuals. These ants can be anywhere from ½ and ⅝ inches long and are commonly black though they can be black, brown, red, or a combination of black and red. Often the only sign of carpenter ant infestations is the appearance of small openings on the surface of wood. Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood that has been softened by fungus and are more likely to infest homes with moisture problems.

Citronella Ants

Also known as yellow ants, citronella ants grow to be 1/10-⅛ inches in length and are, as their name implies, yellow. Citronella ants give off a distinct lemon odor when crushed. They are seldom seen as they live in the soil and are nocturnal. Citronella ants eat honeydew from underground insects. They are often an indicator of moisture issues when found inside.

Don’t Roll Out The Welcome Mat

Ants and other pests are perpetually looking for inviting places to call home. There are steps you can take to make your home less attractive to ants and other unwanted guests.

  • Keep food in sealed containers.

  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.

  • Rinse out empty soft drink containers.

  • Dispose of garbage regularly.

  • Keep pet food and water dishes clean.

  • Thoroughly clean up spills.

  • Check potted plants for signs of nesting and remove them at the first sign of infestation.

  • Eliminate sources of moisture and standing water near your home.

  • Place gardens and compost piles a distance away from home.

Get Defensive

Sometimes being uninviting is just not enough. If the above tips are not enough to keep ants away it's time to get defensive. Ants prefer high humidity, moist soil and reduced exposure to sunlight. While removing potential nesting sites doesn’t eliminate ants, it may help to lower populations. To do this reduce irrigation, mow tall grass and increase sun exposure. You’ll also want to use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture inside your home if needed. Another important step is to prevent entry into the home. Try the following:

  • Trim branches and shrubs around the outside of your home.

  • Create a stone or rock barrier between your home’s foundation and any soil.

  • Seal cracks and holes in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Install weather stripping around windows and doors.

  • Use door sweeps on all exterior doors.

Finally, if you have an infestation don’t hesitate to contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem.

Contact The Experts At M.A.D. Exterminators For Advice And Assistance

What may seem like a small infestation can quickly become a major problem for homeowners. Eliminating ants from your home can be a challenge for someone without proper training. Our pest professionals can help you identify and treat any ant problems thereby minimizing the health and property risks associated with these pests. We are a family owned and operated business committed to being tough on bugs, not on you.