We offer both preventative and real ant extermination. Since ants come from outside the home, we treat both inside and outside the home as needed. Our insecticide treatments are children and pet safe and effective against all types of ants. Call us at 717-422-3916 to ask about our costs and request extermination. Be sure to ask about our rodent and insect combination special.
Unlike the average house pests, most ants do not carry disease; however, they transmit filth from dirty to clean areas, enter food containers, and multiply into large visible herds if left unchecked.
- Do not kill individual ants as their dead carcass is a food source that will attract other ands to the area.
- Do not spray ants with repellant insecticides. Killing a few ants with repellant poisons will only stimulate the rest of the colony to avoid the area and reproduce even more avidly.
- Do not use boric acid powers. Boric acid powder will become airborne. The dust will settle on your food and irritant your lungs when inhaled.
- Do the dishes regularly
- Wipe down your kitchen counters with bleach every night.
- Clean your room and pick up food wrappers.
- Seal door sills, window sills, and mend broken screens.
- Mop floors with bleach regularly.
- Put food and leftovers, (especially sweets and starches), in containers that seal tightly
- Take out the trash as often as possible.
If you followed all the recommendations and still have ants, you will have to use insecticides. But first you will have to identify the species of the invading ant because some ants are attracted to sweet bait and some ants are attracted to salty bait.
How to Identify the Species of the Invading Ant
There are many species of ants, but only a few types that commonly invade homes in the Pennsylvania area. The common types are described below.
Carpenter ants are large black, brown and red ants 3-4 times larger than the typical house ant. They are the only ant that does not come indoors looking for food. Carpenter ants feed on the bark of trees. They enter homes in winter to escape the cold, they bring their food with them and they emerge in late winter-early spring, when the weather starts to warm. They are a dangerous home invader because they create nests by burrowing into the wooden structures of the house.
Pavement ants are tiny brown ants, which are attracted to sweets. Their colonies are recognized as small sandy hills found alongside pavements or along the foundation of homes. They are commonly lumped together with a variety of tiny black house ants that also love sugar products and also consume scraps of food found around the house. Tiny outdoor ants frequently come in to escape rainy or cold weather. They can migrate through doors, windows or cracks in the walls; once inside, they will live in the walls and come out to forage for food.
Black Odorous House Ants:
Black odorous house ants are tiny black ants that give off a sweet pungent odor when crushed. They are very commonly found in the Pennsylvania area, and they are quick to invade. They are attracted to moist areas such as under leaves, and they periodically swarm in the air and form new colonies. They are attracted to sweets when foraging and salty protein food when breeding. In general they are an omnivorous ant, that will, at one time or another, eat any available scrap of human food.
Other Less Common Species of Ants in Pennsylvania:
Argentine ants are a hardy mostly outdoor ant that is found mostly on the West Coast. They are sometimes found in the Pennsylvania area. When foraging for food, they travel along discrete trails that may travel up buildings or into homes. Their trails are the most reliable sign of their infestation This ant is sweet loving. Unlike like most ant species that spread via winged swarmers, Argentine ants spread horizontally across the ground, with mobile queens forming adjacent colonies when prompted by changing weather conditions or over-crowded colony conditions. Their spread can take on gigantic proportions with urban colonies spanning multiple city blocks. If you believe you’ve been infested by Argentine ants call A # 1 Pest Control for assistance.
The Fire Ant:
The Fire ant is a stinging ant found mostly in warmer southern climates.
The Pharaoh Ant:
The Pharaoh ant is a hardy urban ant capable of populating whole city blocks and invading improperly sterilized hospitals. It is one of the few ant species believed to transmit bacterial infection.
Note: The ants you find in your home are members of an invading army coming from a mother colony, usually located within 20-30 feet of the house. Complete eradication of the invaders may necessitate extermination of the mother colony as well.
Effective Ant Eradication
Effective ant eradication requires employment of a combination of strategies that when used appropriately are very effective.
- Sweet loving ants: For common sweet loving ants the best strategy is to spray indoors with odorless, non-repellant insecticide, and to treat locations close to food containing areas and inside cabinets with a sweet based ant gel such as Combat or Maxforce.
- Protein loving or outdoor loving ants: Ants such as the black odorous ant, which are more attracted to protein, can also be killed with odorless, non-repellant insecticide. Areas inside of cabinets can be treated with Combat or Maxforce gel. When treating Carpenter ant invasion, it is necessary to spray around the roof as they usually enter homes by crawling along branches of trees adjacent to the roof. When outdoor treatment is required, either for Carpenter ants or block odorous house ants, a strong protein based insecticide such as Niban can be sprinkled on the ground, close to the mother colonies or along ant migration trails. This is called “broadcast baiting.” Ants take the granules back to the colony where all the members eat the bait and die.
- Ant Bait Stations: Ant bait stations contain a sugar or protein bait combined with boric acid, a slow ant poison. Ant bait stations are placed indoors and outdoors along ant trails. The foraging ants ingest the poison and take it back to the colony, where they regurgitate part of it to provide sustinence for other members of the colony. The remaining ants eat it and die. This is an effective, albeit slow, way to kill invading ants.