Black Pest Prevention is a Charlotte, NC-based ant exterminator specializing in residential ant control. Black Pest can get rid of the ants invading your home with a money back guarantee.
As a professional ant exterminator, we see all kinds of ants on a daily basis. Our ant control services cover a wide variety of these pests. Check out the information below for help identifying the type of ant infestation you may have, or give us a call to get treatment started!
Odorous House Ant
One of North Carolinas’ and South Carolinas’ most common household ant pests, odorous house ants have a hard to tame sweet tooth that leaves them wandering across your kitchen counters day and night, looking for sugary snacks. It derives its name from the fact that a rotten, coconut-like odor is produced when it is crushed.
Nests are usually located in a great variety of places, both indoors and outdoors. Multiple nest sites are not uncommon and colony sizes are large. Odorous house ant colonies can range from fewer than 100 workers and one queen to more than 10,000 workers and hundreds of queens. They are masters in the nesting department. Outside, odorous house ant nests have been reported under rocks, inside acorns, mulch, and leaf litter, in potted plant soil, under potted plant containers, in garbage cans, lawn furniture and cars. Indoors, they get a little more creative. Nests have been found under doormats, in dishwashers, and even under a toilet seat! Typically, odorous house ants prefer to nest near heat or water sources and in insulation.
Keep your kitchen crumb-free and remove sources of standing water. Try to keep potential nesting sites like rich mulch and potted plants away from your house. Keep your shrubbery and trees trimmed so they do not touch your house.
Red Imported Fire Ant
Though not a native species in Charlotte and Charleston, the red imported fire ant has become a common nuisance in both cities. The red imported fire ant accidentally came to the United States in the 1930s from Brazil stowed away aboard the ballast of ships. They typically nest in the ground and can live in colonies of up to 200,000 individuals. Their mounds can be two feet high and three feet across with as many as 50 colonies per acre.
Their stings can cause deadly allergic reactions. For most of us, those stings mean a burning sensation, followed by a red, itchy bump with a pustule. But people who are allergic can have a life-threatening systemic reaction and anaphylactic shock.
Fire ants prefer to eat protein. For those of you with pets, this becomes a particular problem. If you put pet food and water outside for your pet, you are also providing food and water for foraging fire ants. Once they find the pet food, they lay a pheromone trail to follow that leads other workers to the food. These workers will continue to return until the food is gone. It is not uncommon in the Carolinas’ for pets to be treated for fire ant attacks. Sometimes fire ant attacks can prove fatal to small animals.
Native Southern Fire Ant
The Southern fire ant is a stinging fire ant native to southern parts of the United States and is common in Charleston and Charlotte. Its behavior is similar to the red imported fire ant, although its sting is less painful. Its main source of food is honeydew collected from aphids and other insects.
They can indirectly harm citrus trees by protecting honeydew secreting insect pests that live on trees and landscape shrubs from natural enemies. By protecting honeydew secreting aphids living on the shrubbery adjacent to your home, they make it more likely you will be invaded by sweet loving ants such as Odorous House Ants and Carpenter Ants.
These large ants usually nest outdoors in stumps and logs in contact with the soil and in dead tree limbs and cavities. The most common color for carpenter ants is black. They also can nest in homes in wood damaged by termites, fungi and moisture. They forage widely for food crumbs and insects as well as honeydew produced by sap-sucking insects which attack landscape plants. Although they don’t eat wood, the galleries they excavate can be quite extensive.
To control carpenter ants it is necessary to find the nest and remove it or treat it. Carpenter ants prefer wood with a moisture content of 15% or higher, so the infestation is often associated with moisture damage.
Check for moist, soft or rotting structural wood in your attic, roof edges, eaves, gutters, flashing around chimneys, railings, columns, door and window frames. Keep tree limbs and shrubs pruned back away from your house and remove nearby trees that are dead or in poor health.
These medium size ants are uniformly brown and trail in large numbers. They compete aggressively with other ant species for food and nesting sites and can drive most other ant species out of their territory. Their nests have large numbers of individuals and a high percentage of queens. Because of their aggressive nature, these ants will develop into super-colonies in many urban situations with the colony spread across entire neighborhoods. Their nests are often under heavy leaf litter, under wood on the ground, at the base of trees and in planters and mulch. They prefer the outdoors, but will enter houses looking for food, water and warmth. They particularly like sweet foods.
It is a significant localized pest in Charlotte and Charleston. Argentine ants do not bite or sting, but heavy ant activity in your home’s landscape creates a nuisance when you are seeking to spend time out of doors. Additionally, foraging workers will frequently migrate indoors in search of food or in response to outdoor extremes of drought or flooding.
Keep outdoor shrubs, vines and plants from direct contact with your house. Remove mulch from alongside of your home if ants are in the mulch.
These small red to yellowish ants can be found trailing anywhere inside your home. They can nest in wall voids, cabinets, boxes of food and any other accessible crevices and spaces. Their colonies have multiple queens and can split into small groups, spreading very rapidly. In the sub-tropical climate enjoyed by Charlotte and Charleston pharaoh ants readily nest outside in leaf debris found on or near structures. Re-invasion of the structure can occur throughout warm parts of the year. Pharaoh ants will tend to alternate between carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods and especially prefer sweets.
Budding is a major factor underlying the invasiveness of pharaoh ants. Spraying for Pharaoh ants in your home can cause them to bud off forming additional colonies. Only baits should be used for control of Pharaoh ants.
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