Ant control in Sarasota can be difficult because ants in our area are determined to get into our homes, which are often the most convenient food source for them, especially in urban locales. This difficulty is exacerbated by the climate here in Florida. Our warm summers, mild winters, and humid, rainy weather make it easy for ants to thrive.
While most ant species are considered nuisance pests, some of the ants in our area can be more problematic. There are ants that can destroy property, ants that can spread disease, and even ants that can sting. Since there's no way to tailor your ant control measures to prevent only the dangerous species, you will have to control all of them.
What Types Of Ants Are There In Sarasota?
Florida is the perfect environment for ants. Not only do our mild winters and warm summers mean there are virtually no climate-related limits placed on their breeding season or their numbers, but Florida also has an excess of the things that ants need to thrive.
The abundance of flowers and subtropical fruit trees means there's no shortage of food at virtually any time of the year, and the abundant rainfall and high humidity throughout most of the year also mean that ants rarely lack the moisture they need to thrive. Thus, ants can breed as much as they please, and there is almost nothing stopping their numbers from increasing.
All this means there are plenty of ants running around the Sunshine State, many of which can invade your home. Some of the many types of ants you may encounter here in Sarasota include:
Odorous house ants
Most of these species cannot do much more harm than looking unsettling on your counter or contaminating some of the foods that they enter. However, there are ant species that can do a lot more damage than that.
How Bad Is It To Have Ants In My House?
Ants often get into our homes by way of tiny cracks in the foundation or the exterior. Once they are inside, the first scouting ants will send pheromone signals out to the other members of their colonies. These pheromone trails help even more ants find their way into your home, where they will raid your pantry and feast on the crumbs that fall on your floor.
Ant infestations are often little more than annoying. Certain species, like odorous house ants, might be a bigger nuisance than other species because of their irritating features. Odorous house ants in particular live up to their name because they stink of rotten coconuts when they are crushed or frightened. However, some ants are more than annoying.
Carpenter ants are some of the most dangerous ants in our area. Carpenter ants, as their name suggests, tunnel through wood the way that most ants tunnel through dirt. This means that carpenter ants can do similar damage to termites. While carpenter ants cannot inflict damage as serious as what termites can inflict, their tunneling behavior and the damage it leaves behind is similar, if less significant. Like termites, carpenter ants can live in your home for long periods of time without you realizing it and leave hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage in their wake.
Pharaoh ants are another dangerous species that you have to worry about. These tiny ants can't do any property damage, but they can spread several dangerous strains of bacteria such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, and salmonella. These ants carry the bacteria across your food prep surfaces and can introduce it into your foods themselves, so it's important to keep them away.
Fire ants are also a major problem here in Florida. Fire ants sting just like hornets or yellow jackets, and just like those social wasps, fire ants swarm en masse and sting as many times as it takes to drive away any perceived threat to their mounds. Fire ant stings might not hurt quite as badly as wasp stings, and these ants cannot fly to give chase, but if you accidentally come into contact with a fire ant nest, you will still regret it.
Another major problem that all ant species can bring with them is secondary infestations. When ants invade your home, they often attract spiders, centipedes, and scorpions. These venomous pests can set up breeding populations in your home if there are enough ants inside it to sustain their numbers. So if you don’t want predatory pests like these living in your house, it's important to take as many prevention measures as necessary to keep ants away.
Why Do I Have Ants In My House?
Most of the time, you wind up with an ant infestation through no fault of your own. These social insects are extremely good at sussing out any food source available. Their sense of smell is keen, and they send signals over shocking distances to attract others from their colony to the smallest crumbs. This means actions as innocuous as not covering your garbage tightly enough or letting some cookie crumbs drop to the kitchen floor can attract ants. It's not about being filthy or cluttered.
The good news is that you do not have to make major lifestyle changes to keep ants at bay. It is easy to follow ant prevention best practices in order to make your home a less attractive place for ants, encouraging them to move on to easier pickings. You'll need to take a few key steps.
The first step is eliminating food attractants that can draw ants. You'll need to cover all your indoor and outdoor garbage cans at all times. Use tight lids so that ants cannot get into your garbage anyway. You will also want to properly store your pantry foods. Keep them in airtight containers to mask smells and ensure ants cannot access them.
Keeping your property clean is also an important step to eliminate both food attractants and hiding places for ants. Remove debris and clutter from your yard so that ants cannot nest underneath them. Vacuum and wipe surfaces frequently to remove crumbs that ants could use as food sources. Also, ensure you are not leaving dirty dishes, including pet bowls, sitting out for long stretches.
You'll also want to inspect the exterior of your home and seal any damage you find that could serve as an entry point for ants. Remember that no crack or hole in your foundation or siding is too small for ants to enter. You will need to repair all of it to physically block them from coming into your house. If you follow these ant prevention tips, you might never have to deal with an infestation in your Sarasota home.
What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants?
Unfortunately, it can be tough to get rid of ants once you already have them. There are not many ant control products that can effectively eliminate ants once you have an established infestation. Store-bought products like glue boards, granules, and the like are simply not viable solutions to eliminate entire colonies. What typically happens is these products temporarily reduce the ant load in your home while allowing the colony to remain intact. This means it will eventually bounce back.
Even worse, sometimes a big reduction in population can cause an ant colony to reproduce faster and spread out in response. The ants want to maintain and increase their populations, so a major stressor can cause them to double down on reproduction. If you don’t use products and techniques that eliminate entire colonies, you will always see the ant population on your property return, sometimes in greater numbers.
This means you’ll need professional ant control services to truly eliminate ants from your property. Here at Westfall's Lawn and Pest, our home pest services include many varieties of ants commonly found in the Sarasota area. We can customize our plans to fit your needs, coming out to your property one time, quarterly, or monthly, depending on the severity of your problem and how determined ants and other pests are to get back into your home.
We use state-of-the-art pest control products and techniques that are designed to eliminate entire pest populations rather than simply reducing their numbers. Our trained pest professionals will also perform a thorough inspection of your property to ensure we figure out what kinds of ants are infesting it, where they are living, and where they’re getting inside your home. That allows us to create an effective plan to combat all the ants on your property, protecting it from the many problems they can cause.
So don’t let ants take over your house, and don’t rely on inferior products that won’t eliminate their entire colonies. Contact the ant removal experts here at Westfall's Lawn and Pest. We can get the ants out of your plants — and your kitchen, pantry, and bathroom — and make sure they never come back!
What Our Customers Are Saying
"My yard consistently looks great. I find the technician that does the applications knows my lawn like the back of his hand. They are reasonably priced and deliver superior service!"