The reasons why you should probably call a professional in to help you with your ant problem.
Ants. Although they may be small, the problems they can cause are surprisingly BIG.
If you’ve come into contact with ants in the past, you’ll know they can be irritating for a multitude of reasons. Not only are they extremely tickly when they insist on crawling up your arms, but they’re also prone to nipping, which stings too! And where there is one ant, you’re likely to find many, many more following right behind them. Yack.
Many of us who think we might have an ant problem; would assume we can simply get rid of them ourselves. Surely something so small can’t be difficult to get rid of, right?
Wrong. In fact, ants can be very destructive in the home and therefore if you think you may have an infestation of sorts, it might be best to call in a professional.
Read on for some of the reasons why we believe you should call a professional in to help you get rid of ants.
How Can I Tell if I’ve Got an Ant Infestation?
First things first, you’ll want to know whether or not ants are actually the problem you’re facing. Only then can you really know whether or not it’s the right time to call in a professional.
If you see the odd ant outdoors in your yard or garden, on a rare occasion, then we wouldn’t worry too much. A simple ant spray should help to eliminate them with instant effect. They’re probably just passing through.
However, if you start to see them on a reoccurring scale, then this might be where you have a problem. If you begin to frequently see ants in a similar location, there’s a chance there are more of them hidden away nearby.
But how can you really tell if you’ve got an ant infestation?
Read on to find out more.
Search for Ideal Sites of Infestation
Our first suggestion requires a little bit of work from you – don’t worry, it’s nothing too taxing!
The vast majority of the time, colonies of ants will aim to destroy wood in order to create areas for their colonies to nest in. Because of this, they are attracted to wooden areas which have already been weakened, usually by water.
This is because the rotting wood is far easier for them to dig and hollow out, and then colonise within. With this in mind, we would start looking for signs of infestation in any areas which are prone to water damage.
These should include, but aren’t limited to:
o Near plumbing fixtures.
o In bathrooms.
o In kitchens.
You’ll See Them at Work
The second sign of an ant infestation you should be looking for – or should we say, have noticed – is the working ants doing their job.
This very basically looks like multiple ants moving through your home at one given time. They are most likely to be active during night time hours, and the more of them you spot, the more likely it is that they have a nest nearby.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that worker ants travel far distances in order to pick up food, and take it back to the nest. Therefore this isn’t a 100% giveaway sign that you have a nest nearby – but it can indicate the presence of one.
Piles of Sawdust
One of the biggest giveaways that you have a more severe ant infestation, is either the presence of sawdust piles around the home, or there being slit – like gaps in wooden structures throughout the home.
When ants hollow out a piece of wood in order to create space to colonise, they need something to do with the wood they’ve hollowed out. This debris will therefore often be disposed of in small piles. If you look at these closely, there are often to be small ant body parts of deceased ants among these.
You May Hear Rustling
Don’t just open your eyes on the lookout for clues you have ants in your home. Open your ears, too!
If you have seen where you think there could potentially be an ants nest, listen out in this area for a quiet, rustling noise – usually from inside the wooden structure in question.
This can be difficult for the naked human ear to pick up, however a good way of increasing ant activity – and therefore the noise they are making – is to tap on the piece of wood lightly with a screwdriver, just enough to disturb them. This will heighten their activity levels, and therefore the rustling sound will louden.
If you really want to listen and have access to a stethoscope, this can also help you to hear whether or not there is a nest.
Look Out for Winged Ants!
Lastly, you should be sure to look out for winged ants too. Yup, they really do exist!
If you do have an infestation of winged ants, then this will make itself apparent in the spring – time and early Summer. They are much larger in size than ordinary ants, and of course, worse still, they fly.
You are most likely to find winged ants in the following areas:
o On the window sill.
o In the jamb of doors.
o In the webs of spiders.
Unlike the ordinary wingless ant, the flying ants tend to stay relatively close to where it is that they are nesting. This basically means that if you find these in your house, you’re out of luck, and it guarantees you have an infestation somewhere. Time to call the exterminator!
Why Should I Call an Exterminator if I Have Cause to Believe I Have an Ant Infestation?
In some cases, as mentioned earlier on, a DIY approach to ridding yourself of your ant problem can actually work. However, in certain scenarios, ants pose as a danger in the home, and professional help should be called in.
Whenever the health of your home comes into play, you should be sure to call for professional help. We would recommend always calling an exterminator if any of the three following statements occur to you.
The Ants in Your Home are Stinging
If the ants in your home are stinging or biting you and your family, now is the time to call the exterminator.
Certain kinds of ant, for example fire ants, have a stinger. Whenever they are threatened, they will sting without hesitation, and if their colony is disturbed, they won’t hesitate to sting the culprit immediately.
Many people have an existing allergy to ant bits, and wouldn’t even know unless they’d had one before, and therefore quite a few people actually end up seeing their doctors for skin issues derived from this.
Don’t risk being bitten or stung. Call a professional in to get rid of them.
The Ants are Causing Damage to the Structure of Your Home
Ants might not eat wood, but they can cause a large amount of damage to it if left undisturbed to create their nests.
As we mentioned above, certain ants will burrow into wooden structures in order to colonise and live in these hollow spaces. As these colonies grow, more and more ants will be produced, only to continue digging out more holes in your wooden structure.
If you leave them unchecked, ants can actually tunnel through the entirety of your house, so stopping them before they get to this stage is imperative.
As we said earlier on, keep an eye out for small piles of sawdust near (particularly damp) wooden structures, and holes within wood in your home. Also keep an eye out for the presence of winged ants anywhere in the property in the Spring and early Summer months.
If either of these are present in your home, you should call out a professional.
If Ant Infestations Become a Recurring Problem
Last of all, but by no means least of all, there have been multiple or separate occasions wherein ant infestations have taken place in your home, or surrounding your property, now is the time to call in a professional and get help in order to rid yourself of the ants, once and for all.
If you have continuously tried DIY treatments such as traps, sprays and even gels, and the ants are still returning, then clearly something isn’t working right. The only thing left to do is to call in a licensed professional.
This is the most effective way to treat the problem, and although it may cost more on the surface than buying a spray, for example, in the long run it’s going to cause you a lot less hassle, and repetition. Specially trained professionals know these creatures, how to get rid of them quickly, and can even offer you advice which will help you to prevent this kind of infestation ever happening again in the future.
Thanks for reading!