Ants

What are ants?

Ants are social insects that live and work together in large groups. Ants have a complex social structure which helps to maintain the colony and keeps all its members healthy, safe, and well-fed. Ants vary in color and size, depending on their exact species. Common colors include yellow, red, brown, black, or multi-colored. All ants have three distinct body parts, including a head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have a pair of bent antennae. Only the reproductive members of the colony are winged. Specific species of ants are typically described as either nuisance, destructive, or dangerous.

an ant crawling on the floor of a home in hattiesburg mississippi

Ants are a common household problem, and in our area of Laurel, Mississippi, two of the most common species are fire ants and sugar ants.

Fire ants
Fire ants are an aggressive species of ant. They swarm in large numbers and will bite and sting anything they view as a threat. Fire ants are dark reddish-brown in color and small in size, but their threat to people, pets, and small animals is big. Their colonies produces large mounds in open areas.

Sugar ants
Sugar ants are a small ant species that, as its name suggests, is highly attracted to sweets. Female workers have orange-brown colored bodies, while the winged reproductive males are black in color. Sugar ants invade properties and homes in large numbers, making them difficult to deal with.

Are ants dangerous?

Most ant species are nuisance pests and pose no threat to people or property. Sugar ants are nuisance ants. They are difficult to control and eliminate, invade in large numbers, and contaminate food sources. However, they pose no significant health threats to your family, nor are they destructive to property. Sugar ants are definitely annoying and should be professionally eliminated as quickly as possible to minimize their effect on your day-to-day life. Other species of ants are considered to be dangerous. Fire ants are highly aggressive and attack in groups against any animal or person they view as a threat to themselves or the colony. Fire ants deliver painful bites and venom-filled stings. People who are stung multiple times, or that are allergic to their venom, can experience a severe allergic reaction or even life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants are on your property because it is providing what they and every other animal or person need to survive - food, water, and shelter. Ants often find their way inside homes while foraging for food. If the following are on your property, ants may be tempted to build their nest there:

  • Clogged gutters

  • Leaky fixtures

  • Open garbage cans

  • Pet food

  • Gardens

  • Compost piles

  • Woodpiles

  • Dense vegetation

  • Open, sunny lawns

  • Shaded, wooded areas

Ants get inside through cracks and crevices in exterior walls, through spaces around utilities and air-conditioning units, or through gaps around windows and doors. Some species also purposely go inside of homes and other buildings when the weather outside becomes unsuitable for them to live comfortably.

Where will I find ants?

Ants mainly nest outside underneath soil and mulch, in piles of wood, in cracks in pavement, along sidewalks, next to fence lines, in garden areas, under fallen trees, under landscaping ties, or inside tree stumps. Fire ants build their nests in open sunny areas, unfortunately making most residential lawns the perfect place for them to take up residence. Ants that have found their way into homes to nest usually do so underneath floors, inside insulation, in crawlspaces, behind walls, behind wooden trim, and behind appliances and heating systems.

How do I get rid of ants?

To eliminate ants from your home or property and prevent a re-infestation, partner with an experienced professional. At Holifield Pest Management, our certified and licensed professionals can provide the comprehensive services needed to find and eliminate all the ants living in your home or business and prevent their return. For all of your residential or commercial pest control needs, call the full-service pest control experts at Holifield Pest Management. We serve Laurel, Hattiesburg, and surrounding areas in Mississippi. To learn more about our ant control services or to receive a free estimate, reach out to us!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Listed below are some preventative steps you can take to help prevent ants from taking over your Forrest County, Mississippi home or commercial property:

  • Seal spaces around utilities or air conditioners that enter your home from the outdoors.

  • Inspect potted plants and firewood for ants before bringing them inside.

  • Remove water sources.

  • Keep outdoor eating and grill areas clean.

  • Use dehumidifiers in basement areas to reduce moisture levels.

  • Outdoor trash cans should have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.

  • Trim tree branches, bushes, and other landscaping away from the outside of your home.

  • Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and your home’s foundation.

  • Eliminate any openings in the exterior walls, roofline, and foundation of your home that ants can travel through.

 

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