It is without a doubt that ants are some of the hardest and toughest pests to deal with. Although small, ants can infest homes and businesses and cause so much discomfort and damage. This explains why natural pest control professionals are most sought after in the United States.
While there are thousands of different species of ants in the US alone, only a number of species can be considered tough to tackle. Besides, ants have different characteristics, making some a lot harder to deal with than others.
Some of the other factors that can make the extermination process a long and arduous journey are the ant colony size and the numbers of nests that they have already made. In this article, we will look at pest ants that are difficult to handle and how natural pest control can help eliminate them.
1. Odorous House Ants or Sugar Ants
According to most experts and professionals in natural pest control, odorous house ants are some of the most notorious ants. These ants, which are commonly found in some parts of Beaverton, Portland, and surrounding cities in Oregon, can be very hard to exterminate completely because they have numerous nests and queens. Each queen can start their own colony, and searching for these colonies can prove to be challenging, even for professionals.
- Color: Most odorous house ants are either color black or brown.
- Size: They are usually around 1/8 of an inch long.
- Behavior: Odorous house ants can and will develop large colonies, especially since they are the type of species that will have numerous queens instead of just one. These ants are hard to control because they usually don’t go for the generic ant baits, and they multiply at such an alarming rate.
- Usual Habitats: This type of ant species can usually be found in some cities in Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The odorous house ants are known to build their large colonies outside, but there are some that would develop them inside the house. Most of the odorous house ant’s colony can be found underground, inside plant pots, inside loose barks of trees, and on piled items such as wood and bricks.
How to Control Odorous House Ants or Sugar Ants
Since these ants are difficult to control, it is really advisable to get help from professionals such as Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control, who are experts in Beaverton ant pest control. They offer services such as organic and natural pest control in Beaverton to get rid of odorous ants infestation without using dangerous chemicals.
2. Pharaoh Ants
Another breed of ants that can be a great contender for the title of the most difficult ant species to control is the pharaoh ants. Regular and cheap natural pest control methods won’t be enough for these pesky little insects. These ants are smart and would do anything, even if it means splitting the colony to ensure that they survive.
- Color: Pharaoh ants can easily be distinguished from other ants thanks to their yellow color.
- Size: Just like the odorous house ants, the pharaoh ants measure around 1/8 of an inch.
- Behavior: Even if just one of the worker ants dies from natural pest control methods, the whole colony will be split into two or even more to ensure their survival, making the complete extermination process a hassle to deal with. If these ants are not dealt with by a natural pest control specialist, you may soon end up with a house swarming with pharaoh ants.
- Usual Habitats: Once native to the continent of Africa, the Pharaoh ants are now widely spread among the different parts of the United States. These ants will make any place their nesting ground as long as it offers protection. They are very picky and can be found in places like walls, appliances, furniture, and roof shingles.
How to Control Pharaoh Ants
Using some natural pest control baits should do the trick with these little critters. Unlike the odorous house ants, they are easily tricked by feeding them ant baits. However, you should ensure that the bait you are using is something that can be shared throughout the colony so that it can effectively control the pharaoh ants.
3. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are black ants that eat wood and prefer sweet things like sugar and protein. These ants can cause structural damage since they tunnel through wood. They are not afraid of humans and are often active after sunset.
- Color: Carpenter ants may come in different colors like black or light brown and sometimes in a mixture of colors like red and black or brown and black.
- Size: These ants come in different size varieties in their colonies. Some are small while others are large. These ants can grow to a staggering 5/8 of an inch, and that is quite huge for an ant.
- Behavior: Carpenter ants prefer to do most of their tasks during nighttime to avoid any danger. When it comes to constructing colonies, carpenter ants will build two of them. One is the parent nest, which is where the queen will lay her eggs and the other is called a satellite nest, which is where most of the ant workers are in. Although carpenter ants can cause structural damage, they are not that dangerous to your structures compared to termites.
- Usual Habitats: Carpenter ants tend to establish their colonies inside or outside a house. Usually, satellite nests are found inside while the parent nest is found outside. Carpenter ants are known to build their nest next to places where there is moisture and warmth.
How to Control Carpenter Ants
Since carpenter ants are among the difficult ants to control, it will require someone with certain knowledge, experience, and skill to tackle them. To eliminate their infestation, you need to find every single satellite nest that they have constructed; otherwise, they will just keep coming back.
You will also need to find the parent nest as well, so this means that you will be looking for ant colonies inside and outside your home. The colonies outside might be a little difficult to find since they could be established inside trees. For this reason, getting a natural pest control professional is advisable.
4. Crazy Ants
These are ants that have an enormous population and can quickly invade and take over your home or yard in Beaverton, Portland, and surrounding cities in Oregon. They can infest homes in large numbers and can drive out other animals. They also bite, though not as painful as fire ants.
- Color: Crazy ants are usually dark brown or black and would have a brilliant gray sheen.
- Size: Crazy ants measure around 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch.
- Behavior: These ants are called crazy not because of their mental state but rather because of their behavior when it comes to scouting for food. The worker ants, which are responsible for looking for food, run around so fast that they appear crazy. While the bite force of these ants is not that painful, they tend to destroy things like electrical equipment.
- Usual Habitat: The main problem with crazy ants is that they are versatile when it comes to living conditions. This means that they can survive in both dry and moist places. Some of the known nesting grounds of crazy ants include rotten wood, trash, under rocks or floorboard, and so much more. However, they usually can’t survive outside if the weather is extremely cold. In this case, they try to relocate their colony inside homes when the weather becomes worse.
How to Control Crazy Ants
Compared to the other three ant species, crazy ants are a lot easier to control since most of their mounds are visible. They can be eradicated through natural pest control methods such as boiling water with a little bit of soap.
Tips to Prevent Ant Infestations in your Home
There are some preventive ways that can help you avoid ant infestations in the first place. They are all easy to do and will be worth your time. These preventative measures include:
- Get rid of any piles of lumber and bricks near your home (especially effective for ants like the odorous house ants).
- Completely seal off any cracks in your home that could possibly become a nesting area for the ants.
- Make sure that trees and bushes don’t touch the walls of your home as this may serve as a bridge that connects ants to your house.
- Clean your floor from any food scraps as much as possible.
- Fix any leaks from your pipes and water tanks since some species like the carpenter ants love moist and warm places.
Preventing ant invasions is the cheapest way to ensure that your home is free from any infestation.
Why Choose Natural Pest Control?
Using chemicals to get rid of ants may be an effective method. However, this may be dangerous for you, your family, pets, and even the environment. Unlike chemical pesticides, natural pest control methods don’t use any dangerous chemicals but rather some herbs, spices, and a few different techniques to safely get rid of ants.
Examples of Natural Pest Control:
Here are common and effective natural pest control methods:
- Diatomaceous Earth: This is a type of silica that will absorb the oils found of the exoskeletons on insects and eventually killing them off.
- Vinegar Mixture: Mix vinegar with water and then wipe off any surfaces that serve as trail marks for ants. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell as it won’t last long for humans but will for the ants.
- Essential Oils (Lemon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Cinnamon, Neem): This method takes the same process as the vinegar mixture. Mix the essential oil with water before applying it to surfaces where the ants would usually go through.
- Citrus Peels (Orange, Lemon): Lemon or orange peels actually contain acidic oil that is lethal to most ants. Besides, ants hate the smell of citrus fruits. You can put the peels around the entry point or insides cracks where there is an infestation.
- Borax Mixture: Mix borax with water and sugar and place the mixture near ant colonies. Once they feed on the mixture, their bodies will expand until it pops.
- Coffee Grounds: Ants hate the smell of coffee grounds and you can use this to your advantage. Place them in areas where most ants gather or on their trails.
- Cornstarch: Pour some cornstarch near ant colonies. Once they have gathered the cornstarch you have just poured, apply water to their colonies and the cornstarch should harden and this will kill the ants.
- Boiled Water: Simply pour boiling water where you have found the ant colony and this should kill most of the ants inside.
Some of the natural pest control tactics may sound weird but they are all effective in getting rid of your ants. These methods may either kill off the ants entirely or just repel them. You may need to apply the natural pest control methods a couple of times before they will completely get rid of all the ants.
Is Organic & Natural Pest Control Effective?
Compared to synthetic pesticides, organic and natural pest control methods are slow to take effect but they will last longer than most synthetic pesticides. Due to our Earth becoming more polluted by the second, most individuals and companies have now adopted the use of natural pest control strategies.
There are numerous reliable and professional companies like Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control that offer effective pest control Beaverton for notorious ant species. Professionals have the right skills and experience to identify signs of trails and nests and use the right treatment to eliminate them completely.
DIY or Hire a professional?
Getting rid of ants is hard work and would take up an amount of time to make sure the ants won’t be back. This is especially true when you are trying to use natural pest control methods to deal with ants that are very hard to control.
Although doing it on your own can save you some cash, you will need to invest a lot of your time and there is a possibility that you may fail at the end because ants are considered some of the most tenacious pests around.
Therefore, it is recommendable to hire a professional for the best natural pest control for ant infestations in your home. They will use the proper tools to get rid of different ant species including odorous house ants, pharaoh ants, carpenters ants, and so on.
Reliable professionals will also do a regular check-up on your house or business to make sure that the ants don’t start another colony. This means that you won’t have to worry anymore about any infestations in your home.
It can be difficult to deal with infestations of ants that are considered notorious and difficult to control. If you are not sure about the type of ant that is invading your home, it would be best that you hire a natural pest control professional instead. Doing it by yourself could possibly worsen the situation to the point that exterminators might need weeks or months to treat your home.
Indeed, getting professional help will cost money. However, if the infestation gets worse due to mishandling, the cost of pest extermination might get even higher in the long run. With professional natural pest control help, at least you won’t have anything to worry about as your home is in good hands.