Any parent knows that children go through a phase where they continually ask questions. Why do children ask questions? We ask questions because we want to learn; we want answers. We want to know the cause of the traffic delay, how a product works, or why a project is so necessary that we must shelve other tasks. 

We ask questions to learn about topics or situations where we lack knowledge, and when ants are the learning subject, people do not have much knowledge. The only information most learn about ants is from a high school or college science class. Since we do not use that information, we forget the material. 

You are probably reading this article because you have an ant problem in your Mooresville home and need help from a Mooresville pest control company with decades of ant control experience. If that is the case, Lake Norman Pest Control is your answer. Since 1987 we have removed ants from houses in the Mooresville area. Our dedicated, trained, and experienced service professionals have the tools and knowledge to stop the ant infestation on your property. We know you have questions about ants, so please continue to read this brief report, and we will answer many of your questions. 

ants coming out of a hole
ants eating cake in the kitchen

How Can I Tell If I Have An Ant Infestation?

Before answering the first question, let's discuss how ants differ from termites because people confuse the two different yet similar species. Termites and ants are insects that share many similarities. For example, both have six jointed legs, compound eyes, a head, thorax, and abdomen, and a pair of antennae. Reproductive ants and termites also have wings. However, upon closer examination, you will notice distinct contrasts. 

Ants have bent or clubbed antennae, whereas the antennae of termites are straight. Also, ants have narrow waists, but termites have no waistlines. In the case of winged ants and termites, the front wings of ants are longer than their hind wings, but the front and back wings of termites are the same lengths. If you are still determining if you have ants or termites, a service professional from Lake Norman Pest Control who has inspected your home can provide the answer. 

Since we have basic information to identify ants and distinguish between them and termites, let's look at ants that are common invaders of Mooresville houses. There are over 12,000 ants species worldwide, and more than 450 call America home, but only a few enter homes in our area. The following ants are problematic for homeowners in our area:

  • Black ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Fire ants
  • Odorous house ants

As their name suggests, black ants have a shiny black or dark brown 1/16-inch long body. These ants are prevalent during the summer when they are next to sidewalks. Like all ants, they are omnivores and will consume sweet to protein-rich foods. When they invade homes, they live in wall voids, behind woodwork and masonry. A sign that black ants are in your house is when you see a trail of black ants marching along baseboards or congregating on floor crumbs.

Carpenter ants have a red, black, or combination of the two colors on their 1/2 to 5/8 inch body. Inside the house, these ants live inside damp, often rotting or fungus-infested wood in the crawl space, basement, or underneath a deck or porch. Pinholes in wood with what appears to be sawdust outside the hole indicate carpenter ants are in the house. Crumbling or hollow-sounding wood is another sign of their presence.

What color do you think about when you hear "fire ants"? If you said "red," you are correct. These ants have a dark reddish brown 1/8 to 3/8 inch body. They typically live in yards and create large, irregular mounds against landscape timbers, foundations, and other objects. Fire ants usually enter a structure through the HVAC system or AC units. Two to four-foot-wide dirt bulges in the yard are a sign that fire ants are on your property. 

The odorous house ant is one of the most common pests to infest Mooresville homes. This ant has a brown or black 1/16 to 1/8 inch body. Because of their high-moisture needs, they like to live near water heaters, leaking pipes and fixtures, and inside abandoned tunnels created by termites in rotting wood. These ants are "odorous" because they produce a rotten coconut odor. Ants in high moisture areas are signs these ants are in your home. 

In general, look for the following signs of an ant infestation:

  • Winged ants flying around lights in the spring or fall
  • Discarded wings in window sills or cobwebs
  • Trails of live ants marching through the house 
  • Dirt mounds in the yard
  • Hollow-sounding or crumbling wood

Lake Norman Pest Control has ant control solutions for any species infesting your Mooresville house. 

Is It Dangerous To Have Ants In My House?

Other than the embarrassment caused by a line of ants traveling through your kitchen or streaming out of the pantry, there are serious concerns when ants invade a house. The first issue is contamination. Ants are not choosey about where they travel and, because they are omnivores who will eat anything, they will go wherever they can find food. Therefore, ants often walk over rotting garbage, animal feces, and other unsanitary, polluted items. When they walk on eating and cooking surfaces, inside pantries, kitchen cabinet drawers, or exposed foods, bacteria on their feet transfer to those areas. 

While all ants contaminate areas where they travel, some ants cause physical pain. The most notable ant is the fire ant. When a person disturbs a fire ant mound, the ants immediately swarm onto the individual, anchoring themselves by biting into the skin and then inflicting a painful sting. The sting results in a hurting, red blister with a white pustule in the center that itches for several days. Some people have severe reactions to the venom from the sting and require medical attention. Although it does not have the same reputation for pain as the fire ant, carpenter ants also inflict pain. Unlike fire ants, carpenter ants do not sting but bite their victims. When they bite, they cause a burning sensation by injecting formic acid into the wound site.

Beyond contamination and physical pain, the carpenter ant can cause physical damage to a house. Like termites, rotting, fungus-infested wood attracts carpenter ants; however, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood for nutrition but remove wood slivers to create nests. Carpenter ants bore long, smooth tunnels deep into wood structures weakening the wood. Although it may take many years, a carpenter infestation will cause sagging floors or collapsing structures. 

Ants play a part in our ecosystem by eating dead animals, decaying plant matter, and termites (some ants). Conversely, wasps, spiders, woodpeckers, and other animals prey on ants. Although ants are necessary outside our homes, they are not needed or wanted inside our houses. To prevent damage to your house, painful stings or bites, and to protect against contamination, you need ant pest control near you from Lake Norman Pest Control to remove ants from your home

Why Do I Have Ants In My House?

Before ants enter a house, they invade the property for food, water, and shelter. Since ants eat all kinds of food, open garbage containers, compost piles, rotting fruit, animal feces, and an abundance of picnic leftovers attract ants into the yard. If ants are on the property and food becomes scarce due to a hot, dry season, or no outdoor activities involving food, they will try to enter your home to find new food sources. 

In addition to food, most ants require an abundance of moisture. Standing water, poorly draining ditches, puddles, gutters, and rotting tree stumps attract ants. Furthermore, moisture-retaining yard debris like leaf piles, wood scraps, or wood piles on the ground attracts ants. If the weather causes these water sources to dry up, ants will attempt to enter the house to find new moisture sources.

Finally, ants enter yards where they can find shelter. Junk, debris, mulch, and other items serve as hiding places for most ants. Ants may migrate to the nearest house for refuge when these items are no longer on the property.

Although ants are everywhere, and it may seem impossible to keep them out of your Mooresville home, you can implement these ant prevention tips to deter them from invading your home:

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and along the roofline with caulk
  • Cover all vents with fine, wire mesh screens
  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors
  • Repair holes in window and door screens

A service professional from Lake Norman Pest Control will identify other prevention steps specific to your property when we inspect your location for ant control in your house. 

What's The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Ants?

Securing the ant control in Mooresville from Lake Norman Pest Control will solve your ant problem. We take the time to learn from you regarding the ant problem and answer your questions. We will inspect the interior and exterior, investigating for attractants, entry points, and hot spots. Upon completing our inspection, we create a strategic, custom treatment plan to remove the ants from your house. With your approval, we will take care of the ant problem so you can rest easy at night. Contact us today to learn about our pest control plans and get a free quote.


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