There are over 12,000 species of ants in the world, and several of them are common household pests. They can become a real nuisance to homeowners and businesses, but in most cases they are harmless. That being said, ants have been known to cause painful bites or stings, transmit diseases, and do damage to homes and other structures. These things should not be a reason to fear ants, but they should show the importance of good control measures.
Ant Bites and Stings
Like all animals, ants have various mechanisms to defend themselves. Some species bite and others will sting. In most situations, a bite or sting will only cause a moment’s pain and then be forgotten. There are some species, however, that can be more dangerous. Fire ants have begun to spread to new areas and cause trouble for residents. Symptoms of a fire ant sting may include things like swelling, itching, pain, secondary infections, and in rare instances anaphylaxis and other serious complications. Fire ants are especially dangerous if they are in large groups and a person receives many stings at one time.
Ants and the Spread of Disease
Ants do not pose a serious risk of spreading disease for most of us, but they have become quite a problem in some hospitals and medical facilities. Pharaoh ants are particularly problematic in these situations. Research has shown that burn victims and newborns are at increased risk because Pharaoh ants can transmit over a dozen different pathogens like Salmonella spp,. Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus spp. (Beatson 1977, Haack and Granovsky 1990, Smith and Whitman 1992.) To protect the most vulnerable populations, ant control must be a priority.
Destruction of Property
Most species of ants do not damage property, but carpenter ants are another story. Like termites, carpenter ants tunnel through wood and weaken its structural integrity. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, but instead create the tunnels as a place to live. Carpenter ants are not as serious or as destructive as termites, but if left uncontrolled, they can be very costly for homeowners. Carpenter ants prefer wood that is damp, so controlling excess moisture around your home and property is key.
While the dangers posed by ants are not generally severe, they should warrant action. Prevent ants around your home and business by doing the following things:
- Keep your space clean
- Sweep, vacuum, and mop regularly to prevent crumbs
- Store food properly, either in the refrigerator or in sealed containers
- Clean up spills immediately
- Wash dishes after use
- Take out the garbage frequently
- Fix leaky pipes and faucets
- Make sure that water drains away from your home
- Seal the exterior of your home to prevent entry
- Use sweeps or weatherstripping around doors
- Hire a professional pest control company to spray an insecticidal barrier around the perimeter of your home
Six Brothers Pest Control can help with all of your ant control problems. Our expert technicians are trained to identify the problem species, find and fix potential entry points, and provide a well-rounded treatment plan to eliminate the infestation. For pest control in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, St. George, and Denver, you won’t find better than Six Brothers Pest Control. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose but the pests.