Ants are a nuisance, which is reason enough to not want to share your home with them. Unfortunately, there are other urgent reasons to keep ants out: They get into and contaminate food, build nests in nooks, crannies, and under sinks in your house. And some ants even inflict pretty painful bites, which can be a serious danger to people with allergies to some ant venom.
OK, so what about ants in Florida? According to The University of Florida’s Pests in and around the Southern Home, the most common Florida ants are house-infesting ants, yard-infesting ants, and carpenter ants. The most common are:
- Pharaoh ants
- White footed ants
- Argentine ants
- Ghost ants
- Pyramid ants
- Carpenter ants
- Rover ants
- Native fire ants
- Imported fire ants
- Crazy ants
- Thief ants
- Caribbean ants
- Acrobat ants
- Big-headed ants
In other words, there’s no shortage of ants in Florida, particularly in North Florida. So how do you begin to take on Florida ant control? There are a few steps you can take on your own, but for full peace-of-mind protection, it’s best to enlist the services of a pest control professional.
Keep A Lid On It
If you’re a person who rolls the tops of bags closed and secures them with a chip clip, we’re not judging. But that’s a luxury lifestyle for people who don’t have to worry about ants. You’re going to want to invest in sealable containers and hardy plastic food-storage vessels to ensure ants have zero access to your pantry items.
Most ants eat all kinds of foods, but some have more particular tastes.
Fire ants like honeydew, sugar, proteins, oils, seeds, plants, and insects, according to the University of Florida. Pharaoh ants like sugar, proteins, oils, too, in addition to other insects. Carpenter ants also like sugars and insects. Often ants’ preference for specific foods will change throughout the year, depending on how many little ant babies they’re having in their nest.
That means that sugar traps might not work at some points of the year as well as protein- or oil-based bait.
Seal It Up
Many ants are teeny and can squeeze through the smallest cracks in windows, doors, and other entry points of the home. Some thorough sealing and caulking of these vulnerabilities in the fortress of your Florida home can go a long way. The trick is identifying them. A thorough audit of each window in the house is a good place to start, checking seams and feeling for airflow.
Check the Outside
This is true of many kinds of pests, spiders and termites included: Old lumber and woodpiles stacked closely to the house are hugely attractive to Florida ants and other pests. We recommend storing firewood and lumber away from the home, and ensuring that it doesn’t sit too long. Cleanliness is next to antlessness, and that applies to the yard, too.
Are you in North Florida and battling ants? Dixon Pest Services can help. Give us a call and we’ll take care of it for you.