If you live in California, you may have noticed that there are suddenly a lot more ants moving around. This is because these bugs have become one of California’s most common problems. Some people might not be scared by this, but for others it can be quite scary. Then, should you worry about an infestation? In this blog post, we’ll talk about the kinds of ants you might see in California and what you can do if you think you might have an outbreak.
What kind of damage do ants do to your house?
One of the most common questions we get is what kind of damage ants can do to your property. The quick answer is: a lot.
Ants can do damage to your stuff first and foremost. This is because they can chew through wood, plastic, and even metal. So, based on the species, if you have any wooden structures on your land, like a fence or a deck, they can cause a lot of damage. In addition, ants can also make your food dirty. This is because they often walk through trash and other dirty places before getting to your house. Because of this, they can spread germs and bugs to your food, which can make you sick. Lastly, ants might just be a bother in general. Surprisingly, these pests have a strong sense of smell, which helps them find any crumbs that are left behind. Since ants are a food source for other pests like cockroaches, spiders, rats, and others, if you have an outbreak, you’ll probably get some company.
Types that Frequently Infests Homes
Due to California’s good weather and environment, many kinds of ants can live there and be happy. This is true, and it also means that ants will try to get into your house to find food, water, and a place to live. The most common types of ants that might try to get into your home are:
The Argentine ant is one of the most common species in California. The length of these ants is only 1/8 of an inch. They have smooth bodies that are either light brown or dark brown. Argentine ants often live in large groups with a lot of workers. They build their nests outside behind rocks, logs, or other things that are on the ground. They make their nests in holes in walls, crawl spaces, and other hidden places inside. When crushed, these bugs give off a musty smell that is often a sign that they are in your home. Argentine ants are likely to eat any food that has fallen on the ground because they like sweet foods, meat, and other insects. If you want to get rid of Argentine ants, you should get rid of grass and plants near your home, fix all holes in your home, and keep foods, especially sweet ones, in sealed containers.
Carpenter ants are thought to be the worst species in California. These bugs are between 3/8 and 1/2 inch long and black or dark brown. Carpenter ants get their name from the fact that they hollow out wood to make their nests, which, if left uncontrolled, can do a lot of damage to your home. Carpenter ants will build their nests in living trees if they can get inside, but they usually do it in dead trees or stumps that are outside. Once they’re in your house, they can set up home wherever they want, such as:
- Wall holes
- Go into cracks
- Cupboard backs
Carpenter ants can do as much damage to the inside of a building as termites if you don’t get rid of them right away. You can stop an invasion by getting rid of scent trails by cleaning your home with dish soap and essential oils, destroying their nests with boric acid, and closing any entrances.
Grease ants, which are sometimes called thief ants, are very small. They are about 1/16 of an inch long. Their name comes from the fact that they often steal food from other ants and bring it back to their own nests. Thief ants have a thin waist and are pale brown or yellowish in color. Their stomachs are a bit darker than the rest of their bodies. If you look closely, you might be able to see a small stinger at the end of their abdomens. They live in large groups of thief ants that can have up to 300,000 members. In a single colony, there can be more than one queen. Each queen can lay up to 40 eggs a day. The eggs turn into larvae after two weeks. The larvae go through a number of changes before they become adults and start looking for food. This species is often mistaken for pharaoh ants because of how big they are and how often they look for any sign of food. If you want to get rid of a thief ant infestation, you should first check all places where ants are often seen (even near other ant nests) and set up bait stations to find the source of the problem. After you find the nest, you can do what you need to do.
Still Having Ant Problems?
If you’ve tried all the do-it-yourself solutions and still can’t get rid of these bugs, you might want to look into our ant control services. Since our exterminators have been working in California for more than 60 years, they are likely to have seen something similar and be able to help you with any kind of problem you may have.