Ants

Species Identification

Most species of ants found in southern B.C. are non-destructive to man-made objects with the exception of Carpenter Ants (See Carpenter Ants in this section).

Ants prefer to set up their nests in the ground because of the moisture. They eat insects that they capture or scavenge, nectar and honeydew as they need a balance between carbohydrates and protein for survival of the nest.

Flying ants are an indicator that a colony is reproducing. There are new queens and males with wings and once mating has occurred, the male dies shortly after. The queen will remove her wings and tend to the duties necessary for the new nest survival, producing workers to gather food and expand the colony.

Ants are social and have developed a sophisticated communications system to direct others to food sources or to sound an alarm when something threatens the colony. Ants will protect their territory and can become a nuisance to humans when their territory overlaps ours.

 


Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are actually a very valuable species as they process tons of wood into sawdust which is used as compost and provides nutrients for new growth. Because they nest in dead wood, structural lumber of buildings is fair game to them. Unfortunately their boring and tunneling in the wood causes structural weakness and in extreme cases, structural failure.

The natural food sources for carpenter ants are other insects, spiders and fluid from aphids. The majority of the food gathering is done at night along trails established using natural contours with the least obstacles or dangers.

Established carpenter ant territories have more than one colony. There is one parent colony located usually within 100 meters of the affected building. The building itself may have one or more satellite colonies located within it and the majority of visible ant activity will take place in the satellite colonies. Reproductive male and female winged ants will leave the nest in January (from heated nest environments) or May (from outdoor nest environments). Once fertilized, the queens need to find wet wood to establish new nests. A queen could live as long as 15 years and lay 70,000 fertilized eggs.

 


Risk Management

Pavement Ants can drive a home owner crazy, especially during the summer months. They will swarm food debris left around the inside and outside of the home. Their tunnels underground can cause damage to brick like patio areas, causing them to shift and become uneven. They push up mounds of sand and dirt, causing an unpleasant site to any area.

Carpenter Ants cause structural damage to the foundation of any home or building. Because we cannot see them on the inside of the walls, it can be extremely hard to determine the extent of damage. During treatment, our technicians can gauge the level of damage using a process of elimination. Carpenter Ants should NOT be left unattended or ”pushed aside until next year”, as the amount of damage they can afflict on a structure can be dangerous.

 


Treatment

Usually the interior and exterior of the structure must be inspected and treated accordingly. Technicians may need access to crawl spaces, attics, sheds and other structures on the property. Drilling and injecting into wall voids may be needed, to get to the heart of the problem, accessing the wood beams behind the drywall. A full IPM approach is always established prior to treatment. Our technicians are here to help so if you do feel you have a ant infestation please contact us today.

 

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