Houston Ant Control – Types of Ants and How to Control Them

Jul 17, 2011 | ant control

antsJust like Houston TX residents enjoy the warm climate here, so do several types of ants. There are many types of ants here in Houston, ranging from merely pesky to downright destructive and dangerous to humans, pets and livestock. The following articles will provide an overview to the types of these pests you might encounter in Houston, TX and basic advice on how to control ants.

If you don’t think you’re up to the job of dealing with an ant problem on your own and need professional help, please contact us for ant control in Houston, TX.

Fire Ants

Fire ants build up their mounds when the soil is saturated and attempt to move out of areas that are under water; fire ants are more prominent in wet conditions and more concentrated in non-flooded areas. In addition to mammals, fire ants like electricity. They eat through cable insulation on power lines and congregate on metal conductors, causing shorts in electrical lines and air conditioners. Fire ants are an aggressive species and when a good food source is found, fire ant workers will displace other ant species.

Two steps to fire ant eradication:
1.    The first step involves a broadcast insecticide
2.    The second treats each mound individually

When applying a broadcast bait insecticide, the baits are brought back to the queen who either dies or becomes infertile. Baits cover a large area, are slow-acting and depending on the infestation, may take months to achieve results depending on the size of infestation so remember to treat now but also apply them in the late summer or early fall when you can spend the winter indoors waiting for them to take effect and allow the baits to reduce fire ant populations over the winter .

Pharaoh Ants

Commonly known as “sugar” ants, treatment is and must be treated using non-repellent baits. Treating with sprays or general pesticides in infested areas can actually make the situation worse by causing the colony to relocate or branch out into multiple colonies. After relocating, the ants resume their foraging activity and again become visible. Identification and proper treatment are imperative to ridding your home of these ants. Basic sanitation methods and quickly cleaning up or removing crumbs or other food sources such as dog food after your pet is done will also help. Keeping food stored in airtight containers will also help in their control. These ants can be found in homes year round with most homes being climate controlled and providing optimum temperatures for ants to thrive.

Common sites for pharaoh ants:
1.    near moisture sources- potted plants, sinks (kitchen and bathroom plumbing accesses)
2.    near food sources- pet dish, microwave, garbage can, window sills
3.    Avoid leaving any food, dirty dishes or other areas of organic matter out for the ants to consume

In the second half of this article we will look at two more types of ants in Houston TX residents, crazy ants and carpenter ants.

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