When it comes to pest control in Murrieta, certain types of ants make the top of the list of common and inconvenient. While there are about 12,000 different ant species on the planet, Murrieta is known for Argentine ants, harvester ants, and carpenter ants.
Learn more about these tiny yet mighty invaders, some simple tricks you can try at home to keep them at bay, and what to do if you feel like you're in a losing battle with an ant army.
Pest Control in Murrieta: Your Top 3 Ant Invaders
The top three kinds of ant pests that call Murrieta home include Argentine ants, harvester ants, and carpenter ants.
Argentine ants are native to California, Hawaii. Throughout the Southeast region of the U.S., named after their place of origin, they most likely hopped ships from Argentina to New Orleans sometime in the late 19th century. They first appeared in California around 1907 and have called it home ever since. They can look dark brown or black, and their bodies are shiny, measuring in length about one-eighth of an inch.
Argentine ants can have a colony of the tens and thousands, also called “supercolonies," because they are naturally aggressive and have multiple queens. The colonies can also be divided into subcolonies located in different areas to create even more havoc.
They prefer to be outdoors, usually creating nests and colonies under stones, bricks, and boards. However, they often make their way into homes because they are in search of food and water. While they are not a threat to humans, they can sure be a nuisance. They don't sting, and if you step on worker ants, you may notice a musty smell.
Argentine ants simply need a small crack to make their way into your home. And they can reproduce rapidly if they find a source of food and water. During especially hot weather, these ants love to munch on sweet items, like fruit. They will also eat other plants, like roses.
If anything, Argentine ants are a threat to other insects. They can drive away pollinators and vertebrates. Here are some simple ways to help protect your home and property from Argentine ants.
Pest Control For Argentine Ants
1. Get rid of unnecessary wood, bricks, or anything else around the home that could be an ideal nesting area.
2. Place mulch at least 12 inches away from your home’s foundation.
3. Keep mulch around two inches thick.
4. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure the water doesn't hit your home's foundation.
5. Fill in any possible cracks or openings.
6. Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed, so they don't come in contact with your house.
Harvester ants are the second most common ants in Murrieta. They love to munch on plants and vegetation, so if you're noticing some bare spots popping up around your yard, you could have a harvester ant situation.
There are about 22 different species of harvester ants in the U.S., and in California, we specifically tackle the California harvester ant. These pests are a pale black and red color with big heads and long hairs on their chins. These hairs help the ants remove dirt while building colonies.
A fascinating fact about harvester ants is that they will seal up the nest's entrance at night and reopen it in the morning to protect against any unwelcomed invaders. They mainly feed on seeds, which they are known to stockpile in their nests. If the seeds need drying, they will leave them outside the opening and carry them back inside once dry.
There is usually just one queen in a harvester ant colony. Reproductives, male and female ants with wings, will fly and reproduce to start another colony.
Unlike Argentine ants, harvester ants do bite and sting humans. So if you accidentally step on them or walk into an entrance, you will most likely get a furious and painful response.
Pest Control for Harvester Ants
Unfortunately, the most effective way of ridding your property of harvester ants is to call in professionals. You may read about some at-home solutions, like boiling water and baking soda, but these can only go so far.
A harvester ant colony consists of deep and intricate tunnels, so to be more effective, a trained professional will use ant baits and toxicants.
Last but not least for the top invader list for Murrieta is carpenter ants. These invaders are named after their love for chewing on wood, though they do not eat it. They particularly love wood for building nests and colonies, especially if there is lots of moisture. So the ideal spots for carpenter ants include decaying trees, branches, and leaky openings around pipes.
Carpenter ants can be black, brown and black, red and black, or light brown. While they are not a threat to humans, the biggest issue with carpenter ants is the damage they could potentially cause to your home due to their wood-munching behavior. Tunneling through the wood of your home could possibly cost you thousands in repairs.
These ants are also known to have subcolonies in addition to the main colony. Workers go out foraging for food to bring back to the colonies, so they leave a trail to find their way back. So if you see carpenter ants popping up in your home, you also have to remove the trails to be effective in ridding them entirely.
Here are preventive measures against carpenter ants. But if you already see them in your home, the best next step is to call in a professional.
Pest Control for Carpenter Ants
1. Store firewood away from your home. Any wood that is older than two years throw away.
2. Remove tree stumps and dead tree limbs.
3. Make sure you don’t have any leaky pipes or roof leaks.
4. Ensure gutters are directing water away from your house.
Call Local Bug Guy For Pest Control in Murrieta
If you tried the simple remedies and prevention tips but still find yourself in a losing battle, it's time to call in the professionals. At Local Bug Guy, we are specially trained techs that deal specifically with Argentine ants, harvester ants, and carpenter ants in Murietta. Plus, you have your very own dedicated Local Bug Guy you can always contact if you have questions.
Please don't wait, contact us today for a free quote.