Baltimore County Ant Pest Control
Looking for maintenance programs for ant pest control in the Baltimore Maryland area? If you see an ant in your home, there are more of these highly-social pests around. So, killing an ant will not rid you of your ant problem. You need to find and treat the colony to rid the problem.
3 Ant Infestation Facts To Be Aware Of
- Ants leave a chemical trail for others to follow. So, when one ant has entered your home, others have also followed the pheromone trail.
- When an ant colony is successful it typically has satellite colonies. These may be nearby in the yard or in other homes close to yours. Killing a single colony might not be sufficient in controlling the problem.
- A queen ant can live for decades while laying up to 800 eggs a day. This means she can produce millions of young ants over a lifetime!
Why Colonies Are Attracted to Your Home
Lack of cleanliness is the main reason for an ant infestation. Anything from routinely leaving dirty dishes in the sink or scraps of food on the counter, not emptying the trash, or simply leaving crumbs on the floor attracts ants. It begins with a few ants getting into your home while foraging for food for their colony. It progresses to a huge problem as a colony gets established within the walls of your home, on the lawn, and beneath the home’s foundation.
How Serious Is an Ant Problem?
One of the most serious issues related to ants in the home is food contamination. Ants carry germs (bacteria) and spread these germs as they cross countertops, enter pantries, and raid food stores. Although only a few ant species transmit diseases, any ant infestation in your home, and especially where you store food, is unpleasant. Some ant species such as the carpenter ant can cause structural problems in your home. Ants can actually chew multiple tunnels through a beam of wood.
Controlling Ants With A Maintenance Program
It can be difficult to control ants but there are a few things that are useful to know about ant behavior.
Gaining entry: Ants will get into your home through minuscule cracks when searching for water as well as sweet or greasy food.
Ants leave scent trails for others to follow: Each ant carries an invisible pheromone that other ants can sense and follow to food sources in homes.
Locations of ant nests: Ants will nest and set up a colony in your lawn, within walls, inside of old stumps, or under the home foundation.
The size of an ant colony: Ant colonies can have up to 500,000 ants. Ants are able to leave one location and relocate rapidly when the colony is threatened.
Lifetime of an ant colony: An ant colony can live a very long time. Worker ants can live as long as seven years and a queen may live up to fifteen years.
DIY Ant Control: Most of the do-it-yourself ant control methods only get rid of the ants that you currently see. One problem is that different types of infestations require different approaches. Professional ant control treatments help keep ants from returning.
Ant Life Cycles and Reproduction
There are four distinct stages to an ant’s life. These are the egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. The ant changes from one state to the next by metamorphosis. Depending on the environment where ants live and the ant species, it can take from a few weeks to several months to pass through the life cycles.
When a female ant mates with a male ant it becomes a queen ant and spends its life laying eggs. Queens live in a sheltered part of the colony where they produce eggs that are about half a millimeter across, oval, and white to transparent.
It takes a week or two for an egg to hatch and produce legless, grub-like larvae. These larvae have huge appetites and much adult ant time is spent feeding the larvae with digested and regurgitated foods and liquids.
Larvae shed their skin in a molting process as they enter the pupa stage. The pupae look more like adult ants but with their antennae and legs folded against their bodies. They are usually white to begin with and get darker as they get older. In some ant species, pupae are protected in a cocoon.
This is the end of the larvae state. The ant is fully grown but light in color which gets darker as they get older. There are three different “casts” of adults which are queens, workers, and males. The queens are fertile females that mate and lay eggs. The workers are non-reproducing females. They clean and maintain the nest, gather food, and feed the larvae. The ant males have wings and their only task during swarming is to mate with the queens. Over the last two decades, On The Fly Pest Solutions has developed vast experience and knowledge of how to control any and all species of ants found in the Eastern United States. We combine this knowledge with what we know about seasonal activities of pests and pest trends with the seasons to give you the most effective ant control for your situation. If you are searching, Who is the best ant exterminator near me, you have found the right answer with On The Fly.