You have to love the weather here in southwest Florida. Unfortunately, so do numerous types of insects, including many varieties of ants. They thrive in our temperate climate where food sources are plentiful and varied. Some ants are unpleasant and annoying to have as uninvited guests in your home or commercial property. However, other types of ants, most notably carpenter and fire ants, represent much more of a threat.
Carpenter ants are large, with the workers being anywhere from an eighth to a half inch long. They can be all black, all red, or a combination of the two colors depending on the species. If you see big black ants in your house or commercial property, chances are good that they are carpenter. Although they are capable of biting, they have no venom and do not typically attack humans. Nevertheless, their presence can still spell danger to human occupants due to their propensity to make their nests in wood. If your home becomes the nesting area of choice, these ants can do substantial and costly structural damage. One sign that you might have a carpenter ant infestation is if you see small holes in wooden surfaces and structures in your home. These are the entrances to the ants’ nests. Often, you will also notice a small pile of sawdust near the opening. Most likely, the ants living in your home are a satellite colony that entered your residence while foraging for food, found it appealing and decided to set up housekeeping. If you want to permanently banish carpenter ants from your house, you must also eradicate the original colony that lives outdoors nearby.
While carpenter ants pose no direct physical threat to humans or pets, the same can definitely not be said of fire ants, particularly the red imported variety. This species, along with the much less common tropical or native fire ant, can be seen throughout Florida. This pest can be identified by its two-segmented waist. Workers can range from an eighth to a quarter inch long. There are four distinct teeth in the mandible or jaw and the antennae have ten segments and end with a two-segmented club. The gaster, a bulbous part of the abdomen, is black and has a stinger at its end. The rest of the ant’s body is red or brown.
Red fire ants build their mound-shaped nests out of soil. These mounds are seldom larger than 18 inches in diameter. If the nest is disturbed, a torrent of aggressive red fire ants emerges, biting and stinging anything in their path. It only takes six months for a fully formed mound containing approximately 6,000 ants to develop. Each mound usually contains major and minor workers, as well as a single queen who can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day. However, Florida is seeing an increasing number of multiple queen colonies. A mature colony can house as many as 240,000 ants.
Worker ants eat dead animals and insects and also collect honeydew and bring sources of fat and protein back to the colony. They can enter your home or property if sources of these foods are available to them. Because of the hyper-aggressive nature of red imported fire ants, it is crucial that they be permanently and professionally removed from your living space. Their sting is painful, resulting in the formulation of a white pustule about a day after the encounter. Furthermore, some people are highly allergic to their stings and can experience adverse health effects, including anaphalactic shock and even death.
Fire ants also cause negative agricultural consequences. They can interfere with the root systems of many crops, including citrus trees, and feed on young chutes. In cities, fire ants can nest under patios, on lawns, along sidewalk edges and driveways, in building foundations and even in electrical boxes. A heavy rain may force the colony to move indoors, and that is when your problems will truly begin. Finally, red imported fire ants tend to drive out local birds and rodents.
Gas Injection Service
If you believe your home or property is infested by either carpenter or fire ants, take heart. You don’t have to live with the property damage and danger of painful stings that carpenter and imported red fire ants respectively cause every day. Your first step in ridding yourself of these frightening and dangerous pests is to recognize that extermination is a task best left to professionals such as Hoskins Pest Control. We are experts at total carpenter and fire ant eradication and know from long years of experience that one of the best and most effective removal tactics is known as gas injection. This extermination process involves injecting carbon dioxide directly into the nest or mound where the ants live. Due to the force of the carbon dioxide’s entry, it is propelled downward throughout the nest or mound, killing all of the workers, larvae and the queen or queens. The ants have no warning and cannot escape the odorless carbon dioxide as it replaces all of the air in the entire mound. It is very important to identify and treat all existing mounds. This is yet another reason to enlist Hoskins’ professional services, since we are trained to spot and root out every ant colony on your property.
Call Hoskins Today!
Don’t let another day go by without taking action. You cannot afford to have your property permanently damaged or your family’s health and well-being jeopardized. Call Hoskins Pest Control, southwest Florida’s extermination solution. Before long, your ant problem will be no more than a distant memory.