According to the National Pest Management Association, ants are America’s #1 nuisance. Living in the Northeast people in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut communities like Springfield, Enfield, and Windsor get ants aplenty. It’s not just one type of ant either. In this article, we will discuss the two most common nuisance ants and some things you can do to help reduce the chances of needing a professional.
Warm Summer months mean poorly ventilated basements with damp wood. Moist wood is the preferred nesting place for Carpenter ants. To a carpenter ant, your home is no different than a fallen tree in the wood. Add a little moisture and here they come! Keep in mind that unlike a termite, carpenter ants do not eat the wood but only nest in wood preferring, damp wood. In the wild, they feed on insect honeydew, plant and fruit juices, other insects, and arthropods. In your home, they feed on the obvious sources: crumbs, pet food, spills, etc. They are most active at night which means they can infest your home long before you start to see them!
The best way to prevent Carpenter ants in your home is to keep areas dry. This includes trimming trees and shrubs to allow proper drying around the exterior. Keeping mulch below your sidings lowest level and keeping gutters clean and properly functional. On the interior, properly dehumidify areas prone to moisture, ventilating crawlspace, and handling high water tables around your foundation can make a big difference in deterring carpenter ant infestations. When carpenter ants have moist wood framing and enough time, they can dramatically weaken your home’s support structure. Following the above guidelines will improve the health of your home and could potentially save you a significant amount of money.
Pavement ants are the most common nuisance ant in our region. They tend to be a real summer “guest-pest”. Despite their name, pavement ants do enter structures. They can infest ground-level walls, insulation, and get under flooring. Unlike their larger cousin the carpenter ant, the pavement ant will not cause structural damage to your home, but they are a nuisance. Plus, they will readily infest your pantry if food is not properly stored in sealed containers, and shelves are not wiped up occasionally.
Pavement ants typically enter your home through cracks in the foundation and expansion joints. Patching and sealing these will help deter them. Coupled with professional exterior treatments and some indoor ant baits, your home will be set up for a successful ant-free summer season!
Good Habits to Combat Ants
Consider doing some thorough cleaning, including emptying and cleaning kitchen cabinets, behind and under appliances, and wiping up any spills or crumbs. Also, be sure to repair or seal any small cracks or openings around your home’s foundation. And, make repairs to any “leaky” things around your home.
Download our Guide to Ants in Your Home to find out what parts of your home are the most prone to infestations:
If you’re feeling antsy, we can help! Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home and workplace pest-free!