Ant Control in Herndon, Virginia
Ants play an important role in the ecosystem by aerating soil and breaking down organic material. Unlike cockroaches and fleas, ants do not generally carry or spread diseases. However, not many people want to cohabit with ants in their homes or businesses. In addition, a few ant species are destructive and can damage buildings and possessions. If ants are a problem in your Herndon, Virginia, residence or commercial establishment, here are some common things that attract them and some handy tips on how to get rid of them.
Types of Ants in Northern Virginia
There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world. Luckily, only a few are present in Northern Virginia. Most are harmless and do not invade places where humans live. However, those that do invade living spaces include carpenter ants, a type of wood-destroying ant. Other types of ants in the Herndon area include Crematogaster or acrobat ants, pavement ants and yellow ants, also known as citronella ants.
Ants live in colonies located away from food sources. They send scouts and foragers to find food and bring it back to the nest. Colonies can be comprised of as many as 500,000 insects. Queens can live up to 15 years. Some ant species, such as citronella and acrobat ants, feed on honeydew, or the sugar exuded by insects such as aphids. Other species, such as pavement and carpenter ants, feed on a wide variety of substances such as food scraps, meat, oil and dead insects. They can become a nuisance in a kitchen, where they forage for food consumed by humans. Although carpenter ants are destructive to wood, they do not eat wood. Instead, they chew through wood to make nests in damp, damaged wood.
The ants found in Herndon are attracted to water and moisture. Eliminating sources of moisture is one of the key ways to keep these ants from invading your building. Sources of moisture include damp wood and standing water near sinks or taps. Moisture buildup in building materials and household items also attracts ants. Using an indoor dehumidifier can help reduce indoor moisture levels.
To prevent entry into a home or business, keep exterior vegetation such as tree limbs, leaf litter and vines clear of the structure. Yellow ants, carpenter ants and pavement ants are attracted to damp wood. Keep woodpiles away from the building and discard rotten pieces.
How to Eliminate an Ant Infestation
The best way to eliminate an ant infestation and prevent further invasions is to hire a pest professional. Trained technicians can identify the specific types of ants present in your building. Because treatment can vary according to the species present, proper identification is important in the process of eliminating and controlling these pests. Technicians will look for places such as small cracks in foundations where these pests enter. A pest professional knows where to look for sources of moisture and food that support colonies. In addition, the technician will inspect the grounds to identify nesting places. Technicians will also recommend ways to repair or seal cracks and eliminate sources of food and water.
To rid your home or business of troublesome pests such as ants, cockroaches and rodents, call Capitol Pest at 240-455-5179 for a free quote. We provide pest eradication and control services throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our on-staff entomologist works closely with our technicians to devise effective, safe pest control strategies appropriate for each unique situation.