No one wants to have to ask themselves, “What is that insect running around my house, eating things, and possibly damaging the infrastructure of my home?” But when it comes to home infestations, this is one of the most important questions you can pose – and the sooner, the better.
The most common mistake among homeowners or tenants who are experiencing an ant or termite infestation is incorrectly diagnosing what type of insect it is. The MOST important thing to do is distinguish what type of insect you are dealing with before taking any other action. One of the most commonly confused insects is the ant, because there are such a wide variety of them and they often resemble one another so closely. Complicating matters is their similarity to the termite.
What’s in a Name? A LOT.
Before ever treating for ants, it’s important to understand which species you’re dealing with.
Pavement Ants: These ants make nests in/under cracks in pavement and they may also infest structures. Keep your counters clean! These guys are garbage disposals and will eat mostly anything, including bread, nuts, and cheese.
Odorous House Ants: A strong, coconut-like scent is given off when these ants are squashed. They have a sweet tooth, and have a particular affinity for melon. Odorous house ants can creep into exposed soil and cracks in walls.
Acrobat Ants: These limber fellas hold their abdomens over their heads when disturbed, like a balancing act. They often infest logs, stumps, dead tree limbs, and firewood.
Sugar Ants: Their names say it all: they love sugar. But that’s not all they like to eat, because these guys are scavengers.
Fire Ants: Hard to ignore, these ants get their name because of their painful sting. This happens when they realize the colony is threatened, so if you come across a nest, stay away! They often infest garages and gain entry through holes/cracks.