Ants Don't Just Ruin Picnics, They Can Be a Real Problem Inside Your Home
Everyone has seen the old cartoon of ants walking across a red checked table cloth carrying all the food from a family’s picnic. While ants at a picnic are incredibly irritating, they are even more exasperating when they are in your home.
There are many species of ants in New Jersey but three of the most common are the Pavement Ant, the Odorous House Ant, and the Sugar Ant. All three types of ants are relatively small, under a half inch in size, but there are subtle differences to help you tell them apart.
It can be difficult to distinguish between Pavement Ants and Odorous House Ants. Both are approximately 1/8 of an inch long and dark brown to black in color. The difference between these two species is subtle. Although both ants can nest outdoors, the Odorous House Ant will also nest indoors. If they do choose to create a home inside it is usually located in a wall or in a floor void. Pavement Ants almost exclusively nest outside. They get their name from their propensity to choose sidewalk cracks as a place to form their nest. Although pavement cracks might be the most common area, Pavement Ants will also nest under stones, logs, or patio blocks.
It may seem an odd way to distinguish between species, but stepping on an ant might be the quickest way to tell if you have an Odorous House Ant or a Pavement Ant. An Odorous House Ant has a very distinct smell when it is crushed. Many people say that the smell is very similar to a rotten coconut.
The other common ant in New Jersey is the Sugar Ant. They can be distinguished from the other two species because they are significantly smaller, about half the size of the other ants. Because Sugar Ants are a non-native species which originated in the tropics, they are very sensitive to cold temperatures. Their inability to handle the cold means they are almost exclusively going to nest inside a home. They prefer warm humid places with access to food so their nests are most often in or near kitchens.
There are steps you can take to help discourage ants from nesting or entering your home. Keeping all food in well-sealed containers is important. Sweeping up crumbs, no matter how small, is also necessary. Remember, the ants we are talking about are all less than a half inch long, even the smallest crumb can be a big meal. Ants are also attracted to sweet things, so make sure any juice or soda spills are wiped up immediately.
Even people with impeccable homes can have ants, so what do you do if you see an ant? There are plenty of home remedies to get rid of these pests but your best bet is to call Cowleys. Ant colonies can grow incredible quickly. They will even expand by creating additional colonies with their own queens. You may see one or two ants and then have a full blown infestation before you are able to locate the nest and get your home remedy to work.