Ant Control Solutions in Edison, Somerset, Lakewood & Nearby

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Acrobat Ants

Acrobat ants measure slightly longer than 1/8 of an inch and exhibit varying shades from yellowish brown to dark brown. These ants are known for their aggressive and territorial behavior, equipped with a stinger and emitting a foul odor when threatened. They are quick to bite, with a distinctive heart-shaped abdomen that typically appears darker than the rest of their body.

Their name stems from the unique posture of worker ants, often carrying their abdomens elevated above their bodies, resembling a balancing act. Acrobat ants establish nests both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, they tend to inhabit wood or damp cavities, often caused by leaks. Additionally, they may nest in foam insulating board or sheathing, leaving behind sawdust near the nest area as they excavate galleries for nesting.

When nesting outdoors, acrobat ants can infiltrate homes through cracks around windows, doors, and other openings. Observable trails of worker ants moving between nests and food sources are common. Their diet includes a variety of foods, ranging from other insects to sweets, and they exhibit a preference for aphid honeydew.

Similar to other ant species, acrobat ants produce swarmers-winged reproductive individuals tasked with establishing new colonies. While swarmers themselves are harmless, their presence often signals an underlying infestation and the necessity for professional ant removal services.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are notorious for their ability to damage wood, making them a significant concern for homeowners. In New Jersey, there are eight species of carpenter ants, varying in size and color. Among these, the most prevalent and largest is the black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanius).

These ants cause harm by excavating wood, creating space within it to accommodate their expanding colony. While their structural impact may not be as severe as termites, untreated carpenter ant infestations in New Jersey can lead to extensive damage over time. Once established, carpenter ant colonies persist and continue to grow, driven by the availability of food and moisture.

Despite fluctuations in foraging patterns based on seasonal changes and environmental factors, a well-established colony will persistently expand, exploiting available resources within a home. The key to addressing a carpenter ant infestation is targeting and eliminating the nest, as this is the only effective long-term solution to the problem.

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Citronella Ants

Citronella ants, about 3/8 of an inch in length, display a yellow to red-brown hue and emit a distinct citronella-like odor when crushed. Preferring subterranean colonies, these ants are typically concealed from sight but may swarm indoors, particularly during mid- to late summer. Their colonies are often marked by mounds of soil surrounding the entry points where excavated soil is deposited. While their presence may cause alarm when swarmers enter through expansion cracks or openings around doors and windows, citronella ants are generally harmless and do not reproduce within homes.

Found across New Jersey, various species of small to medium-sized ants frequent residential and commercial properties. While some may bite or sting, most are regarded as nuisance ants due to their lack of disease transmission and property damage, unlike the larger carpenter ant.

Ant infestations pose challenges due to their large numbers, rapid reproductive rates, secretive nesting habits, and tendency to establish satellite colonies. Surface sprays along baseboards may address visible foraging trails temporarily, but the ultimate solution lies in destroying the entire colony, including its protected queens. However, ant colonies typically contain multiple queens, complicating eradication efforts.

Unfortunately, DIY spray treatments often exacerbate infestations by dispersing colonies or fragmenting them into smaller groups. To effectively address ant infestations, homeowners are advised to enlist the expertise of professional pest control operators equipped with the necessary tools and resources to swiftly and comprehensively eliminate the problem.

The most common New Jersey house ants:

Odorous House Ants


Odorous house ants, often referred to as "sweet ants," measure approximately 1/8 of an inch in length and are characterized by a dark brown coloration. Their moniker stems from the foul odor emitted by crushed worker ants, reminiscent of rotten coconuts. If you detect such an odor after crushing ants, you may be dealing with an odorous ant infestation. While these ants commonly nest indoors within wall and floor voids, the presence of only a few wingless ants indoors suggests outdoor nesting with occasional indoor foraging.

Indoor infestations may be indicated by the presence of winged swarmers or numerous worker ant sightings. Odorous house ants typically forage along established trails, targeting dead insects, sweets, and meats. Their small size enables them to infiltrate sealed food containers, posing a risk of food contamination.

These ants exhibit aggressive swarming behavior, particularly around kitchen surfaces and floors during foraging expeditions for sweet foods and liquids. Their colonies grow rapidly through a process called "budding," where smaller colonies break off from the main nest, resulting in multiple nests with numerous queens. This rapid expansion can lead to significant infestations within a short period.

Given the extensive populations, hidden nesting sites, and swarming tendencies of odorous house ants, effective eradication requires the expertise and resources of a professional pest control company.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants, measuring around 1/8 of an inch in length, typically sport a dark brown to black hue. Their name derives from their propensity to nest beneath sidewalks and driveways, where they pile dirt removed from their nests into mounds atop pavement, commonly observed between sidewalk cracks. Additionally, these ants nest under various objects lying on the ground, such as stones, logs, and patio blocks. While they infrequently nest indoors, pavement ants become bothersome when they infiltrate homes in search of sustenance.

Common entry points include doorways, cracks, and gaps under siding, with the expansion joint along the lower edge of sliding glass doors being a frequently overlooked access point. Pavement ants may swarm into buildings erected on concrete slabs in large numbers, posing a challenge for eradication due to the inaccessibility of their nests. Notably, winged pavement ant swarmers are sighted during the spring and summer months, occasionally mistaken for termites.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants, commonly referred to as "sugar ants," pose a significant indoor nuisance, drawn to sweet foods and liquids. These ants, typically yellow or light brown and exceptionally small - even for their species - measuring about 1/16 of an inch (2 mm), are adept at infiltrating closed containers. Originating from tropical regions, Pharaoh ants are sensitive to cold temperatures, prompting them to exclusively inhabit indoor spaces here in New Jersey.

Their preferred nesting sites include warm, humid areas near food and water sources, commonly found in kitchen spaces within wall voids, under sinks, or in bathrooms near water pipes. Pharaoh ants exhibit a diverse diet, consuming not only typical sugary treats like jellies, honey, and fruit juices but also grease, deceased insects, toothpaste, and even shoe polish.

Colonies propagate through a process known as "budding," wherein a segment of the primary colony establishes an alternative nesting site, facilitating rapid expansion. Given that a single colony can harbor hundreds of queens, Pharaoh ant infestations escalate swiftly. Furthermore, these ants breed continuously throughout the year, with each queen capable of laying hundreds of eggs in her lifetime.

Effective baiting strategies are essential for Pharaoh ant control, often necessitating the replenishment of baits due to the fracturing colonies associated with many house ant species.

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Preventative Steps to Discourage Ants from Invading Your Home or Business

Effectively controlling ants relies on identifying key factors: their entry point, travel path, and food source. Seal exterior cracks to prevent their entry, and inside the house, pay attention to common routes like baseboards or under carpet edges. Avoid simply spraying, as this may prompt ants to relocate their trail. Instead, opt for baits, as workers carry them back to the nest, making it an effective control method.

Pest infestation only gets worse with time and homeowner treatments generally do not work, or worse, spread the infestation to make it harder to treat. If you suspect a pest control issue in your home, call or contact Cowleys Pest Services today. We proudly service homeowners throughout Edison, Somerset, Lakewood, Toms River, Brick, Bridgewater, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Middletown, Princeton Junction, and the surrounding area.

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Cowleys Pest Services
1145 NJ-33
Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Cowleys Pest Services
120 Stryker Ln Suite 206 A B
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Cowleys Pest Services
391 Main St #103
Spotswood, NJ 08884

Cowleys Pest Services
3490 US-1 Suite 107
Princeton, NJ 08540
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