carpenter ant close up in knoxville

When ants come into your yard, you probably won't pay much attention to them. You probably even expect to see them out there. But, when they get into a location you don't expect them to be, they can become a problem. Let's talk about some of the problems these pests cause:

If you go out into your garage and find thousands of ants crawling around on your trash, that's definitely a problem, but it’s a problem that you can solve fairly easily. You can just pick up the bag, carry it outside, and clean the area that you found those ants. Problem solved. But ants coming out from underneath a faucet in your kitchen? Well, that’s a whole other story. There are many questions that must be answered, not the least of which is, "Are those ants damaging my home?"

Some ant problems are small. Others aren't. Even when ants are just being a nuisance, it’s shocking how much of a nuisance they can be. When you walk into your kitchen and notice hundreds of little black ants crawling around on your counters, that is more than just a nuisance. When you find odorous house ants crawling around on your closed-in porch and the porch has started to fill with the odor of rotting coconut, it brings a whole new meaning to the word nuisance. And when you see long lines of acrobat ants going from your pet's dish to some hidden exit point underneath your kitchen cabinets, nuisance just isn't a strong enough word to describe it.

Beyond being a nuisance, ants can also spread illnesses inside the home they are invading. For most ant species, this is rare, but some such as pharaoh ants, which are a serious health threat for hospitals due to their ability to spread salmonella, streptococcus, and other harmful pathogens, can also contaminate food with harmful bacteria. If you're dealing with these ants in your home, it is important to make sure that all your trash cans have lids that seal properly. This will help to prevent ants from carrying harmful bacteria from your trash to your food items and food-prep surfaces.

Perhaps the worst ants that invade our Tennessee homes are carpenter ants. The carpenter ants we deal with in our area are black carpenter ants, scientifically known as Camponotus pennsylvanicus, which are a highly destructive ant species. When these ants invade a home, they can cause a lot of damage over time as they create galleries inside the wood in order to establish their nests. As these nests mature, they produce winged reproductives that depart from their original nests to mate and establish new nests. Often, these new nests are created on the same property as these winged ants don't travel very far from their original nests. In fact, they often establish these nests in the same homes they came from. So, over time, carpenter ant infestations can grow quite large and become more and more damaging.

Carpenter ant tunneling can also allow rainwater to seep into your home as well as provide entry points for other pests like cockroaches, silverfish, centipedes, and more. This can lead to mold and ongoing pest infestations, both of which can make you and your family members ill.

If you're seeing ants in your home, it is important to have those ants properly identified. This will help you to determine whether or not you're dealing with destructive ants, illness-spreading ants, or nuisance ants. This identification should be done by a professional so that you can also get actionable data on how to properly rid your home of those ants. Every ant species is slightly different. If you attempt to control them on your own, not only could your treatments fall short and leave you with an ant problem, but they could actually make your problem much worse. For example, some ant species have more than one queen, and attempting to treat them with improper pest control methods can cause budding to occur which is when an ant colony splits into more than one colony. When this happens, it can grow the infestation in your home. Therefore, the best solution is to have those ants treated by an experienced and certified professional.

When it comes to controlling ants in Eastern Tennessee, you can count on the team at Russell's Pest Control to get the job done! We are one of only 3% of pest control providers in the country who have been awarded the distinction of being QualityPro Certified for excellence in business operations, pest control education, customer relations, and environmental stewardship. Our service team members have the education, tools, and experience to solve any pest problems that your ant problems. Request a free in-home pest evaluation to get started!


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