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Building a Defense Against Carpenter Ants and All the Others

Ants found in Maine come in a variety of colors and sizes. While beneficial to the environment, ants can also be a nuisance to residents and properties. The most common (and problematic) ants like to hang out in and around man-made structures like houses, buildings and offices, as well as within lawns, rocks, trees and bushes. With this in mind, understanding the different ant species will help your southern Maine ant exterminator to devise a protection plan.

Different types of ants include carpenter ants, cornfield ants, and European red ants. Knowing the differences between these ant species can also help you take preventative measures and identify signs of the ants and high risk areas.

Carpenter Ants

Southern Maine Ant ExterminatorsCarpenter ants are the most common Maine ant species and come in two varieties: black and red. Black carpenter ants are the more common of the two in Maine and can become problematic, especially if signs of infestation are ignored.

Even though carpenter ants play an important role in the environment, such as returning dead wood to the soil, this also makes man-made structures susceptible to invasions. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat their surrounding wood. Instead, they chew out sawdust-like pieces to create a nest, which can become expensive to repair. If carpenter ants aren’t identified right away, a colony can cause even more damage.

Signs of carpenter ants include sawdust-like pieces and wood shavings, noises in the walls, and ants crawling in and out of crevices in the home or around it. Carpenter ants weaken the structure of homes through the creation of tunnels. Another indicator of carpenter ant infestation is small, circular galleries on wood. The sawdust-like pieces are often seen beneath these holes.

Cornfield Ants

Cornfield ants are usually found outdoors forming small craters in the soil, especially in lawns. These ants nest in soil, under stones, bricks, sidewalks and other concealed sites, as well as in rotting logs and stumps.

Even though Cornfield ants rarely nest in homes, they are sometimes found feeding on honeydew from insects that are infesting houseplants, which can then create an indoor nesting problem. Food and moisture can make the risk for cornfield ants greater.

To prevent cornfield ants from being attracted to your home, you should inspect underneath sinks, near houses, and around bathtubs for unnoticed leaks. Identifying a cornfield ant near moisture may be difficult because they are small and move quickly. They have big eyes, are usually a shade of brown, and have one segment, unlike other ant species. Cornfield ants bite, though they only cause mild stinging and itching. The nests of cornfield ants can cause annoyance and, uncontrolled, possible injury.

European Red Ants

pest control servicesEuropean red ants, also known as European fire ants, are closely related to the “true” fire ants in the Southern U.S. and Latin America. They are the most invasive and bothersome ant species found in Maine, especially in communities along the coast. European red ants aggressively defend their territory by readily stinging humans, pets and livestock that move slowly or rest on their territory.

Once they have established a nest, most property owners find it hard to use their land because of the constant stinging. Even though these ants do not nest indoors or create large soil mounds, it is important to identify and eliminate the nesting area to avoid serious infestation.

European red ants can be identified by their red color variety, sometimes reddish-brown, and slightly darker head. What truly makes them different from other ant species is their sting. In addition to posing threats to humans and animals, European red ants pose threats to other ant species, often being the cause of other species’ decline. They don’t normally colonize in large groups, however, they do something called “colony budding.” This is when the queen moves from the current colony and creates a new one nearby. Oftentimes asking neighbors if they are dealing with a similar issue can help completely control and identify the scope of the problem.

Why You Should Call a Professional Pest Exterminator

While there are D-I-Y procedures you can follow to get rid of ant infestations, calling the professionals can ensure the colony is eradicated and won’t return. In addition to a long-lasting solution, the professionals will also save you time, energy, and from frustration. After calling a professional pest exterminator, there will be some preventative measures you can follow like ensuring all your windows and doors are sealed, double checking for excess moisture and possible leaks, maintaining trimmed trees and bushes around your home, and managing and disposing of your food properly, like cleaning up spills and using airtight containers.

When you call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control, your chosen southern Maine ant exterminators, consider your specific ant problem and the potential species. Knowing the specific signs of each ant infestation will help the pest professionals understand the issue you are facing and how to remove the species. Those posing the biggest threat, including European fire ants and carpenter ants, should be contained immediately by a professional. Contact us at (207) 650-8654 to schedule your consultation.