You put a lot of work into making your yard beautiful and inviting. The last thing you want to see is a bunch of ant piles popping up and ruining your landscaping (not to mention the joy of walking barefoot out there!).
If you have ant piles in your yard, it may not be long before you have ants in your house. Neither scenario is a good one, and you may need pest control to deal with it. Because ant colonies are so large, it can be hard to get rid of ant piles on your own.
Why You Don't Want Ants in Your Home
They're so small—they're harmless, right? Not exactly. Even if they don't bite (and many do!), they can still contaminate your food. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of opening a bag of sugar or cereal to find it full of ants, you know what we mean. They can get into your fruit, bread, crackers, and much more. It's not sanitary, and it can result in enormous food waste. Not only that, but like any other living creature, ants go to the bathroom, and they might choose to do so on your counter or in your cupboards.
Furthermore, ants live in colonies: you'll never find a lone ant. Where there's one, there are many (we're generally talking thousands) not far behind. You can see that clearly if mounds are piling up in your yard. Some ants may build their homes within the walls of yours, which can be a little harder to discover. Ants don't generally cause damage to a building the way termites do, but they seek to build where it's easy to do so: oftentimes, that means in pre-existing damaged or weak areas of a building, for example (depending on the species and their housing preferences).
No one wants to see ants running around their kitchen. Even if your house is spotless, the presence of ants makes it feel dirty. That's no fun for anyone.
Types of Ants in Louisiana
There are more than 12,000 different species of ants—that we know of. We won't list them all here, since you would probably get tired of reading, so let's just focus on the most commons ants we see in Louisiana.
Carpenter Ants: As their name suggests, these ants are good at building. They build large colonies in dead trees, wood piles, and sheds and houses—particularly where wood is old and weak (though they will dig right through healthy tree roots if they feel the need to expand their real estate holdings). They're the largest ants in North America and they come in several different colors; they can and do bite with that big mouth, but they aren't poisonous. Though they tend to eat plant juices and other insects outside, they're also happy to feast on food scraps when they have the opportunity.
Formica Ants: They tend to live in grasslands and under rocks, so your yard is probably a perfect place for them. They can bite.
Red Pavement Ants: These ants usually show up on sidewalks, driveways, or any place there is concrete; if you walk through them, they like to climb up your leg and bite. They scout for food and will infest an area if they find a good supply; this makes them especially common in homes.
Crazy Ants: These fellows move quickly and erratically; it's pretty easy to spot a crazy ant because of this movement pattern. They love fruit and food scraps as well as plants and other insects, so they're common household pests. They're also good at adapting to new living environments, so they may feel right at home with you whether your house is warm or cold, dry or damp. Sometimes they chew through the insulation on electrical wires.
Fire Ants: Not only do they create unsightly mounds in your yard, fire ants actually have a negative impact on the agriculture industry by transporting seeds and reducing milk production. Plus, they sting, and it hurts. Unfortunately, it can even be dangerous if you happen to be allergic to fire ants, or if you get attacked and end up with a large number of stings. They're aggressive ants, and they will attack in swarms if their nest is disturbed.
Ant Control for Your Home and Yard
The truth is, there's only so much you can do in terms of prevention when it comes to ant piles. If they move into your yard, they move into your yard, and the only thing you can do is try to get rid of them. Inside your home, you can avoid dropping crumbs and scraps, but they may work their way in, anyway.
If you see an ant pile, or an unsettling line of ants marching in your home, it's time to call your pest control experts.
The only way to eliminate an ant pile is to eliminate the queen. If the queen lives, the colony will repopulate. You usually need a pest control expert if you want to make sure you're getting rid of the queen; otherwise, your ant pile will be as busy as ever in no time.
Crazy ants are especially difficult to get rid of for a couple of reasons. First, they have more than one queen! So if even one of those queens stays alive, the colony will eventually thrive again. Furthermore, they don't respond to the typical pesticides and ant bait. At Cal-Cam, we have to use the same approach on crazy ants that we use on termites.
You don't have to share your living space with entire ant colonies—and you don't have to stand by and watch as they destroy your yard. We can treat your yard as well as your home to get rid of ant piles.
Contact us for your free consultation and estimate. We want you to live in a pest-free home, and we're happy to set up a plan for monitoring your house on a monthly or quarterly basis as needed to prevent future infestations.