Ants are one of the many pests that can invade your home or yard. They are attracted inside by exposed food or liquids in the kitchen and can establish a colony quickly. Ants can contaminate food, so for the safety of your home, quick elimination is key.
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Most ants in Colorado build their nests outdoors in yards, fields and forested areas. The activity often goes unnoticed until ants form large colonies, swarm during mating cycles or forage inside of homes for food and water. Below are the most common ants we encounter in the Denver Metro.
Pavement Ants are the most common ant that we treat in metropolitan areas. They often live in or along sidewalks, driveways, and patios. Pavement Ants typically build their colonies under the concrete or pavement – pushing dirt up around the edges and cracks. Small worker ants emerge from the colony to forage and take advantage of spilled food. They are often called “sugar ants” due to their attraction to sweet foods. While Pavement Ants typically nest outdoors they will forage for food in kitchens and bathrooms and have been known to establish colonies in crawlspaces.
Carpenter Ants are primarily black with a rounded thorax and are the largest ant found in Colorado. They favor nesting in wood that has started to decay from dry rot or water damage. While they typically nest outdoors and in forested areas, they can bore tunnels into decaying wood on a residence. This can cause concern for the structural integrity of a home so it is important to take note of wood dust or shavings that could indicate the presence of Carpenter Ants. If they are seen in or around the perimeter of the home, it is prudent to address the activity before they can bore into the structure.
Field Ants are large, black ants which may be misidentified as carpenter ants. Field Ants typically build their colonies in dirt and grassy areas. The colonies can be identified by looking for large mounds of loose soil and plant debris. During late winter/early spring months when natural food sources are limited, worker ants may forage for food inside of homes. However, the colony will remain on the exterior of the home in the soil surrounding the foundation.
Pharaoh Ants very small and have the ability to nest indoors. They use buildings as a source of heat in colder climates and nest in areas throughout. If these ants detect any disturbance in their environment they will move the colony which can make extermination challenging. It is important to use the appropriate insecticides to avoid causing the ants to break into multiple colonies. The easiest way to detect a colony of Pharaoh Ants is to observe the small worker ants moving along feeding paths. It is important to address the issue promptly as Pharaoh Ants have the ability to spread disease as they move across objects and surfaces.
- Limit ant food sources on your property by keeping spilled foods and drinks cleaned up inside and outside of your home
- Harvest fruits and veggies from your garden promptly
- Avoid water leaks or standing water inside and outside your home
- Schedule regular pest maintenance along the perimeter of your home to keep ants from entering your home
If you are planning to have a professional ant treatment performed, be sure the let your service provider know about any home remedies you have done.