As the Weather Warms, Ants Venture Indoors Seeking FoodNPMA Staff
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By NPMA Staff
With more than 700 species in the United States, it's not
ants are a very common home-invader. As many homeowners will
attest, ants often move indoors in warmer weather in search of
food. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns
homeowners to take proactive steps to eliminate ants at first
appearance to reduce the likelihood of a major infestation
One of the most destructive species is the
carpenter ant, which tunnels through wood to build its nest.
The insects, which are found nationwide, enter buildings through
small cracks and holes, and tunnel through decaying wood before
attacking undamaged wood. As such, a carpenter ant infestation can
cause severe property damage.
Fire ants are a species found in the Southern U.S., usually in
landscaped areas, garages and near structural foundations. When
their mound-like nests are disturbed, fire ants attack with a
painful sting that can be especially dangerous to individuals who
experience an allergic reaction.
The most common home invading species include
odorous and non-odorous house ants and
pavement ants. These ants will eat almost anything, including
fruit, meats and cheese and can contaminate food sources that they
"Most people don't realize that ant infestations can pose
serious risks," says Jim Fredericks, technical services director
for NPMA. "From costly property damage to food contamination, ants
jeopardize a person's health and safety. Homeowners must pay close
attention to signs of a potential infestation and take action if
ants are found."
NPMA recommends that homeowners follow these tips
to avoid ant infestations:
- Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water near a
- Keep food in sealed containers and dispose of garbage
- Keep pet food and water dishes clean and remove any spilled
- Keep tree branches cut back from the house.
- Seal cracks and holes around a home.
- Do not store firewood and building materials next to your