When Ants Come Marching Indoors, Take ActionNPMA Staff
Saturday, August 27, 2011
By NPMA Staff
In their natural habitats, ants
do not typically bother people. But when ants infest homes they can
quickly become a nuisance, and more importantly, pose serious risks
to residents' health and property. The National Pest Management
Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners to take proactive steps to
eliminate ants at their first appearance to reduce the potential
development of a major infestation.
"Ants pose various risks to a family's health and home,
depending on the species of ant infesting the property," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "The most
common health issue associated with ant infestations is food
contamination by odorous and
non-odorous ants and pavement ants. Carpenter ants, on the
other hand, can cause severe property damage as they tunnel through
wood to build nests. And fire ants,
found in the Southern U.S., attack with a painful sting when their
nests are disturbed."
Ants are social insects that
live in large colonies, so what may seem like a small infestation
can quickly become a major pest problem for homeowners. One of the
first steps to take to eliminate an ant infestation is to identify
the species, but with more than 700 species in the United States,
this can be a challenge for someone without proper
training. Working with a pest professional to help identify
and treat an ant problem is an important step to minimizing the
health and property risks associated with these pests.
NPMA offers these tips to prevent ant infestations:
- Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water near a
- Keep food in sealed containers.
- Dispose of garbage regularly.
- Keep pet food and water dishes clean and remove any spilled
- Seal cracks and holes around a home.