Weather Warms and Ants Venture IndoorsNPMA Staff
Thursday, March 18, 2010
As the No. 1 nuisance pest in the United States, ants often become a problem in the
warmer weather, as they move indoors in search of food.
But homeowners can take proactive steps now to help prevent a
major infestation later.
With more than 700 species in the U.S., it's not surprising that
ants are a very common home invader. According to the National Pest
Management Association (NPMA), one of the most destructive species
is the carpenter
ant, which tunnels through wood to build its nest. These
insects, which are found nationwide, tunnel through decaying wood
before attacking undamaged wood. A carpenter ant infestation can
cause severe property damage, which is usually not covered by
are a species found in the southern U.S., usually in landscaped
areas, garages and near structural foundations. When their
moundlike nests are disturbed, fire ants attack with a painful
The most common home-invading species include odorous and
nonodorous house ants and pavement ants. These
ants will eat almost anything including fruit, meat and cheese, and
can contaminate food sources that they infest.
"Most people don't realize that ant infestations can pose
serious risks," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public
affairs 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
- 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
- If you see signs of an ant infestation in your home, contact a
licensed pest professional promptly.
For more information on ants, or to find a local pest
professional, visit www.pestworld.org.
NPMA, a nonprofit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and