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Ant Problems: More than Meets the Eye

Have you seen ants around your home? Where there's one, there are likely thousands just below the surface. Ants can form intricate underground worlds, unseen but potentially harmful to your home. To uncover a unique and rare glimpse at how these social pests live and work in large complex colonies, a team of entomologists from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) created a metal ant nest cast.

Check out the project and eye-opening results below, and click here to read the full press release.



Ant colonies can extend up to 25 feet underground and typically contain thousands of individual members. The few ants you may see on your kitchen counter are communicating with the larger colony about how to get into your home. As such, it's very important to address the entire colony in order to eliminate an ant problem for good.

A recent survey of pest control professionals across the country explored and uncovered the pervasive nature of ant infestations:

  • Kitchens and bathrooms were the most common places where ants were found
  • More than half of those surveyed believe ant infestations are rising
  • Pest control professionals most commonly addressed carpenter ant and odorous house ant infestations
  • 100% of survey respondents reported treating for ants in the previous year

Threats & Prevention

Found all across the country, ants are one of the most common household pests and have been ranked as the number one nuisance pest in America in recent years. However, ants can be much more than just an annoyance as some of the most common species are known to contaminate food, damage property and even inflict harmful stings.

To keep your family and property protected, follow these prevention and protection tips:

  • Although some species build nests underground, you can still eliminate potential nesting sites for others by removing things such as old landscape materials, excess vegetation and yard debris.
  • Reduce moisture build up by taking steps such as repairing leaking pipes and using a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture in damp basements and attics.
  • Remove potential food sources by keeping the kitchen and eating areas clean. Promptly clean up food crumbs and spills while also storing food in sealed containers.
  • Use a lid on trashcans and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Eliminate access points by sealing exterior household cracks and trimming any trees or bushes close to the home.
  • If you suspect or discover an ant infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional.

With over 700 ant species found in the U.S. alone, it's important to be able to properly identify any that may have invaded your home. Each species has different habits and poses various threats. Here are some of the most common species: