How Do I Know If The Ants In My Bethesda Home Are Dangerous?

6/17/2020

Proper pest control is so important because infestations can range from mild to hazardous. The diversity among pest varieties means that matching the right solution to the right pest can be a daunting proposition. The information age we live in can be a direct source for the kind of knowledge you need to stay up on pest prevention -- or it can be a source for ineffective at-home solutions that don’t address the problem fully.

fire ants swarming a tree limb

Insects are some of the most diverse animals on the planet and just one family of bug -- ants -- contains thousands upon thousands of species that look and behave differently. Knowing what kinds are common home-invaders, and which are dangerous or just annoying, is important for Bethesda home and business owners.

Nuisance Ant Varieties

First, there are the kinds of ants that probably come to mind off the top of your head. These are small critters that, while they can be nuisances, are relatively harmless to pets and humans. If they bite, they aren’t dangerous, and they aren’t capable of spreading deadly diseases like other pests. But you don’t want these guys crawling around your home, contaminating your food or the areas where you store it:

  • Odorous house ants: These dark brown or black ants are larger than other home-invading varieties. When squished or alerted, they give off terrible and unpleasant odors.

  • Pavement ants: While they are most often found outside, crawling around the grass and in the safety of the cracks in the pavement, these ants will venture inside homes in search of food.

  • Acrobatic ants: These brown or reddish ants are also referred to as “cocktail” ants because of their ability to contort their abdomens up over their bodies when they are alerted. Their trails are often found along electrical or utility lines.

Dangerous Ant Varieties

Some ants pose bigger threats to your health and safety. These kinds of ants don’t just contaminate your home, they can wreak havoc on property, spread dangerous diseases, or otherwise pose much greater headaches than simple nuisance varieties:

  • Carpenter ants: Just like termites, these will chew through wood in and around your home, possibly causing structural instability and irreversible property damage. Unlike termites, these guys don’t eat wood, so they are a double threat by also being foragers and contaminators.

  • Pharaoh ants: Typically yellow or brown in color, these ants are known purveyors of dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and Streptococcus. Not only that, these colonies, if handled improperly, can “bud” into multiple mature colonies as a defense mechanism for surviving extermination.

  • Fire ants: These red ants are small but deadly. They are aggressive and their stings not only hurt but contain venom that can cause severe reactions. Just like pharaoh ants, fire ant colonies can bud into multiple colonies if treated incorrectly.

Professional Solutions Are Better Than DIY

Knowing what kind of ant is invading your property is only the first part of the plan, the second is proper prevention and control. Only professionals can provide this in ways that are timely, effective, and often cheaper than unproven methods that will only prolong the problem. Call Capitol Pest for more helpful identification or prevention tips, or to schedule an inspection. Whether you want ongoing pest prevention services or one-time extermination, you can rest assured knowing that the right methods are being matched with the right ant populations.

Whether a nuisance variety or a dangerous one, turn to Capitol Pest for total ant control.

Tags: ants | pest prevention | home pest control |

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