Are You Prepared for Ants in Portland?
Spring in Oregon means sunshine, rain, baseball, and for the pest control industry, ants. This year, we are trying to spread awareness about common species of ants you might find in your Portland area home and what to do if you spot them. With Spring just around the corner, ants will begin swarming and could seek out your home as their new nesting place. To help you prevent an ant infestation, we’ve put together this list of the most common ants we find in Northwest Oregon.
Ants are often considered the top nuisance pest, but we also see them cause huge health and property damage as they destroy wood and contaminate food. These pests are tiny, which means they can enter homes through the smallest crack or entry point and very quickly escalate into infestations that cause disgust, frustration, and stress for homeowners.
- Odorous House Ants: These are the ants we see most often in Oregon homes, hence their name. When squished they give off an unpleasant odor that can be similar to rotten coconut. Typically belonging to colonies of 2,000 to 10,000 ants, this species can wreak havoc in homes by contaminating huge amounts of food. These ants break off into new colonies regularly to increase their chances of survival. Over the counter sprays will kill some of these ants on contact, but the danger the spray brings on will cause the remaining ants to multiply in defense.
- Carpenter Ants: These are the most common wood destroying organisms in Northwest Oregon, and while they don’t typically cause the same level of destruction as termites do carpenter ants can still cause expensive (and dangerous) structural damage. Carpenter ants are often bigger in size and some members of the colony can have wings that make them resemble termites. Check out the pictures below to get an idea for yourself. If you aren’t sure whether you have termites or carpenter ants you can always send us a picture and we will do our best to identify your pest from the image, at no charge.
- Pavement Ants: Just like the name implies, these ants are normally found outside and often excavate soil in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways. They don’t often get inside homes, but occasionally do. Often pavement ants are seeking out something sweet spilled on the counter or floor, so a deep clean might be enough to fix the problem. If they persist, give us a call and we can develop a treatment plan.
How to Deal with Ants in Your Home
If you do see an influx of ants this spring, don’t despair. There are proactive measures you can take to not only get rid of the ants currently in your house but also prevent future intruders from entering.
Some Ways to Get Rid of Ants:
- Seal entryways – Ants live in shallow undergrounds and will often come indoors to avoid extreme weather outside or find food and waters sources indoors. To stop this from happening, seal and secure any openings and entryways around the house.
- Clean Up Food & Waste – Ants are scavengers constantly looking to collect and store food. If you have crumbs or food out in the open, it’s important to clean that up. Regularly wipe down kitchen counters and other open spaces where food is present.
- Reduce Moisture – Along with food, ants are constantly looking for water. Minimize the moisture around your home by fixing leaks, emptying gutters / drains, and dehumidifying your home.
If you have an ant infestation, it is best to contact Halt Pest Control as soon as possible to fix the problem before it gets worse. Using do-it-yourself methods might seem to help, but 99% of the time they are just a temporary fix, and the ants will return in even greater numbers without professional help. Our team works quickly and efficiently to find the source of the ants and remove them permanently.