Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association. Here to give you the basic on the number one nuisance pest in the United States, ants.
Ants are small insect's usually black or dark reddish brown with six legs and a distinct head, thorax and abdomen. Depending on their species ants may live in colonies underground, in tress or in tall dirt mountains.
Ants are very strong for there size and can carry loads up to 20 times there own weight. There are more then 700 species of ants that live in United States and more than 25 of these species are known to infest homes and other structures.
Most ant species are consider nuisance pest, there they compose health concern by contaminating food and for some by their stings. Red imported fire ants for instance can sting, which leaves painful bouts.
A fire ant sting can be especially dangerous to those with allergic reactions. Some ants like carpenter ants, however are considered a structural pest, because they can cause serious damage to your home and they burl into valves and support the bees to make nests.
Because of these risks it's best to take preventative measure to avoid ant infestations all together. Any cracks or holes in your home interior and exterior should be sealed, since moisture in your structures can attract ants, repair leaks and hoses, downspouts and anything else that collects water in condensation.
Indoors inspect potted plants for signs of ant nests. If ants have made a plant pot there home remove it immediately to prevent further infestation.
The kitchen is another favorite spot for ants. So keep corners, cabinets and floors clean of crumbs and spills. Sweet pantry staples like honey and syrup and sugar should all be kept in sealed containers.
Take out your trash regularly and make sure to rinse out recyclables like glass jars that might contain food residue. By following these simple steps, you can help keep ants out of your home.