Having an ant problem in your home is a uniquely frustrating experience. Not only can these pests cause extensive property damage, but they can also be challenging to get rid of. Even though most ants look very similar at a glance, dozens of different species can be found around Illinois, and different tactics may be required to address infestations of different types of ants.
Identifying common ants in Illinois can be a critical first step toward dealing with them effectively and efficiently. Here are some key facts to know about some of the more ubiquitous ant species around the state, all of which the specialists at Ready Pest Control could help get rid of.
Carpenter ants—so named because of their preference for making nests inside fallen logs, live trees, and even woodwork inside homes—are typically black, yellow, or red in color, and can grow up to 1/2 inch in length. Thanks to the damage they can cause to wooden structures, carpenter ants can be a serious concern for homeowners, and any infestation should be dealt with promptly.
Odorous house ants are small, dark brown, and known for emitting an unpleasant smell when crushed. While they do not directly threaten humans or pets, they can be challenging to remove from a home without professional assistance due to their natural resistance to cold and heat.
Pavement ants look very similar to odorous house ants but are best known for building nests in cracks and crevices in pavement or concrete. They can also be identified by the two bumps on their thorax and their furrowed heads.
Thief ants are pale yellow or light brown in color and typically survive by stealing food from other ant colonies. They are especially small even compared to other ants—about 1/16 inch in length—and usually enter homes during summer in search of respite from the heat and a dependable food source.
Pharaoh ants are yellow, brown, or sometimes pale red in color, and can be identified by their two-segmented antennae. They are known for almost always nesting indoors and for their ability to reproduce quickly, making them difficult to eradicate.
When removing ant species from the home, it is essential to eliminate their food sources and seal off entry points they may have found. Depending on the circumstances, this could entail storing food in airtight containers, sealing cracks and gaps around windows and doors, and being more diligent about cleaning up spills and crumbs quickly after they happen. You can also use bait stations or non-repellent insecticides to eliminate nests if you find them, although species like carpenter ants often build their nests in hidden locations like attics and crawl spaces.
Ultimately, these solutions are no substitute for professional assistance when dealing with ant infestations of any type in Illinois. If you are having trouble dealing with common ants in Illinois, Ready Pest Control is ready and available to help. Contact our team today to learn more about our services in Rockford, Loves Park, and other areas of Illinois.