ABC Blog

What Are the Big Black Ants in My Home?

a big black carpenter ant on a piece of wood

Finding big black ants in your home can be shocking and scary. What exactly are they, how did they get in and what are they looking for? Most of all, how can you get rid of them, fast? Unfortunately, most big black ants found in people’s homes are carpenter ants. They’re called carpenter ants because they build their homes in wood by chewing and tunneling through it. Much like termites, if they aren’t discovered and eliminated, carpenter ants can cause a lot of hidden structural damage in a home.

Unlike termites, which also look to some people like big black ants, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. Rather, they use their large mandibles—their strong mouthparts that are used for chewing—to build tunnels, called galleries, by crunching up the wood. Instead of swallowing the wood, they spit it out, creating wood shavings that look a lot like loose, shredded sawdust. Along with … Read Full Post »

Flour Bugs: Identification & Control Tips

a bowl of flour with bugs in them

There’s a wide range of bugs that you might find in the food in your pantry. They might invade food items and dried goods like flour, tea, nuts, seeds, rice, crackers, chocolate, dried fruits, spices, pasta and powdered milk. While most of these bugs won’t bite you or otherwise damage your home, they can ruin the food in your pantry. And, not to mention, they can be tough to get rid of if a population becomes established.

Sometimes, the problem can be dealt with by throwing away the infested package. However, if the infestation grows, the best way to treat these pests is to contact a professional. These pros have the experience needed to best identify what kind of pests are in your pantry. Then, they can help you understand your options for treating the infestation.

If you have found bugs in your flour, you likely have a lot of questions. But … Read Full Post »

What Do Ants Eat? Your Questions Answered

a kitchen with an ant infestation which leads a homeowner to wonder what ants eat

If you’re dealing with an ant problem in or around your home, you are probably frustrated. What are these tiny pests doing here? Is there something I did that attracted them to my home or yard? And, most important, how can I get rid of them?

Ants might have chosen to live on your property for many reasons. One reason that ants may have chosen your home or yard is that they have found some source of food. Ants eat a wide range of different things, but their food of choice usually depends on what kind of ants they are.

Let’s start by identifying the type of ant you’re dealing with, so you can take steps towards eliminating their food source.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants love sweet things like honey. These are the tiny, blackish or dark brown ants that you might see rush to the scene if your ice cream melts … Read Full Post »

Florida Carpenter Ants: Controlling An Infestation

Florida carpenter ant on damaged wood

You’ve found what looks like tiny sawdust piles along your baseboards or in your attic crawl space. Then, you spot an ant. After hearing horror stories about the damage these ants can do, you begin to worry that you may have a carpenter ant problem. First, you’ll need to confirm that what you have is actually a Florida carpenter ant and not something else.

Florida carpenter ants have a brown to rusty orange-colored head and thorax with the bottom half of their bodies being black. This ant grows a circular ring of golden hairs around its abdomen. Antennae are bullet-shaped and segmented into 12 parts. Workers measure in at about a quarter of an inch to a half of an inch in length, while winged swarmers and the queen can reach up to three-quarters of an inch long.

If the ants you have seen on your property fit this description, you’ll need … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ant Bite: The Dangers These Ants Pose

Carpenter Ant Bite

Carpenter ant bites can be a big pain—quite literally. A bite on human skin looks like a pea-sized blemish, and the aftermath may feel like a strong pinch or even a quick burn on the skin. This is because when carpenter ants bite, these insects spray formic acid onto their victim. Formic acid isn’t necessarily dangerous to humans, but it does increase the intensity of the pain you feel. You can reduce the pain associated with a carpenter ant bite by washing the impacted area with soap and water right away. Doing so will flush away the formic acid that causes pain to the area, which should cause the discomfort to recede. If not, a cold compress or ice should help to soothe the bite site.

Don’t be surprised if a carpenter ant bite draws blood. These insects are equipped with really strong jaws to chew through wood to make nests. … Read Full Post »

Where Do Sugar Ants Come From? How To Keep Them Away

Where do sugar ants come from

You’re in your kitchen, enjoying a nice cup of coffee or getting ready to start prepping dinner when you suddenly notice little black ants everywhere. While sugar ants are often small—about the size of pepper flakes—and they don’t typically bite humans, it can still be unnerving to spot them in your living spaces.

Even if you clean your home regularly, sugar ants can still invade. This is especially true if you have children living in the home who might make it tough to stay on top of every drip and spill of sugary items that attract sugar ants, like juice, jelly, chocolate milk or maple syrup. So where do sugar ants come from, and if you have a sugar ant infestation, what can you do to get rid of these unwelcome pests?

Unfortunately, sugar ants can make their homes just about anywhere. These insects can nest inside homes and in virtually any … Read Full Post »

Does Baking Soda Kill Ants? Your Questions Answered

does baking soda kill ants

Despite your best efforts cleaning up sugary spills around the house, those little black bugs continue to haunt you.  You are now left with the same old dilemma: How do you get rid of these insects in a way that’s safe for both your kids and your pets? You’ve tried the “natural” over-the-counter stuff with middling results, and this time you’re looking for something effective. You’ve heard stories of household items like baking soda and cornmeal killing ants. Well, can baking soda kill ants? From what you’ve heard, this common household product doesn’t just kill ants—it causes them to explode!

Baking soda is a leavening agent. That means it produces air bubbles and air pockets. So, the theory is that if an ant eats the granules, carbon dioxide bubbles will form, and eventually these bubbles will cause the ant to explode from the inside out. Gross, but also very effective if … Read Full Post »

Fire Ant Prevention

Summer in south is known for many things, and unfortunately one of them is pesky fire ants. These creepy crawlers create nests all over your yard and venture into your home for food. If you encounter them, you might end up with some nasty stings.

If left untreated, fire ants can run rampant in your yard and even start nesting in or underneath your home. At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we are fully equipped to handle even the nastiest fire ant infestations. But we want to help you prevent fire ants from overwhelming your yard before we have to resort to professional treatment.

Here are some things to know about fire ant prevention: how to spot them, and how to kill them.

Facts About Fire Ants

Fire ants range in size from 1.6 mm to 5 mm. They are a dull red color, which can look reddish brown or reddish black depending on … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ant Awareness Week — 3 Signs and 4 Prevention Tips

It’s almost Carpenter Ant Awareness Week (every third week of June) and we’re here to share carpenter ant signs and prevention tips. Know what to look for and what you can do to deter carpenter ants from your home in the first place. If you’ve dealt with carpenter ants, you don’t want to again, and if you haven’t, you never want to. And you won’t — not if we can help it!

Anyone who has experienced a carpenter ant infestation is well aware of the havoc they can cause.

Carpenter ants are just as capable as termites of inflicting damage to your property. They like damp or decaying wood, removing small pieces to assemble their own nests. Although carpenter ants do not eat the wood like termites do, they can similarly infest your home and cause lasting damage.

To avoid structural damage to your home, early detection is key. Check out these 3 signs of carpenter … Read Full Post »

What You Need To Know About Crazy Ants

Paratrechina longicornis

A new ant species has been discovered in the southern parts of the United States: the crazy ant. What’s important to know about these ants, which are also referred to by their scientific names, Nylanderia fulva (Rasberry crazy ant) and Paratrechina longicornis (the Longhorn crazy ant)? For starters, both of these ant species are not native to the United States, and both are considered pests.

Read on to learn what crazy ants are, how they got their name, what attracts them, and what impact they are having on humans.

What Are Crazy Ants?

Crazy ants were first discovered in 2002 in an industrial park outside of Houston. Exterminator Tom Rasberry noticed ants which were moving erratically and which caused significant damage to electrical equipment. “When you see fast-moving ants that are not following a path, they are probably crazy ants,” explained Randy McCarty, ABC’s Director of Training and resident entomologist, who has … Read Full Post »