ABC Blog

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 »

When Ants Fight, Are You the Winner?

Figuring the odds on fire vs. crazy

When you first heard about their amazing ability to kick the stuffing out of fearsome fire ants, you were probably impressed with crazy ants. Since the early 2000s, this invasive new species has established its own ferocious reputation, and homeowners from Houston to Dallas are caught in the middle. Should you take sides?

Different Nesting Tactics

Both ant species hitchhiked here from South America where they were already mortal enemies. Perhaps the rivalry began over homebuilding styles. Fire ants take a traditional approach by constructing large mounds in backyards. As their population grows, they branch out with those familiar dirt piles that mean trouble for bare human feet. Crazy ants start out in the lawn, but they aren’t satisfied with life outside. These deranged pests push their colonies into home interiors by nesting in walls and crawl spaces, and they enjoy setting up house in electrical … Read Full Post »

Are Ants Stealing Your Pet’s Dinner?

Texas is home to a variety of pesky ant species that thrive in our year-round warm climate. Ask the professionals how to protect your home from ongoing invasions and chances are they’ll tell you to watch where your crumbs fall. While a lot of other variables – moisture levels, landscaping, and location – come into play when ants look for new spots to settle, food waste is a major source of infestations. Keeping food off the ground is generally great advice, but what if you share your home with a hungry pet? When a food bowl is a permanent fixture on your kitchen floor, following the tips below can make all the difference.

Get to Know Your Enemy

They may look similar, but different ant species behave in very different ways. For example, carpenter ants are nocturnal, while look-alike acrobat ants are active during the day. The more you know about the … Read Full Post »

So Many Ants, So Little Time

If you’ve been in your home for any length of time, odds are good that you share it with at least a few uninvited guests. While they’re not individually the most dangerous pests around, ants can be a serious nuisance because when one comes, many others follow. To keep your home ant-free, you’ll need to be proactive and decisive.

The first step is to make your home less attractive to ants. An ant that enters a building is generally looking for sources of food; head them off by keeping your food items in sealed containers and cleaning up leftovers promptly after meals. Don’t let dirty dishes and standing water accumulate in the sink; to an ant, that’s dinner and a beverage all in one.

More generally, keep on top of your everyday home cleaning regimen. The dirtier you allow your house to get, the more food and hiding places ants and other … Read Full Post »