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Ant Facts

More than 10,000 species may exist worldwide. Approximately 570 species occur in the United States and of these, fewer than 30 species may regularly infest homes and other buildings - with only ten species considered major pests. Ants have succeeded in replacing other types of structural pests as the number one pest in homes in many parts of the United States. In Texas, the imported fire ant has been deemed by pest control companies as the number one structural pest. In the Pacific Northwest, carpenter ants are responsible for most homeowner calls to pest control operators.

All ant species members live in colonies with one or many queen ants, numerous sterile female workers and occasionally males. The workers are wingless and are characterized by jointed antennae and constricted first one or two segments of the abdomen.

Health Issues

The presence of ants under certain situations can pose a serious risk to human health. In hospitals, health care facilities, food processing plants, food packaging plants and food preparation areas, the presence of ants should not be tolerated because of the potential for disease transmission.

Ants are frequently annoying and sometimes dangerous because of their bites and/or stings, though not all ants sting. In many ants, the sting has practically disappeared, but venom may be injected into a wound made from a bite. Many ants produce a toxin secreted by glands in the head which is deposited in the bite. The substance is called formic acid and is the source of the scientific name of ants: Formicidae.

Plant and Structural Damage

Ants can damage crops and ornamental plants. The red imported fire ant is known to remove seeds from seed beds and feed on the seeds of corn, peanuts and beans. Workers of the red imported fire ant will chew on the roots, stems and leaves of plants. In some cases, seedlings are girdled and die.

Ants can spoil range land for grazing by building mounds and clearing sites for their nests. Harvester ants clear large areas of all vegetation near their nest structures. These ants have a potent sting, which may further discourage grazing near their nests. Fire ants pose a special problem for harvest operations in hayfields as their large, hardened mounds are known to damage harvesting equipment.

Shade trees are often damaged by carpenter ants. Telephone poles are also not immune to ant attack.

Carpenter ants are the major group of ants that cause damage to wooden structures. These ants tunnel through wood but do not consume it for food as is the case with termites.

Ant Control

Most ant infestations originate from outside the building. Failure to inspect outside to find outdoor colonies or foraging trails is the primary reason most ant control services are unsuccessful. A pest management professional experienced in ant control can quickly locate the source of ant infestations most of the time. Placing a bait station such as Ants-No-More® near the colony can get rid of the infestation and help ensure the problem doesn’t come back.

Available from Kness

Stick-All® Mouse & Insect Trap Products Stick-All® Mouse & Insect Trap

The ultimate glue trap for pest control. Attracts, monitors and catches multiple mice and insects.

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Available from Kness

Stick-All® Glue Trap Products Stick-All® Glue Trap

Ultimate in glue trap for pest control. Attracts, monitors and catches multiple mice and insects.

View Stick-All® Glue Traps

Available from Kness

Ants-No-More® Ant Bait Station Products Ants-No-More® Ant Bait Station

The Ants-No-More® Ant Bait Station is placed outdoors by simply sticking it in the ground, or indoors by inserting it into the soil of a planter.

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