Common Ant Problems Homeowners In Norfolk & Hampton Roads Deal With
It happens every spring; ants start showing up inside your home out of nowhere. You see them trailing along the kitchen floor, crawling out of the electric fireplace, and marching along the living room wall. It’s annoying and while it might seem like a small ant infestation, there’s a good chance that there are a lot more of these pests lurking around. In today’s blog post, our expert ant exterminators will go over the type of ants found in and around homes in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and across Hampton Roads, how they get in, and what to do about it.
Types of ants in Virginia
Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)
These small, dark-colored ants, about one-sixteenth of an inch long, are originally from South America but have been introduced to many other parts of the world, including the southeastern United States. Argentine ants are very aggressive and will displace native ant species, as well as other insects, from their nesting sites in their search for food and water.
Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)
Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in color from black to red and in size from one-quarter inch up to five-eighth inches long.
Carpenter ants can cause significant damage to homes and buildings if left unchecked, so if you suspect an infestation, contact ant exterminators immediately, especially as they are also commonly confused with termites in Virginia.
Little Black Ants (Monomorium minimum)
As their name suggests, little black ants are both small and dark in color. They range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long and may look dark brown to jet black in color. Considered a nuisance ant, this species is not harmful to health or property but they certainly are annoying when the infest homes searching for food.
Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile)
Odorous house ants, also known as sugar ants, are small, brown ants that get their name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell they give off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long. Although they do not pose a threat to health nor do they damage property, they do infest and contaminate food.
Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum)
Pavement ants are small, black ants that are common in Virginia. These ants get their name from their habit of nesting in cracks and crevices in the pavement, though they can also infest structures in their search for food, water, and shelter.
What attracts ants to homes in Norfolk & elsewhere in Hampton Roads?
There are a number of things that can attract ants to your home. Some of the most common include food sources, moisture, and shelter. The most common types of food that attract ants are sweet foods, such as sugary drinks, fruit juices, baked goods like cookies, candy, jams, and other sources of sugar, though they can also be attracted to greasy foods or even pet food that has been left out.
How ants get into homes
While there are many ways ants can get into homes, here are a few of the more common entry points:
- Cracks and crevices: Ants can enter through tiny cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and wall voids.
- Vents and utility pipes: Ants can also enter through vents and where utility lines and pipes lead into your home.
- Houseplants: Sometimes, ants will hitch a ride on houseplants that are brought inside.
Once ants get inside, the pheromone trails they leave behind can easily attract more, leading to an infestation within a matter of days.
Ant prevention tips for Hampton Roads homeowners
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to keep ants out of their houses, including:
- Wiping up crumbs and spills immediately
- Keeping food in sealed containers and disposing of garbage regularly
- Keeping pet food and water dishes clean and removing any spilled food
- Sealing any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk
- Repairing holes or gaps in window and door screens
- Replacing weather-stripping and repairing loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows
- Keeping tree branches and other shrubs well-trimmed and away from the house
- If you see signs of an ant infestation in the home, contacting a licensed pest professional immediately.
How to completely get rid of ants in your home & prevent them from coming back
When it comes to getting rid of ants, our first piece of advice is to skip the DIY ant treatments and contact a pest control company. We realize ant problems may not seem like a big deal but trust us when we say, they can quickly get out of hand. What’s more, if wood-destroying carpenter ants are the species infesting your home, you’ll be glad you reached out to expert pest control pros.
Here at Getem Services, our locally owned and family-operated pest control company has been providing home pest control services in Norfolk and throughout Hampton Roads since 1923 and is ready to take care of your existing ant problem, no matter how severe. What's more, when you sign up for year-round pest control services with our team, we'll make sure they don't have the opportunity to come back!
To learn more about our ant control treatments or to request your free pest control quote, please reach out today!