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Ant Control in Idaho

Large Ant on white background

With more than 700 species found in the United States alone, the ant is one of the most prolific insects on the planet. They prefer to live in colonies underground, with a social structure consisting of many worker ants and one queen. While there are many different types of ants out there, only 25 species are known to infest homes, and only a handful are native to this part of the country.

At Gemtek Pest Control, we pride ourselves on providing fast, effective ant control in Idaho for both residential and commercial customers. The one thing we stress to all our customers is pest prevention – if you see one ant in your home or business, chances are there’s more where that came from. Your best bet to fight back against ant infestations is to contact us immediately. The following are just a few of the ant species common to the Idaho area.

Pavement Ants

Tetramorium caespitum

Pavement ants are typically found outdoors, but will move indoors if they detect a reliable food source. Winged ants will search for reproduction sites in summer months, often preferring sites with excess moisture. Colonies can grow to over 4,000 workers and several queens, which means pavement ants can become a major nuisance very quickly. However, they are not aggressive, and pavement ant bites do not pose a serious health risk.

Pavement Ant Identification

Color

Dark brown or black

Shape

Segmented and oval body

Size

Up to ⅛ inch long

Food

Will eat nearly anything including meats, grease, other insects, honeydew, and much more

Habitat

Prefer to nest in areas under stones, pavement, and cement. They are also found indoors in walls, under floors, and other areas with voids.

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Odorous House Ants

Tapinoma sessile

Odorous house ants are one of the most common types of ant found in the U.S. They are named for the rotten coconut-like odor they give off when crushed. These ants are not harmful by themselves, but they tend to enter kitchen pantries and cupboards where they could contaminate food. Odorous house ants prefer to build indoor nests that are warm and close to sources of food and moisture. Insecticide sprays are not very effective against these ants, and may instead cause one large colony to split into several smaller ones, making the infestation that much harder to eliminate.

Odorous House Ant Identification

[H3] Color

Brown to Black

[H3] Shape

Segmented and oval body

[H3] Size

Up to ⅛ inch long

[H3] Food

Prefer honeydew and other sugary substances

[H3] Habitat

Live both indoors and outdoors near places with good moisture source

[H3] Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Argentine Ants

Linepithema humile

Argentine ants are an invasive species that displaces other native ants, though they are not currently known to be present in Idaho. Because their nests can support multiple queens, Argentine ants breed rapidly and can sustain colonies with populations in the hundreds of thousands. They prefer moist areas like mulch and piles of filth and decay; if they move indoors, it means they’ll bring that bacteria with them, spreading contamination to the kitchen and other food preparation areas. Because Argentine ant queens assist in gathering and distributing food, liquid baits are especially effective at eliminating large colonies.

Argentine Ant Identification

Color

Dark brown to black, shiny

Shape

Segmented and oval body

Size

Up to ¼ inch long

Food

Omnivorous with a preference for sweets

Habitat

Wet environments near a food source; will build nests under stones, boards, and along sidewalks

Region

Southeastern U.S., California, and Hawaii

Carpenter Ants

Camponotus species

Carpenter ants get their name from building nests inside wood sources like stumps, firewood, and structural supports on your property made from wood. Colonies can grow to more than 10,000 workers, and property damage caused by carpenter ants in Idaho can be massive. They use their powerful jaws to chew through wood that is wet or moldy, so it’s extremely important to eliminate any sources of excess moisture in your home or business to help prevent an infestation. Carpenter ants will travel long distances to find damaged wood, usually along tree branches or shrubbery that touches the exterior of your home or business. Keep foliage trimmed so you don’t give them an easy way inside.

Carpenter Ant Identification

Color

Black, red, or a combination of the two

Shape

Segmented and oval body

Size

¼ – ¾ inch long

Food

Primarily dead insects and honeydew

Habitat

Typically build nests in wood that is moldy or we

Region

Most prominent in northern parts of U.S.

Crazy Ants

Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille)

Crazy ants get their name due to their tendency to run around erratically instead of in a straight line. They are often introduced into new areas through shipping, so their presence is widespread. They cannot survive outdoors during cold Idaho winters, so they tend to invade homes and businesses when the seasons begin to change. Though they do not pose health risks, crazy ants can become a nuisance as they will get into food in homes and restaurants. Crazy ants also have a peculiar attraction to electrical equipment; it’s estimated that crazy ants cause more than $146 million in electrical damage each year.

Crazy Ant Identification

Color

Dark brown to grayish black, shiny

Shape

Segmented body with long legs and antennae

Size

Up to ⅛ inch long

Food

Will feed on insects, seeds, honeydew and much more. Prefer proteins in summer months.

Habitat

Prefer warm climates but will survive indoors in cold regions. Crazy ants nest in rotten wood, trash, and soil underneath yard features. Will also live in mulch beds and soil of potted plants.

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Solenopsis invicta

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) are notorious for their ability to inflict painful bites that often turn into pus-filled blisters. Their nests are identifiable as mounds of soil up to 18 inches in diameter. When a nest is disturbed, a single ant can release a pheromone that triggers the entire colony to attack. Fire ants are aggressive and can be especially harmful to people with allergies, and it’s a good idea to steer clear of any nests you find. If you are bitten, seek medical attention immediately. However, the good news is red imported fire ants prefer warmer climates, and are not known to occur in Idaho.

Red Imported Fire Ant Identification

Color

Dark reddish-brown

Shape

Segmented and oval body

Size

Up to ¼ inch long

Food

Primarily other small invertebrates, as well as carrion and sugar

Habitat

Often found in soil near structures and landscaping. Can survive in both wet and dry regions.

Region

Originally from Brazil, these ants are found in the Southeastern U.S. as well as California and New Mexico

Ant Prevention in Idaho

Ant control for Idaho home and business owners seems like it might be difficult, but at Gemtek Pest Control, we know the real key is prevention. By being proactive in your approach to pest management, you’ll spare yourself the headaches that come with an ant infestation. Here are a few tips to consider:

If you discover an ant infestation on your property, don’t wait another moment. Fill out the form on this page or contact us today to schedule your free ant inspection.

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