Why Are There Ants In My Houston Home?

a carpenter ant crawling on wooden deck

Ants just might be the ultimate household nuisance. You leave a few crumbs on the kitchen counter overnight and by the next morning, you’ve got a trail of ants marching through your home. You stomp, you spray, and you squish, but no matter what you do, the ants keep coming back. Ants are one of the most successful animals on the planet. They excel at cooperation and will work tirelessly to build their nest and gather food. And with over 12,000 known species of ants, they’ve adapted to a wide variety of habitats, including human dwelling spaces. If you’ve got ants in Houston, here’s what you need to know.

Types Of Ants In Houston

Fire ants earn their name from their reddish-brown coloration and their painful, burning bite. They prefer to nest outdoors, making mounds of dirt where they reside but will travel indoors in search of food and water. Fire ants are known for their aggression and will bite if confronted.

  • Pharaoh Ants: The tiny pharaoh ant only measures 1/32 of an inch in length but makes a formidable force in large numbers. These ants have a yellow coloration with a brown abdomen. While some ants are picky eaters, pharaoh ants will eat just about anything. They are also resistant to most store-bought pesticides, making an infestation especially difficult to eliminate.
  • Crazy Ants: They might not have a bite like the fire ant, but crazy ants can be strangely intimidating pests. Their movements are quick and unpredictable, often causing panic in unsuspecting humans by scurrying up legs and arms. Rasberry crazy ants, the most common species in Houston, can be identified by their rusty brown coloration and long antennae.
  • Carpenter Ants: They are the largest of the ants in the United States, measuring between 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They thrive in a habitat with lots of moisture and rotting wood, making older properties an ideal home. Most species have a solid black coloration, though some can be a combination of red, black, and brown.

Why You Have Ants

Ants are attracted to moisture and food. If an ant queen has established a colony close to your property, her diligent worker ants will probably enter your home scouting for food. If they manage to find something edible, the workers will alert their sisters, and soon hundreds of ants will arrive to carry food back to the nest. Most ants are incredibly tiny and can easily squeeze their way in your home through cracks in the foundation, gaps in walls and flooring, or under doors and windows.

Preventing Ants

Because of their small size, ants are difficult pests to prevent from getting into your home or apartment. But there are still a number of steps you can take to keep an ant infestation from growing out of control:

  • Clean surfaces regularly and make sure that all food is stored securely. Wash off all dishes and wipe up any crumbs, scraps, or spills in areas where you eat.
  • Locate any points of entry where ants may be coming in. These could be around piping, doors, or windows. Seal the entry points with caulking and reapply as needed.
  • Keep an eye out for scout ants in search of food. It’s a sign that there’s a hungry colony nearby.
  • Use bait traps inside the home and spray ant mounds outdoors.

While there are a number of measures you can take to prevent or even reduce an ant infestation, some infestations are too severe to deal with yourself. That’s why you need the professionals at White Knight Pest Control. Our technicians will diagnose your ant problem and work with you to provide the best pest control treatment options for you and your family. If you have annoying ants invading your property, call White Knight Pest Control today to keep them away!