The Secret To Effective Ant Control For Houston, TX Properties

up close image of a carpenter ant crawling in a garden

At some point, ants will invade almost every home in Houston, Texas. While some ants are mere nuisances, some are a real hazard. Ants cause billions of dollars of damage in the United States each year.  

What Ants Look Like

All ants share a similar body structure. Ants have antennas with an elbow bend in them and six legs. They have a head, a thorax, and a gaster, or abdomen. There is a pronounced waist, called a pedicel, between the thorax and gaster. Many people confuse ants and termites, but termites do not have a pedicel.   

Common Houston Ant

While Houston has many ants, only a few cause problems. It is important to know the ant species because that will tell you where it is likely to nest and how best to get rid of it. An important characteristic that helps with the identification is the size of the ant. They come in tiny (less than 1/16 inch), medium-sized (1/16 to 3/8 inch long), or large (greater than 3/8 inch-long). The three ants listed below are the ones most likely to invade your home:

  • Carpenter Ants (Campanotus Species):  Carpenter ants can really damage your home. They are large and can be black, brown, or black and red-orange. These ants nest in hollow doors, boxes, walls, and ceilings. They are not as destructive as the carpenter ants in other country areas but are reportable on real estate transactions. 
  • Crazy Ants (Paratrechina and Nylanderia Species):  Crazy ants are dark brown, have long legs, and move very quickly and erratically. The Nylanderia species is a new, invasive species that is becoming a problem in Houston. Inside, these ants nest in potted plants.
  • Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis Invicta):  Everyone hates red imported fire ants after one encounter with them. They are very aggressive and will sting anyone that steps on a nest. They are reddish-brown with a darker gaster. They nest outdoors but will enter a home searching for food and water. Their sting can be fatal to allergic individuals and is unpleasant for everyone. 

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Ant Removal

Ants are hard to get rid of. They generally have large colonies, and only the workers and swarmers leave the nest. The queen, or in some cases queens, are buried deep in the nest. Unless you eliminate them, the colony regroups a few feet away from the old nest. Most traps and sprays can’t reach the whole nest. In addition, over-the-counter (OTC) pesticides can be dangerous to humans and pets. You really need to hire a professional to treat your ant problem.

White Knight Pest Control To The Rescue

We treat each of the species of ants mentioned above with different products. We will schedule a thorough inspection for your house and property with a technician and develop a treatment plan tailored to your situation when you call us. We treat fire ants with TopChoice granular insecticide. This is available only to commercial applicators and is guaranteed for 12 months.

Crazy ants become overwhelming quickly. We treat them with a spray pesticide and granule application. Carpenter ants can lower the value of your home. We treat small infestations with bait and non-repellent insecticides. Both get passed from ant to ant and kill the whole colony. For big infestations, it might be necessary to drill and treat certain areas.

Preventing Ants From Entering Your House

Ants are hard to keep outside because they can enter through such small cracks. There are some things you can do to keep them where they belong:

  • Fill foundation and outer wall cracks with caulk. 
  • Caulk around the openings that pipes, electrical wires, and cables enter the home. 
  • Wipe up food and water spills promptly. 
  • Put food in ant-proof containers. 
  • Pick up pet food when your pet is through eating. 
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly and do not have holes in them. 
  • Check the door sweep and make sure it is in good condition. 

Preventing ants is not easy, but White Knight Pest Control will work with you and keep your home ant-free. Contact us today to get rid of your ants.