What are ants?
Ants are social creatures that live, work, and travel together. Though small in size, ants are extremely strong and can lift objects that are 10 to 50 times their body weight. These insects are common invaders in Hawaiian homes and yards, using them as places to forage for food and to nest.
Adult ants have six legs, three body regions, antennae, and chewing mouthparts. Only the reproductive members (males and fertile females) have wings. Worker ants are sterile females and are the ants that most people see wandering around their properties. Worker ants are responsible for the health and safety of their colony. A single ant colony may have thousands upon thousands of workers in it and multiple nesting locations.
Worldwide, there are more than 10,000 species of ants. In Honolulu, the following species of ants are the most common: ghost ants, white-footed ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, crazy ants, big-footed ants, little fire ants, and tropical fire ants.
Are ants dangerous?
Luckily most of the ants we come across are nuisance ants, and though they contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria, they pose no significant threats to people or property. However, some ants are dangerous to our homes and families. Dangerous ants cause structural damage (carpenter ants), spread diseases (Pharaoh ants), or bite or sting (fire ants).
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants can become a problem almost anywhere. Our yards provide ants with areas to nest and often easy access to food sources. In fact, food is what usually first attracts ants to a property. Ants are omnivores and feed on a variety of things. Our trash, compost, outdoor eating areas, and gardens are all places ants forage for food.
Where will I find ants?
Ants usually create their main nests outside. After finding their way inside homes while foraging for food, some ants will decide to stay and build satellite nests. Some ants prefer to live inside, while others prefer the outdoor life.
- Ghost ants have high moisture needs. Outside, they nest in damp soil, in tree stumps, under fallen trees, and mulch. Inside, they nest in small cracks in floors and walls, behind baseboards, in wall voids near pipes, and in potted plants.
- White-footed ants prefer to live outside, nesting under mulch, leaf piles, rocks, and in gardens. If they move inside, they place their nests behind wall voids, under floors, around pipes, or in crawlspaces.
- Pharaoh ants are a common problem inside homes, hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, and food processing facilities. They place their nests in the warm, humid areas behind walls, baseboards, and under floors.
- Carpenter ants make their nests in wood that has been previously damaged by water. Outside, they nest in tree stumps, in fallen trees, woodpiles, and old fences. Inside, they nest inside of structural wood behind walls, under floors, and above ceilings.
- Crazy ants can’t survive outside in very cold weather, which makes Honolulu the perfect place for them to live. Outside, they nest under mulch, rocks, leaf litter, and in tree cavities. If the weather becomes cool, they often move indoors to nest behind walls, under floors, and in crawlspaces.
- Big-headed ants nest outside in the ground under rocks or logs. They also like to nest under concrete slabs or beside home foundations. These ants don’t usually like to nest indoors.
- Little fire ants create their nests outside under debris, in forested areas, under mulch, under flower pots, and at the base of trees. These ants regularly nest inside greenhouses. Inside homes, they place their nests in furniture, behind cabinets, and in spaces behind walls.
- Tropical fire ants prefer to nest in open sunny areas, making yards a common nesting spot. They avoid nesting in forested or shady areas and rarely nest indoors.
How do I get rid of ants?
If you have discovered ants in your yard or home, the best way to get rid of them and prevent them from returning is to reach out to Able Pest Management, LLC. Our team will come to your aid and develop a pest control program that is customized to meet the unique needs of your home and family.
Our highly trained and experienced professionals are passionate about eliminating pests using our proven treatment methods. If you are looking for exceptional pest control for your Honolulu home or business, reach out to Able Pest Management today!
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Keep ants out of your Honolulu, HI home, and away from your family, with the help of Able Pest Management and the following ant prevention tips:
- Seal up cracks and spaces in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
- Place weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Place mesh covers over vents.
- Replace torn or loose screens.
- Remove overgrown vegetation from your home’s foundation.
- Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins.
- Reduce moisture levels in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes and utilizing dehumidifiers.