White-footed ants are on the prowl! These ants are considered by many experts to be one of the most difficult to eradicate from a home, and recently they have been increasingly active in Georgia as well as the rest of the Southeast.
But what makes these nuisance pests, which can neither bite nor sting, cause so much trouble for homeowners? And how can you keep your home safe?
To answer this question, we must discuss landscaping.
White-footed ants are well known for infesting various landscaping and gardening materials such as mulch, wood chips, and pine straw. Further, these pests will also commonly infest soil in plant pots or around planted trees and shrubbery.
As spring gives way to summer, many homeowners undertake a variety of landscaping and home renewal projects. This can result in a white-footed ant infestation being “shipped” to the home in infested landscaping materials.
Once in close proximity, these ants will often establish nests at or just below ground level. Their nesting areas tend to be just beneath loose leaves, mulch, or beneath other debris. Oftentimes, these pests will establish nests in the mulch or wood chips that surround the exterior of your home.
While many pests roam around the exterior of your home, a nearby white-footed ant population can be problematic because of the small size of the worker ants themselves. White-footed ant workers grow to less than 1/8 inch in length as adults. This allows them to exploit even the smallest gaps and cracks in the exterior of your home to gain access.
While exclusion techniques can be helpful to reduce entry points into your home, it is difficult to fully seal a home from a pest as small as a white-footed ant. This problem is further multiplied due to the fact that white-footed ants can establish massive colonies with populations numbering in the millions.
Homeowners often first spot these ants when they are scavenging for food inside the home. These ants can be distinguished from other species due to their distinctive cream-colored feet for which they get their name.
White-footed ants are well adapted to flourish inside your home. Oftentimes these pests will establish nests throughout the home to supplement their spread. These are satellite nests connected to the larger colony and are often found in wall voids, attics, and other secluded spaces.
Worker ants will crawl through ventilation, piping, and around electrical wiring to gain access to other parts of the home. White-footed ants feed on the same major food sources as most scavenging ant species. Some of their more common food choices include:
- Stored, dry foods such as rice, grains, or beans
- Sweets and other sugar based foods
- Pet foods
- Spills and food stains
Once these pests have identified a reliable food source in your home, they can be extremely difficult to remove. Due to their rapid reproductive rate and small size, it can be challenging to fully remove them from the area around your home, and thus they may keep coming back in waves.
Due to this, the most effective way to deal with white-footed ants is by undertaking a systematic treatment method, often involving multiple rounds of pesticide treatment. There are a variety of treatment options with varying advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation, and as such you should consult a pest control expert to determine what the right option is for your home.
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating pests of all kinds here in the Cherokee County, GA area! We employ a range of safe, targeted treatment methods designed to remove pests from your home quickly and completely!
So don’t let pests rule your home this summer! Call a company that you can trust to do the job right and save you time, money, and frustration! Give us a call today at 770-479-1598! We will be happy to help in any way that we can!