Ants continue to be one of the most challenging insect pests for structural exterminators. There are so many species of ants in Ontario. And control methods vary with each species. The ability to identify the species is very important in success of control. Carpenter Ants are the largest ants in Canada. Sizes of approximately ¼-3/4 inch in length, these ants are the most conspicuous ants in and around homes. Several species of Carpenter ants exist in Ontario with, color variations of these ants usually take dark shades of brown or black. Visible mandibles used for chewing, from these wood nesters is an identifying characteristic.
Carpenter Ants can damage the structure of your home, and can travel long distances. You may find Carpenter Ants in one section of your home, yet they may inhabit an area far from the area of sightings. As well, it is common that Carpenter Ants have “Satellite Colonies” throughout your home. Controlling one colony may not get the results desired if a thorough inspection, and treatment is not carried out. Looking for sawdust in those areas of possible water damage is the first task of a professional structural exterminator. This could be condensation in windows, or skylights, leaks under showers, or sinks, door thresholds that have been neglected, leaking roofs, etc. The possibilities are numerous.
Pavement Ants are small, dark ants, (1/8-1/6 inch long), usually associated with basements, and ground floors of homes, and restaurants. Pavement ants get their names from their biological behavior. Usually living in and under cracks in pavement, and concrete footings of foundations, although they can also be found in wall voids, rotting wood, Styrofoam insulation, and any cracks and crevices suitable for nesting. These ants are a particular nuisance around homes with slab-on-grade construction.
Pharaoh Ants are small, yellowish or reddish ants (1/15-1/12 inch long). These ants have become more common in Ontario in recent years, establishing an important foothold in the structural extermination industry. Pestech has encountered many incidents of misidentification of this pest by competitors. This misdiagnosis, and control application, only exacerbates the issue. These ants are highly sensitive to insecticides, and chemicals, causing a behavioral process of “budding”. This means, ant colonies break up into many smaller colonies, to avoid pesticides or chemicals, and propagate elsewhere in homes. Intensive baiting is the best long term method of control against these insects. Cooperation from tenants is most important in success of control of these pests.
Other less common ants
Other less common ants are Thief ants, Citronella ants, Harvester ants, Large Yellow ants, White-footed ants, Argentine ants…