What are ants?

There is no denying that ants are eco-important pests; they act as a food source for many other animals, their tunnels aerate the soil, and they rid the ground of decaying organic matter. But, there is also no denying they are annoying and frustrating pests. Difficult to control and a challenge to eliminate, ants are not a pest that home and business owners want to contend with.

Ants live together in large colonies and define cooperation, as each member maintains a role that helps the colony succeed. Ant colonies contain one or more queens with the sole job of laying eggs. A male ant's job is to mate with the queen(s). Worker ants make up the bulk of an ant colony; they are sterile females responsible for maintaining the nest, caring for the young, gathering food, and providing defense. Worker ants are also the ant colony members we most often see traveling throughout our yards and homes.

close up of an ant

Many ant species can be found living throughout Virginia, but some of the most familiar invaders of our home and businesses include:

  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants
  • Acrobat ants
  • Big-headed ants
  • Pharaoh ants
  • Thief ants
  • Red-imported fire ants

Are ants dangerous?

Ants are not a pest that you should ignore, hoping they will go away. These small insects can cause us many serious problems, and eliminating these pests from any property as quickly as possible is essential.

Some of the threats that ants introduce including the following:

  • Spreading diseases and bacteria
  • Creating unpleasant odors
  • Biting and stinging
  • Creating electrical shorts and other structural damage
  • Food contamination

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants can become a problem on almost any property. Even if your property is not home to an ant nest, workers could still find a way into your yard and house as they forage for food. As workers travel, they leave behind odor (pheromone) trails that help other workers make their way to and from their nest to a food source. Ants are a problem on any property that offers them suitable food sources, moisture, and nesting sites.

Where will I find ants?

Due to the size of their colony, most ants require multiple nesting sites to house their many members. They typically build their main nest outside, but it is common for them to create satellite nests indoors. Ants may choose to nest inside for several reasons, including to escape harsh weather and to be near food sources.

Ants nest in various locations. Some ants may decide to nest outside in sunny open spaces like yards, parks, or fields. Others prefer darker, damp areas to nest like under fallen trees, in tree hollows, or under mulch or landscaping ties. Other popular nesting spots include in the soil next to foundations or cracks in the pavement. Wall voids near leaky pipes, around windows and doors, and near tubs or sinks often make great indoor nesting sites for ants. These insects may also choose to nest in crawlspaces, electrical equipment, and even inside potted plants.

How do I get rid of ants?

With over 44 years in the pest control industry, trust National Exterminating Company with your pest control needs. We will eliminate ants from your home or business through quality services, exceptional customer service, and placing a high value on attention to detail.

Using low-impact, environmentally friendly products, we provide our customers with trustworthy, long-term pest control solutions. If you are ready to maintain an ant-free property, reach out to National Exterminating Company today. Give us a call to schedule your free inspection and consultation!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Don’t allow ants to take over your property. With our professional services and the following tips, you can stop ants from using your Tidewater, Hampton Roads, or Southside Virginia home or facility as a place to nest and forage for food:

  • Reduce areas of excess moisture and standing water with dehumidifiers, gutters, and by repairing leaking pipes.
  • Repair damaged areas in your home’s exterior that allow ants to move in and out of your house.
  • Pay attention to where utility pipes enter your home and where there are vents. Seal gaps around utility pipes and place covers over vents.
  • If you own pets, make sure to pick up uneaten pet food.
  • Eliminate other foraging sites by placing lids on trash cans, keeping eating areas clear of food debris, and maintaining garden areas.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

Helpful Articles

Odorous House Ants 101: What Williamsburg Homeowners Need To Know

Six Simple & Effective Ant Control Tips For Newport News Homeowners


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