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Ask The Entomologist question about ants

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Question:
I replaced 70% of my shed last year because of the infestation of termites that I was oblivious to. I am spraying with specricide…. however there seem to be many ants that love the building. I am not sure if this is how the cycle begins. What is your opinion?

Answer:
Ants can be rather difficult to control at times. Because there are several species of ants that become structural pests, it is usually important to identify the species in order to develop a control strategy. Ants are small and can find ways to bypass your treatments rather easily. When treating with a repellent insecticide, they can detect it and then find ways around it. There are other types of insecticides, such as non-repellent sprays and baits, that work well on certain types of ants. Again, it helps to know the species because they have different behaviors, habitats, and food preferences that need to be taken into account. Some mechanical methods for reducing ants around the structure are:

• Make sure bushes and tree limbs are cut back and not touching the structure.
• Make sure gutters are not clogged.
• Correct any moisture problems such as poor drainage or standing water.
• Do not use excessive amounts of mulch or pine straw.
• Eliminate clutter from around the foundation.

Just because you have ants around the structure does not mean you have termites. Subterranean termites come from the ground and try to stay hidden. Most of the time damage is being done without knowing they are there. The best way to protect your building from termites is to have it inspected and treated by a reputable termite control company like Terminix. By calling 1-800-Terminix, you can schedule a free termite inspection and treatment estimate. We can also identify your ants and give a free pest inspection and estimate for them as well.