Ants: The Tiny, Roaming Pest

Ants are an incredibly common pest that can be quite a nuisance, and are difficult to eradicate. When they find a food source, they communicate its location with the other ants in their colony and begin one of their trademark foraging lines. Once that happens, you might notice a surface like a countertop or table becoming a highway for these tiny pests. Also, ants may show up in many other places in the home on their search for food, and because they’re so tiny, you might not notice them until they’re right next to you, or completely invading your home.

While ants are one of the most benign and docile pests that you can find in your home, it’s easy to feel mentally overwhelmed by their presence. Also, ants are known to contaminate human food, and some species can hurt you or cause property damage. For these reasons, it’s best to keep your home or business as ant-free as possible.

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Ants are usually simple pests to identify—the most challenging thing about calling an ant an ant is spotting them in the first place.  Some questions we can answer to help you identify ants include:

  • How many species of ants are there?
  • Which species of ants are most common?
  • What are some signs of an ant infestation?

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Most property owners face an ant problem at some point, but some factors may make an infestation more likely.  Some questions we can answer to help you discover what could be causing an ant infestation on your property include:

  • What kinds of food are ants attracted to?
  • How do ants get inside?
  • What drew ants to my home?

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Treating your property for ants can be a time-consuming process. Some questions we can answer to help you determine the best method of treatment for an ant infestation include:

  • Can I effectively treat an ant infestation myself?
  • Should different types of ants be treated differently?
  • What are some common DIY treatments for ants?

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Ant prevention can be complex due to their tendency to show up almost anywhere in the home.  Some questions we can answer to help you prevent ant infestations include:

  • What  can I do to prevent ants inside?
  • How can I prevent ants in the outdoors?
  • How can I pest-proof my home?

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Many ant species build their nests outdoors and become a nuisance once they start to forage for food inside of a home. Other ant species will enter a building and build a nest, thus becoming permanent residents. Ants are commensal pests, meaning they like to live close to people and eat some of the same things: sweets, meats, starches, and liquids.


Ants that invade a home can pose an indirect threat to your health. Since ants crawl around in many spaces, they are susceptible to picking up germs, such as E. coli, and can deposit them in food.


Ant removal should be handled by a professional. While there are many Do-It-Yourself methods, not all ants respond to these treatments. Correct identification is crucial, as different ant species exhibit different behaviors. At Dodson Pest Control, our technicians are trained to handle the various types of ants and their habits, and have the knowledge necessary to effectively treat the issue.


There are several measures you can take to prevent ants from invading your home:

  • Limit moisture—Ants need moisture to survive. Fix any water leaks and make sure gutters and downspouts direct rain away from your house.
  • Keep things clean—Remove food particles from kitchen surfaces. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Empty your trash regularly. Keep food stored in airtight containers. If cooking outdoors, clean the grill thoroughly and remove any food particles from the area.
  • Seal your house—Ants enter homes through small gaps. Seal any holes, doorways, and cracks that are exposed to the outdoors. Pay close attention to gaps around pipes or conduits when they enter the house. Keep tree limbs trimmed away from your house as ants can also use them as an entry method.
  • Remove harborage—Remove any rock piles, boards, wood piles, or other debris from around the home.

Flying ants, or alates, as entomologists refer to them, are simply ants that are sexually mature. These are the ‟reproductives” of the colony, created by the queen and fed by the workers; they mature inside the colony. Once the colony is ready to expand, the winged ants fly out with one goal: to mate. After mating, the male ants die and the fertilized female searches for a nesting site. When she finds a place that meets her needs, she will break off her wings and never fly again. This new queen will then begin her own colony.

Ant Dangers

Ants aren’t usually the first pest people think of when they worry about an infestation causing damage to their home or illness to their families. However, ants do come with their own set of risks if they are allowed to roam unchecked.

  • Stings: Certain kinds of ants, namely red imported fire ants, will sting you if you get too close to or threaten their nests. One sting won’t do much, but if you are attacked by a large number of them (which is more likely to happen), you could get badly hurt. Fire ant stings can be dangerous depending on an individual’s reaction, and can be life-threatening in the most extreme circumstances. If you experience a major fire ant attack, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Food contamination: Any kind of ant that gets into your food has a chance to contaminate it. These insects live in the ground and crawl over dirt, trash, and anything else in their way to access a source of food, and they can easily pick up harmful microbes that can cause food to become inedible.
  • Property Damage: Carpenter ants make their homes in wood, like termites. They are not as damaging or alarming a pest as termites, but they can still damage your home if they are allowed to dig around unchecked.
  • General Nuisance: Ants can cause mental distress through their sheer numbers. A marching line of ants isn’t something to be majorly concerned about, though it is best to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, witnessing a large number of ants in the home and not knowing how to get rid of them can be a difficult problem to handle for some homeowners, especially those who like to keep a tidy house.

photo of ant on leaves

Dodson Ant Treatment

At Dodson Pest Control, we’re equipped and ready to tackle any ant problem, large or small. We can identify what type of ant is infesting your home and come up with a thorough solution to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back. 

Contact us today for a free inspection!

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