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Ants

Treatment

We will interview you and do a preliminary inspection to help determine the appropriate steps to eliminate the ants. In addition to exterior treatment, we may perform some treatment indoors in areas where ants have been seen. A one-time ant control service is warrantied for 6 months, or may be the initial service of a Braman MultiPest Plan.

If you think you have an infestation, contact Braman immediately.

Ants Overview

Ants are social insects that live in colonies, each consisting of one or more queens, workers, eggs, larvae and pupae. At various times of the year, depending upon species, there are winged reproductive ants. Queens lay eggs and workers do pretty much everything else. They maintain the nest, nurture the brood and forage for food. As they forage, they leave a pheromone trail for others to follow. If you see an ant trail, it is a sure sign of an infestation and prompt ant control is needed.

There are about 1,000 different ant species populating North America. Fortunately, there are only a few that are troublesome in our area. Economically, the most important is the carpenter ant, which is so important that it has its own page. We will review the others in the order of their significance in our area.

Pavement ants

These ants get their name from their preference for nesting under stones, along curbs or in pavement cracks. When you see the little brown ants making ant hills along sidewalks or foundations or pushing up sand through the crack in the sidewalk you are watching pavement ants. They feed on a wide variety of foods. It is when the pavement ant enters your home to forage in large groups that they can sting and bite, becoming a true nuisance. They are pretty easy to control, but almost impossible to eliminate. Braman works efficiently, using the most effective methods and materials for pavement ant control.

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants are only about 1/16 of an inch in length; so small that you often see them only because of their movement. The pharaoh ant has a light yellow body and red and black markings on its abdomen. They nest in hidden, well-protected areas throughout buildings, including in walls, behind baseboards, in refrigerator insulation and other undisturbed indoor spaces. Pharaoh ants in hospitals and other healthcare settings are a common problem and a particular concern, because they can spread disease and contaminate sterile equipment. They are among the most difficult to control and if not treated correctly it is easy to turn one colony into two, doubling your ant control trouble. If you suspect you have them, you should call us for help.

Large Yellow ants

These ants are otherwise known as citronella ants due to the distinctive odor emitted when they are crushed. The worker is yellow and about a 1/6th inch long. The swarmer ant varies from yellow to brown. They often nest in rotting wood or under landscaping elements near the house where they feed on honeydew excreted by aphids on ornamental plants. They are frequently confused with termites when they swarm into the living areas of homes. Although this can be disconcerting, they do not attack structures nor forage for food inside the home. If you have repeated swarms, initiate the ant control with a call to Braman. We will locate and eradicate the offending colony.

Field ants

The field ant is often mistaken for the carpenter ant because it is similar in size but is really quite different. Field ants can be yellow, red, black or a combination of red and black. They nest in the ground and build mounds. They like open sunny locations as opposed to the dark moist nesting sites preferred by carpenter ants. The field ant's favorite food is the honeydew excreted by aphids. They may forage for other foods and be seen on your deck but they will not infest your home. This ant seldom requires professional help, but we are ready to help with ant control to keep them at bay if you do not like to share space with insects.

Thief ants

One of the smallest ants, thief ants often measure as little as 1/32 of an inch. They get their names from their habit of stealing larvae and pupae from neighboring colonies to use as food. Other favorite foods include anything greasy and containing protein, such as nuts, meats, cheese, peanut butter and sweets. Because the workers are small enough to enter food packaging, they can become a nuisance in the kitchen. Outside, they forage for dead insects and rodents, which means they can transmit pathogens into your home and food. Swarms of mating thief ants appear from June to September. Because thief ant nests are difficult to find, you should contact Braman. We can identify the species properly and recommend an appropriate ant control treatment.

Ghost ants

This hard-to-see ant get its names from the pale color of its legs and abdomen. These ants are not yet common in southern New England. Originally from tropical climates, ghost ants are brought north accidentally in boxes, crates, potted plants and shipped goods. In northern states, they are only able to survive in heated buildings. True to their tropical origins, the ghost ant gives off an odor that resembles coconut when crushed. Ghost ant control requires time and patience. Because there can be multiple, hard-to-find nesting sites, it is best to call Braman for ant control as soon as you see or suspect them in or near your home.

Acrobat ants

It is easy to see how these ants got their name: When disturbed, they have a habit of acrobatically raising their abdomen above their head. When viewed from above, you can see that their abdomen is heart-shaped. The acrobat ant prefers moisture and will build its nests under stones or woodpiles or in stumps or rotting logs. Inside, it will look for damp areas, such as in in the foam sheathing behind siding or near a leaking skylight. Acrobat ants often nest in wood that termites or carpenter ants have damaged, cleaning out the galleries the other insects have made and pushing the dirt or wood frass out of the galleries. They are also uncommon in southern New England.