Ant Extermination – Control & Removal
Portland OR & Vancouver WA areas
Ant infestations can range from annoying to hazardous; odorous ants (sugar ants) may swarm your garbage, but carpenter and termite ants can cause structural damage. The top insect infestations in Portland are termites, carpenter ants, and odorous house ants. When it becomes apparent that host of ants have populated your home, a professional ant extermination is the best way to rid your home of these pests.
When to call an exterminator for ants
Seeing one ant is common and not cause for concern; an extermination is required when you see 5 or more, which can be indicative of a colony’s presence hidden somewhere.
What’s the difference between a Termite and Carpenter Ant?
Termites have wings that are roughly equal in length, with straight antennas. Carpenter ants have longer front wings than hind wings, with bent antennas. While seeing a couple of ants may not indicate an infestation, seeing a couple of termites does. The easiest way to distinguish the two is to note the width of their waists; a carpenter ant will have a narrow waist like a wasp, while termites have broad waists
What do Carpenter Ants look like?
Worker carpenter ants are wingless, dark shiny brown to black in color, and can range from ¼ to ½ inches in length. Their bodies are constricted between the thorax and the abdomen, and their antennas are slightly bent. The wings of the reproductive males are longer in the front than the hind.
What do Termites look like?
Worker termites are creamy white and are rarely seen outside the tubes of their infestations. Solider termites have elongated yellow heads with large jaws, which they use in defense if their colony is invaded. The kings and queens are dark brown or black and reach a length of about 3/8 to ½ inch. They have two pairs of wings of equal length, which break off shortly after swarming to find new locations for their colonies; often, the shed wings are the only signs homeowners have of an infestation.
What do Odorous House Ants look like?
Worker odorous house ants are about 1/16 to 1/8 in length and range from brown to black in color. They have an uneven thorax and a hidden connection between the two segments of their bodies.
Termite damage cause homeowners billions of dollars a year. The wood they attack will have tubular passageways; long infested pieces of wood will be hallowed out with passageways and may appear rotten. While the tubes are hidden away in the structure that is the site of the colony, their exit sites can be seen. The most common areas for the exit sites are cellar walls, wooden posts, wall studs, and door and window trim. It is not recommended for homeowners to attempt to treat infestations.
Carpenter ants like to create their nests in moist, wooden areas. When they burrow in a wood site to nest, they leave behind a saw dust like material. They mostly go for wood with less that 15% moisture content and are capable of eating away areas that have experienced water damage. As a colony grows, their tunneling expands the wood, causing further damage and instability. Carpenter ants, which are mostly active at night, are attracted to sweet foods, pet foods, meat and grease.
The most distinctive trait of the odorous house ant is the rotten odor they emit when crushed. They like to nest indoors near sources of moisture and warmth and are also known to inhabit termite-damaged wood. Odorous house ants prefer sweet foods but will also eat dead insects and grease. Because of their ability to eat many types of food, their forages can contaminate food in pantries. The best way to control odorous ants is to set baits designed to attract sweet-loving ants.
Insects that are capable of destroying homes deserve treatment done by experience professionals, especially for ant and termite extermination. Professionals will assess the level of infestations and know the best and safest means of removing potentially destructive insects from your home.