When Port Elgin residents are outside in their yards trying to enjoy one of the town’s famous sunsets, the last thing they want to have are ants crawling all over their sidewalks, patios and lawns. With the warmer weather here, more and more Port Elgin residents will want to take advantage of the nicer temperatures and spend time outdoors with friends and family. It is during these times that Truly Nolen Port Elgin starts receiving calls from residents concerned about ants. One of the most common ants that cause homeowners distress, by making mounds on their property, is the field ant.
Field ants are one of the most diverse types of ants in the world, with over 150 species.
The term “field ant” can refer to a variety of species of ants that inhabit fields, meadows, and lawns. They are often considered to be beneficial because they feed on other insects, including bed bugs, moths, silverfish, and plant pests (such as aphids and mealybugs). But, like any insect pest, when it invades your outdoor event or appears in large numbers, it can quickly become a problem.
At only 1/8” in length, field ants vary widely in colour from yellow, red, black and bi-coloured red and black combinations. Nicknames include mound ants, wood ants and thatching ants. Like citronella ants, these insects dine on the “honeydew,” secreted by mealybugs and aphids, and pose no threat of indoor infestations. Field ants do, however, build unsightly nests on walking paths, driveways and patios and can secrete painful formic acid when provoked.
Field ants are usually noticed during their swarming flights in the fall of the year. Large numbers of these yellowish-brown, winged ants emerge from underground colonies and crawl on the ground, trees, shrubs or buildings near their nesting site entrance before flying off to attempt to establish new colonies.
Port Elgin residents do not have to be overly concerned about field ants invading their homes. However, the workers will often hunt for food on decks, porches and patios. Sometimes people see black field ants on a wood deck and assume they are carpenter ants. Field ants can become a big nuisance when nesting in residential areas. Also, if field ants forage for a meal in your home they can contaminate your food which will result in unneeded waste.
How to protect your Port Elgin home or businesses from field ants:
Successful control of field ants depends on a thorough inspection and making a correct identification
- Make sure all potential entry points are sealed especially where electrical and utility lines come into buildings
- Place firewood on racks off of the ground and store it away from the house.
- Move mulch away from the foundation to discourage ants from nesting
- Make sure exterior doors close tightly.
- Replace weather stripping where it is missing.
If a field ant nest has grown too large, it may need to be controlled through the use of specially formulated products. Targeted saturation of the colony will be needed to ensure the elimination of the infestation.
Incomplete treatment can make the problem worse. If the treatment does not eliminate the entire colony, the ant population can “rebound”. When the surviving workers resume foraging and feeding, the problem will return.
It is advisable to contact your Truly Nolen Port Elgin pest control professionals. They have the products, equipment and knowledge to control field ants effectively.
Contact Truly Nolen for residential and commercial pest control services or a free pest inspection in Port Elgin. 519-832-9341