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Treating Ant Infestations

Ants possess phenomenal strength for their relative size and are some of nature's most hardworking creatures. Although they are an impressive insect, ants are some of the most commonly reported pests in Colorado. Ant infestations thrive in the sandy and clay soils of the region. Treatment methods vary, as each species has different nesting techniques. No matter the size or type, you can count on Creature Control's trained pest and insect control technicians to eliminate ants effectively.

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Ant Traits and Eating Habits

Most types of ants share a similar social and biological structure. Worker ants are easily recognizable as they do not possess wings and have constricted waists near the front of their abdomen. As a defense mechanism, some ants emit an acidic odor, while others do not. During specific seasons, ant colonies produce thousands of winged males (called swarmer's) that emerge from the nest, mate, and establish new colonies. Flying ants are often mistaken for termites.

Hierarchy in ant colonies consists of a queen, workers (infertile females), soldiers (ants with larger heads and mandibles), and males who specifically mate with the queen. Ant workers can vary in size and are charged with finding food and notifying the colony of any threats through pheromone signals. These secreted chemicals allow the ants to solve complex problems together; this phenomenon continues to baffle researchers.

Ants are omnivores, eating both plant vegetation and other animals, including rival ants. They all share a disposition for sweets too. Ants are capable of moving a large amount of food back to the colony, leaving a trail behind for others to follow. They are known for their incredible strength, capable of carrying objects 20 times their body weight. There are six species of ants commonly found in the Colorado region. Each species has different habitats and characteristics. Read more about the specific types below.

Ant Removal with Creature Control Get Rid of Ants with Creature Control Creature Control is Your Ant Exterminator

Most Troublesome Ants to Our Area

Carpenter Ants
One of the most identifiable ants due to their black color and large size is the giant (half an inch) carpenter ant commonly found in bathrooms or kitchens. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in wooden areas. They especially prefer rotting or moist wooden areas and since bathtubs, sinks, poorly sealed windows, door frames, and roofs tend to leak, these are common areas to find them. Carpenter ant infestations can grow to be full size in three to four years, requiring professional pest control measures and several treatments over time. Untreated infestations can result in the building's necessary demolishment as the structure has weakened and is no longer safe.

Slab Ants or Pavement Ants
These small, black or brown ants create pyramids of dirt in sidewalks or driveways and are prevalent in Colorado. These colonies can break up concrete over time as they nest in soil and displace dirt. Activity is highest during the warmer months, and they can cause real problems in your garage or basement if left untreated. Field ants present similar traits; however, they will use leaves, pine needles, twigs, and grass in building their mounds. A systematic baiting program is required to remediate these pests.

Odorous House Ants
Only reaching 2.5 to 3.5 mm in length, these tiny ants are reddish-brown and nest in many locations, including within your walls and floors. They are attracted to anything sweet and smell of a bitter, citrus odor when squished. Colonies can house up to 10,000 ants, which travel in trails and constantly forage throughout the day and night. A nest of odorous ants within the house has the potential to get out of control if not treated.

Pharaoh Ants
Unlike many ants that thrive outdoors, these even tinier ants (2 mm) prefer the comfort of indoor environments. They are light yellow or red with black markings on the abdomen. The colonies maintain multiple queens and they quickly move their nest if threatened, a trait unlike other ants. Since pharaoh ants flourish indoors, this makes this pest especially agitating. They build their nests within walls, cabinets, baseboards, refrigerator insulation, curtain rods, clothes, and paper. Due to their numerous queens, the colonies can reach up to several million worker ants at a time. If a toxic substance is applied to an area, pharaoh ants can detect it and immediately scatter, creating multiple sub colonies. Professional assistance is absolutely necessary when dealing with these troublesome pests.

Professional Ant Removal

Creature Control's trained technicians have the experience of removing unwanted ants. Since there is no standard approach, each treatment program varies. Commercially-sold ant bait trap stations are seldom enough to take care of a severe infestation alone. Creature Control uses various methods, including habitat modification, perimeter pesticide applications, locating and removing the nest, ant baits, and structural alterations as the situation warrants.

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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

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