We do a great deal of Odorous house ant control, those super small black ants that infest homes in large numbers. Most of these infestations respond really well to our enhanced treatment protocol. We typically perform a super thorough inspection and a comprehensive treatment of both the structure and the yard.**
Homes can have infestations that are really difficult to get rid of. Sometimes the problem can be put down to the neighborhood. Some neighborhoods have huge problems with odorous house ants. Super colonies can infest lots of different homes over a wide area, with tremendous population pressure driving ants to re-infest a home.
Sometimes we find homes where the ants are just really well entrenched with a really large population. Most of these homes have a moisture issue. These are a few of the most common types of moisture problems:
Too much vegetation
Tree branches or other vegetation against a structure – especially the roof. This provides easy access to the ants preferred food sources – other insects, and aphid secretions. The vegetation also keeps the roof moist.
Siding at or below ground level
Siding at or below ground level. Regardless of the type of siding you have, even if it won’t rot, and is made of vinyl, brick, concrete board, etc…, when it meets the soil, or soil covers, such as gravel, crushed rock, sand, beauty bark, mulch, it creates a moisture rich environment and gives ants an easy way to get up and into your home without being seen.
Moisture seals around windows and doors need to be maintained – but bricks and stucco need to be sealed as well.
Unsealed stucco or brick. Real stucco is a mortar type of compound that is applied over the exterior of some homes.It is a very hard surface just like brick. Both of these products, if unsealed every few years, can wick moisture into the interior of your walls, creating a moisture rich environment and often mildew and rot.
This picture maybe too small to see all the dark water stains beside the window and toward the bottom of the dryvit below the window.
Fake stucco – Dryvit type systems. This type of construction is a thin plastic membrane over solid foam insulation, topped by a thin cover of paint and a ‘topping coat’. A lot of homes built in this manner trap the moisture that naturally occurs in every home which can lead to rot in the walls, and huge ant populations. Depending on how they are seamed, they can often leak as well.
There are often moisture issues with flat roofs.
Flat roofs. Flat roofs have a tendency to leak, they often hold water on top of the structure which is really easy access for the ants, and depending on how they’re built, it is quite common for the area just below the flat roof membrane or surface to be lightly moist – all year round. (Temperature difference can create a dew point beneath the membrane.)
Wooden decks built directly against a home without flashing lead to rot and are highly attractive to ants.
Deck abutments. Decks that abut a home without proper flashing will lead to rot, in both the home and the deck, as water trapped between the deck and the house may take days to evaporate – even in the summer when its warm and sunny, in the winter, the area may never dry out.
Sometimes these moisture issues are not easily resolved. They will take extra effort on the part of the technician and extra patience on the part of the customer. Odorous house ants can have literally millions of ants in a structure.
Possibly the most important aspect of any control program for odorous house ants is the exterior spray service. The ants must and will go outside to get their preferred food sources. As they go outside, they will go across our non-repellent control material that will eliminate them. Not overnight, but in time through attrition. It is tough sometimes to be patient for this, but spraying over the counter spray materials will not not speed up the process, and can in fact make the problem much harder to control.
**(Or as modified by customer request.)
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