Ant Identification & Prevention

About Ants In San Diego

red fire ants fighting

Ants are among the most common pests you will find invading homes and businesses in San Diego and all throughout Southern California. These tiny insects are generally considered harmless but, while many ant species are considered nuisance pests, some are more problematic pests. Below, you can learn about three ant species, the problems they cause for San Diego residents, and the most effective way to fully eliminate these pest invaders from your home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ants

What are ants?

Argentine ants, thief ants, and red fire ants are all problematic species that commonly cause problems for homeowners.

  • Argentine ants have a shiny, dark brown to black and range between 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch long.
  • Thief ants are pale yellowish to light brown and are about 1/16 of an inch long.
  • Red Fire ants are dark reddish-brown and range between 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long.

While thief ants are a native species, Argentine and red fire ants are invasive. Invasive species put a lot of strain on the ecosystem because they displace native species and cause other issues, such as the protection they provide to aphids, allowing these crop-damaging pests to thrive.

Are ants dangerous?

The species listed above are considered dangerous for several reasons. Both Argentine and red fire ants are aggressive and territorial. When they perceive a threat to their colony, this species will attack with Argentine ants biting and fire ants stinging. These attacks are painful and can cause allergic reactions.

Thief ants have stingers, but this species is too small to harm people. However, thief ants carry many pathogens because they feed on dead rodents. They can quickly infest and contaminate packaged foods.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Thief ants are known for building their nests close to other species, which is one reason why you may have these ants in your home. They will also make their way inside due to weather changes. Argentine ants will also infest, looking for a moist place to escape dry weather.

Although red fire ants prefer to stay outside, this aggressive species doesn’t need to be inside your home to be a problem.

Where will I find ants?

Fire ants build their nests in open, sunny areas, so it is easy to step on a red fire ant nest accidentally. Argentine, thief, and other ant species prefer moist and shaded areas.

Because ants are foragers, when they come inside, they are usually found near kitchens when they infest but may also be in bathrooms or other areas with a lot of moisture.

How do I get rid of ants?

If you are dealing with ants, whether they are Argentine, thief, red fire, or any other ant species, reach out to our team at Habitat Protection. We offer preventative control and treatment for active infestations. In addition to our San Diego service area, we also offer pest management services in Carlsbad, Escondido, and the surrounding areas. You can learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services for these unwanted insects by calling today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Ant prevention prioritizes eliminating food sources, moisture, and entry points. This kind of prevention should include:

  • Using garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
  • Keeping your home clear of food debris.
  • Repairing any leaks, unclogging gutters, and using dehumidifiers when necessary.
  • Sealing any cracks in the foundation.
  • Clearing branches that are touching the side or roof.
  • Repairing damaged screens.

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