Facts About Ants In Virginia Beach

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fire ants on a tree limb

Are you concerned that you may have an ant problem? Ants are one of the most common pests in Virginia Beach homes and their numbers can swell fast. These pesky little insects can find their way into your food and the structure of your home, and while many are simply a nuisance, some species of ants can pose health risks to you and your family or cause damage to your property. Find out more about these pests and how to keep them out of your home for good.

Common Ants In Virginia Beach

There are more than 10,000 species of ants in the world, with a wide variety found locally. The most common ants found in Virginia Beach include:

  • Fire ants: Fire ants are reddish-brown in color and very small; they range in size from 1/8 to 3/8 an inch long. They are most often found throughout the southern and southwestern parts of the United States, where the weather is hot. There, they live in the soil but can move into homes if given the chance. Fire ants eat an omnivorous diet, meaning they eat both animal and plant matter. As their name suggests, a sting from a fire ant produces a burning sensation.
  • Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants range from red to brown and black. They are fairly large, sometimes measuring almost an inch in length. They live throughout the U.S., and are known for having a sweet tooth, so these ants will go after anything sugary. Carpenter ants build their nests in wood or wooden structures, damaging the wood in the process, which can cause a lot of headaches for property owners.
  • Ghost ants: Ghost ants are so named because of their pale color and small stature (they are about half the size of fire ants), which make them hard to see. They are a tropical ant and so prefer the warmer climate that Virginia Beach offers. They build their nests in the soil like fire ants, but, like the carpenter ant they also prefer sweet foods. 
  • Acrobat ants: Acrobat ants are brown to black in color and about the same size as fire ants. They live throughout the United States and prefer to build their nests beneath rocks or within wood. Like their fire ant cousins, they are omnivorous. Acrobat ants get their name from their flexible heads and abdomens, which often stretch over their thoraxes when agitated.
  • Odorous house ants: Odorous house ants are brown or black and typically measure between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch. They are also found throughout the United States. They live in soil and beneath woodpiles; when inside of the home they are attracted to places of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Like many other ant species, they are very fond of sweets. Odorous house ants get their names from the awful scent they give off when crushed.

How Ants Get Into Homes

These ants can get into your Virginia Beach home through a variety of means. They can hitch a ride on a stack of firewood or building lumber that is brought into the house. Ants can come in on plants brought inside as well. They often find their way in through a broken screen, a crack in the siding or roof, a gap beneath a door, and they have even been known to come through gaps around wiring and plumbing lines. 

Problems Ants Can Cause In Homes

Although each individual ant is small and relatively harmless, their colonies contain thousands or more. With such large numbers, the nuisance multiplies into a problem very quickly. Ants often nest in wall voids and beneath floors. The carpenter ant, for example, will nest in these areas and chew tunnels through the wooden structures of your home. This causes a lot of damage and structural instability, which can prove dangerous down the line. Ants also contaminate food, costing homeowners, farmers, and restaurants a lot of money and stress. Furthermore, the ant species that sting or bite, such as the fire ant and the carpenter ant, cause a lot of pain and in some cases, serious allergic reactions.

How To Eliminate Ants

Ants can be quite difficult to get rid of. Prevention is the first step; seal cracks with caulk, repair torn window and door screens, weatherproof gaps beneath doors, check materials before bringing them inside, and keep a clean house. If you already have an active ant infestation, the only way to safely get rid of all ants is to contact a professional. A pest control expert, like PESTOUT, can ensure that your home is harmlessly and skillfully removed all ants. At PESTOUT, we get pests out and keep them out. We can adapt to your specific needs, offer excellent customer service, and have three decades of knowledge to care for you and your Virginia Beach home. Reach out to PESTOUT today.