Do you remember the day when you graduated from high school? For some, it is a time mixed with sadness and dread as they step out of their comfort zone into the next phase of life and leave behind friends. For others, completing high school begins a new era of adventure, excitement, and freedom. Individuals anticipating the future after high school are glad to say "good riddance" to their high school years as they watch them fade into the past. 

Some things in life should be in the past, and there are current situations, relationships, and jobs that we hope to someday relegate to the dustbin of history. When it comes to ants invading your home, you want their presence in your house to quickly become a thing of the past. No one wants to share their house with these six-legged crawling creatures. They may be tiny, but they are a hassle inside your house. 

Because we understand the frustration ants cause homeowners, HomeShield Pest Control provides ant control in San Diego County. After years in the pest control industry, our founder, Ian Morgan, decided to leave working for others and create his own company. Ian's mission is to provide safe, high-quality pest control treatments while allowing his technicians to spend more time with customers. While most pest control companies focus on earnings, Ian focuses on the customer. In 2009, he left his pest control employer and began HomeShield Pest Control in his parent's garage. His vision paid off. Over 20 years later, our GreenPro Certified company continues to provide high-quality, environmentally safe pest control to thousands of satisfied customers. 

You probably found this article because ants are inside your San Diego County home, and you need help. Since education is necessary for problem-solving, please keep reading to learn about your invaders, how to prevent future infestations, and how to end the current situation in your home.

One Ant Usually Means More

Ants are insects that play a necessary role in the ecosystem. While we go to work, run errands, or relax, ants are busy in the yard. Throughout the day, ants clear away dead insects and use them for food; as they work the soil, they aerate it and provide nutrients and oxygen to plant roots. They also carry seeds into their tunnels for food; however, they do not destroy the whole thing, and many sprout into plants. Ants also prey on termites, which we are all happy to hear. 

Ants in San Diego County are content to live in the soil and wood stumps (carpenter ants) surrounding our home. However, when adverse weather conditions occur, causing food and water scarcity, ants search for new sources. Since our homes are nearby, ants will try to find entry points in the foundation, around window and door frames, or along the roofline to enter the house.

If the ants find food inside the home, they produce a pheromone and use it to create a chemical trail. Soon, other ants sense the odor and begin following it into the house. (If you wonder why there is a line of ants inside your home, this is why.) Once the ants enter your San Diego County home, they find places to shelter behind masonry, wood facades, under insulation, inside walls, and around leaking plumbing fixtures. 

Now that ants have shelter, food, and water, they begin reproducing. The Argentine ant is one species we find in California homes. These 1/16 to 1/4-inch shiny light brown to black ants with a heart-shaped abdomen progress from the egg stage to adulthood in 74 days. While most ant species have only one queen that produces eggs, an Argentine ant nest may have 15 queens for every 1,000 sterile worker ants. With that many queens producing eggs, you can quickly have a massive infestation of hundreds of thousands of ants. The odorous house ant is another species that may have numerous queens in the nest, resulting in large-scale ant infestations. 

There are two ways ants in California create new colonies. Argentine ants, odorous house ants, and pharaoh ants have nests with multiple queens in addition to the founding queen. When the colony perceives a threat, the queens and a group of sterile worker ants leave to begin satellite groups nearby. This process is known as "budding." Ants that use this method can quickly create new nests in a house. 

The other method occurs when the founding queen produces winged reproductive ants. In the spring, these ants leave the nest, mate in flight, and land to begin a new colony. Known as swarming, carpenter, pavement, thief, and some odorous house and fire ants, use this method to create new nests. If you see winged ants on your window sills or discarded wings, you have a problem with ants in your home. 

Since one ant usually indicates a hidden army of ants, HomeShield Pest Control provides ant pest control near you to remove these insects from your San Diego County home.

a black ant on a leaf

The Many Problems Ants Can Cause In Your Home

Ants outside the house are usually not a problem, but they are a nuisance when they enter a home. Ants indiscriminately crawl over your body, furniture, eating surfaces, and items inside the cabinets. When ants are inside a home, you feel invaded and embarrassed. No one wants guests to see a gaggle of ants surrounding the garbage can or gathering in the dog food bowl. 

The only ant known to spread disease is the pharaoh ant. This 1/16-inch species has a pale yellow or reddish head, thorax, and a darker abdomen. These ants typically invade healthcare facilities, hotels, and grocery stores, but we occasionally see them inside homes. Inside medical facilities, pharaoh ants may spread salmonellosis, staphylococcus, clostridium, and streptococcus because they get inside IV bottles and wounds.

Although pharaoh ants are the only species known to spread disease, all ants contaminate surfaces with bacteria. Ants forage in trash, sewers, dead animals, and anywhere else they can find organic plant and animal matter. When they walk through these unsanitary areas, bacteria on the surface transfer to the tiny claws on their feet. Later, when they enter a home, they transfer the bacteria on their feet to items in cabinets and countertops. When ants invade food products, you have to throw them away. 

All ants contaminate and are a nuisance, but one ant species can cause physical destruction to your San Diego home. As their name suggests, carpenter ants are wood-dwelling ants. Unlike termites, they do not eat wood but damage wood by boring smooth tunnels to create nesting areas. After several years of an active infestation, carpenter ants can weaken support beams, trusses, and other wooden items, resulting in sagging floors, ceilings, and collapsing structures.

Many ant species will bite in self-defense. In many cases, they cannot break the skin, but some species (i.e., carpenter ants) can produce a stinging sensation. Regarding ant-induced pain, the most feared ant species is the red imported fire ant. These ants bite to anchor themselves while stinging their perceived attacker numerous times and injecting venom. Painful, itching, fluid-filled blisters result from fire ant stings, and some people experience anaphylactic shock. 

HomeShield Pest Control provides ant control service in San Diego County to protect you from the effects of ant infestations.

Five Useful Ant Prevention Techniques

The best way to stop ants inside your San Diego County home is to secure HomeShield Pest Control. However, once we eliminate the ants, we recommend these five ant prevention tips to stop a future ant invasion:

  1. Seal cracks in the foundation, roofline, and around frames.

  2. Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the structure. 

  3. Repair leaking plumbing fixtures inside the house.

  4. Keep indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed. 

  5. Vacuum the house regularly, suctioning cracks and crevices.

When a HomeShield Pest Control technician inspects your home, we can provide additional suggestions for your location.

Professional Pest Control Is A Great Way To Keep The Ants Away

Because ants rapidly reproduce when inside a home, you need home pest control services from HomeShield Pest Control. We will dispatch a trained technician to inspect your San Diego County home for entry points, attractants, and hot spots. Proper identification of the invading species before treatment is necessary because a worse situation can result if you treat budding ants like swarming ants. 

Once our certified technicians investigate your property, we will create a strategic treatment plan targeting the problematic species. Initially, we treat the interior to eliminate the adult ants and their offspring. Since ants migrate into the house from the outside, we next treat the exterior to reduce the ant population surrounding the home. We also create a three-foot barrier around the structure and treat hot spots in the yard to deter ants from entering the house. 

Our ongoing service plans ensure ants in your house are never a problem again. Furthermore, our ant treatments also stop other insects and arachnids from invading your home. Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options and get a free quote.