Argentine ants are considered to be one of the most invasive species of ants in South America and the United States. With multiple productive queens in each Argentine ant nest, these ants reproduce at an alarming rate and can infest entire homes if left untreated. Some homeowners don’t even realize the gravity of their Argentine ant infestation until it’s too late.
So how can you control Argentine ants from invading your home? Due to their attraction to food and moisture, it has been shown that homes that don’t provide easy access to the food supply or water can better control possible infestations of Argentine ants from occurring. By storing food properly, repairing leaks, and using a few ant repellents, you should be able to control Argentine ants.
Learn More: How Big Are Argentine Ants Nest?
Argentine ants, also known as, Linepithema humile can cause quite a nuisance when found congregating in your home. While relatively harmless to humans, they do come with some risk as they have been shown to carry pathogens and diseases into the home.
The best way to control Argentine ants is to take preventative measures like keeping your house clean, fixing faulty sinks, repairing small holes in the walls, etc. However, Argentine ants have already infested your home, you may have to use a few chemical treatments or consider calling in a professional exterminator. Below are some of the ways you can control Argentine ants from festering in your home:
Some preventative measures to control the spread of Argentine ants in your home include keeping all possible food sources away, keeping water sources scarce, increasing your plant pest control efforts, and sealing your home.
From sweet foods to pet food, Argentine ants will be attracted to all of these things and enter your home in search of food. Foraging worker ants often leave the ant nest to look for the nearest possible food source and most times that may be houses of humans. With the abundance of food available to them in your home these types of ants will surely swarm your home and have their entire colony nest nearby.
To avoid attracting Argentine ant workers from even scouting your home, the best thing to do is to cut off their access to any type of food in your home. If they can’t get food from your home, they’ll most likely search elsewhere and leave. While air-tight containers and sealing your food is a great start, you should also avoid leaving pet food out or dirty dishes with food remnants as these can still attract Argentine ants.
In addition to food, Argentine ants are attracted to moist locations. To further deter them especially during hotter seasons, you should routinely check your home for leaks, drainage issues, and stagnant water sources. It has also been noted that overwatering your garden or leaving the pavement with stagnant water can attract argentine ants outside your home, so it would be best to avoid this as well. By not allowing them access to water anywhere near your home, they’ll be forced to relocate elsewhere to find a suitable location that is compatible with their needs.
While Argentine ants can be very aggressive they do have a mutualistic relationship with aphids and other honeydew-producing insects that are commonly found in gardens and potted plants. With these other plant feeding pest insects providing a viable food source to Argentine ants in your home, it’s likely that they will infest your garden and plants to access the honeydew secretions. To avoid this from happening, you should treat your garden and plants with a pesticide to remove other nuisance pests and prevent them from producing food sources in your home for Argentine ants.
With Argentine ants only being 2.6 to 3.2 mm in length, they can enter your home through the smallest cracks and holes that you may not even notice. To prevent them from entering through these cracks, you should seal or repair any hole visible to you immediately. Common places Argentine ants enter from are walls, window cracks, flood gaps, etc. In addition to sealing your home, you may also want to trim your tree branches as this can be used as a pathway to your home if located near enough to an entrance.
There are certain things and practices that you can use to keep Argentine ants away from your space. Some treatments you can use against Argentine ants are ant repellents and ant bait. If the ant infestation is no longer controllable, it’s best to seek professional help.
If your home is already being infested by Argentine ants, you may want to use an ant repellent treatment to get them out of your home. Most ant repellents will use a formulation of irritating scents to deter the argentine ants from reentering your home. They can also mask or entirely remove ant pheromones that are used by ant species to signal a nearby food source to other ants.
This will prevent the Argentine ant colony from recognizing your home as a food source once the repellent has been used. It’s also possible for Argentine ants to be killed on contact with stronger formulations of ant repellents. However, these repellents will only often address the ants that come into direct contact with your home. The rest of the Argentine ant colony will most likely not be terminally affected by a repellent.
While ant repellents don’t cause harm to the entire ant colony, an ant bait will. Bait products are designed for ants to recognize them as food and bring it back to the colony. With the strong concentration of toxins and chemicals found in the bait and ingested by the ants, they’re most likely to wipe out the entire colony. If you’re having an intense infestation, bait stations may be the best option for you as they could potentially kill hundreds of queens in the colony and stop future repopulation and re-infestations.
If other treatments have not been working you may want to seek a professional pest control company to deal with your Argentine ant infestation. Due to their ability to repopulate rapidly, they can be quite difficult to exterminate especially if they have already created massive colonies throughout your home.
A professional pest exterminator will have access to stronger chemicals and be better equipped to assess and control such a severe situation. If you’ve noticed more argentine ants in your home, you should call an exterminator immediately as the more time goes by the more likely the infestation will get worse.
While you do your best to keep your home pest-free, some pests still seem to weasel their way into your house. Though Argentine ants may not be extremely hazardous to your health, they’re still a nuisance to anyone who comes into contact with them. With their supercolonies and thousands of worker ants lurking around your home, it can be quite overwhelming to handle. If you can’t quite seem to get rid of the ant infestation at your home, you may want to seek professional help before it gets even worse.
At Permakill Exterminating, we provide effective pest treatments to address any of your pest concerns including Argentine ants. With the use of professional-grade chemicals and tools in the hands of our trained expert exterminators, there’s no doubt that we can get any pest issue under control in no time! Contact us about your pest control concerns and book a home inspection today.