Do They Cause Damage?
They are not destructive but the large numbers of foraging ants can be frustrating.
Do I Have An Infestation?
Usually the first sign of a problem is finding a large number of ants in the house. Indoors they can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, crawl spaces and potted plants. Trails can be found outside where the foundation and soil meet and at building corners. They can trail long distances searching for food.
What Can Masters Touch Do?
A thorough inspection must be performed to locate trails and nest sites. Spraying these ants with hardware store pest control products may make the problem worse by inducing stress on the colony and causing it to ‘bud’, creating more colonies. Professional, non-repellant residual products allow the ants to walk across them ‘stress free’ taking the products back to the nest where they are passed from ant to ant. Baits are an effective tool for helping to control these ants but seldom successful when used alone.
How Can You Help?
Reducing moisture around the exterior, cleaning up clutter and leaf litter, cleaning rain gutters, trimming back trees and shrubbery and moving firewood piles away from the building can help. Keeping the outside of the building in good repair, repairing water leaks and rotted wood can help the building be less attractive.
The Odorous House Ant has quickly become the most commonly encountered ant in Southeastern PA. Outdoors they can be found under stepping stones, splash blocks, stones, bags of mulch and virtually anything stored outside. They can live indoors in wall voids and cavities. Colonies can be composed of several hundred to more than 100,000 workers and can have several queens. Colonies can, and do, relocate quite easily.