Ants are a common pest found in homes across Toronto. There are three main types of ants in Toronto. Carpenter ants, Pavement ants and Pharaoh ants.
In Canadian homes, a common invader is the black carpenter ants which, in it’s natural habitat, aids in the decomposition of dead, decaying, trees. Homeowners should look for ants that are foraging indoors and locate their nests by looking for mounds of coarse, stringy wood particles, dead insect parts, and other debris.
Typical places to find a carpenter ant nest indoors are: in wood cabinets near dishwashers, hollow doors, fireplaces, in damp locations behind baseboards, window frames, and in basements and attics. Excavated particles get dumped outside the nest, as carpenter ants do not digest wood as food.
Termites or Ants?
Unlike termites, carpenter ants’ tunnels are smooth-sided and don’t contain soil particles or mud. Listen for rustling noises in your walls and ceilings to locate satellite colonies.
Where do they Live?
Nesting in logs, stumps, and hollow trees, carpenter ants often encroach into homes in search of food. Rarely tunneling into dry, sound wood, these ants prefer to excavate moist, rotting wood and other soft materials (including foamed plastic insulation board) to build their satellite nests.
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants found in North America. The worker carpenter ants can range from 3mm to 13mm in length while the queen may be more than 25 mm (1″) long.
Carpenter Ant Damage
How to Prevent Carpenter Ants?
Moist, damp, wood is an attractive environment for carpenter ants to nest in. If you have any leaks or moisture issues around your house they should be repaired.
All food items should be stored in sealed containers. Pet food should be removed from the floor in the evenings and stored in sealed containers.
Eliminate old lumber, logs and stumps from around your property and do not store firewood inside the building.
In the case of new construction only properly treated lumber should be used.
Carpenter Ant Treatment
The technician will either use a residual insecticide, dust or bait to control the carpenter ant infestation in your home. In certain situations the technician may use a drill in order to drill small holes in the walls to exterminate a potential nest behind the finished wall. If an exterior treatment is performed around the property, please move items that can be easily lifted away from the house walls. If the homeowner is seeing quite a few ants in the kitchen, the bottom kitchen cupboards should be emptied. If the ants are in the bathroom, the vanity in the bathroom should be emptied. All food items should be stored in sealed containers. Pet food should be removed from the floor in the evenings and stored in sealed containers. Everyone, including pets, should be prepared to vacate the premises for 3 – 4 hours after treatment.
Pavement ants are small ants about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. They are black in colour and nest in the soil below the concrete of your home or in the walls. Often you will see a mound of soil above their nesting area. In the winter months, pavement ants often make their way closer to the heat source of the home. They are a very common ant and eat grease and oils but will eat insects and sweet materials as well.
How to Prevent Pavement Ants?
Seal openings around doors, windows, and the foundation.
Keep food preparation areas and floors clear of crumbs
Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids
Pavement Ant Treatment
The technician will either use a residual insecticide, dust or bait to control the pavement ant infestation in your home. If the homeowner is seeing quite a few ants in the kitchen, the bottom kitchen cupboards should be emptied. If the ants are in the bathroom, the vanity in the bathroom should be emptied. All food items should be stored in sealed containers. Pet food should be removed from the floor in the evenings and stored in sealed containers. Everyone, including pets, should be prepared to vacate the premises for 3 – 4 hours after treatment.
Pharaoh ants are a very small species of ant, reaching only about 2 mm in length. Their bodies range from light yellow to red in color and they typically have red or black colored abdomens. Pharaoh ants live together in very large colonies. If disturbed, members of the colony will migrate to new locations to establish several new colonies through a process called budding.
Where do they Live?
Pharaoh ants are commonly found in commercial food handling establishments such as hotels, grocery stores and hospitals. Inside, they nest in warm, humid areas near food and water sources. Nests are usually located in inaccessible areas such as wall voids, behind baseboards, in furniture and under floors. These ants often use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system to travel through walls and between floorboards.
How to Prevent Pharaoh Ants?
Pharaoh ants are attracted to food. It is advised to keep food in sealed containers. Keep pet food covered when your pets aren’t eating—Pharaoh ants love pet food. Do not keep food out for longer than 2 hours
Seal cracks and crevices where the ants can live. Keep your home clean and clean your floors often. A messy home gives Pharaoh ants more places to hide.
Fix water taps if they leak—Pharaoh ants like water.
Pharaoh Ant Treatment
Our trained technicians will put together a strategic baiting program where the ants will take the bait back to the colony and share it with their nestmates. Aetna will not spray for these ants because pharaoh ants are known for “budding,” and therefore create satellite nests when they are threatened. A baiting program for pharaoh ants may take a few months to up to a year to eliminate the infestation.