ANT CONTROL LONG ISLAND

There are over a thousand species of ants, but the most common species found on Long Island are odorous house ants, pavement ants, and black carpenter ants.

Read on below to learn more about the usual ant suspects on Long Island and how we rid you of them.

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Odorous House Ants - Long Island

The odorous house ant is native to most of the United States and ranges from Canada through Mexico. The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. 

 

Odorous Ant Quick Facts

Color: 

Brown and/or Black

Shape:

Segmented and oval

Size:  

Very small, 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch long 

Found: 

Throughout the U.S., common across Long Island

Habits & Habitat

Odorous ants create colonies with many queens and many homes. These homes are often temporary and will be found under pieces of wood or debris in landscaping. Since the odorous house ant produces multiple queens, and creates temporary nesting sites, they are difficult to control and best left to professionals for treatment.

Inside homes and other structures, these odorous house ants feed on many different items, but they prefer to feed on foods high in sugars. Indoors, odorous house ants nest near moisture sources, such as in wall voids near hot water pipes, in radiators and baseboard heating, beneath leaky fixtures, and inside wood damaged by termites

Outside, the odorous house ant primarily eats honeydew excreted by aphids and on nectar from flowers and buds. They are known to move their outside nests every three months or so in response to rain.

Odorous Ant Threats

Odorous house ants do not cause structural damage, are not a public health threat, and are not known to bite or sting. However, they are often a concern to homeowners because they are often found inside homes in large numbers, and they can contaminate food. If you notice odorous ants in your home or business, give us a call at 516-362-2005.

Odorous Ant Prevention
 
  • Indoors, clean up spills and crumbs on counter tops and kitchen floors ASAP!

  • Eliminate standing water everywhere you see it, in and around your home.

  • Trim tree branches and bushes that come in close contact to the home to eliminate bridges for ants to get inside.

  • Use caulk to seal open grout lines, cracks and crevices in the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Use caulk to seal openings around exterior doors, windows, plumbing and electrical lines that enter the home.

  • Keep firewood and other building materials stored as far from the home as possible to eliminate nesting sites.

 

Pavement Ants - Long Island

Pavement ants get their name because they make nests in or under cracks in pavement. These dark brown to black ants also infest homes and other structures on Long Island.

Pavement Ant Quick Facts

Color: 

Dark brown and/or Black

Shape:

Segmented and oval

Size:  

Small, about an 1/8 inch long 

Found: 

Throughout the U.S., common across Long Island

Habits & Habitat

These little black ants will eat almost anything, including other insects, seeds, honeydew, bread, meats, nuts and cheeses. They can forage in trails up to 30 feet from their colonies and are known to climb foundation walls to enter homes and other structures.

Once inside, pavement ants are most likely to be found on ground-level foundation walls, inside finished walls, within insulation and under flooring. Outside, these small black ants typically nest under stones, below cracks in concrete walkways, driveways, and gaps between paver patio blocks.

Pavement Ant Threats

Pavement house ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should not be in your home. If you notice pavement ants in your home or business, give us a call at 516-362-2005.

Pavement Ant Prevention

Like odorous ants and other pest insects, pavement ants are attracted to moisture, and preventing them from invading your home is the same.

Carpenter Ants - Long Island

Among the largest ants you will see on Long Island, carpenter ants got their name because of the smooth tunnels they excavate inside wood to nest and raise their young.

 

Carpenter Ant Quick Facts

Color: 

Brown and/or Black

Shape:

Segmented and oval

Size:  

Large, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch long

Found: 

Throughout the U.S., common across Long Island

Carpenter Ant Habits & Behavior

Carpenter ants are one of nature's recyclers because they help with the decomposition of dead, decaying trees. They typically nest outdoors in rotting trees, tree stumps, rotting fence posts, and old firewood. Carpenter ants are of additional concern to homeowners than other species of ants because carpenter ants can cause physical damage. They do not actually build anything like carpenters do, but they excavate smooth tunnels inside the wood holding homes together, and can be damaging over time if not properly managed. Homes located in heavily wooded areas are especially prone to infestation by carpenter ants.

Even though carpenter ants prefer to attack wet, decayed wood, they can also infest the dry, undamaged wood inside homes and buildings. Carpenter ants forage outside homes and may establish trails to nesting sites within structures, such as behind insulation, in wall voids, in crawl spaces, or inside attics. They typically enter homes through cracks and gaps around exterior doors, windows, or through plumbing and electrical penetrations into the home. They will also use overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs outdoors that touch the home as bridges to gain access inside.

Outside, carpenter ants feed primarily on insect honeydew, plant and fruit juices, insects and other arthropods. Inside homes, they will  feed on sweets, eggs, meats, cakes and grease. Carpenter ant workers will forage up to 300 feet from their nest in search of food and water.

Although some carpenter ant workers are active during the day, most activity occurs in the evening, from shortly before dusk until dawn. Outside colonies of carpenter ants hibernate during the winter and are inactive. However, they will remain active in the colder months if a nest is located in a well heated portion of a home or building.

Carpenter Ant Life Cycle

A mature carpenter ant colony often includes a parent nest with the queen and brood plus satellite nest(s) with mature brood, workers, and often winged forms in preparation for mating flight to start new colonies. Parent nests are often located outside the structure and satellite nests are often located inside structures.

Development from carpenter ant egg to worker requires a minimum of about sixty days. The workers of the first generation are smaller than later generations because they can only be nourished from food reserves that are stored in the sole queen’s body. Once these workers become adults, the queen’s only function for the rest of her life is to lay eggs. The adult workers forage for food, enlarge the nest, and feed/care for the queen and her new offspring. The workers eat dead insects and other small invertebrates, as well as the honeydew secreted by aphids and scale insects. They regurgitate this food into a liquid form to feed the larvae and the queen. Workers of future generations are larger because they eat a lot more than the sole queen could provide in the beginning.

Carpenter Ant Colonies

As mentioned above, there are two types of carpenter ant nests: parent (main) colonies and satellite colonies.

The Parent Carpenter Ant Colony

Like termites, carpenter ants are social insects that live in colonies. The central "parent" colony (or main colony) must have a constant source of moisture to survive, so it is usually located outside in live or dead trees, tree stumps, rotting fence posts, old firewood, and sometimes under stones. 

A parent carpenter ant colony has one wingless queen and many sterile, wingless, female workers. It also has white, legless larvae and, as the colony matures, winged females and males. Carpenter ant eggs are white and the cocoons are tan. Usually, a parent colony does not produce winged reproductives (future kings and queens) until it is about 2-3 years old and has about 2,000 to 3,000 workers. Once the parent colony reaches maturity, approximately 200 to 400 winged ants will develop in the spring or early summer, hibernate in the nest through the winter, and swarm out of the nest the following spring or early summer to start new colonies of their own. 

Carpenter Ant Satellite Colonies & Nests

Once a parent colony reaches maturity, carpenter ants look to establish one or more satellite nests in nearby indoor or outdoor sites. Satellite nests only contain workers, mature larvae and pupae (immatures). The workers of satellite colonies move frequently between their nest and the parent colony. 

Satellite colonies are the primary source of carpenter ant activity inside homes. These satellite colonies may be located in any suitable void within the structure, but are commonly found inside walls attached to exterior doors, around windows (especially in bathrooms), inside bathtub enclosures, attics, and behind insulation.

 

Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestation

Carpenter Ant Swarms

Once a carpenter colony reaches maturity, winged reproductives will begin mating flights in a process called "swarming." Winged males are typically the first to emerge in spring or early summer, when environmental conditions like temperature and extended daylight signify that it’s time to leave the nest. The first appearance of winged males in a home often causes homeowners great concern, as it signifies that carpenter ants are living inside, or close to, the house. 

After mating, the male carpenter ant dies, and the female (queen) removes her wings and searches for a suitable nesting site. The nest is usually located in a cavity in the soft, moist, decaying wood of a hollow tree, stump, or log. A new queen lays 15-20 eggs, which become the first generation of offspring. The whitish, soft-bodied, legless larvae later become the sterile female workers.

Winged carpenter ants are frequently mistaken for termites, a much more destructive home pest. The key differences between carpenter ants and termites are:

  • Termites have a uniform body shape; carpenter ants have a more segmented body and a constricted waist

  • Termite antennae are straight: carpenter ant antennae are bent or L-shaped

  • Termite wings are equal in size; carpenter ants have two pairs of wings of differing sizes

Carpenter Ant Damage & Remains

Carpenter ants infesting wood in your home often leave behind small piles of sawdust-like material that provides clues to their nesting location. Carpenter ant galleries in wood are smooth and very different from those made by termites, who build and travel within muddy looking tubes packed into the hollowed-out areas of infested wood.

Carpenter Ant Wood Tunnels & Galleries: Smooth carpenter ant nest tunnels in wood above a window in a home.

Carpenter Ant Damage & Galleries

Unlike termites who eat wood, Carpenter ants only chew through wood to create nests and pathways. Carpenter ants excavate the wood they infest, forming smooth tunnels inside, and spit out the shavings.

Carpenter Ant Surface Tunnels: Carpenter ant surface tunnels in home insulation.

Carpenter Ant Threats

Carpenter ants are of particular concern due to their large size and capacity to damage homes and buildings. Carpenter ants do not spread diseases or infections, but they can cause serious structural damage if not properly treated. If you notice carpenter ants in or around your home or business, give us a call at 516-362-2005.

Carpenter Ant Prevention

The most important tip we can give you to prevent carpenter ants (and all insect pests) from infesting inside your home is to eliminate moisture. More often than not, carpenter ants are found in areas of the home where there is, or was, a leak. Quickly repair all interior water leaks (no matter how small), make sure outdoor water hoses/spouts and window air-conditioners are not leaking/dripping, and repair/adjust sprinklers that are leaving puddles/standing water around the house. 

Carpenter Ant Elimination & Control

Eliminating carpenter ants can be difficult because of their hidden nature and the presence of multiple satellite nests. Carpenter ant control is best left to a licensed and experienced pest management professional. We have the training, experience, equipment, and access to wider array of products than the public to effectively control carpenter ants.

How Does Paramount Eliminate & Control Carpenter Ants?

It all begins with a through inspection by one of our highly trained technicians to locate parent and satellite nests, inside and out. Once located, active nests are treated using materials that will kill ants on contact while also providing long-term residual control. In some instances, we will inject small amounts of residual dust insecticide into infested wall voids through outlet and light switch openings. For heavy infestations, we may drill tiny holes in walls to inject insecticide dust into the voids.

We use the latest pest management innovations and technology to safely and effectively eliminate carpenter ants. We will also work with you to identify and correct the conditions that are attracting carpenter ants and allowing them access into your home.

All of our Ant Management Programs are backed by a re-treatment warranty protecting your home or business against reinfestation.

If you see or suspect ants in your home or business, give us a call!

Contact Us

Paramount Pest Management Inc.

2 Maple Place

Glen Head, NY 11545

Main:  516-362-2005

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