Ant Control

The Ants are coming…Oh dear they’re here!

It’s that time of the year when you see ants marching in a row around your house on the ground or worst…Marching in a row on your house and it seems like they know exactly where to go! Like, inside the walls of your home looking for food sources. If you’re like me, that’s a really creepy thought!
Ants invade homes through small openings from the outside. These openings include cracks and crevices in the foundation, small openings under siding, gaps under doors or around windows, ventilation openings, laundry vents, plumbing penetrations, electrical wiring outlets, etc. Once inside, ants follow structural edges or guidelines where walls meet floors, windows, contact walls, between baseboards and floors, between shelving and walls or along water pipes and electrical wiring.
When they discover a food source, worker ants form trails. Following this trail can provide clues about what the ants are feeding on, where the colony is located and how they are getting into the home.

Ant Management & Control


The first step is to focus on minimizing the likelihood that ants can get into your home or on reducing the available resources they can find once inside. Some common recommendations include:
• Repair and caulk cracks and crevices where ants enter the home. Pay special attention to areas around doors, windows, siding, foundation, vents, pipes, etc.
• Eliminate outdoor nesting areas around the home such as piles of debris, rocks, boards, leaves, tall grass, etc.
• Place ant-attractive foods in glass or plastic jars that are sealed tightly or store them in the refrigerator.
• Clean all kitchen surfaces and sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly each day to remove all food scraps.
• Rinse dinner dishes and wash dishes daily to reduce the availability of food.
• Rinse used glass, metal and plastic food containers before throwing them into the garbage can or recycling bin.
• Take out the garbage regularly and keep outdoor trash cans clean and in good repair.
You can remove trailing ants that are already inside by wiping the ant trail with a sponge saturated with soapy water. This is only temporary, though, and the ants will reestablish trails soon. Further work is necessary to reduce ant activity indoors.
Whether it’s pavement ants, carpenter ants, or any other kind of ant, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions experienced technicians have the know-how necessary to identify and control your ant problem. Our system will rid your home of ants as well as other pests and ensure that they will not return in the near future by also treating the outside perimeter of your home. Schedule your FREE in-home inspection.

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What Common Ants Do We Have In St. Louis?

It’s officially summer in St. Louis, so there are three things you can count on…heat, humidity, and ants! Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can’t help you with those first two, but we sure do know our ants–more importantly, we know how to get rid of them for you. So, what are these common ants?

Ants, Ants, & More Ants
There are four common types of ants here in STL:

Odorous house ants are the most plentiful ant. They are 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long, brown or black in color, and primarily wingless. Another trait is that their antennae will be bent. They are particularly drawn to sweets, but any food with easy access is a draw.

Carpenter ants come in second for the most populous ant in St. Louis. Carpenter ants are ⅜  to ½ of an inch in length, and can be black or dark red in color. Some carpenter ants have wings, which leads people to confuse them with termites, but the wings of carpenter ants will only extend just past the end of the body. Like odorous house ants, the antennae are slightly bent. Carpenter ants eat outdoors, but they tunnel through moisture-damaged wood to build satellite nests indoors.

Pharaoh ants come next in line for most common ant in St. Louis. They are tiny ants, just slightly more than 1/16 of an inch long. Often light yellow in color, they can also be reddish-brown. (Their abdomens tend to be a little darker than the rest of them.) Their antennae are distinctive in that they possess a club-like structure at the tip. Like odorous house ants, they enjoy sweets, but will also eat other insects.

Acrobat ants round out the top four common ants in St. Louis. Acrobat ants vary in length from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. They have a very distinct abdomen, which is shaped like a heart. They can be seen indoors in kitchens, tunneling through foam insulation, and often times near other insects’ nests, as they are predators. 

Ant Control Experts

Seeing ants, many homeowners run to the store to grab a can of whatever spray looks deadly. But most OTC products merely serve as repellents, driving ants to other areas in your home, not exterminating them. This is to say nothing of the awful odor of OTC sprays!

The only way to rid your home of common ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. Holper’s, taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985, always uses low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the home inside, treating the home outside, and using bait outside of your home.  

To set up your free inspection, please call 314-732-1413 today. You will find the cost of extermination saves you time and peace of mind in the end!

red-fire-ants

How Do You Kill Red Ants?

Most people don’t realize that ants come in multiple colors and when they see red ants they easily confuse them with fire ants, or red imported fire ants (RIFA). These RIFA, are dreaded wherever they spread. There are actually multiple species of fire ants, but the RIFA is dreaded the most.

How Do I Know If I’m Seeing a Red Imported Fire Ant? 

RIFA are reddish-brown and approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. However, in areas where RIFA are found, the easiest way to identify this pest is by the appearance of a mound. RIFA build their mounds in almost any type of soil, but they do show a preference for open sunny areas. Their mounds can attain 18 to 24 inches in height under ideal soil conditions. Some mounds are located in rotting logs, tree stumps, and trees themselves. Occasionally a colony can be found in or under buildings.

The very painful sting of the RIFA’s bite is another common indicator, but it is obviously not the preferred method of identification!

How Do You Kill Red Ants? 

Fortunately red ants that are fire ants live outdoors and aren’t a threat to your home, but if you want to have them removed then you should contact a professional as their sting is very painful.  The good news? Here in the Greater St. Louis area, we do not have RIFA, or any other species of fire ants.

But we do have ants that do a fine job of being a nuisance, as well as some that create damage to our homes. For more on eradicating ants in St. Louis, read our recent blog, Ants, Ants, Everywhere!

ant-removal-services

Ants, Ants, Everywhere

What do we want? Spring!  When do we want it? NOW!

The crazy weather we have had in St. Louis has given everyone a case of spring fever! The little teases of warm weather here and there only make our excitement for warmer days that much stronger. We are not alone, though, in emerging more out into the open as the cool temperatures leave…ants are making their appearance in droves, too! All over St. Louis this annual pest is making itself known, and no homeowner is happy to receive a visit. (This is also the time of year when termites show up–if you want to know how to tell the difference between termites and ants, here is a helpful blog from our library. Do I Have Termites or Ants?)

As they say, knowledge is power! Knowing your ant enemy helps for both prevention and for treatment. Our April newsletter featured the ant as the “Know A Pest” of the month, and you can find that information here:

April = Ants

 Know a Pest: Ants

Did you know:

  • Ants are most often drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants.
  • The most common ant in the St. Louis area is the odorous house ant, which is 1/16 of an inch to an ⅛ of an inch long, brown or black in color, primarily wingless, with bent antennae.
  • Over-the-counter sprays usually act as repellents, sending the ants to other areas of your home.
  • There are a few things you can to do lower your risk of an infestation: keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum, properly store all food in airtight containers, and keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your home.
  • The way to conquer an ant infestation is a three-pronged approach: treat the inside, treat the outside, and use bait stations outside of the home.

What’s the fastest way to get rid of ants and all other pests? Call the experts at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions right away at 314-732-1413 to make your home pest-free!

Carpenter-ant

Three Ant Prevention Tips – Trying to Avoid the Cost of Extermination

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…cute song when you were a kid, not so cute to see in your house as a homeowner! While the cost of extermination is something you’ll need to address quickly, there are tips you can keep in mind to help prevent re-infestation.

Know Your Enemy

ant-prevention

Acrobat Ant

The most common ant types you will find inside your St. Louis area home are odorous house ants, acrobat ants, and the wood-destroying carpenter ants. Odorous house ants (so named due to the unpleasant scent they give off if pressed between your fingers), are very tiny (⅛ inch) and are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms. Sometimes you will notice a line of them heading to a pet’s food bowl. Acrobat ants vary in length from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. They have a distinct abdomen, which is shaped like a heart. They can be seen indoors in kitchens, tunneling through foam insulation, and often times near other insects’ nests, as they are predators. Lastly, carpenter ants are the largest of these three types of ants, at roughly a half an inch in length. These ants are going to found on windowsills and doorframes. (Outside of your home, carpenter ants are found around gutters, fascia board or your deck.)

Why Ants Like Your House (and How to Prevent Them From Visiting You)

ant-problems

Carpenter Ant

Ants are most often drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants. They also move inside if their outdoor nests get flooded during periods of heavy rainfall. Foodwise, odorous house ants are particularly drawn to sweets, but any food with easy access is going to be attractive to them. Acrobat ants are drawn to any other insects in your home to make them their next meal. Carpenter ants eat outdoors, but tunnel through your moisture-damaged wood to make their satellite nests.

What does this mean for you, the homeowner?  It means there are three ant prevention tips to keep in mind:

●     Keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum. (Ensure that all plumbing works properly and that there are no leaks. Keep areas around sink fixtures and drains dry after use.)

●      Properly store all food in air-tight containers. (Store food immediately after meals. Wipe up crumbs from all surfaces, including floors. Do not leave your pet’s food sitting in a bowl all day.)

●     Keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your house.

ant-control

Odorous Ant

While no prevention can guarantee you will never get ants, following these guidelines can greatly reduce your chance of getting an infestation. Vigilance is important to catch the problem when it begins, so that professional extermination can be brought in as soon as possible to rid your home of the pests.

How the Professionals at Holper’s Can Give You Your Home Back

Many homeowners, at the first sight of ants, run to a hardware store to grab a can of whatever spray looks the strongest and deadliest, thinking that they are saving money on the cost of extermination. But most over-the-counter (OTC) products wind up merely serving as a repellent, driving the ants to other areas in your home, instead of exterminating them. This is to say nothing of the terrible odor that accompanies OTC sprays!

The only way to rid your home of ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. The experts at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions have been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985 and always use low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. This service is done quarterly to ensure that your home stays clear of ants and many other unwanted insects. The cost of extermination for the program includes a full guarantee.

To set up your free inspection, please call 314-732-1413 today. You will find the cost of extermination saves you time and peace of mind in the end!

 

ant-removal-services

Ant Removal Services: Three Places Ants Like to Hide in Your Home

Now that warm weather is here, do you find yourself performing your own ant removal services, laying down one ant trap after another, hoping to eradicate those lines of ants that march like soldiers across your counters, window frames, and furniture? If so, you may have more than a seasonal ant problem, you may have a full-blown ant infestation.

If so, the ants probably aren’t coming into your home from the outside, gathering up morsels of food for the colony, and then heading back to nature to deliver the goods. A more likely scenario is that the ants have found a place to hide in your residence, as they try to build colonies in the house areas where sustenance is plentiful and easy to get, such as the areas below.

Inside Walls
Ants are natural ground dwellers, but they aren’t committed to living solely in soil. They mostly want an enclosed space that makes it hard for their natural predators to disrupt the colony. Consequently, if ants find that your home is a good place to secure sustenance, they won’t mind trading their subterranean surroundings for a living space inside a wall in your residence.

Once ants start colonizing in the walls of your home, they become virtually impossible to eradicate with do-it-yourself solutions. More often than not, professional ant removal services, such as those that Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions provides, are needed to solve the problem.

Potted Plants
Because ants are naturally inclined to colonize in soil, it isn’t much of stretch for them to use the soil of a large, potted plant to form a sister colony. Because the soil for potted plants is typically rather dark, it can be hard to see ants moving across it. However, you can often see them climbing on the leaves and stems of the plant, as they go about their food gathering missions.

If a potted plant in your home is home base for an ant colony, you may be able to solve the problem by repotting the plant and depositing the old soil away from your residence. However, if the ants have been in the pot long enough, some of them may have migrated to other places in your home — a situation that typically requires professional ant removal services.

Air Conditioners
In addition to spots that offer protective seclusion, ants also like places that have a steady supply of moisture. When they live outside, rainwater soaks into the soil and provides the moisture ants need. But when they move their operations indoors, they sometimes colonize inside air conditioning units due to the high level of condensation inside the equipment.

If it comes down to getting a new air conditioner or using ant removal services to purge the equipment of ants, we recommend the latter solution. Why? Because air conditioners can be expensive, and the problem isn’t really your air conditioning unit; it is the ants that live inside it.

Have an Ant Problem?
Don’t hesitate, let Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions examine your residence as soon as possible. We’ll know exactly what must be done to solve the problem. For more information about our ant removal services and removal services for other pests, call us today at (314) 732-1413, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you!