In the Maryland area, we have had a mild and wet winter. A mild winter and early spring may mean more pests in your home.***
But a mild winter leaves more above-ground insects alive, which means more will be active to emerge and reproduce when the weather warms, leading to more insects in spring and summer. More moisture and early plant growth will provide more food for pests.
So more pests + more food = frustration and anger over pests in our homes.
At Pest Shield, we are experiencing requests for service in the Rockville, Damascus, Mt.Airy, Gaithersburg, Frederick, areas for one of the homeowners’ biggest challenges: Odorous House Ants (OHA), which have become active already. These ants live in huge colonies, travel in well-worn trails marked by pheromones (chemical signals) sometimes reaching hundreds of feet long, and nest anywhere.
There are multiple queens in this colony so store-bought bait and sprays that promise to kill the queen will not be enough to rid your home of this scourge. (In most cases, these may make it worse!)
Outside these ants live on plants that host Aphids. These plant dwelling insects produce waste playfully called “honeydew” which are a major food source for the OHA. This is where the ants get started on their journey. Your kitchen is the finish line in a race to find sweets and proteins from spilled food or stored products in cabinets, on floors, or around sinks.
Here are some tips to help you prevent these pests.
- Sanitation is always a key preventive step. Clean up all spills immediately and seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior to eliminate entry points.
- Reduce/Remove leaf litter and plant growth from touching your home and attached deck.
- Correct any moisture sources which can lead to “Satellite” Colonies within your home (including wet or weathered exterior wood frames)
The natural facts about these ants make it very difficult to eliminate them from your home. Fortunately, Pest Shield has the experts to solve this problem. If all else fails, contact the experts at Pest Shield to solve this irritating and frustrating pest challenge, and, in most homes can eradicate these nuisance pests from the exterior, with little to no interior applications.
Contact our award-winning team of home pest control professionals for your free inspection today. Pest Shield Inc. can eliminate the ants from your walls, basement, kitchen counter, and pantry, or foundation. Call (301) 829-0600 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. We serve Mt. Airy, MD, Central Maryland and the counties of Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick, and Howard.
***For more information on the mild winter in Maryland, click here.
Home Pest Control: Odorous House Ants
If you live in Howard, Montgomery, Carroll, or Frederick County, Maryland, and are experiencing an issue with ants, the most likely annoying culprits are known as Odorous House Ants. They are often referred to by homeowners and home pest control professionals as Sugar Ants. These smaller ants (1/16″ to 1/8″ inches) invade Central Maryland by the thousands. They create homes on our countertops, in our sinks and even in our dishwashers.
They are found almost everywhere.
They derive their infamous name because if you happen to squish one, they emit foul odor resembling a rotten coconut.
Odorous house ants colonies usually have around a few hundred to tens of thousands. The bigger colonies even have several queens. These particular ants are very resilient. Even the injured workers don’t stop. They keep working. The queens can also survive without food or water for up to two months. Heat or cold do not seem to affect them either. Once a colony of odorous ants is built, they are very difficult to remove from a home.
Using their many nests, odorous ants forage for food. They will move the queen and workers from nest to nest to deliver food. Their goal is to get as close to the homeowner’s food as possible. Their favorite food? sugar and anything that has it.
During the winter, the colony will stay in a single nest. In spring and summer, they create multiple nests as food is easier to find. Then, when winter returns, they go back to the same nest location. The months they are are most active are March to September and were most inactive October to December. Most of their home invasions occur after rain. They are also quite tolerant of other ants, so they only add to any infestation that you may have meaning they will only add to your home’s pest infestation.
Odorous house ants also colonize near heat sources or in the insulation. If the weather is hot, they may nest in toilet lids or house plants. Outdoors they can be found under rocks and in the soil. However, you can really find them anywhere around your home and just about anywhere inside it.
Though you may want to spray them with an over-the-counter product, we urge you not to do it. These annoying pests can “bud” or develop multiple colonies when disrupted and spread quickly, making the problem even worse. Know that these main colonies are outside the structure and travel back and forth to our homes, developing “satellite “ colonies when conditions are favorable such as our homes.
Pest Shield will solve these common nuisance pests utilizing our non-repellant transfer effect treatments mainly from the exterior of your home. Your trained Pest Shield Technicians will also inspect for conducive conditions (moisture, vegetation/trees/bushes touching the home; leaf litter, etc) that can contribute to Odorous House Ant populations.
So, call our experienced pest control technicians to rid your home of these ants. Pest Shield, Inc., will send a consultant to your home. Call us at (301) 829-0060. Serving Mt. Airy, MD and the counties of Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick, and Howard.