Ants are a common problem for homeowners in Charleston, South Carolina, and they can quickly become a nuisance in both the yard and the house. Ants can enter your home through the tiniest of openings, and once they find a food source, they will not hesitate to establish a colony. If you’re experiencing an ant infestation, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further damage and to protect your family’s health. In this article, we’ll discuss some effective ant control strategies for both the yard and the house.

Ants in the Yard

Ants in the yard can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden. Some ant species, such as fire ants, can even pose a threat to your family and pets with their painful stings. Here are some steps you can take to control ants in the yard:

  1. Remove Food Sources – Ants are attracted to sweet and sugary foods, so it’s important to remove any food sources from your yard. This includes fallen fruit, spilled drinks, and pet food. Keep your trash cans tightly sealed and dispose of any food waste promptly.
  2. Keep Your Yard Clean – Regularly sweep and clean your yard to remove any debris that can provide a nesting place for ants.
  3. Trim Trees and Shrubs – Ants love to nest in trees and shrubs, so it’s important to keep them trimmed to discourage nesting.
  4. Use Ant Bait – Ant bait can be an effective way to control ants in the yard. Place bait stations around your yard, and the ants will carry the poison back to their colony, killing the entire colony.

Ants in the House

Ants in the house are not only unsightly but can also contaminate your food and pose a threat to your health. Here are some effective ant control strategies for the house:

  1. Seal Entry Points – Ants can enter your home through the tiniest of openings, so it’s important to seal all entry points. This includes cracks and gaps around windows and doors, plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets.
  2. Keep Your House Clean – Regularly sweep and clean your house to remove any food debris that can attract ants. Pay special attention to the kitchen and dining areas.
  3. Store Food Properly – Ants are attracted to food, so it’s important to store all food properly in airtight containers. This includes pet food, which should also be stored in airtight containers.
  4. Use Ant Baits – Ant baits can be an effective way to control ants in the house. Place bait stations around your house, and the ants will carry the poison back to their colony, killing the entire colony.
  5. Hire a Professional Pest Control Company – If you’re experiencing a severe ant infestation, it’s best to hire a professional pest control company. A professional can identify the type of ants you’re dealing with and implement a customized ant control strategy to eliminate the infestation.

Several species of ants infest homes and businesses from time to time. Ants are colony-forming insects. You can easily recognize ants by their constricted waists. Some ants have wings and can be confused with termites. Termites do not have the thread-like waists found in ants. The abdomen of the termite is broadly jointed to the thorax. Several different species of ants are found in the Charleston area of South Carolina including:

  • Argentine Ants
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Little Black Ants
  • Odorous House Ants
  • Pavement Ants

Life History & Habits

In the development of ants, four stages are found – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Only workers are generally found in houses. The colony is founded by the queen soon after mating. After much nursing, the workers mature and help enlarge the colony and feed the queen.

Some ant species are closely associated with plant lice and scale insects which secrete honeydew. Sweets attract some ants while greasy foods attract others. Trails of ants may be found at times extending from the directly from the nest to a food supply.

Ant nests may be found in the ground, in house timbers or even in twigs. Most ants breed outdoors and then come into the homes where they cause most of their annoyances.

Nature of Damage or Annoyance

Household ants are mainly annoying, though some of them are capable of damaging woodwork. Some species sting and others, particularly the Argentine ant, annoy by biting. Once inside the home, they can ruin much food, and they can possibly transmit diseases organisms to food which they contact. Some fire ants may injure textiles by feeding on the soiled portions. Even indoors some species attend and care for honey dew-secreting insects, protecting them from their natural enemies and thereby increasing the ability of these pest to injure plants.

Fire Ant Control

Fire ant on board in South Carolina

The Red Imported Fire Ant is the most common fire ant in South Carolina.

The outdoors can be the best part of your home. Unfortunately, some pests might not let you enjoy your own yard.

One of the biggest pests in the coastal yard is the Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta). These ants have a painful sting to humans and to animals such as birds, chickens, pigs and calves.

Our specialized pest control technicians can treat your lawn to control the common household ants, fire ants, fleas, mole crickets and other common Lowcountry pests. In most cases, spring through summer is the ideal time to have the lawn treated.