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There are plenty of pests living in Tucson, and we're not talking about your nosy neighbors. From spiders to termites, there is seemingly no end to the number of creepy-crawly bugs that can end up in your home. Of all of the pests in our area, ants are one of the most common in Tucson and one of the pests you're likely most familiar with. When ants spend their time outdoors, we don't think about them very much, but as soon as they find their way into our homes, they begin to dominate our thoughts.

How do ants get inside, why are they in our houses, are they causing problems, and how do we get them out? Knowing a little bit more about ants than you currently do can help you answer most, if not all, of your questions regarding ants in your Tucson home. Find out what to do about ants running rampant in your home and your best choice for ant control in Tucson below.

How To Identify Common Ants In Tucson

ants on bread

When it comes to identifying ants in Tucson, most people group these tiny pests into two major categories: little black ants and red ants. In reality, it's not quite so easy to identify common ants in Tucson. While the general categories of black ants and red ants can help you narrow down which ants you're seeing around your Tucson property, there are actually quite a few different species of ants in our area, and many of them look extremely similar. 

Unless you are an expert at ant biology and identification, you may have a difficult time determining which species of ants you're seeing in your house. The following information about some of the common ants in our area will help you identify which ants you're seeing on your Tucson property.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the easiest ants to identify because of their size. They are much larger than most other ants and are typically black in color. You may see some carpenter ants with a set of wings. These are the reproductive members of their colony.

Crazy Ants

Crazy ants are small and dark brown to black in color. The best way to identify these ants is by the way they walk. They tend to move about in an erratic, jerky manner, which is how they got their name.

Fire Ants

Fire ants are well-known in Tucson. Typically found outdoors, these ants are small and red. The best way to identify them is by the ant mounds they build on your lawn. Their mounds can grow up to four feet in size and are best left alone since fire ants will attack you if their mound is disturbed.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are small and black. They like to live near a food source. The best way to identify these ants is by the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed. The scent is similar to the smell of rotten coconut.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are on the larger side but not nearly as big as carpenter ants. They are black and are typically found outside, near cracks or along the edges of the pavement.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are small and vary in color. They may be yellow or red with darker abdomens. These ants are often found in commercial properties, such as hospitals, hotels, or even grocery stores.

The Problems An Ant Infestation Can Cause For Your Family

Occasionally finding ants in your Tucson home is probably not a surprise for you. Our climate lends itself to a variety of pests coming indoors looking for relief from the weather or in their search for food or water. However, if ants decide to stay in your house, an ant infestation can become a problem for your family.

Many ants are considered nuisance pests. The issues they cause are mostly an annoyance. If you've experienced an ant problem before, you probably relate to this. It's irritating to constantly find ants crawling around on your kitchen counters. Examples of nuisance ants include crazy ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Nuisance ants don't generally cause serious problems. However, they can contaminate your food items as they forage for food for their colonies. This can make you sick if you consume the contaminated items, or it can cost you money since you'll have to throw the contaminated items away.

Not all ants are simply a nuisance. Some are destructive. Carpenter ants are the most well-known species of ants that cause damage to homes. As their name suggests, carpenter ants have an affinity for wood. They don't eat it, but they do like to live in it, so they chew through wooden structures to build nests and tunnels. If left untreated, a carpenter ant infestation can cause serious damage to the structural integrity of your home. 

Finally, some ants are dangerous to your family's health. Fire ants are well-known for the painful stings they deliver. Although they are usually found outdoors, they occasionally make their way indoors as well. Regardless of whether you have fire ants in your home or on your lawn, your family is at risk when fire ants are present. You don't want your kids to have to risk being stung dozens of times every time they play outside, but that's exactly what can happen if fire ants are present. 

Pharaoh ants are also dangerous to your health. These ants are usually found indoors and are known for spreading harmful diseases, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. Since they are often found in medical facilities, a pharaoh ant infestation can have deadly consequences.

Are House Ants Typically Dangerous?

The majority of house ant infestations in Tucson will not lead to serious health consequences or home damage. Most of the ants that get into homes in our area are nuisances. At worst, you may become ill due to eating contaminated food, but a healthy individual can recover from that type of illness fairly easily. Even so, you don't want nuisance ants in your house. They will irritate you to no end, and you have better things to do with your time than to constantly fight a losing battle against a seemingly endless colony of ants. 

In some cases, house ants can be dangerous. If you end up with a carpenter ant infestation, you have to worry about the damage they can cause to your house. Sometimes, these ants can be in your house for a long time without being noticed, which increases the chances of extensive damage. The longer carpenter ants live in your house, the bigger the colony will grow and the more damage they'll cause.

If pharaoh ants or fire ants get into your house, your family is put at risk of dangerous illnesses and injuries. While most healthy people can recover from the illnesses that pharaoh ants spread and the stings that fire ants deliver, young children, elderly adults, and people with compromised immune systems are at risk of health complications from the problems these ants cause.

No matter what types of ants get into your house or around your property, house ant control and fire ant control are things you need to consider when you have an ant problem.

Ant Prevention Tips: Keep Your Home Ant-Free

Keeping ants out of your house isn't easy, but taking steps to prevent ants can help lessen your chances of ending up with an ant infestation. Try these ant prevention tips to keep your home ant-free.

  • Reduce moisture around your property and inside your house. 

    • Install a drainage system.

    • Repair dripping faucets and leaking pipes.

    • Eliminate standing water.

    • Clean out your gutters.

    • Reduce humidity inside your house.

  • Cut back tree limbs and other foliage that touch the sides or roof of your house. 

  • Seal cracks and crevices around your foundation.

  • Repair or replace torn window and door screens.

  • Don't leave food out on your counters.

  • Clean up messes, spills, and crumbs. 

  • Do your dishes immediately after use. 

  • Take out your trash regularly.

By implementing these measures in and around your Tucson home, you can help prevent ants from getting inside your house. However, even when taking these steps, you may still find yourself dealing with an ant infestation. Ants are very small and can utilize the tiniest openings to make their way into your house. If you find ants inside or have an abundance of ants around your property outside, it's wise to contact Conquistador Pest & Termite. Our ant control services will eliminate the ant colony entirely, not just the ants you see, ensuring your home remains ant-free. 

At Conquistador Pest & Termite, we have decades of experience identifying and controlling ants. We know which home pest control services to use to be most effective against a variety of ant species so that you get the best results. Contact us today to eliminate your ant problems.

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