Ants

Identification and Control Options

Ants can be very tricky.  Through different stages in their life cycle, they search for different types of food and are active at different times throughout the day.  This can be misleading because we think the problem has sorted itself out, but the reality is that they're just in an ANTisocial phase (who doesn't love a good pun?!)


The other common issue with ants is that over-the-counter bait available at hardware stores, etc can be effective if the conditions are right, but is commonly too strong for colony-dwelling ants.  An effective bait will be weak enough to last within the insect until it travels back to the colony, intoxicating the entire colony rather than just offing the single soldier that has been sent out in search of food or space.


Ontario ants which make their way indoors are relatively easy to identify....though we have seen very rare and strange colonies in houses so don't hesitate to call us out if you think your invaders don't fit this description. 


The first characteristic to ponder is size.  Large ants that appear entirely black are likely carpenter ants. Not-so-fun-fact: carpenter ants have the highest potential to cause structural damage to our homes, cottages or other dwellings.  A colony is typically present 3-4 years before a single ant is ever spotted so an inspection is a great idea if you've spotted them indoors.  For more information and pricing on carpenter ant treatments, click here


Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Black ant with a little bit of red

 Large ants observed inside which are all black or have a little bit of red are likely carpenter ants. These invaders have been prevalent in cottage country and are showing no signs of slowing down!  

Mound Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Black ant with clear abdomen

 If you're seeing larger ants that aren't quite all black, but rather have a clear abdomen (rear body section) with black stripes, you're probably dealing with mound ants, as pictured here. Click here for further information and pricing. 

Acrobat Ants

Harvester Ants

Harvester Ants

Small black ant

 Small, black ants that show up in large numbers are usually acrobat ants. While they don't cause nearly as mush structural damage as carpenter ants, they do burrow into wood and insulation and can be harmful to the ego when trying to entertain while ants scurry steadily through your kitchen. Check out our acrobat ant section for more information. 

Harvester Ants

Harvester Ants

Harvester Ants

Red and black ant

 Smaller ants with a red head and thorax and a mighty sting might be harvester ants. Their colonies are massive but they stay outside. Read more about them here

 Teeny, tiny ants in the kitchen are likely pharaoh ants. Read more information about pharaoh ants here

Termites.  

Read more information about Termites here.

 Flying ants in your house? 

They could be any of these species. Read our short explanation about these winged critters in the flying ants section. 

Carpenter Ants

A carpenter ant infestation should not be taken lightly in a wooden structure. The best bet is to call us during the building phase so we can apply a protective treatment that will deter ants from the building. Of course, this isn't always an option but we can always apply an effective treatment. It's worth stating again that by the time an ant is observed inside, the colony has typically been there for 3+ years already. 

We offer a few options for carpenter ants:

 

1. Interior and exterior - our most extensive treatment option which is guaranteed for the season in most cases. This option is also our best recommendation for those who have found ants or evidence inside. We'll address the ants that are in the house as well as the colony outside (see below for more information). The cost is dependent on the structure but generally starts at $400.


2. Exterior only - we put a barrier around your place to prevent the ants from getting in. Great preventative maintenance, saving you time, money and a whole lot of hassle! Again dependent on structure but starts at $175.


3. Construction phase - we'll apply a protective barrier to the wood to prevent ants from finding their way in. A wise bet for any new home or cottage! Pricing for this service is done on a case-by-case basis because there are so many variables. This is the best treatment option for long-term efficacy.


4. Inspection - carpenter ants can be frustratingly elusive, utilize our trained eyes and get yourself some peace of mind. A great option for anyone looking to sell/purchase a wood home or cottage. From $100.


5. Chemical free option! We can treat carpenter ant colonies without harsh chemicals depending on the time of year and degree of infestation. There are several ways to do this so the best bet for a small colony is to   Contact us  to discuss.

Acrobat Ants

You know those ants that march two by two?  They very well might be acrobat ants. They show up - in kitchens mainly - around February-March, as soon as the daylength or photoperiod starts increasing. And they come in droves all summer and into the fall. While they aren't hazardous, these ants are unsightly and relentlessly busy, forever travelling in and out of the kitchen in search of food.  One treatment is usually effective depending on the size of the colony and we will typically offer a 90 day guarantee on the service, which starts around $250 and is chemical free! 

Small black ant

Mound Ants

Mound ants live outside and create large mounds, as the name suggests.  They do not tend to bite or cause structural damage so for the most part, we just leave them be.  If they are getting into your space, it is likely due to curiosity and they should soon make their way back outside.  If you want to keep them out, we can apply a barrier to the outside of your home/cottage/business, a service which starts at $150.  Contact us today to identify your ants and offer suggestions for solutions! 

Black ant with a clear abdomen

Harvester Ants

 

With huge colonies that can be aggressive when disturbed, it's a good thing harvester ants stay outside. It's a bad thing when they're all over your patio or walkway, though. 

There are 22 species of harvester ant and most of the available research that has been done has taken place in Texas, Florida, or other dry areas which harvester ants frequent.  We can still apply knowledge of their behaviour and habitat learned from these studies to help you out if need be!

We can offer a chemical free treatment for harvester ants from about $100, or suggest a DIY fix for those on tight schedules.  Contact us today if they are pestering you!

Red and black ant

Ants in the Kitchen

There are two main species of ants that tend to show up in large numbers in the kitchen.  Carpenter ants can also show up in the kitchen but can be spotted anywhere throughout the house.  


Acrobat ants, shown here against a finger tip, are much smaller than carpenter ants but easy to see. They have a very thin thorax (mid section) and a heart shaped abdomen with a sharp point on their back end.  They tend to travel in a steady line and are often spotted in the kitchen.


Pharaoh ants are not pictured here because they are really, really, ridiculously small.  They're almost microscopic but they share a lot of behavioural traits with acrobat ants.  They arrive in the kitchen in huge numbers and often in a steady line. The size will give it away though. 


For more ant diagnostics check out our ant page to know what you're looking at, and how we can help get rid of them!

Seven small black ants feeding on ant bait

Pharaoh Ants

 

Pharaoh ants are small - really, really small.  They're almost microscopic and without the movement, you might think it's just a bit of dirt.  They tend to show up in the kitchen in large numbers and generally don't stick around very long. 


If they're driving you crazy and you can't wait for them to move along, we can treat them starting from $200 plus tax. 

Flying Ants

 

Every ant colony and species contains individuals with wings, these are the reproductive males and females.  They tend to arrive in high numbers as they 'swarm' in order to find a new spot to start a secondary colony. 


If you're seeing winged ants inside it means one of 2 things: either there is a colony inside already and the reproductives are swarming to expand numbers elsewhere, or there is a colony outside somewhere and they want to start a new colony inside.  Either way, the first step is to identify what kind of ants they are.  Check out our ant page in order to do so and get further information on what we can do to help!

Black ant with wings

Termites

We have yet to positively identify termites in cottage country. It doesn't mean it's impossible, and it doesn't mean they aren't coming - in this industry, we never say never!  So far, though, they haven't made it here, and thankfully so.  If you're seeing piles of wood shavings in your home or cottage, it's likely carpenter ants.  

Thermal coffee cup beside a large pile of frass (sawdust or shavings created by ants)