It is very important to identify the correct species of the ant as each ant has very different life habits and behaviors. The technicians of Toronto Pest Control Services take this information into account when choosing the correct treatment to get the most effective results.
Identification of ants
There are many different species of ant in southern Ontario but the following 3 make up 97% of all ant infestations in homes and businesses, Carpenter Ant, Pavement and Pharaoh ants. You want to pay close attention to the size, colour and behavior of the ant you are seeing to help you identify it.
How does Toronto Pest Control Services treat Carpenter Ants in your home or business?
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
The technician will come out to your house and perform a careful inspection. He will inform you if there is anything on your property that is attracting the Carpenter ants to your home and will make preventative recommendations or suggest corrective actions. Every house is a unique situation and treatments vary accordingly. At Toronto Pest Control Services each treatment is methodically constructed to suit your needs and may consist of one or a combination of different methods combining sprays, baits and dusts with an emphasis on barrier sprays. Carpenter ants may live in the 2x4 studs inside the walls or they may live in any available void of your house. They sometimes gnaw into the wooden infrastructure to create galleries for the colony to live in; unlike termites they do not eat the wood. They actually eat most of the same things that we eat like protein, sugar, and carbohydrates. Water is extremely important to a carpenter ant as they are very susceptible to dehydration. The technician will ask you several questions when he arrives. Any information you can give the technician will very helpful such as: do you ever hear a sound like rice crispies in any wall? Do you repeatedly find wood shavings anywhere (Frass)? Are there any persistent moisture problems around windows, dish washers, bath tubs or a shower? If you see ants all the time in one place or see them coming and going in a common spot this information may be helpful. Carpenter Ants don’t eat wood however they oftengnaw into it to create the galleries for their colonies, and therefore if left untreated may eventually weaken the infrastructure of your home. You will be required to leave your house for approximately 4 hours at the start of the application in order to allow the treatment to dry. Toronto Pest Control Services considers safety their number one priority and our technician will apply the most environmentally friendly products in the lowest application rate that will effectively exterminate the colony in your home.
Frequently asked questions
How can I tell Carpenter Ants from Termites?
Ants and termites are often confused as the both live in colonies. Termites are most commonly found in warmer climates and are white in colour. A carpenter is black and are much larger in size then a termite. Termites live inside your walls or in the ground, they are not found walking around the inside of your house like an ant as they are subterranean. Here are also some other differentiating characteristics.
What damage can a Carpenter ant do to my home?
Front pair of wings is larger than the hind pair
Thin waisted appearance
Ant antennae are elbowed
Wings are all the same size
Wings are not clear, have milky
Carpenter Ants excavate their nest galleries in the wood, but they do not use the wood for food. Carpenter Ants like to live in the 2x4s in your walls, burrow, and tunnel in the wood making, galleries that are smooth and clean. If these ants are left untreated, they can gnaw through the wood and eventuallyhollow out beams entirely. They can do significant damage to the infrastructure of your home if left untreated for long periods.
How can a Carpenter ant enter into my home?
Carpenter ants will live in an abundance of different locations. Outdoors they can live in tree stumps, hollow logs, telephone poles, fence posts or large pieces of wood. They particularly like decayed, old, and moist wood. Ants may also make it into your home via fire wood or other pathways. Most often, carpenter ants that are in your home will be part of a satellite colony. A parent colony containing a singlequeen usually lives outdoors up to about 40 feet away from the satellite colonies. Carpenter Ants can also enter through branches or wires that touch your home. Indoor nests can be found in any floor or wall void. The satellite colony does not require high humidity however they have a tendency to gravitate to moisture.
How quickly do Carpenter ant colonies grow and how big can they get?
Winged reproductive ants swarm in the spring and sometimes at other times of the year; males tend to swarm in February or March and the females later in the year. There is only one egg laying queen per colony. Basically, the entire colony breathes, eats, and sleeps for the queen (pretty good life). It takes around three – to six years for most colonies to mature which will consist of more than 10,000 ants. Approximately 300 winged ants will be produced each year.
What does a Carpenter ant like to eat?
The Carpenter Ant diet consists of animal and plant foods. They can feed on insects that are dead or alive. They love all the food that we eat but especially foods high in sugar content such as honey, jelly, jams and sugars. When the ant goes foraging for food they will travel as far as 150ft from their nest. In the warmer months the carpenter ants will mostly forage for food during the night time.
What are signs of Carpenter ants inside my home?
You may find dead ants or a few ants in one room and another. Carpenter ants are frequently found singularly on your kitchen counters, pantries, storage areas where they forage for food. They are not uniform in size and are seldom seen in groups. You may also find them in damaged wood. Occasionally winged reproductive Carpenter ants mayswarm in your home. These are potential new queens and a sign that you may have a larger colony.
General Information Carpenter ants
The carpenter is the largest Ant species in Ontario, black in appearance, may sometimes have red on its thorax. The carpenter ant is approximately ¼"- ½" in size. When they have wings the front pair of wings is larger than the hind pair and they are clear. They have a thin waist and their antennae are elbowed.
Carpenter ants may live in the 2x4 studs inside the walls or they may live in any available void of your house. They sometimes gnaw into the wooden infrastructure to create galleries for the colony to live in; unlike termites they do not eat the wood. Outdoors they can live in tree stumps, hollow logs, telephone poles, fence posts or large pieces of wood. They particularly like decayed, old, and moist wood. Ants may also make it into your home via fire wood or other pathways.Carpenter Ants can also enter through branches or wires that touch your home. Indoor nests can be found in any floor or wall void.
Winged reproductive ants swarm in the spring and sometimes at other times of the year; males tend to swarm in February or March and the females later in the year. There is only one egg laying queen per colony. It takes around three – to six years for most colonies to mature which will consist of more than 10,000 ants. Approximately 300 winged ants will be produced each year.
How does Toronto Pest Control Services exterminate Pavement Ants?
A technician will come out to your home and perform a careful inspection to see if there is anything contributing to the infestation. At Toronto Pest Control Services our treatments are tailored to suit the needs of each home or office. The treatment will consist of a combination of sprays and baits. We give you our word in writing, guaranteed to eradicate your ants for one year in your home or office. You will leave your home for four hours at the start of the application to allow the pesticide to dry.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I have Pavement Ants?
The Pavement ant is 1/8 -1/16 inches in size and is blackish to brown in colour with lighter coloured legs and antennae. All the ants in a colony appear to be the same size. Pavement ants almost never climb up your walls but may be found on any floor or the basement. They are often seen in groups close to the baseboards.
Where is the Pavement usually seen?
Inside your home Pavement ants are most often seen in groups close to the baseboards. This is the little brown ant making piles of sand on the sidewalk. The Pavement ant is also commonly found outdoors under rocks, decks, next to buildings, and also under cracks in pavement. They also can be occasionally found under floors, insulation in walls and around windows and door frames and get inside your home.
What does the Pavement like to eat?
The pavement ant will be seen in clusters and they are usually uniform in size. They are very slow moving and they will enter into structures looking for food. Their preference is sweet foods but they will also eat greasy foods.
How does a Pavement differ from a Carpenter Ant?
A pavement Ant is basically known as a nuisance pest. It does not do structural damage like a Carpenter Ant (Please refer to Carpenter ants for more information). Pavement antsare smaller than a carpenter ants. Pavement ants are less than 1/4inch in size while Carpenter ants are ¼ inch to ½ inch. Carpenter ants from the same colony will vary in size while pavement ants are usually uniform in size.Pavement ants are usually found in clusters while Carpenter ants are most seen by themselves. Lastly pavements ants are almost always on the floor, while Carpenter ants are found walking on the floor, counter tops, and tables andclimbing up walls or even across the ceiling.
The Pavement ant is blackish brown in colour and 1/8 -1/16 inches in length, not as large as the Carpenter Ant. You will also find pavement cluster together, and the colony is all very uniform in size. The pavement ant is blackish to brown in colour with lighter colored legs and antennae.
Pavement ants are most often seen in groups close to the baseboards inside your home. The Pavement ant is also commonly found outdoors under rocks, decks, next to buildings, and also under cracks in pavement. They also can be occasionally found under floors, insulation in walls and around windows and door frames and get inside your home. They are slow moving and enter into your living space in search of food. The pavement ant is in search of foods high in sugar or proteins.
The Ants complete metamorphosis basically consists of 4 stages egg, larva, pupa and then adult. The adults require several days to reach complete maturity. It takes approximately about 4 to 8 weeks to complete the full cycle from egg to adult. A winged adult is usually an indication of ant that can reproduce, called alates or swarmers.
How does Toronto Pest Control Services treat Pharaoh Ants?
Pharaoh ant treatment differs greatly from treatments for carpenter or pavement ants. Pharaoh ants do not just have one queen like carpenter and pavement ants, but may have thousands of queens. When you spray, kill, or use ant stations bought from the store to try to eliminate pharaoh ants it only makes the problem worse. The reason for this is since they have multiple queens, when you spray the pharaoh ant colony it stresses their colony and the queens will take a few workers and run for it. Instead of having one larger colony which is easier to kill, you will not have 20-30 small colonies that may be more dispersed throughout your home. Therefore we never spray for pharaoh ants, we apply specific baits in appropriate places throughout your home. There is some preparation involved with this treatment which can be found in the section “How do I prepare for the treatment?” The Pharaoh ants will eat the bait and within 2-3 weeks they will be gone.
Frequently asked questions
How do I prepare for treatment?
If it is possible retain a sample of the pharaoh ant for the technician. There is preparation need prior to the technician’s arrival. Once you book an appointment a preparation letter will be sent to you that you MUST follow and have everything prepared prior to the technician’s arrival. The reason this preparation is so important is because it involves cleaning in areas that we do not clean often that may serve as a food source for Pharaoh ants. Since we are unable to spray insecticides for pharaoh ants we must rely on baiting to eliminate them. For this reason we have to ensure that there is nothing else for the Pharaoh ants to feed on except for our bait. We use a sugar or protein bait that is placed in discreet places throughout your home.
What do I do after the treatment?
After the treatment it is important to note that this is a passive treatment and it takes time and patience for the treatment to be effective. It can take between two to three weeks before you no longer see Pharaoh ants. It is extremely important to keep a clean household after the treatment to ensure that the only food available to the Pharaoh ants is our bait. Food should not be left out on the counters, it must be put in sealed containers and dishes cannot be left out for an extended period of time. To ensure eradication of Pharaoh ants from your residence it is a combined effort between you and your pest control technicians.
How to Identify Pharaoh Ants?
It is very important that pharaoh ants are identified and treated properly as the treatments for any other type of ant will only make a pharaoh ant problem worse. Pharaoh ants are easily distinguishable from the other common ant species such as pavement ants, carpenter ants and citronella ants that are found in Southern, Ontario. The first distinguishable sign that you have pharaoh ants is their size. Pharaoh ants are tiny, only about 2mm in length while a pavement ant (the closest in size to the pharaoh ant) is about 6mm in length. Often people will refer to pharaoh ants as looking about the size of a dot and unless they see multiple ants together; it is hard to see them. Pharaoh ants also vary in colour from pavement ants. Pharaoh ants will range in colour from light brown to yellow to yellowish brown to red while pavement ants are often dark brown or black in colour. Since pharaoh ants are very small in size sometimes it is hard to distinguish their colouring, the best way to identify a pharaoh ant is by its behavior. Pharaoh ants are usually found grouped together with other ants; however they may be seen in small groups or on their own. Pharaoh ants are often found in the kitchen and bathroom where they have easy access to water. They often will climb on counter tops and walls while pavement ants tend to stay on the floor. Proper identification of pharaoh ants is crucial in ensuring their elimination.
Why should pesticides NEVER be sprayed for pharaoh ants?
Pharaoh ants as mentioned above require a specific treatment that differs from the other common ants in our area. Many times pesticides are sprayed to eradicate ants from a residential home, however spraying pharaoh ants will only make the infestation worse. Pharaoh ant colonies have multiple queens and nests and they propagate by fission or budding. They are known as tramp ants because of their transient nesting behavior. Pharaoh ants have a predisposition to “satellite” An application of residual insecticides will often trigger the splintering of a colony into numerous satellite colonies. Many of the queens will take a few workers each and move to establish new colonies... When these pesticide spray treatments are applied repeatedly pharaoh ant infestations can spread over an entire building or home. Even without insecticides a Pharaoh ant infestation can grow and bud.Baiting applications are the only effective treatment and may require multiple visits from a professional exterminator.
Where did Pharaoh ants originate?
Pharaoh ants have been a household pest since as early as 1758 when a pharaoh ant specimen was collected in Egypt. Their origin is unknown though there is speculation that they originated from South America, Afrotropical regions or India. Today pharaoh ants can be found worldwide including Africa, Australia, Hawaiian islands, Japan, Europe, North America (Canada & USA), Russia and South America. Pharaoh ants are able to nest in a variety of easily transported items such as, sheets of stationary, linens, boxes, packaging and clothes that are transported worldwide. Pharaoh ants are also able to survive in a wide range of environmental conditions which allow them to live all around the world. Pharaoh ants can survive in temperature above 18oC but thrive in warm, humid conditions where temperatures are 27oC-30oC ith 70-80% relative humidity. Since the temperatures that pharaoh ants thrive in occur within buildings and residential homes, they typically nest indoors however they are known to nest outdoors in subtropical climates.
Are Pharaoh Ants harmful?
Pharaoh ants are a nuisance pest. While they have stingers, they are unable to sting. Pharaoh ants can bite, however their bites do not pierce the skin. In a residential home pharaoh ants are not harmful they are just a nuisance. In hospital settings however due to their ability to transmit pathogens they are more of a concern. They are able to contaminate sterile instruments within a hospital facility as well as contaminate food due to their swarming when food is accessible. Though they are a concern in hospitals because of their ability to transmit diseases, there has been no specific documentation reported of pharaoh ants contamination affecting patients.
Pharaoh ant workers are very small, only measuring about 2mm long, their colour varies from yellow to yellowish brown to even a light red. They are monomorphic and have a two segmented pedicel. Queens are similar in colour to workers but are about twice the size.
Pharaoh ants are opportunists, by occupying any crack or crevice that has sufficient warmth and high humidity. In residential homes they frequently are found in kitchens and bathrooms near a water source. Pharaoh ant nests are often located in inaccessible areas such as under floors, behind baseboards, interior wall voids or in window sills. In institutional facilities they are found in kitchens, boiler rooms, sinks, heating ducts, laundry rooms, around toilets and pipes. 90% of a Pharaoh ant colony remains in the nest at any given moment. Pharaoh ants forge both day and night for food and they can often go undetected due to their small size and cryptic habits.
Pharaoh ants are omnivores feeding on fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They will even scavenge and kill small insects. To ensure that they have a balanced diet, they have an “alternation” response to food. If they are given a choice between carbohydrates and proteins, the colonies will choose the type of food they have not been recently feeding on. When they are provided a preferred food for an extended period of times, colonies will then switch to other foods if they are given a choice. Therefore if they have been feeding on carbohydrates and they are given the option of having proteins, they will choose proteins to ensure a balanced diet.
Pharaoh ants start off as eggs and develop into adults. For pharaoh ant workers it takes about 22-54 days for them to go from egg to adult. The adult worker will live for about 9-10 weeks while queens live up to about 39 weeks. Unlike other ants Pharaoh ants do not have mating flights, they mate within or near their nest. New colonies will form when a group of adult workers usually led by a queen move or bud from the original colony. It is not necessary for queens to be part of a budding colony. Colonies of Pharaoh ants can be comprised of several nests with ants being able to move freely among nests.