Ant Identification & Prevention

What You Need To Know About Ants

ants in a home

The first step in ant control is to know what you are up against! Learn about ants living throughout Knoxville, their preferred habitats, and how to control them with the help of our informative pest guide. Some of the most common species of ants in our region are black ants, carpenter ants, crazy ants, fire ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants. We are here to help you maintain a home free of the ants that call Tennessee home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

What are ants?

Ants are small insects that crawl throughout our houses and can become an ongoing pest problem for Knoxville homeowners. They are an easy pest problem for most people to identify because ants are active during the day and travel in the open across our sidewalks, decks, floors, and counters.

Each type of ant varies slightly in appearance, but in general, ants have three distinct body segments, a defined "waist," a hard exoskeleton, six legs, and short antennae. Most ants are black, brown, yellow, red, or a combination of those colors.

Ants are social insects and live together in large groups. Each colony divides its members into different groups, and each group is tasked with different jobs to ensure the success of their colony. Ants are so successful because of how well they communicate with each other and work together as a large group.

Are ants dangerous?

In our region, carpenter ants are one of the largest species to find their way to our properties, and fire ants are one of the smallest. But what sets these two species apart from other ants is that they are both dangerous.

Carpenter ants aren't dangerous to people but are to our properties. When carpenter ants decide to nest in our homes, they will make themselves at home in its structural wood. If not removed, over time, they cause costly damage to the structure of your house.

Fire ants are dangerous to people; they aggressively defend themselves and their nests by delivering painful stings. When fire ants nest in your yard, they can significantly affect your ability to enjoy outdoor spaces safely.

Fortunately, most species of ants are more of a nuisance than a danger. However, they should still never be allowed to live in our homes. Ants can spread bacteria and quickly contaminate stored foods.

Why do I have an ant problem?

There are several reasons why ants so easily become a problem inside our houses:

  • Their small size makes it easy for them to exploit openings in our home's exterior.
  • Ants have excellent communication skills and lay down pheromone trails to alert their other colony members to their newly found food sources.
  • Things inside our homes, like leaky pipes, open trash containers, crumbs, and other food debris, draw ants to our houses and offer them food and water.

Once ants discover your home provides them with their basic needs, they will keep returning.

Where will I find ants?

Knoxville homeowners regularly find ants inside their homes in areas that offer warmth, moisture, and easy access to food. Ants are often active inside our kitchens, bathrooms, dining areas, pantries, and cabinets.

Outside ants usually nest within pieces of wood, in the ground, or inside the cracks of rocks, foundations, and pavement. When they move into our homes to nest, wall voids, large pieces of electrical equipment, attics, and spaces behind wood trim, baseboards, and large furniture or appliances provide them with nesting sites.

How do I get rid of ants?

While it may be tempting to try to get rid of an ant infestation on your own, DIY ant control won't get to the root of the problem or offer a long-term solution. The fastest and most effective way to stop ants in their tracts and stop them from returning is to reach out for help from a professional.

Here at Southeast Termite & Pest Control, we are a local company that understands the unique needs of customers living in our region. Our specialists will work closely with you to determine the type of ants on your property and how best to eliminate the infestation. Don't share your property with ants one day longer than necessary; call us today to learn more about pest control in Knoxville!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Utilize the following five ant prevention tips to make your Knoxville property less attractive to ants.

  1. Check sprinklers and other irrigation systems to ensure they aren't overwatering your yard; moisture attracts ants.

  2. Repair cracks and crevices in your foundation, loose mortar, and torn screens to eliminate entry points. 

  3. Maintain garden areas, keep landscaping plants pruned away from your home, and keep the grass in your yard cut short. 

  4. Limit their access to food outside your home by keeping lids on trash cans, harvesting gardens, removing hummingbird feeders, and keeping outdoor eating areas free of spills and debris.

  5. Make the inside of your home less attractive by repairing leaky pipes, maintaining a clean kitchen, and regular vacuuming.

For more helpful ways to keep these curious insects out of your home, reach out today for home pest control!

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