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ant-infestations-in-the-home-probsStinging. Destroying wood. Contaminating food. Such is the life of many types of ants.


No one wants ant infestations in the home. Even the smallest ants have a somewhat painful sting, one that can be especially painful for smaller children and pets. Carpenter ants, which are common in New York, will destroy your wood as they create conduits for their colony. And if ants reach your food supply, you might need to be concerned with food contamination.
Here are three signs to look out for which can clue you in to ant infestations in the home:


Sign #1: Wood shavings on the floor.


This indication of ant infestations in the home refers specifically to carpenter ants, which often leave wood shavings on the floor wherever they’re digging. For the record, these ants don’t actually eat or ingest your wood like termites do. Instead, they simply chew through the wood and discard it as they burrow into the wood. These critters don’t usually cause nearly as much damage to your home as termites, but the damage can be sufficient if they’re not exterminated in a timely manner.


Sign #2: Visual identification of ants.


This is an obvious one. Basically, if you see a line of ants on your floor or crawling on the walls either inside or outside your home, guess what? You have ants! Whether the problem is an actual infestation or simply a few measly stragglers is something you’ll need to investigate. If you find a line of ants somewhere, perform a thorough inspection of your house — interior and exterior — and see if you can find others. Also check your yard for signs of an ant hill. If there don’t seem to be too many, you can probably take care of them yourself, either with ant baiting traps, a simple spray, or a product that destroys the colony through the ant hill.


Sign #3: Sighting of winged ants.


While this could be part of the visual identification, we’re putting this into its own category because it is very specific. Many people are under the impression that either a) there may be species of ants where all of them have wings or b) what looks like a winged ant is actually another type of insect because, after all, ants don’t fly … do they? The answer to this is twofold. First of all, there is no such thing as a species of ant, anywhere in the world, that consists of only winged individuals. And second, a winged ant is simply a reproductive ant. Only a handful in a colony will have wings. Of course, if you think it might be a termite, a quick online visual comparison will answer that concern.


Photo Credit:  Bulldog Pottery via Flickr