Pet-Safe Ant Control
Pets come in many shapes and sizes. The one thing they all have in common is we love them as members of our families. We take their health and safety as seriously as our own. Because of this, pet-safe ant control is essential when battling ant infestations in and around the home. Choosing the wrong treatment or spray has the potential to cause severe damage to your pet’s health.
Common Ants Found In Colorado Homes
Around the world, there are roughly 10,000 species of ants. Of the thousands of ant species out there, the four most common ants finding their way into Colorado homes are; odorous house ants, field ants, carpenter ants, and pavements ants. Like any pest, it is important to know what species of ant you are trying to eradicate when choosing your method of pet-safe ant control.
Odorous house ants
These small black ants are approximately 1/10 inch in size and attracted to sweet and sugary foods. Odorous house ants also have a distinctive smell when crushed or stepped on. Many people describe it as a rotten coconut or blue cheese odor.
Field ants are a medium size ants ranging in size from 3/16 to ⅓ inch in length. These ants are reddish brown to black in color. They enter homes looking for food and gravitate toward sweet meals.
The largest ants common in Colorado, carpenter ants can reach lengths up to ¼ to ⅜ inches. They are black and can have reddish brown hints. These ants require immediate pet-safe ant control measures as they use their strong jaws to chew through wood to make nests. They do not eat wood. Instead, they feed primarily on other insects and sugars when available.
These ants are tiny, averaging only 1/10 to 1/16 inch long. Their bodies are dark brown. They nest primarily in pavement and rocks and enter homes looking for food. Pavement ants look for meals of protein and sugars and especially enjoy greasy consistency.
When The Ants Come Marching In
The first line of defense in any pet-safe ant control plan is tidiness. The main attractant for ants to enter your home is food and water. Ants live in large colonies. Because of their numbers, they quickly cover lots of ground in search of food. Therefore, an essential part of pet-safe ant control is ensuring food is not left out, clean counters and crumbs get swept up immediately. If ants don’t find a food source when they look, they are less likely to return.
Ants Follow Invisible Trails
Ants also leave a scent trail. When they locate a food source, they return to their nest, leaving that scent trail for their fellow ants to follow. You may have noticed ants traveling in lines and following seemingly random paths. They are following the invisible scent path back to a known food source. These paths allow them to arrive quickly, in great numbers, to bring that food back to their nest. This is why if you block their scent path with a substance they don’t like, such as cinnamon, they will find an alternate route, climbing up walls and on the underside of counters.
Exclusion Is Key To Effective Pet-Safe Ant Control
Additionally, eliminating access points for ants entering your home is vital to pet-safe ant control. However, ants fit through the tiniest cracks and openings because they are so small. Often this is in foundations, windows, and electrical and plumbing access points. Utilizing barrier sprays is an effective way to prevent entry. Misapplying these products or products containing harmful chemicals can lead to dire results. Employing professionals experienced in pet-safe ant control will ensure you have maximum effect with minimal danger.
Ant Bait Stations
Once ants have found their way into your home, they are challenging to keep out. A standard tool used to kill ants is an ant bait station. These small stations contain a gel or granule that ants carry back to the nest, where it gets fed to the colony and queen. The drastic reduction in numbers, and more importantly, the killing of the queen, means no more ants crawling around your home.
Don’t Put Your Pet’s Health At Risk
Extreme caution is paramount when using any bait or poison. Pets, especially cats and dogs, are curious. Therefore, bait stations must only occupy areas pets cannot access, such as under ovens, refrigerators, and cabinets. Never leave them in the open or areas where a curious pet can investigate and come in contact with baits and traps.
Natural Doesn’t Mean Pet-Safe Ant Control
A product labeled as natural doesn’t mean it is pet-safe ant control. For example, according to the ASPCA’s Essentials of Essential Oils Around Pets, just a tiny amount of tea tree oil is hazardous. Likewise, coffee grounds, another ant deterrent, pose a significant hazard to cats and dogs. Understanding what natural ingredients threaten your pets is crucial when developing a pet-safe ant control plan.
Professional Pet-Safe Pest Control
Pets are much-loved members of the family. However, when ants find their way into the home calling professional help is the safest approach. The experts at OMNIS Pest Control provide effective and pet-safe ant control options. OMNIS tailors every treatment plan to target the problem while keeping your family and pets safe. We use industry-leading products, adhering strictly to label instructions. Our technicians will guide you through preparing your home and pets for planned treatment. They also give detailed instructions after application to ensure you know when it is safe to allow pets to return to the area.
Contact OMNIS Pest Control today to begin clearing your home of unwanted ants while keeping your pets safe.