Pest Spotlight: Keeping Argentine Ants Out Of Your Austin Residence

argentine ants crawling on food

Ants are common pests around homes across the USA, but there are a few different types. Argentine ants in particular are common in the southern US, which means you might see some in and around your Austin home. Even though these ants don’t bite or sting and don’t pose high health risks, they can cause serious problems for agriculture and other plant systems. Here’s how you can keep these insects out of your kitchen and away from your garden. And if you’re looking for pest control services in Austin, EnviroGuard is here to help.

Is This An Argentine Ant?

There are a lot of different types of ants in Austin, many of which can be found in Texas. Knowing what kind of ant is invading your home is an important part of getting rid of them. So how do you know what’s in your house?

The easiest way to distinguish Argentine ants from other types is their color.

Argentine ants are reddish to dark brown, while most other common house ants are black. It may sound strange, but another way to know if you have argentine ants is their scent. When you crush an argentine ant, it will smell musty. Another common house ant, the odorous house ant, can look very similar to the Argentine. But as the name implies, they smell much worse when crushed.

Argentine ants are also shinier than other types, and they don’t bite or sting. They are also very small, only about  1/10 inch long.

The Problems Argentine Ants Bring To Your Austin Home

Like other types of ants, argentine ants will come into your house looking for food and water. They also keep garden pest bugs such as aphids as sort of pets, which can wreak havoc on your garden. These bugs create a sweet substance called honeydew that argentine ants like to eat, so the ants will literally bring the garden pests to your plants as a sort of exchange.

This is all in addition to the problems argentine ants cause as an invasive species. Their presence disrupts native ant populations and other ecological systems. Argentine ant colonies grow very quickly, so it’s important that the infestation is taken care of before it gets out of control.

How To Prevent Argentine Ant Reinfestation

Once you’ve gotten rid of the ants, you need to keep them from coming back. There are a few things you can implement in your home to make it ant-proof:

  • Store food in airtight containers and clean up spills quickly; this keeps the ants from sensing food sources in your house.
  • Seal any cracks or holes throughout your house. Ants will get inside through any path possible, so do your best to eliminate these entry points 
  • Reduce standing water or extra moisture around your home. Ants will come looking for water sources, so fixing leaks or even using dehumidifiers can prevent these pests
  • Trim tree branches so they aren’t touching your house. Argentine ants can use branches as bridges to get to your house; take that option away by keeping long branches at least a few inches away from the sides of your home

These tips can go a long way toward minimizing your risk of Argentine ants and other ants getting inside your Austin home. However, once an infestation has gotten underway, you need to take immediate action to eliminate it.

The Easiest Way To Get Rid Of Argentine Ants

There are a lot of ways to get rid of an ant infestation. Store-bought or homemade ant traps, pesticides, and simple prevention methods can do a lot of work when it comes to slowing down an infestation. But your best shot at clearing it up for good is by calling a professional.

EnviroGuard offers treatment for infestation as well as ways to prevent argentine ants from coming back. Ants are resilient pests, so preventing reinfestation can be tricky. We’ll do an inspection of your home and, because your safety is our top priority, we’ll create a plan that’s right for you. Call today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Austin, and to get a free quote.