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Carpenter Ants and Other Ant Species

Ant Extermination and Control Specialists

Ehlers Pest Management specializes in treating and exterminating ant species native to southeastern Wisconsin, including carpenter and pharaoh ants in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.

Our pest free commitment begins with a complete inspection of your structure and property by a state certified Ehlers Pest Management Technician. We identify the type of ant(s), determine the source, and implement a custom solution utilizing the most advanced Milwaukee insect extermination and removal procedures and products available.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants pose a prevalent pest control problem throughout the United States, especially in older homes with aging or potentially rotting wood. Carpenter ants require moist areas to survive, colonizing in dead tree limbs, tree stumps, and other outdoor wood environments.

The carpenter ant is one of the largest ant species in North America, growing up to 5/8” in length. The two common carpenter ant species have dark black bodies with bent antennae, though other minor carpenter ants species can vary between black, reddish, yellowish, and even dark brown.

How to tell if your home is infested with Carpenter Ants

CarpenterAntWhile their natural nesting sites are tree trunks and limbs or downed trees, carpenter ants are also prone to invading buildings and homes in search of new territory. Carpenter ants usually enter homes, businesses, and buildings during the warmer months of the year when they are more active and usually nest in wood porch structures, windows frames, door frames, and any wood which is easily accessible from the soil and could retain moisture. Their large, black bodies make them easier to notice, but as this species usually sends out lone explorers, it can be difficult to judge the scale of the infestation.

The easiest way to ascertain whether or not you have a Wisconsin carpenter ant infestation is the presence of large, flying insects swarming around windows during the Spring months. Adult carpenter ants will leave the nest during these times to find new territory and found new colonies and, if there is a nest indoors, it’s very difficult to miss these clouds of flying ants. Another obvious sign of carpenter ant infestation is wood dust or particles and small piles of wood shavings located close to older, damp wood.

If you see carpenter ants in your home or business during the late winter and early spring, it may be a sign that the nest is located somewhere within the building. If you begin noticing carpenter ants in the later spring and throughout the summer, it’s likely that the nest is outside and they’re simply coming inside for food. Carpenter ants aren’t able to damage the structural integrity of the areas they infest, but they can cause a lot of expensive damage.

Carpenter Ant Extermination Services in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha

Carpenter ant extermination is one of the most common Wisconsin pest control services Ehlers Pest Management provides. Controlling or eliminating carpenter ants is very difficult without the right training and equipment. The problem is you have to wipe out their nest. Just killing off the ones out scouting for food doesn't address the real problem: the hundreds more in the nest.

One of the most effective ways of wiping out a carpenter ant colony is by applying food grade diatomaceous warth. This is an organic compound made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a hard-shelled algae. It causes no harm to humans or pets (it's actually in some toothpastes and kitty litter), but the microscopic, razor sharp edges of these particles is lethal for carpenter ants. It literally shreds them from the inside out. The trick, however, is knowing where to apply the Diatomaceous Earth to ensure the colony is wiped out. It literally has to be injected directly into the nest.

For best results getting rid of a carpenter ant infestation, you really need to bring in experienced Milwaukee pest control professionals. The Ehlers Pest management Milwaukee ant control specialists have extensive experience in pet-friendly carpenter ant extermination and removal. We have successfully wiped out carpenter ant infestations in hundreds of homes throughout Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.

Contact our Milwaukee ant exterminators today for more information about our residential and commercial Wisconsin pest control services.

Big-Headed Ants

As their name suggests, big-headed ants are easily identified by their large heads--often larger than their thorax--although it is the major workers of this species with the large heads. The minor workers are smaller and have normally proportioned heads. Big-headed ants are soil-nesters, commonly found under logs, large rocks and concrete slabs, but they will occasionally nest in rotted or terminate-damaged wood. Indoors, big-headed ants often nest in the soil of potted plants.

The good news is this species is quite rare in Wisconsin and it does not sting or bite humans. The concern with an infestation of these ants is the havoc they can wreak on an existing ecosystem, particularly in agricultural areas. This is because the Pheidole megacephala species has a tendency to construct huge “supercolonies” with hundreds of subcolonies, effectively driving other species out of the area. These big-headed ant colonies can extend over an entire city block, making big-headed ant control quite difficult.

If you suspect you may have an infestation of big-headed ants, contact the Wisconsin ant control specialists at Ehlers Pest Management. Our pest control experts will be able to identify the ants in question and devise an effective treatment plan based on the severity of infestation.

Crazy Ants

Although crazy ants are most common in the Gulf Coast states, our Milwaukee-based pest management company receives a steady flow of desperate customers needing help with crazy ant control in Racine, Milwaukee, Bayside, Shorewood and other towns throughout southeast Wisconsin. Crazy ants get their name from the crazy way they move, lurching right and left with no apparent reason to their movements, but it could just as well come from the way they drive homeowners crazy. These pests are also known as Rasberry ants, after the Texas exterminator who first encountered them in 2002. Officially, though, they are Nylanderia fulva, a species of ant native to Brazil.

Appearance and Characteristics of Crazy Ants

Crazy ants are black, about 1/8 inch long, and easily identifiable by their long legs and antennae. While crazy ants usually prefer nesting in piles of outdoor materials like lumber, mulch, firewood, or beneath loose tree bark, they will also nest in homes. Inside a home, they prefer nesting in walls, beneath carpeting, in potted plants, and in any cozy nook or cranny. For some odd reason, they seem to like getting into electronic equipment like televisions, stereo receivers, microwave ovens and computers. In so doing, they have caused short circuits which have ruined laptops and appliances. Some entomologists think they may actually be attracted by electricity, while others think they are just looking for nesting spots. 

The pest has spread rapidly since first being identified in Houston in 2002 and there seems to be no way of stopping its advance across the United States. When crazy ants infest a home, it is usually by the millions. One Houston man, wondering why his air conditioner stopped working and begun smelling musty, decided to vacuum out the vents in his living room floor. The vacuum sucked out enough ants to fill 5 one-gallon buckets!

It is not uncommon to find mounds of crazy ants on an infested property. This is an extremely aggressive species and peaceful coexistence is about the last thing on their tiny ant minds. Crazy ants have been known to completely overrun beehives and destroy the entire colony, smother baby birds struggling to break out of their shells, and even asphyxiate chickens by swarming into their nasal cavities. They can literally wipe out entire chicken farms if not controlled through active extermination efforts.

Controlling and Eliminating Crazy Ant Infestations

Crazy ant control is considerably more challenging than other insect control due to their tendency for nesting indoors and out, in dry and moist habitats, and the sheer volume of their colonies. Crazy ants also forage further than other ants, increasing the difficulty of locating their nests. Regular ant control treatment and services are the only solution. With regular pesticide application, Ehlers ant control experts can successfully eliminate crazy ant infestations and prevent the establishment of new crazy ant colonies.

If you suspect you have an infestation of crazy ants, contact us immediately.

Pavement Ants

AntPestControlPavement ant control is one of Ehlers Pest Management’s most common pest control problems in Wisconsin. Pavement ants are brown, growing up to 1/8 inch long. Pavement ants got their name from their preference for nesting in the soil surrounding pavement structures like driveways, patios, sidewalks, hollow block walls, and other concrete slabs. Pavement ants are usually detected by the piles of displaced soil next to the pavement. Ehlers Pest Management pest control professionals utilize several methods for pavement ant control including ant bait, spot and perimeter treatments.

Pharaoh Ants

Ehlers Pest Management provides pharaoh ant control in Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Bayside, Fox Point and throughout Racine and Kenosha counties. The Pharaoh ant is yellow, growing up to 1/8 inch long. While preferring to nest in moist bathrooms and kitchens, Pharaoh ants will nest in any suitable nook, wall, furniture, curtain rods, and under roof shingles. When Pharaoh ants are killed by do-it-yourself pest control methods, the colony splits into multiple colonies to ensure their survival. The ant control experts at Ehlers Pest Management prevent infestations from spreading and eliminate colonies with technologically advanced pest control treatments.

Thief Ants

Ehlers Pest Management is experiencing an increased demand for thief ant control throughout southeast Wisconsin. Thief ants are one of the smallest ants, golden-yellow to dark brown in color, and less than 1/16 inches long. Thief ants are named for their habit of colonizing near other ant nests and stealing the nest’s eggs, larvae and food. Locating thief ant nests is difficult, indoors and out. In the home, thief ants are detectable by the trails they travel in when foraging for food and water. Thief ants nest in wall and baseboard crevices, cabinet nooks and under countertops. Outdoors, thief ants are extremely difficult to detect, burrowing beneath the surface of rotted soil and wood. While locating the source is half the battle for successful ant control, Ehlers pest control pros can utilize utilize a variety of methods and products to solve the problem.

Have an ant infestation? Contact the ant extermination experts at Ehlers today to schedule an appointment.