Can Ants Damage My Home?

Ants invade the kitchen and interrupt outdoor grilling. They ruin a barefoot walk across the lawn. The small arthropods are a nuisance, but they can quickly become a big problem.

We know because we provide year-round ant control California homeowners count on. Let’s dig into the ways ants damage property in Ventura County and Santa Barbara County.

Which Ants Are Common in California?

Most ants are brown, black or red. That simple color scheme covers more than 12,000 species. Fortunately, they aren’t all pests in California homes. Our ant control services focus on these local members of the Formicidae family.

  • Acrobat Ants – Segmented bodies, light brown to black
  • Argentine Ants – Slender, uniform shape, dark brown
  • Carpenter Ants – Oversized mandibles, large black bodies
  • Fire Ants – Black or red bodies, typically copper brown heads
  • Odorous Ants – Unevenly shaped thorax, black or dark brown
  • Pharaoh Ants – Light brown or yellow, almost transparent

Are Carpenter Ants Destructive?

Of all the ants that cause damage to California homes, carpenter ants deserve top billing. They excavate wood with powerful jaws. Framing, beams and joists are potential carpenter ant hideaways.

The insects constantly carve out new sites for laying and hatching eggs. Left undetected, the colony expands its hidden territory with a network of destructive tunnels. Carpenter ants burrow deep, compromising the structural integrity of walls, ceilings and floors.

Can Ants Create Fire Hazards?

Ants often cross paths with a home’s power supply. As they forage through your house, the bugs come in contact with electrical equipment. They invade breaker boxes, circuit boards and transformers.

The ants don’t feed on the electrical system, but their foraging can result in chewed wiring sheaths and insulation. Several species are known for swarming electrical components and creating fire hazards. When you see them coming and going in a wall outlet, it’s time to call professionals who specialize in controlling ants.

How Do Ants Damage the Yard?

Ant infestations in the yard don’t directly damage the house, but they do create problems around your home. For example, an ant hill is more than an eyesore. The mound is a portal to a vast underground system that can affect lawns, trees, wooden decks and paved walkways.

Argentine ants are especially hard on home gardens. They feed on the secretions of mealy bugs, aphids and scale insects. The pests protect their food source by interfering with natural predators. An established colony of Argentine ants can disrupt your garden’s ecological balance.

Can Ants Impact Air Quality?

Moisture sources around sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators attract ants to the kitchen. Fresh produce and packaged foods invite them to forage. The resulting damage in pantries and cabinets leaves behind unpleasant odors. More concerning are the contaminants ants transfer throughout your home. These are just a few examples.

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus

These microscopic pathogens become airborne, spreading bacterial and viral pollutants through the entire house. The results negatively impact indoor air quality, and that can have a serious impact on your health.

How Can You Protect Your Home From Ants?

Chasing ants with bug spray only sends them back to the nest. It doesn’t stop them from tunneling and expanding the colony. Effective ant control in California homes starts with O’Connor Pest Control.
We’ve been at it since 1952, so we know how to eliminate ants. Don’t try to do it yourself. Contact us today for a free inspection. You can depend on us to protect your home from all types of invasive pests.