While many people think that only termites cause structural damage to a home, they do not realize that ants can, as well. Most ants will not chew through the wood frame of a home, but they will find shelter in furniture and clothing, and they may also create a colony behind wallpaper. Due to the fact that they are so small, ants can also make their way into electrical switches, which can cause problems throughout the house. When ants swarm, which many do in Washington, they can also wreak havoc with the electrical system in a home.
Certain types of ants, particularly carpenter ants, will cause structural damage to the home by chewing the wood within the frame. Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood, but they hollow out areas within it to create a nest, weakening the structure of the home.
The Problem with DIY Solutions
Walk into any hardware or home improvement store and you will see a vast array of DIY ant control solutions. These control measures typically involve a trap, or bait that the ants will eat and take back to the queen, which is intended to eliminate the entire colony.
For either of these solutions to work, you must already be dealing with an ant problem, which a professional can help you avoid. Also, while a trap may contain some ants, most will simply go to another location, moving the problem from one part of your home to another.
Also, baits that are laid down are often extremely sticky, due to the fact that ants tend to gravitate towards sugary and sticky substances. However, that same substance that attracts ants and kills them is also incredibly difficult to remove from surfaces such as windowsills and countertops.
Why Professional Help is Necessary
If you have seen even just one ant in your home, it is likely that you already have an infestation, or that you are about to. You will need a professional to completely eliminate the problem. As mentioned above, DIY solutions do not work and homeowners will find that the problem comes back time and time again, meaning that something is not working.
It is also important to understand that there are many different types of ants and each will require a different solution. A pest control solution that works on field ants, for example, may not work on fire ants. A pest control specialist will first identify the type of ant and determine how to eliminate the problem. This can get rid of an ant problem much sooner than homeowners that try to do it on their own, as people that are not professionals will have to work through much more trial and error before finally getting rid of the ants.