Ants of the Pacific Northwest

No other pest has built such a deep love/hate relationship with us than ants. We love what they do for the environment, and how industrious they are - as long as they stay out of our yards and homes. Understanding this pest goes a long way in prevention and peace of mind. Common varieties found in the Pacific Northwest include the Odorous House Ant (also known as the Sugar Ant), Pavement Ant, Carpenter Ant, Moisture Ant (often mistaken for flies or termites), and Thatch Ant. While we do have other species such as the Pharaoh Ant, these are the most common calls we receive.

Contact Us

Ants Identification

Non Nesting Ant Species

While we all remember from elementary school ants and their hills, what many do not realise is half the species we deal with in the Pacific Northwest are not actually nesting ants! The Odorous House Ant, Pavement Ant, and Moisture Ant are all examples of nomadic, migratory ant species that are on the move constantly looking for shelter and food. Often times they end up in locations that do not agree with our lifestyles, such as in the siding of our houses, walls, electrical outlets and fixtures, walkways, and other areas we would prefer not to see them. Swarming season begins in the Spring and, depending on the heat, these pests can be active as an entire colony until Fall. During the Winter, often times portions of the colonies will wake up from their bivouac and go exploring. These can truly be year round pests. For these species the best prevention is long term and ongoing. While some do manage to have a single annual service and not have issues, others may end up with back to back sprays and gels for long periods of time based upon where the actual migratory bivouac is. If they have chosen your house, call us to evict them!

Carpenter Ants and Thatch Ants

Carpenter ants are between 3/8 and 1/2 inch long. Most are dark black but some may be two toned mixes of black and red. While Carpenter Ants excavate moist wood for their nest, they do not actually consume wood like a termite does. Look for sawdust piles with dead insects mixed in, a crinkling noise in the wall, and workers in bathroom or kitchen. As they are a bigger bodied insect, it may take longer for the pesticides to work. Thatching Ants are about 4-8 mm in length. Most are bi-coloured, red and black, but some species are all black. It's usually the head end that is red. Thatch ants can be aggressive when disturbed, however are nonvenomous. That is not to say their bite does not hurt! Thatching Ants create formic acid as a self defense mechanism. Thatching Ant mounds may be 3 to 6 feet across and 3 feet high. It is best to get this pest taken care of prior to the mound getting so large.

Moisture Ant

Moisture Ants are an ant species that are typically 1/8” and reddish to brown in color. They require plenty of water to survive, so thrive in the Pacific Northwest. They have been nicknamed Yellow Ants because the workers can be yellowish in color. Before we get into the steps to remove moisture ants, it’s important to make sure you’re actually dealing with moisture ants — not another ant species. Often mistaken for termites, flies, or Odorous House Ants, these pest are one of the few that can cause issues as they are a wood-destroying organism whose presence indicates there is wet wood in or around a house.

Do you have Ants issues? Get a FREE quote today!

Ants Control Methods

How do I keep them out of my home?

Due to the varied types of ants we have here in the Pacific Northwest, the best offense is prevention. Pet food, snacks, and other food sources you leave on the counter or floor are dinner bells for this pest. Ants are also common pests inside homes as they look for shelter in dark spaces such as in walls, siding of the house, and below floors. By keeping food sources locked up in plastic containers, maintaining the upkeep of your home such as caulking cracks and window sills, and keeping an eye for stray ants that may wander into your house are all good prevention methods. On top of that, a good pest prevention program such as a bi monthly spray of the exterior of the house, especially during swarming and migrating season, will go a long way in enforcing a no ant zone.

What Programs or Contracts do you offer?

We can easily prevent infestations with a low impact program that you may cancel at any time. We do not lock you into any contracts!

On the exterior of the building we spray a perimeter gell style barrier that will kill any insect that crosses it. It also sterilizes and kills the pupae and workers back at the nest. If required we we can spray inside for spot treatments. Initial treatment comes with a 45 day warranty that we will come back out to respray when necessary. After that, if you choose we have a bi monthly prevention program that also covers other insects and spiders. Bed bugs are a separate cost.