Some ants bite. Some, like odorous ants, don't. But you still don't want them in your house. They'll not only stink it up, but they'll get into your food and be a nuisance. Ants like to live near moisture so that you might find nests near water heaters, furnaces, and leaky pipes. Outside, they'll build nests in mulch, under stones, and anywhere else they can hide. That's why it's a good idea to keep mulch and rocks away from the house.
While ants mostly show up in the summer months, if you have a warm, wet spring, you'll see them earlier. Most of them, including black ants in the home, are harmless, but you should kill ants at home anyway. You can keep them out of your home by making sure all food is in sealed containers. Having your house sprayed by a professional regularly also helps get rid of these and other pests.
Ants will only go where they can find food and water. If you see ants, try to follow them to find the entry point so you can seal it off. If you can find the nest, you should also destroy it. Make sure you clean up crumbs and spills immediately. Also, keep your pets' food picked up – you won't be able to free feed if you have problems with ants.
Knowing how to stop ants in the house is the first step in understanding how to kill ants. Once you find them, you can spray the nest to kill them. Keeping food picked up makes it easier to find them, as they might have just one entry point since food and water are not readily available. The ant trail could lead to a leaky pipe or softwood.
Flying ants in your home are even worse – not only do they crawl around, getting into everything, but they can also fly. As with any other ants, find where they are coming in, seal the opening off, and destroy the nest.
Look on the outside of your home near where the ants are entering. If you have mulch, stones, and other debris near the house, remove it. Make sure your screens do not have holes in them. If so, replace the screens or patch the holes. If you have trash cans around, make sure they are kept clean inside and out. Finally, if you have potted plants, look for pest activity in the soil and plants.
Carpenter ants like to build their nests in wood. Signs of carpenter ants are much the same as termites. You'll see little piles of sawdust near tunnels that they make. You might even see body parts in the little piles of sawdust. These pests prefer wood that is soft because it was affected by moisture or fungus. You might have to replace those boards if the ants have done much damage or if you see signs of fungus. If the panels are moist, look for the source of the leak and repair the leak.
In addition to destroying your home, carpenter ants bite, especially if they feel their nest is in danger. The bites are often painful – they feel like a hard pinch. You might also feel a burning sensation at the bite location – and the edges are usually itchy.