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Argentine Ants are a year round problem in Orange County

2012 December 5

Ants are often thought of as just a summer-time pest problem but here in Orange County, California ants are a year round problem for homeowners and businesses alike. Due to our mild climate they have free reign in our environment even during our cold 60 degree winter days. Another reason that ants are a year round problem in Southern California is because of the breed of ants that have taken over our environment, Argentine Ants. These non-native ants have basically taken control of California and conquered nearly all other ants in their path. With their large colony size and their needs for food and water Argentine Ants tend to set up satellite colonies inside or very close to Orange County homes and gardens. When these insects invade it is very important that homeowners seek professional help for the problem or they could very easily make the situation worse with over-the-counter (OTC) remedies.

Why Are These Ants so Prevalent?

Since the average local temperature is around 63 degrees and the minimum temperature is around 48 degrees according average-temperatures.com insects especially ants, thrive in Southern California areas that are supplied with the food and water they need. In colder parts of the country, where the temperatures can drop to freezing and below, insects have a difficult time surviving the tough winter months and many die off in the freeze. Orange County’s temperate climate along with a supply of moisture, either from a good rainy season or a homeowner’s irrigation systems, creates an environment that is ideal for year round colony growth and year round foraging for food. Southern California insect populations experience little environmental pressures so they tend to live out their full life span and thereby produce populations whatever size the environment can support, which is often very large.

What danger do they pose?

Non-native insect species always pose a threat to any environment they are introduced to and Argentine Ants are no exception. Argentines have almost completely wiped out all native ant species in California. Most Argentine Ants in Southern California are part of the Very Large Colony (VLC), the scientific name for it. The VLC spreads from Baja to Sacramento and is just a single main colony with individual satellite colonies attached to it. There are a few other ‘smaller’ Argentine colonies that can encompass a few neighborhoods or a few cities, but they do not measure close to the size of the VLC. Argentine Ants in Argentina, where they are from, don’t operate in these super-colonies but once an Argentine Ant colony is transplanted all of its future members will continue to work together, no matter how far they spread. This ability to work together allows them to overwhelm native ant species with millions of ants in any war they wage. Even though Argentines are smaller than native species they have won out with sheer force of numbers, making them the dominant species in Orange County. Whenever the VLC finds food or water supplies in an area they march some ants with a few queens to set up a new satellite in the area to take advantage of those new supply sources. Also, since Argentine Ants can have more than 20 ‘Queen’ ants in a single satellite, they are able to quickly multiply to answer any threat they encounter.

Hiring a professional

Due to Argentine biology and the vast spread of the VLC there is no way to permanently eliminate them from our environment. This is why control of their population is the key to living a life free from ant infestation. Exterminators in Buena Park use the most modern non-repellent solutions to control these pesky invaders. Non-repellent chemicals are the key to effective Argentine Ant control and this is why OTC pest control products are not very effective at controlling them. Almost every OTC insecticide is a repellent chemical that, if used properly, will trap ants on the inside of a home and will only kill on contact. Repellent Chemicals are detectable by ants and they avoid crossing them, repel them, and if ants are on the inside of a structure they will avoid the area sprayed and search in other areas for food and water. Our non-repellent chemicals are not detectable to ants. Since ants are unaware of their presence they cross these chemicals and spread them around their colony. These chemicals have a transfer effect that does great damage to the colony and does not force them into the living quarters of the structure. Through our use of these specialized chemicals, a company like PacWest Exterminators can gain quick and effective control of Argentine Ants in your home.

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