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ANTS
If you see one ant, you can be sure that there are many more just around the corner. Worker ants will frequently enter homes looking for food. Poor sanitation is the primary cause of infestation - dirty dishes in the sink, food residue on countertops, or unemptied trash cans will quickly attract ants, and what starts as a few brave foragers will quickly escalate into a major problem if they establish colonies in your garden, walls or under your house foundations.

Ants carry bacteria on their bodies and there is a risk of spreading disease. Here in the Philippines, species like the carpenter ant can cause significant damage by chewing tunnels through wood beams and flooring. Fire ants are also common here and their sting is painful and may result in allergic reactions for those who are hyper-sensitive to ant stings.
ANT INFESTATION - Early Warning Signs
Live Ants - If you are seeing large numbers of ants then in all likelihood you have a problem. An average colony can number upwards of 300,000 ants, and a worker ant can live for 7 years. A queen can live up to 15 years, so this is not a problem that will resolve itself. In addition, it is important to note that the ants you encounter may come from a number of different colonies, each of which must be located and dealt with.

Ant Highways - Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow from the colony to the food source (perhaps your pantry).

Colony Location - Ants can nest just about anywhere in and around your house. Typically, they will be in lawns, walls, tree stumps, or under the foundations.
IDENTIFICATION & TREATMENT
As ant treatments vary depending on species, it is essential that we, as pest control professionals, are able to identify the ant specie/s that are infesting your home in order to deliver the correct treatment.

Once identified, DBMPC will be able to deliver the treatment that is most effective for that type of ant.
There are over 20 species of ants commonly found in the Philippines, the most common of which are detailed below:
Carpenter Ant
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  • 6-13mm in length.
  • Vary in colour from black to dark red.
  • Carpenter ants can bite but can not sting. They can be found in dead or damaged trees, wood piles, or in wood that has retained moisture such as under a kitchen sink or in a roof void. Similar to termites, they will, if left untreated, damage wooden timbers and household cabinets.
  • Carpenter ants leave behind a sawdust-like waste and insect body parts.
Black House Ant
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  • 2.5-3.5mm in length.
  • Shiny black in colour.
  • Black house ants are scavengers and are regarded as a nuisance as they are often found in kitchens, garbage areas and also in dog excrement, therefore they have the potential to spread diseases such as salmonella.
Fire Ant
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  • Workers 1.5 -2mm in length, yellow-brownish in colour with a brown abdomen.
  • Queens 3.5-6mm long, dark red in colour with wings.
  • Coppery brown/reddish body.
  • Distinctive two segment antennal club most visible in females.
  • Extremely aggressive if disturbed and can inflict a painful sting. These ants are a major agricultural and urban pest, destroying crops and invading residential areas both outdoors and indoors.
Ghost Ant
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  • 16mm in length.
  • Pale/translucent legs and abdomen.
  • Attracted to sweet substances, grease, honeydew.
  • Typically nest indoors, within roof or wall voids, in flowerpots and under garden ornaments and loose bark.
  • Attracted to high moisture areas such as kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
Odorous Ant
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  • 2-3.5mm in length.
  • Brown or black in colour.
  • Produce a smell similar to coconut when crushed, hence the name.
  • Attracted to moisture, nests can be found in houseplants or in bathroom cabinets.
  • Eat most household foods, sweets, fruit and also pet food.
Pharaoh Ant
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  • Workers 1.5 -2mm in length, yellow-brownish in colour with a brown abdomen.
  • Males 3mm long, black, winged.
  • Queens 3.5-6mm long, dark red in colour with wings.
  • Well-defined trails are set down and often follow heating ducts.
  • Feed indoors on a high protein diet of meat, fat, blood and dead insects. Often found in hospitals and humid environments.
Pavement Ant
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  • 2-3mm in length with 6 legs and 2 spines on the back.
  • Dark brown or blackish in colour.
  • 12 segmented antennae.
  • Feeding on almost anything humans eat, as well as pet food. Aggressive scavengers and will use pipes and electrical conduit to move unseen through the home.
Little Black Ant
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  • 1.5mm (workers) - 4mm (queen) in length.
  • Dark brownish/black/ jet black in colour.
  • Aggressive and territorial, will fight other ant colonies for food.
  • Feeding on almost anything humans eat, as well as pet food.
  • These ants build their nests primarily in dark, protected areas under rocks and rotting logs, but will also thrive in lawns or gardens. Indoors, little black ants build their nests in woodwork, wall voids, baseboards and under carpeting.
Weaver Ant ("Hantik")
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  • 5mm - 25mm in length
  • Orange in colour
  • They bite but do not sting.
  • Colony can contain up to a million ants, they are very invasive and can be hard to control. Half of the colony is made up of fertile females, so reproductive capabilities are huge.
  • Often found nesting in trees, they are attracted to sweet substances.
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