Some things pair perfectly. Memorial Day and barbecues, peanut butter and jelly, and cats and window sills are proof of that. However, other familiar combinations are less appealing. Take ants and picnics. While children may find songs and stories about this potential pairing endearing, you would be hard pressed to find people who are willing to actually share their meal with these insects. If you're planning to celebrate the start of summer with a Memorial Day barbecue, you'll want to take steps to prevent ants from crashing the party.

How to Recognize Ants

With more than 12,000 species of ants in the world, it's no surprise that there's some variation in the way ants look. However, ants share certain common features that make them fairly easy to recognize. Ants are six-legged insects with narrow waists, large heads and elbowed antennae. Amazingly strong for their size, they are typically somewhere between 2 millimeters and 25 millimeters long and black, brown, yellow or reddish in color. When you spot one ant, you're likely to see another nearby. These social insects live cooperatively in large colonies.

The Problem With Ants

Ants need food and water. In the wild, they eat nectar, fungi, seeds and dead insects. However, they are only too happy to munch on human foods like peanut butter, sugar, cheese, meats, vegetables, fruits and grease. Their need for food is the primary reason that ants invade kitchens, pantries and backyard barbecues. The problem is that ants can contaminate food and water, making it unfit for human consumption. Certain species also bring additional troubles. For example, carpenter ants can damage homes as they chew through the wood to build their nests. Other species, including fire ants, bite or sting.

The Solution for Ants

Having ants invade your yard can make it difficult to enjoy your outdoor living spaces. After all, it's hard to appreciate good food when you're busy trying to protect your plate. Frankly, the presence of ants can make doing almost anything outside uncomfortable. Who can relax with a good book, lose themselves in meditation, concentrate on perfecting their swing, or even simply sit and chat with loved ones when ants keep marching into the picture? Fortunately, there are effective pest control methods that will allow you to reclaim your outdoor living spaces.

At Accel Pest & Termite Control, we understand how important it is to properly identify the type of ant and target the problem at its source: the colony. We also recognize that different situations require different solutions. That's why we only send out state-certified pest control professionals who have the knowledge and experience necessary to create a customized strategy that will provide effective pest control for your property. A locally owned and operated company, we're proud to serve our neighbors in the Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg, Richmond and Chesapeake areas, and we're fully prepared to assist you with any pest problem. If you are in need of quality pest control services, contact us today to get a free quote.