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  • Writer's pictureBryan Vaughan

Ant Control in North Carolina and Virginia: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to the VACO Pest Management blog! Today, we're diving into a common but persistent problem faced by homeowners in North Carolina and Virginia – ants. These tiny invaders can cause big problems, and understanding how to manage them is crucial for maintaining a pest-free home.

Common Ant Species in NC and VA

 Argentine Ants

Argentine Ant found in NC and VA

Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) are one of the most common ant species found in North Carolina and Virginia. Known for their aggressive behavior and ability to form large colonies, these ants can be a significant nuisance for homeowners.

Argentine ants are relatively small, measuring about 1/8 inch in length. They are light to dark brown and have a slender body. Unlike some other ant species, Argentine ants do not have a stinger. They typically build their nests in moist areas such as under rocks, logs, and mulch, but they can also nest indoors, particularly in wall voids and insulation. These ants are known for forming extensive trails as they forage for food, often leading into homes.

For large or persistent infestations, professional pest control services are recommended. At VACO Pest Management, our experts use integrated pest management techniques to effectively control Argentine ants and prevent future infestations.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are among the largest and most common ants in North Carolina and Virginia. These ants can cause significant structural damage to homes by excavating wood to create their nests.

Carpenter ants are relatively large, ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They are usually black but can also be reddish or a combination of black and red. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood but instead remove it to create smooth, clean galleries inside the wood.

Carpenter Ant damage Vaco Pest

Carpenter ants prefer moist, decaying wood but can also be found in healthy wood. They often nest in tree stumps, logs, and hollow trees outdoors. Inside homes, they are commonly found in areas with moisture issues, such as near windows, roof eaves, decks, and bathrooms. The presence of frass, a sawdust-like material, is a clear indicator of carpenter ants. This material is often found beneath wooden structures or inside voids.

Carpenter ant infestations can be challenging to manage on your own. Professional pest control services, like those offered by VACO Pest Management, utilize specialized equipment and knowledge to effectively locate and eliminate carpenter ant colonies.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous ants in a house

Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), commonly found in North Carolina and Virginia, are small but persistent pests known for their distinct smell when crushed. These ants can quickly invade homes in large numbers, making effective management crucial for maintaining a pest-free environment.

Odorous house ants are small, measuring about 1/8 inch in length. They are typically dark brown to black and have an unevenly shaped thorax when viewed from the side. The most distinguishing characteristic is the coconut-like or rotten odor they emit when crushed.

Odorous house ants often travel in erratic trails along baseboards, countertops, and other surfaces.

Fire Ants

Fire ants in NC and VA

Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are notorious for their painful stings and aggressive behavior. Common in North Carolina and Virginia, these invasive pests can pose significant threats to both people and pets.

Fire ants are small, ranging from 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. They are reddish-brown with darker abdomens. One distinguishing feature is their aggressive behavior and the distinctive mound-shaped nests they build.

Fire ants prefer sunny, open areas such as lawns, fields, and pastures. They build large, dome-shaped mounds that can be up to 18 inches in height. These mounds often have no visible entrance holes, as fire ants enter and exit through underground tunnels.

Fire ants can sting repeatedly, injecting venom that causes a burning sensation and can lead to painful, itchy pustules. For some people, these stings can trigger severe allergic reactions. Fire ants are highly aggressive and will swarm en masse to defend their nest if disturbed. These ants can damage electrical equipment by nesting in and around electrical units, causing short circuits and equipment failures.

Fire ant infestations can be challenging to manage on your own, especially if the infestation is extensive. VACO Pest Management provides comprehensive solutions to effectively eliminate fire ants and prevent future infestations.

Why Are Ants a Problem?

Why ants are a problem in NC and VA

Ants may seem harmless, but they can pose several issues, including:

  • Structural Damage: Carpenter ants, in particular, can cause significant damage to wooden structures.

  • Health Risks: Ants can contaminate food and surfaces, potentially spreading bacteria.

  • Painful Stings: Fire ants are known for their painful stings, which can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

Effective Ant Control North Carolina and Virginia

Effective ant control strategies VACO Pest

1. Identification Correctly identifying the ant species is crucial for effective control. Different species require different treatment approaches.

2. Prevention

  • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation, doors, and windows.

  • Eliminate Food Sources: Keep your kitchen clean, store food in airtight containers, and promptly clean up spills.

  • Reduce Moisture: Fix leaks and ensure proper drainage around your home to deter ants.

3. Baiting Ant baits are effective for many species, including Argentine and odorous house ants. The ants carry the bait back to their colony, which helps to eliminate the entire population.

4. Professional Treatment For persistent ant problems, professional pest control is often necessary. At VACO Pest Management, we offer comprehensive ant control services, utilizing the latest techniques and products to ensure your home is ant-free.

Why Choose VACO Pest Management?

VACO Pest technician and owner, Bryan Vaughan

  • Experienced Technicians: Our team is trained to handle all types of ant infestations.

  • Eco-Friendly Solutions: We use environmentally responsible methods to protect your family and pets.

  • Guaranteed Results: We stand by our work and offer guarantees on our services.


Ant infestations can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge and approach, they can be effectively managed. If you're dealing with ants in North Carolina or Virginia, don't hesitate to contact VACO Pest Management. Let us help you keep your home safe and pest-free!

For more tips and information on pest control, subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media. Contact us!

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