Ant infestations are a stranger to no one. There are many varieties of ants as well, with some being much more harmful than others. Some ants can be potentially lethal, while others are fine.
Are ants harmful to babies? It truly does depend on the type of ant, but for a short answer, yes. However, there are some ants that won’t cause any harm and some that can be deadly towards babies and even adults.
Today, we’ll take a look at what types of ants are dangerous, and what they are capable of. Also, we’ll be looking at how you can get rid of them as well, and make sure they don’t come back to be a threat any longer.
Types of Harmful Ants
There are several different types of harmful Ants out there today. We’ll be taking a look at a few that can invade homes primarily, and potentially cause harm to yourself and a baby. Also included will be how to identify the ants and methods to get rid of them and prevent further invasions.
These ants are one of the more common ants that you’ll find invading your home. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from yellowish brown to black. These ants come from the outdoors and will be commonly found on porches and around trees.
They typically will not be found deep inside a home, rather around perimeters such as doors and windows. However, that does not mean they can sneak further into the household. These ants also are pretty aggressive and will sting, although it typically isn’t anything serious.
Their bites wills sting but aren’t known to carry out diseases or poison. However, if you have found that food and such as been invaded, it is best to get rid of it.
Acrobat ants are easy to identify, as they have a special ability to where they can hold their abdomen over their body. Also, their abdomen is in a heart-shape and is typically darker than the rest of their body.
How to Get Rid of Them
Although one of the less harmful ants that can invade a home, they can be quite tricky to get rid of. They nest outside and typically will be in a large quantity. To seek them all out, it is best to call an exterminator or expert to come out have them eliminated that way. It may be a bit costly but will certainly do the trick.
To prevent them from further invading, or just to stop their attacks before it could possibly happen to your home, here are some tips:
- Keep lawn and garden in good care
- Clean gutters consistently
- Don’t keep branches, dead trees, or anything amongst the sort around your property
- Seal off entrances into your home
- Keep deck and patios in good condition
Asian Needle Ant
This ant is one of the more dangerous ants you’ll come across in your home. The Asian needle ant is a brownish-black color. It mainly nests outdoors as well but can be found sometimes indoors as well.
Their stings are quite painful, but usually only attack when they come into direct contact, which can be easier said than done. With babies, they won’t know to not make contact, making them quite dangerous to them especially.
There have been cases where the sting from one of these ants has caused anaphylactic shock, which can be quite serious.
Their orange mandibles are one of the keys looks that will help identify them. Look both indoors and outdoors for trails that will typically lead back to their colony. You can also use bait that will help attract them, if you are having difficulty finding the trials themselves.
How to Get Rid of Them
These ants can’t typically be handled by strong insecticide if you are able to track them to the source. Not only will you want to attack their nests directly, but also you should sweep your perimeter with the insecticide as well.
If it seems the infestation is quite large, you should seek professional help at that point. Exterminators will do a great job of eliminating the ants and keeping them away.
There is also the indoor treatment you can do as well, such as types of baits and non-repellents to get rid of the population that may be lingering indoors. This should be the final straw of eliminating the ant infestation.
After you’ve gotten rid of the ants, there are quite a few steps you can take to ensure you won’t have the issue arise again. Some of these steps include:
- Removal of tree limbs and stumps
- Removal of leaf piles
- Closing all possible entryways
- Cleaning property
- Maintaining lawn and gardens
- Keeping patios and decks in good condition
Carpenter ants are probably one of the most common ants you’ll come across on this list. There are several different types of species of them and are quite the pest when they invade a home. These ants get their name because they are mainly found around wood.
The nests also mainly exist outside as well but can be found indoors as well. They are quite aggressive as well, and sting when bothered. They do not carry diseases or infections but can cause other damage elsewhere.
- Since they primarily nest in wood, they can cause structural damage to your home that can be costly.
How to Get Rid of Them
To get rid of any ant infestation, you’ll have to first locate their nests. Luckily (or unluckily) they almost always will be found in wood so that it will limit your search radius tremendously. They often times will do some serious damage if they’re long enough, so keep an eye out for that also.
Again, an insecticide may be enough to do the trick, using a heavy amount both on the nests and around your property. However, carpenter ants can have huge colonies that sometimes will require professional help.
As mentioned before, professional help is what I’d recommend over anything DYI. It will give you peace of mind knowing the infestation is cleared, and you won’t have to worry about any lingering survivors.
To prevent them from further invading your home, here are some tips to keep them at bay:
- Get rid of any rotting or decayed wood
- Keep any wood around the house clean and in good shape.
- Have repellents placed around the perimeter
- Don’t leave trash lingering
- Keep branches and such out of the property
Ah, perhaps one of the most infamous ants around, the fire ant. Fire ants are ultra-aggressive ants when disturbed and will deliver quite painful bites. I personally fell victim to an anthill full of them and was bit several times by the ants.
They are a distinct red color that will instantly give them away, which is part of the reason they are called “fire” ants. The color is a dark, reddish-brown color, and they are almost always found in large groups. The sting itself can cause irritation and is a sharp pain on impact, and in rare cases, can cause serious health issues.
What makes them unique is that they attack in a pack, rather than just one individual ant attacking you. It will burn quite a bit, due to the high levels of toxins that they carry. You’ll generally get welts after the stings as well.
The allergic reaction to these stings, if strong enough, can be fatal, and are especially dangerous to babies. The fire ant is probably one of the most dangerous ants to babies that can come onto your home soil.
Typically, though, the sting will go away within a few days, and it is similar to being stung by a wasp or bee in many ways. Cold compression is one of the best methods to make ease the pain and should be applied as early as possible also to reduce swelling.
How to Get Rid of Them
To find out if it is indeed a fire ant infestation you are dealing with, look at the mounds they have outside. They are distinct and are flat and dome-shaped, making them unique. Also, the ant itself is quite unique as well.
Once you’ve established that it is indeed fired ants you are dealing with; professional help should be your first instinct. The levels of danger these ants provide are far too risky not to have it dealt with by exterminators, especially if you have babies or young children around.
For the most part though, these ants will just appear in your yard, and not invade your home. Also, they aren’t actively seeking to sting humans, rather only act if their nests are disturbed. As I mentioned earlier though, babies and children will not know any better to not mess with them.
If you keep finding their hills popping up, you can use insecticides as well, to further repel them if need be. Make sure children are not around; however when you do, just in case the ants disperse quickly from their nest.
There are some repellents you can use as well to keep fire ants from further advancing. One of the best tools is baby power, which should be put on areas and objects you do not want them invading.
Fire ants are a bit harder to keep away than most ants, but one of the most effective ways to keep their population low is so set up specific bait around your property. Fire ant bait will do a great job of eliminating remaining populations of ants. It can also be used as a regular combatant as well.
Tips for Keeping Your Baby Safe
Overall, to keep your baby safe from ants, you’ll need to regularly set baits indoors and outdoors, as well as probably have your property sprayed consistently as well. Staying on top of this will ensure that your chances of having your home invaded by ants rather low.
Most of the dangerous ants will be found outside, so if you have your baby in the yard, make sure you have constant supervision. Also, before allowing your child to play in an area, give it a quick inspection, to ensure the area is indeed safe.
Although ants can be truly harmful to babies, there is plenty of insects out there as well that can hurt them. The best tip for keeping your child safe is to pay attention, clean areas, and make sure you have regular inspections on both your home and property.