The Most Effective Ant Control Treatment In Southern California

You may wonder why you have recurring problems with Ants inside your home:

Without the proper commodities of food or water, forager ants will search out that commodity for the large number of colony members.

  • Water: Water is normally the commodity that brings them into your home. When Ants are in your landscape, your house will be the closest place they can find water and is usually found in the sink traps of your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and garage.
  • Food: Ants are actually liquid feeders and the food the adults eat is almost exclusively the secretions from aphids and other homopterous (plant sucking) insects that infest your landscape plants. Ants build new colonies close to a good food source where aphids or whitefly are infesting plantings. Now they are in your landscape and close to your house.

Ant Migration: How and why ants find their way into your home.

Ants live in structured societies called colonies. A mature ant colony grows faster than the worker ants can expand the colony, therefore ants are continually displaced to start satellite colonies. Ants build satellite colonies close to good food sources.

The favored plants for infestation are Roses, Hibiscus bushes, Palm trees, Citrus trees and Conifers like Pines and Spruces. When there is an abundance of food and water, the satellite colonies turn into parent colonies. It’s important to control the ants before they develop more satellite colonies because they will eventually end up in your home.

The Plan

Nothing ever gets done right without a plan. You know the old saying, "plan your work and work your plan". Corky has the plan to control Ants and our technicians work that plan to the fullest for control your ant problems.

Using the most effective ant control treatment products in existence, including "Termidor"® ( a non-detectable formula that the ants walk through and take back to their colony where it continues to eliminate the colony from within), we do the following:

Step 1: Property Inspection

Property Inspection
A thorough inspection of your property is always performed by your technician to search out existing trouble spots, that you may or may not know about.

Argentine Ant

Step 2: Structural Treatment

Structural Treatment
We always treat the window casings, door frames, eaves, and foundations to put the treatment in the areas where ants find ways onto your property and into your home.

Pharoah Ant

Step 3: Search & Destroy Treatment

Search and Destroy Treatment
A thorough search and destroy procedure is performed by your technician to find all existing colonies. These colonies are then treated using a specially built probe to eliminate them on the spot.

Harvester Ant  Imported Fire Ant

Step 4

Perimeter Treatment
Property perimeter and fence lines are treated to establish barriers that stop ant migrations from neighboring properties.

***Interior services are sometimes necessary if ants have taken up residence inside your home. These services are available for an additional charge.***


We’re confident that once you experience the great results of our service, you’ll want to become a regular customer.

We know that no matter what the plan, without a regularly scheduled maintenance program, reinfestation is a sure thing.

Corky's has the perfect year round service plan especially developed for your Southern California property, performed by the most knowledgeable pest professionals in the industry.


  • We do not spray flowering plants when Bees are present and foraging or on hot summer days.
  • We inspect every area of your property and use all necessary treatments to provide a perfect service.
  • We only use Botanical or Low-Impact products on your property.

Everyone knows that ants come into your house from the landscape. Keeping Aphids and Whitefly in check is the first step in Ant control. We maintain an inventory of your plants to ensure that our service is appropriate for your property. Controlling the insects outside of your home is the key to effectively controlling insects that invade your home.

You may be seeing swarms of insects that initially appear to be Ants.
Before you make the call, let's determine what you are seeing.
It could be Termites!

Ant and Termite Comparison

Now that you have a good idea what
you are dealing with,
make the CALL!

Argentine Ant

Argentine AntThe Argentine is small-about 1/8th inch and is a brownish color. It has widely infested urban areas, with multiple colonies in a relatively small area, and each colony containing thousands of workers. Foraging columns of the ants are seen heading out from the colony to seek food and water sources. They are the most persistent and troublesome ant that invades houses-since they are small, they can get in through tiny cracks. They tend and defend aphids and scale, seeking the honeydew, so they foster plant damage by those insects. Argentine Ants live in shallow galleries in the ground-often only a few inches deep. A single colony will have multiple queens, and can grow quite rapidly, displacing other native types of ants. They also rapidly establish other colonies when a queen leaves and takes some of the workers with her. These satellite colonies may eventually return or they may become the mother colony to many new colonies. During the hot summer months, some may even be temporarily established inside homes-under carpets, attic insulation, or in walls and potted plants.

Life Cycle:

The eggs hatch in about two weeks into larvae. The larvae mature into a pupa in about a month, and the pupa stage lasts only 15 days. The whole process of egg to adult can range from as short as 33 days to a maximum of 141 days.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter AntCarpenter ants are usually ¼ to ½ inch in size, and are one of the larger ants that invade homes. Despite appearances, they do not actually eat the wood, they tunnel through it to create galleries-their homes-and can do considerable damage. They will infest dead trees, telephone poles, and houses but can also be found in lawns. Since they do not actually eat the wood, their food is really other insects, juices, and they have a particular fondness for anything sweet. They are liquid feeders and unable to swallow solid foods, so they chew the solids until it can be swallowed. Adult Carpenter Ants have the ability to bite. Each colony has one queen, who lays only a few eggs that become minor workers, who then go out and forage to feed the queen and the young. A colony may eventually contain over 3,000 workers. When they get into houses, damage can be severe and require extensive repairs.

Life Cycle:

Females lay eggs in chambers of galleries, which hatch into larvae in about 24 days. The larvae mature into pupa in 21 days. Pupa are encased in cocoons, which are commonly called ant eggs. The pupal stage is also 21 days, so the minimum time from egg to adult is 66 days.

Harvester Ant

Red Harvester Ant WorkerThe California variety of the Harvester Ant is quite large (1/4th inch) and red colored. It is also known for its ability to sting. Nests are found underground with a small mound at the opening, which is littered with leftover food debris. No live vegetation is found anywhere around the opening of the nest. They generally seek seeds as a main source of food. During the winter, the nest is sealed off and no activity is seen.

These ants have actually been able to kill small pigs by their sudden and vicious attacks. Harvester Ants will go after people and just about any small animal that gets too close to their nest. A few types will leave the stinger in their victim just as bees do, but most do not.

Life Cycle:

Swarming occurs several times each year, starting in June and July but most prominently during August and September. The winged ants emerge in large numbers, but most will not survive. The male dies right after mating, and the female starts a new underground colony. Colonies may last for quite a number of years, and can contain thousands of ants. The colony becomes less active in temperatures over 120 degrees and during the rainy season.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Argentine AntFire Ants have caused destruction throughout the Southeastern portion of the United States, and two species have crept into Southern California. It is a very aggressive ant, and they may destroy other species of ant colonies in the area. Fire Ants can cause a severe sting, even being fatal when large numbers of the ants attack. They get their name from the severe reaction caused by their stings-it feels like fire! Some people are quite allergic to the stings. The Imported Fire Ant is quite infamous, and in some areas is quite a problem. The workers are usually the most noticed, and are 1/4th inch in size. They can be colored from reddish to almost black. They live inside large mounds in fields, woodlands, and open space areas. Fire ants will eat insects, seeds, fruits, meats, vegetables, flowers, and honeydew-just about anything organic can become their food. The colony has a prominent queen who mates and lays eggs. She alone tends the eggs and larvae of the first generation, and then the first generation females will take over the care of later eggs, larvae, and even the queen. Worker females build the nest, excavating large amounts of dirt which forms the mound. Occasionally a nest will be built in a rotting log or under a rock. Imported Fire Ants can do major damage to new crops, and also are quite capable of inflicting painful stings and bites. They are very hostile to other ants.
The Red Imported Fire Ant is a relative newcomer to California. Governmental efforts to control this type of Fire Ant have been fairly successful, however. They are very reddish in color, although there is a minor variety that is black. This is the type that builds large earthen mounds, growing to 20-30 colonies per acre. The mound is usually about a foot high, but some have been reported which have reached eight feet in height. A mound will contain between 30,000 and 100,000 workers. It is very aggressive and likes to sting both humans and animals-over 1 million people are stung each year by Red Imported Fire Ants in the Southeastern United States. The Red Imported Fire Ant will feed on plants, including tree bark, and can be very destructive. They will also feed on other insects, eggs and young birds in ground nests.

Life Cycle:

Eggs develop in 7-10 days, larvae in 6-12 days, and pupa in 9-16 days. The egg to adult life cycle ranges from 22-38 days, a very quickly developing ant! Minor workers live from one to two months, while major workers can live up to six months.

Southern Fire Ant

Argentine AntThe Southern Fire Ant is widespread throughout the lower altitudes of Southern California. The Southern Fire Ant is generally a little smaller than the Imported Fire Ant, but can also cause significant damage and inflict a painful sting. They get their name from the "fiery" stings they can impart. The workers are fairly slow moving, and the nest is very sensitive to vibrations-so if a footstep is detected close by the ants will swarm out to attack. They are up to 1/4th inch long, and have a reddish brown or black color. They also build mounds, with the nests located under objects-stones, boards, or anything on the ground that provides cover. They will also get into the wood or masonry of a house, and can build mounds like the Red Imported Fire Ant.
The Southern Fire Ant can also be a problem to crops. It will eat just about anything-favorite foods include fatty or oily substances, and they are known to kill young or newborn birds and poultry. It is even widely reported that they have eaten the rubber insulation off electrical wiring, causing shorts in wiring.

Life Cycle:

A queen can lay over 1,000 eggs in a 24-hour period, which hatch in 2-4 weeks. During the warm summer months the egg to adult process can be as little as 44 days.


Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh Ants are often mistaken for the Argentine and Thief ant-they are slightly smaller, less than 1/16th inch, and are a yellowish to brownish color. The also have a stinger, even though it is very small and not effective, which the Argentine Ant lacks. This ant will nest inside buildings, trying to find a location near food, but is only found in a few locations in California. It will eat just about anything that people eat-especially fatty, greasy foods, meat, and sweets. It is also a predator to many insects, and will spread bacteria. The unusual name comes from its original habitat in Egypt. The Pharaoh Ant seeks to establish nests in warm and inaccessible locations. A colony contains many queens and can have hundreds of thousands of workers!

Life Cycle:

Eggs incubate for a little over a week, and go through a larval stage of about three weeks. This ant has a pre-pupal stage of three days, and the pupal stage lasts 9-10 days before becoming an adult. The whole egg to adult process can be as little as 38 days under optimum conditions.

Thief Ant

Ghost AntThief Ants are tiny-only about 1/16th of an inch, and are a pale brownish color. Their size makes it easy for them to get into houses in search of food and water. They love meats, cheeses, and grease-foods that are rich in fats or proteins. They will also eat dead insects. The nests are in galleries in dirt, and they often build near another ant colony-raiding it to steal food. This is how they got their name! The Thief Ant will also build inside houses-in walls, cupboards, cracks and crevices. They can host diseases and tapeworms as an additional problem for human food. A colony may contain from a few hundred to a few thousand ants.

Life Cycle :

Queens lay about 100 eggs, which incubate for 16-28 days. The larval stage varies greatly with temperature, developing in as little as three weeks. This ant also has a pre-pupal stage of 2-11 days, and the pupal stage itself ranges from 13-27 days.

Little Black Ant

This very small ant, about 1/16th inch, is colored dark brown to black. They build nests underground, under tree bark, beneath rocks, and can even infest woodwork in buildings. They will nest both indoors and outdoors, often in decaying wood. They will also build nests in lawns and vacant lots. Their favorite food is insect honeydew, but in houses they will go after just about anything-grease, sweets, meat, fruits, and vegetables. They will even eat other insects, both dead and alive.

Life Cycle:

Little Black Ants will swarm in the summer, reproducing and forming new colonies. Each colony can grow quite large and eventually contain multiple queens.

Pavement Ant

Pavement Ants are fairly small, with workers about 1/8th inch in length. They will frequently invade houses in search of just about any food, especially meats and greases, creating trails of up to 30 feet. They usually enter houses from cracks in the slabs. Once inside, Pavement Ants often travel underneath the carpet. They may infest the upper stories of commercial buildings. Outdoors they will be found around pet bowls, but will also go after insects, seeds, and honeydew. Once they find food, the workers swarm all over it. They have a stinger, but will rarely use it.

Life Cycle:

Pavement Ant colonies have between 3,000 and 4,000 individuals along with several queens. They usually nest in soil, but will go indoors in cold weather. Swarming is in late Spring to early Summer, but if they get established inside, they may swarm at any time of the year. There are multiple queens, with each queen producing 5-20 eggs per day. The egg to adult process takes anywhere from 1-2 months. Colonies are large, and they will drive out other ants in the area.

Types of Ants

The most important identifying characteristic is the number of "Nodes" located on the Petiole between the Thorax and Abdomen. Click on each drawing for more information.

Single Node Ants - Non Stinging

A Non Stinging, Single Node Ant

Double Node Ants - Stinging

Stinging Double node Ant

Characteristics of an Ant.

Ant Exterior

Ant Interior


Ant Characteristics
More Ants
Argentine Ant Carpenter Ant
Red Imported Fire Ants Harvester Ant

Ant Video Script

Hi, this is corky, and i want to tell you about our ant and spider service which gets us more referrals from our customers than all the advertising that we do.

People usually call us for help after ants and spiders are already in their house.

If ants and spider populations are allowed to flourish in the landscape outside your home, the problem will eventually make its way inside your home.

Corkys Pest Control is licensed to treat your landscape. Most other pest control companies aren’t. This gives us a huge advantage in controlling ants and spiders . Our consistent, year round, outdoor approach enables us to stop them before they come inside.

When ants are in your landscape, your house will be the closest place they can find water and is usually in your sink.

Spiders can be found on your fence lines and your plants on the side of your house where you usually see their webs.

The first thing we do, is use a webbing brush to remove any spider webs from the eaves of your home and we do this all around your entire house and the fence lines.

We treat all the cracks and crevices next to the driveways and sidewalks. We treat the perimeter of your home and along fence lines to create a barrier to protect against migrating insects. Our treatment on the eaves, window casings and door front of your house will keep those spiders from going back into the cracks and crevices.

We spray down into the root zones of the plants and turn our application upward - and treat the underside of the leaves to make sure we control any spiders or other migratory insects that might be there. We inspect and treat all of the large plantings on your property that we can get to.We treat the foundation of your home, even behind the shrubs and plants, to make sure we get a good application there.

We get under, and treat the underside of your patio furniture. This is the major place where spiders seem to congregate.

Treatment to the eaves is especially important to keep the spiders from building their webs there.

Try our service and find out why our customers are so satisfied. We do over 87,000 of these applications a year. If you have any questions this video didn’t answer, please call our office and talk to one of our friendly customer service representatives. They will be very glad to help you!