Officials caution homeowners of ant-causing AC damage

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—During the summer we all rely on our air conditioning to keep us cool but a growing problem in the south a small pest damaging air conditioners.

Solenopsis invicta, more commonly known as the fire ant, causes $6.7 billion in annual losses in the United States.

According to a Texas A&M study and one of the problems they can cause is short-circuiting air conditioners.

“Every year this is a problem,” Ferguson said. “Ants normally didn’t mess with the air conditioning unit as soon as fire ants showed up there is some reason or other entomologist, so I don’t know why they are either attracted to the heat of the contactor or the heat it produces.”

There are certain species of ants that are just attracted to literally the electric field and any vibration it’s putting off.

Not taking care of an ant mound in a yard may end up costing someone cool air during the hot weather.

What you have is a contactor when there is a call for the air conditioner to come on its a magnetic relay that the two points come together and energize like this when they do the ants are between the two-point pieces it can happen several different ways so many get in there it can’t make contact which won’t allow the unit to start there’s a few in there that arc causing it to weld shut meaning once it does start it never will release

To prevent an ant invasion, Shoops officials recommend a pest control. He said he has been waiting on for years

One of the best things to come out that actually came out this week is fipronil. The active ingredient fipronil is the best thing to come out for ant control. It does not matter species, it’s going to take them out and control them for a year

Keeping up with maintenance and keeping an eye on air conditioner units and yard can help learn the habits of ants.

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