Understand What Ants are Looking for in Your Home
Ants are the most numerous insects in the world and the top nuisance in America which comes as no surprise seeing as they are frequent visitors to our homes. Ants are extraordinary creatures, but that their exceptional talents are most admired when they aren’t infesting our homes. Ants have the whole world under their feet, why are they invading our homes? We have compiled a list and explanation of what ants are looking for and why in your homes and ways you can prevent ants from taking up residence in your home.
The number one ant and any other pest attractant is food. Ants have to eat, and they will eat anything. They’re omnivores, some are even cannibals and eat their own eggs and larvae. An ant eats about 30% of their body weight each day. An entire colony consumes about 4.5 pounds of food daily. What can you do? For one, you can keep your dining areas restricted or make sure they always get cleaned after a meal or snack. Seal food in containers, keep an eye on fruit and throw it out before it attracts ants and pesky fruit flies. The tiniest crumbs and spills are enough for these tiny soldiers to find, and they tell everyone back in the colony about it too. The pheromones ants leave guide all their fellow workers to the source. Ants are intelligent creatures and use their physical and mental strengths to best serve their colony.
Ants aren’t only attracted to sugar, but salts as well. Salt can be an equal or greater attractant for an ant than sugar.
Water is a universal necessity of life, and this applies to ants too– so the leaks, drips, and condensation in and around your home are highly valuable to the little creatures. Check your faucets and sink systems, bathrooms, kitchen, A/C unit, etc to fix any leaks or issues and prevent an ant infestation.
TYPES OF ANTS
Carpenter ants, Odorous-House ants, and Pavement ants were found by the National Pest Management Association to be the three most damaging and bothersome pest ants in America. It’s important to know a bit about these insects, so you can employ the proper prevention methods and know what kind of damage is being done in the event of an infestation.
Carpenter Ants are a danger to your home structure. They, as the name implies, chisel away at the wood in your home. They don’t eat wood, like termites, but these ants drill their way through wood structures to make new nesting sites and trails. Carpenter ants come in various sizes and colors, but they all have the same excavating behaviors. The nests they build in your home are only secondary to the main base located outdoors.
Odorous House Ants, named for the strange scent released when squished, create many temporary nests that can be found under pieces of wood, debris, rocks, etc. While these ants are just highly obnoxious to have around, they are hard to control and get rid of because of their nomadic nature. Their colonies are huge, consisting of multiple queens, in various places in/around a foraging site. Professional Pest Control Specialists will be best to end your odorous house ant problem.
The third most pesky type of ants are pavement, or mason, ants. These insects are a double threat: like the carpenter ants, they bore their way to food and similarly to the odorous house ants they have multiple queens and build nests in/under concrete and rocks. These ants have stingers and are usually one size. Their many queens and underground nests make them difficult to manage. They are often found under concrete patios, sidewalks, driveways, and basements. Pavement ants when nesting, move the substrate, and can cause damage to your property.