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Understanding Ants

In: Ants

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Having a baby changes your whole world. Suddenly, there is a little person living in your house who is entirely dependent upon you. Without your permission, your entire perspective on life has been flung into a spin. It is no longer all about you; your focus is now on that tiny little creature that needs your help every second of every day. If you were to head out to get some food to feed your baby, would you go to a store with bare shelves? Of course not. You'd find the best supermarket, with a section devoted entirely to foods your baby can eat. Understanding this is the key to understanding ants.

In an ant colony there can be one, or even a few, queen ants. The job of the queen is to lay around all day and make babies. Those babies grow from larva to adults, and most of those adults will become workers. It is the job of the worker ant to find food and bring it back to feed the colony. It is their entire world. If you are battling with ants in your home, this is the single, most important piece of information you can know.

Ants are looking for food. The easier it is to get food, and the more food there is, the more inviting your home will be. You strategy should be to keep food hidden. Here are some ideas.

  • Store your pantry foods in hard plastic containers, especially anything that come from the store in paper or cardboard. Ants don't chew their way into these items, but they can smell them. And, if your home is like most, these items will be put back into cabinets with the tops crumpled or twisted, and prone to opening back up.

  • Keep pantry shelves cleaned. If your shelves are sprinkled or powdered with remnants, ants will try to get to them.

  • One of the biggest attractions for ants is a pet food dish. Try putting pet food down only during meal time.

  • If you have kids, you may want to check behind and under couches and chairs for candy items left for ants to find. Ants love those carbohydrates.

  • Keep your floors and counters clean of toast crumbs and other tasty morsels. A drop of jelly will have those ants dropping pheromones like crazy. The pheromones are what allow ants to form lines to get to a food source. They smell their way to it.

  • If you find a line of ants in your home you can be sure they have found a food source. Locate it and dispose of it. Then, spray the area with soapy water or glass cleaner. Be sure to get the entire length of the path so new ants can't find the pheromone trail.

For most ants, these tactics will keep you from having to deal with them. If there are no food sources, those ants will stay in your walls. But carpenter ants are another matter altogether. This is an ant you do not want in your walls. Call a professional pest control company to have those ants eradicated.

You should also be aware that ants are an indication of a more serious problem. If you're getting ants, you have entry points that other pests can exploit. A trained pest controller can help you locate these trouble spots and give you actionable information that can help you protect your family. Don't be afraid to reach out.

Tags: ants  |  ant prevention tips  |  ants in the kitchen  |  carpenter ant control