If you spot one or two ants in your home, it's not an unfortunate coincidence, it's an ant master plan. Ants have a very distinct caste system and society that consists of the queen and her worker ants. The ants you initially see in your home are the worker ants that are scouting out food and water for the queen. Getting rid of ants in your home is no picnic. By figuring out what's attracting them we can figure out how to prevent them.
Every ant colony starts out with a tiny queen tasked with mating and creating her own colony. If she is successful in avoiding predators, she will begin digging her chambers and starting her colony by mating with males.
Once the colony has expanded and is stable enough to produce offspring, the queen starts sending worker ants and new queens out into the world. To completely eliminate an infestation of ants you have to get down to the source, the queen. The queen continuously lays eggs and produces offspring, so killing her workers is futile.
Like most living things, ants are breaking into your home looking for food and water. They will send scouts out from the colony to try to find a source of sustenance. If the scout finds food, a sugary spill, or anything else of interest he will alert his colony and begin an assembly line of food transfer.
Ants are attracted to what they need to survive and provide for their body. We aren't so different from ants after all, at least we both require a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in their diets. That being said, what they are most interested in is sugar, water, and salt.
Sugar - Since sugar contains a very high amount of carbohydrates, ants will eat anything they can get sugar from. Sugar also has a very sweet and alluring scent that will draw ants towards it. Artificial sweeteners don't contain carbohydrates and are of little interest to ants.
Water - Water is the foundation of many things in the world, even ants. Ants don't need an excessive amount of water, they can often satisfy their craving for water just from the food they consume. Ants, like carpenter ants, are also attracted to damp wood and excess moisture. You can often find ants in your bathroom, or near a water leak, as these areas are usually moist.
Salt - Salt is actually more attractive to ants than sugar is. Ants often struggle to get access to salt, even though it is essential to maintain proper bodily functions.
Ants also tend to eat seeds, nectar, oil, grease, leaves, and other ants or invertebrates.
Getting rid of ants in your home is no easy task. Here are a few quick tips on how you can make your home less attractive to ants.
1. Seal up food - Put your food, especially those that attract ants, into airtight plastic containers.
2. Rinse thoroughly - Rinse off any dishes in your sink so no food is left to attract ants. Rinse out cans, cups, and bottles before recycling so that the contents are not attracting ants to your trash or recycling bins. Take out your trash on a regular basis.
3. Fruit patrol - Make sure your sugary fruit isn't over ripe or rotting. The pungent smell will be a sure fire way to get ants.
4. Peek for leaks - Verify that none of your pipes are leaking. Specifically check for under the sink and any leaks or condensation from your air conditioning system. Excess water can be attractive to bugs.
5. Clean - Wipe down your countertops and surfaces with a disinfectant wipe to remove any stains or crumbs that might attract ants and other bugs. Sweeping and mopping your floor regularly will also get rid of any hidden residue or debris that bugs could be craving.
The only good part about an int infestation is that they build a trail that leads right back to the source of the problem, the queen. This trail is vital in the eradication of the colony, so if you are going to try to tackle your ant problem alone be sure not to destroy the trail before you find out where the queen is hiding.
It is never a bad idea to hire a professional to fix your problem for you. At Breda Pest Management we know exactly how to deal with these problems and can guarantee you success.