My blog topics are reflective of what’s going on in my life. I have battled ants in my kitchen. I see them outside my home. Most recently, they have taken up residence in some rotten wood where my roof & a skylight are leaking. Fredericksburg has had so much rain in the past few months! I wanted to share what I have learned about these pests.
Ants are one of those creatures that you will find almost everywhere in the world. Ants have become common pests in many homes, especially during the warmer seasons when all sorts of little crawlers come out and find crevices in your home. It’s their entry point to move in and look for food. Ants can be a major nuisance as they march around your home, pilfering food and occasionally delivering painful bites. Additionally, ants are known to spread bacteria and may cause destruction as they excavate wood to build their nests.
1. There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world. These range from the ants you find scuttling across your kitchen counter (GROSS!) to the ants building fortresses deep in the rainforest.
2. Fire ants are responsible for more than £3 billion of damage annually. Common in many parts of North America, the red imported fire ant is known for its painful bite which costs US citizens millions in medical and veterinary bills every year. These tiny creatures also cause damage to crops, leading to losses for farmers.
3. Ants are among the longest living insects. Most bugs only live for a few days or even just a few hours. Some ant queens can live for decades.
4. The ant is one of the strongest creatures in the world. Ants can carry 50 times their own bodyweight for long distances. This also makes ants some of the most hardworking creatures on the planet.
5. Ants don’t have ears and instead, they feel vibrations from the ground using their feet. To communicate, some species use their antennae, while others release chemical signals (pheromones) to send messages.
The small size of ants makes it almost impossible to prevent their entry into your home. Ants may enter through even the tiniest of cracks in search of water and anything they can carry back to the nest as food. Ants leave a chemical trail of pheromones so that other ants can follow once they identify an entry point. They can have a nest almost anywhere in your house; in walls, under furniture, in cracks and crevices, and even under foundations.
Ants can quickly grow in number and spread all over a home. It is almost impossible to completely get rid of them. Ants are a nuisance and make any home look dirty. Ants can also be a health hazard since they carry bacteria and may spread it around your home. Since they are mostly interested in food, they may contaminate it if they gain access. Ants can also cause structural damage to your home, especially when left unchecked for a long time. Houses constructed of wood are more risk of ant damage as some ant species, like carpenter ants, are known to chew tunnels through wooden beams and foundations.
Fortunately, ants are not that hard to get rid of, especially if you do it early. First, you need to identify the ant species since different species require different control techniques. Some species like Pharaoh ants can be controlled using bait. Once you have identified the species, follow them back to their nests and treat the nest directly using the pest control technique of your choice.
For the best results, homeowners are advised to hire professional exterminators who can get rid of ant problems permanently. Most do-it-yourself ant control activities deal with the ants easily seen and may leave thousands of ants hiding safely in the house. Professional exterminators are armed with the necessary skills, tools, and experience to kick ants out of your home for good.
I have hired a pest control company to treat for ants every two months. When I get the roof repair completed, where a contractor noticed many ants, I know I will have beaten these little devils!
Written by DorrianGrey, iWriter and edited by Niccole Taylor