Ants are not inherently out to harm you. They are nature’s cleaners because they help matter to decompose while feeding on them. By scrambling about in the soil, ants also help to improve the quality of the soil. Though ants are helpful to the ecosystem, they can be viewed as a common pest at home. Ants may be nature’s cleaners, but they might also give you unwarranted help. Besides being a massive eyesore, ants can also cause structural damage in your homes and contaminate your food. 

In every household, there is always a risk of ants invading your home. From your living rooms, to your kitchens, to your bathrooms, you might spot one going up and down the cupboards or on the tables. This article will cover everything you need to know about ants, and what to do if you spot signs of an ant infestation at home. 

Ants are attracted to a few main things: 

What Attracts Ants? 

  1. Food – From exposed food in the kitchen, to bread crumbs lying about on the floor, to sweets and small puddles of sugary drinks, your home might be an open buffet to ants.  As they hunt for food, ants leave a trail of pheromones that allows other ants to follow in their tracks. This causes a large influx of ants to visit your home! Be careful of leaving your food in the open air for too long, you might soon see a trail of ants approaching the food source. 
  2. Moisture – Ants are attracted to water sources and need it in order to survive. This is why you often see ants crawling around your sink or washbasin area, as they are searching for moisture. You may even find them around your bathtub or spots where it’s damp and moist, such as backyards or balconies with plants. 
  3. Shelter – The gaps between your floorboards, window sills and doors or any other crevice or crack will serve as shelter for many species of ants. They may also take shelter under logs or stones in your garden or yard. Ants are known for creating nests underground or building them into walls or floors within buildings. In order to prevent these insects from seeking refuge in your home, be sure to seal all the gaps that can serve as entry points. 

Types of Ants

What kind of ants are invading your home? Identifying the species of ants is important in determining the appropriate measures to take to get rid of them. Here are some common types of ants that you might see around the house: 

  1. Ghost AntsThis species has a dark coloured head and thorax, with translucent legs and abdomen. They are attracted to sweet and sugary food, so keep them away from your jar of sugar or stash of sweets! 
  2. Carpenter AntsThis big and dark coloured species of ants have a unique behaviour. These ants like to create hollows in wood. Especially attracted to dampened wood to build their nests, Carpenter Ants may cause damage to structures around your home such as your doors, walls, or wooden components around the sink.   
  3. Pharaoh Ants – This species has bodies that are in a unique shade of light brown or gold. Pharaoh ants are attracted to sweet, oily, and fatty foods. 
  4. Crazy Ants – These reddish-brown ants have a unique way of traveling. Unlike most ant species that travel on a linear path together, crazy ants move about in a frenzied fashion in search for food and water. 

Signs of an Ant Infestation

Spotting an ant colony can be challenging because they are hidden underground or behind walls. You may have to use a little detective work to find where the nest is hiding and treat it accordingly.

Here are some tips on how to spot ant infestations:

  1. Contaminated Food – The easiest way to spot signs of an ant infestation include the presence of ants around exposed food. If a large group of ants is located around your food, there might be the presence of a colony nearby. 
  2. Ant Trails – Checking for ant trails is important in identifying the presence of colonies in your home or backyard. From your windows to your cupboards, these ant trails might give hints to where the colony may be residing. 
  3. Dirt Mounds – Ant dirt mounds are common in lawns and gardens. Many ant species like to create dirt mounds as a way to improve access to food and water. If you find one in your garden, it is likely that you may experience frequent visits from ants indoors if food and water are easily accessible. 
  4. Hollow Sounds in Your Walls – Another way to spot signs of an ant infestation include the presence of hollow walls. Especially for walls that are made of wood, you can check for the presence of Carpenter Ants by knocking against these walls. If they sound hollow when they are not supposed to be, an ant colony might be residing inside there. Furthermore, Carpenter Ants are nocturnal beings. If you hear noises coming from the walls past your bedtime, there is a possibility that your invaders are Carpenter Ants. 

Tips for Prevention and Elimination of Ants 

  1. Food Storage – It is important not to leave your food exposed in the open for too long. Sealing your food in air-tight containers can help to prevent ants from accessing your food easily.
  2. Trash Disposal – Taking out the trash regularly is important as ants are also attracted to the moisture and food that is present inside. Remember to clean the bins so as to prevent residue accumulation.
  3. Strict Cleaning Regime – In every household, it is key to keep the place spick and span. Sweeping and vacuuming the floors regularly ensures that any debris or crumbs lying on the ground are removed. Use anti-bacterial wet wipes to clean surfaces with food debris or spilled drinks, especially around areas commonly used for dining. Cultivating a habit of washing dirty dishes upon use will reduce the chances of ants frequenting your sinks.  
  4. Reduce Access to Moisture – If you are encountering plumbing problems and leaking pipes, it is best to fix them as soon as possible, so as to prevent ants from being exposed to moist surroundings. 
  5. Sealing Cracks and Crevices – Ants are able to enter through the narrowest of openings. To block possible entrances, you can fill cracks and crevices with caulk. Installing a door sweep can also help to prevent ants from entering under your door.

Engaging in Pest Control Services

When it comes to managing a specific type of ant, it is best to consult experts for the best prevention and eradication measures. Engaging a pest control service can help you to do just that.

At First Choice Pest Specialist, different baits are used for different types of ants. For example, a granular bait is used for protein-based ants, while a gel bait is used for sugar ants. Prevention measures that First Choice Pest Specialist offer includes residual spraying around premises to keep ants out of the house.

Are you aware of an ant colony present in your home, or simply in need of effective prevention measures? If yes, you should seek the assistance of a pest control service. First Choice Pest Specialist is well-versed in resolving all your ant problems. Contact us today!

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