All ants live in colonies, consisting of an egg-laying female (queen), short-lived males, and workers (sterile females). The ants you see foraging in your garden or kitchen are workers. Workers that find food communicate with other workers by depositing a chemical message on the substrate as they crawl back to the nest. Although we cannot smell it, this “trail pheromone” sticks to the substrate for long periods of time and helps other ants find the food at the end of the trail.
As a group, ants have a wide food range, feeding on sweet foods, greasy materials, starchy substances, wood, and all kinds of plant and animal materials. Part of the reason that ants become a nuisance in our homes is that they often like the same kinds of food that we do.
Ant infestation are not easy to control and different strategies should be used depending on nest location and food preferences of the ants. Ants can be controlled with a combination of good sanitation, removing pheromone trails, caulking entry points and eliminating active nests.
- Cracks and crevices should be sealed to eliminate passages into the home.
- Scrub around entry points with a detergent (to remove the trail pheromone).
- Don’t leave food out, especially sweets.
- Check under sinks for leaks or moisture that colonies seek out.
Call Eary Termite and Pest Service
today at (855) 590-5151 for more information about ants and how to safeguard against them.