Ants are some of the most common household pests. There are more than 10,000 species of ants worldwide, over 1,000 of which live in the United States. Chances are, you have had a run-in with one or more of these species, potentially inside of your home or business.
Let’s take a look at some key ant information that can help you eliminate and prevent an infestation.
Ants are highly social insects and live in colonies of varying sizes, depending on the species. Supercolonies have even been identified with millions of ants in interconnected colonies spanning miles in distance. Fortunately, any ant colonies on your property will likely be much smaller – most have an upper limit of about 300,000.
Depending on the species and your location, ant nests can be located in several different places. Some are underground while others live in mounds above ground level. Others reside in plants or trees, wooden structures converted into nests, or even within a house’s walls or foundation. In fact, it is likely that you have ant nests fitting many of these descriptions on your property. If you have ants infiltrating your home, it is important to locate the nest in order to stop the infestation at its source.
Ants inhabit one of three castes that determine their function within the colony:
Worker Ants – These are small, infertile females. Worker ants can live for several years and perform all of the work in the colony, including caring for eggs and larva, building and repairing the nest, finding food, and protecting the nest.
Ant Drones – Drones are fertile male ants. Males are much smaller than females and emerge from the nest for one day, only to mate with the queen. Usually, drones die within 14 days of mating.
Queen Ants – Queens are fertile female ants that lay eggs for the colony and can live for up to 15 years. Because of her important role, it is unlikely to see the queen outside of the nest.
Ants in Your Home
Most ants you see within your home are female ants foraging for food. These ants follow invisible pheromone trails left by other females, leading them to a specific food source. Unfortunately, this means that if you only treat and kill ants you see, others will still be able to follow the trail back into your home. For this reason, it is essential to treat the nest as well.
Foraging ants can fit through any number of small spaces and crevasses to gain entry into your home. Common entry points include cracks and seams in your wall, gaps in your foundation, open windows with or without screens, openings in window frames, and poorly sealed doors. In addition, ants can catch a ride inside with your family members or common outside items like toys, produce, and garden tools.
Remedy Your Ant Problems with Richland Pest and Bee Control
If you are experiencing an ant infestation, it is important to contact a professional ant exterminator. Do-it-yourself attempts often only result in killing the ants you can see, leaving the entirety of the nest behind. An exterminator will rid your home of ants and address the nest, eliminating your ant problem for good. If you’re having ant problems in Connecticut, contact Richland Pest and Bee Control today.