Ants can invade the home during any season of the year, although most infestations will occur during spring, summer and fall. Most ant species will build their nest outdoors, but they will come into the home to forage for food. If they discover a good, persistent food source, they will come back into the home repeatedly. However, there are species that will build their nests inside the home, and these species include pharaoh ants, acrobat ants, thief ants, odorous house ants, carpenter ants and pavement ants. All of these species can be difficult to remove once they are set up, but the pharaoh ants are the most resilient.
Why ants invade
Ants that nest indoors will build their colonies in hidden places, near food sources and moisture. This will usually be behind window frames or beneath floors. These are commensal insects, meaning that they prefer to live in or near human settlements and buildings, because of the availability of favorable living conditions.
How ants invade
So how do these ants enter the home, and how do we keep their population under control? Ants will set up their new nests by sending out winged reproductive members of their colony out into the wild. These reproductives will pair up, male and female, copulate, and then the pregnant female, sometimes along with the male, will burrow into wood, dirt or any other material that will have them and start building up the worker base. From there, the worker ants soon hatch, and they start expanding the colony and foraging for food.
Proper control methods will depend on a few factors. To start, it’s important to understand the species that has invaded your home, because different species will require different control methods. Knowing the species involved will also make it easier to find the location of their nest. For example, carpenter ants will nest inside wood, while pavement ants will choose to create their colonies in cracks in the pavement.
You then want to implement the prevention methods. Make sure that you have no sources of excess moisture in the home, such as a leaky pipe, and that you remove any sources of food as well. Keep your floors and cabinets clean, and your food in sealed containers. Finally make sure that there are no cracks or openings in the walls that would allow the ants to get in.
Next – control methods. There are many products and product types on the market that can help you get an infestation under control, but your best bet is to use baits. Baits will be carried back into the colony, and they will be spread around. Eventually they will reach the queen and poison her, leading to the destruction of the entire colony. You can also get in touch with a pest control specialist if you are having trouble with a stubborn infestation. Contact us today and we will help you get rid of your ant problem.