This Most Prolific Indoor/Outdoor Pest Will Amaze You! ANTS!
What do you know about the most prolific pest in the world?
If you ask the average homeowner about ants, what most will say is that they hate them. But they really don’t know a whole lot about them. There’s a reason why these pests have moved to the number one position as the most invasive and abundant pest for homeowners across the globe.
Many Entomologists can present a dozen or more reasons why ant infestations are on the rise. But one conclusion keeps popping up in an overwhelming majority of their opinions. Simply, ants are extremely organized.
There are between 12,000 and 14,000 species of ants on the planet, but they all have one thing in common – they colonize in some sort of caste system. The Reproductive Queen (some colonies have multiple Queens) runs the show. Very similar to my house. She determines the size of the colony, what caste members are needed for the job at hand, and where the colony lives.
Alate Queens and Males are the potential colony starters. They are released from the colony, at the direction of the Reproductive Queen, and those that survive leaving the nest and mate in the air will eventually start new colonies. These fly ants are called “swarmers” not to be confused with Termite Swarmers, but that’s another blog post.
Next on their staff are the Worker ants. These guys get the job done! They take care of all the foraging (searching for food) and protection of the colony. Some species have Major and Minor Workers. It’s really just a size thing, but they all have the same functions. In the average adult colony of 1,000,000 ants, Workers make up over half the colony. These are the guys we usually see running across the kitchen counter.
The Soldiers are part of the Worker group, but they have no foraging responsibility. They are the primary means of defending the colony. If you were to disrupt an ant hill, these are the guys that show up first. They’re really good at what they do and provide the necessary time allowed for the Workers to move eggs to a safe place if that becomes necessary.
Remember, all these members are controlled by the Reproductive Queen. If an attack does take place, the Reproductive Queen sends out a pheromone that sends everyone on high alert to protect the colony. At least to us, that is pretty amazing!
OK, so we know they are organized. What does that mean to me as a homeowner? Well, if you have had problems or are currently having problems, it means everything in keeping these prolific pests at bay. Every member of the colony has its job and they do it very well therefore, you have to out think this pest.
Ants are ground dwellers, that’s where the colonies are built. They can travel several hundred yards from the nest to a food source everyday. They’re going to do whatever it takes to sustain the colony. That’s why organization is key to the success of the species. So it is important to disrupt their organization in order to effectively control these very smart pests.
At certain times of year, ants feed on different food sources to help build and sustain the colony. In the Spring, they focus on proteins and fats to help build the colony back up after a long Winter. In the Summer, they shift to sugars which is the very reason they show up just in time for the family reunion picnic.
There are some things that you can do to keep ants from getting into your homes. You have to think a little like an ant, so get in that mind set as you prepare to take these unwanted pest down! The most important thing you can do is to eliminate the ways they can enter your home.
Exclusion is the foundation of successful ant control. As homeowners, we don’t care how many ants live out in the woods next to our house, we just don’t want them to welcome themselves into our homes. It doesn’t take much for them to gain access, so you must be diligent about seeking out every little hole they can enter. Caulking windows, filling gaps around air conditioning units, plumbing and gas pipe penetrations, replacing old weatherstripping around doors and garage doors, are all solid approaches to exclusion.
Reducing clutter around the outside of your home is a must do. Those old tires laying around and that wheelbarrow that you’ve been meaning to turn over and put back in the garage, finally needs to be taken care of. And those leaves you never got to from the Fall, that is a great place for ants to use as cover as they build up their colonies and prepare to look for vittles in your house.
Sanitation is another big one. Make sure that the kitchen is cleaned up after cooking. Enlist the kids to help if necessary, regardless how much they kick against it. If like my house, it’s a team effort here and every member of the house must be conscientious about cleaning up. Every little drip of bacon grease, crumb of birthday cake, kernel of dog food, and watermelon rind is a feast for the worker ants who will immediately tell their friends about the treasure they just found. Before you know it, you’ll have thousands of ants sharing the table with you.
If all else fails, and it often does, call us. We’ll work hard to develop a plan for you to take back your house from those organized ants and restore order to your home. We are well trained in ant control and can solve your unwanted guest problem quickly.
Call us now at (731) 285-4982 for a free consultation.
Have A Great Week,