Ants are one of the most common pests to affect residential and commercial properties. While most ants do not typically invoke the fear that other insects like spiders, scorpions and centipedes might, they can still be a major problem for you and your family if they get into your home.
Interesting Ant Facts
According to PestWorld, ants are social insects that live in groups called colonies. Colonies can range in size from hundreds to millions of workers depending on the species. There are over 10,000 different species around the world and just under 500 types in North America alone. One thing that all ant species have in common is that they all contain at least one queen ant, most often the largest of the female ants. The role of the queen is to lay eggs, which later become adult worker ants. Worker ants primary purpose is to search for food and water. This is a problem for many homeowners because any sort of crumbs or food residue are perfect prey for ant colonies. Once a food source has been found by a member of the colony, the other members follow invisible odor trails left behind so that the colony can gather the food and return back to the colony. This process is very efficient due to the ants ability to lift 10-50 times its body weight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ants
Ants can cause an array of problems depending on the species. Below are the ones we see most often:
Ant Bites & Stings – All ants harness defense mechanisms used to protect themselves. The terms, “bite” and “sting” are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two totally separate mechanisms. Fire ants, for example, will often first bite their prey, but if they still feel threatened can use a stinger to inject chemicals into their victim. Stings hurt, itch and can even result in allergic reactions.
Food Contamination – Ants can carry bacteria on their bodies, which can be transmitted to your food. It is rare that this results in the transmission of diseases, but the mere presence of ants around your household food can be an extremely unpleasant experience.
The primary reason why ants are found in your home is due to leftover food residue. Whether it’s crumbs on the floor, dishes in the sink or trash that is left too long, they are all excellent food sources for ants. Once ants start to associate your home with being a food source, even once the food residue is removed the ants can continue to pose a problem