Do you know what the five most common household pests are in the USA? Here they are cockroaches, mice, rats, termites and ants. Each is a troublesome home invader, and some are quite dangerous to our health and the environment. Cockroaches – along with rats – can spread some nasty diseases. Mice and rats contaminate food and chew through power cables. Termites eat wood and can seriously damage the structure of your home!
What about ants? They are a common pest in many homes and other buildings across the USA, but do they do any harm? So, are ants dangerous? We’ll answer that question in the next section, after which we will give you some facts about ants and look at how best to rid your home of an ant colony.
Are Ants Dangerous?
Before we go on, we should say that if you have an infestation of any form of pest in your home, we recommend you talk to a professional outfit such as Majestic Pest Control. If there is a DIY solution to your problem, they will tell you, and if not, such a company will advise you on how to go about eradicating your household pests.
To answer the question, it is best to say that ants can be troublesome, but the common type that enters your home is not dangerous in itself. What is potentially dangerous is where the ants have been before setting up a home in your house. Like all pests and wildlife, ants can pick up and carry bacteria into the home, which they may then leave on your food. Ants often transfer E-coli in this way. This is primarily why you want to get rid of ants in the home.So, what are ants all about? Why are they in your home and not outside where they belong?
Some Facts About Ants
There are more than 10,000 varieties of ant, but fortunately, the common and you need to get rid of is harmless except for the problem described above. Ants are a class of insects that have been around for many millennia and are found in very ancient fossils. They are fascinating creatures to observe in the wild or a specially created enclosure known as a ‘formicary’.
Ants have a strictly defined social hierarchy. The colony – or army – is structured around a Queen or sometimes more than one Queen. The Queen lays many thousands of eggs to keep the colony going. The ants you see crawling around your floor and surfaces are Worker ants. These are exclusively female with no wings, and their job is to forage for food, tend to the nest, and perform any other roles that may protect the colony. The females do not reproduce.
In many ways, any colony is a miniature replica of a strictly ordered society, with each doing the job it is born to do. The male ant’s job is simply to mate with the Queen. More often than not, they die having performed their duty.
Ants mainly eat seeds, fungus and nectar and use a clever chemical communication system to alert others in the colony to a valuable food source or danger. But despite the fascinating aspects of ants, you still don’t want them in your home! How do you get rid of an ant colony? That’s our next subject.
DIY Ant Eradication
Getting rid of ants is a common search term online as these tiny creatures are surprisingly prevalent in US homes. One often suggested is to use a cloth with warm soapy water and simply sweep them up when you see them. However, consider this: a typical ant colony will number between 100,000 and 500,000 Worker ants, plus the males and the Queens.
For any home with a lot of ants to keep on top of, how do you know when you have rid your home of all the ants? There are also commercial products that you can buy specifically for ant eradication. These range from smoke bombs to sprays and claim to be effective. We have heard many tales of people using these methods and finding them ineffective and then having to pay to get the professionals after having spent a lot of money on off-the-shelf products.
One DIY method you can use is to lay a bait trap outside the house. These are cheap to buy and have been proven to catch ants looking to come inside before they get into the property and are a sensible preventative measure if you are prone to ant infestations.
The basic fact about ants – as with all pests in the home – is that there are experts who know the tricks of the trade, have the experience and training and possess the right equipment to eradicate them. They will also do it quickly and cleanly and will advise you on how to ant-proof your home. What have we learned in this brief article? Let’s finish with a summary of the important facts about getting rid of ants.
One Ant Means Many Ants!
We have seen that ants form an orderly colony that can easily exceed half a million inhabitants. This renders DIY eradication solutions largely impossible. We know what ants eat, and we also know that while not inherently dangerous, they can carry bacteria they have picked up on their travels.
Ants in the home are among the easiest of all household pests to spot. They are not averse to getting out and about searching for food in large numbers, and you’ll often see them moving in an ordered line across the floor.
If you have ants, it is best to get rid of them, and the most effective method is to get a professional pest control company to attend to your home and assess the problem. Talk to a few local service providers and get a no-obligation quote and take it from there!