Ants are among the most successful insects, and many pest control firms consider them the most important household pets in terms of business opportunity…and challenge.
Like termites, they are social insects and live in colonies. However, they evolved this social behavior separately from termites; these two groups are not closely related.
Ant colonies include a collection of workers, one or more reproductives, eggs, larvae, and pupae. Ant colonies build structures called nests, which typically require much effort by the worker ants in the colony to maintain. Many species prefer to nest in dead log fence posts, hollow trees, or even wood within structures.
When ants nest in wood, their damage will usually be much less than that caused by termites, because ants will only hollow out a nest gallery. Unlike termites ants do not eat wood and cannot digest cellulose. Nests afford the ants’ considerable protection from their enemies, some protection against extremes of weather, and some proximity to their food, water, and other resources. There is practically no food item (besides cellulose) that will not be eaten by some species of ant; most species will eat a variety of foods.
Ants may affect us adversely by:
- Stinging or biting.
- Invading and contaminating food.
- Nesting in lawns, landscaping rocks, or within a structure.
- Stealing seeds from seed beds or feeding on germinating seeds.
- Defoliating or gnawing plants and plant products.
- Fostering other injurious insects (e.g., aphids or scale insects on ornamental plants).
- Gnawing holes in various types of fabrics; removing rubber insulation from telephone wires or other equipment.
- Killing young poultry, birds, livestock, or game, or simply annoying humans and animals with their presence.
- Possibly transmitting certain human diseases after crawling over sputum, feces, carrion, and so forth.
- Some carpenter ants can cause serious structural damage to wooden structures.
However, only a small number of all the ant species are damaging or medically significant due to their stinging. Most species are neutral in regards to other pests (e.g., red imported fire ants depress tick populations in many areas). Thus, control programs are usually necessary because ants are simply a nuisance that homeowners or others do not want to accept.
Apart from their economic importance, the ants are considered by some experts to be the most important group of living organisms in terrestrial habitats, from an ecological perspective. Inside your property, ants can nest in walls, voids, switch plates, hollow components of the cupboards, curtain rods, inside appliances and many other secluded areas. Most household ants like the “crazy ant” are difficult to control. Baits are not effective because the ants frequently have different nutritional needs. One day they may need starch, the next sugar and then next grease.
If you use the wrong material or spray them directly, the colony will become stressed. An alarm, in the form of a chemical scent, called a pheromone, will be released. The queens will split apart in a phenomenon known as budding. One queen will take part of the colony and move. Another queen will take the balance of the colony and go the other way. The ants will go away for a short while and then return with a vengeance in multiple areas. I have seen ants infest every room of a property because they had been treated incorrectly. In ant control, a material should be used that the ants cannot detect. The non repellent material should not be sprayed directly on them. The material must transfer from the ants back to the nest. The Anteater Exterminating, Inc. certified service technician knows how to identify the ant species and determine what material should be applied to maximize results.
Outside ants are often a huge nuisance. A combination of baits or conventional treatment methods most often will gain effective control. Once again proper identification and then appropriate treatment must take place. The Anteater Exterminating, Inc. certified technician is an expert who will eradicate your ant pest problems.