Ants are a social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period, about 140 million years ago, and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and the distinctive Node-like structure that forms their slender waist.
Where they live?
Ants are social insects that live in structured nest communities throughout the world. The species determines their ant habitat – whether they live underground, in mounds built at ground level, in wood structures or in plants or trees. Soil and plant matter are typically used to construct the nests.
Are Ants cause of concern?
Ants can be a nuisance as well as a health threat. Worker ants foraging for food and water become a concern when they infest food or other items in the home. Species of ants that sting, such as imported fire ants or the Asian needle ant can endanger young children, confined pets and bedridden people. Pharaoh ants can carry disease-causing organisms on their exoskeleton and therefore are a problem in hospitals and health care facilities.
The life cycle of the ant consists of four stages: egg, larva, Pupa and adult. Fertilized eggs produce female ants (Queens, workers, or soldiers); unfertilized eggs produce male Ants. Egg: Ant eggs are oval shaped and tiny (they are on the Order of 1 mm long, but the Queen’s egg is many times larger).
What can I do to prevent Ants infestation?
Know the popular hangouts
It’s probably not surprising to hear that ants most frequently infest kitchens. After all, kitchens are full of food and water, everything ants (as well as all other pests) need to survive. Bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, inside walls, and in/around air conditioning and heating units are also known to attract ants.
Eliminate water sources
Reducing moisture and standing water around your home can go a long way to help prevent ants. Repair leaky pipes, and routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.
Eliminate food sources
Keeping your kitchen tidy will help to discourage ants from coming indoors. Wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed pest-proof containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Wipe down sticky jars, especially any containing honey, syrup, soda or other sweets. Finally, use a lid on trashcans and dispose of garbage regularly.
Don’t discount your pets
Cats, dogs and other pets can inadvertently invite ants into your home. Their food and water bowls are an attractant for pests, so be sure to keep pet bowls clean and clean up any spilled food or water promptly. Opt to store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants and other pests. Inspect dog/cat doors to ensure that pests cannot get through. Remember that ants can fit through even the tiniest openings.
Block off or eliminate access points
Take time to inspect the outside of your home for easy access points. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the home, as branches can provide highways indoors for ants. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with silicone caulk, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter.
Don’t go it alone
Without the proper training and tools, battling ants can be an uphill battle. What’s worse, an infestation can continue to grow if it is not properly treated. Some species of ants can cause serious property damage (like carpenter ants) and others (like fire ants) can pose health threats to your family. Even species that are considered nuisance pests (like odorous house ants) can contaminate food. So if you do find ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional right away. They will be able to identify the ant species, spot likely entry points, and determine an effective course of treatment.
Contact a Flora Pest Control Professional
Call Flora Pest Control Professional an experienced, contact a pest control professional to getting rid of Ants. Professionals are trained not only to address current infestations but also to prevent future infestations. Scheduling a home inspection may help you get rid of ants.