Ants typically live in large, highly organised colonies. Although individual ants are usually very small in size, they can mobilise in large swarms when they are attracted to a source of food, which are then very difficult to get rid of.
Ants colonies centre around a nest, containing at least one ‘queen’ and as many as several thousand ‘worker’ ants.
Killing ants which come inside is usually futile, as hundreds – or thousands – more may continue coming to replace them, and keep carrying food to their nest.
Nests are typically located underground, but they may also be built inside tree hollows, plant pots or – rarely – inside houses and buildings.
While ants generally do not build nests inside homes or buildings, they may be located somewhere close by, and their small size makes it difficult to prevent ants getting inside.
Eating Habits of Ants:
In natural ecosystems, ants play an important role as scavengers, helping to break down organic material – such as carrion, various fruits, eggs, sap from trees and plants – and anything else they can find.
Ants have a remarkably efficient ability to locate and swarm around potential sources of food.
They communicate with a combination of ‘body language’ and biochemical signals (such as pheromones), and can mobilise in huge numbers when they discover food.
The ability to congregate quickly, and in large numbers, when food becomes available is one of the survival skills that has allowed ants to thrive throughout the world, in natural and urban areas alike.
It is also the reason why ants present such a big problem when they appear in homes and buildings.
Ants as Pests:
Ants are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters, who are attracted to a variety of edible materials. They will also seek out access to sources of water, especially in dry climates.
Tiny crumbs and other traces of food in kitchens, food preparation, and dining areas, as well as pet food and water, can attract the attention of ants.
Structural damage to houses is more associated with termites (often known in Australia as “white ants”), while ants are more likely to nest in soil. Underground ant nests can cause problems with brick paving by hollowing out the space underneath paved areas, leaving the surface uneven, and mounds of soil on top of the bricks.
One of the main threats from ants to humans is to the reputation of businesses – especially those dealing with food – which require high standards of cleanliness.
Restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and businesses that sell, store, or prepare food and drinks can have problems with ants.
Swarms of ants don’t simply look unsanitary – they can spread disease, and contaminate food and clean surfaces.
The best method for responding to ant problems is to bait the nest. This means that ants will carry poison back to their nest, and contaminate the colony.
Our professional pest controllers can do this in an efficient manner, and with more effective and powerful pesticides than DIY ant baits, solving the problem quicker and more easily.
If you’re experiencing an ant problem in your organisation, call us now.