Spring is here and so is ant season. Once these little insects infest your home, it seems like they are going to be there forever. The types of ants commonly found invading homes are pharaoh ants, grease ants, Argentine ants, house ants and pavements ants, to name a few. You may be surprised to know that out of more than 12,000 ant species across the world, it is only a tiny percentage that invades our homes. Although they also do some good like get rid of the larvae of flies, bed bugs, spiders, etc. ants can be terrible pests that rob us of our peace of mind at home.
Before we start with the useful tips which will help you get rid of ants in your home. We’d like to answer a few interesting questions.
What types of ants come into your home?
Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis):
They inhabit Australia, North and South America, Southeast Asia and, of course, Europe. Their colonies are usually polygynous, meaning there’ re many queens in the colony.These tiny household bullies are famous for being super annoying and cheeky home invaders.
How Do Paharaoh Ants Look Like?
They’re 2mm big, yellow-brownish with black markings on the tummies.
Why do Pharaoh Ants Invade Your Home?
There are a few reasons ants Pharaoh ants become your “roommates”. They seek places with warm temperature, so they could survive the winter. Though their nests are in well-concealed places, they’re mostly seen in the kitchen areas, as they will be looking for human food.
Grease Ants (Thief Ants)
Also known as Thief Ants, get their nickname from the fact they live close to other ant nests and steal their food. Another interesting fact is they’re called grease ants, as they’re attracted to grease. Their size ranges from 1/32 (0.5 mm) to 1/8 of an inch (3 mm) long and are yellow-brown in colour.
Why Do Grease Ants Invade Your Home?:
Their name suggests they’d prefer greasy food only, but they’d munch on anything they can get their tiny “hands” on like cheese, meat, nuts. Grease ant infestations are common in the summer. During these warm months ants get into people’s dwellings to look for food.
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (formerly Iridomyrmex humilis), are native to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Yet, they’re known as invasive species and can be seen in households in Europe, as well. They’re 1.6–2.8 millimetres (0.063–0.110 in) long and can easily get squeeze through cracks. Their colour varies from light to dark brown and they are omnivours.
Why Do Argentine Ants Invade Your Home
They choose concrete walls cracks, spaces between timbers and boards or directly in human dwellings to seek food. They prefer eating sweet foods, though they could survive on almost anything. They travel in clearly-defined trails, so you can’t miss them.
Tetramorium caespitum is more famous under the name Pavement Ant and is native to Europe. They arenot aggressive, but can sometimes be seen fighting with other enemy ant colonies.
How do Pavement Ants look?
They’re dark brown to blackish in colour. Their diet consists of meats, grease, insects regardless – dead or alive.These little rascals are pretty annoying when “raiding” people’s houses in search for food marching in huge single file.
Do Pavement Ants Bite?
These little fellows are not aggressive and avoid meeting humans, though they can sting pretty bad when they feel threatened.
Tips to get rid of ants in your home
Look out for scouts
This is one of the first warning signs before you have a full-on ant-infestation in your home. You may think that a lone ant is harmless but keep in mind that it is the job of this scout to check out your home and inform the others if it is ripe for the taking. Take quick action to make sure that all surfaces in your kitchen are clean, all food containers are properly sealed and remove greasy and sticky residue from counter tops, etc.
Seal entry ways
Check for small cracks and holes on your walls, windows and doors. Make sure that you seal them all so that they cannot be used to access your home. You can use putty, glue, plaster or silicone caulk to fill holes and cracks. This way, you prevent the ants from entering your home.
Keep soapy water around
This is a cheap and easy way to kill ants and also get rid of the chemicals that they emit. The chemical trail that they leave in their wake will attract other ants, which is why you may be wondering why you cannot seem to get rid of them no matter how hard you try. Keep soap water around and see how effective it is.
Use defense barriers
Everyday items at home such as turmeric powder, cinnamon, crushed charcoal, cayenne pepper, white vinegar and water mixture, Vaseline, baby powder, etc. can do a great deal of good when you are trying to get rid of ants.
As you have just read, it is not difficult to keep your home ant-free. However, if the infestation is a severe one, you can schedule professional ant treatment and leave the experts do the work for you.