WHY ARE ANTS IN YOUR HOUSE THIS SUMMER?
No matter the season, ants are always unwanted house guests. However, these social insects can be especially active in the spring and summer months, so it’s important to know what attracts ants to your home and what you can do to help remove them from the premises.
Ants can enter your house through the tiniest crack, but there’s no single explanation for why ants might breach your home’s defenses. Here are some of the most common reasons you might discover ants in your home.
Ants are foragers by nature. Worker ants scavenge for food, notify other ants of any potential food sources via scent or pheromone trails and carry the food back to the rest of the ant colony.
Ants have a diverse diet. With over 12,000 different species, they can generally be considered omnivores, however individual species tend to prefer one kind of food over others.
To help avoid an ant invasion:
- Keep your pantry and kitchen clean of crumbs and food spillage
- Refrigerate fruits and vegetables when possible
- Quickly clean up spills
Though ants need water to survive, they don’t depend on large sources of it to get their fix. Many ants are able to get water from the food they eat. However, some species, such as the tropical import known as the pharaoh ant, must nest close to a reliable water source. Other ants, like the carpenter ant, are attracted to damp wood, and a leaky pipe can provide enough moisture to draw an infestation.
To help prevent your home from inviting ants, make sure to promptly address any plumbing issues.
Reproduction and Propagation
Spring is the time of year when homeowners are most likely to encounter flying ants. Each one of these alates is a reproductive ant. As an ant colony matures, it grows more populous. These flying ants, which have been developing in the colony all along, then emerge and perpetuate the species. Once they mate, the males will die and the female queens who survive will search for places to nest and begin new colonies.
Climate and Habitat
Ants are cold-blooded creatures that rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. In the winter, they may seek out the cozy interior of your home in order to avoid the cold. Additionally, some ants, such as carpenter ants that often nest in dead wood, can find it hard to resist the structures that we build. You may keep a spotless kitchen, have watertight fixtures in every bathroom and be impervious to swarming ants, yet still have ants in the house.
Nine ant species, in particular, are commonly found around our homes:
- Acrobat ants
- Argentine ants
- Odorous House ants
- Carpenter ants
- Crazy ants
- Pavement ants
- Fire ants
- Field ants
- Pharaoh ants
The Threat That Ants Pose
Each species has its own biology and characteristic behaviors. That, plus general difficulty removing ant infestations, are reasons why you should not try to DIY ant control. A pest control professional can identify which species of ant has infested your home and prescribe the most appropriate treatment for helping remove them from your property.
Terminix® offers these comprehensive services. If you need a solution to your ant problem, contact Terminix today.