Have you ever come home to find a sudden ant infestation on your kitchen counter around a juice spill or on a plate? It can be a bit jarring to realize that insects can have such easy access to your home, particularly if you’re already working so hard to keep pests out! If you’re dealing with an ant infestation, you might be curious about how they got there and how to deal with them.
Different species of ants have different needs. Some build their colonies outdoors, and some indoors. Regardless, ants love human food, human heat, and human provided sources of water. Whether they return to their colonies inside or outside of your walls, they can feel very pervasive.
Typically, the ant you see will be a Worker. These wingless female ants spend all of their time foraging for food, work on the nest, and some other functions within the ant colony. Science is still unclear on how far a Worker will travel to forage food, but some initial estimates are as far as 30 feet from the colony, depending on the species. As the Worker travels, they leave pheromones. Pheromones are special scents that can be detected by other ants via antenna. This form of communication is how they find, and converge on, a food source within your home.
When it comes to getting rid of these pests, several control methods are important. First is identifying the species. The most effective pest control methods will vary depending on species, and there are several types of ants which will find their way into your home. Minimizing moisture sources is the next step. Access to moisture gives ants a way to thrive, so fix leaks, water spills, and direct rainwater away from the home. Remove food particles from countertops, tables, and floors as soon as possible.