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How to Control Ants

Ants are fascinating insects with complex social structures. Ant colonies can quickly spring up very near or inside your home, invading your food stores, causing a nuisance and, even destroying wood structure foundations in some cases. Learn about ants and how to control ant invasions with advice from the MosquitoNix® Library.

Ant colonies thrive on set social structures, which are divided into three main groups: queens, males and workers. Queens start colonies and lay eggs. Males are strictly for mating, and workers gather food and protect the colony. Every ant in the colony has a very specific job to do and when the ants work together, the colony thrives and numbers grow quickly. Ants are foragers. Some eat only plants and nectar, but most ants eat a range of foods containing grease and protein. While ants enjoy fruits and sweets, they're also attracted to eggs, bread, cheese, nuts and meat.

There are many different types of ants that you may encounter. Common ant species found in homes and commercial buildings include Carpenter Ants, Odorous Ants, Fire Ants, Leafcutter Ants, Argentine Ants, Pharaoh Ants and Pavement Ants. Ants are expert foragers who are constantly looking for food and water sources. Thankfully, they don't carry diseases. However, they do spoil food with their bodily waste.

Depending on the species, ant colonies form outdoors or indoors. They are most attracted to damp areas such as gardens, yards and damp wood. An indoor invasion happens when colonies burrow through weakened wood, creating easy wall paths that go straight to food sources.

Ant control is challenging because colonies are hidden. Bug spray works on the few you see but usually don't make it back to the colony, making it difficult to stop the source of the problem. Ant traps work for some species, but not others. Your best bet at controlling ants in and around your home is eliminating their sources of food and shelter. Prevent ants from getting inside by sealing cracks and gaps, cutting tree branches and long plant leaves that connect with the house. You should also store firewood away from entryways and get rid of standing water.

Once an ant colony is established, you'll need to locate it in order to eradicate the source of the invasion. It also helps to know what species of ants you're dealing with. Our team of experienced and certified MosquitoNix bug experts can do a fast assessment of your ant problem. We'll identify the ant species first, and then target the colony with our tried and true chemical or environmentally friendly formulas. If you've tried getting rid of ants to no avail, speak with one of our trained experts about our products and services.

FAQs:

How long do ants live?
The length of an ant's lifespan depends on its gender and role in the colony. Male ants live for only a few weeks and usually die after mating. Female workers can live for several months and the queen can live for decades under the right conditions.

How can I get rid of ants in the house?
Before you can know how to get rid of ants in the house, you need to determine which type of ant you're dealing with. Different ants have different needs. Typically, by eliminating their food supplies and shelter sites, you can successfully eliminate ants in the house. MosquitoNix starts every ant treatment by first identifying the type of ant so the proper treatment can be chosen.

Are there any natural ways to get rid of ants?
If you prefer to keep harsh chemicals out of your home, you may be wondering how to get rid of ants naturally. Natural ant repellent products are available commercially, but the best way to naturally rid your home of ants is to find how they're getting in and to seal it so they can't keep coming in. You can also eliminate their food sources so they won't want to enter your home in the first place.