As miniature architects of intricate societies, ants have captivated our curiosity for centuries. These industrious creatures scurry across the Earth, working tirelessly to build and maintain their colonies. While we often admire ants from a distance, there are instances when they venture inside our homes, leaving us to ponder the reasons behind their incursions. In this blog post, we will delve into the daily life of ants, unraveling the mystery of why they occasionally find their way indoors.
Table of Contents
The Remarkable Lives of Ants:
Ants, belonging to the family Formicidae, are social insects with remarkable organisational skills. They thrive in highly organised colonies, where each individual has a specific role to play. The colony typically comprises a queen, male drones, and an army of female worker ants.
- The Queen: At the heart of every ant colony is the queen, responsible for reproducing and establishing new colonies. She lays eggs and emits pheromones that maintain order and communication within the colony.
- Worker Ants: The majority of ants we encounter are female worker ants. These tireless foragers are responsible for a multitude of tasks, including foraging for food, caring for the queen’s offspring, building and repairing nests, and defending the colony.
- Drones: Male drones exist solely for the purpose of mating with the queen. Their lives are short-lived, as their purpose is fulfilled once they have successfully mated.
Ants and Their Quest for Food:
Food plays a vital role in an ant’s daily life. Ants are highly efficient foragers, leaving their nests in search of sustenance. They communicate with one another through the use of pheromones, leaving trails that guide other ants to food sources. The ability to detect even the smallest traces of food makes ants a persistent presence in our homes.
Why Do Ants Invade Our Homes?
- The Search for Food: The primary reason ants venture indoors is their relentless search for food. Our homes inadvertently become attractive food sources, with open food containers, crumbs, and spills serving as an open invitation for these resourceful insects.
- Nesting Sites: Some ant species, such as carpenter ants, seek shelter inside homes to establish satellite colonies. These ants burrow into wood, potentially causing structural damage over time. Identifying the type of ant invasion can help determine the best course of action.
- Water and Moisture: Like all living beings, ants require water to survive. Moist areas, leaky pipes, and condensation can lure ants indoors as they search for water sources to sustain their colonies.
- Climate Control: As temperatures fluctuate outdoors, ants may enter homes seeking temperature stability. Warm interiors during colder months or cool spaces during hot summers can inadvertently attract these tiny creatures.
Prevention and Control Measures:
While it may be impossible to completely eradicate ants from your home, the following preventive measures can help reduce their presence:
- Cleanliness: Regularly clean countertops, floors, and other surfaces to eliminate food traces that attract ants.
- Food Storage: Store food in airtight containers and promptly clean up spills to minimise food availability for ants.
- Seal Entry Points: Seal cracks, gaps, and crevices around doors, windows, and walls to prevent ants from finding easy access to your home.
- Eliminate Moisture: Fix leaky pipes, repair damp areas, and reduce humidity to eliminate potential water sources that attract ants.
- Professional Assistance: In case of severe ant infestations or carpenter ant damage, consult a professional pest control service for appropriate intervention.
Understanding the daily life of ants provides valuable insights into their occasional presence within our homes. As natural explorers and foragers, ants are drawn indoors in search of food, nesting sites, water, or climate control. Whilst most of us do not mind ants outside the home, we don’t like sharing our home with colonies of ants. If preventative measures don’t work then using an ant bait can rid your home of unwanted ants
All of our ant control products can be found here: https://www.pestrol.co.nz/l/pest-control/ants/ and here is a selection: