Ants are tiny insects that move in large numbers to areas where food has been identified. They will not set up their home there but will move back and forth until they transport all the food into their nest.
They generally do not bite (with some exceptions) or carry any disease natively. They are, however, capable of contaminating your food through contact as they cover a lot of ground while foraging which exposes them to a lot of disease causing micro-organisms.
There are about 20,000 species of ants in the world. Luckily, only a handful of these are present locally. The Argentine ant – which is the most common home invader—is one of them.
The life cycle of the ant
Ants, like most insects, develop by complete metamorphosis. This means that they undergo all four stages of development in their lifecycle. These stages are egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
The life of an ant begins from an egg. Fertilized eggs will produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males. The eggs hatch into larvae which are mostly immobile and are cared for and fed by workers. The larvae then grow through a series of moults before entering the pupal stage.
It is during the pupal stage that ants develop their features and later emerge as adults. The entire process takes about 6 -10 weeks. Workers can live for up to 3 years while queens live for up to 30 years.
Males only survive for a couple of weeks.
Preventing an ant infestation
There are several things you can do to reduce the chances of ants invading your home.
- Eliminating food sources in your home. Ants come into your home because they have identified food. A few of them will show up first to scout and then scores will come later to harvest. Cleaning up after yourself ensures that the scouts find nothing to report home about when they come searching. You should:- Rinse off your dishes to remove remaining food before living them in the sink or wash them immediately if possible.
– Sweep your kitchen and vacuum daily to get rid of crumbs.
– Keep food meant for later use in sealed containers.
– Clear off your pet’s remnants as soon as your pet is done eating.
– Keep your bins sealed and empty them regularly.
– Clean up spilt sugary liquids immediately.
Image source: http://pixgood.com/sugar-ant-infestation.html
- Seal all access points. Identify points through which ants are gaining access into your home and seal them off. Plaster, silicone caulk or glue can be used for this.
If ants still invade your home even after taking these measures, you’ll need to use professional products to control the infestation. Pestrol offers a wide range of do-it-yourself (DIY) products to help you ward off these pests without having to call an exterminator.
The Pestrol Ultra Automatic Dispenser
This is one of the professional products from Pestrol that will help you get rid of all the ants in your home. This device is fully automatic and releases a fine mist of pyrethrins into the air after a set time interval. The natural pyrethrins diffuse into the air and kill all the insects within its range. It’s very effective, safe and easy to use.