The most successful creature after man is ants, they may seem tiny but their total mass on earth is more than total mass of any other specie on earth.
The reason of this success is their society; they have the perfect division of labor among the members of colony, they have a queen whose sole purpose of existence is to lay eggs, there are workers who live to serve the colony; tending to larvae, gathering food and protecting queen then there are the soldiers who do nothing but defend the colony and the foraging units, none of these ants even reproduce; they have separate winged reproducing niche of males and females.
Ants do not care about their lives, only their colony matters to them and because numbers are important for the colony to survive, all the ants sit in the colony until they know exactly where the food is. There are a few ants that have duty of wandering and exploring the areas around the colony; they are the scouts and when they find a potential food source, they take a piece of it and carry it back to the colony and on their way back; they leave a trail of pheromones for the other workers to follow, who never leave the trail and only travel in queue formation.
There are soldier ants among the workers, they have bigger heads and bigger mandibles, and they protect the workers and the colony from any predators and have the primary purpose of defending the queen.
Why Do They Invade the House?
Ants will go wherever the food is, they don’t actually care if it is a doghouse or a human house. Being great scavengers, they just wait in the colony till the scouts find food. The scouts are everywhere in the range of the colony but food isn’t. Since the dawn of industrial age, humans have been consuming energy-rich, refined and processed foods, this gives ants incentive to invade the human houses today more than ever.
Humans also happen to waste too much of food; our house floors are full of food debris that is rich in carbohydrates, even a gulp of spilt cola has copious amounts of carbohydrates for the ants. Humans are clumsy enough to leave lids open, foods in the open, jam and honey jars unclean on the outside and solid sugar particulates on the shelves. All these things wasted by humans are like a dream-come-true to the ants, the scouts just happen to hit on more food items in the human houses which makes the ants invade the human houses.
Just like a human, Ants are a social animal and they live in colonies (each colony can have thousands or millions of ants, Depends on the type of Ant). Every Ant colony has three different kinds of ant’s .i.e. Queen, Males, and Worker.
Queen is the only Ant in a colony which can lay eggs. She lays thousands or millions of eggs in her adulthood. There can be one or more queen in Colony, it depends on species of ant.
Male Ants has one prime job and that is to mate with a queen. Generally, Male ants don’t live long after mating.
This is all female ants and responsible to find and gather food. (Generally, we see Worker ants, trailing in our home)
Note: Queen and Male ants have wings while worker ants don’t have wings.
These ants have to protect her almighty queen form any circumstance. Soldier ants are also responsible to kill and gather food. They also attack other colonies and if they got successes then they will bring all eggs of losing colonies.
What they do with other colonies eggs?
Well, when the eggs hatch, they will become a slave and they have to-do jobs assigned to them. Jobs can be anything such as building ant hills, finding and bringing food, take care of babies and eggs.
Type of Ants
There are different types of ants and each ant is different to another. We have tried to cover most popular ants on our website. check various kinds of Ants and their characteristics.
- Crazy Ants
- Zombie Ants
- Army Ants
- Velvet Ant
- Queen Ant
- Sugar Ants
- Flying Ants
- Bullet Ant
- Carpenter Ant
- Weaver Ants The Ant Knitting Leaf
- If you have a power of Ants then you could have lift 20 times of your body weight. (We have seen this in marvels Ant-man)
- If your weight is 80 KG then you can life Ferrari F430 and Harley Davidson together.
- You must be thinking that Ants must have strong lungs but the reality is Ants don’t have lungs.
- Its good that kids don’t have to remember the name of the Ants species, you know why as there are 16,000 species of ants in the world.
- Ants fight to the death (I guess they must be using dialogue of Movie 300 – This is Sparta)
- They leave a trail behind them to send location details. (You remember long ant’s trails)
- Queen Ants can live up to 30years and they lay millions of eggs in her lifetime. (BTW Queen Ants have wings)
- Most colonies are destroyed after the death of Queen Ant. Queen cannot be replaced and the worker cannot give a birth of new ant.
- Ants cannot hear as they don’t have ears, just like snakes. They can learn about near about atmosphere through vibrations of Ground.
- When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced and the workers are not able to reproduce
The Ants That Invade the Houses
There are several types of ants that can invade the houses; each brings a nuisance of its own. Each come with the objective of scavenging but some are there just to annoy while others bring serious damage along with them.
Every year when it is warm enough; at the end of autumn, special kind of ants arise, almost synchronically over large areas, flying ants are pushed out of colonies by the worker ants that spread in the vicinity of the colony not letting the flying ants to settle down, encouraging them to fly away.
The division of labor in an ant colony is very strict and there is only one purpose of each kind of ant and reproduction is the sole purpose of these winged ants. Smaller male chases the larger female to long distances to prove his fitness as an ideal mate, mating occurs midair and at the end of the process, the male’s genital organs explode inside the female inseminating her.
The male dies shortly afterwards while the female gets her eggs fertilized and searches for a suitable place to land, shed her wings, lay eggs and become a queen. The most distinct feature of these flying ants is their wings. They are a nuisance to humans because human houses are warm enough to be suitable for them to perform the whole ritual in.
Large, half an inch long orange-brown ants with black head and wide mandibles is the sugar ant, very distinguishable based on its color patterns.
Though primarily omnivore, these ants love anything with sugar in it. These ants live way more socially than other ants; they tend to aphids, move and milk them, extract honeydew from aphids and caterpillars, and in urban setting, attack mostly the sweet things like honey and jams. These ants are not harmful at all, they can’t even bite humans but the nuisance they cause is just the same as any other ant does.
Large, inch long ants with very strong mandibles capable of chewing out wood from furniture and wooden structure in the human houses.
Carpenter ants make colonies inside wooden structures, and beside the nuisance they cause by being pests; they cause physical damage to the house. Of all the ant types, these are the ones that need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Very small, an ant of up to 2mm size distinguishingly small, yellow and almost transparent. The pharaoh ant is the most major pest in human houses and hospitals.
These ants are found in almost every area of the world because the colonies bud from each other and live with each other without showing any aggression towards any neighboring colony. These ants show the most unique scouting and foraging techniques and require to be controlled quickly or they spread and grow in numbers very rapidly.
Medium sized black-brown ant; distinguishable by one pair of spines on the back.
Their most extraordinary capability is to make colonies away from the soil, they can make colonies in the pavements of the cities and prove to be the most resilient of pests that also occurs deep in the cities.
How to get rid of any kind of ant
Before we answer that you should know that Ants are good for The Environment.
Any kind of ant can be dealt with if we know how they operate and we manipulate their normal function to our advantage.
All ants scout; chalk or cinnamon powder can be lined over entrances to the house to check scouting. All ants follow trails; vinegar, essential oil, citrus fruits and soap can be used to get rid of trail so there is nothing for the ants to follow.
All ants take food back to colony; they can be given poisonous food which can kill the whole colony including the queen. There are special baits and ant traps that you can either make or can purchase from the market to kill or get rid of the ants effectively and immediately.
Commercially Available Anti-Ant Products
- TERRO PreFilled Liquid Ant Killer Baits are designed to kill all the ants in any area infested. These are disposable, ready-to-use baiting stations, filled with borax infused sugary solution that attracts the ants and kills them before they have a chance to enter the house. The portable plastic containers pack the liquid such that is secure and evaporation resistant on the inside so maximum killing activity can occur.
- Ultrasonic Pest Repeller emits ultrasonic sounds that cannot be heard by humans but are unbearable for ants, mosquitos, spiders, fleas and even rodents. The device plugs into any electric outlet and starts working right away. Though it takes around a fortnight for it to thwart all the pre-existing pests but once all set, no pest can be seen in the house.
- Catchmaster Pantry Pest Traps are easy to use cards that can be folded and placed in the pantry to catch and neutralize all moths that you may have brought from any store with the food. Sometimes pet food and dry foods have moth infestations but this commercial trap uses a pheromone lure along with some glue to attract and stick the unwanted pests. Ants and other small insects can also be captured and be disposed of.
- Home Sentinel can be plugged in any electric outlet to defend up to 500 square feet of area against almost all the usual pets one might expect. The built in ultrasonic emitter, electromagnetic emitter and ionizer repel insects, arachnids, rodents and even bacteria in the air.
The Best Ant Traps Out There
- Hot Shot MaxAttrax Ant Bait contains 0.05% Indoxacarb as an active ingredient and 99.95% other materials including feed binders, sugars and artificial sweeteners. This ant trap is very efficient in its action; capable of killing the whole colony in just 24 hour plus it is safe to use around children and pets because the four bait stations on the trap are built with strong plastic allowing outdoor and indoor uses. MaxAttrax uses resilient and strongly toxic chemicals that last up to 3 months and is capable of even fighting the worst infestations.
- TERRO Outdoor liquid Ant Bait uses liquid solution of borax. The liquid within the bait station consists of sweet fluid that attracts the ants and borax that kills them. The plastic body is resilient and also prevents the fluid from drying out; this commercial ant trap attracts and kills all the ants before they enter the house. Though the product is fixed onto the ground using piercing stakes, it can be harmful to children if they drink the fluid within.
- TERRO PreFilled Liquid Ant Killer Baits are packed and prefilled disposable borax solution containers with intelligent patented drip-proof design that also restricts evaporation of the fluid inside. These are portable ant killing stations that can be placed anywhere you want the killing to happen.
- Combat source kill has the most potent active ingredient; Fipronil, which can kill ants and roaches alike. The toxin is slow-acting and allows the insects to carry it back to the colony so the solution occurs radically. Most of the deaths occur at the colony so you do not have to deal with the bodies.
You don’t need to use toxic chemicals when you have lemon in your house. It will make your home Antproof. Ants don’t like the scent of lemon and its acidic property keeps away the trail of ants. It also helps to remove Cockroaches and Fleas. Lemons will give a message to the ants that they are not welcomed in your residence and they should not dare to enter the home.
How to use lemon to repel ants?
- Squeeze Lemon Juice and pour it indoor thresholds, windowsills, cracks in the kitchen and other possible areas.
- Also, Squeeze Lemon Juice into the possible ant’s entries.
- Pour Lemon essential oil on cotton balls and keep it in Kitchen, cabinets, drawers, study table and other areas (if needed).
- Cut lemon into small pieces and scatter it on the entrance of the home and back door of a kitchen (outdoor).
- Squeeze 4 or 5 lemons and mix it with water to clean your floors. It will make your home ant proof.
Ants don’t like the smell of White Vinegar, it gives a clear indication to the ants to leave the house. It also hides the scent their trail, which makes them confuse and they will forget directions. It is cheap, reliable and nontoxic.
How to use white vinegar to get rid of ants?
- Mix water and white vinegar in equal amount and pour it in a Spray bottle.
- Spray it on Anthills or directly on the ants to kill them.
- Wipe it after an hour or two with damp paper towel and discard them.
- Also, spray it on windowsills, doorways and other possible entries of Ants.
You can also use white vinegar as cleaner. Clean your kitchen top, floors, window and other areas with a solution of vinegar. It is excellent household cleaner and keeps away bad bugs and irritating insects away.
Precautions: Don’t use an excessive amount of white vinegar on Plant as it will change the PH of Soil. It will difficult for the plant to grow or it can kill a live plant.
Cinnamon can work as entry barrier and it will discourage ants to enter into your home. It will not kill ants but it makes them confuse and likely to change their routes.
International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications has published a study in 2014 that Cinnamon essential oil can work as insects repellant.
- Make a mixture of Cinnamon essential oil (½ tablespoon oil and cup of water)
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and wipe the ant entrance and other possible areas.
- You can also use this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it windows, doors and on all possible areas.
Tip: use it only on affected areas and the entrance of ants.
A normal blackboard chalk can be used to keep away the ants. Many people forgot that chalk is made of calcium carbonate and ants do not prefer to cross the lines of chalk or walk through a chalk line as they will not able to follow scent trails left by others.
How to use chalk to remove ants?
- Draw a line of chalk on the entry point of Ants.
- Create a line around the plant and pots.
- If ants are already in your kitchen then draw a link over the entrance and use white vinegar or lemon and wipe affected areas.
Precaution: Many ant killer chalks are available in the market which contains chemicals. Children can make mistakes and use it as a normal chalk. There is no need to use toxic chalk as normal chalk work as effectively as Hazardous Chalks.
Just like the cinnamon, Peppermint to work as an ant repellent. It won’t kill ants but it discourages ants to enter the home. Use peppermint essential oil and add it in a spray bottle with a good amount of water. Spray it on the affected area and it will keep ants away from your kitchen. You can also spray this mixture in a kitchen sink, behind the walls or between the walls.
Boric Acid works as poison and it will kill ants from your home. It is cheap and easily available nearby your areas. When Ants eats boric acids, it damages its stomachs and kills the ants. It is natural and you can use in windowsills, wall cracks, behind the walls, plants, or in a carpet.
How to use boric acid powder to kill ants?
- Take one tablespoon of water and one cup of water.
- Pour it into a water bottle and Spray it in affected areas, entrance, windowsills and other possible areas.
- You also mix boric acid with honey, sugar or jelly-like stuff make a paste and leave it for the ant to eat it. It will kill insects eventually.
Precautions: However boric acid is nontoxic but it should not be consumed by humans or animals. It can make some serious damage if it’s eaten by humans. Also, don’t use where children’s are playing.
If you are thinking that Boric acid and Borax are the same then you are wrong. Both are completely different but both can kill the ants.
How to treat ants with borax?
- Take ½ cup Borax with 1 cup sugar and add some water (hot water).
- Mix it well and pour it into affected areas, creak, windows and kitchen
- Take Borax with Jelly or Honey and put it near the ant’s trail. Jelly or honey attracts the ants and Borax will kill the ants.
- If you know the entrance of the ants then sprinkle borax powder directly on it. It will prevent the entry and kill more ants.
Note: it can work very well against carpenter ants.
Precautions: Borax defiantly kills ants permanently but it can be toxic to pets if they consumed it. So keep it away from pets and children.
Food-Grade diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous Earth or DE is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. It looks like off-white talk like powder. DE has sharp edges which cut the exoskeleton of ants and absorb body moisture. Eventually, insects die due to dehydration.
How to get rid of ants with Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth?
- You can sprinkle DE into Kitchen, windowsills, bathroom, on Anthills or any other area which is affected.
- You can also sprinkle it around the plant. It can take some time to get rid of ants but it will clear areas after a couple of days.
Baking soda is yet another nontoxic and natural way to kill ants. It is easily available everywhere and its acidic substance reacts with baking soda and ultimately kills the ants.
How to kill ants with baking soda?
Mix equal amount of baking soda with powder sugar and mix it well. Sugar will attract ants and baking soda will kill ants when they eat it. Pour mixture, where ants are marching or else pour it on the entrance of the ant.
If you are not able to find ants entrance then pour it on ant trails as they will take their nest and will do your job.
Talcum powder or baby powder cannot kill the ant but it can work as repellent. Just make powder lines where ants are marching and ants will not cross the lines. They cannot follow the trail left by others. You can use any form of talc which is easily available in your home.
Pour boiling water
It is the cheapest way to kill ants from your house. If you pour boiling water into anthill then it will burn them and eventually kill the ants. It will also break anthill and destroy their colonies.
It will not kill colonies but you can remove a large number of ants with glue straps. It is easily available in any stores near your homes. Place glue straps on affected areas and it will stick all ants in the strap. It can also help to get rid of rats, rabbit, or ferret.
If you’ve seen the paths of those ants that have invaded your home – most likely the doorframe – sprinkle salt on that path. In that way, you create a barrier and they won’t cross again. Identify all the paths and do the same.
Why struggle with the visitors you don’t like? Bring in an enemy! Probably, these ants have invaded your kitchen because they’re looking for sugar… remember they have a sweet tooth, no just joking!
Give them cayenne pepper, which they hate the most. Sprinkle it on the areas where they’re trying to scroll to. Try to find out their holes and pour the pepper and you’ll never see them again.
The easiest way to send the ants packing is by using arranges. Blend some few oranges and add considerably amount of warm water. Pour the solution on their paths, down their holes and along the foundation of your house. In that way, they’ll become history. You can extend this to your compound and garden.
Just learn how to find them and give them a treat they don’t like the most. In that way, they’ll learn that they aren’t welcomed within that vicinity. You don’t need experts to deal with little insects that can use their head and get away when they realize the place is not friendly.
Sprinkle the flour
So, you share your house with ants and though you hate it, you don’t know what to do. Get it from me; identify how their way in and sprinkle that path with flour. A line of flour along their paths will repel them away and they won’t be able to cross it again.
Give them ant spikes
Ants can only invade your home for one reason; they’re looking for food to take back to their queen and workers. Granted; they sometimes bite but that’s just because they think you’re the intruder.
So, why don’t you do them a favor? Place ant spikes right at their entrance, in your garden and around the foundation of your house. They will find it, grab it and take it to the rest to feed on, which will kill all of them. In that way, you get rid of the whole lot of them.
Use flowerpots to burn them
If the ants have gone as far as putting an anthill in your compound, flowerpot is what you need. Place it upside down on top of the anthill and pour hot water through the drain hole. In that way, you’re burning down their nest, their food and many of them that are present at the time. The survivors will then move to a safer place.
Depending on the item you can easily get, the above items will ensure that there are zero ants in your house, compound and garden… or let’s just say in whatever place you won’t be happy to see them.
How to get rid of carpenter ants
Carpenter ants require desperate measures; there is no way you would want to keep them at bay knowing that they live in your furniture and destroy it over time. They must be killed to save the nuisance and the damage. Acrylic paint with borax or acrylonitrile infusion must be applied to kill the existing colonies and to avoid future encounters.
How to get rid of pharaoh ants
Pharaoh ants must be dealt with quickly or they increase too much in number; borax laden food should not be used as this will only ensure a continuing supply of fresh ants, killing the whole colony is the way to go in case of pharaoh ants.
How to get rid of pavement ants
The pavement ants live outside the house and do not require desperate measures, just sealing and caulking the house properly can do the trick of keeping them at bay, if need to be gotten rid of, extensive pavement cleaning systems might be required.
How to get rid of flying ants
Flying ants are of two kinds, the smaller males that would die and the only worry we need to do about them is about clearing their corpses but the female ones are potential queens and should not be allowed to land in or near the house. If you see winged ants inside the house during summer, it is usually okay but seeing frequent flying ants in winter means that there is a colony inside the house.
Killing the flying ants with aerosol sprays and soap solutions can do the trick but sometimes when there are too many of them; electric bug zapper becomes the weapon of choice which not only kills the winged ants but also attracts and kills almost every flying insect that is prevalent in the area.
How to get rid of sugar ants
The sugar ants can be gotten rid of by simple procedure of baiting; these ants are different from other ants because even if there is food outside the house, they will keep going inside the house for more sugar because they can choose between foods and will always go for the sweeter one. The path of their scouts can be blocked, their pheromones could be tempered with but once you stop the treatment, they will prevail again.
More permanent treatments like poisoning them should be considered. To poison the sugar ants; fashion sugar coated borax beads or borax infused sweet granules that they could take back to the colony. Once eaten by the queen and all the workers, the formulation will kill the sugar ants getting effective rid of them.
Ants in the Kitchen
Kitchen is probably the favorite place for ants; there are food particulates almost everywhere.
After preparation of every meal or even opening of refrigerator, food smell comes from the kitchen. The unwashed dishes and the leftover cake and cookies all invite the ants to come into the kitchen and attack the food that is exposed. The major reason that the ants are a problem in the kitchen is that they are everywhere is the kitchen; the shelves, the dishes, the honey jars, the jam jars and even the garbage.
When you visit the kitchen while the ants are there, hundreds die there due to you stepping on them while some crawl onto you and start biting you which can be painful based on the species infesting the kitchen.
To keep the nuisance out of the kitchen, you can put some sugary fluid inside a box and infuse it with around five percent borax, which you can easily get at any pharmacy, then you should make holes in the box such that the ants enter easily but it takes them time to leave the box so when they die due to borax, you can rest assured that they will die inside the box and it will be easier for you to take care of their lifeless carcasses.
What to Make of This Whole Argument?
Ants are pest and pest should stay out of the human houses. It is essential to take measures to avoid the occurrence of ants inside the house. Whether the ants are infesting mildly or forcefully, there are treatments available for them.
Men have developed ways to counter pests after spending millennia fighting them and today when our houses are the most attractive to the ants, we are most equipped to fight them and thwart them away from our houses; we have ways to fashion ant traps and ways to eliminate entire colonies, we even have commercially available ant traps that can deal the problem with our minuscule involvement.
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