Ant invasions are fairly common occurrences, but they can be hard to understand and conquer. That’s why we have created an FAQ section to address frequently asked questions regarding ant problems. Read on to receive a bit of extra advice.
What is an Ant Colony?
An ant colony is a home that ants build and live in together. Additionally, a colony is also the social organization that ants follow.
You have probably seen many ant hills in your life. It’s true that these any hills contain colonies. However, a colony is much more than just the hill. Anthills are just the entrance and exit. The actual colony is made up of underground tunnels. These tunnels can go on to be as deep as 25 feet.
Every colony has a social structure, where the queen ant is the leader and founder. The queen ant will lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime. From these ants can come drones, workers, and alates.
How Many Ants are in a Colony?
Depending on the species, location, and timeline, ant colonies will vary in size.
Queens can live up to 30 years, which means that if her colony goes undisturbed, it can grow to great sizes with thousands and thousands of members. Fire ant colonies are known to have tens of thousands of ants.
Fire ants, along with some other species, can form “supercolonies,” which consist of multiple nests, queens, etc. and can contain millions of ants.
However, colonies found in your backyard could be brand new and house just a couple hundred ants.
What Kind of Bait Should I Use?
There are a few different kinds of baits that are effective in getting rid of ants. Some ant issues can be more difficult to tackle than others.
If you find that you only see a few here and there, or you happen to catch them coming in through a crack or crevice, it’s likely that your ant problem is still outside.
In this case, it’s best to use outdoor bait products. These products come in the form of granules that you can spread throughout your yard or stations that contain either granules or liquid bait.
If you see large amounts of ants in your home or spot them in long trails coming from inside a cabinet or the wall, you may have an indoor nest starting. Look for indoor bait traps, such as liquid bait stations or gels. Certain baits are designed for indoor use and will attract all the ants living inside.
How Can I Prevent Ant Infestations?
The first rule of thumb for preventing ant issues is to keep a clean household. This is especially important in areas that food is stored and prepared. Keep your floors and countertops clean, free from spills, crumb, and sticky substances.
Make sure you empty your garbage can regularly. Keep your food in tightly sealed containers and bags. Don’t leave dirty dishes out for extended periods and run your dishwasher consistently.
Additionally, try to keep ant pet food on a raised surface as to not attract the unwanted insects.
Weather seal is a good way to eliminate gaps in doors and windows where ants frequently get in. A good idea is to use caulk around pipes and faucets, as these gaps provide access to wall voids or even the outdoors.