What kills ants? What do ants eat? There's never any shortage of questions about ant control in Connecticut homes.
When it comes to combating ants with food (or a lack thereof), here's what homeowners should know about what ants eat, how house ants find their food, what happens if you interrupt an ant trail and the key to keeping ants out of your home with pest control in Connecticut.
What Do Ants Eat?
The biggest attraction for ants to enter your home is food. While ants will eat just about any food debris or crumbs you leave out, they're especially attracted to sugary foods and sweets. Meat, bread, and even pet food sitting in your pet's food can draw ants in and serve as a food source.
Besides food, some other attractions for ants in your house may include:
Water: Standing water, like a water bowl, leaky pipe, or even excess humidity in a poorly ventilated portion of your home, can keep ants coming back for more.
Damaged, wet, or moldy wood: While house ants and Argentine ants may not be interested in wood, carpenter ants love to nest in damaged, moldy, or wet wooden structures around your property. Carpenter ants do not eat this wood, but they do like to nest in it.
Shelter: If your home provides easy access to ants looking for a place to nest, they are more than likely to move right in.
When foraging for food or water becomes more difficult in the winter, ants can become especially aggressive about seeking out these resources – so it's even more important to reduce ant attractions around your home as the weather cools.
How House Ants Find Food: Scouting & Gathering
Many ants, like house ants, may be small, but they're exceptionally great at finding food, and they do so through scouting and gathering. Ants have odor receptors near the top of their heads, which will lead them to crumbs on the floor, leftovers sitting out on the counter, or a leaking soda in the trash.
The responsibility to find food for the rest of the colony rests on the tiny backs of worker ants. Along with using their odor receptors, they may also wander through your kitchen or other areas of your home until they find a food source. Once they find food, worker ants may not be able to bring it back to the colony without help, so they'll release pheromones to let the other ants know that they've found dinner – and they need a little help gathering it.
These pheromones will mark the path to the food, and this is how other ants in the colony find their way to the food source. If you've ever seen an ant trail, it's likely because worker ants have already released pheromones that figuratively "light" the path to their food, and other ants in the colony are now using that route to find it.
What Happens If You Interrupt An Ant Trail?
When they use pheromones, ants create ant trails, which can look like hundreds of ants marching in the same line. You can interrupt the ant trail by messing with the ant's senses. These pests can't rely on sight, so spraying a mixture of water and vinegar or just soapy water is an easy way to interrupt the trail.
However, it's important to note that this isn't a permanent solution. While you may prevent ants from getting their dinner once, that won't stop the colony from sending new worker ants to find a food source. Even if you keep spraying the route with a vinegar or soapy water solution, ants will continue to use pheromones to carve out new paths to the same food source.
The Key To Keeping Ants Out Of Your Connecticut Home For Good
Reducing ant attractions and preventing their trails can only go so far – if you're dealing with an existing ant problem, there's only one solution: contacting the residential pest control professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions for more assistance. From nuisance house ants to more serious pests, like the fire ants, our professionals have seen and dealt with it all – and we know how to eliminate these critters from your Connecticut home permanently.
If you're finding ants around your home or property in Connecticut, don't give the infestation more time to grow and cause problems. Instead, call us today at Big Blue Bug Solutions to learn more about total ant control or schedule an inspection of your home.