Signs of Ants
Spotting a few ants on the floor could be a few isolated ants having a look around or it could be a warning sign of a larger ant infestation. Ants have designated scouts who find a food source and leave a scent trail for their colony to follow. However, the trail is naked to the human eye so an infestation has often already occurred before people realize they have an issue.
In the summer months in particular, ants colony number swell rapidly. An infestation in the home, particularly in the kitchen, can be extremely difficult to remove using over the counter products. The most effective way to treat an infestation is to locate the nest and exterminate their queen. This stops the ants reproducing and they will eventually die off.
Ant infestation removal requires a high level of expertise and uses a complex mix of mechanical, cultural, sanitation, and sometimes chemical control techniques.
Ant infestation signs
Large numbers of ants
Unsurprisingly ants are the most frequent sign of an ant infestation. For every ant you do see, there are hundreds or even thousands more you don’t see. If you find them in areas where food is prepared, it is likely you have an infestation problem.
If you leave leftover food exposed, have food in a pantry not in an airtight container, don’t regularly sweep up crumbs or have a pet’s food bowl out in the open, you are much more at risk of an ant infestation.
Ant nests are pretty inconspicuous. The look like a small pile of dirt and can often be hidden away in walls or other dark, quiet locations. They may look small and relatively harmless but the amount of ants underneath the mound of dirt is enormous.
These nests are usually found very near your home or business rather than inside it, often adjacent to exterior walls. It is recommended to regularly take a walk around your property to examine for any nests.
Garden Ant Facts
- Garden ant colonies are monogynous which means colonies have only one queen. Though during the building of the nest there can be 2-3 queens, when the worker ants start arriving, they fight to the death until only one remains.
- Colonies can have up to 40, 000 ants however 4, 000 – 7, 000 is the average.
- The queen ant can live up to 30 years, though most last 15 years. Worker ants usually live for one or two years.
- After fertilisation, the queen removes her wings and digests her wing muscles for a source of food over the winter.
Don’t leave food exposed
Leftovers, spills, compost bins etc. are all sources of food for ants. Make sure you clean surfaces frequently, keep compost and bins sealed, sweep, mop and vacuum often.
Keep food in airtight containers
Don’t underestimate ant’s abilities to get into cupboards and get at a food source through its packaging. Food that has already been opened is especially at risk.
Maintain a clean sink
Leftover dishes, food caught in the drain and water all provide food and hydration for ants.
Protect pet bowls
Get a large bowl for your pet and add water around the food so it forms a moat which ants have difficulty crossing.