ants in the kitchen

A Complete Guide To Ant Pests

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.

Have an ant infestation?  View our entire range of ant control products.

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.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant)

Have an ant infestation?  View our entire range of ant control products.

Signs Of An Ant Infestation:

If you see the following you probably do have an ant infestation:

  • live ants (large numbers of ants in one area)
  • ant pathways / trails of ants
  • ant nests (this may be a small pile of dirt or soil)
  • winged ants emerging from cracks and crevices in the walls, ceiling or floor

Have an ant infestation?  View our entire range of ant control products.

Preventing An Ant Infestation

There are several things you can do to reduce the chances of ants invading your home.

They include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
      ants in the kitchen
      Image source: http://pixgood.com/sugar-ant-infestation.html

If ants still invade your home even after taking these measures, you’ll need to use professional products to control the infestation. View our entire range of ant control products.

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