Ants in the Pants: The Habits of the Household Ant

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The truth is that ants aren’t really all that smart. From a physical and physiological standpoint, there isn’t much in the way of space for an overly developed brain. And yet, when they decide to make a target of your house and home, they act like highly sophisticated, highly coordinated beings that go about their business with such amazing precision and efficiency that you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking them highly intelligent and well developed.

The truth is that they simply evolved to survive better given the conditions that they often have to face in the harsh world where thousands of other things are far larger and a far smarter than they are. To help you defend against them, this guide will help you to understand them better—why they do the things that they do.

Scouting ahead. Much of the reason that ants are so efficient and effective is because they rely heavily on chemicals released by their fellow ants. These chemicals help to guide their fellow ants towards food. Usually, traces of these are released by the single ants that you usually see wandering around. These scouts are responsible for finding food that the rest of the colony can devour and, if you let them slip by, they’re likely to be followed by an entire horde of them. Even if you do manage to kill one or two of these scouts, they’ve sufficiently left enough of their mark for the rest to follow. The best way to preemptively deal with this problem is to start wiping off the area that they’ve  traveled on—or better—start cleaning up any food bits that might be lying around. 

Most ants will eat most anything. Leaf-cutter ants might be exclusively plant eaters and army ants meat eaters, a greater majority of them will consume just about anything that they come up on. Generally, they prefer seeds, nectar, and other invertebrates (like insects), but they’ll consume most anything. They even hold the record for being unrivalled when it comes to the quantity of food they can consume. It is said that they eat more than lions and wolves. In agricultural areas where they’re prevalent, they can quickly devour crops if left unchecked. They have even consumed engine oil and other fellow ants when the need is dire. Again the simple lesson here is to keep things as clean as possible. Even the tiniest of food particles can attract a large colony of them to cause problems at home.

It’s clear that one answer is to keep things clean—not such a bad idea, when you think about it. But it always helps to seek professional pest control or extermination services. Not only can they completely eradicate any traces of them and prevent them from coming back. They also use chemicals and methods that are safe on the environment and safe for you and your family. Besides, they usually have expert knowledge that you can benefit from in the long run!


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