After an already difficult year that has seen the world and so many of our lives turned upside down, we want to avoid additional stressors and issues where possible. With Covid-19 being our new normal, many of us are spending more time inside, and protecting your livelihood and home has become a high priority. For homeowners in Queensland, Australia, this means tackling a problem that, although is very much real and undesirable, does not have to be a permanent fixture in your life.
It is the issue of ant infestations, which, you may be pleased, or more appropriately, relieved, to know is not uncommon and you definitely aren’t alone. In fact, some businesses have reported a significant spike in infestation treatments and inspections since the pandemic began.
Moreover, as the summer months are beginning to take hold, these six-legged creepy crawlers are attracted to sickly sweet foods and drinks and are unafraid to march straight through your windows, front door, and those unknown nooks and crannies hidden in your walls.
It’s not an ideal situation – one that we all want to avoid at all cost – but it doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. Coming face-to-face with ants inside your home is not a cause for panic and can be rectified quickly, you just need to understand what has led you to have new inhabitants in your home, and how to get rid of them – ASAP.
What do Ants Eat?
Your first question might be: what do ants eat? If you’re finding trails of ants inside your home, it is unsurprising that one of your main concerns would be them infesting your cupboards and fridge or crawling a bit too close to the cooker at dinner time. On top of that, you may be curious to understand if it is certain foods that have attracted the ants into your home in the first place.
To answer this question very simply, ants are omnivores and eat virtually anything they find in nature to stay alive. As a result, they earn the reputation of being opportunistic feeders, eating anything and everything they find to nourish themselves.
This means that if you make a habit of leaving food or drinks lying around, whether that’s an unwashed plate, a bin not yet emptied or splatters of food and crumbs on your benchtops, you put your home at a greater risk of becoming infested with ants.
Although it can depend on the type of ant, generally the three main food groups that ants are drawn to are sugary foods, like bread, syrup, fruits, protein, like meats and eggs; and finally fungus.
By simply prioritising cleanliness, regularly wiping down your benchtops, and clearing up after yourself after cooking and eating, you can reduce your chances of an ant infestation significantly.
Don’t be fooled though, even the cleanest of houses can experience issues with ants; it is about being proactive and doing what you can to tackle the issue.
How Long do Ants Live?
For some people, seeing an ant infestation in their home may make them wonder whether they can wait for the ants to die, outlive them and continue with your life – it’s only a matter of time and the problem will be gone, right?
Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many different species of ant, and their lifespan can vary from a short 30 day period to an eye-watering 15 years. Ants are known as workers and spend their lives working in colonies, carrying food, and building hidden colonies.
It is in their DNA to survive and produce for their colony, so deciding to outlive them is probably not the most productive use of your time.
How to Kill and Remove Ants
There are various ways to kill ants and remove them from your home, whether that is actions you can take yourself to prevent an infestation, or relying on professionals to handle the issue for you.
- As we mentioned before, try to get into good habits of routinely cleaning your home – particularly areas where there are food and drink. Store fruits and vegetables in the fridge, take out the trash, and put away pet food bowls when they aren’t being used – ants can’t eat things they can’t access after all!
- White vinegar is the perfect solution to killing and removing ants. If you see ants in your home, use vinegar on a cloth to wipe them up to kill them instantly. To repel ants, use a diluted vinegar solution when cleaning your home surfaces, including the floor. The smell will successfully repel the ants, and will not make your home smell.
- Lawn sprays and insecticides – prevention is much easier than trying to solve problems, so stop ants before they have even come into your home by spraying your lawn and any outdoor areas surrounding your home with insecticides, effectively killing the ants.
- Use soapy water to clean up ant trails, removing the pheromones they leave behind. Without these pheromones, ants are unable to communicate with their colony and their trail into your home will be lost.
- Contact a professional – to ensure your ant problem is properly addressed and dealt with, consulting pest control is one of the best routes to go down. Pest control will typically discover how ants are entering your home, and deal with the problem by spraying insecticides, laying traps, and sealing off their channels indoors.
Using a professional pest control company like Pest-ex, you can be sure to remove ants in your home safely and efficiently while maintaining and prioritising cleanliness. Click here to contact Pest-ex today.
We all want to live a safe, healthy, and happy life under these unprecedented circumstances, therefore following these simple best practices, and understanding the reasons why ants are attracted to your home, will mean you can kill and remove ants from your home, and even prevent an infestation before it occurs.