One of the most prevalent and annoying of all household pests is ants. In particular, the tiny ants commonly known as ‘Sweet Ants’ or ‘Crazy Ants’, which always seem to appear out of nowhere within seconds of any food being placed on a counter or table. Most people think that there is only one species, but there are actually several species that form this common grouping of ants.
The secret to controlling ants in your home is to understand of their biology and habits:
These ants will generally nest inside the home, finding suitable harbourage in the tiny void spaces behind tiles and mouldings or cabinets.
What is pest harbourage?
Loosely defined, harbourage is a safe haven or the locations and conditions where pests can live, thrive, reproduce, and feed. The conditions may vary in temperature, but generally, there is moisture present and a reliable food source is close by.
Ant colonies and their queens
A colony may contain one or more queens and may sometimes multiply in a sense by splitting into separate colonies. While these ants may prefer sugary foods – hence the name ‘Sweet Ants’, they will, like most ant species, also include fats, oils and protein in their diet to satisfy the changing and momentary requirements of the colony.
How to control house ants
There are several acceptable approaches to control house ants, such as the application of a non-repellent, slow-acting, residual pesticide; crack and crevice injections with a desiccant powder, or the use of ant baits that attract the foraging workers to feed and then deliver the active to the rest of the ant colony.
There are steps you can take as a homeowner to discourage ants in your home.
Six steps to an ant free home
- Know the popular hangouts
- Eliminate water sources
- Eliminate food sources
- Don’t discount your pets
- Block off or eliminate access points
- Don’t go it alone
It is recommended to have an experienced, licensed pest management operator survey your home and ant infestation to determine the best solution. Homeowners’ first reaction to seeing ants on the counter would be to wipe them away with a damp rag or spray with an insecticidal aerosol. While this will achieve immediate kill of the ants present, it could actually cause the problem to spread and multiply.
Who to call to inspect and treat ants in your home?
Did you know that members of the Pest Management Association of Trinidad and Tobago offer surveys and treatments for ants?
Contact PMATT – the Pest Management Association of Trinidad and Tobago, to receive a list of members whom you can contact to get professional pest management and sanitizing services.
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