We are all part of the ecosystem that includes every living thing, and while we should live in harmony, with ants in your home, it’s another story. These pests crawl everywhere, and they especially want your food. With almost 16,000 species and around a quadrillion on the planet, it can be intimidating, but only a small variety of ants come into your home.
Ants are very social insects, so when you see one, you know there is a colony nearby, maybe taking a foothold inside your home. It is important to handle the problem before you are infested by using repellants, DIY solutions or calling a pest control company.
Prevention is a key ingredient in ridding your home of ants. This starts with making sure there is no food left out. Make a habit of wiping down your counters after you prepare food and rinse dishes right away and stick them in the safety of the dishwasher. Sweep your kitchen floors regularly because this is where part of an ant’s buffet is laid out. Reassess your food storage in your cabinets and pantry. Opt for sealed containers if you can.
Look around your windows and doors for gaps and fill them with caulking or adjust your doors as needed. You can buy commercial ant sprays and traps, but make your DIY sprays for a less toxic solution. These can include:
- Essential oils like peppermint, spearmint and lemon
- Spray bottle with 2 to 1 water and vinegar
- Spray bottle with lemon and water
You may not want to upset nature’s balance, but if ants enter your home, something has to change. Use this as a guide to understanding the types of ants that may visit your home and try these methods of deterrence and extermination. Contact a qualified pest control Etobicoke expert to solve your ant problem for the best solution.
Here are the nine different types of house ants and their characteristics:
Type #1: Carpenter Ants
With a name like that, you’d think they would help build the house, but the opposite is true. Carpenter ants tunnel into the wood of your home and take up residence. Their nests are usually in decaying wood, but they come into your home through cracks around doors and windows and can cause extensive damage over time.
Type #2: Black Ants
Black ants are the most common types of house ants. This is the picture you get in your mind when you think of ants. They are attracted to food and will make their way inside to eat. They live outside but come in through small access points to feast on whatever they can find.
Type #3: Fire Ants
Fire ants are easily identified by their red body colour and aggressiveness. They build mounds outside with underground tunnels but will search for food and water and may come into your home to get it. These small ants pack a punch with a nasty bite that stings too.
Type #4: Odorous Ants
How about an ant that smells bad? Odorous ants are more than a nuisance and are attracted to sweet foods and spills. While we usually squish an ant when we see it, this little guy releases a potent smell when you step on it and is described as a mix of blue cheese and rotten coconuts.
Type #5: Ghost Ants
While these creatures aren’t existing among the dead, ghost ants do have a spooky look to them. Their legs and underbelly are pale and almost translucent, so they can be hard to spot or catch. These types of house ants like warmer climates. However, they will make their way inside any home that provides sweet foods or the sweet excretions of other pests like aphids. When squished, they can also give off a nasty odour.
Type #6: Argentine Ants
Accidentally introduced from Argentina, these medium-sized brown and black ants will come inside your home looking for food scraps. They typically live in hotter climates and seek sugar sources and water; although they nest outside, they will take refuge inside your home on a rainy day.
Type #7: Crazy Ants
What makes an ant crazy? For us, it’s in the erratic way they move. We often notice ants walking in a straight line like good little soldiers. These reddish-brown Caribbean ants move to nowhere without the typical pattern you see and seem in a mad dash. Unfortunately, they will bring this disorganized march to your home. They love the sweet food scraps left on counters and around baseboards and will nest around warm areas inside your home.
Type #8: Pavement Ants
These types of house ants make their nests around, you guessed it, pavement. Usually, it’s a cracked sidewalk and the foundation of your home if there is an entry point. From there, these little black buddies will search for food sources inside your home and wreak havoc.
Type #9: Citronella Ants
Citronella is an effective insect repellant, but this ant can secret the citronella smell when under attack. They love to enter your home through access points around doors and windows and live in your basement while hunting for food. They don’t look as intimidating as other ants because of their yellow colour, but these ants can sprout wings and further invade your residence.