If you see one, there are probably more hiding. Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. If you have ants, there is a potential for food or open wound contamination, as they spread bacteria and a large number of disease-causing organisms. Common in Southwest Florida: Fire, Carpenter, and Big-Headed Ants.
Ants are social, industrious insects that have come to outnumber any other class of land-based animals.
Unfortunetly, their successful dominance has sometimes come at the expense of other animals including man. Here are some things you should know about ants’ behavior that can impact you and your home:
Ants can enter your home through minute exterior cracks scouting for a variety of food – sweets, fats or protein sources. Searching from the kitchen pantry to bathrooms to the attic, ants will march on to find nourishment and a cozy nest site.
Scout ants tell their nest mates where they have found food by putting down scent trails (pheromones) the workers can follow directly to the food source.
Ants can nest in any void or crack, high or low, inside or outside your home – anywhere – even under your house.
Nest populations can range from a few hundred to over 500,000. Disturbing ants can cause the colony to pick up and relocate within the home or property.
Ants are not dependent on a definite habitation and can rapidly transport their eggs, larvae, and pupae to a more favorable location when necessary. They can adjust to weather extremes and have few natural enemies. All this results in most ant species flourishing and enjoying a relatively long lifespan of several years.
Dangerous and Destructive
Beyond annoying, some ant species can inflict pain and suffering with their stings and bites. Others can seriously damage your property by chewing up wood to nest in.
Many do-it-yourself ant treatments result in making the ant problem worse by scattering the colony. It’s important to make a complete and thorough treatment to eliminate all the nest sites. Proper ID of the ant and a specialized approach by species can dictate the methods and materials needed for a successful solution and future prevention.