Ants are probably the most common insect pests that invade our homes and become an extreme nuisance. Controlling ants can be difficult and frustrating at times but will more likely succeed if you have a basic understanding of ant behavior and some specific information about the particular ant species you have infesting your home.
Ants invade homes and other structures in search of food, water, and shelter. Therefore, effective ant management needs to be a combination of control methods that involve inspection, sanitation and exclusion, habitat modification, and often some type of insecticides
The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. Ants use their antenae not only for touch, but also for their sense of smell.
The first and most important step to reducing problems with ants occurring in homes is to eliminate sources of food and water that are attractive. In addition to obvious sources of food left on counters, sinks or floors, spilled food in cupboards and food associated with trash baskets may also be visited by foraging ants. Dripping faucets and leaking pipes may also be important water sources that ants will use. Also, if ants have been foraging in a home, wash down counters or floors with some household cleaner to eliminate the odor trails the ants have established to locate sources of food or water. Most ants found in homes nest outdoors, sometimes adjacent to building foundations. Heavy mulch, piled leaves or ground covers that abut buildings can provide cover for ant colonies and can increase the likelihood of their subsequent occurrence in a house. Keeping the area around the building foundation free of cover can reduce the likelihood of ants foraging indoors. Insecticides can be useful to control ants and a wide range of ant control products are available. These are primarily used either to: 1) generally suppress ant numbers in a yard; 2) establish perimeter barriers around a home; 3) spot treat foraging ants found in homes; or 4) incorporate into baits to kill colonies.
Little Black Ant is a species of ant native to North America. It is a shiny black color, the workers about 1 to 2 mm long and the queens 4 to 5 mm long
Carpenter ants may be either black or black with a reddish brown thorax. They are most similar to the field ants but can be distinguished by examining them in side view, with the thorax of the carpenter ants being uniformly rounded without indentation. Carpenter ants nest in wood, almost always establishing colonies in wood almost always are foragers that will return to an outdoor nest in the yard. Rarely they will establish a nest in the building, always at some point of previous water-damage. Carpenter ants mostly feed on a mixture of dead insects and honeydew.
Fire ants bite and sting. They are aggressive when stinging and inject venom, which causes a burning sensation. Red bumps form at the sting, and within a day or two they become white fluid-filled pustules.