Probably the most annoying houseguests we can have are ants. As a matter of fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States. These insects are also the most common pests that march into our homes. Whenever we see them up on our walls, under our furniture or across our kitchen counters, we would want to get rid of them ASAP.
Currently, there are 16,000 classified ant species and subspecies all over the world according to AntWeb. Usually, at least 20 known kinds of ants thrive in our houses, schools and business establishments. The four most common are the following:
- Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants or Tapinoma sessile grow up to 1/8 inch long and are either colour black or brown. They have long life span and are attracted to sugary food and pet food. Odorous house ants normally nest in basements, but they can also be found in house plants, under toilet lids and crawl spaces. When crushed, they give off a stinking coconut smell, hence the name.
- Pavement Ants
Tetramorium caespitum or pavement ants are winged ants that nest under the pavements. They are attracted to any human food and pet food. Usually, they attack our houses to forage for food at night.
- Carpenter Ants
One of the most destructive ant species are carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) because they hollow out woods for their nest. Like pavement ants, carpenter ants forage for food usually at night. They like sweet food, greasy food and meat.
- Black House Ants
Black house ants or Ochetellus are usually found scavenging food in dog poo, kitchen and garbage bags. Like other ants, they are attracted to sugary food.
Preventive Measures for Ants Invasion
- Check the cracks and gaps that may serve as entry points for ants and seal them
- Secure sweet food or condiments in tightly closed containers
- Throw your trash regularly
- Be meticulous in cleaning grease and spills
In case that these measures fail, there are natural remedies that can ward off these insects. For instance, spray an acid, such as lemon juice, around the openings where ants usually pass through. This will mess up the ants’ sense of tracking. Cayenne pepper, peppermint, cucumber peel and cinnamon are also effective ant repellents. If you want to get rid of these ants instantly and effectively, you can always hire a pest control company.