An ant colony is indeed an essential part of the ecosystem. Its existence creates a symbiotic relationship among species and creates balance in the whole ecological system. Ants are said to clear the ground of organic matter, clean up leaf litter, and create fertile topsoil, among others. They are, for sure, a vital part of the food chain.
What if there’s an ant colony invading your home’s space? For all you know, ants can be such a household pain and a real nuisance. Chances are they can spread diseases, parasites, and other harmful pathogens. They can even mess up with your lawn and damage your house structure.
That said, there’s a need to protect your home from the infestation of an ant colony. Here’s what you should know about an ant colony and how to eliminate them at home:
Have you seen a single ant looking for food or a line of foraging ants? Chances are there’s a hidden ant colony somewhere in your home. They get outside the confines of their colony to search for food. An ant colony is a basic unit around which ants organize their lifecycle. An ant colony is eusocial, meaning that they have an advanced level of social organization. These ants are very much like those found in other social Hymenoptera. These various groups are said to have developed sociality through evolution.
A colony of ants works together to create an elaborate nest. These nests are where they reproduce, raise young, and store food. There are different types of roles that these ants assume. The army ant workers form a nest out of their own bodies to protect the queen and the young. The carpenter ants create nests by burrowing into dead trees and the damaged wood of a home. Fire ants build an underground nest as deep as seven feet with a mound of dirt capping off the nest.
Locating an Ant Colony
In some cases, it’s a matter of following a line of foraging ants back to their nest. However, that isn’t always the case. The colony is usually several feet beneath a visible mound. If they have made a nest inside the walls of your home, chances are it can be challenging to locate them. In some cases, you may only be able to detect them when signs of damage begin to show.
If you feel that you are dealing with an ant infestation and can’t locate the colony, seek professional help from a pest control agency. They will be able to identify and eliminate the threat accordingly. They will also be able to develop and implement a plan to regulate and control future infestations.
Eliminating an Ant Colony
Be advised, though, that the method of getting rid of an ant colony depends on where the nest is located. Below are some ways on how to get rid of ants:
- For ants nesting underground, you will need to use treatments made for ant mounds such as those liquid-based used to saturate the mound. More than one treatment may be necessary to kill the entire colony.
- For carpenter ants nesting in your home, special slow-acting ant bait is necessary. The ants will take this bait back into their nest. Once delivered to the nest, it is fed to all other ants, including the young and the queen. The bait will then slowly kill the entire colony.
- Ant colonies can be controlled with the use of ant baits and non-repellent sprays. For natural remedies, however, you can use vinegar, baking soda, cinnamon, or essential oils to help keep ants at bay.
Ultimately, a preventive approach is always the best. Taking preventive measures such as keeping a clean house clear of food debris, trash, and clutter will help keep ants out of your home. If you have followed the steps above but to no avail, seek out expert help from a professional exterminator.
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