Ants are the most common pests in nearly every part of Colorado. Unfortunately, they can be quite a nuisance when they make their way into your home. But it always helps to know what you are dealing with in terms of ant infestations. Then, you need to know how to respond when ants invade your home. And, it also helps to know where to go for residential pest control and ant control in Colorado when you need a little extra help
Ants have incredibly strong bodies for their size. They have a large second body section filled with powerful muscles to carry food much heavier than they are. Another part of their body, the petiole, is unique to ants, and it allows them to bend forward to get into position for stinging or spraying. Some ants have a stinger, which enables them to inject venom into their enemies. And guess what. If you disturb an ant, that may just be you. Ants’ hard exoskeletons make them hard to squish, too.
Most ants are wingless because they are worker ants. But the few breeding ants do have wings. All ants have strong mandibles that they use to hold and carry food and nest-building materials. Some have large eyes, but others have very low vision or none at all. They hunt for food using whatever vision they have along with their “feelers,” or antennae.
What Is Life Like for an Ant?
Ants live in colonies of thousands or even tens of thousands of ants. Ants work together in plain sight to build an anthill on a sidewalk or carry food back to their nest. Thus, most people recognize ants as social creatures. Worker ants lay down chemical trails behind them, giving the other worker ants scent instructions to follow to their nest. For this reason, ants often walk in a single file line.
The worker ants perform several functions. They forage for food. And depending on the type of ant, they may prefer plant food, animal food, or both. In fact, some ants eat the eggs and larvae of other kinds of ants. Also, workers build and defend the nest. And they tend the eggs and the young ants after they hatch. When the eggs hatch, the worker ants feed the larvae until the larvae produce a silky cocoon. Eventually, the young ants emerge from their cocoon and join the other adult ants.
One or more queens live in each colony. Their primary function, producing eggs, gives them a higher status than all the worker ants. When new winged ants are born, they either become potential queens or male mating partners for them. When it’s time to mate, all the reproductive bees fly in mating swarms. These swarms often happen on sunny days after heavy rain.
Where Do Ants Live?
Ants usually live outside, even if they do come inside to forage for food. Many spend so much time underground that you may never even know they are there. Ants make their nests in various places, including under rocks, in fallen trees, under pavement, under building foundations, in mounds they build above ground, and sometimes, in houses.
Cutting Off Access
Once the ants take the bait and carry it back to the nest, your ant problem may be temporarily over soon. Now, you need to make sure they don’t come back. Whenever possible, eliminate all the points of entry the ants use to get into your home. Take care of doors and windows by:
- Sealing and caulking edges.
- Applying ant spray to the entry points.
- Keep the landscaping around your house trimmed back from the exterior walls.
- Not stacking up firewood against your home’s exterior.
- Keep your lawn healthy and free of bare patches.
Baiting the Trap
The bait for your trap needs to consist of two things: something to attract the ants and something toxic they can bring back to their nest. For the part that attracts, you need food that ants like to eat. Remember that some ants like protein, and others like plant matter. Some love sweet liquids. Most homeowners use boric acid as a toxic ingredient, but there are other insecticides you can use as well. But to attract ants to your bait, you need to make sure no water or food is sitting around to draw them in the wrong direction. If you want them to take the bait, you need to make sure it looks and smells better to the ants than anything else in the house. After you set the trap, practice patience; it might take a week or more to see any results.
Pest Threat Level
Threat Level – 3/10
Mainly, people want to get rid of ants because they are a nuisance. If you leave food out to snack on later, ants get on it and ruin it. And, while ants are not especially dangerous, they can bite, and some can sting. And those bites and stings cause discomfort, skin irritation, and sometimes infections. Ants are also a source of food for other pests. So, if you have ants, other insects may come to munch on them. Certain ants can cause damage to your home, as well.