Where do they come from? What do they want? How can I get rid of them?
Most common ants live outside in the ground, in nests or ant hills. Several hills and nests can make up one colony. The queen ant (which can live up to 30 years) is in charge and is responsible for making the new ants. In the spring, as things start to warm up, ant colonies send out scouts to forage for food and fuel. These foraging ants leave a scent trail so they can find their way home and so other ants can follow. While foraging ants may be attracted to food material inside your home.
You will never kill all the ants, they will make more! You can only hope to keep them to a minimum in your home. Most attempts to control ants are temporary at best so be careful with poisons and be wary of false claims.
ps/ Ants perform many ecological roles that are beneficial to humans, including the suppression of other pest populations, aeration of soil [source] and an occasional Pixar movie.
- This article is written in the most general, non scientific terms for people who have spotted a few ants in their home and would like to get rid of the ants.
- This article is not meant to deal with major ant infestations in out buildings or ant colonies near bio waste facilities in the Florida everglades (see: Empire of The Ants 1977 for more on that type of infestation).
- Ants are everywhere. Ants thrive in all ecosystems, and form 25% of the terrestrial animal biomass on earth.
- Getting rid of all the ants in your yard is impossible. However you may be able to stop them from showing up in your home.