If you’ve ever experienced issues with insect infestations, you understand how big of an inconvenience they can be. Although not the most damaging of all infestations, ants do bring large numbers during times of intrusion. And trust us, they’re not shy about surfacing when a crumb hits the counter in large numbers.
Your primary concern with ants isn’t necessarily the damage they do to your home. Mainly, they’re unwanted because their presence is unattractive, and they can transmit bacteria and illness.
Some of the following are commonly carried by ants:
Regardless of why you want them out, it’s important to be aware of their behavior and other facts about them. In this article, we highlight five myths and five facts about ants.
Ants and Their Behavior
There are more than 12,000 different species of ants worldwide, most of which are harmless. However, there are a few that go against the norm.
Fire ants will bite humans as well as other animals if provoked. The red imported fire ant is known for its aggressive behavior toward people who invade its nests.
Trust us. If a red ant bites you, you’ll feel it. You’ll also display the following signs:
- Red bumps appear on your body after contact with the venom.
- The area becomes extremely painful within hours of exposure.
- Blisters form underneath the raised areas.
If you find yourself dealing with ant bites, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. Apply hydrocortisone cream immediately afterward to reduce inflammation.
Understanding the myths and facts about ants can help you avoid situations like fire ant bites. The following section contains five facts about ants, and we’ll follow those up with five myths.
5 Facts About Ants
There are multiple facts regarding these creatures you may not know about when it comes to ants. These are the most interesting tidbits about these insects:
Did you know that ants are natural fighters? Ant colonies commonly battle one another for territory. Opposing colonies will also attack the other in attempts to steal food. During the battle, ants will bite, use their pinchers to administer toxins, and will gang up on a single ant and pull them apart.
Ants have specific jobs within their colonies. The females do all of the work, aside from the queen. The males’ sole job is to mate with the queen for reproduction.
Ants Have No Ears
Ants don’t have ears, so they lack the ability to hear normally. They feel vibrations on the ground with special sensors in their feet.
Based on their body weight, ants are one of the strongest creatures in the world, pound-for-pound. The average ant is able to lift 50 times its own body weight.
There is a species of fungus that infects ants and takes control of their bodies. This fungus ends up underneath the ant’s exoskeleton and slowly begins to eat away at its insides. The ant will wander around aimlessly, unaware of what it’s doing. Suddenly, they’ll find a leaf, grip it extremely tight, and die. When the ant passes, it releases spores that infect other ants. Members of the colony often separate these ants to protect the rest of the group.
Now, let’s take a look at some ant myths.
Myths About Ants
These are some of the biggest misconceptions about ants.
There’s a myth stating pouring boiling water on an anthill or colony will kill them all. While this may kill the exposed ants, it won’t have the same effect by the time it makes its way to the deeper ants and the queen.
Ants Only Infect Dirty Areas
Ants do love areas with crumbs and food, but that’s not the only reason they infest. They infest an area for the same reason as any other species does – food, water, and basic shelter.
Ants Aren’t a Big Deal. They’ll Leave
This isn’t true either. As we stated earlier, ants can spread some pretty nasty bacteria. Additionally, they’ll also make your food go bad if they decide to make a meal out of it. In rare cases, if their homes get large enough, it can expand through the wood in your walls and cause damage.
Some people say ants can’t cross chalk lines if you draw them on the ground. However, this isn’t true. It may deter them for a short period, but only because it throws them off the scent trail. Once they figure out a way around it, or the scent fades, they will cross it with no problem.
Another rumor is that ants will die if they eat uncooked grains and oatmeal because these items expand in their stomachs and they explode. There’s no evidence of this being true. In fact, only older ants can eat solid food. The rest of the colony survives off of liquid.
Here are a few final strategies to ensure you’re not following myths to produce results. These are the best home remedies for combatting ant infestations.
Home Remedies for Ant Infestations
Use the following tips to help avoid or get rid of an ant infestation.
- Keep your house clean and free from any crumbs or sticky areas caused by sugar or liquid.
- Place traps in suspicious areas in the kitchen and near the baseboards along the bottom of the walls.
- Make up spray bottles of cleaners and spray the colonies or hills with this to have a greater effect.
If you find yourself with an ant infestation, it’s important to get these insects under control before the problem grows to unmanageable levels. Single ant colonies can have thousands of ants in them because of the rate of the queen’s reproduction.
When the problem doesn’t seem too severe, you can try home remedies to combat the issues yourself. However, if you don’t get the results you’re looking for, the best course of action is to contact the services of a professional.
Click here to read our past blog, Why You Should Use FindAPestPro to Find a Pest Control Company in Phoenix, AZ