Best Ways To Get Rid of Ants
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Bristol Ant Treatments
Ant Control Advice from our expert, professionally trained pest technicians. We look at methods for your home, kitchen, garden and conservatory, etc. Ants are on a mission following invisible trails to return resources to the nest. If you remove what they need, they will have few reasons to thrive or return.
If you have ever tried getting rid of ants before, you will know that getting rid of nuisance ants without professional help can cost a small fortune. Here we consider simple steps to effective control of common ant problems.
How to tackle ant problems & ant infestations
Because ants live communally in colonies, we need to eliminate the nest (queen, workers, eggs) and not just the worker ants.
Protein-based and carbohydrate foods will attract ants and is often a base ingredient found in the best ant baits and products for use in the house. Ant Repellents are rarely of any use.
Outdoor ant control products are used to control ants on the buildings external surfaces, but home remedies for use indoors require safer food-based ingredients.
Research into natural ant control solutions is an area of growing interest.
Each new ant invasion provides a chemical pheromone trail for the other ants to follow, so getting rid of ants can be as simple as having a thorough spring clean.
Our homes also provide the perfect, heated home for ants.
Ant Infestations In Your House
Ants Penetrate our homes by merely coming in gaps around windows and doors.
Occasionally the colony penetrates the internal building structure via other routes. Once you find ants indoors, it’s often difficult to treat them, making ant control technically more demanding and financially unappealing.
Routes Ants Use To Invade Your Home:
Air Bricks and Weep Holes: The Most Common Entry Point.
House Plants: House plants can easily conceal ants.
Window and Door Frames: Holes in damaged or rotten wooden frames.
Holes In Walls: Holes created by old or existing pipework and cables.
House Plants and Planters: Especially those grown and stored in the UK.
Utility Points: Through conduit containing water and electricity etc.
Damaged Mortar: Through gaps in the faulty, damaged or soft mortar.
Ant Infestations In Kitchens
Could Ants Make Food Unsafe?
Ants carry pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.) on their bodies and the items they carry could end up on food preparation surfaces or even in food and drink we consume.
Do Ants Cause Food Poisoning?
Fortunately, the chances of this happening are almost zero – so don’t panic!
It is easy to be sold treatments that scare the hell out of you, but the risks are usually extremely low.
That said, precautions are always prudent.
Get Rid Of Ants In Your Kitchen
The most ethical and organic ant control solution is often as simple as cleaning up spilt foods or sweet food residues.
Pest control insecticides are always the last resort. Cleanliness is a simple concept, yet it’s a struggle for some to achieve consistently and thus remain ant-free in practice.
Taking time to seal up any entry points into the building or kitchen is pesticide-free and should always be considered a priority. Gaps under and behind kitchen units, appliances and skirting boards make covert ant entry possible in most catering environments.
With this in mind, chemical control over the longer term may be the only way of reliably treating ants under these conditions.
Chemical contamination is a risk, just as physical food contamination from the ants themselves. This is where professional pest controllers need to be consulted for the best and safest solutions possible.
What Attracts Ants?
Ants get drawn to organic products, including food residues left on surfaces or in packaging that has not been disposed of securely.
Pest control treatments used routinely include stomach poisons designed to kill ants feeding on well-formulated bait or food substitute.
Natural ant killers are also available in organic formulations, so you can kill ants and remain environmentally sensitive.
The Most Common Attractants:
Bins and Recycling Receptacles: The most common areas of activity.
Under Work Unit Plinths: Food residues quickly build between the plinths and floor.
Under Large Appliances: Heavy food residues can go unnoticed here.
Between countertops and the wall: Large wet food deposits and fly activity is common here.
Between Skirting Boards and the Floor: A prevalent entry point.
Counter Tops: Food Residues left uncleaned quickly attract Ants.
What Are Flying Ants?
These are simply males and queens disembarking to mate, on warm, humid evenings, when conditions are right.
This mating behaviour explains why we see so many flying ants at the same time. July and August see massive swarms of ants take flight, appearing on weather radars as rain!
Flying ant control, especially indoors, requires a robust approach to establishing rapid elimination.
Ants belong to a group of over 130000 insect species in the order Hymenoptera. These include Social or Paper Wasps and Honey Bees. So in common with these, they are both social in behaviour.
Ants live in well-organised, socially structured colonies, equipped with the ability to deliver a painful sting or spray formic acid.
Are UK Ants Dangerous?
None of the native ant species found in the UK can be considered dangerous, but you must identify the species. The tiny scale of these insects makes ID difficult, so we offer a free identity service.
However, newer tropical species have the capacity to sting. Invasive ant species include the white Ghost ant, Rogers ant, and Pharaoh ants, but accurate identification is essential. These invasive ant species have routinely survived traditional ant control tactics, establishing themselves in ever more significant numbers year on year.
Depending on the ant species, many UK ants, including the common red ant, can sting.
Any time venom gets injected into our skin; we have the chance that our body will have a significant reaction to the toxin, so a severe reaction cannot be ruled out.
How Do You Treat Ant Bites and Stings?
Get Ant Sting First Aid Advice and discover how to avoid getting stung by stinging insects.
What Purpose Do Ants Serve?
Your ant infestation might be seen as a problem, but are there any benefits? Ants are incredible scavengers, cleaners, a natural force outside in the garden and inside for household pest control. They also consume a wide variety of insect pests! So it’s not all bad news. Many ant species are closely involved in the life cycles of other insects, fungi (zombie ants) and as a food source, animals and birds.
How Long Do Ants Live?
It sounds crazy, but ants can live for thirty years! German entomologist Hermann Appel kept a Queen ant (Lasius niger) in captivity for almost 29 years, making the Queen ant the longest living insect.
Flying Ant Infestations
Flying ants are newly emerged queens and males. As the above section goes on to mention, a Queen ant can live for decades.
Sadly it’s not such great news for the male ants.
Male flying ants live for just one day. This means that if flying ants invade your home, they should last for only a few hours.
How Many Ants Are There In The World?
No one really knows, other than to say “there are oodles”! Some say the number is 10000 trillion while others say 100 trillion. So as we first suggested – no one really has a clue.
What Is The Worlds Biggest and Smallest Ant?
The worlds biggest ants (this is up for debate!) are the Giant Forest Ants (Dinomyrmex gigas) of Borneo and neighbouring areas.
Soldier ants weigh in at a whopping 372mg!
The smallest ants get weighed in micrograms, but I can’t find any reference to people weighing these tiny species.
The only records easily found online refer to species weighing around 1mg, so sub 1mg is highly likely.
Ants number well over 12000 described species worldwide with thousands more waiting to be classified.
For this reason, the number of ant species has been rumoured at over 30000, but it will be at least another ten years before we really begin to understand just how many species we have.
How Fast Can Ants Run?
If an ant were the size of a human, it could run at an estimated 30mph. It sounds fast until you compare it with spiders.
If a spider were the size of a car, it could hit 300mph!
The fastest insect relative to size is a tiger beetle that can move at an astonishing 171 body lengths per second.
How Strong Are Ants?
Ants can carry up to 50 times or more than their body weight. As an adult human, it means you would be quite comfortable carrying a transit van above your head. Nice!
Get Professional Pest Control Help
In Bristol, Ant Control is considered by many to be a summer pest control activity. Still, our unquenchable thirst for imported foods and goods has helped tropical ants to establish themselves.
Across the UK, tropical species like Pharaoh Ants find our homes and warm commercial environments like hospitals and restaurant kitchens a particularly nice place to remain active all year round.