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Risk of Having Ants in Your Home

Ants, scientifically named as Formicidae, may be one of the most common pests at home, and having many of them is never a good thing. Ants, as tiny as each one may seem, still present a hazard to you and your family’s health. They may even threaten our homes and possessions. Ant infestations occur for several varied reasons and are quite difficult to avoid, but these can be kept to a minimum. What are some risks of having ants at home and what can be done about this?

House Damage

Just like termites, ants can cause significant damage to wood structures in extended periods of time. Carpenter arts, more specifically, construct nests in areas that are hollow and where wood is moist and in the process of decay. Their nests are created by digging around foundations and even resulting in ground shifts. Unlike termites that actually chew on wood, ants do structural damage by making tunnels hidden in walls, decks, porches and other wood surfaces. Because they function in colonies, ants can leave a tremendous amount of destruction if left untreated.

Health Risk

Physical pain from bites and stings from ants, and diseases are only a few of the health risks brought about by ants. Ants can use their mouth to pinch a human being’s skin and though this might not be very dangerous, it causes skin irritation and possibly even infection. Fire ants are a particularly high-risk species, because they can sting with venom. Such will be very uncomfortable and painful, and in worse cases, even life-threatening as a more serious reaction to its venom can lead to nausea, diarrhea, chest pain and throat swelling with difficulty breathing, dizziness and even anaphylactic shocks.

Although unlike rats, ants aren’t disease-carriers but they have a bad sense of hygiene. They will do everything in their power to reach a food source, even if it means going through dirt, garbage and even body waste matter. This presents the risk of cross-contamination, with ants immersed in germs and marching through your home leaving a trail of biological hazards. There are ant species that also stink to have around, literally, as they bring with them a sickly smell of rotten coconut.      

Food Loss

And speaking of food, ant presence in home means you have a rival with your food. Like mentioned earlier, they will do everything they can to get food, and this includes chewing their way into packaging and containers. If you don’t immediately notice this, ants can consume large amounts of food, leading to serious cross-contamination or worse, nothing left for you to eat!   

Increased Infestation

A known behavior of ants is calling other ants when they’ve found a good source of food. When they discover something is good enough to eat, they go home to their nests and call their fellow ants to go back to the source with them. There are even extreme cases wherein they might convince their queen ant to clear out and migrate somewhere closer to the food source, bringing the rest of the entire colony.

Moreover, ants get our food and yet they are also food themselves, when talking about other pests. Because ants are appetising for other pests, this makes your home inviting for other pests to enter and remain. For example, spiders such as the dangerous black widow and brown recluse spider will gobble on ants when the chance presents itself. Some bat species, like vampire bats and the Brazilian free-tailed bat, feed on insects as well. 

Getting Rid of Ants

With house damage, health risks, food loss and increased infestation as risks to having ants at home, what can be done about ants? Is it possible to perform a home treatment and eliminate colonies of ants? Here are some ways you can get rid of them.

  1. When food is spilt, immediately clean up before ants can reach it.
  2. Ripe fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, and other food in airtight containers
  3. Regularly clear out your trash bins and rinse out food storage waste before throwing them out
  4. Be sure to wipe off whatever can leave a sticky residue, such as jams, honey, syrup, and the likes
  5. Seal up cracks and crevices in walls to keep ants from entering your home
  6. If the ant infestation is too much for you to handle, better contact the pest control experts to do the home treatment for you. This way you are assured of their quality and effective termination of ants.