Wondering how to prevent an ant infestation this spring and summer? The first step is knowing exactly what attracts ants to begin with.
Here’s a quick overview from our specialists in pest control in Bartlesville, OK about what attracts ants and how you can avoid an infestation:
- Sugar: Ants require a good mixture of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in their diets. Sugar is extremely high in carbohydrates, which means most ant species will be highly attracted to food items that contain sugar. This does not, however, include artificial sweeteners, as these sweeteners do not contain those carbohydrates. Therefore, foods that have artificial sweeteners but no actual sugars will likely not attract ants to your home. Make sure you keep sugar-laden foods packed up and put away, and quickly clean up any spills.
- Salt: While most people know ants tend to be highly attracted to sugar, you may not have known that some ants are even more attracted to salt. According to some studies, ants that have little access to salt in their daily diets might be more attracted to salt than they are to sugar if it is made readily available to them. All animals need at least some salt in their diets to maintain healthy and regular bodily functions. Ants that live inland or do not eat other types of insects are more likely to need salt and will seek it out if they sense it is available.
- Damp wood: Some species of ants, especially carpenter ants, are attracted to damp wood. If you have had a leak in your home and wood in your home has become waterlogged, or if you have damp firewood sitting outside, there’s a decent chance ants will seek it out and begin eating away at it or carving out homes.
There are certain objects that people mistakenly associated with ant attraction that are not actually substances ants will flock to. These include:
- Water: While all ants need water to live, they do not depend on large puddles forming like other types of insects, especially mosquitoes, which use puddles as breeding grounds. Ants are typically able to extract the water they need from food they consume. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about ants invading your home just to get water—they have plenty of access to it in other sources, even in drier climates.
- Light: There is no evidence to suggest ants favor light areas over dark areas or vice versa. In fact, for many ants the issue is entirely irrelevant, as some species are completely blind! Light is not required for survival, mating or feeding, so the amount of light in an area is irrelevant—attraction for them in your home is all about food sources that are available.
These are just a few pieces of important information to know about ants and infestations. If you have further questions about pest control in Bartlesville, OK or are dealing with an ant problem on your property, we encourage you to contact our team today for more info.