Have you had to declare war on ants in your home this year? If so, you’re not alone. The Chicago area has seen a larger number than usual of ants this summer due to an extra wet spring, according to The Chicago Tribune. Ants searching for dry land are happy to relocate to your kitchen…or any other sheltered spot where they can nibble on crumbs of food.
It’s hard to quantify an ant infestation (who counts ants?), but this year’s pest control complaints are similar to those from the early 1980’s when heavy rains and flooding caused a spike in ant infestation. The ants you find in your home are most likely odorous ants, so named because they smell like blue cheese or rotting coconut when they are smashed.
Although they’re definitely a pesky problem, they’re also pretty interesting…here are a few fun (or maybe frightening) facts you might not know about ants:
1. There are A LOT of ants. Think 7 billion humans on earth are a lot? That’s nothing compared to ants. Current estimates say that there are about 10 quadrillion ants on the planet. That’s 10,000,000,000,000,000 (gulp) ants.
2. An ant can carry up to 50 times its weight. If the food an ant is trying to carry is too heavy, she’ll simply leave a pheromone trail that other ants can smell, and thousands of ants will sniff out and swarm the food within about 15 minutes. This “pheromone language”—or “Ant Twitter,” is a pretty effective mode of communication.
3. Ants are found almost everywhere on Earth. Only Antarctica and the Arctic, and possibly a few islands, are free from ants. One species of ant in particular, the Argentine ant, has invaded 6 continents within the last century. Ant hives are literally swarming across the planet.
If you find that ants are swarming anywhere in your personal space, remove any open food immediately. Try to keep your home clean and crumb-free. Seal any openings from outside where ants could possibly get in. And try to use rocks rather than mulch in areas close to your home, as mulch provides a perfect ant habitat. Most importantly, call the experts at
Pointe Pest Control. It takes a professional to battle one of the largest and most persistent species on the planet, and our exterminators can wipe out your ant problem in just one visit.