Ants are social creatures that live together in communities known as colonies. You'll often find them gathered near the foundation of a home, under concrete slabs or in other protected areas. The only way to really eliminate the problem is to kill the entire colony.
Keeping the Ants Out
-- Ants enter the home via tiny gaps between the wall and utility lines, around windows, and other little holes and cracks around the home. A little caulk around these areas will make a big difference.
-- Keep vegetation about one foot away from the home, and avoid placing mulch close to the structure. Ants climb bushes and trees and will make into your home. Mulch is an attractive nesting spot for ants.
-- Fix water leaks, and insulate cold pipes and appliances on which condensation develops. Ants will readily enter your home to get water.
-- Don't over water houseplants. If the tray at the bottom of the plant fills up, empty it out.
-- Leave pet food out only at feeding time, and store the food in airtight containers.
-- Without a queen ant, the colony cannot survive.
-- The queen orders directives by emitting odors that tell the ants what to do.
-- Ants rely on scent for almost all of their communications.
-- An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight, and ants work in teams to lift heavy items.
-- The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days; however, a queen will live for several years.
-- An ant has two stomachs -- one for itself and one to store food to take back to the colony
-- There are more than 12,000 species of ants.
-- An ant colony contains only female ants.
-- The males die shortly after reproduction.
-- During the winter, ants can slow their metabolism to survive without eating for months.
-- Keep children and pets away from fire ant nests. Fire ants are aggressive can cause serious injury.
-- Carpenter ant colonies usually have multiple nests. The main nest is usually located outdoors, even though they are known for burrowing in structures. They don't feed on wood, but excavate it to make a nesting site.
-- Carpenter ants are nocturnal; they only feed at night.