Getting Rid of Ants: Why Is It So Hard?
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Why Are Ants So Hard to Get Rid Of?

There are more than 12,000 species of ant, and their population levels are high. You can also find them in almost every country in the world except Iceland, Greenland, Antarctica, and some other islands. No wonder homeowners are commonly getting rid of ants in their homes, workplaces, or other locations where the insects are not wanted. 

Once there, the amount of damage to property or injury that they cause depends on the species. Carpenter ants can cause damage to wood structures. Pharaoh ants can transmit some diseases to humans. 

Beyond that, many species can infest food supplies and bite or sting humans. Also, even if the ants that invade a home are not of a dangerous and/or destructive species, the insects can still make homeowners feel uncomfortable. Therefore, they will probably start the process of ant removal shortly.

Once they do, however, they’ll quickly start asking themselves, “why are ants so hard to get rid of?” Read on to learn why this is the case. Perhaps this can help you deal with your ant invasion issues. 

Small Size 

Homeowners are most likely to see worker ants in the home. These are the ants whose job is to track down food for the colony. Depending on the species, they can range in length from less than 1/16th to greater than 3/8 of an inch. 

This small size can make it easy for them to evade the attacks of homeowners. You might also struggle to spot these insects in the first place. 

Fast Builders

If a homeowner manages to destroy an ant colony’s home, it doesn’t take long at all for them to get re-established. The ants that survive the destruction can quickly move to another location. It will then only take them a few days to build another nest.

This fast bouncing back can be even more frustrating if the ants decide to remain close to the homeowner’s building. The situation can quickly result in a vicious cycle of nest destruction and recreation.

Large Populations

The populations of ant colonies can grow at an alarming rate. One study found that colonies of fire ants reached a size of 110,000 members 2.5 to 3.5 years after their creation. At that rate, those fire ant colonies will produce 86 to 120 new members a day. 

Homeowners can put a great effort into killing off many ants and find that the ones they killed got replaced overnight. This cycle is part of why many pest control experts suggest killing the ant’s queen if the ants keep coming back. However, this is not a permanent solution, as the colony can create a new queen.

On top of this, it can be challenging for homeowners to find the location of colonies.

Hard to Reach Colonies 

When most people think of the home of an ant colony, they think of an ant hill. They picture the mounds of dirt that stick out on top of fields. These exist, but they’re not what people may think and are not the only location of ant colonies.

Some homeowners might flatten or kick over the dirt mound and think they’ve destroyed the colony. However, the dirt part of an ant hill is only the tip of the iceberg. Below it, there is a network of rooms and tunnels that can stretch deep under the ground. 

It can take a lot of digging to undo all of the ants’ work. Even so, this is easy compared to the other places in which ant colonies can reside. Many will build colonies under poured concrete slabs or in the damaged wood in home structures. 

In this situation, to destroy the ants in the home’s colony, it may be necessary to tear up the driveway or rip open the walls. Homeowners will probably prefer spraying pesticides in the direction of the colonies instead. However, this method won’t be as effective with ants as it would have been with other insect species. 

Issues With Pesticides

It can be difficult to eliminate insects from large populations with pesticides. There are so many that it’s easier for certain members to escape the pesticide’s fumes. The ones that survive can then go to start another colony somewhere nearby.

Ants can also quickly develop an immunity to certain pesticides because of their high reproductive rate. In a large population, a significant portion of the population will likely have some immunity to certain pesticides. A percentage of this group will be able to survive the fumes.

The survivors will then pass their special genes on to their offspring. With such a high reproductive rate, the genes will quickly permeate the whole population. Eventually, homeowners may find that their pesticides don’t work at all. 

Beyond that, it can be dangerous to use pesticides altogether. Many pesticides have been linked to diseases such as cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease, and so on. It can also cause a lot of harm to the environment. 

Of course, this isn’t true with all pesticides. Alarmed by the information about the dangers of pesticides, many manufacturers have created safer alternatives. If homeowners still want to attempt to use pesticides against ants, these are the safer options. 

If You Need Help Getting Rid of Ants, Hire Us

Getting rid of ants will take a lot of effort. If you find yourself faced with this challenge, the best tools are persistence and patience. If you use these along with the right knowledge and techniques, you should make it far. 

However, your best bet at eliminating ants from your home in the Piemont Triad area is by calling us. We’ve been serving the community since 1984 with award-winning pest control. Our targets include ants, bed bugs, termites, and more! 

Contact us today for a free estimate. 

[While these steps/tips will help reduce the likelihood of any issue, there is no guaranteed way to eliminate all risks.]

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