Does the sight of a solitary ant marching across your floor or counter top have you anxiously glancing around to see whether it’s alone?
Because it should. If no others are visible, it’s probably a lone explorer. But if there’s company, the ants are probably helping themselves from a food source in your premises. It’s time to take some pest control action.
Ants don’t wander about aimlessly. They’re highly focused hunter-gatherers engaged on a remorseless search for resources to take back to the nest. They have no respect for property: your home, office, favourite restaurant or doctor’s surgery are all under continual siege by these tiny insects.
An ant infestation is more than an annoyance
Having a trail of ants marching across your kitchen floor is not just unsightly, it can also be unhygienic.
If your little visitors are garden or black ants, the most common variety in Britain, they probably pose the smallest health risk. But you should still take pest control measures to be rid of them. And you ought to find out what food they’re helping themselves to.
The ants may simply be harvesting crumbs from dirty floors and surfaces or they could have found a route into food stores and containers. It only requires one tiny hole for them to gain entry and once food is discovered, they leave an invisible trail for their comrades to follow.
Other types of ant, such as the Pharaoh ant, are more likely to transfer germs from place to place within buildings. This exotically named variety is a foreign invader, preferring to nest in warm places, usually within buildings. Not only do they pose a health risk, they’re also notoriously difficult to get rid of.
How to protect your premises from ants
The ant’s ability to pass through the tiniest cracks and gaps means it’s almost impossible to stop them from entering your home or office. The most effective way of keeping them at a distance is to avoid doing anything to attract their interest.
Storing food in clean cupboards and containers and promptly clearing away spillages and splashes reduces the chance of ants wanting to explore indoors. If they can’t sense food nearby they’ll probably stay away.
Should you have an ant problem, off the shelf products can be effective if used correctly, as long as the food sources which attracted them are removed. But if the ants keep coming back or if you think that you’ve been visited by Pharaoh’s ants, it’s time to call in a professional pest controller.