How Do Ant Colonies Coordinate Behavior

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How Do Ant Colonies Coordinate Behavior?

 Any pest in your home is a problem. But ants are one of the worst home pests because they are able to seamlessly coordinate their plans to invade your home in search of food, shelter, or other needs. The first step to ridding your house of ants is to understand exactly how ant colonies communicate, and then you can employ the most effective treatment method. 

Ant Colony Behavior  

Despite having millions of individuals in one nest, an ant colony can easily coordinate nest maintenance, relocation, and feeding without any central planning. The “intelligent” behavior that ants use is developed through the interaction with other ants via various communication systems.
  • Recruitment - A scouting ant leads another ant to food or other location, through a process called, recruitment. 
  • Pheromones - While foraging for food, ants lay down special chemicals, otherwise known as pheromones, to form a trail back to the nest. The other ants can then detect the pheromone trail with their antennae and follow the path depending on the intensity of the scent. Pheromone trails are helpful in the exploration of new terrain and food supplies. 
  • Poison Gland - Similar to pheromones, the poison gland is used as a chemical signal for other ants in order to coordinate quick attacks on large prey. The released poison induces aggressiveness among the ants.  

Ant Management

 The best way to keep ants out of your house is to keep them from being there in the first place. To prevent ants from invading your house, keep your house clean, sweep after meals, cover all foods, never leave dirty dishes in the sink, store trash and recycling cans away from outer walls, and do not allow moisture to accommodate on the counters. Sometimes, even the cleanest house still attracts ants simply because it is situated on or near an ant colony. Thankfully, there are many at home options available to rid your house of ants.
  • Ant Bait – This slow acting poison is consumed by the foraging ants. Upon return to the colony, these ants share the bait with the rest of the nest, slowly killing the worker ants in two to three days. 
  • Contact Killers – For instant ant removal, contact killers instantly kill any ant it touches. Additionally, the residual spray continues to repel ants for up to 12 weeks. This treatment is recommended for use in non-food contacting spots, cracks or crevices throughout your home. 
  • Ant Prevention Products – Similar to contact killers, ant prevention products kill on contact and provide a long-lasting repellency. These products are recommended for use as an outdoor perimeter spray.  
At home ant treatments sometimes do not work because different ant species are able to smell and detect certain insecticides, and then avoid them. To prevent this from happening, the specific species of ant infecting your home must be identified. Professional ant management companies, such as IPM Pest & Termite Management, are able to correctly identify the species of ant in your home. Then, they use the most effective chemical and tool for that species to rid the ants from your house. If you suspect that you have an ant infestation in your home, do not hesitate to call our professionals at IPM Pest & Termite Management. We have the right tools and pesticides for pest control in Lexington, KY and the surrounding areas. 

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