How to Identify Household Ants

How Do Ants Find Their Way into Houses?

Although they are an annoying pest to deal with, ants are complex and rather interesting. Their ability to navigate, for instance, is an impressive feat. Surprisingly, ants have the intelligence to use visual clues to travel around.

Ants can find their way using the position of the sun and landmarks they identify. Understanding just how an ant navigates through the world is something worth learning because it can help you understand how they find their way into your home and when you need to call for ant control help. 

Visual Clues

It is nearly impossible for an ant to get lost. They have a multifaceted set of eyes that make them highly capable of creating a visual map of the world around them. Once they identify a visual landmark, they remember it to help them navigate from point A to point B.

When foraging for food, the ants remains as close to the nest as possible, which makes them efficient food gatherers for their colony. Also, the short distances between their nest and food makes it easier for them to find their way.

When foraging for food, ants will generally use the same path, which means it becomes a familiar route. The use visual clues so they know they are going the right way. That doesn’t mean, however, that removing visual clues is enough to confuse ants so they cannot find their way.

Scented Clues

A forward moving ant can easily use scented clues to find their way home, but what about ants that walk backwards? Ants can carry objects that are much heavier than their body weight, such as a small chunk of a cookie.

If, however, you give an ant a large piece of a cookie, that does not mean it is going to give up on the chance to provide the colony with food. Rather than carrying the large chunk of cookie and heading home in a forward movement, they will drag the piece of cookie and walk backwards.

Unfortunately, ants cannot use visual clues when walking backwards. Some ants will stop, let go of the piece of cookie and look around to determine if they are going the right way. However, others will get lost.

To find their way, even when walking backward, an ant will leave a pheromone scent between their destination and their nest. In other words, ants can find their way into your home, even if they are walking backwards!

Elemental Clues

Ants are smart enough that they can use elemental clues to map their way to a particular location. For instance, they can use the sun to determine which way they need to go. Scientists tested ant pathways and determined that they could sway ants to change directions by using a mirror to redirect the sun’s rays, which threw the ants off course.

The fact that ants have so many ways to map out a path makes it easy to see why then can continuously find ways in and out of your home. Because of the fact that they have so many different ways to form a pathway, it makes it seem impossible to keep them out.

If you have ants invading your home, your best bet is to contact a professional. A professional can assist you by destroying an entire colony, which in turn removes the ant population from your home and property. Call The Exterminators Inc. as we offer pest control services in Toronto for residential and business properties. Call us at 647-496-2211.

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