Ants do more good for us than we know. They are quite the clean-up crew. Some ants are farmers, growing their own food crop underground, or actually maintaining livestock, like aphids, 'milking' them for their sweet honeydew. There is also a symbiotic relationship between ants and many plants.For instance, peonies. The peony flower bud is covered in a nectar-like substance that ants love (see images). The plants eats the nectar, and the peony flower opens.Kill the ants, the nectar then hardens into a waxy coating and...no flower!
If you have very large ant hills, then you probably need professional help to remove this major colony. On the other hand, small ant hills in the lawn or landscape are usually not of significant concern.
To keep the possibility of ants in your home/business down to a minimum, the following suggestions may be of help:
- Be sure your doors and windows are well sealed.
- Keep trees and shrubs off of the house. These can serve as 'bridges' for insects and other creatures to gain entry.
- Do not leave food out. This includes scraps in the sink and pet food.
- Exterior perimeter pest controls around your home/business foundation can be a great tool to keep these uninvited guests outdoors.
- Depending on the ant variety (carpenter ants, for instance), if major numbers find a way indoors you may have a colony established below or within the structure of your home/business. A licensed pest control company may be needed at this point to regain control and eliminate the colony.
Ultimately, learning the benefits of nature's varied creatures can help us to have a balanced view of what is an acceptable population.In the case of ants, they have us outnumbered.Let's hope they don't decide to to eliminate us!