Ants are social insects that are organized into nests or large colonies. Most ants build their nests in the soil, but some can nest under concrete slabs, beneath rocks, in wood, or near building foundations. Ants normally feed on sweet exudations of other insects and plants, vegetables, fruits, and just about anything that we eat. While ants may be useful scavengers of organic matter and other insects, they frequently establish colonies indoors as well as in gardens and easily become pests with significantly destructive consequences.

Types of Ants and Their Destructive Abilities

Ants can generally be categorized into two groups, garden varieties and hazardous ants. Garden varieties of ants do not really pose a threat because they do not eat or actively destroy plants. In some instances, they may be useful as they feed on other garden pests like caterpillars. They also aerate the soil by tunneling through the soil and also act as food for other garden creatures. For most species of the garden variety, it is not mandatory to control them unless they get out of hand.

The ants that you should worry about are carpenter ants and fire ants. Carpenter ants can spell disaster to any structures that are made of wood. They attack in huge numbers, tunnel, nest, and damage wood within a short time span. Fire ants on the other hand present a significant hazard to us and our pets. Anyone who has previously had a run-in with fire ants will tell you the experience is extremely unpleasant and potentially life threatening. These ants can sting and cause severe pain and allergic reactions, thus controlling them is absolutely essential around the home.

The secret to getting rid of ants is not to kill individual ants but rather eliminating the entire colony. You can opt to either completely eliminate the nest or redirect their activities away from your home. Ants are generally non-invasive, thus it is always better to use non-invasive techniques of control.