5 Foods in Your Home Ants Love to Eat
5 Foods in Your Home Ants Love to Eat
Spotted a trail of ants wandering around your kitchen? Ants are a common pest in Ontario homes as they enjoy eating human and non-human food while being sheltered from rain, snow and predators.
In today’s post, GreenLeaf Pest Control will be looking at what five common foods draw ants into your home and what you can do to stop them from being a nuisance.
Why are Ants Pests?
Ants are a nuisance because they not only look unappealing in a home but can also transport germs across your house. Unlike some other pests though, they aren’t a direct threat to you or your family through bites or stings.
However, the problem with ants is their number, as a large colony of ants can grow very quickly and consequently cause structural damage to parts of your home. Some species of ants like carpenter ants are notorious for this. In fact, there is even one case of carpenter ants causing a Windsor homeowner’s window to fall out. These types of ants create their colonies inside the woodwork of your home and will shape it to suit their needs. Over time, this damage can accumulate and cause weakness in your walls, roofs and flooring.
Whether they are just a nuisance or a bigger threat to your home, it is always a good idea to take preventative measures to keep ants out of your home. This starts with cutting down their access to food.
Ant Eating Habits
Just like humans, ants have a fairly varied diet and will eat a wide range of foods. However, the general diet of an ant comes down to three types of food:
Most ant species aren’t picky eaters. For example, ants such as pharaoh ants will eat nearly anything they can find, whether that’s candy, meat or vegetables. Their easy-going attitude to food means your kitchen and dining areas are a huge attraction for ants.
A number one food choice for ants is candy or sweets. Like humans, candy and sweets are a strong source of sugar, a form of carbohydrate that gives us plenty of fast-action energy. They can also get this quick energy from other sweet foods like juice, cakes, and fruits.
It isn’t just the taste of these sugary snacks that draws ants in for dinner. Ants have to work hard carrying items sometimes bigger than their own body and are constantly on the move, so candy gives them a fast, reliable source of energy to power them through their day.
Bread might not be the most appetizing item in your kitchen, but many species of ants will happily eat it. Similar to candy, bread contains fast-acting carbohydrates that give them energy for their tasks.
To make sure your bread is free from ant intruders, keep it sealed in a plastic bag. Ants not only enjoy the bread itself, but also the crumbs left around the house. Breadcrumbs can easily get on floors and surfaces, so make sure you regularly vacuum, wipe or sweep these areas after eating to prevent the ants from feeding off your home.
While you might not assume ants to be carnivorous (meat-eaters), many species will happily chow down on any meat from sausages and hams to beef and chicken. They are naturally omnivorous and because meat contains plenty of fats and protein, it’s an easy meal for them.
The good news is that meat isn’t typically easy for ants to access as it is stored in the refrigerator. However, they will still attempt to find scraps on your floor, under your dining table and around your garbage. Take action by keeping meat securely stored in your refrigerator, washing dishes daily, and regularly throwing out the garbage.
4. Peanut Butter
Ants seek food that contains a source of sugar, protein, or fat. Nut butters are a perfect combination of all three and ants will easily be attracted to this excellent source of nutrition.
Like meat and candy, keeping stored peanut butter out of an ant’s reach is fairly easy as they are well-packaged compared to looser items like bread. The problem with these foods is that they come into contact with more surfaces. Peanut butter is a sticky substance that will cling to countertops, knives and forks, and plates. You can prevent ants from finding and eating your nut butters by regularly washing up cutlery and plates after use. Avoid leaving on the counter to wash later as this gives ants the opportunity to find their food first.
5. Other Insects (Aphids)
Although many homeowners don’t like to admit it, there are some insects and bugs that can be found in your home. This is especially true if your home is older and you are located in a rural area. Many are harmless and actually help keep insects away, like house spiders.
Some household bugs are more difficult to manage and are a nuisance in your home. Aphids, small insects that love to eat the sap of household plants, not only make your houseplants slowly die but are also perfect food for ants.
So, even if the food in your kitchen is properly stored away and yet you still find ants in your home, your houseplants might be the source of the problem. You can put an end to it by fixing the aphid problem through using store-bought sprays, carefully washing the plant in a mild solution of dish soap and water or even taking it temporarily outside for aphid predators like ladybugs.
Ant Control & Extermination Solutions in Southern Ontario
Covering everywhere from downtown Toronto and Mississauga to Orillia and Collingwood, GreenLeaf Pest Control has the environmentally-friendly solution to any ant problem. If you are concerned about an ant infestation and preventive measures aren’t working, give us a call today. We are more than happy to help keep your property from ants for good!