If you’ve ever seen what looks like two carpenter ants kissing, they’re actually sharing valuable information. Here’s what you need to know about how carpenter ants communicate and how pest control in Markham can help you remove them from your home.
How Carpenter Ants Communicate
Did you know that a carpenter ant’s saliva contains chemical signals that they can pass on to their nestmates? Although researchers previously thought that ants mainly swapped saliva as a way to share food, newer studies have shown that this process also occurs in other situations, such as when an ant is reunited with one of its nestmates after a period of isolation.
One study that analyzed ant saliva found that it contained far more than just food particles. In fact, it contained dozens of proteins and other molecules that are important for identifying specific ants and aiding in social interaction among members of the colony.
Another reason why carpenter ants swap saliva, which is also known as trophallaxis, is to feed their developing larvae. To test this hypothesis, researchers fed adult carpenter ants food that contained either juvenile hormone or a chemically inactive substance. They found that the ants supplemented with juvenile hormone-raised larvae were significantly larger in adulthood as compared to the control group. In addition, the larvae in the juvenile hormone group were more likely to successfully complete metamorphosis and develop into healthy adults. This method of swapping saliva is similar to how mammals use milk to feed their young and promote their development.
How Ants Can Damage Your Home
Although ants can be fascinating creatures to observe due to their complex social structures and methods of communication, they probably aren’t the most welcome in your home. Carpenter ants are known for creating nests in hollow areas or moist wood that is beginning to decay. They tunnel through the wood, causing damage to your walls, door frames, deck, porch or other wood surfaces. If you notice a pile of wood shavings underneath a wooden surface, you may be faced with an ant infestation.
In addition, it’s important to remember that ants are a food source for a wide variety of animals. This means that larger pests will be drawn to your home, making it more likely that they’ll set up shop on your property. Animals such as spiders and bats are attracted to homes with ant infestations, both of which pose their own health risks. Ants may seem like small pests, but they can have a big impact on your home and health.
How Pest Control in Markham Can Help
Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent ants from entering your home. Be sure to keep firewood and branches away from the siding of your home. You should also replace any wooden materials that are showing signs of decay, as these can threaten the structural integrity of your deck, porch or door frames. Sealing spaces around your windows and doors can also prevent ants from entering through tiny cracks and gaps. You should never leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight, as the scent can attract carpenter ants.
Although you can try to tackle the process of ant removal on your own, the quickest and most effective solution is to enlist the help of an experienced professional. If you see a few ants in your home, it’s likely that there are dozens more hiding away behind window frames, beneath floors or underneath appliances. If you think that you have an ant infestation, call Truly Nolen to learn more about our carpenter ant removal services and how we can safely and effectively prevent ants from re-entering your home.