Everybody has a unique skill set. It’s no different for animals and insects. Years of survival instinct have been developed into essential life skills for all creatures. The same also applies to ants. Their powers are amplified by their ability to build vast colonies with large populations. Ants are experts at locating food and transferring it back to their colony. They’re so good at it, that if you leave even the smallest amount of food accessible to them, it can quickly become a pest control problem. Their incredible strength allows them to carry food crumbs several times their weight and move it around quickly.
But how do they find that food in the first place? And how have they gotten so good at it? We’re looking at how ants locate their food, and why those skills might bring them into your Niagara home in search of a nutritious meal.
So How Do Ants Locate Their Food?
More than anything, ants rely on their impressive sense of smell to find food. This makes sense, doesn’t it? Food crumbs which are barely visible to us are rarely missed by these scavengers. The only way that ants would be able to find that tiny crumb of food is with an incredibly powerful ability to smell it.
They get this amazing ability to smell from their trademark antennas. No, these aren’t just used in cartoons to exaggerate their features – ant antennas are a very important part of their makeup. They’ll also use their antennas to communicate with other ants. Ants release chemical signals (pheromones) to communicate a large range of things. They can communicate with one another and determine breeding signals, food signals, and warning signals when their colony is threatened. Their ability to smell is important for finding food but is also significant in their daily life.
A typical antenna is full of organs which detect the smell. Tiny hairs on these antennas pick up the scent of pheromones left behind by other ants. These hairs have a complex biological makeup and produce a protein which reacts to the detected pheromone. The proteins are connected to the ant’s nervous system and impulse signals are sent to the ant’s brain. After identifying the particular scent, an ant will know whether to follow the food source, mate or defend their home.
Does This Bring Ants into Your Home?
Ant colonies normally have a very high population and a lot of mouths that require feeding. If they can’t forage the food they need outside, they’re going to start looking inside. Even worse, if they can smell food inside, they’ll waste no time in finding it. As they locate their food, they’ll leave behind pheromones. This is a trail leading all the way to the food supply and is a powerful, recognizable scent to other ants. That means that if one ant finds a way inside your home, they all will.
Different species of ants eat a wide range of foods. Generally, they’re not fussy, but some species will take a preference to certain foods over others. They can feed on anything from meat to sugary foods, even pet food or vegetables. Typically, anything they find is going to be transferred back to their nest.
Truly Nolen Guarantee Ant Free Homes
Ants are powerful and intelligent insects. For this reason, the best removal technique in the Niagara area is to call our pest control experts. At Truly Nolen, we never underestimate the ability of pests and make sure that we have the technology, know-how, and materials to quickly remove them from your home.