Ant Control Toronto
Ant Control Toronto
How to identify ants
There are about 186 species of ants in Canada, but only a few are commonly seen as household pests. Identifying which species is in your home is the first step to getting rid of them.
- 3 to 4 mm long
- Light brown to black
- Grooved head and thorax
Black Carpenter Ants
- 7 to 14 mm long (workers)
- Dark brown to black
- 2-2.5 mm long
- Pale yellow with dark abdomens
Citronella Ants (also known as Yellow ants)
- Up to 25 mm long
- Light-yellow to dark yellow or light-brown
- Emit a lemony smell when crushed or threatened
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Where do ants live?
Most ants live in colonies of hundreds or thousands of individuals. These colonies (also called nests) are often found in soil, although some species, like the carpenter ant, prefer to build their nests in wood. Carpenter ants can cause severe structural damage to a building if left unchecked.
The population of an ant nest consists of three distinct groups: drones (males), workers (females) and queens (females). Every colony is an interconnected system of individuals that all work together to find food, take care of eggs and larvae, and defend against invaders.
The colony is controlled by a queen, which directs its activity through pheromones. Most any colonies only have one queen served by workers and drones, but some can have multiple queens. Queens are the only members of a colony that lay eggs.
If you see ants in your home, they will most likely be workers looking for food to bring back to the nest.
How long do ants live?
Worker ants you’d commonly see in your home can live up to three years, while drones that serve the queen only live for a few weeks at most. A queen can live up to 30 years, and can continue laying eggs throughout most of her life.
Ant eggs are tiny, oval-shaped and translucent white in colour. They are almost impossible to spot with the naked eye, and are normally only found in certain chambers in the nest.
The eggs will hatch after about a week or two, when ant larvae emerge. Ant larvae look like tiny grubs and are exclusively fed by the female worker ants that regurgitate food for them.
Ant larvae transform into pupae by shedding their skin. These look similar to adult ants except they are whitish in colour, and their legs and antennae are folded in against their body. As the pupae mature, they darken and become adult ants. They can either become drones, workers, or a new queen.
While worker females focus exclusively on gathering food and feeding larvae, male drones mate with the queen to produce offspring. When a new queen is born, she develops wings along with the male drones and they fly away to mate and found a new colony.
After mating, male drones lose their wings and die. The queen then starts laying eggs and controlling the growth of the new colony. The queen is able to determine the gender of the eggs she lays in order to respond to the new colony’s needs as it develops.
What attracts ants?
Ants are constantly on the hunt for food. A colony will send out workers in all directions to forage. If they find a source of food, they will return to the colony and create a trail of pheromones that will direct other workers to the food.
Ants will eat almost any type of food, but are typically attracted to sugary liquids, crumbs, oil and grease. Once they enter your home and find a suitable source of these foods, they will start hauling it back to the colony. This can result in huge numbers of ants invading your home.
How to prevent ants from invading your home
Ants can enter buildings through any size gap or opening. The most common places ants gain entry into your home include cracks in foundations and walls, and gaps around pipes and moldings.
Keeping your home’s structure properly maintained is crucial to keeping ants out. Ensure that all cracks in walls and foundations are repaired, and have doors, windows, and entry points sealed.
Making sure your home is clean and free of food debris is also important in preventing an ant invasion. Store all loose food in tightly-sealed containers and quickly clean up any spills or dropped food.
Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly and inspect your kitchen counters and cupboards for any stray bits of food or spills.
Finally, clean your recyclable materials thoroughly before putting them in the bin.
What to do if you have ants
Identify which type of ants you have seen. Then, locate all the areas that you’ve seen them in throughout the house. This information is crucial to successfully removing them from your space.
One type of ant that can cause significant threat to your home is the black carpenter ant. Besides visually identifying them, you can notice their activity through the small piles of sawdust-like material they leave behind as they chew through wood.
Spraying areas with ant spray for whichever ants you have can reduce their numbers, as can deploying poison that they take back to the nest. Once ants have invaded your home, cleaning up can help, but they must ultimately be removed with some type of pesticide.
In any case, calling in a professional ant control exterminator is always a good idea as ants can be difficult to eliminate completely from your home. We’ll determine the extent of the infestation and take steps to thoroughly remove it.
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AREAS WE SERVE:
We offer professional ant control and wildlife removal services in Toronto and surrounding areas. If you are having some problems with pests or wildlife give us a call and we will provide a quick free quote or fill out our form.
– King City
– Richmond Hill