Among your everyday pests, ants on are the top of the list. They are tiny insects that are the source of irritation for many Toronto homeowners. One of the most common type of ants you will encounter in Toronto, aside from carpenter and pavement ants, is the Pharaoh ant. This ant is very small in size, growing to be only 1/16 of an inch. It is most identifiable by its yellow to reddish brown colored body, unlike your usual black and red ants. Other characteristics of pharaoh ants include a dark abdomen, tiny eyes, narrow waists having two nodes, and twelve segmented antennae. They also have a stinger to fight against predators.
The bad news for you is that the small size of Pharaoh ants allows them to infest any area easily and quickly. Common areas they are known to infest include washrooms, kitchens, hospital operating area, offices, bakeries, and any area that is warm and dark. Pharaoh ants like to find spots where they can nest in warmth, but also have the security of dark. Don’t be surprised if you find them in your heating vents and hot water pipes. Pharaoh ants can also easily hide between sheets of paper, cracks in the walls, in your clothes, baseboards, garbage, and even on your light fixtures.
They enjoy snacking on sweet treats like fruit jams, sugar, syrups, sodas, and honey. Beware if you have these items in your home. When nothing else is available, they can even live off of toothpaste, and grease/oils. Their main source of communication with others is through pheromones, and leaving chemical scents behind for other ants to find the source of food. Therefore, if you suspect you have any ant activity in your home, it is important that you act fast.
One of the most troublesome properties of Pharaoh ants is the practice of budding. What this means is that the queen, along with the workers, eggs, larvae, and pupae will leave the main group and form their own colony. As a result, you have a much larger colony that has split up into several small groups. Ants practice this technique as a form of survival, so if you are trying to remove them from your home, you will have great difficulty.
Luckily, there are several methods of control available. Of the most common is using boric acid as a form of bate for the ants. However, if you are using bates, you must ensure that you place them in the proper places for the highest efficiency. A bate placed in the wrong location is completely useless. Keep in mind that non-repellent baits work the best, as repellent bait types have been known to make infestations worse. Also remember, you need to treat your whole house in case of an infestation, and with multiple treatments. It is not an easy task to remove ants from your home once they have gained access. Whether your infestation is severe or mild, it is important that you act fast. For this reason, seeking the help of licensed professionals is highly recommended. After all, you can let them handle all the hard work, and have your home back in one piece.