Karen Lucas Mr. Sandrick EDUC 373 Inquiry 3 Kitchen Ants
Personal Experience Every year there is at least one occasion when I go to bed, and in the morning I wake up to a kitchen full of ants. It drives me crazy!!! So I began to wonder…
Questions I began to think about… What kind of ants are these? How can I get rid of these ants? When and Why do they come out? Why do the keep coming back?
What kind of ants are these? The type of ants that I found in my kitchen are very common in many households. After referring to www.orkin.com I discovered the name of the ants were called Tapinoma sessile ants. They are often called “Sugar Ants”, “Grease Ants”, “Kitchen Ants”, “Odurous House” and “Coconut Ants”.
What kind of ants are these? con’t The Tapinoma sessile ants are a scavenger & predator ant that will eat most household foods. Their color ranges from black to brown. Their length ranges from 1/16- 1/8 of an inch. The have no stinger, but are able to bite. Queens can lay 20-30 eggs a day.
What kind of ants are these? con’t Not much is know about the lifespan of this type of ant, but some queens have lived up to 8 months. Worker ants live for several months while the male ants only live for about a week. These ants are very tough, when hurt the continue to work for the colony, and some queens have lived for 2 months without food or water.
So what’s in a name? The other common names for the Tapinoma sessile ant such as “Coconut Ant” and “Odurous House Ant” come from the type of odor the ants emit when they are crushed! The smells resembles a rotting coconut!
How can I get rid of these ants? Avoid leaving open containers with food out over night. Keep all of your countertops, cutting surfaces, and other cooking areas clean. Keep your floors clean and if a spill occurs clean it up immediately!
How can I get rid of these ants in a non-toxic way? Find the point of entry and wipe it with vinegar. Also sprinkle paprika or chili powder, the ants don’t like this and will avoid entry. Keep sugar in a Ziploc bag that way the ants can’t get to it, also keep all sugary sweets in the refrigerator so the ants won’t be able to reach those too.
What I find works best Spray the outside of your house around windowsills and doorway entries with a solution made up of Borax, sugar, and water. Next place “ant baits” under your refrigerator, stove , and other areas that the ants will go to. Be sure not to place baits out on your counter they will be carrying poison back to their nest so it is important to place bait only where the ants can reach, not small animals or children.
What I find works best con’t Baits work better than sprays because sprays just kill the “worker” ants and not the queen. The product that I found to work best is called Terro. It is a liquid and the ants see it as a food source so shortly after placing it out you will see an increased amount of ants in your kitchen, and that is good because they are taking it back to their nest.
New ways I found out on how to get rid of ants. Cornmeal can be used as a weapon against ants, and it's not poisonous to people or animals. Ants eat it and after consuming water, the cornmeal swells inside their digestive organs, causing them to die. If you have pets and/or children around put the bait in a jam jar. Screw the lid tightly and seal with adhesive tape. Pierce two or three small holes in the lid, and smear the outside with a little bit of un-poisoned bait. If you're concerned about the jar getting knocked over and the poisoned bait spilling out, loosely pack the inside with cotton balls. Taken from: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Ants
New ways I found out on how to get rid of ants. Con’t Put pet food bowls in a slightly larger bowl and add some water to the larger bowl, creating a moat around the pet food that the ants can't cross. Squish the scouts. Colonies regularly send out lone ants to check for food sources. If you see an individual ant strolling across your coffee table, don't let it make it back to the nest alive. It'll tell the colony where you spilled the apple juice. If the scout made it back to the nest and brought back some friends, they'll be following a scent trail, single file. Unless you're ready to bait them as described below, kill them all. Quickly. Taken from: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Ants
When and Why do these ants come out? The reason why you are seeing ants in your kitchen is because they are looking for food. They mostly appear in households after a rain, because the rain sometimes washes away their food and/or their nests. The ants come out to find food, and once they have found a source for food more, and more appear so they can take the food back to their nest.
When and Why do these ants come out? con’t They nest usually near a heat source or in insulation. They are attracted to moisture. They appear because they have found a point of entry into your house such as a crack or a hole. Keep firewood and rock away from your home because it encourages nest building.
Why do the ants keep coming back? Most likely the ants will keep coming back because there is a sustainable food source. Make sure you are keeping your kitchen clean, and following the previous steps to help prevent ants from coming back.
Why do the ants keep coming back? con’t If you take the necessary steps to keep your kitchen free from any food laying around, then the ants will go away because there is no food source available. Continue to spray the outside of all entry points with the borax, sugar, water solution every 2-3 months.