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Some things you may NOT have known about ANTS


spiderThey’re looking for a picnic… YOUR picnic!

Ants are social insects. They belong to the scientific family Formicidae, and along with its relatives the wasp and the bee they belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants have been around since the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago. Today, more than 12,500 species are classified and there are an estimated 22,000 species worldwide. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like body structure that forms at the insects waist.


All species of ants live in colonies, which consist of a “queen” ant that lays the eggs, short-lived male ants, and worker ants that are sterile females. The ants you see in and around your home are worker ants. Workers that find food communicate with other workers by chemical message. They leave a pheromone trail as they crawl back to the nest. Although we cannot smell it, this pheromone trail sticks to surfaces for long periods of time and helps other worker ants find the food source at the end of the trail.


In the spring, ants develop wings and fly to new locations to find shelter, food, and establish a new nest.

Termites also develop wings and swarm during the spring and look similar to flying ants. Examine them closely to make sure that you have the correct pest. Termites have thicker waists and have antennae that resemble strings of tiny beads. You may need a magnifying glass to examine antennal features.


Ants consume a wide range of foods. They feed on sweet foods, greasy materials, starchy substances, wood, and all kinds of plant and animal materials. Part of the reason that ants become a nuisance in our homes is that they often like the same kinds of food that we do. There are two categories of ants that will be encountered with an ant problem. The two categories are ants that live inside and those that live outside. The pest control strategy that you should take depends on your type of infestation.


Ants that live outside will travel inside the home to search for food. Some species may reside in homes. To prevent both of these scenarios precaution should be taken. First, cracks and crevices should be sealed to eliminate passages into the home. If you do not seal entry points, ants will probably find their way into your house or at some later time. Second, scrub around entry points with a detergent (to remove the trail pheromone) and spray a residual insecticide around entry points (Beyond Pest Control recommends you hire trained professionals).


spiderred ants, AKA Fire Ants

Bait treatments and insecticides can be used to control ants in the outside nest. To be effective, baits must be placed in areas where ants frequent. There are several different kinds of baits available, and you may have to do a little trial-and-error to find the proper bait. Because the ants must get back to the nest for satisfactory control this strategy may be incompatible with insecticide sprays which may kill worker ants before they can get back to the nest with the bait. The successful use of a bait may take several weeks or more.


Ant infestation are not easy to control and different strategies should be used depending on nest location and food preferences of the ants. Ants can be controlled with a combination of good sanitation, removing pheromone trails, caulking entry points and eliminating active nests. Insecticide sprays and baits can be used to kill foraging ants and destroy nests, but strategies designed to prevent further infestations should be used in conjunction with chemical treatment.

If you have any questions about how to get rid of ants check out the rest of our website or go to our blog at

Beyond Pest Control.

Our pest control specialists service all NYC boroughs, including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island (both Nassau & Suffolk counties), Staten Island and even both Westchester & Rockland counties.