Perhaps the pest insect that we humans are most tolerable with are ants. Out of the common pest in the urban area such as cockroaches, bed bugs, and termites, ants are perhaps the ones that we see most on a daily basis. Though common and abundantly found all around the world, they are certainly not welcome in our homes, and especially not anywhere near our food.
As a child, ants were introduced to us with a positive characteristic to learn from – their diligence. Children’s books have always depicted ants to be constantly foraging for food in large numbers. We are taught that ants search for food with a long trail of friends, and that when food is found, they would do their best to bring the food back to their nest, where they save the food for hard days. There are many lessons to be learnt from these simple stories when we were small, but now that we’re grown up, these ants that target our food are our enemies.
Depending on the species of ants, there could be outdoor ants that are more commonly found in the garden and near flower pots; and there could be indoor ants, which are commonly found near food-preparation places, such as kitchens, pantries, and dining rooms. The presence of indoor ants near our food might cause hygiene issues, especially if our food source is contaminated by these pesky creatures. They can cause huge losses to the food industry, such as restaurants and cafes. But needing to throw away a bag of sugar isn’t the scary part about finding ants in our food- it is the germs that they might carry on their bodies that are the true horror. Scientists have managed to isolate around 193 types of bacteria from ant bodies, together with numerous fungi and yeast. Being such a miniscule size, ants are great vectors for these microorganisms as they can crawl around, pick up, and subsequently spread these germs everywhere. After knowing this, we might need to think twice before we squish an ant with our fingers next time.
As if contaminating our food isn’t enough with their germ-ridden bodies, ants are a huge pest to our health industry as well. Ants are capable of contaminating surgical instruments in hospital buildings. Their presence in hospitals could greatly reduce human efforts to control an infection as ants could pick up human diseases and germs on their body and spread them wherever they crawl to. They pose a great risk in areas where total sanitation is required because we can sterilise an entire room and the equipment in it, but it is hard to guarantee that nothing will get in or out of the sterilised area.
While the sight of ants alone might be enough to cause a person to feel itchy all around, there are some species of ants that will cause actual itches to humans. Certain ant species are prone to stinging and biting people, causing massive discomfort and in worse cases- allergic reactions. They bite if we interfere with their food hunt, or if they find us a threat to them- which in most cases, we are.
However, we need to remember that killing off the ants that bite us is not enough. It might satiate our need for revenge, but as long as the ant nest is not eliminated, there will be more where they come from. Therefore, it is important to look for a solution if ant problems at our home is getting out of control. Killing off a trail of ants or a stray few will definitely not solve the problem of an ant nest growing and thriving in some nook and cranny of your home. Contact us today and we will be pleased to solve the nest (root) of your ant problem.