With over 20 quadrillion ants in the world (about 2.5-million ants per person), it’s safe to say that they are very much a fact of life – and here to stay. That said, do we really have to put up with them invading our homes?
In this article, we’re going to look at whether it’s safe to have ants in the house, whether killing them attracts more, if they fear us or not, and why they always seem to feel perfectly comfortable crawling all over us!
If you’re not a big fan of the creepy crawlies, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…
Are ants OK in the house?
So, is it OK to have ants in the house? The fact is, ants aren’t particularly dangerous. Certainly, there are some types that can bite, but in the UK, the majority of ants that will find their way into your homes are generally harmless.
It isn’t dangerous to have ants in your home – but it is a nuisance. If you have ants finding their way into your food stores, they will contaminate your food, which isn’t ideal.
So, while they certainly won’t kill you, they will almost definitely kill the mood!
If you have an ant infestation, you should do whatever you can to get rid of them.
Does crushing ants attract more?
It’s always tempting to crush ants beneath your feet, but in doing so, you will definitely attract more of them. This is because dead ants release pheromones that will alert and attract other nearby ants – who will invariably come to inspect the situation.
At first, the ants won’t notice if another of their ant companions has been killed. They’ll even walk by the dead ant as if it doesn’t exist. However, after a few days, once the ant starts to decay, that is when the smell will reach the other ants and they will come in larger numbers.
So, if you wish to get rid of the ants in your home, crushing them is not the appropriate way.
Do ants fear us?
Ants do not display any sign of having complex emotions. The fact is, they’re more of a ‘hive-mind’ creature and thus do not show signs of experiencing fear.
That said, ants do display signs of understanding signs of danger. As such, if an ant runs away from you (usually after you try to crush it under your thumb), it’s because they have identified you as a threat and will subsequently run for cover.
As for fearing us – the likelihood is that they don’t even know what we are. Given that we are about 750x taller than an ant (with a mass far exceeding that number), we’re more like skyscrapers to ants than we are living beings.
Why do ants walk on me?
So, why do ants walk all over you? Again, given that ants don’t know what we are, and that they do not fear us unless we notice them and try to kill them, they’ll happily walk all over us.
It is likely the odours of food—and in some cases our body odour—that attract ants to explore. For many insects, they’re attracted to the salts left over from the sweat evaporating off our bodies.
- Sweat and tears will attract ants
- Blood attracts ants
- Our human odours attract ants
- Urine will attract ants
- Dead skin cells attract ants.
How to safely rid your home of ants?
If you have an ant infestation and you are desperate the get rid of it as quickly and as safely as possible, here are some home remedies for ants you can try to avoid using any harmful chemicals in your home:
- Silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
- Window cleaner
- Ground black pepper is a natural deterrent
- Peppermint they find repulsive
- Tea tree oil is another effect repellent
- Lemon eucalyptus oil
- White vinegar kills and repels ants
- Boiling water is effective for ant hills
- Neem oil is a naturally occurring insecticide
- Coffee grounds
- Boric acid
You should also cut off all their sources of food. This means thoroughly cleaning your kitchen, removing all crumbs and food waste, clearing up spilled drinks, and sealing all food in containers. You should also continue to do this daily, ensure that you wash your dishes immediately after use, and rinse all pet food bowls after use.
Go through your home and check the following places:
- Under your appliances in the kitchen
- In and between your sofa cushions
- Clean your garbage bin
- Any other areas of the home where food is eaten and prepared.
Seal all entrances in your home that ants use. A good method is to follow the ant trail back to its source. Check for any cracks in your walls and holes in the floorboards. Double-check to see if there may be an infestation inside, then seal it up appropriately.
- There are 20 quadrillion ants in the world!
- Ants aren’t dangerous to have in the home but they are a nuisance – particularly when it comes to spoiling food.
- Crushed ants release pheromones that will attract other ants.
- Ants do not fear us but they can sense danger if you try to kill them.
- Ants may walk on you because of leftover food odours, salt from sweat glands, and your body odour.
- There are many natural remedies you can use to repel and kill ants.
If you are struggling with an ant infestation, the recommended alternative is to call in the professionals. Pest control for ants will be far more effective than any other method – particularly if you have a large ant infestation somewhere in or on your property. With the pros on your side, they’ll make short work of the infestation and you can go back to feeling relaxed and safe in your home.
Just remember to practice good pest prevention techniques in the future as well.