Fighting ants: What helps against the insects?

Ants (Latin term Formicidae) belong to the insect family. For example, the large redwood ant and various meadow ants are native to us.

The lifespan of the so-called workers can range from a few months to three years. The ant queens can even live more than 20 years.

Ants never live alone, but always in groups and thus form large colonies. A single ant colony can consist of up to a million animals.

Most ant species are ecologically beneficial to nature and have a lasting impact on it, contributing to the re-stratification of the topsoil, promoting the breakdown of plant matter, and dispersing plant seeds.

Ant nests mostly consist of small pieces of wood and plants, dirt, and other natural materials, although there are many different types of nests that are not always visible from the outside.

This is the case, for example, when the small insects gnaw their chambers and tunnel systems into living trees or rotten trunks. A clear sign that a nest is nearby is the so-called ant trails.

But increasing numbers of flying ants or visible damage to the wood or insulation material (in the form of crumbs from wood and nest remains) can also indicate an ant infestation.

The increased occurrence of scale insects and aphids on plants can also indicate an ant nest. In this case, the ants feed on the honeydew, a sweet excretion product of the aphids. In return, the small insects defend the leaf pests against predators.

Most ant species are quite useful for nature.

At the latest when they become a problem that is harmful to health, endanger the safety of buildings or other materials, contaminate food in pantries and kitchens, or are otherwise perceived as a nuisance, combating the ants becomes necessary.

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