Ants: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them

The ants are one of those little animals that many tend to ignore for the simple fact that they seem harmless, but that, once they have invaded the kitchen, the living room and even the garden, they become a tremendous nightmare. These little insects are almost everywhere and there are so many that seem to be the typical never ending story.

Well, if you have an ant problem at home and you have no idea how to solve it, you have arrived at the right place! Stay with us and you will know everything you need regarding these little bugs, including how to eliminate them.

What are ants?

It is a hypersocial and small insects belonging to the Hymenoptera family, where wasps and bees are also found. They usually live in colonies organized under the ground, in mounds at ground level or in the bark of trees, and are more common in tropical forests, where they can even represent half of the population of insects in those areas.

These bichillos have a great resemblance to termites and there are those who tend to confuse them. However, both species are somewhat different, since the ants have a very thin waist between the thorax and the abdomen, which the termites do not have. In addition, the head of the ants is usually larger, with articulated antennae and strong jaws.

What causes the appearance of ants?

Ants can appear everywhere, on all continents, except the North Pole and the South Pole. Generally, they live in covered places and in low light, whether in the countryside, in the jungle or in industrialized areas.

They usually appear especially in those places where they can easily find some food, considering them excellent places to nest and reproduce. It is for this reason that you will always find ants in gardens and wherever there are green leaves, because they create the perfect habitat for them.

Also, these bichillos appear frequently in our kitchen, especially in the pantries, because that is where we keep most of our food, and these little ones, neither short nor lazy, seek to make a good feast with all our provisions.

why do ants appear

Many ants are used to make their colonies under the ground, digging the ground and throwing out the earth to form a tumult more like the shape of a volcano, which corresponds to the entrance of the nest. Other species prefer to live in the outskirts, as in rotten logs, while some like to live in holes or cracks between the cement.

Their presence becomes much more noticeable when the climate is colder and more humid, because it is at that moment when they enter the homes in search of protection. Now, if you live in areas with hot climates, it is much more likely that you will have to deal with these small ones in the garden of your house and not inside it.

In short, you must be clear that these animals always seek to establish as close as they can to a food source, so do not be surprised if you see more than one hanging around your cupboard.

Types or species of ants

The truth is that there are many species of ants and if we describe them all, you would spend a whole day reading. Therefore, we will mention only some of the most common and most important types in the world.

Argentine ant

argentine ant

This type of ants usually appear in houses, are dark brown and measure between 2 and 3 mm long. They build their anthills on humid earth located in gardens, near the plants and a water source. They have a preference for sweets, fruits and plant fluids, and in general they tend to be quite aggressive.

Carpenter ant

carpenter ant

This species is the most common within homes, they are larger in size and black with some gray stripes on the abdomen. They usually make their nests in damp wood, looking smooth and clean, but do not feed on it.

Leafcutter ant

leafcutter ant

He usually cuts leaves to take them inside the colony, chewing them and incorporating them into underground mushroom crops that feed the other ants. They are very hardworking and fast in their work, so much so that they can end the leaves of a bush in just one night. They are dark brown and have small spines on the thorax. These small do not make their nests inside homes but they can go in search of food.

Wood ant

wood ant

This particular species tends to infest the fields and gardens, building its ant hills in tumults of land on either side of the road. They eat especially sweet products but also usually include some insects in their diet. These little bugs are very peculiar, since they snatch larvae and pupae of other species to raise them in their anthills and turn them into slaves once they have developed.

Fire ant

fire ant

It is one of the most dangerous ants of all. They are so called because with their bite they inject a formic acid that produces irritation, swelling and a lot of pain. They are known to be reddish in color and have a yellowish head, are commonly found on loose soil and have a rather aggressive behavior. These feed on seeds, fats, nuts and meats, so they can kill small and weak animals such as birds and some mammals.

Odorus house ant

odorus house ant

It is considered a domestic pest and is usually confused with the Argentine ant. However, this species is of a brown color more similar to black and, once it is crushed, it tends to emit a rather unpleasant smell, hence it has been given the name of olorosa. This animal builds large nests both inside and outside the houses, and has a preference for sweet foods.

Winter ant or false honey ant

winter ant

It is a bright dark brown bug, which nest in the humid earth and feed on sugary substances, which they store in their abdomen and regurgitate when other members of the colony need to feed.

Sting or bite of the ants

Just as there are different types of ants, their bite or sting also tends to vary. Some species have a formic acid that they inject and that some associate with poison, which causes pain and itching when coming into contact with the skin, while other species are practically harmless and can only cause a slight puncture, once they bite us with her chewing device.

Regarding the formic acid that we mentioned, most ants have it, using it as a defense mechanism and as a kind of clue to point out to their companions the path they should follow. This formic acid can be combated with products based on ammonia, which can calm the sensation of pain and the intense itching caused by the bite of these insects.

ant bite

Now, if we ask what is the most dangerous and painful bite of all, perhaps we should say that it is the bite of the red ants, and a vivid example of this is the bite of the famous fire ant.

When a fire ant bites us, it injects us with a very strong formic acid that causes us to itch, swell and redden the affected area. Next, a red scab appears accompanied by a blister that produces a lot of itching and begins to be painful, so it must be treated urgently, especially if it has been a massive attack.

How dangerous are the ants?

When we talk about ant bites, complications are not very frequent, but it is true that some people are more sensitive than others and may have individual allergic reactions and even anaphylaxis; and is that, although these bugs seem to be harmless, some of their species have a greater amount of formic acid and are capable of causing more serious injuries to the skin of their victims, so there are some risks that we can run before these little animals.

are ants dangerous

We spoke previously about the fire ant bite, which corresponds to one of the most dangerous species of all, thanks to the aggressive nature of its colony. The biggest problem with these little girls is that, once the first ant has bitten you, the rest of the colony goes to attack you and you can be very hurt if you can not escape quickly. In the case of small animals such as birds and even young calves, if they run into a nest of fire ants, their probability of escape is practically nil, as their murderous instinct will lead them to end the lives of these beings at They consider intruders.

In short, although the ants themselves are harmless, their bite is not at all, especially if they are species like this that have been raised in a wild environment and have a natural aggressiveness.

How to eliminate ants

If your home has been infested by ants, it is best to contact an expert in pest control, who will perform an evaluation to determine the type of ant that lives in your home and decide which product is most suitable for carry out the fumigation.

As we have seen, there are different types of ant, so identifying the species is really an important point to find the most effective solution to the problem we are presenting.

Generally, these experts carry out sprays of insecticides with manual or motorized equipment to kill ants, although some of them have resorted to the precise application of baits in gel or granules to achieve this purpose. They have also resorted to sprinkling ant-killers made from dry powders, as well as certain gels and insect-repellent pastes.

how to eliminate ants

One of the most effective methods to eliminate ant nests is the powder inflated with high pressure, which is able to reach the deepest of the anthill and destroy the focus of everything, which is the queen ant.

We must bear in mind that a spraying with liquid insecticides or spray can not always bring the expected results, since not many of them can kill the queen ant, causing a faster reproduction of these annoying bugs. For this reason, it is advisable to carry out fumigation by experts in pest control, because they will know exactly what to do to eradicate the problem.

Home remedies to eradicate ants

If the idea of ​​applying chemical products to fumigate your home does not convince you, here you will find some home remedies that work wonders against ants.

Borax with sugar and water

home remedies to eradicate ants

Sodium borate, also known as borax, is very easy to get in drugstores and cleaning supplies stores, since it has helped these ends for a long time. To kill the ants, we recommend mixing it with a bit of sugar water to form a thick paste that you can place in the corners where the ants pass, this will keep them away for a long time. Of course, once the mixture dries, you should take it off and renew it

White vinegar and water

Most bugs, including ants, hate vinegar, so you can make your own pesticide with just a little of this liquid and a measure of water. Take a spray bottle, half full of vinegar and fill the other half with water. Shake well and spray the liquid directly on the ants to kill them, then remove them with a damp napkin and throw them away.

More tricks to kill ants

If you do not have home the necessary ingredients for the recipes that we have left you, you can try with these tricks more than effective to kill ants.

Talc for babies

If you see that there are ants at home and they hide in the cracks or crevices of the windows or doors of the kitchen, you only have to sprinkle a little baby powder and these annoying bugs will not come back, because the dust will remove everything the oxygen, suffocating them and killing them. There are those who substitute talcum for corn flour but it is doubtful that this really works, since they would rather be providing them with a source of food.


Like talcum powder, sulfur works like a great ant repellent, so you can apply it around the nests and sprinkle it in the holes or crevices to force these critters to leave and find a new place to nest.


more tricks to kill ants

This product not only serves to give sponge and more volume to your cakes, but also has a repellent effect for ants. You only have to mix 2 tablespoons of yeast together with ½ cup of water with sugar, and then pour some of the mixture into juice or soft drink stoppers to place them near the anthills. The annoying bugs will go after the mixture to drink it and the yeast will kill them.

Well, if so far the ants have taken more than one cane, it was time to get rid of them once and for all with the help of our excellent advice and all the information we have given you. Eliminate the problem from the root and achieve an ant-free house.

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