Do you recall an occasion when you were sitting comfortably on your sofa with your feet resting on your expensive carpet, and then OUCH, you got stung by an ant? You probably didn’t pay much attention until it happened again. Maybe a family member of yours got stung too. Upon investigation, you found out the biggest ant infestation ever.
Probably that’s why you are reading this post right now. I understand how you must be curious to know everything about the ants that infest carpets. So, that’s exactly what this blog is all about. Certain types of ants invade homes. They like to feed on food remains found here and there. Let’s take a detailed look at this subject.
Do carpet ants really axist?
Let’s start by clearing one thing. There isn’t a type of ants called ‘Carpet Ants’. People might mistake this term with ‘Carpenter Ants’. Those feed on wood materials etc. That’s another story though.
There are more than 12,000 species of ants in this world. Don’t worry! Only a dozen types of ants invade homes.
Some of them may have wings while others may not. It’s frustrating to have ants infest carpets. These tiny creatures crawl around. They usually feed on the crumbs of food we drop. Their favorite is the food that is rich in glucose.
Types of ants that can be found in carpets
Ants species vary in color and size. They also have different habitats. There are only a few types of ants that can be found in carpets.
The following are three of the most known ants that can invade your house. These can also make homes in your carpets.
1. Argentine ants
Argentine ants are dark brown. Their size can vary between 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch.
These make colonies near food sources, especially where moisture is found. This means if you have a house plant, it must be watered daily. These ants can reside in your carpets near the plants. They feed on fallen food and cause an infestation.
2. Crazy ants
Crazy ants got their name from their habit of running in a jerky manner while searching for food. Their color varies from dark brown to black. They are 1/16 to 1/8 inches long.
These ants live underneath your carpets and can go crazy in causing an infestation.
3. Odorous house ants
Odorous house ants’ color ranges from dark brown to black. Their size can be between 1/16 to 1/8 inches.
These can come to your house with exposed soil. They nest under carpets and in wall cracks.
They give-off a rotten coconut-like smell if crushed. That’s why they are called ‘odorous’ ants.
Living habits of ants
The living habits of ants are very interesting. They have a colony system. Ants colonies are more like factories
There are three main ranks of ants in a colony. Queen, females, and males. The responsibilities are divided between them.
–Queen:The queen ant isn’t a boss. It’s called a queen due to its ability to lay eggs. Yes, that’s right. In an ant colony, only the queen can lay eggs.
After queens have mated, they lay eggs. Then, they continue to lay eggs for the rest of their lives by the same stock of sperm stored from when they first mated.
–Males:Male ants are said to be flying sperms. Their only job is to mate with the queen and future queen ants. These die as soon as they mate. Their sperm then can live on, as queen lays eggs from time to time.
–Female Workers:Female ants in a colony are the main workers. Not all of them reproduce. So, they focus on searching for food. Some of them are future queens and hence, will mate with the male ants.
When ants are moving, the queen is usually in the lead. She leaves behind a pheromone trail that the workers follow. If you see and cut the trail off by your finger, the ants behind will immediately cause a hassle and disperse in the wrong directions. You may have heard about it or tried it yourself.
What do they feed on?
Ants aren’t choosy about their diet. They are practically omnivores. They can eat everything.
This includes sugars, grains, meats, vegetables, and even other insects. They love sweet foods. If you carelessly eat fruits and don’t clean any bits that might befall on the ground, ants will be the first ones to take full advantage of that.
They can also feed on any spills like juice or nectar.
Food habits of ants are pretty much unrivaled. They nest wherever they can find food. If all food sources are eliminated, they might lose interest and go.
Why do they infest carpets?
Ants are mostly attracted to food and moisture. That’s what matters to them. Carpets are ideal for this purpose.
Do you remember when you were munching on chips sitting on your carpet? Some crumbs must have fallen. Similarly, when was the last time a kid spilled juice on your carpets? Did you clean it thoroughly? If not, then ants might still be enjoying the yummy orange juice that you have forgotten.
Carpets are full of bits of food and drops of drinks that we don’t notice. Those could prove to be food for ants for a considerable time.
When they notice the constant food supply, they won’t shy from nesting underneath your hundred dollar carpet. You probably won’t notice until you start seeing these critters everywhere. Some might even sting you.
Are they dangerous?
As much as ants are a nuisance in houses, they aren’t exactly dangerous for you. However, they can carry bacteria and contaminate your food. That’s a health hazard.
They won’t be attracted to the human body unless they decide to feed on the leftover salts from the evaporated sweat on our skin. They are attracted to that. They won’t harm you. They may sometime sting you but that’s not poisonous.
The types of ants mostly found in our houses aren’t venomous. However, WATCH OUT for fire ants or red harvester ants.
Their sting can have life-threatning effects on the victims.
Ways to avoid ants in carpets
Ants are tiny troublemakers, infesting your carpets and looking for food around your house. Appropriate measures can help you prevent them from invading your home sweet home.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways to avoid ants infesting your carpets.
Tip 1: Regular cleaning
Cleaning solves most of your pest problems. It is the key to keep pests away. When they don’t find food remnants, stains from spills and dirt to feed on, they won’t waste time in your house
Make a habit of cleaning regularly. This includes vacuuming. Ants are so tiny. Even vacuuming might not kill them. Although it is bound to keep them away as it sucks food remains from your carpets.
Clean any spill properly until there is no sign of it. Wipe your kitchen counters and workbenches so, no substance remains on them.
I know it’s pretty hard to clean the dishes after a delicious meal. However, that’s exactly what needs to be done. Leftover food can become very attractive to ants. I am sure you don’t want ants crawling in your plates and cutlery.
Tip 2: Store food in sealed containers
NEVER keep food open. Always store it in air-tight containers. This is an effective practice to steer ants away from enjoying your cereals and snacks.
This also will help you keep other house pests away.
Tip 3: Seal any cracks
Ants are so tiny. They can easily crawl in from the space between your door and the floor. However, they are most likely to come through any cracks in your walls or windows. Those are mostly undisturbed.
Seal these openings with appropriate materials. That will aid in preventing ants from coming into your house.
How to get rid of ants in carpets?
Once you have an ant infestation, your mind may be in circles. You try to figure out what to do. As frustrating as it might be, there is always a solution.
Let’s explore possible measures for eliminating ants in carpets.
Method 1: Borax acid
Borax powder is an immensely helpful agent in getting rid of ants. Sprinkle it all over your carpet when you have an infestation. Make sure it settles well.
Leave it overnight so the powder does its magic. Next morning, vacuum your carpet thoroughly. It will not only suck up the borax you spread, but also the ants that died during the night.
Method 2: Ant baits
This is a method tested by homeowners to eliminate ant infestations. And it bears results.
This product works miracles. How? Let me tell you. So when you use the ant bait at a location, the scout ants will find the bait.
You will see many more ants all of a sudden when you apply the bait. Relax! Nothing to worry about. Those are just scout ants finding out the new ‘food supply’.
They leave a trail as they go back to their nest, that can be your carpet.
When notified, the worker ants go for the bait. They take this ‘new food supply’ back to their residence. The main ingredient in this formula is transferred as well. That starts to kill these crawlers.
A couple of most known ant bait products are Terro Liquid Ant Bait T300 and PIC Home Plus Ant Killer. The latter comes in child-resistant packaging. It’s safer to keep at home if you have kids.
Method 3: Professional pest control
DIY methods of eliminating ants can work. However, if you have a severe infestation, don’t rely on getting rid of it yourselves. Professional pest exterminators should handle such a situation.
Ants may be one of the tiniest insects to exist. Their colonial living style enables them to invade our houses and become an inconvenience.
While there is no specie of ants called carpet ants, a few types can infest your carpets. Common names are Argentine, Crazy, and Odorous house ants.
As it is said, prevention is the best cure. Try to keep these little insects out of your house. Cleanliness can help you along the way.
If they manage to come to your house and start an infestation, take appropriate measures and consult an expert.
No pest problem is unsolvable. If you want to learn about carpet beetles and ways to get rid of those nasty pests, take a look at a detailed post on this subject.
Ants can be an annoyance but I am confident you can keep them out of your house forever.