Ants have a varied diet, and knowing what they eat can help you set up the right baits if you want to get rid of an infestation.
You’ve probably seen ants scurrying around your kitchen and that they eat almost everything that we eat. While it’s true that they are omnivorous, they are particularly drawn to certain types of food, depending on the species. Some species are really attracted to glucose and fructose, which they will get from flower nectar or honeydew while they are in the wild. In the home however, these sugars are available in much wider variety and in much higher concentrations.
Seeds, grains and plants
Some ant species will only go for seeds, grains, plants, leaves and other greenery when it comes to their diet. This is why you see ants drawn to breadcrumbs. You also have species that are actually able to farm by gathering leaves and then growing edible fungus on them.
Ants are also drawn to protein and fat. They will get these macronutrients from regular sources such as meat or grease, but they will also eat other insects and worms for sustenance, with some species being more carnivorous than others. Everything is fair game, from spiders and ticks to dead birds and rodents.
Some ant species are even cannibals. Army ant colonies are known to wage warfare on other colonies, stealing eggs and young ants to eat them. Ant queens have also been known to eat their young when food sources are lacking.
Other essential items for ants
Besides food, ants will need a few more items in order to survive, one of which is, of course, water. Ants will need to have water sources near their colonies, which is another reason why ants set up in the kitchen. They will also need salt, which they will actively search for, and will usually find in your home.
You can use different types of baits when you have an infestation to see which one works best. You generally want to start with sugars, and then work your way through the list. If you have issues with getting rid of an infestation, one of our team members can help you out. Contact us today if you have any questions about how you can control an ant infestation, or if you would like to set up an appointment for an ant control session.