Many of us have been guilty of squishing ants that dared to invade our personal space, but killing ants in your home can actually make your problem worse.
If it seems like more ants are coming into your home after you've killed one, you might be wondering: "Do dead ants attract more ants?"
The answer is a resounding, but perhaps confusing, yes. Next time you see an ant marching across your kitchen counter, think twice before ending its journey with a quick squash.
It calls for reinforcements
According to Pensionist, when you kill an ant, it releases pheromones that attract other ants to the scene. This is one of nature's clever ways of ensuring the species' survival.
When an ant dies, it releases a scent marker known as a death pheromone, which sends a signal to the other ants. In nature, these signals help ants to dispose of their dead.
But in your house, it can lead to a full-blown ant invasion.
Therefore, the act of killing ants can actually backfire and bring more unwanted guests into your home in the future. It seems counterintuitive, but try to avoid killing ants you see in your house.
What to do instead
So, if killing ants isn't the answer, what is the proper way to remove an ant? Here are a few non-lethal methods that will help you get rid of these pests for good:
Catch it: Use a piece of paper to carefully scoop up the ant and release it outside.
Trap it: Invest in humane ant traps that capture instead of kill.
Repulse it: Try natural deterrents, such as essential oils, which can repel ants without causing harm.
Prevention is always better than a cure
However, prevention is always better than a cure. To keep ants out of your house altogether, here are some steps you can take:
Seal up cracks and crevices around your home where ants can enter.
Keep your home clean, especially the kitchen and dining areas.
Store food in sealed containers.
Avoid leaving pet food out for long periods of time.
Dispose of garbage regularly and make sure trash cans are sealed.
Embrace non-lethal methods of ant removal and taking preventive measures will not only save you from a home ant invasion, but will also help you live peacefully with these creatures in the future.