As pesky as the 9,000 species of ants are on the earth, did you know they are actually extremely important to our environment? Ants work hard to recycle debris, turn over and aerate the soil, they even help with insect control! When ants tunnel they turn over as much soil as an earth worm, this helps to redistribute nutrients. As they scavenge and collect food materials such as dead insect and our food scraps they are helping to fertilize the soil. They also collect seeds, but sometimes they don’t get back to their colony, this is an advantage for the seeds and their dispersal.
Ants act as natural pest control for your garden. They are attacked to the nectar found on plant stems and sepals. Ants will then protect their preferred plants from herbivore insects and will interrupt them while feeding, laying eggs, during molting, or during courtship. They will patrol the plants and attack their enemies, some ants kill the intruding insect, and others will cause them to fall off the plants.
Ants are also very important for the ecosystem as food for other insects, spiders, frogs, birds, fish, and some mammals. Some ants on the other hand are more of a nuisance such as fire ants that can sting and bites. Others can invade pool equipment, homes, playsets, and sheds. It is important to keep a threshold of how many ants is acceptable on your property, in your shed or play set might be okay for some but not in your home or pool equipment as some ants can cause electrical shorts.
If you are interested in keeping your home or buildings pest free contact Hoffman’s today for a free inspection and estimate to get rid of the ants that are plaguing your property.