guest post by Patty Pierleonardi
Every parent knows that a summer picnic is a fun, inexpensive way to get the children involved in outdoor activities as well as enjoy family time together, eating favorite foods while sitting on a comfy blanket in the grass or at the beach.
But, humans are not the only fans of summer picnics. Ants love a good picnic! They can make a meal of many different things. They can eat plants or meat. Different species prefer different types of food. Some eat other insects and dead animals while others eat sugar, fruits, seeds, oils, vegetables and other sources of protein. You know; like picnic food!
When you set up for a picnic you have no idea that you just invited ants to one of their favorite activities. Besides being very social and highly organized, ants are known to be hard workers with a hefty appetite.
Let’s look at the list of ant guests likely to join your picnic:
-Crazy ants are small, dark grey to blank ants that have long legs and long antennae. They run around with no apparent sense of direction which has given them their name. They will eat anything sweet or greasy and have been known to feed on fly larvae also.
-Sugar ants or Pharaoh ants get their name due to their favorite food – Sugar! These ants are the ones you see in your cabinets, behind your refrigerator, in your clothes hamper or behind baseboards. They are constantly looking for a crumb, following plumbing and walking on wires to get to the food source.
-Carpenter ants get their name from the way they chew passages inside wood to hunt for food, crumbs and other insects. They roam mostly at night, so they will be attending your moonlight picnic event, not your typical Sunday daytime picnic.
-Pavement ants get their name from the homes they create in sidewalks and driveways. These small dark brown to black ants have an aggressive nature and attack other colonies in an attempt to conquer new areas. They will eat almost anything, fro insects to seeds to bread, meats, ice cream and cheese. The pavement ants love picnics!
-Odorous house ants are also called coconut ants because when squished, they smell like rotten coconut. People sometimes mistake them for carpenter ants until they smell them. These ants move their nests closer to food sources, which is most household food, especially those that contain sugar.
So, next time you plan a picnic, use these techniques to avoid the ant invasion:
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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