It is challenging to control the heavy infestation of ants as these tiny insects moving inside houses have larger populations behind them.
Do Ants Stop Coming If You Kill Them? Ants do not stop coming if you kill them when you have chosen an ineffective method that only helps prevent them for a short time. Moreover, they will keep coming if you have targeted a small population and queens are still alive. The presence of food and water also attracts them. Furthermore, the fellow ants will come to bury their dead fellows and investigate the cause of their death.
Most probably, you will kill the undesired household pests after finding them on the kitchen countertop, but it is better to find a permanent and long-lasting solution for them.
Why do ants keep coming if you kill them?
You are mistaken if you think that killing ants can help prevent the entry of more ants inside the house because their dead bodies will attract their nest mates.
Ineffective methods to get rid of ants
The choice of methods determines the rate of success in getting rid of ants, as some methods are only effective for the short term.
You can prevent the entry of these insects inside the house by making it unattractive for them, but it is not a long-term solution.
Moreover, the disruption of food trails using vinegar solution remains effective for a few hours until the odor of vinegar does not disappear.
Similarly, natural repellents can keep them away from your home until they have maintained their properties like peels of lemon or orange do not give off odor after some time.
So, it is better to choose appropriate methods for killing them and close their entry routes to avoid entry, as they usually come inside from cracks in walls, windows, pipelines, etc.
Large size of the colony
Most commonly, the workers or foragers navigate indoors and driveways in search of food and water while the mother and young ones are inside the nest.
Killing a swarm of these insects on the kitchen countertop does not mean that you have killed their whole population, as they have large colonies.
Each colony comprises thousands of members that usually prefer to move in separate groups while navigating the territories for food.
A large number of fellows are present in the nest that will come again while searching for food, so you have to target the whole colony if you want to get rid of them.
Bury dead ants
Ants do not leave their dead fellows for the sake of nature and predators and take them back to the nest. Instead, the dead ones release pheromones or death chemicals after 2 to 3 days.
Chemicals are usually released when their bodies pass through the decaying process. So the living insects keep moving around the dead ones without even noticing them for almost two days.
However, their sense of smell helps them recognize the odor of pheromones released by their dead fellows. So they will follow the odor and reach there to carry them.
Undertaker ants will take all dead bodies and put them one over another in the form of a stack at a specific site for the dead ones, like graveyards.
This site is known as the midden having piles of dead colony members.
Presence of food and water
They get attracted to sweet food items and make every possible effort to reach the source of food and water. These can make their way through narrow holes and cracks in the windows and doors.
You cannot expect to get rid of these insects by killing a few of these members and removing their dead bodies from the home.
Other members of the colony will keep coming to indoor areas until food and water source is present inside. Then, wet floors, dirty countertops, food leftovers, and spills on the floor attract them.
So, you have to make your apartment unattractive for these insects by sealing the food and keeping the floor clean.
Presence of queens
Some people get surprised to see incoming ants even if they have killed a swarm of these insects sucking nutrients from spilled juice on the floor.
Killing a group of workers does not work if the queens are still alive. These can give birth to new larvae as they can start a new colony without any support.
Moreover, their colony can have one or more queens, which will determine the size of the population. A single queen ant can produce at least 400 to 800 eggs in one day.
It means 2 or 3 queens can add multiple members to the colony each day, allowing quick replacement of a few hundred or thousand dead members.
A few ant species can efficiently play dead when they risk attack from larger insects or members of competitor colonies.
It is considered a defensive strategy to survive against enemies’ aggression that would otherwise kill them. This behavior is seen in young fire ants while the older ones fight back.
The species of ants having bigger bodies and deadly stings can kill the smaller ones to remove their colonies from the territory.
So, these insects can play dead by curling their bodies to deceive you when you are trying to kill them by spraying or squishing.
They will uncurl their bodies and begin to move to surprise you. You can see them crawling on the floor after a few minutes when there is no danger.
Investigating the cause of death
They communicate through chemical signals or pheromones released from the glands. The specific type of chemicals released in each condition helps one know the reason for the signal.
The dead ones will secrete specific chemicals or oleic acid from their glands, which other nest mates can easily identify.
A swarm of nest fellows will come to the death spot by following the direction of the smell. They will investigate the cause of death before carrying their dead ones.
It allows them to identify and remember the possibility of death, which can help relate the same scenario in the future and ensure their survival.
So, you can see ants coming to the house after killing their nest mates as they will be coming to know the death reasons.
How to kill ants and ensure they do not come back?
You have to choose an effective method for killing the ants that allow the removal of the whole colony instead of a few foragers.
Moreover, fix all the water leakages in the kitchen and bathroom to make your place unattractive, as wet floors can attract them.
Use ant bait to get rid of all the colony members, including workers, larvae, and the queen, if you want to get rid of these household pests.
Furthermore, it is considered better to make an appointment with exterminators professionally dealing with infestations and solve the issue permanently.
Will ants go away if I clean?
Many people think that a clean house can help get rid of ants inside the house. It is true as you can avoid them to a maximum extent by keeping the floors dry.
Moreover, spills on the floor and dirty trash bins can also be the reasons for their entry. Immediate cleaning of spills and regular trash removal from the trash bins can help keep them away.
Steaming and dehumidification of bathrooms, removal of hair clogs from bathtub drains, and regular washing of dirty clothes can help get rid of these insects.
Dry the areas close to sinks and clean the drain holes, as food particles can get stuck in them. In addition, keep the food containers inside cabinets and tightly close the jars of peanut butter.
However, a clean house does not ensure that ants will never come inside as there are many other attractive things like rubber wires, wooden furniture, fragrances, etc.