Many people think that dandruff cannot attract ants because they have no nutritional importance. However, ants have proved them wrong by being attracted to the flakes of dandruff present on the floor or even crawling on clothes.
Why Do Ants Like Dandruff? Ants like dandruff because it consists of dead skin cells that are a rich source of proteins and are essential for the growth of larvae. In addition, it is a good energy source for worker ants.
The ants are usually responsible for creating an unhygienic environment inside the house when they attack food sources in kitchen cabinets, bathroom sinks, attics, or even on the floor.
It becomes essential to prevent these insects from entering by removing their food sources, as food leftovers and dandruff can attract them.
What attracts ants toward dandruff?
Ants are usually attracted to food items providing good nutrition and meeting their requirements.
In the same way, the insects moving close to dandruff flakes indicate that they are interested in eating them.
Source of Protein
Dandruff is an attractive food source for insects adding a large number of proteins to their diet.
They collect dead skin cells and feed their larvae that need more protein because they are in their growth phase, and nutrients help them grow well.
Most commonly, proteinaceous food sources are present in the ant colony during the breeding season when they have many larvae in the nest.
In addition, they have to make more efforts to get a protein source as they usually kill smaller insects to get protein from their meat.
However, shedding dead skin cells is a periodic behavior in which the outermost layer gets replaced by the internal layer.
Accordingly, it causes irritation in the hair and makes you feel that you need to scratch the head, and leads to the falling of dandruff on the floor.
This way, it becomes easy for these insects to get a protein source without making much effort, like fighting with other insects to win the fight and get a chance to eat their meat.
So they are not going to leave the chance of attacking the flakes on the floor.
The flakes of dandruff provide a good energy source to the tiny insects. It can be of no use for use because of dead skin cells, but ants can benefit from it.
They can easily find dead skin cells in the bathroom, where they can also find strands of hair that are good protein sources.
Moreover, the source of nutrition has a particular odor detected by the ants, which sends a signal to their colonies.
These signals can efficiently pull other fellows needing the energy to perform their tasks. Accordingly, you can see them entering the bathroom through wall cracks and crawling on the floor.
In addition, car seats, shirts, and even sleeping surfaces like pillows on beds can have flakes that drop down when you scrape the skin.
So, every insect on this planet needs energy and is always searching for a nutritional source that can help them do tasks for a long time without getting tired.
Easy to carry
It is not challenging for ants to carry the dandruff flakes on their bodies as they are strong enough to carry almost 10 to 30 times their body weight.
These flakes are typically small in size or can be equal in size to the length of the ant’s body.
However, chunks of dandruff are also observed that can be easily chewed into smaller pieces as they are not hard structures that are difficult for these tiny creatures to break.
Therefore, it is a feasible option for ants to carry this lightweight and smaller food source to their colony.
Presence of sugar and fats
You can find starchy sugars and fats in the dandruff flakes that appear whitish. It can be the reason for ants to like it and be attracted to it.
They can eat almost every type of food except a few having strong odors like peppermint and cinnamon because they have to feed a large population of ants in a colony after getting back to it.
So, they would never miss a chance to carry the food particles that can even provide only one type of nutrient and support their growth and survival.
How do ants eat dandruff?
Ants use their smelling sense to detect the presence of food particles that are a good source of nutrition for them.
The dandruff flakes are usually present on the carpeted floor and even on the towels having hair.
Moreover, the hair strands can fall on the floor in addition to dandruff when you comb or scrape your hair and attract these insects.
One of the foraging ants finds dandruff on the floor and gives signals to other fellows to come and get it back to their nest.
They break larger flakes into smaller ones, carry them on their back, and move toward the nest to provide food to nest members.
Moreover, they can easily consume the dead skin particles broken down by their mandibles.
Furthermore, they begin to chew and soften the flakes in their mouth and feed their young ones through regurgitation.
How to stop ants from eating dandruff?
It is not easier to deal with a swarm of ants coming inside the house when they have targeted a food source in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
The presence of dead skin on the shirts and beds can be on your clothes and pillows, which is not acceptable.
It is better to overcome the problem of dandruff by using a shampoo that prevents such fungal infections.
You can easily find medicated shampoos having pyrithione zinc that can actively control such skin issues and helps get rid of these insect’s problem.
Furthermore, some natural remedies can help you overcome the issue like aloe Vera can reduce the itchy feeling, and lemongrass shampoos can fight fungal infections.
You can also block the entry routes that can give favor to these common house ants and the sugar ants to come inside and pollute the things inside.
Additionally, keep your clothes and floors free of dandruff by washing and cleaning them on time before they give off a specific odor to attract them.