Camping in the wilderness is all fun and games until your entire campsite gets infested with ants. Here are ways I have found to elinate them.
1. Keep Food put away – ants and other insects are actracted to food.
2. Use bug spray or outdoor fogger. This will chemically kill them, keep spraying every few hours to get them all.
3. Proper Disposal of Trash
While camping, many of us indulge in homecooked meals, but we often forget to dispose of the trash consisting of all the food particles, napkins, plastic plates, and other items. The improper disposal of waste becomes a paradise for ants.
For proper disposal of waste, you need to make sure that your trash bag is securely sealed. Moreover, always recheck whether any trash from the pack is leaking or not. Using zip-lock bags for disposing of the waste is also a great idea.
4. Setting Up Your Tent Carefully
Location is key. Before setting up your tent, take some time and observe the region. Check whether you are setting up your camp on ant mounds or not. If you think you can’t know whether a site is infested with ant mounds or not, put boiling water over the area you are planning on setting up your tent.
By using hot water, you will kill all the ants instantly. Moreover, you will not have to be in fear of getting infested by ants while camping by killing them beforehand.
5. Minimal Usage of Perfume
Ants get attracted to perfume or sweet smells. Even though most people do not put on cologne or perfume while camping, they use deodorant, toothpaste, or even hand soap. These items all have a specific scent that attracts ants quite easily.
That is why the best idea for avoiding ants is to bring scent-free items with you during camping. You will easily find items devoid of any scent in most stores. These commodities will help you stay hidden from the ants while camping.
6. Disrupting Ant Trails
You might see a trail of ants while camping and think that it will not be a trouble for you. But you will sadly be mistaken. That trail has the capability of destroying your peace by following you in your tent. The best way to get rid of ants is by eliminating the track right after seeing it. You can put chilly powder or vinegar directly on the trail to disrupt the army. By this method, the ants will not follow you back to your tent.
7. If you have cracks around your tent or home, ensure that you seal them.
There are more than 12,000 ant species around the world. They are common in tropical forests but some can invade homes and campsites.
Types of ants
Determining the types of ants at home depends on various factors including habitat, appearance, and the region of residence. The body of an ant can have either one or two nodes or humps on the thorax and this is something to help in identification. The species differ in size and color. Some of these species can sting while others can bite. Others on the contrary can both bite and sting. Here is a list of ants.
These are also known as worker ants and are about 3 millimeters long. They have two nodes. The colors of these ants vary from yellow-brown to brown. Others can be red-black and turn to black eventually.
They tend to nest in moist woods or inside wood structures that are damaged. It is also possible to find them in panel insulation. When these ants feel threatened, they try to defend themselves by lifting their abdomens above the head.
Their tendency to run with their abdomen held up makes them look like they are tumbling and this is why they are called acrobat ants. They are more aggressive and can sting. However, you can rarely find them indoors.
These are about 2.8 millimeters long. Unlike the acrobat ants, they have only one node and their color varies from light brown to dark brown. While outdoors, they nest in various places during winter and summer, they nest in spots with shades.
When they are inside the houses or buildings, they can be found in voids or the insulation of walls. If you happen to step on one of these ants, they release a musty smell. They cannot sting.
These are a bit longer with their millimeter estimated to be about 5 millimeters. Their color varies from brown-black to dark orange mandibles. They have one node.
When they are outside, they look for shaded places and with high moisture to nest. Unlike the acrobat ants, these species are not very aggressive especially to the ant colonies neighboring them. However, if they come in contact with human skin or attach themselves to clothes, they sting.
This happens often in swarm season. The sting is painful and can cause a welt. There are a few cases where humans exhibited anaphylactic shock symptoms after being stung. They are common in Alabama, North Caroline, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.
There are various species and variations of carpenter ants across the United States. These ants come first in the structural pests. Due to the large variety, it is difficult to identify them because of their broad physical description.
They are 6 to 13 millimeters long on average. These ants do not eat wood but instead excavate to build nests. They commonly nest outside, lumber, or in trees.
If they are found inside houses, they nest in roofs, or on woodwork especially close to moisture.
If your home happens to be in woodlands, it can be a good spot for these ants who will cause structural damage. Some of these species are aggressive and sting when they realize their nests are disturbed.
The lengths of these ants range from 2.2 to 3 millimeters. They possess one node. Their color is black brown and has antennae and long legs. These ants, unlike the above types, do not choose a place to nest.
They can nest in both moist and dry environments. When they are outside, they nest in vegetation, plants, garbage, and even in the soil. You can easily come across them under the carpets, houseplants, and voids if they are inside the house.
These do not sting because they do not have stingers but if disturbed, they move around in anger hence their name. They are found in the United States and are common in the Gulf Coast. They are the major home invaders.
These are 1.6 millimeters in length with a single node. To easily identify them, you can look for dark brown insects. They tend to nest and live in areas that are close to people.
They nest outside on grass edges, below objects, and in parking lots. When they are inside the house, you can find their nests in the bathroom and the kitchen.
These ants love sweet liquids. Since they work in large colonies, these can create discomfort and a nuisance even though they do not sting. They are common in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
These have varying lengths from 4 to 8 millimeters. They possess a single node and are of various colors including; brown, mixed red, black, and yellow-brown. This species nest in open places where there is soil, dead woods, or vegetation. They rarely stay indoors. They sting and release a formic acid which induces pain. They are common in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States.
Ant species are considered pests due to their ability to build large colonies and their tendency to forage food when indoors.
Some pose a significant threat while others are harmless.
Ants also can cause diseases by contaminating food.
Moreover, when they sting, they induce pain and in some circumstances cause anaphylactic shock.
These are some of the reasons why it is important to be careful of ants in our homes, RVs, and tents.