Ants are among the most prevalent
pests in households. They are also
found in restaurants, hospitals, offices, warehouses, and other
buildings where they can find food and water. Once ants have
established a colony inside or near a building, they may be difficult
to the insect order Hymenoptera and are close relatives of
bees and wasps. They are familiar insects that are easily recognized,
especially in their common wingless adult forms, known as workers.
However, winged forms of ants, which leave the nest in large numbers in
warm weather to mate and establish new colonies, are often mistaken for
winged termites, which also leave their nests to mate.
building, household ants feed on sugars, syrups, honey, fruit
juice, fats, and meat. Long trails of thousands of ants may lead from
nests to food sources, causing considerable concern among building
occupants. Outdoors they are attracted to sweet, sticky secretions, or
honeydew, produced by soft scales and aphids. Frequently outbreaks of
scales and aphids occur when ants tend them to obtain their sweet
secretions because the ants protect scales and aphids from their
natural enemies. Ants can bite with their pincerlike jaws.