Ants belong 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. Ants and termites can be distinguished by three main characteristics:
Ant management requires diligent efforts and the combined use of mechanical, cultural, sanitation, and often chemical methods of control. It is unrealistic and impractical to attempt to totally eliminate ants from an outdoor area. Focus your management efforts on excluding ants from buildings or valuable plants and eliminating their food and water sources.
Reducing outdoor sources of ants near buildings may reduce the likelihood of ants coming indoors. Become aware of the seasonal cycle of ants in your area and be prepared for annual invasions by caulking and baiting before the influx.
When ants invade your home, take immediate action i.e. caulk cracks and crevices around foundations, sponge invaders with soapy water as soon as you see them, plug up ant entryways with caulk or petroleum jelly.
Prevention is always the best approach against all pests including ants.