Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org
After being inactive over the winter, worker ants emerge from colonies underground in search of food to feed the newly hatched larvae in the nest. The workers fan out in all directions looking for food and can become nuisance pests if the food is found inside the building. When a good food source is found, the ant leaves a chemical trail so the other workers can find the food source too.
Begin addressing an ant problem with proper identification. Carpenter ants are large black ants that can be destructive to buildings, whereas the many species of small household nuisance ants, such as pavement ants, tend to invade kitchen sinks, cabinets and other places with a variety of food sources, preferably sweets. Then use the steps of integrated pest management (IPM) to manage a nuisance ant problem before it gets out of hand. Key steps are provided below.