As with many other insects, moisture is the key factor that determines the suitability of a potential harborage site. Ants will exploit situations that have sufficient moisture, provide shelter, and have a nearby source of food. Moisture sources may be stones, wood, or other objects on the ground that physically slow moisture evaporation and/or act as a heat sink and cause condensation on their underneath side. Other sources include mulch and/or dense vegetation that trap moisture underneath it and/or delays drying air currents, in addition to the free water from downspouts, overflowing gutters, poor grade, leaking faucets, irrigation systems, etc. The food comes from honeydew-producing insects that feed on plants and the many insects that are themselves attracted to areas of high moisture. Such conducive conditions are most common in the landscaping around the foundations of structures.
Ant control may be viewed as an 8-step process.
(1) Correct identification of ant
(2) Location of nest(s)
(4) Perimeter treatment
(5) Reduction of honeydew sources
(6) Interior pesticide application
(8) Other non-chemical control methods