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Can Ants Eat Through Plastic? (And Smell Food?)

Can Ants Eat Through Plastic? (And Smell Food?)

What exactly can ants bite and chew? Ants can chew through various materials, including concrete, wood, plastic, cotton, and silicone, to reach the food supply they require.

Therefore, you can use top pantry items, such as coffee grounds, peppermint essential oil, and lemon juice to keep ants away from your food.

As a result of ants chewing through the plastic wrapping of pharmaceuticals, drug companies have to refund millions of dollars worth of medication.

And Monomorium destructor is the name of the species that has caused this catastrophe. It is highly prevalent in hot and tropical areas.

The same creatures have been linked to car ignition problems and residential fires due to their ability to eat through electrical insulation.

Can Ants Chew Through Plastic?

Yes, ants can eat through normal plastic. Sugar ant swarms, for example, are a hassle when they find a reliable food source inside a residence, though they are not harmful. These ants nibble through cardboards, contents of the paper, and even thin plastic containers.

The sugar ants are non-stinging pests with a calm demeanor. The ants may bite using their mouthparts when disturbed to defend themselves. Unless you are highly allergic, these bites are not unpleasant and do not cause any symptoms. If symptoms emerge, administer antibiotic creams to the bite, and seek medical help if symptoms persist. 

These stubborn creatures also love areas with fruits and sweets. However, you should also note that stains, spills, and other food residues attract them. That’s why you should form a habit of checking your food container, pantry, and kitchen if you suspect a sugar ant infestation.

Workers can be seen searching for food along defined pathways at dusk and returning to their nests at daybreak. Due to their nocturnal habits, finding a sugar ant nest might be challenging. They can be identified by enormous dirt mounds along the colonies’ entrance when they make their nests in soil.

How Do Ants Eat Through Plastic?

Ants use their mandibles to gnaw through various materials, including wood, plastic, concrete, cotton, and silicone—to make intricate tunnels and paths that connect the chambers of their nests or reach the food supply they require.

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The thin plastic packaging of food is no match to the willpower of ants. So if your food comes in thin plastic packaging, store it in an airtight container or the refrigerator. Some people stick bread in the fridge because they believe ants can sneak in if the plastic is sealed with clips.

Others have stated the same thing and forum articles about what ants may munch on. Even the tough chip bags aren’t safe from their mandibles, according to a few.

How Can I Identify Ants Infestation in My Home?

Before you take any action, you must establish whether the ants are just passing through on their way to seek food or are nesting within your home. That said, below are a few apparent indicators that ants infest your house.

  • If you see carpenter ants crawling about, that’s already a warning sign. Carpenter ants prefer to build their nests in rotting wood. However, they may be nesting inside your walls if you don’t have any wood around your home.
  • Funny noises are coming from walls and floors. When you put your ear flat on the surface where the colony lives, you’ll hear insect activity if ants have already invaded your home.
  • Trails of ants leading into and out of your home—They can sometimes be seen on window sills or around your door. This is a definite sign that ants are there; either a nest has already been established, or the invasion has just started.
  • Locating the nesting place of carpenter ants might be challenging if you have an infestation, but one guaranteed way to identify them and verify whether you have an infestation is to look for wood dust surrounding your home. Carpenter ants gouge wood to make their nest.

While these are DIY ways to identify ants around your home, many homeowners choose a more natural approach or prefer to pay professionals to deal with the problem, especially if they want the infestation to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Can Ants Smell Food Through Plastic?

The smell of decaying food and other rubbish could be an excellent ant attractant. And because ants love fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables can go from ripe to rotten in a single day. Therefore, make sure you use well-sealed plastic bags for waste and keep an eye for fresh produce.

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Look for getaways and seal them off to keep them outside where they belong. Look for cracks near air vents, doors, and windows around your house. Sealing these off is a good idea for various reasons—one of which is to block ants from entering. Also, don’t forget to repair screen holes and cracks in windows and doors as well.

If you see an ant swarm in your kitchen, getting rid of the ants is relatively simple. After they’ve been removed, it’s very crucial to spray and wipe the entire infestation area.

Ants leave a trail of molecules called pheromones that assist them in navigating back to their colony and indicate the location of their feast to their colony members. Clean these surfaces and any found ant entry points to break this path and prevent more ants from entering.

Can Black Ants Eat Through Plastic?

Yes, black ants can chew through plastic, and some can even live within creosote-treated railroad ties and other materials since they can’t eat what they can’t chew through to construct a nest.

Most people consider ants a nuisance, especially the carpenter ants that can inflict significant damage to your home, making them a considerably more dangerous menace.

Besides, carpenter ants are interesting little critters, despite the harm they pose to your home or business.

Can Carpenter Ants Eat Through Plastic?

Carpenter ants prefer wet or decaying wood, but they will eat through strong, dry wood as well. These stubborn ants have also been observed chewing through some forms of plastic.

Carpenter ants have strong mandibles, and they can chew through wood, plastic, concrete, and even silicon, making them one of the most prominent insects. These pests can eat through hard surfaces, especially if they block them from their target.

Carpenter ants eat insect honeydew, fruits and plants juices, insects, and other arthropods as their primary food sources. They’ll consume eggs, meats, cakes, sweets, and grease on the inside as well.

Carpenter ants gnaw through the wood to find a new home and, in the process, create tunnels and chambers. Because these little animals are so meticulous, they keep their habitats clean by removing dead and undesired items.

If they are attracted to the food, they will munch through the plastic to get to their food sources.

Can Ants Get Into Sealed Containers?

It’s almost impossible when proper care is taken. Start storing food in mason jars or airtight mason containers as the materials are too thick to gnaw through and whose airtight design prevents food odors from escaping and attracting pests in the first place.

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As much as possible, keep anything refrigerated or frozen in plastic bags in the refrigerator or freezer. The fewer possibilities you provide for ants to get to it, the less likely an infestation will develop.

You don’t have to worry about canned products or sealed cereal packages, but you should avoid open food containers. Even if you don’t think much of an open bag of dog food in your garage, ants can chew their way through it.

Regardless of your actions to keep them away, if you have an ant problem, it will not go away until the ants cannot find food. That’s why the first thing you should do is put all of your food in sealed containers that ants can’t get into.

Because pet food is a prime target for ants, dog or cat food should be stored in airtight containers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Ants Eat Through Ziploc Bags?

When attempting to minimize the incidence of an ant invasion, removing food from open bags and containers and placing it in a zip-lock bag will go a long way. If you don’t want to have issues, remember to close and seal each zip-lock bag when you’re done with it.

2. Can Ants Get Into Tupperware?

No, ants, in most cases, will not Tupperware. Start storing food in airtight plastic containers or mason jars, as their products are too thick for ants to chew through, and their airtight designs prevent food odors from escaping and attracting pests.

3. Will Silicone Keep Ants Out?

Seal any cracks around windows, doors, or anywhere else they could get in. To make a clear ant-proof seal, use transparent silicone caulk on the outer walls. Not only does this keep ants out, but it also keeps food fresh for a long.

4. What Smell Do Ants Hate?

Ants despise the odor, and your home will smell minty fresh as a result! Plant mint near your front door and around the perimeter of your house. Use a cotton ball with a few drops of peppermint essential oil to wipe suspected spots. Place a peppermint oil cotton ball in areas where ants congregate, such as cabinets.

5. What is the Best Homemade Ant Killer?

Dish soap and water—Make a dish soap or dishwashing liquid mixture, pour it into a spray container, and shake it thoroughly. You should spray the mixture on the ants.