What foods are ants attracted to

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What foods are ants attracted to


There are many different ant species, all with distinct demeanors, including their eating habits.

Ants live mostly in their nests, but when a food supply has been detected, they help the other colony ants to find the food source and return to their nests, by means of trail pheromones. They are also released as danger pheromones to warn other ants against unpredicted hazards. These pheromones can last from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the type of ant.

Ants do not have teeth, but their chemical neural support system attracts them to different food smells. This makes them eat almost anything edible within your home. Ants have a remarkable and multifarious diet. The two major food groups that make up the biggest part of their menu, are sugar- and protein rich foods. Any food that is good for you, would be a nutritious source to ants.

Let us take a closer look at the different foods that ants are attracted to:

Sweet Foods

It is known that ants have a heightened sense of smell which is used to discern sugary substances effortlessly, such as fruit, honey, syrup, jelly, candy, and juices. Any leftover food crumbs that have been dropped after parties, barbeques and picnic gatherings are valuable stockpiles to these social insects.

Greasy foods

Many ants delight in fatty, greasy substances such as empty restaurant take away containers and wrappers. Foods like cheese, peanut butter, nuts, milk and various meats are often high in protein, which is a nutritiously rich food source for assisting in their growth.

Other insects

To support the size of their colony, ants tend to fight and even kill other ants when they are challenged with food supplies.

Because ants are protein feeders and not always able to find the source in human food, some species are cadaver eaters – including other ant species, insects and the carcasses of animals.

Whether they are carnivores or vegetarian, these vultures are after the sugar and protein supply in and around your house, particularly scavenging the kitchen area.

Plants and seeds

Even though ants are scroungers, they also feed on seedlings and the sap of plants. Their ultimate preference includes the sweeter part of the plant, like the flowers and the fruits.

They gather seeds that are sown in the garden, harvest them by carrying it back to their nests and supplying their colonies with the much needed and stored fuel.


Leafcutter- or fungus-growing ants would carry leaves back to their nests and fertilize the fungus, which is broken down into enzymes in their digestive system. This makes the fungus a valuable source of nutrition, which they would suckle on at a later stage. Thus, your garden would be the ideal environment for growing fungi.

Damp and moisture

Ants β€œflourish” in damp and humid habitats and are especially drawn to decaying and spoiled rotting wood. Their colonies are found near water sources in and around your home. A good example would be to keep your garbage bins clean and tidy. To reduce the risk of ant infestation, it is important to store trash in sealed containers and clean the spills around the bin area. Wash out empty jars and containers, before discarding and recycling.

Did you know?

Ants can carry up to 50 times their own bodyweight, depending on their habitat and the available food supplies. They are known for their astounding individual power. If there is a food source available for them in your home, no size too big would stop them from carrying it to their colonies.

If you have an issue with ants call Sydneys Best Pest Control on 1800 819 189

Further Reading


Fire Ants

AAAAants – All about ants

Are these carpenter ants

How can I prevent ants?