As anybody who's ever been to a picnic knows, ants like to get into food. The results are, well, yucky, but as bad as this problem can be for humans it can be worse for pets. Ants get into pet food too and pets may refuse to eat food with an ant colony climbing all over it. Worse, if ants actually get on your pet, they often bite, which can be an even nastier problem than you might think.
The most threatening kind of ants, both to pets and to humans, are fire ants. This term describes several different species that have invaded the southern half of the United States in recent years from other countries, having migrated roughly as far north as Maryland in the east and the northern tip of California in the west. Fire ants don't actually burst into flame (though it would be kind of cool if they did), but they do have venom and they can sting, something you don't want happening to your dog, cat, guinea pig, bird, potbellied pig or whatever sort of animal you share your life with. Heck, you don't even want this happening to yourself. Fire ants can be dangerous and if their venom creates an allergic reaction, it can be fatal.
Needless to say, you want to keep ants, especially the fiery kind, away from your pets. There are several ways you can do this. We'll talk about five over the next few pages.