Having an ant infestation is a nuisance to any homeowner, as it can be difficult to control them once they’ve found their way inside. These pests tend to infest areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, searching for a place to nest and a food source. Ants are sneaky pests, often finding their way inside our homes without us even knowing. Check out the top 3 ways you attract ants inside and how you can prevent them in the future.
Gaps & Holes
Ants are very small, making it easy for these pests to get through the smallest hole or gap. Your home’s doors, foundation, windows, and even utility lines can have holes or gaps, creating a way inside for ants. Foundation gaps that aren’t solid concrete blocks can lead to spaces for ants to enter. Likewise, ants will enter through doors or windows that aren’t sealed properly. Take some time and inspect the home’s interior and exterior for these openings.
Inside the Floor
Did you know ants can travel inside your floors? These pests often establish routes underneath carpets, tiles, and hardwood, making it difficult to spot them entering! Ants will often utilize subfloors, which are made up of pieces of plywood that provide enough space for ants to get inside. Often, these pests will enter through the floors when they’ve spotted a food source, such as leftover crumbs on the floor.
Toys & Houseplants
Many times we can bring these pests inside our homes by mistake! Ants can gain access inside by homeowners bringing in a toy or yard item that was left outside long enough for an ant colony to establish inside it. Plants can also carry ants inside when we bring them into our homes for the winter. Other items ants have hitchhiked on include used furniture or appliances, storage boxes, hoses, and even groceries!
There are many opportunities for ants to get inside the home, but with some DIY preventative measures in place, you can help prevent a major infestation. Here are some easy tips on preventing ants:
- Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your house
- If you have holes or gaps, utilize weatherstripping or caulk to seal them
- Thoroughly clean countertops, pantries, cabinets, and other kitchen surfaces
- After a meal, wipe up any crumbs or spills immediately
If you notice an ant problem bigger than you can handle, contact your local pest control company, where they can identify entry points and recommend a treatment and prevention plan.
Ants are known for being annoying and persistent, especially when taking over your yard. It’s important to know what type of ant you’re dealing with to determine how to get rid of them outside your home. Removing them from your yard will lessen the chances of seeing them inside your home. We have broken down the most common ants found in the South and how to remove them from your yard.
These bright or dark red ants love the warm climates of the South. They’re one of the smallest ants around but can be found in very large groups. Since they love the warmth so much, you’ll see fire ants building large underground nests in the sunniest parts of your yard.
They typically don’t become household pests, but because of their sting and the large groups they are found in, they deter families from enjoying time outside. They are known to attack in groups and their sting can become very uncomfortable.
Get Rid of Fire Ants:
- Douse the fire ant mound with boiling water. This old-school approach works about 60% of the time, but it won’t hurt to try.
- Bait worker ants in order to kill the fire ant queen. Ideally, the worker ants will pick up bait that is placed around the mound and bring it to the queen.
- Hire professional help. If you have tried everything and it didn’t work, be sure to reach out to a local pest control company to provide the best fire ant control and prevention method.
These types of ants can be red or black and can often be mistaken for carpenter ants, although they are much smaller. They only have two parts to their body instead of the usual three. Often found in driveways, along sidewalks, or in other concrete structures, pavement ants can eventually become house pests.
They become house pests due to their continuous search for food and shelter. If they end up inside your home, that usually means there is a nest nearby. They aren’t as aggressive as the fire ant, but they can bite.
Get Rid of Pavement Ants:
- Keep tree branches and shrubs cut away from the home. This allows them to access your home.
- A store-bought pesticide should be enough. Spray the perimeter of your yard and home to get rid of these types of ants.
If the problem of ants has become more than you can handle, be sure to reach out to your local pest control company and they’ll be able to come up with the best plan of action to rid your yard of ants.
The kitchen is one of the most common rooms in your home to have ants, closely followed by the bathroom. The most common ants found indoors are odorous house ants, also known as nuisance ants. While these ants don’t cause structural damage and aren’t considered dangerous to humans or pets, they can contaminate your food and become quite a nuisance to deal with. Carpenter ants are larger black ants that can also get into your home. These ants do cause structural damage by boring through the wood components of your house.
The ants you find in your home don’t actually live there; they build colonies outdoors and come in looking for food and water to take back. These elements are necessary for the colony to live and grow. Scout ants who find these sources leave a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony to follow which is why you will often see ants traveling in a single line. Because they can scale walls and travel between stories in your home, they can spread quickly and be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Ants are attracted by a number of things found in your home. They use crumbs, spills, loosely sealed food packages, dirty dishes, and even pet food bowls to find food. They use leaky pipes, pet water bowls, and standing water for hydration.
What can you do to keep ants from taking over your kitchen? Prevent ants by:
- Sweeping and mopping floors regularly.
- Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Wiping down counters and stovetops daily.
- Not leaving dirty dishes out overnight.
- Emptying trash regularly.
- Using trashcans with lids.
- Throwing away uneaten pet food or putting it in a sealed container overnight.
- Storing pet food in sealed containers versus non-sealing bags.
- Cleaning around your pet’s food and water bowls often.
- Dumping and replacing pet water frequently from their bowls.
- Storing pantry food in sealed containers versus boxes and bags when possible (e.g. cereal, grains, sweets). This also helps prevent other common pantry pests.
- Getting rid of overripe food stored on counters.
- Repairing leaky pipes.
- Eliminating standing water.
- Repairing cracks and gaps in foundations.
- Not storing firewood next to your home.
Killing just the ants you find in your home won’t eliminate the entire infestation. You must eradicate them at the source – at their colonies. These ants can be difficult to eliminate because individual colonies can number in the thousands and they can be spread out all over your property. For assistance in dealing with ants or any other pests you may find in your home, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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Ant season peaks in the spring and summertime, with these pests oftentimes finding their way inside your home. But did you know that carpenter ants remain active throughout the year? In return, they can cause damage to your home and infest.
Carpenter ants will nest in damaged wood, usually softwood damaged from water. Carpenter ant damage includes excavating wood to expand their nests, often making holes throughout exposed wood. If these ants are found inside, it is also an indication that there is a water issue, such as a leak.
While these ants are most active in the spring and summer, they are also known to infest homes during the winter months, as well. They will forage for food and water, looking for proteins, fats, and sugars. Once inside, these ants will look for a moist environment to help them survive. They can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens, pipes, and roof vents.
While carpenter ants do not die off in the winter months, they will instead become dormant when the temperatures drop. This usually depends on where they have built their nests and how much the temperature has dropped. If they have already found themselves inside, they will remain active or revive from their dormant state once the heat from the house has risen.
To prevent ants from entering your home this fall and winter, consider placing these preventative measures throughout your house,
- Eliminate moisture using a dehumidifier in crawl spaces, basements, and attics to help with dampness.
- Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your home to eliminate access points.
- Check around your property and seal any gaps or holes with caulk.
- Reach out to your local pest control company to provide you with the best prevention and treatment options.
Little black ants are a common household pest usually seen in larger swarms during the warmer months of the year. These ants can be a huge nuisance, commonly infesting areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, searching for food and a place to nest. Once ants become a problem, it can be difficult to control them; but with some easy preventative measures, you’re less likely to encounter these pests!
Ants are always in search of food. Eliminating any food source that they have easy access to will be a major part of preventing them. After every meal, wipe down countertops and tables of any food crumbs or spills left behind. Don’t forget about your appliances either; ensure that your stove, microwave, and sink are also cleaned frequently. To prevent these pests from infesting your pantry, use sealed containers for any dry goods. Consider placing a bay leaf in canisters of dry food like flour to repel ants.
To survive, ants need water. Eliminating moisture throughout your home is key to ant prevention. Take some time to look around the interior and exterior of your home. If you notice any leaks, make sure you repair them immediately. Check your gutters often to make sure there are no clogs. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Additionally, make sure that the downspout is directing away from your foundation.
Being as little as they are, ants only need a small gap or hole to make their way inside. It’s essential to identify entry points and seal them properly to avoid infestation. Look around the interior and exterior of the home to look for these gaps. Popular places include areas where pipes and wires enter your home. Check your windows and door screens for any open holes and replace weatherstripping frequently.
Preventing ants can be difficult and feel impossible. If you’ve noticed an increase in ant activity around your home, consider contacting your local pest control provider. These professionals will complete a thorough and comprehensive treatment and control plan.