Ants are considered one of the most pesky nuisance pests homeowners must deal with. Ants will often enter homes during the winter, seeking water and food for survival. Now, with the weather warming, is the perfect time to start putting preventative measures in the most common places ants are found – the kitchen and the bathroom!
The kitchen is an ideal place for ants to infest. These pests are constantly searching for a water source, and the kitchen is the perfect place to find it. If the kitchen isn’t cleaned frequently and thoroughly, ants will invade quickly. Use these ant prevention tips to keep ants out of your kitchen:
- Store sweet food items, like maple syrup and honey, in plastic containers that seal tightly. Wipe them down after use to remove any sticky residue.
- Clean up all grease spills from your countertops, floors, and stove.
- Throw out any ripe fruit, as it is a major attraction to ants.
- If you have pets, pick up any leftover food and wash their bowls frequently.
The bathroom is highly vulnerable to an ant infestation as all the excess moisture will attract them. Carpenter ants will build their nests in damp areas, such as behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent ants from infesting your bathroom, take these preventative measures:
- Always inspect your sink, toilets, and tubs for any leaks and drips to avoid excess moisture.
- Give your bathroom a good, thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleanser and wiping down the insides of your drawers.
- Frequently check that your shampoo, lotion, and soap bottles are tightly sealed and no contents have spilled out.
If you’ve noticed an influx of ants inside your home, consider calling your local pest control company. Trained service professionals will set you up with a prevention and treatment plan to help prevent these pests during peak ant season.
Every homeowner dreads discovering an ant infestation, whether inside or outside the home. Ants can be a major nuisance as they contaminate food, build their nests in unwanted places, and destroy property. One type of ant in particular, the carpenter ant, is considered a “silent destroyer,” often causing severe damage to homes undetected by excavating wood. These pests can be tough to eliminate but it is possible.
Carpenter ants are ½” to 5/8” long, and are usually red, black, brown, or a combination of these in color. These ants build their nests by creating smooth tunnels inside wood, preferring wet, damp wood. Common places carpenter ants will build their nests include tree stumps, fence posts, window and doorframes, firewood, and other various places with exposed wood. Carpenter ant nests can be problematic to your home as the tunnels they create can damage the structural soundness of wood throughout your property. If you notice sawdust or wood fragments falling throughout your property, there is a good chance that carpenter ants have infested.
Carpenter ants need a constant water source to survive. The first step in preventing ants like these is to eliminate moisture or standing water throughout your property. Consider using a dehumidifier in crawlspaces, basements, and attics to help with dampness. Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your home, as ants can use these as an access point. Take it a step farther by looking around your property for any gaps or holes and sealing these up with caulk, as ants only need the smallest gap to get inside a house.
Preventing ants might seem like a daunting task; when ants infest it can seem like they are everywhere! Consider reaching out to your local pest control company where they can provide you with a prevention and treatment plan during peak ant season.
You’re lounging outside enjoying the peaceful outdoors when a flying pest zooms past you. You then realize it’s actually a flying ant! Don’t worry! Flying ants are actually very common, especially during seasons of high humidity. While flying ants are not a huge threat to humans, they can be a major nuisance, especially if they enter your home.
Flying ants swarm for the same reasons that termites swarm which is to reproduce and expand their colonies. These pests will swarm in late spring and the early summer when there’s bright sunlight and warm temperatures. Flying ants also prefer to swarm 3 to 5 days after a rainstorm.
While flying ants won’t cause damage to your home, they can make their way inside. It’s important to know what prevention steps to take when dealing with these pests.
- During peak swarm season, try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible.
- If pests have already entered your home, just vacuum them up. You will most likely find them near bright lights, light fixtures or windows.
- If you suspect these pests are inside your walls, don’t tear away any woodwork, trim, baseboards, or wall coverings; simply use your thumb to press against the wood to feel for defects.
- Don’t spray the swarms with insecticide; instead, mark areas where they are getting into your home and notify your pest control professional.
Remember, if you see them flying by outside, don’t be too alarmed. If they end up inside your home, however, it’s always best to call your local pest control company who can determine the best plan of action.
Ants are the #1 nuisance pest in America. They are one of the most challenging pests to control, along with bed bugs, because their colonies can number in the 1000s. Ants are considered commercial pests because they like to live close to people and eat the same things that we do. Ants can be seasonal pests or a year-round problem depending on the species. They will often enter our homes in the warmer months of the year in search of water and food. Most species, including fire ants and odorous house ants, will build their nests outdoors and come inside in search of food that they will collect and take back to their colonies. Other species like carpenter ants will actually make their way into your home and build their nests indoors. Ants are often found near food sources, moisture, and in hidden areas where they have protection and concealment such as wall voids, under floors, behind window frames, and under appliances. Ants in the bathroom and ants in the kitchen are the two most common scenarios when these pests make their way into your home, although they can be found in other rooms, as well.
Regardless of the species, when ants become a problem in your home it is often necessary to use a professional pest control company to help get them under control. Here are some important aspects to any successful ant control program:
1. Proper Identification
One of the most important components to any ant control program is to properly identify the species of ant you are dealing with. Different species have different behaviors, prefer different environments, and have different diets so treatment will vary greatly between them. It is important to know where to find them and how to treat them to ensure success in eliminating and controlling them.
2. Eliminate Food Sources
One of the main reasons ants come into your home is in search of food to take back to their colony. Eliminating things that attract them can help keep them from taking over your home. Clean up any food crumbs from kitchen floors and countertops and wipe them down frequently. Clean your appliances regularly. Empty your trash routinely and wipe the cans down. Clean outdoor grills and remove crumbs from tables, decks, and patios after each use. Keep foods, including pet food, in sealed containers. Place a bay leaf in canisters of dry food (such as flour) as the scent repels ants and other pantry pests. Rinse any empty containers before placing them in recycling bins. Get rid of any overripe fruit as this will attract ants, as well.
3. Eliminate Moisture
Ants need moisture to survive. Eliminating or reducing the moisture in your home can help prevent ants from coming inside. Repair any leaks around pipes and in your roof. Check gutters to make sure they are not clogged and ensure downspouts are directing rainwater away from foundations. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Thoroughly clean bathrooms with disinfectant cleaners and make sure shampoo, conditioner, and soap bottles are closed tightly and don’t have any leaks.
4. Eliminate Points of Entry
In order to get into your home, ants have to have a way inside. It is important to identify where they are gaining entry into your home to successfully control and eliminate them. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home and seal any holes, gaps, and cracks especially around areas where pipes and wires enter your home. Trim back shrubs and tree branches so they are not touching the sides or roof of your home. Keep mulch and timber at least 2 feet from your foundation. Move debris such as firewood, rock piles, boards, etc away from your home. Remove any tree stumps, fallen tree branches and logs from your yard. Repair any holes in window and door screens and replace weatherstripping.
As always, if you suspect you have an ant problem, contact a professional ant control company who can help you properly identify the species of ant you have and set you up with a thorough and comprehensive treatment and control plan.
Ants are the most commonly reported pest in the country. While ants can be found just about anywhere in your home, the kitchen and bathroom are the most common rooms they are spotted in. Tiny black ants, also known as “nuisance ants,” or “odorous house ants,” invade your kitchen in search of food and water. While these nuisance pests are quite common, you may not know much about them. Here are 6 things you should know about these ants in your kitchen.
1. They Don’t Cause Damage
Ants don’t typically live indoors but instead establish colonies around your property. They will then make their way indoors in search of food and water. While odorous house ants can be quite a nuisance when they invade your kitchen, they don’t pose any significant risk to humans or their homes. These ants will feed on food and drink, especially sugary, sweet items and are attracted to crumbs and spills usually found in your kitchen. They don’t, however, bore through wood or cause structural damage to your home.
2. You Can Usually Follow The Source
Ants in the kitchen are usually coming from somewhere and traveling to somewhere. If you follow their trail in both directions you can usually identify the food source that is attracting them. Cleaning up the spill or eliminating the food source will typically eliminate the ant problem. Ants can squeeze through openings the size of a pinhole, however, so while sealing up any entry points you find is a good idea, don’t be surprised if they make their way in again in the future.
3. Ants Are Seasonal
Like most pests, ants are seasonal and incidences typically ebb and flow. Ants most commonly spike in the spring and summer when the weather warms up. This increase in temperature also increases their activity, driving them indoors in droves. They are also much more common following unseasonably warm winters. This is also swarming ant season which also increases their activity.
4. Ants Can Communicate
Ants are very social and have developed communication methods between each other. Ants can communicate through touch and through shared food. This communication helps them to avoid repellent remedies. Repellents like chalk that are placed in a line are often avoided by ants who just go around them. Spraying them with repellents will kill a few on contact but will typically just repel the rest, causing them to scatter but not die. A professional can treat ants with non-repellent products that they will take back to their colonies and disseminate among the entire population.
5. Identification Is Key
Different species of ants are attracted to different things and are treated in different ways. Proper identification is key to complete elimination. If you have an ant problem, try not to kill them all yourself because then your pest control company cannot identify them accurately. Best practice is to either leave them alone or try to collect samples by using tape to pick up a few and placing them in a Ziploc bag.
6. Ants Can Be Difficult To Control
Ant control is difficult as they can get into your home through the tiniest of openings. Most ants are just a nuisance and can be gotten rid of by sealing your food and keeping spills and crumbs cleaned up. This does not, however, get rid of the colonies lurking outside your home waiting to get back in in search of food. If you suspect you have an ant problem or are having difficulty getting rid of an existing ant problem, contact a professional pest control company who can help properly identify the species of ant and provide the appropriate ant control techniques.
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