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.
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.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Can Termites Be Prevented or Is It Just Luck?
7 Tips For A Healthy Winter Lawn
Stop the Overwintering Pest Invasions
Why You Still Need Pest Control This Winter
How To Have A Pest Free New Year
Little black ants are common household pests that are seen throughout the year in the Southeast U.S. but most commonly encountered in larger swarms during warmer months, beginning in late spring and continuing throughout summer, when they’re reproducing. During this time, you may also see winged little black ants (sometimes mistaken for termites). More often, you’ll see trails of these tiny black ants in and around your home, foraging from nests to food source.
Little black ants, like the name suggests, are small, shiny, dark-colored ants ranging from 1/16 – 1/8 of an inch in size. They feed on fruit and vegetable matter, cornmeal and other sweets, oil residue and greases, meat, and even other insects and plants. This makes control of little black ants difficult since most homes provide an ideal food supply in some form. They will make their way into your home in search of warmth, moisture, and/or food. If you see little black ants in large numbers, usually in kitchens and bathrooms, it’s likely an indication of an infestation in wall voids and other areas in and around your home.
To prevent an infestation of little black ants, measures should be taken around the exterior of your home and outside: eliminate or reduce areas conducive to little black ant nests – dark, protected areas – such as rock and wood piles, yard debris, piles of masonry supplies like bricks and lumber, decaying or rotting wood, logs and trees, or any densely wooded areas.
To keep little black ants (and other common pests) out of your home, seal cracks and crevices around windows, doors, foundation, or any exterior walls to prevent entry, keep plants and shrubbery trimmed back, store firewood and other yard debris at least 20 feet away from home’s exterior, eliminate food supplies by keeping a clean home and store all food items in sealed containers, reduce indoor clutter, and most importantly, maintain routine (usually quarterly) pest control service. An exterminator will identify entry points and treat ants in a method that works to eliminate entire ant colonies, which can consist of thousands of little black ants – the only effective, long-term solution to ant control.