Why Do I Have Ants in My Kitchen?

Why Do I Have Ants in My Kitchen?

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:

  1. Sweeping and mopping floors regularly.
  2. Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
  3. Wiping down counters and stovetops daily.
  4. Not leaving dirty dishes out overnight.
  5. Emptying trash regularly.
  6. Using trashcans with lids.
  7. Throwing away uneaten pet food or putting it in a sealed container overnight.
  8. Storing pet food in sealed containers versus non-sealing bags.
  9. Cleaning around your pet’s food and water bowls often.
  10. Dumping and replacing pet water frequently from their bowls.
  11. 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.
  12. Getting rid of overripe food stored on counters.
  13. Repairing leaky pipes.
  14. Eliminating standing water.
  15. Repairing cracks and gaps in foundations.
  16. 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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Are Carpenter Ants Active During the Winter?

Are Carpenter Ants Active During the Winter?

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.
How to Prevent Little Black Ants

How to Prevent Little Black Ants

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.

Under an Ant Attack? Here’s Why

Under an Ant Attack? Here’s Why

Ants are one of the most common household pest invaders and often one of the hardest to get rid of. Here’s why:

There are over 12,000 species of ants worldwide and about 1,000 here in the U.S. They’re social insects so they live in large colonies, some with millions of ants depending on the species. Ant queens can survive for several years and have millions of ant offspring, compared to many other pests that tend to have shorter lifespans and lower reproduction rates. So it’s likely you have several ant colonies around your home with queens that are reproducing, male ants to mate with the queens, soldier ants to protect the queens and babies, and worker ants to gather food and build anthills, mounds, and nests.

So where are these nests? Larger ant colonies require complex nests that often take up large amounts of space, often covering an acre of land or more! Their nests are usually underground with mounds or anthills that they use to gain access to the nest, in walls, and under fallen trees, rocks, or debris.

The most effective way to get rid of ants or prevent ants is to go after the colony’s queen. An ant colony will usually only survive for a few weeks to months, depending on the colony’s size, after a queen dies since the queen is the only ant in the colony able to reproduce. And colonies rarely replace a queen, therefore the entire colony is dismantled and without purpose. This process can happen naturally, when other ant colonies invade one another, or through targeted, integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. While on-contact pesticides can be effective in killing the ants you’re seeing, they do nothing to eliminate the thousands of ants you don’t see, hiding out in the colony. But because ants work in an organized system, we can “feed” the worker ants traveling to and from the colony poisonous baits. These baits usually contain a sweet substance that ants are attracted to and will take back to their colony to feed to the others (queen included). And because most baits are slow-acting, the ants have time to distribute the poisonous food to the colony before the bait begins to work. When the ants begin to die, the bait continues to work to eliminate other ants in the colony since the dead ants will be eaten by the colony, thereby continuing the spread of poison throughout the colony. This process of colony elimination can take a few days up to 2 or 3 weeks, depending on the size of the colony.

In order to get rid of ants through colony elimination, it’s important that baits are placed in the right areas and that you allow enough time for the bait to work before cleaning up dying or dead ants. If you’re unsure which products to use or how and where to use ant baits, contact your local exterminator. A pest control professional will inspect your home for ant entry points and provide you with a treatment plan that works now and for future ant prevention.

 

Under an Ant Attack? Here’s Why

Under an Ant Attack? Here's Why

Ants are one of the most common household pest invaders and often one of the hardest to get rid of. Here’s why:
There are over 12,000 species of ants worldwide and about 1,000 here in the U.S. They’re social insects so they live in large colonies, some with millions of ants depending on the species. Ant queens can survive for several years and have millions of ant offspring, compared to many other pests that tend to have shorter lifespans and lower reproduction rates. So it’s likely you have several ant colonies around your home with queens that are reproducing, male ants to mate with the queens, soldier ants to protect the queens and babies, and worker ants to gather food and build anthills, mounds, and nests.
So where are these nests? Larger ant colonies require complex nests that often take up large amounts of space, often covering an acre of land or more! Their nests are usually underground with mounds or anthills that they use to gain access to the nest, in walls, and under fallen trees, rocks, or debris.
The most effective way to get rid of ants or prevent ants is to go after the colony’s queen. An ant colony will usually only survive for a few weeks to months, depending on the colony’s size, after a queen dies since the queen is the only ant in the colony able to reproduce. And colonies rarely replace a queen, therefore the entire colony is dismantled and without purpose. This process can happen naturally, when other ant colonies invade one another, or through targeted, integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. While on-contact pesticides can be effective in killing the ants you’re seeing, they do nothing to eliminate the thousands of ants you don’t see, hiding out in the colony. But because ants work in an organized system, we can “feed” the worker ants traveling to and from the colony poisonous baits. These baits usually contain a sweet substance that ants are attracted to and will take back to their colony to feed to the others (queen included). And because most baits are slow-acting, the ants have time to distribute the poisonous food to the colony before the bait begins to work. When the ants begin to die, the bait continues to work to eliminate other ants in the colony since the dead ants will be eaten by the colony, thereby continuing the spread of poison throughout the colony. This process of colony elimination can take a few days up to 2 or 3 weeks, depending on the size of the colony.
In order to get rid of ants through colony elimination, it’s important that baits are placed in the right areas and that you allow enough time for the bait to work before cleaning up dying or dead ants. If you’re unsure which products to use or how and where to use ant baits, contact your local exterminator. A pest control professional will inspect your home for ant entry points and provide you with a treatment plan that works now and for future ant prevention.
 

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